Advanced ag professional insect and disease workshop set for Aug. 23

Farm Forum

The University of Minnesota Institute for Ag Professionals is sponsoring an Advanced Insect and Disease workshop. Agricultural professionals are invited to the Rosemount Research and Outreach Center for a tour of the latest in agricultural research. University of Minnesota Extension specialists will lead a guided tour of the Research Center’s test plots, presenting their research on corn and soybean diseases, soybean aphids, and corn rootworms. The tour will stop for a picnic lunch at the new Whitetail Woods Regional Park.

The Field Day will be held Aug. 23 from 9:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. at the Rosemount Research and Outreach Center, 16975 Arkansas Ave., Rosemount, Minn. Workshop begins with morning refreshments and check in at 9:30 a.m., bus leaves at 10:00 a.m.

The registration fee is $50.00 per person, limited to the first 50 paid registrants. Program materials and lunch are included in the registration fee. Four Certified Crop Advisor CEUs in Pest Management have been applied for this workshop. To reserve your spot, register online at or contact Larisa Jenrich at 651-480-7732 or Payment accepted includes check (payable to UMN) or credit card over the phone.

Soybean aphid research and management

Dr. Bob Koch, University of Minnesota Extension Entomologist, will provide an overview of soybean aphid management. Discussion will include the continued validity of the economic threshold (250 aphids per plant), development of aphid resistance to insecticides, and potential for aphid-resistant soybean varieties to contribute to aphid management. An understanding will be gained on recent developments regarding these management tactics. Participants will see demonstrations of insecticide efficacy and aphid-resistant soybean. Through practicing scouting techniques, participants will evaluate the effectiveness of the tactics and practice identification of natural enemies of the soybean aphid. Discussion will include potential for integrating the management tactics.

Corn and soybean diseases

This portion of the workshop will focus on soybean and corn diseases, with an emphasis on sudden death syndrome (SDS) of soybean and Goss’s leaf blight and wilt of corn. Both diseases can reduce yields over 40 percent. They are relatively new problems in Minnesota, and are now widespread in the state. Weather conditions in 2016 have been favorable for development of SDS and Goss’s wilt in some areas. The workshop will be conducted at SDS and Goss’s wilt field trials in Rosemount, MN.

The crop disease topics to be covered will include:

• A review of diagnostic procedures for SDS and Goss’s wilt.

• Discussion of factors that favor these diseases and how they reduce yield.

• Discussion of some new research on these diseases.

• Review and demonstration of management options for SDS, including resistant varieties and seed treatments.

Corn rootworm research and management strategies for 2017 and beyond

Over the last decade, corn rootworms have been primarily managed with Bt-RW traits. Declining corn economic situation have growers re-thinking their management inputs with a shift from traits to conventional corn and soil insecticides. Complicating this situation is the ongoing development of Bt-RW resistance, changing population dynamics of western and northern corn rootworms, and increasing use of soil insecticides. This session will focus on:

• Status of Bt-RW traits and Bt-RW resistance.

• Comparative efficacy of Bt traits under heavy pressure (and resistance).

• Identifying fields with trait performance issues (signs of trait failure).

• Soil insecticide options (focus on new technology and products).

• Relative performance of liquid and granular soil insecticides under heavy pressure.

• Trouble-shooting performance problems (lodging vs. root injury).

• Scouting as a tool for better corn rootworm management decisions.

During this corn rootworm management session, we will visit two field studies. Each location will feature a different aspect of corn rootworm management: Bt-trait performance and the value of a soil insecticide overlay; liquid and granular soil insecticide performance.