Ag and Extension

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 ...

Ag and Extension Briefs

Beef Quality Assurance & Secure Beef Supply trainings set Today’s consumers are more interested than ever before on where and how the food they purchase is raised, which has led to an increased focus on our beef production systems — how we handle cattle, our use of pharmaceutical ...

Emerald ash borer

Patience in more ways than one right now. The weather will get better to some degree or another; it always seems to even itself out. Stearns County is also having its patience tested because they have now found Emerald Ash Borer there too. City workers in the area were cleaning up and noticed ...

All-american Selection Winners

According to the All-American Selection Winners website, “AAS is the only national, nonprofit plant trialing organization in North America. All-America Selections is an independent nonprofit organization that tests new, never-before-sold varieties for the home gardener. After a full season of ...

Ag and Extension Briefs

Women in Ag Network Spring Workshop in St. Cloud April 11 The University of Minnesota Extension Women in Ag Network’s spring workshop is scheduled for Thursday, April 11, at the St. Cloud Regional Extension Office, 3601 18th St. S. #113, St. Cloud. This half-day workshop will feature two ...

Garden Smarter

The sunnier days and warmer temperatures are getting the gardener inside all of us ready to go and pumped up for another summer of gardening in Minnesota. We made it through probably the worst winter has to offer, and I am finding that there are many gardeners who have been starting their seeds ...

Ag and Extension Briefs

Free respirator fit testing and train-the-trainer workshops Respirators are necessary for using certain pesticides safely, but we lack resources in Minnesota to help farmers and pesticide applicators choose the right respirator, as well as fit testing and medical evaluation resources. In ...

Growing vegetables in containers

I think as the weather seems to be going, we are all wondering how quickly our gardening season will take off this year. I am not even betting that my vegetable garden will be wet because there were portions of it still under water from last fall yet. I am pretty sure that I will need to move ...

Ag and Extension Briefs

Cottage food producer food safety training is April 10 in Mankato Do you make the best homemade bread, home canned pickles or cookies? Consider selling your product as a Minnesota Cottage Food producer. Join University of Minnesota Extension Food Safety Educator Kathy Brandt at the Keep it ...