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.

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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. 

University of Minnesota Extension is offering one-to-one financial counseling to farmers in serious financial stress.

“We know that due to a variety of factors, including on-going low prices, some farmers find themselves facing difficult circumstances,” said Bev Durgan, Extension dean. “With our new program, Extension offers distressed farmers help in understanding their financial situation and exploring options to keep their farms functioning as a viable enterprise.” 

To set up a confidential appointment with an Extension farm financial analyst, farmers can call the Farm Information Line at 1-800-232-9077. 

Can you guess the 10 plants that changed Minnesota? Learn these plants along with fun and educational STEM activities designed for middle and high school students, but easily adapted to younger students at the 10 Plants That Changed Minnesota workshops! Activities range from measuring the value of a tree, the parts of a corn plant, comparing wild rice populations in Minnesota lakes, how plant breeders produce new apples, and the nutritional value of soybeans. All activities meet Minnesota graduation standards. 

There are 12 workshops in 2017, including a workshop at the Southwest Research and Outreach Center on June 20th. For more information, visit the 10 Plants That Changed Minnesota website or contact University of Minnesota professor Dr. Mary Meyer,

The economics of 2017 corn production have challenged many farmers with minimizing losses per acre. One area that some farmers have targeted for reducing costs is hybrid selection. Planting corn hybrids without Bt protection for European corn borer (ECB), corn rootworm or both will greatly reduce seed costs. However, if not careful, farmers could inadvertently reduce crop revenues if they select hybrids without considering yield potential or insect populations in their fields.

To continue reading, visit the Minnesota Crop News blog:

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