Crop management decisions underway now will be the focus of the University of Minnesota Southern Research and Outreach Center Annual Winter Crops Days.
Producers, farm managers, ag consultants and salespeople, or others interested in learning more about economically favorable and environmentally sustainable practices for ag production will benefit from attending one of the five locations on January 11, 12 and 13.
Dates and locations are:
-Wednesday, January 11, Good Times Restaurant, Caledonia
-Thursday, January 12, Southern Research and Outreach Center, Waseca, and "EVENTS," Kasson
-Friday, January 13, American Legion Post 294, Lake Crystal, and the Community Center, Arlington.
Registration begins at 8:30 at all locations. Programs run from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Cost for the event is $35 which will include morning refreshments, lunch and handout materials. Continuing education credits have been applied for certified crops advisers.
Tom Hoverstad, U-M scientist, or Jeff Vetsch, U-M assistant scientist, at the SROC will begin each program at 9 a.m. with the crop year in review. They will summarize 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, U-M Extension agronomist, will report on soybean trials evaluating foliar fertilizers, fungicides, seed treatments and inoculants.
Alfalfa is an important crop for dairy farmers. At the Caledonia location, Craig Sheaffer, U-M professor in the Department of Agronomy and Plant Genetics, will discuss sustainable cropping systems, alfalfa management by variety selection, winter hardiness and cutting management.
At all locations local Extension educators will provide a summary of research in local areas and upcoming outreach activities.
Management for soybean cyst nematodes continues to impact soybean yield. Senyu Chen, nematologist at SROC will discuss results from studies on races (HG Types), and SCN resistant soybean varieties. He will discuss management options including soil sampling to determine HG Types in fields and SCN resistant varieties.
Choosing the appropriate herbicide for your weed control needs can be a daunting task. Each year, the U-M establishes field trials to evaluate herbicides for control of many weed species that pose problems to southern Minnesota corn and soybean producers. Hoverstad will present results from the 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, U-M Extension agronomist, will summarize research trials that include planting date, row spacing, and plant populations for corn.
Vetsch will present research results on several topics related to nutrient management in corn. In recent years nitrogen management of corn has been challenging. Some of the 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 also be discussed.
The future of agriculture includes diversity in crops. Research results on current biomass feedstock trials including grass and woody perennial crops will be presented by Gregg Johnson, SROC agronomist. Doug Tiffany, U-M Extension education in the Department of Applied Economics, will provide the economic analysis of these technologies for bioenergy systems.
For speaker information or specific topic times, details can be found at the SROC web site at: http://sroc.cfans.umn.edu or contact your local or regional Extension office or the SROC at 507-835-3620.