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Wet spring, corn residue affect spring nutrient management


Fri, Feb 19th, 2010
Posted in Agriculture

The agriculturally troubled fall of 2009 may be over, but here comes the sequel-a potentially wet spring. Due to the late corn harvest, many fields have yet to be tilled, and they have large amounts of residue remaining on the surface.

Normally corn residue is thought of positively because it lowers the risk of erosion and returns carbon and nutrients to the soil, but it's not very friendly getting it through tillage and planting equipment in the spring.

Current University of Minnesota Extension recommendations are based on field trials conducted under these same types of conditions, so what we are finding can help answer your questions. Here are a couple of questions that might arise:

Should I apply nitrogen to help break down corn residue?

It sounds good in theory, but no field research in the region shows increased breakdown of residues from additional nitrogen. The breakdown of residues slows during the winter. The activity of organisms is dictated by soil temperature, so additional nitrogen in the spring will not affect the rate of decomposition early in the season if cool and wet conditions persist.

Baling residue would have been a better strategy for fall then spring, but chopping residue could help break residue into smaller parts to go through tillage equipment. While it is not ideal, burning residue may alleviate problems for spring. No matter what is done, make sure that the planter is equipped with row cleaners that are in good working order, especially in continuous corn where you'll want clear rows for stand establishment.

What should I do for my fertilizer application in a wet spring?

Wet soils can cause significant problems with fertilizer application. Nitrogen fertilizer sources are susceptible to gaseous losses. Poor application depth of anhydrous ammonia and surface application of urea with no, or shallow incorporation, can lead to losses of ammonia gas.

Apply anhydrous ammonia to a depth of at least 4 inches. Incorporate urea as soon as possible after application, if no rainfall is expected, at a depth of at least 2 inches. If fertilizer cannot be incorporated, products like Agrotain can be used to lengthen the time between application and incorporation. For anhydrous ammonia, make sure the slits in the soil are properly sealing behind the knives and the ammonia is not being lost. Try to avoid direct application of urea ammonium nitrate solutions to crop residue to lesse .....
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64

Featherstone Farm: fifteen years of growth

Fri, Feb 19th, 2010
Posted in Agriculture

Senator Sharon Erickson-Ropes, representing Fillmore, Houston and Winona Counties, traveled with Senator Patricia Torres Ray, whose district is in Minneapolis, to a few southeast Minnesota farms on February 13. Among the farms they visited was Feath ..... 
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Young Producer committee members elected during YP summit

Mon, Feb 15th, 2010
Posted in Agriculture

Two open positions were filled on the Accelerated Genetics Young Producer Committee by Charlie Knigge, Omro, Wis., and Ben and Elle Tibor, Minnesota City, Minn. Tim Bowers, Marion, Wis., was re-elected for his second term on the committee. This year ..... 
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SURE Signup

Mon, Feb 15th, 2010
Posted in Agriculture

Signup for the 2008 Supplemental Revenue Assistance Payments program (SURE) began on January 4, 2010. SURE 2008 is for those who suffered crop production losses during crop year 2008.

SURE provides crop disaster assistance payments to eligib ..... 
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Get ready for Spring planting: Join the Arbor Day foundation

Mon, Feb 15th, 2010
Posted in Agriculture

Now is the perfect time to start thinking about the spring planting season, and the Arbor Day Foundation is offering an ideal way for everyone to plant trees when the weather turns warm.

Every person from Minnesota who joins the Arbor Day Fo ..... 
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How research in Chile advances Minnesota's crop

Mon, Feb 15th, 2010
Posted in Agriculture

Minnesota soybean farmers provided more than $1.5 million from their own pockets in 2009 to help fund research to improve yields and quality of the state's soybean crop. The University of Minnesota is the primary recipient of this farmer-funded rese ..... 
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Conservationalists of the year

Mon, Feb 8th, 2010
Posted in Agriculture

Teacher Award, Minnesota SWCD

Craig Colbenson, a teacher at Rushford-Peterson High School, received an award from the Minnesota Association of Soil and Water Conservation Districts (MASWCD) at their convention held in Duluth in December. The ..... 
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POET plant recycles 19 million more gallons of water per year

Mon, Feb 8th, 2010
Posted in Agriculture

POET Biorefining - Preston has cut its water use by 13 percent thanks to a recently installed water recovery system.

The new system allows the plant to recycle an additional 19 million gallons of waste water per year from the filtering syste ..... 
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Farm transfer seminar

Fri, Feb 5th, 2010
Posted in Agriculture

The University of Minnesota Extension has joined with Riverland Community College to present "Farm Transition & Estate Planning: Build Your Exit Strategy." This full-day workshop is filled with practical information and strategies to help farm famil ..... 
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