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Soil test to reduce fertilizer expenses


Mon, Sep 12th, 2011
Posted in Agriculture

High fertilizer prices appeared a couple of years ago and have not left us. This past week I was talking to truck driving hauling potash. He understood the potash he was hauling was about $150 per ton higher than last spring!

Soil testing is the first and best step you can take to reduce fertilizer costs. Producers who are concerned about high fertilizer costs and who are not soil sampling are not really serious about saving money.

Nitrogen credit for previous legume crops is one of your great bargains in a crop rotation. A first year nitrogen credit of 40 lbs. /acre for soybeans, 150 lbs/acre with 4 or more alfalfa plants/ft.sg., 100 lbs. /acre if 2-3 alfalfa plants/ft.sg., and 40 lbs/acre with one or fewer plants/ft.sg. Red Clover has first year credit of 75 lbs/acre.

Although the research is currently being replicated, the generally accepted standards for nitrogen credits in corn planted two years after the legume are 75 lbs/acre with 4 or more alfalfa plants/ft.sg., 50 lbs./acre if 2-3 alfalfa plants/ft.sg., and 0 lbs/acre with one or fewer plants/ft.sg. Red clover has second year credit of 35 lbs/acre of nitrogen.

Fortunately, we still have livestock in Fillmore and Houston Counties; take advantage of this manure. If possible, apply manure on fields with lower phosphate and potassium levels. Then apply the manure to meet your crop nitrogen needs. Consider selling manure if your field's P and K values are high, and use the money from the sale towards N-only fertilizer.

Set realistic yield goals. Average five years of yield data after omitting yield values that look abnormally high or low. Then set a goal that exceeds the average by 10 percent to 15 percent. Utilize the new Minnesota Guidelines for corn production as it tracks both price of N and price of corn and the producers comfort level of risk in the amount to apply. The N-Rate Calculator can be found at http://extension.agron.iastate.edu/soilfertility/nrate.aspx. Newer genetics also seem to utilize nitrogen more efficiently than older hybrids.

Soil sampling can be done by a number of local elevators and crop production companies. If you want to do your own sampling, the University of Minnesota Soil Testing Laboratory is a good option for you. The instructions sheets and sample bags are available at both the Extension Offices in Preston and Caledonia. The Regular Series test which includes P, K, pH, and percent Organic Matter, is $9.00. You will rec .....
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Farm Transition and Estate Planning

Mon, Sep 12th, 2011
Posted in Agriculture

Are you struggling with how to transfer your farm business to the next generation?

University of Minnesota Extension, Houston County and Caledonia Area Community Education are pleased to invite you to attend "Farm Transition and Estate Planni ..... 
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Options for managing your woodland

Mon, Sep 5th, 2011
Posted in Agriculture

A series of Woodland Field Days have been scheduled around Minnesota. On Saturday, September 10, a Southeast Woodland Tour will be held at Eagle Bluff Environmental Learning Center.

These field days are for family forest owners. The field da ..... 
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2nd Ag in Motion trip = Huge Success!

Mon, Sep 5th, 2011
Posted in Agriculture

Several Fillmore Central students joined others from Southern Minnesota on a charter bus June 20-24 taking part in the 2nd annual Ag In Motion Class. 26 students from 8 schools took part in this trip from the following school districts: Glenville-Em ..... 
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FFA swine proficiency finalist, Molly Frank, part of pork tour

Fri, Aug 26th, 2011
Posted in Agriculture

Regional FFA Swine Proficiency finalists took part in a Minnesota Pork Board hosted Swine Industry Study tour earlier this summer. The tour stops included Newport Laboratories, Worthington; Chandler Feed and Grain, Chandler; Pipestone Systems, Pipes ..... 
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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 Agron ..... 
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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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