University of Minnesota Extension, Stearns County News
April 16, 2014
Source: Dan Martens, Extension Educator
University of Minnesota Extension
Stearns, Benton & Morrison Counties
U of MN Extension Launches You Tube Crops Video Site
By Dan Martens, University of Minnesota Extension
FOLEY, Minn. (04/10/14) — While you’re waiting for fields to dry off and to be suitable for tillage and planting, you might make some popcorn and tune into a couple of short home movies – by way of the U of MN Extension Crops YouTube video site. It can be accessed through the newly updated U of MN Extension Crops webpage at www.extension.umn.edu/crops under "Social Media". I found the compaction videos describe below by doing a website search for “Minnesota Extension Soil Compaction Video.”
The compaction videos were filmed at the “Tires, Traction and Compaction Field Day” held in September 2011 near Fergus Falls. Soil pits were dug to look at compaction in the soil after equipment had been run across plots under a variety of conditions. The titles of 4 short video clips are:
1. Factors Contributing to Soil Compaction
2. Soil Structure – a Natural Defense Against Compaction
3. Managing Vehicle Traffic to Reduce Compaction
4. How to Make Your Tires Perform at Their Best ( a significant factor in managing compaction)
There is a lot of conversation currently around topics like cover crops and soil health. These are valid topics and there will likely be some significant things to learn over the next few years as these topics are given some attention. At the same time, I’m guess there are some significant opportunities to address some issues in how we deal with basic things like tillage practices and equipment related to compaction that can make a lot of difference for soil health, productivity and profitability as well.
You can also check out the "Herbicide Spray Drift Demonstration" video for an in-field comparison of herbicide applications using various spray nozzles under high drift conditions. Would you like a better understanding of how herbicide resistant weeds develop and how different types of herbicides affect or kill susceptible plants? Check out the herbicide resistance management videos which help explain how herbicide resistant populations develop and the mode of action of important herbicide chemistries. The site also contains a video demonstrating the use of drones in pest management research.
More videos on a range of crops topics will be posted in the future. You can subscribe to the channel to be notified of new postings by clicking on the "subscribe" button on the website.
For weather related crop information… Extension Climatologist Mark Seeley posted a note recently that a team of Midwestern universities have pulled together a new web site to furnish climate data, data tools, and assessments useful to agricultural producers. The new web site is designated "U2U" (meaning useful to usable). I found this site quickly by doing an Internet search for “useful to usable.”
Seeley suggests that while we’re waiting to start of the 2014 growing season it may be a good time to browse and get familiar with the data and information tools at this web site. There are tools to help with nitrogen fertilizer management and irrigation scheduling among others. There are some sites that track growing degree days relate to development of some insect pests.
If you’re not so interested in spending a lot of time looking at computer screen and fishing around to find things that may or may not actually be there – working with these resources might be a good task to share with someone else in the family. It might be good for some youngsters to find out there could be information and resources online that are actually relevant to real world things your family does on the farm. It might make for some good “working and learning together” time.
Field conditions… Ponds in fields and puddles in yards seem to shrink a little at the end of last week. This probably indicates the frost in the ground is softening up and disappearing. As field dry off enough to be suitable for tillage and planting, they are probably warming up enough to consider early season planting work like small grains and potatoes somewhere along the way. In Minnesota we advise watching the calendar and soil conditions more than just soil temperature for planting decisions. Past experience and common sense count a lot. Farmers learn to be patient and ready.
Please prepare for a safe spring work season as you get equipment ready and talk with others who are part of the work around your farm.