Monday, October 23, 2017

Five Tips for Getting the Most out of Fall Soil Sampling

Dan Kaiser, Soil Fertility Specialist

1. Sample at the correct depth

We calibrate soil test results to a specific sampling depth, so it's important to get this right. Immobile plant nutrients tend to accumulate near the soil surface, so shallow sample depths can inflate results. For immobile nutrients and soil pH, sample at zero to six inches. For fall nitrate, sample at zero to 24 inches.

What is a Fair Farm Rental Agreement?

By David Bau, Extension Educator

Landlords, Farmers, Agri-Business Professionals should make plans to attend one of the informative meetings being held across Minnesota. These free meetings are being provided by the University of Minnesota Extension. Farmer profits are low or negative and farm land rental rates declined slightly while commodity prices have decreased significantly. Determining a fair profitable farm rental agreement is a challenge in today’s economy with recent record corn and soybean prices and record farm land values as recently as 2012 but commodity prices continued to decline since then.

Negotiating a fair rental agreement that satisfies the land owner and the farmer is a challenge. David Bau and Nathan Hulinsky, Extension Educators in Ag Business Management, will provide several ways: by examples, factsheets and worksheets to determine a fair farm land rental rate for both parties.

Topics covered at the meetings will include local historic and projected farmland rental rate trends, current farm land values and sales, a worksheet that will help determine a fair rental agreement. 

Input costs for 2018 will be presented along with current 2018 corn and soybean prices. Worksheets will examine 2018 costs and what is affordable rent that a farmer will be able to pay in 2018, the rate of return to the landlord at current market values, and examine flexible rental agreements.

Make plans to attend one of these forty-two meetings now. Attendees will receive several informative worksheets and factsheets that will help to determine what is a fair 2018 farm land rental rate is.

November 30, 2017
  • Grygla –
    Grygla Community Center -
    127 N Main Avenue, Grygla, MN
    9:30 AM
  • Red Lake Falls –
    City Hall
    08 2nd St. SW
    Red Lake Falls, MN 56750
    1:30 PM

December 7, 2017
  • Crookston -
    VFW Post #1902
    121 North Main St.
    Crookston, MN 56716
    9:30 AM
  • Clearbrook -
    Clearbrook Community Center -
    200 Elm street Clearbrook, MN 56634
    1:30 PM

for more information, contact:

     Nathan Hulinsky, Extension Educator - Ag Business Management

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Monday, August 28, 2017

Stressed out corn?: Crop might be at risk for stalk rots and lodging

While corn maturity and harvest are still some time away, it is never too early to be aware of potential challenges to crop growth and development and harvest.

Are you at risk of leaving some ears behind? As ears fill out and eventually begin to mature and dry down, corn plants become very top-heavy. Stalk rots increase the chance that plants will fall over (lodge) due to a combination of gravity and weather. In addition to being not-so-fun to harvest, lodged plants can significantly decrease harvestable yield by literally leaving some ears on the ground.

Stress conditions favor stalk rots. The combination of mid-season environmental conditions that favor kernel-set followed by conditions that stress plants increases the risk of stalk rot. This year, weather conditions in much of Northwestern Minnesota were relatively mild during silking and pollen shed, favoring good kernel set. However, since then much of the crop has experienced abnormally dry or even moderate drought conditions during grain-fill (Fenimore, 2017).