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Otter Tail —Grant County plot tour attracts a crowd

By Carol Stender

cstender@agrinews.com

FERGUS FALLS, Minn. — The Otter Tail-Grant County Corn Growers corn plot tour last week featured varieties designed for heavier soils.

The plots on Richard Jennen’s farm south of Fergus Falls, featuring varieties from Croplan, Crow, DeKalb, Pioneer and Wensman, included traits for drought tolerance and several that were triple-stack varieties.

The state could use more rain — especially in southern Minnesota where farmers a facing droughthy conditions, said University of Minnesota researcher Jeff Colter. The biggest risk for the crop at this point is an early frost.

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Representatives from the Minnesota Corn Growers and Minnesota Soybean Growers updated farmers on promotional and political happenings.

The MCGA has on-going research on DDGs and corn cob use, said Richard Severson of Benson.

A Minnesota-grown ethanol promotional campaign has been geared toward the Metro areas, he said. Instead of ‘singing to the choir,’ association leaders decided to center promotions in larger communities. The public-relations efforts include newspaper ads and billboards.

Severson encouraged farmers to ask political candidates about their stand on renewable fuels.

"If they hear from everyone, it will have an impact," he said.

Lance Peterson, an Underwood farmer, past Minnesota Soybean Growers president and current national director, said the Farm Service Agency is facing challenges implementing the new farm bill. The FSA has older software and internet servers that may have problems with the legislation’s more complex language.

Little money was included in the Farm Bill to cover implementation costs and upgrades to FSA’s computer system. The FSA is using new software that could help program implementation.

The harvest will tell the true story of the corn plot trials, but the varieties presented at the plot looked good. Results from the trials will be published once the plots are harvested and data is compiled, said OT-G president Don Viger.

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Croplan offered new varieties in its plot trials. Some varieties in the trials were 89 to 91 day. Croplan’s 3114 doesn’t produce well on clays, said Croplan representative Ray Watts. The 2924 has flex ear length. It’s a variety producers will want to cut back on seeding rates.

The company’s 98-day hybrid, 3824, has performed well on any type of soil and has a nice penetrating root.

Croplan’s 97-day 3724 grows well on heavier soils and is good on clay and cool soils.

The company is excited about the 24 series.

Crows has a 92-day variety, 1685, that was planted on five plots in Douglas County last year and performed well. It is a tall and has good roots.

The 1725 is a 95-day Crows variety that is versatile and tall.

The 97-day 1807 is a Round-Up Ready conventional variety that is late flowering and one of the company’s more consistent corns. It also has a sound stalk.

DeKalb’s 91-day No. 41-4 is a Round-Up corn that has very good drought tolerance and is a strong hybrid, said DeKalb representative Dwight Rasmussen.

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The company’s 42-95 family is its second best selling hybrid. It’s offered good, steady growth and is a good performer.

DeKalb’s 100-day hybrid, 50-44, is a great performer. It is obviously a longer-day corn but given the right year, it will perform well.

Pioneer’s 89-day 39N99 it has strong emergence and good drought tolerance.

The variety 38H08 is a 92-day and has a girthy cob and good stalk strength.

Wensman’s 7107 is a triple-stack variety and has been a good performer in trials over the past four years, said Paul Dubbles of New Horizon.

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