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Extension Educator Update

It is crunch time for the corn harvest here in southern Minnesota. According to the USDA, the state’s corn is about 79% harvested. Several of the farms I visited in Le Sueur County had yields of 240 bu/A. However, moisture levels are still high on a lot of grain due to late maturity and/or weather. While the USDA has reported an average of 18-19%, I have personally seen higher at several locations. Pay close attention if you bag wet grain, as long as the temperature is 30 degrees or below the grain can keep almost a year. Take a look at a recent UMN Extension article that dives into how to dry late harvested, wet corn.

On the soybean side of things, I also noticed several producers noticing white mold in their fields. The cool wet weather we had during this summer jump-started this fungus. What is infuriating about white mold is how few options there are to control it once discovered. Like anything, an ounce of prevention is worth several bushels of cure. Take note of the spots which suffered the most from the mold and take precautions when soybeans are planted there again. Careful variety selection is probably the best, easiest single action you can take to avoid white mold. For additional protection, an application of fungicide can be applied at the R1 (flowering) stage, with an additional spray at R3 (beginning pod) only if conditions are perfect for mold (wet, cool temps around 70 degrees). Penn State Extension and UMN Extension both have good articles that dive into white mold.

Other than those topics, we have gotten quite a bit of calls for acre rental and custom work rates, click the links for the most recent documents from extension. Rent seems to be drifting down a bit for the last couple of years, as commodity prices remain relatively low. If you are curious or have more questions about rental contracts, remember we have upcoming land rent meetings in December that you may take an interest in.

Finally, two things to keep an eye out for are a potential NAFTA breakup and a new federal tax bill. Developments from either will likely have impacts on both the Farm Bill (particularly ARC payments) as well as the demand of US corn from Mexico.


Shane Bugeja
Extension Educator, Ag Production Systems
(507) 304-4325
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