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Corn test weights in northwest Minnesota lower than desired

Tough growing season. In August and September people in northwest Minnesota began to speculate that the later than normal planting dates (in some instances) and mild summer and fall temperatures would have an impact on whether or not the corn crop would reach maturity before a killing frost.The record-setting rainfall throughout much of the region in September and October brought many cloudy days which also did not help the accumulation of starch during the last bit of the grain fill period.When it was difficult to find a milk line toward the middle of September, one could anticipate problems.
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Unseasonably cold weather in the Red River Valley over the last 30 days

This fall has been challenging for crop producers in the Red River Valley (RRV). Record-setting rainfall in September and October throughout much of the region slowed harvest, caused equipment to get bogged down in mud and left some crops (some potatoes and sugar beets) inaccessible before they were damaged by frost. The last 30 days, however brought an additional hardship – daily maximum and minimum temperatures that were far below climatological “normal”. 
The North Dakota Agricultural Weather Network (NDAWN) has weather monitoring stations located throughout both sides of the RRV. Data was accessed from the Fargo, North Dakota and Ada, Eldred, Warren, Mavie and Kennedy, Minnesota NDAWN locations (Figure 1).Warren experienced the most days with daily high temperatures at least 10 and 15 degrees below normal, while Ada and Warren were tied for the most days with daily high temperatures at least 20 degrees below normal (Table 1).The Mavie weather station had the coldest daily low tem…

USDA Encourages Affected Producers to Contact Insurance Agents for Delayed Harvest

The wet conditions this fall have left farmers unable to reach fields or harvest crops.  If you still have spring wheat in the field know that October 31 is the last day your crop is insured.  Corn and soybean producers have a bit more time to harvest as the end of the insurance period is December 10. Taking time to communicate with your insurance agent is key as these important deadlines approach. 

Below is a press release from the USDA's Risk Management Agency.
Producers can file a Notice of Loss and request more time to harvest WASHINGTON, October 24, 2019 — The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) said today that producers who currently participate in Federal crop insurance and are experiencing a delay in harvesting their crop should contact their Approved Insurance Provider (AIP) to file a Notice of Loss and request more time to harvest.

MN Cover Crops "Recipes" now available

This article was written by Anna Cates, UMN state soil health specialist, Liz Stahl, Extension educator and Axel Garcia y Garcia, Assistant Professor

Wondering how to do cover crops? UMN Extension, in collaboration with the Midwest Cover Crops Council (MCCC), has produced cover crop “recipes” for two scenarios: Post corn, going to soybean and Post soybean, going to corn.

Haney soil test webinar available

This article was written by Liz Stahl, UMN Extension educator and Anna Cates, state soil health specialist.


The Haney test, a test for soil health, is being used to assess biological activity in the soil.  Growers are using these tests to qualify for programs, explore their soil health, and in some cases, plan crop fertility needs. However, many questions remain about interpreting Haney test information, especially for Minnesota soils.