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Corn tasseling triggers thoughts of harvest


Fri, Aug 26th, 2011
Posted in Agriculture

It has become pretty much a standard that during the Fillmore County Fair we see corn tasselling. By the time we reach the Houston County Fair, serious thoughts have turned to corn silage harvest. Over the years, I have quoted Joe Lauer, Corn Agronomist from the University of Wisconsin, a number of times and see no reason to stop now.

Now back to the corn tasselling and the Fillmore County Fair. There used to be a two- day differential between tasselling and silking; the new hybrids seemed to have narrowed that gap, so I will use the two interchangeably. Silking date is the first indicator for predicting date of harvest for grain or silage uses. It can be used to predict which fields are developing ahead of schedule. Among corn hybrids the grain filling period is rather consistent regardless of maturity. Hybrids differ in maturity during the vegetative period of their development (planting to silking).

Grain filling-in usually lasts about 55-60 days after silking. The dent (R5) stage occurs 35-42 days after silking and black layer formation (R6) occurs 55-60 days after silking. Usually silage harvest begins shortly after half-milkline on the kernels. The half-milkline stage occurs about 13 days prior to black-layer (Wiersma et al., 1993). Thus, the predicted start date of silage harvest (half-milkline) occurs 42-47 days after silking. Based on a July 20th silking date, middle of the Fillmore County Fair, the predicted start of corn silage harvest would be August 31 - September 5th or Labor Day.

Once the kernel milkline begins to move down the kernel following the dent stage (R5), the fields intended to be harvested for silage should be sampled for moisture. The "trigger" to start sampling for moisture depends upon the silage storage structure. Once the moisture for the field is known, use a dry-down rate of 0.5 percent moisture loss per day to predict when the field will be ready for the storage structure. For example, a field of corn that will be stored in a concrete stave silo at 65 percent should be checked for moisture when kernel milk equals 60 percent. Let's say the forage moisture of this field was found to be 68 percent. This field should be harvested beginning [(68-65)/0.5 =] 6 days after sampling.

As a final check, the field should be sampled 1-2 days prior to harvest to determine if the silage moisture is proper for the storage structures. Follow recommended theoretical length of cut guidelines and make sure tha .....
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Crop field school

Fri, Aug 19th, 2011
Posted in Agriculture

Jerrold Tesmer, Extension Educator for Fillmore/Houston Counties

This past week I spent two days at a Crop Field School at the Southern Research and Outreach Center near Waseca. It was a great refresher course covering weeds, insects, and so ..... 
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Organic certification cost share program now accepting applications

Tue, Aug 16th, 2011
Posted in Agriculture

ST. PAUL, Minn. - Minnesota organic farmers and processors can now apply for a rebate of up to 75 percent of the cost of organic certification. The Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) is accepting applications for the Minnesota Organic Cost Sha ..... 
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Alfalfa/corn growers needed for on-farm nitrogen management study

Mon, Aug 15th, 2011
Posted in Agriculture

Extension Notes

By Jerrold Tesmer, Extension Educator for Fillmore/Houston counties

Extension Agronomist Jeff Coulter, Research Assistant Matt Yost, and USDA-ARS Researcher Michael Russelle are looking for plot sites for a On-Farm Nitr ..... 
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Forestry field day August 16 near Chatfield

Fri, Jul 29th, 2011
Posted in Agriculture

On August 16, 2011, the Fillmore Soil and Water Conservation District will be hosting a field day to explore forestry practices and features along the Lost Creek Hiking Trail. Those attending the field day will see various forestry practices and hav ..... 
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Grazing on a Large Scale

Fri, Jul 29th, 2011
Posted in Agriculture

Extension Educator for Fillmore/Houston counties

Have you questioned if grazing and in particularly rotation grazing can be successful on a large scale? Many of the examples given have been for small and medium-sized operations. Perhaps there ..... 
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USDA provides assistance for recent high temperature livestock losses

Fri, Jul 22nd, 2011
Posted in Agriculture

SAINT PAUL, MINN., July 20, 2011 - Livestock producers who incur eligible livestock death losses due to the recent extreme temperatures and other adverse weather events may be eligible for the USDA Farm Service Agency's (FSA) Livestock Indemnity Pro ..... 
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Mensink family recognized as a 2011 U of M Farm Family

Fri, Jul 15th, 2011
Posted in Agriculture

Extension Notes

The Craig and Pam Mensink family of Preston has been named Fillmore County's 2011 Farm Family of the Year by the University of Minnesota. The Mensink Family will be recognized locally on Thursday, July 21st during 4-H Night at ..... 
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SWCD and TNC partner to offer funding for planting cover crops

Fri, Jul 15th, 2011
Posted in Agriculture

The Fillmore Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) has received funding from The Nature Conservancy (TNC) to offer assistance to farmers in the Root River watershed who are interested in seeding cover crops on soybean and corn silage acres. An ..... 
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