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Field Day near Lakefield on July 7 Will Address Agronomic Management for Alfalfa-Corn Rotations

Mon, Jun 21st, 2010
Posted in Agriculture

Each year, corn is grown after alfalfa on an estimated 250,000 acres in Minnesota. Although this amounts to only 3% of total field corn acreage in the state today, it may represent the path to a more secure future. This is because including alfalfa in crop rotations is useful for reducing soil erosion, enhancing soil tilth and carbon storage, reducing weed seedbanks, disrupting the life cycles of disease and insect pests of corn, and supplying nitrogen to subsequent crops.

Current on-farm research being conducted by the University of Minnesota and the USDA Agricultural Research Service (ARS) that is funded by the Minnesota Corn Growers Association, the Minnesota Corn Research and Promotion Council, and the Minnesota Agricultural Fertilizer Research and Education Council is investigating agronomic management practices that increase the productivity, profitability, and sustainability of alfalfa-corn rotations. This year, there are eleven on-farm research sites across the state. Results from this research and related research projects will be presented at an on-farm field day near Lakefield, MN on July 7.

This field day is free and open to the public. Refreshments and informational packets will be provided. Registration begins at 12:30 p.m., with presentations and a plot tour from 1:00 p.m. to 3:15 p.m. Presentations will include:

· Potassium Management for Alfalfa by Matt Yost, Graduate Research Assistant;

· Conservation Tillage Considerations by Liz Stahl, Extension Educator;

· Corn Agronomics to Optimize Production and Reduce Risk by Jeff Coulter, Extension Corn Agronomist;

· Starter Fertilizer Management for Corn by Dan Kaiser, Extension Soil Fertility Specialist;

· Cover Crops in Southern Minnesota by Jill Sackett, Extension Educator;

· On-Farm Experience with Alfalfa-Corn Rotations by Jerry and Nancy Ackermann, Growers;

· Nitrogen Cycling in Alfalfa-Corn Rotations and Plot Tour by Michael Russelle, USDA-ARS Soil Scientist.

This field day will be located at 39750 820th Street, Lakefield, MN. From Lakefield, MN, this is 5.3 miles west on Co. Hwy. 14 or 820th Street. From Heron Lake, MN, this is 8 miles south on Co. Hwy. 9, then 1.6 miles east on Co. Hwy. 14 or 820th Street. From Brewster, MN, this is 2 miles south on 10th Street or Zeh Ave., then 8.6 miles east on Co. Hwy. 14 or 820th Street. From Worthington, MN, this is 13.5 miles east on Co. Road 35 or Co. Hwy 34, then 4 miles north on Co. Hwy. 9, then 1.6 miles east on Co. Road 14 or 820th Street.

In the event of inclement weather, call the University of Minnesota Extension Farm Information Line at 1-800-232-9077 or listen to KDOM (1580 AM or 94.3 FM), KKOJ (1190 AM), or KRAQ (105.7 FM), as the field day will be postponed. If you are unable to attend, consider joining us at Montevideo, MN on June 25, Chatfield, MN on June 28, or Norwood, MN on July 9. For more information, visit or contact Liz Stahl at or 507-372-3900, or Jeff Coulter at or 612-625-1796.

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