2019 has been an active spring for black cutworm (BCW) flights into Minnesota. Throughout the UMN Cooperative Black Cutworm Reporting Network, pheromone trap captures indicating moth flights large enough to pose risk to corn, sugarbeets, and other crops have occurred through the past few weeks and are continuing. Minnesota's southern tiers of counties have seen the most activity but traps located in more northern areas have seen issues as well. The NWS precipitation forecast shows conditions likely favorable for insect migration from the south. Unfortunately, these same conditions will be unfavorable for fieldwork. Another influx of BCW moths with these systems is expected. Other migrant crop pests including true armyworm, potato leafhopper and cereal aphids may show as well. 

Unfortunately, these immigration events coincide with a late planting season in much of Minnesota. This increases the risk of economic injury to crop seedlings. Find out more about the UMN Cooperative Black Cutworm Reporting Network.

maps of black cutworm moth captures throughout MN

SWROC IPM Specialist Bruce Potter recently released Crops Q & A - Manure Management for Spring 2019. This is the first video in a series connecting local growers and ag professionals with University of Minnesota expertise. If you have a production question you'd like answered or a topic you'd like discussed in future Crops Q & A videos, email Emily Evans at or Bruce Potter at

The 2018 Corn Grain Field Crop Trials Results are available now. View the pdf here. The Minnesota Corn Evaluation Program is conducted by the University of Minnesota Agricultural Experiment Station to provide unbiased information for use by corn growers when they choose which brand of corn to buy and grow. The trials are conducted throughout southern, central and northern Minnesota.

SWROC scientists Dr. Axel Garcia y Garcia and Dr. Jeff Strock collaborated with colleagues to write a feature article for Open Rivers Journal. Read The Future of Agriculture in a Water-Rich State here.

This trial was conducted at two sites, one at the West Central Research and Outreach Center (WCROC), Morris, and the other at the Southwest Research and Outreach Center, Lamberton, MN.  At each location, there were two plots: one managed by organic practices and the other was in conventional production.  The Morris conventional trial was corn during 2016 and received 150-60-0-15 of fertilizer in the fall 2016.  The organic trial was planted with alfalfa for two years and liquid swine manure was applied in the fall of 2016.  Read more.

The 2017 Minnesota Field Crop Trials is now available on the Minnesota Agricultural Experiment Station website at

Each year, crop scientists conduct performance tests of both public and private varieties of grain, forage, and oilseed crops at several locations throughout the state. This objective information helps producers select varieties and crop brands best suited to their individual situations and locations. 2017 Field Crop Trials include results for alfalfa, barley, canola, corn grain, corn silage, oat, soybean, spring wheat, wildrice, winter rye and winter wheat. In addition to yield results, the trials include information on quality factors, disease resistance ratings and generic traits.

To see results for other years or crops not listed above, visit

The University of Minnesota Water Resources Center (WRC), a unit of the College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences (CFANS) and University of Minnesota Extension, has received a grant of $2.5 million from the Innovations at the Nexus of Food, Energy and Water Systems (INFEWS) program. Sponsored by the National Science Foundation (NSF), the grant will fund research on innovations for sustainable food, energy, and water supplies in intensively cultivated regions. SWROC researchers Jeff Strock & Axel Garcia y Garcia are involved in this project. Continue reading.

Beginning in 2018, there are two new opportunities available which can be very helpful to beginning farmers in Minnesota. These programs are the Beginning Farmer Incentive Credit for existing farm asset owners who rent or sell assets to beginning farmers and the Beginning Farmer Management Credit for the beginning farmer enrolled in an approved farm business management program. These tax credits can reduce an individual’s Minnesota income tax. The programs were created by the Minnesota Legislature during the 2017 Special Session. According to MDA, current legislation funds these programs through 2023. Read more.

SWROC IPM Specialist Bruce Potter was a collaborating researchers on a multi-state research effort that was recently published in Pest Management Science.

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — About 89.5 million acres of soybeans will be planted across the United States in 2017 — a record high, according to the USDA. Research published in the April 2017 issue of Pest Management Science indicates that many of these soybean growers will invest in neonicotinoid insecticide seed treatments. The two-year, multi-state study revealed that, even during periods of infestation by the key pest across the region, the soybean aphid, the neonicotinoid treatment produced the same yields as using no insecticide at all.

Continue reading.

Paulo Pagliari and Bruce Potter have developed an On-Farm Research guide and an Excel spreadsheet that alllows producers to compare two or three treatment trials on their own farms. The guide explains why you should conduct on-farm research, how to make the trials fair, how to interpret the results, and other tips. The accompanying spreadsheet allows you to select the precision for your comparison and allows you to enter three to eight replicated samples for each treatment.