Daniel Kaiser and Fabian Fernandez
University of Minnesota Soil Fertility Specialists
Over the winter we have done intensive data compilation and analysis and have a few updates to the corn guidelines publication. The primary update is on nitrogen application rates for corn following corn and corn following soybean. The updated publication is not finished yet, so this article will serve as the current rate guidelines starting spring of 2016.
Source: Updates to Corn Fertilizer guidelines for 2016 : Minnesota Crop News : University of Minnesota Extension
As spring arrives, here’s a quick look back at the major educational meetings we attended this winter:
CPM Short Course – Dec 9-10, 2016
Master Marketer – Jan, Feb, Mar 2016 – Dennis only
Kevin Kimberly – February 3, 2016
Nutrient Management Conference – February 9, 2016
MVTL – February 18, 2016
MNICCA – February 19, 2016 – Lance only
Nitrogen Smart – March 7, 2016
Neonicotinoid seed treatments are used on a large percentage of soybean acres. However, the value of these treatments was questioned in a 2015 EPA report. In response, field crops entomologists from 12 northern states, including Robert Koch and Bruce Potter from the University of Minnesota, collaborated to create a new multipage extension publication, entitled The Effectiveness of Neonicotinoid Seed Treatments in Soybean. Publication announcement page.
Source: The Effectiveness of Neonicotinoid Seed Treatments in Soybean – effectiveness-of-neonicotinoid-seed-treatments-in-soybean.pdf
A big thank you to all the U of M staff for putting on a fantastic field day at Morris, MN today! Jodi DeJong-Hughes led this multi-station field day. Five different stations were set up to focus on Tillage and Technology:
- New tillage technology
- Planter set–up for moderate residue levels
- Residue management of corn–soybean rotations
- Tillage influence on soil properties
- Building soil health with improved soil structure
These sessions were followed by equipment field demonstrations showing chisel plow tillage with various points, vertical tillage and strip tillage.
The weather couldn’t have been nicer for a field day. Upper 60s, slight breeze and partly cloudy. It was a great chance to meet old friends and make new connections as well.
Here’s the U of M’s description of the day:
Crop producers and other agricultural professionals can see the latest in variable depth tillage equipment, watch side–by–side field demonstrations by national and regional manufacturers, and learn how to build soil structure for maximum soil productivity. Other highlights include the following:
- Discover how strip tillage can fit into your rotation and individual soil situations.
- Check out proper planter set–up for improved crop emergence and residue management.
- Discuss how to save time and money while building soil productivity.
- Visit with equipment reps about their new products and services.
The University of MN has done farmers a big favor by doing a rigorous study on soybean seed treatments: A 2014 multi-site field study on the effects of Clariva seed treatment on soybean yield and Soybean Cyst Nematode reproduction. “Significant yield responses to either seed treatment, above the untreated controls, were not common in 2014.” according to the study. Another item to take note of “Seed treatments did not change SCN reproduction compared to untreated seed. ”
In the study above, there is also a link to the detailed report.
Doing a quick search for Clariva seed treatment I came up with this page from Syngenta touting the great benefits for Clariva to farmers.
Every farmers is constantly being up sold by the seed companies with seed treatments for soybeans. It is a huge market and extremely profitable to the companies selling the products. There seems to be little documented evidence of the benefits to farmers when looking at unbiased university studies.
A lot of meetings dot my calendar for the month of February. It started on February 4th with Winter Crops & Soils Day at the SWROC in Lamberton, MN. We learned about reducing pest management inputs, how phosphorous moves to surface waters, what works and doesn’t work for soybean yield enhancers and protectors and had an overview of crop production profitability.
MNICCA Winter Meeting
Not slowing down much, the next day I attended the MNICCA (MN Independent Crop Consultants Association’s) Winter Educational Meeting. As their Executive Director, I help with membership and organizing of events such as this. Guest speakers were Dan Kaiser and Ken Ostlie from the U of M as well as Bayer representatives addressing the bee issue in regards to neonicotinoid insecticides. They had panel discussions regarding UAVs as well as addressing independent crop consultants relationships to industry, especially in regard to local coops.
No missing a beat, the next Monday, February 9th found us in Mankato, MN at the 6th Annual Minnesota Crop Nutrient Management Conference. Another informative day. Subjects included fertilizer use efficiency, fertilizer pricing, rate of change in soil test values for P & K, dealing with $3 corn. There were also breakout sessions in the afternoon with various fertilizer related topics.
Our final stop on this journey of meetings was at the Redwood County Corn and Soybean Growers annual meeting in Wabasso, MN. After a morning of ice covered roads, plans went forward to hold the meeting that evening despite the weather. Dinner was served, an annual meeting was held with new, ambitious members being elected to the board. The night was topped off with Trent Loos speaking about agriculture and how farmers need to be their own advocates for what and how they farm.
There were some great presentations and two-way dialogue between university researchers and attendees at the 2013 Soybean Symposium sponsored by the U of M and the MN Soybean Research & Promotion Council. This event has been held at the U of M Landscape Arboretum since it’s inception.
This year’s sessions focused on resistance management of soybean insects, diseases and weeds as well as corn root worm beetles. Attendees were crop consultants, farmers, agronomists as well as a number of ag media representatives. The seed company reps may have been uncomfortable with some of the topics discussed because, if the farmers followed the recommendations, especially on soybean seed treatments, it would go against what they’re pushing on the farmers. Continue reading
Had a great meeting on Friday, February hosted by the Nicollet and Sibley Counties U of M Extension. Jody DeJong-Hughes put presented on many soil related topics. It was an intensive 8 hour class designed to provide a basic understanding of soil science principles.
Links to some of Jodi’s publications: Soil Compaction, The Soil is Alive!, Tires, Traction & Compaction
A big thank you to all involved.