Pest management continues to throw new and management-resistant insects, diseases and weeds at SW MN farms. To address these challenges, pest and resistance management options for soybean aphid and cyst nematode, corn rootworm and borer, and resistant weeds are the focus of Pest Management Field Day on Wednesday, August 9th, at the Southwest Research & Outreach Center.

The field day includes a tour of current research projects at the SWROC. University of Minnesota faculty will be on hand to discuss research projects and pest management problems as well as answer questions. Speakers and topics include: Ken Ostlie, corn rootworms and corn borers; Bruce Potter, soybean aphid management; Seth Naeve, soybean agronomy and soybean cyst nematode, and Jeff Gunsolus, weed management; Aaron Lorenz, breeding soybeans for pest resistance.

Registration starts at 9:00 a.m. with the field day beginning at 9:30 p.m. and concluding with a 12:30 p.m. lunch. A voluntary discussion of corn and soybean pest management research priorities will follow lunch. There is no registration fee, but participants are asked to preregister to help accommodate for lunch. Pre-register online here.

The 34th annual Southwest Minnesota Ag Lenders Conference will be held on Tuesday, August 8 at the University of Minnesota Southwest Research and Outreach Center near Lamberton, Minn. Agricultural lenders and farm management and agribusiness professionals throughout southwest Minnesota are encouraged to attend. Ron Wirtz, Regional Outreach Director for the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, will deliver a keynote address on the state of the Minnesota and southwest regional economies. Dr. Kenneth (“Kenny”) Blumenfeld, Sr. Climatologist with the DNR Minnesota State Climatology Office, will present on Minnesota’s recent climatic conditions and outlook and how those conditions impact agriculture. Download the event brochure and registration form here.

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. 

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. 

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.