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NW Minnesota On-Farm Research Network

On-Farm Research Network - Horizontal


Minnesota Wheat’s On-Farm Research Network (OFRN) conducts producer-funded, producer-driven research that investigates producer-selected research topics in a large plot environment. Funding is currently supplied by the Minnesota Wheat Check-off and by crop research grants awarded by the Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA), the Agricultural Fertilizer Research & Education Council (AFREC), and by the MN Soybean Research and Promotion Council(MSR&PC).


General Trial Overview

  • The participant will work with a Research Coordinator to plan and implement the trial.
  • All inputs are applied by the participant using their equipment or by their local cooperative.
  • Plots must be at least 800 ft long and wide enough to allow for a full combine pass through the plot that avoids sprayer tracks (usually 100-140 ft). Harvesting with a guidance system is also easier with wider plots.
  • It is preferred that participants replicate each treatment at least four times
  • Coordinators will be available at the time of trial implementation and harvest to assist with flagging and data collection.
  • The Research Coordinators will analyze the data from the trial and return it to the participant as quickly as possible.
Sprayer - Fungicide

Flag-Leaf Fungicide Application

Many growers apply fungicide to wheat at the 3-5 leaf and early flowering stages in wheat to control leaf diseases and head scab. Research has shown that including an additional fungicide as the flag leaf is emerging can increase yield for varieties that tend to be more susceptible to leaf diseases by protecting the flag leaf from fungal infections.

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Nitrogen Stabilizer for Anhydrous Ammonia

N in the ammonium form when applied as anhydrous ammonia in the late-fall or early spring becomes susceptible to leaching or denitrification losses when it is converted from ammonium into nitrate by soil microorganisms. Using a nitrification-inhibitor with anhydrous ammonia can delay the nitrification process to increase the amount of time N remains in the more stable ammonium-N form. The objective of this study is to measure the effect of using a new, non-corrosive N-stabilizer used with anhydrous ammonia on nitrification and wheat yield and protein content.

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Green Wheat

Wheat Seeding Rate

Some wheat varieties respond differently to different seeding rates. Wheat seeded at a lower rate may compensate for yield by producing more tillers. On-Farm research from 2016-2018 indicate that increasing seeding rate beyond 1 million plants per acre would not produce an economically beneficial yield increase. As we continue to move forward with this research, we hope to gain more insight on the spike size and kernel number response of new varieties to different seeding rates.

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Sulfur Fertility on Wheat using AMS

Continually increasing wheat yields demand more nutrients from the soil to support high yields. Wheat demand for sulfur may be greater than what the soil can supply in some environments. This research seeks to determine when a response to sulfur fertilizer may be expected in wheat.

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Cover Crops w Soybean

Rye Cover Crop in Wheat-Soy Rotation

Cover crops are most easily established in northern climates when following short-season crops like wheat. Planting a cover crops or companion crop may be able to help alleviate some IDC stress in soybean. This project will evaluate whether a cereal rye cover crop planted after wheat harvest and terminated at or after soybean planting will reduce weed and IDC pressure in soybean.

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Variable Rate Nitrogen Applications in Wheat

Variable rate technology can help increase yield and profitability by reallocating N from lower yielding areas of the field to higher yielding areas of the field. This project will evaluate the economic impact of a variable rate N application on wheat profitability.

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Enhanced P and K Fertility in a Wheat-Soybean Rotation

As crop yield goals increase, University and other research has documented yield improvements from increased P and K fertility levels in wheat and soybeans. Some producers have been wondering if current P and K recommendations are supplying enough nutrients to support crops in higher yielding environments. The objective of this research is to evaluate elevated levels of P and K fertilizer over four years of a wheat-soybean rotation.

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On-Farm Research Coordinator

Melissa Geiszler, On-Farm Research Coordinator & Agronomist

Cell: 952-738-2000