The Upper Midwest is receiving some much-needed precipitation—just in time for flowering and critical growth stages of some small grain crops. Since fungal diseases thrive in humid conditions, now is a critical time to be proactive about disease management. Find information about managing two common diseases, fusarium head blight and crown rust, below.

If you haven't already applied, small grain cost share is still available.

Be well,
The Strategic Initiatives Team
Alfalfa has tremendous nitrogen fixation potential and can be an excellent feed source for ruminants.

On June 4 at 12:15 pm CT, we’ll hear from John Schulte, an experienced diversified livestock farmer from Norway, IA who uses alfalfa for both hay and pasture. John will discuss the use of alfalfa in rations and alfalfa establishment.

To join dial (605) 313-5784 and enter passcode 239000# when prompted.
In 2020, we found that many people enjoyed the opportunity to attend field days virtually, so we’re improving our virtual engagement options with a weekly series called “Live From the Farm.” This series builds on our 2020 virtual field day season, but with improved video and streaming quality.
These events will take place on most Tuesdays beginning in June and continuing through September. We will stream live from a member farm, aiming to showcase important farm activities that are interesting to see but harder to show and make engaging to in-person visitors.
These live events are interactive on YouTube Live, with chat enabled for attendees and the host, and will be available as recorded videos on PFI’s YouTube channel as soon as the live event ends.
June 4 | 12:15 - 1:15 p.m. CT | dial (605) 313-5784 and enter passcode 239000#

June 22 | 2:00 - 2:45 p.m. CT | Online
As we learned on our February shared learning call with Jochum Wiersma—and as some farmers know firsthand—fusarium head blight (FHB) is likely to become problematic in crops such as cereal rye, barley and wheat when we have humid conditions at flowering.

Predictive tools like the Fusarium Risk Tool can help to anticipate the threat, and—if necessary—take reactive precautions. Read our February call notes to learn about management options.

The website ScabSmart also provides best management practices for reducing incidence of FHB.
PFI member and Albert Lea Seed agronomist Margaret Smith outlined the steps for oat growers for managing crown rust in an ALS blog post. At this point in the 2021 season, scouting is important.

Margaret writes, “Farmers should begin scouting oats at about the two-leaf stage, which can be as early as late April in some parts of the Midwest. When scouting for crown rust, look for small oval or oblong orange-yellow pustules, primarily on the leaves; however, the infection may also express pustules on leaf sheaths, stems, and panicles. If rust pustules are observed, farmers may consider immediate fungicide application.”

Fungicide options and observed efficacy are included in the blog.
Send us your small grain poll ideas! We want to know what YOU want to know. Reply to this email with your ideas for the next poll.
Will you apply fungicide to any of your small grain fields this year?
Yes, I've already purchased fungicide
Maybe, I'm still looking at the forecasts and/or scouting
No, I don't plan to
N/A, My small grain fields are organic
Looking for more? Contact us today!
Rebecca Clay
Strategic Initiatives Agronomy Coordinator
(515) 232-5661
Sarah Carlson
Strategic Initiatives Director
(515) 232-5661
Lydia English
Strategic Initiatives Coordinator
(515) 232-5661