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A Weekly Update From Your Friends at the Red River Farm Network

Monday, September 4, 2017

Weekly News Highlights

Reporting Agriculture’s Business — Labor Day is celebrated on the first Monday of September, honoring the achievements of the American worker. Labor Day seems like the perfect time to offer thanks to our hard-working farmers and ranchers. It takes hard work to raise crops and livestock. Volatile markets and weather chellenges can further challenge the agriculture sector. The Red River Farm Network offers a tip of the hat to everyone in the food chain. With Labor Day, markets are closed and RRFN has a limited on-air schedule. In the week ahead, RRFN will report from a water quality town hall meeting, a strip-till conference a field day. Next week, RRFN is hosting forums in our building at the Big Iron Farm Show. There is a full slate of seminars on the market outlook, weather, risk management, land values and dicamba. You can find that agenda online. Remember, you can connect with RRFN for updates on farm news, markets and weather on Facebook and Twitter. The RRFN team: Carah, Megan, Mike, Randy, Jay and Don are also on Twitter. Listen each day on your local RRFN affiliate. 

Early Frost Risk — There is definitely a risk for an early frost. World Weather Incorporated Senior Ag Meteorologist Drew Lerner says the freezing temps may be seen in this coming week or later in the month. “Tuesday through Thursday, cold air will come into the region from Canada. We will see temps get down through the 40s and we’ll likely see temps in the middle and upper 30s across the Red River Basin area, the eastern Dakotas into Minnesota. We’ll see how well the air mass holds together.” For the Northern Plains, Lerner expects the droughty conditions to continue through September. Harvest Hotline is sponsored, in part, by the Minnesota Soybean Research and Promotion Council.

Snodgrass Downplays Frost Threat — University of Illinois Extension meteorologist Eric Snodgrass does not expect freezing temperatures across the Northern Plains over the next two weeks. Snodgrass says a high-pressure ridge over the West Coast will push the cold air just to our east. “They already have excessive heat watches and warnings due to this ridge building. Because that’s pushing so far north, that’s going to force the cooler air from the north to the south somewhere. That somewhere will be around the Great Lakes. The Red River area is going to be pretty close to the ridge which will help keep temperatures away from a frost.” Snodgrass sees the Eastern Corn Belt as the area with the biggest threat for an early frost.  Snodgrass will lead an agriculture weather outlook Wednesday, September 13, in the RRFN building at the Big Iron Farm Show.

NW MN Crop Conditions Vary — Karlstad, Minnesota farmer Justin Dagen says the wheat harvest is winding down in Kittson County and farmers are happy with the results. The outcome for the soybean crop is more uncertain. “We’ll put the soybean crop’s drought tolerance to the test this year. They’re starting to turn color prematurely just due to drought. We’ll find out about the crop in the next few weeks.” Dagen is looking forward to cooler temperatures after Labor Day so he can move into the potatoes. “We store all of our potatoes about six-or-seven months. We need to put them in the bin in cool weather. We’re looking forward to that. Sugarbeets are being lifted around the country in the pre-haul operations. Farmers are pretty happy with the tons and sugar content.” Harvest Hotline is sponsored, in part, by AgCountry Farm Credit Services.

Good Wheat Quality — As wheat harvest continues across the state, North Dakota Wheat Commission marketing specialist Erica Olson says quality is very good. “Every year, you’ll find pockets where there are challenges, but the samples the NDSU wheat quality lab has taken has higher-than-average protein. Right now, we’re still averaging more than 15 percent protein. There’s a wide range.” Olson says test weights have been good. “Most areas are averaging more than 60 pounds per bushel.”

Thankful for Wheat — Crystal, North Dakota farmer Brian O’Toole has finished his spring wheat harvest. O’Toole says the yields surprised him and is just thankful to have a wheat crop to harvest this year. “Some of these yields are unheard of in our area. I don’t know that I’ll ever see them again, but keep in mind I didn’t have a wheat crop last year due to wet conditions.” O’Toole expects to start harvesting dry edible beans in the week ahead and says they look good. “The beans seem to have a nice pod set and maturing extremely even. That’s something we don’t normally see, so I think some fields won’t even go through the desiccation process.” Harvest Hotline is sponsored, in part, by the North Dakota Mill.

Wheat Stem Sawfly Population Seen in Minnesota’s Polk County — An isolated hot spot of wheat stem sawfly has been seen in Polk County in Minnesota this year. Regional Extension Educator Phil Glogoza says the wheat stem sawfly is native to this area. “We’re seeing problems in Polk County, but we haven’t seen much outside of the area. We’re evaluating what’s going on and making recommendations on more intensive, aggressive management practices.” Glogoza says the goal is to knock the population down to where it is not a threat to the crop. “We know it’s fairly concentrated on field edges and the high densities. We’re looking at more aggressive tillage practices. I’ve had some discussions with people who’ve dealt with this pest. We talked about plowing in the fall, but also looking at a way to seal the soil better than we’d anticipated to keep the adults from emerging.”

From Wheat to Beans — The spring wheat harvest is nearly done and Walhalla, North Dakota farmer Patrick Dunnigan has no complaints about this year’s crop. Although yields varied, Dunnigan says they were still good. “We had anywhere from low 50s to 80s and 90s, with an overall average of about 65 bushels per acre.” Once Dunnigan finished spring wheat, he moved right into pinto bean harvest. The dry bean crop caught some beneficial rains, which is reflected in early yields. “Our first field of pinto beans is 2,000-2,100 pounds. It’s a new variety, Torreon, that we tried this year and looks like a nice crop so far.”

A Good Rain Would be Welcomed — East Grand Forks, Minnesota farmer Kevin Krueger would welcome a good rain for the crops. “We had a soil sampler who took a sample down four feet and the dirt wouldn’t stick in the probe. It’s very dry.” Krueger harvested small grains this past week. “Wheat yield is good and the protein is decent. It’s a good wheat year. We got some of our early sugarbeets done, which was a challenge because they were so small. We have some corn and I think the crop could also benefit from the rain. The dry edible beans are being harvested now.”

Aphid Resistance — Soybean cyst nematode, aphids and weed management were just a few of the topics discussed on the University of Minnesota Extension Soybean Plot Tour. UM soybean breeder Dr. Aaron Lorenz highlighted his breeding research, including aphid resistant traits. “Spraying right now is almost exclusively the option for farmers as the sole treatment for aphids at this time.” Although there are a small number of aphid resistant soybean varieties in the marketplace, Lorenz says aren’t many early maturing varieties suitable for northwest Minnesota.

Monitoring for SDS — University of Minnesota Extension educator Angie Peltier is monitoring the movement of Sudden Death Syndrome in soybeans. “We just don’t know at this point how far north the pathogen is (for SDS). This fall, we’re starting to collect soil and plant samples to extract the pathogen.” Minnesota Soybean Research and Promotion Council Director of Research David Kee says, overall, the soybean crop looks good in the state. “I haven’t seen lots of SDS, but I’ve seen lots of white mold. It looks like one of the fields has the potential of 70-to-80 bushels per acre.”

Location Change for Town Hall Session — The Minnesota Department of Agriculture has changed the location for its listening session, which will be held in conjunction with Governor Dayton’s water quality meeting. The agriculture session will now be held at Youngquist Auditorium at the Northwest Research and Outreach Center in Crookston.

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Source: Red River Farm Network