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Winter Crops Day returns to Caledonia

Fri, Dec 16th, 2011
Posted in Agriculture

Ag Producers in southern Minnesota just finished a season that included a wet spring, a hot summer, and a dry fall. No one knows what is in store for the 2012 season, but crop management decisions are underway now, and that will be the focus of the University of Minnesota, Southern Research and Outreach Center (SROC) annual Winter Crops day. Producers, farm managers, Ag consultants and sales people, or others interested in learning about economically favorable and environmentally sustainable practices for Ag production will benefit from attending on January 11.

Jeff Vetsch, assistant scientist at the SROC, will begin the program at 9:00 a.m. with the crop year in review. He will summarize the weather data collected at Waseca and explain what role the 2011 weather had on crop production. How the record dry fall conditions may impact the 2012 crop will also be discussed.

Many products are on the market for soybean growers promising consistent yield benefits. Seth Naeve, Extension agronomist at the University of Minnesota, will report on soybean trials evaluating foliar fertilizers, fungicide, seed treatments, and inoculants.

Alfalfa is an important crop for dairy farmers. Craig Sheaffer, professor in the Department of Agronomy and Plant Genetics, will discuss sustainable cropping systems, alfalfa management by variety selection, winter hardiness, and cutting management.

Choosing the appropriate herbicide for your weed control needs can be a daunting task. Each year the University of Minnesota establishes field trials to evaluate herbicides for control of many weed species that pose problems to southern Minnesota corn and soybean producers. Tom Hoverstad, scientist at SROC, will present results from herbicide trials in addition to discussing a summary of fungicide applications.

Corn producers are faced with ever-changing recommendations for the most efficient corn production management. Jeff Coulter, Extension agronomist, will summarize research trials that include planting date, row spacing, and plant populations for corn. Jeff will be joined by Kevin Kuehner, MDA, and Dawn Bernau, Fillmore SWCD, with interesting local data from local plots verifying U of M nitrogen recommendations.

Jeff Vetsch will present research results on several topics related to nutrient management in corn. Some common farmer questions will be addressed. They include: What is the best nitrogen source and when should it be applied? When should I use a nitrification inhibitor? Are specialty fertilizers and fertilizer additives or enhancers worth the added cost? Research on the effects of adding the nitrification inhibitor Instinct to manure will be discussed.

Cost for the event is $35 which will include morning refreshments, lunch, and handout materials. Continuing education credits have been applied for certified crop advisers. The program will be held on Wednesday, January 11 at the Good Times Restaurant in Caledonia. Registration begins at 8:30 and the program runs from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. For speaker information, details can be found at the SROC website at or call the Houston County Extension Office at 507-725-5807 or the SROC at 507-835-3620.

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