FOLEY, Minn. — Growing season 2021 has been a master class in dealing with drought. Never did I think about having to water trees to keep them alive. Yet, I have 7, 5-gallon buckets with holes drilled into the bottom to accomplish that task. On the crops side, issues with pests on the “wrong” crops, variability in pesticide effectiveness, extreme differences in drought stressed varieties and hybrids, and even drought stressed waterhemp made this a great year to learn something new. Frost damaged corn in June might just be the perfect symbol for this past season. With all these issues to contend with, the question I am asking myself is what to take away from the season? In a season like this last one, our first reactions can be to make severe changes to how we approach management decisions. However, many of the above listed issues can’t be dealt with effectively through management decisions because they deal directly with environmental conditions. Instead, I am sifting through these issues and looking at which ones may return next season that can be directly impacted through management decisions.
Corn rootworm control is such an issue. While the drought had its impact on the numbers seen in fields throughout our area, I also expect this to be a continuing issue for next year. While continuous corn acres are the easy target in 2022, also consider those soybean acres with volunteer corn as having potential rootworm issues. Volunteer corn can provide a bridge to next year’s corn crop for corn rootworms. Current management decisions are around what traits to look for when determine corn hybrids for next season. To help with this there are great resources such as the “The Handy Bt Trait Table” which provides the different traits and their tradenames. This makes it easier to know which proteins you are currently using making corn rootworm management easier.
Another management decision on the horizon is land rent. While not necessarily a major issue from 2021, with current crop input prices it will be important moving into 2022. The UMN Extension Land Rent meetings cover topics such as farmland rental rate trends, current farmland values, input costs, and current crop prices. These will be used to help examine what a farmer will be able to afford in 2022 and potential rate of return to the landowner. The final area meeting will take place on November 16th in Melrose from 1pm to 2:30pm at the True North Marketplace-Cornerstone Café, 223 Kraft Dr SE, Melrose, MN 56352
You can preregister to this land rent meeting by going to z.umn.edu/CMNLandRent or by calling/emailing Nathan Drewitz at (608) 515-4414 or email@example.com to secure your seat. To receive future events, educational programming, and agronomic updates by email, signup at z.umn.edu/tricountysignup.
— Nathan Drewitz, University of Minnesota Extension