Ag and Extension

Alternative ways to raise vegetables

This summer is a trial of sorts for our family when it comes to finding alternative ways to raise vegetables. We are trying the vegetable bags that have been available for a couple of years in area stores. These bags are made up of a heavy Tyvek material and have a small Velcro door toward the ...

Selecting forage cover crops for prevent plant acres

A large quantity of forage will likely be harvested from prevented plant acres in Minnesota this year given the 2019 changes to USDA RMA’s prevented planting rules. Changing the date for when cover crops may be hayed or grazed from Nov. 1 to Sept. 1 has opened up a window for livestock ...

U of M provides mental health and stress support for Minnesota farmers

Note: This is the first in a series of articles detailing the University of Minnesota’s outreach to farmers in Greater Minnesota and around the country. Low farm income, a lingering trade war and other issues affecting agriculture are increasingly causing stress and mental health issues for ...

Ag Briefs

Economic policy’s impact on the farm economy to be featured at SW MN Ag Lenders Conference The 36th annual Southwest Minnesota Ag Lenders Conference will be on Tuesday, Aug. 13, at the University of Minnesota Southwest Research and Outreach Center near Lamberton. Agricultural lenders and ...

Weather woes

The weather woes of farmers and gardeners alike seem to be persisting throughout our growing season. If you have been trying to raise anything from seed whether it is field corn or sweet corn, soybeans or green beans, you may be like many others, frustrated with the weather. While the last hope ...

FFA leaders learn new ideas to implement in communities

HACKENSACK — Nearly 200 Minnesota FFA members gathered for two sessions of the State Leadership Conference for Chapter Leaders (SLCCL) at Deep Portage Conservation Reserve near Hackensack from June 26-28 and June 30- July 2 to develop leadership skills for their communities and home chapters. ...

Ag and Extension Briefs

Women in Ag Network summer tour on July 18 in New London The University of Minnesota Extension Women in Ag Network’s summer tour is scheduled for July 18 in the New London area. The day will feature lunch at Model Citizen Restaurant, tours of Lettuce Abound Farms and Rustic Designs Flower ...

Peony plants

Peony plants are a wonderful addition to the garden. There are some residents who don’t like how ants seem to be attracted to them but generally speaking, it will depend on the year when you may see a lot of ants on these beautiful plants. I am fortunate that I have several peony plants in ...

Important steps in gardening

Gardening can be tricky as it is but we can help out our odds by raising plants that work well with our growing conditions. We first have to consider what growing zone we are in (Zone 4 or 4b for our area) and go from there. There are some folks who have microclimates in their backyards and can ...

Cover crop options for prevent plant acres & drowned-out areas

Excessive precipitation and persistently wet conditions have prevented the planting of corn and soybean in some fields and led to ponding and drown-out areas in others. On acres where “prevent plant” is claimed for insurance, the USDA-Risk Management Agency (RMA) requires protection from ...

Ash anthracnose

If you have had ash trees dropping their leaves like rain drops in your yard, do not panic. It is more than likely caused by anthracnose. Anthracnose is a fungus that causes some problems in all sorts of trees. In our area, it seems to bother ash trees the most. It can cause some of the same ...

Working at the Yellow Medicine SWCD

My name is Landon Abraham. I am one of the two Yellow Medicine Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) Conservation technician apprentices working with the office this year. I grew up on a farm in Yellow Medicine County near St. Leo. I graduated high school in May 2018 from Minneota High ...

Remedies for the garden

We are still waiting for Mother Nature to get her affairs in order. The cool weather this spring has sent some of our plants into a tailspin including iris and some tulips. I have fielded many questions on why iris plants are not blooming this year. This is because about the time that they set ...

A challenging year

I think that with all of the rain that we have been receiving we might need a little reverse psychology this year. If you are like me, last year was a terrible year to establish a vegetable garden and to keep it going. Perennial flower gardens seem to just eat this type of weather up. It is ...

Ag Briefs

USDA reopens Continuous CRP signup USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) will accept applications beginning June 3 for certain practices under the continuous Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) signup and will offer extensions for expiring CRP contracts. The 2018 Farm Bill reauthorized CRP, one ...

Lawn care

When the rain decides to stop, we will all be out mowing our lawns. There isn’t anything like the smell of freshly cut grass on a spring day especially if it is the first couple of times that we are able to get out and mow. Lawn care is getting a lot of press these days because our lawns are ...

Sustainable practices for gardens

Sustainability is something that creates a functional space in our outdoor garden spaces. This includes choosing plants that will live a long time. It could also include creating special habits such as pollinator gardens or native prairie gardens in our spaces. It also creates backyard spaces ...

Helping pollinators

Gardeners celebrate Earth Day each and every day. In particular, we do our best to provide food for our pollinators. We are all thinking about them but there are a few ways that you can help pollinators that you might not have thought of. We have to remember that there are more than just honey ...

Safe handling of treated seed

A significant amount of seed planted this year will have been treated with one or more fungicide, insecticide, nematicide, or biological seed treatments. The following are some key precautions and reminders to follow when working with treated seed to help prevent pesticide exposure to ...

Cleaning up

The heavy ice storms we recently had took a toll on our trees. There were some people who had hardly any damage and others who had significant damage. The ash trees and silver maples in my yard took a big hit. We were lucky that no big branches damaged our house. We do, however, have a big mess ...