Minnesota CropCast

University of Minnesota Extension

Hosts David Nicolai and Seth Naeve discuss the progress and challenges of Minnesota's agronomic crops. They are joined each week by a diversity of specialists representing all crops and agronomic disciplines to discuss their research and its impact on Minnesota crops. Dave Nicolai is a crops Extension educator and Seth Naeve is the Extension soybean agronomist. read less


“Where is Winter in Minnesota?” with Dennis Todey, Director of the UDSA Midwest Climate Hub
Feb 13 2024
“Where is Winter in Minnesota?” with Dennis Todey, Director of the UDSA Midwest Climate Hub
In episode #29 Dave Nicolai and Seth Naeve chat with Dennis Todey, Director of the USDA Midwest Climate Hub in Ames, Iowa. In this podcast Dennis discussed and reviewed the major factors involved with this winter’s above-average temperatures and lower than average snowfall/precipitation. Dennis also reviewed the effects of warmer than average El Niño and anticipated La Niña and its possible effects on upper Midwest agricultural weather events for the 2024 cropping season.Dennis is a native Iowan with his BS and PhD from Iowa State in Meteorology and Agricultural Meteorology. He has spent two stints in South Dakota, first completing his MS at the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology and most recently as Associate Professor and State Climatologist for South Dakota at South Dakota State University before moving to the Midwest Climate Hub, based in Ames, Iowa.The mission of the USDA Midwest Climate Hub is to develop science-based, region-specific information and technologies alongside USDA agencies and partners, and deliver these products to agricultural and natural resource managers that enable climate-informed decision-making. The Midwest Climate Hub produces several climate related publications and on-line tools. One such publication is the Midwest Climate Hub monthly which utilizes NOAA and USDA outlooks, placing them in context for agriculture in the Midwest based on current impacts. The most current Midwest Ag-Focus Outlook can be found here.Join Dave and Seth for a discussion with Dennis Todey on this week’s edition of Minnesota Crop Cast.
Tom Slunecka, Working for Minnesota Farmers
Jan 16 2024
Tom Slunecka, Working for Minnesota Farmers
In episode #26 of Minnesota Crop Cast, David Nicolai and Seth Naeve sit down for a chat with Tom Slunecka, Chief Executive Officer of the Minnesota Soybean Research & Promotion Council (MSPR&PC) https://mnsoybean.org/msrpc Tom grew up on a beef ranch in central South Dakota, received his degree from SDSU, and went on to serve in a number of roles in the ag sector. Tom led important contemporary farmer focused programs with both public and private organizations. Tom is a true servant to Minnesota and U.S. agriculture. Tom joined the MSR&PC in 2012 and continues to support farmers in their efforts to increase economic and environmental sustainability and resiliency.Tom led the Minnesota Soybean Growers Association (MSGA) https://mnsoybean.org/msga and the MSR&PC in efforts to develop the Ag Innovation Campus (AIC) https://aginnovationcampus.org in Crookston, MN. The AIC is a soybean processing plant and much more. It is an incubator for agricultural innovations that develops novel products and increases the value of agriculture. The AIC fills an important space between the public and private sectors to support creativity that would otherwise not flourish. Tom provides an update on Phase 1 and discusses future phases at AIC.The Minnesota Ag Expo https://mnagexpo.com takes place in Mankato, MN at the Mayo Clinic Health System Event Center on January 17 and 18, 2024. Tom talks about the importance of this annual event for Minnesota corn and soybean growers. It is a time for legislative resolutions and much more. There are 24 excellent speakers scheduled, including the UofM’s own P.J. Fleck. There is a jam-packed trade show, University of Minnesota researchers on hand, and lots of time and space for chatting with farmers and folks from across the Ag industries. Join Dave and Seth for a conversation with Tom Slunecka today.Please join us for another lively Minnesota CropCast.
University of Minnesota Soybean Research Center:  Graduate Student Spotlight
Nov 8 2023
University of Minnesota Soybean Research Center: Graduate Student Spotlight
In this special cross-over episode, CropCast hosts Dave Nicolai and Seth Naeve visit with three talented graduate students who work on Soybean Research Center related projects.  Mary Jane (Mjay) Espina is a PhD student with Aaron Lorenz and Bob Stupar.  Mjay is focused on Iron Deficiency Chlorosis (IDC).  She is primarily interested in identifying the source(s) of resistance to IDC within soybean’s genome.  She hopes that understanding the genetics behind IDC will help her and us learn more about the physiology driving this disorder.  Alina Smolskaya is an MS student who is also advised by Drs. Stupar and Lorenz.  She is working on the genetics of very interesting soybean traits related to leaf shape and seed number per pod.  Leaf shape can play a role in whole plant photosynthesis and therefore productivity, and seeds per pod is an important yield component.  Master’s student Carlos Sanchez also joined the discussion.  Carlos is advised by Seth Naeve and his work has been conducted at a unique drainage and tillage research site near Wells, MN.  Carlos is interested in the environmental drivers behind yield benefits from drainage and has noted that very dry years can reduce or reverse benefits to artificial drainage.  Carlos is also looking at interactive effects of tillage, residue levels, soybean populations, seed treatments, and nitrogen carryover on drainage effects. Have a listen to this special edition of MN CropCast.  You will appreciate the passion of these young scientists. University of Minnesota Soybean Research Center – https://soybeanresearchcenter.umn.edu/Stupar Lab webpage. – https://stuparlab.cfans.umn.edu/Soybean Extension webpage – www.soybeans.umn.edu
University of Minnesota Nitrogen Research and Extension led by Dr. Fabian Fernandez
Oct 26 2023
University of Minnesota Nitrogen Research and Extension led by Dr. Fabian Fernandez
In this episode, CropCast hosts Dave Nicolai and Seth Naeve visits with Dr. Fabian Fernandez, Professor at the University of Minnesota Department of Soil, Water and Climate. Fabian is a state Extension Specialist in Soil Nutrient Management with an emphasis in soil nitrogen. Fabian provides an overview of his background, education, and career. Fabian was born and raised in the Pampas region of Argentina. He earned his Ph.D. degree from Purdue University, and M.S. and B.S. degrees from Brigham Young University. The research and extension education programs of Dr. Fernández focus on soil nutrient management and plant mineral nutrition. His current work at the University of Minnesota concentrates primarily on economic and environmental effects of nutrient management in corn cropping systems. He seeks to identify and implement nitrogen management practices that are sustainable in terms of both minimizing negative environmental impacts, specifically on water quality, and improving crop yields.In addition to highlighting his background and academic activities, Fabian visits with Dave and Seth during the podcast about various nitrogen management recommendations for corn growers in the fall of 2023 and the spring of 2024.  Fabain reviews the best management recommendations regarding soil temperatures during fall applications, fertilizer product types, inhibitors and recommended nitrogen application rates based on economics, environments, and soil types.During the podcast several important internet links were mentioned regarding soil nutrient management as influence by environmental considerations and economics.Nitrogen Management University of Minnesota Extension: https://extension.umn.edu/nutrient-management/nitrogenFertilizing Corn in Minnesota: https://extension.umn.edu/crop-specific-needs/fertilizing-corn-minnesotaCorn Nitrogen Rate Calculator: https://www.cornnratecalc.org/Minnesota Department of Agriculture 6-inch soil temperature network: https://www.mda.state.mn.us/protecting/soilprotection/soiltemp