Corn and soybean growers, and those who advise them, often have insect management questions for which the correct answer is: "It depends."

Insecticide resistant populations increase the difficulty of soybean aphid management decisions. Which insecticide group should be used? What about a pre or tank mix? Will seed treatments or earlier applications help?  

The current low crop prices have encouraged some growers to reduce input costs by minimizing rootworm and/or corn borer Bt traits. Sometimes these hybrid decisions are made with limited knowledge of risk of loss to corn yield or harvest-ability. Effective soybean aphid control and managing corn rootworms and corn borers without Bt means that the best decision can vary by geography, grower, farm, and even field.

To help with these complicated decisions, Dr. Bob Koch, Dr. Ken Ostlie and Bruce Potter will hold a workshop designed to help participants work through their corn and soybean insect management decisions. This workshop will use a question and answer and case-study approach with management dilemma scenarios and "real world" examples.

The workshop will be held at the University of Minnesota SWROC near Lamberton, MN on Tuesday, February 28th from 1:00 to 4:00 to PM. Minimal time will be spent on lectures so bring your questions. There is no charge for the meeting.

Commodity trends, marketing plans, crop production budgets, and farm profitability in southwest Minnesota will be featured at the 2017 Farm Management Profitability Conference on Wednesday, March 22 at the SWROC. Agricultural producers and farm management and agribusiness professionals throughout Southwest Minnesota are encouraged to attend. The program will feature presentations on how to maintain and improve farm profitability:

  • Matthew Diersen, an Economics Specialist with SDSU Extension, will provide insights on emerging trends that will affect the major commodities of the region including livestock, feed and crop price impacts.  
  • Ed Usset, Grain Marketing Specialist at the University of Minnesota’s Center for Farm Financial Management, will share a concise and practical marketing plan and discuss best practices for developing a pre-harvest marketing plan.
  • IPM Specialist Bruce Potter will discuss where it is safe to cut crop production inputs without reducing yields and other cost-effective production strategies.

SWROC is now accepting applications for 2017 summer student plot technicians. These technicians normally work 40 hours per week and are responsible for assisting in the preparation, planting, caring for, sampling, and harvesting of crops and collection of research data. This is a great resume-building opportunity and gives students hands on experience with research. View and download the full position description and application here.

The Minnesota Agricultural Experiment Station (MAES) and the College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences (CFANS) have just published the 2016 Field Crop Trials Bulletin. Simply follow the link above to find the results for your crop of interest or follow these links to find spring wheatwinter wheatbarleyoatssoybeanssilage corn or grain corn directly.

A blog post on corn grain trial results and criteria to advance hybrid selection is now available on the Minnesota Crop News blog. Read it here.

Results of the 2016 corn and soybean weed management trials at the SWROC are now available:

You can view results from previous years on our Research Results page. 

In 2016, the SWROC and the WCROC in Morris ran organic corn performance trials. Blue River Hybrids and Albert Lea Seed (Viking brand) sent five varieties of 85 to 97 day corn for evaluation. Results of the 2016 organic corn performance trials are available here.

The University of Minnesota is seeking organic produce farms in Minnesota, northern Iowa, eastern North & South Dakota, and western Wisconsin to participate in a research project funded by the USDA's Organic Agriculture Research and Extension Initiative. The aim of this multiregional study is to provide organic farmers with science-based, effective strategies that limit food safety risks when using valuable raw manure soil amendments. Download the flyer with more information here. If you are interested in participating, please contact Paulo Pagliari at 507-752-7372 or

Although we are waiting for final confirmation, we strongly advise people to check their pollinator planting sites for the presence of Palmer Amaranth.

Bruce Potter followed up on a crop consultant's request to investigate a newly established pollinator planting in Yellow Medicine County on September 20th. The grower and consultant are to be commended for detecting and reporting this site during the establishment year. Continue reading here.

A nearly $5 million state investment in agricultural productivity at the University of Minnesota will be used this year to hire scientists and improve infrastructure across seven areas of collaboration spanning three U of M colleges and at research and outreach and Extension sites across the state. Read more here.