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Changes to global ag markets, grain marketing tips, finding affordable health insurance, characteristics of successful farmers, and farm profitability in southwest Minnesota will be featured at the 2018 Farm Management Profitability Conference on Wednesday, March 21, at the University of Minnesota Southwest Research & Outreach Center near Lamberton, Minn. Agricultural producers and farm management and agribusiness professionals throughout southwest Minnesota are encouraged to attend. Click here to download a conference brochure and registration form.

Taking Charge of Your Farm Finances: How to Survive and Thrive will be held Tuesday, February 27th in Marshall and Wednesday, February 28th in Luverne. These workshops are targeted to provide a great orientation to the basic concepts and use of farm financial statements and measures for new and early career agricultural producers. They would also serve as a good review for experienced managers who would like to refresh their knowledge of fundamental farm financial management statements and tools. All are welcome. Download the event flyer and registration form for more information.

SWROC is now accepting applications for 2018 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.

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 https://www.maes.umn.edu/publications/field-crop-trials/2017-crop-trials.

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 z.umn.edu/croptrials.

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. 

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. 

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