Extension Publications

You can always find the latest University of Minnesota Extension publications on their website.

NOTE: Some Extension Publications are available for .PDF download. If you have dial-up or other low-speed internet access, it is recommended that you download the PDF files. You need Adobe Acrobat to view the files. Get Adobe Acrobat Reader For Free Here.

Agriculture

Water Quality

  • Best Management Practices for Nitrogen Use in Northwestern Minnesota (.pdf) (Sims, Rehm, Lamb).
    The research-based Best Management Practices (BMPs) outlined in this bulletin are economically and environmentally sound.
  • Minnesota Rating Guide for Potential Leaching and Surface Runoff of Pesticides (Anderson, Robert).
    Delineates screening method to evaluate relative potential loss of pesticides from soils by leaching and by runoff.
  • Phosphorus Transport to and Availability in Surface Waters (.pdf - 794 KB) (Lamb, Rehm, Schmitt).
    Explains how agricultural systems can affect the movement of phosphorus from landscape to surface waters. Describes the impact, and provides information on minimizing this movement.
  • Rinsing Pesticide Containers (Halbach).
    Describes how rinsing helps protect the environment and suggests proper rinsing procedures.

Minnesota River

Soils

    • Sand Plains Research Farm - Soils Report 1988 (Hansen, Giencke). PDF iconsand_plain_research_farm_soil_report_1988.pdf 
      Provides researchers with additional information about the soils on the Sand Plains Research Farm, including a soil survey, information on available water holding capacity, topography, bulk density, and soil compaction.

    Fertilizers/Nutrients/Additives

    • Boron for Minnesota Soils (Rehm).
      Describes what boron deficiency can do to stunt plant growth in alfalfa and describes soils and crops in Minnesota which might be expected to respond to boron.
    • Copper for Crop Production (Rehm, Schmitt).
      Describes the importance of copper for crop production in Minnesota, identifies symptoms of copper deficiency, and outlines management practices for its use in a fertilizer program.
    • Crop Responses to AmiSorb in the North Central Region (.pdf - 900 KB) (Kelling, NCR-103 Committee).
      Evaluation of the effectiveness of AmiSorb, a soil additive designed to enhance nutrient uptake and increase yields by increasing root branching and root hair development.
    • Impact of ACA on Crop Yield in the North Central Region (Rehm). ACA, "Agricultural Crop Additive," is advertised and sold as a fertilizer additive; the use of this product has not consistently produced a measurable increase in crop yield.
    • Lime Needs in Minnesota (Rehm, Rosen, Schmitt).
      Explains importance of lime, testing/determining lime needs and recommendations based on soil tests.
    • Liming Materials for Minnesota Soils (Rehm, Rosen, Schmitt).
      Explains soil liming materials, including effects, quality and economics.
    • Magnesium for Crop Production in Minnesota (Rehm, Rosen, Schmitt).
      Provides a fundamental understanding of the role of magnesium in production agriculture and the management of magnesium fertilizers when needed.
    • The Nature of Phosphorus in Soils (Lamb, Rehm, Schmitt).
      Provides thorough description of phosphorus in soils, including the reactions that affect its availability to crops.
    • Nitrification Inhibitors and Use in Minnesota (Rehm, Schmitt).
      Describes nitrification inhibitors (NI) sometimes called stabilizers, and how they can accomplish increased efficiency of applied nitrogen fertilizer.
    • Plant Growth Regulators: Their Use in Crop Production (.pdf - 1.24 MB) (Harms, Oplinger).
      Advice on when and where to use plant growth regulators.
    • Potassium for Crop Production (Rehm, Schmitt).
      Describes the importance of potassium for crop production in Minnesota, identifies symptoms of potassium deficiency, and outlines management practices for its use in a fertilizer program.
    • Soil Conditioners (.pdf - 778 KB) (Hickman, Whitney).
      Advice on when and where to use soil conditioners.
    • Soil Wetting Agents: Their Use in Crop Production (.pdf - 803 KB) (Sunderman, Branch).
      Advice on when and where to use soil wetting agents.
    • Sulfur for Minnesota Soils (Rehm, Schmitt).
      Describes how sulfur can increase yields in some crops. Those who farm sandy soils should be most concerned about the use of S in a fertilzer program.
    • Understanding Nitrogen in Soils (Rehm, Schmitt).
      Describes, in words and drawings, the nitrogen cycle in the soil. Suggests how to effectively manage nitrogen inputs to attain a balance between profitable crop production and environmentally tolerable levels of nitrate in water supplies.
    • Understanding Phosphate Fertilizers (Rehm, Schmitt). Describes various fertilizer materials that can be used for crop production, including both organic and inorganic sources.
    • Understanding Phosphorus in Minnesota Soils (Rehm, Schmitt).
      Discusses the implications of phosphorus in the soil, including buildup, absorption, movement, and methods of application. For those concerned about levels of phosphorus in soils.
    • Zinc For Crop Production (.pdf - 665 KB) (Rehm, Schmitt).
      Describes the importance of zinc for crop production in Minnesota, identifies symptoms of zinc deficiency, and outlines management practices for its use in a fertilizer program.

    Fertilizing

    • Agronomic and Environmental Management of Phosphorus (Lamb, Rehm, Schmitt).
      Describes ways to manage phosphorus inputs for crop production that both reduce potential environmental contamination and improve economic production.
    • Fertilizer Management for Corn Planted in Ridge-Till or No-Till Systems (Rehm).
      Provides cost-effective fertilizer recommendations for corn production in ridge-till and no-till systems in Minnesota.
    • Fertilizer Recommendations for Edible Beans in Minnesota (Rehm, Schmitt).
      Provides fertilizer recommendations to help maximize profitability from the production of this crop.
    • Fertilizer Recommendations for Agronomic Crops in Minnesota (.pdf - 4.64 MB) (Lamb, Rehm, Schmitt).
      Provides fertilizer recommendations for all crops that are agronomically sound, environmentally safe, and economically favorable.
    • Fertilizing Alfalfa in Minnesota (Rehm, Schmitt).
      Provides cost-effective fertilizer recommendations for alfalfa production.
    • Fertilizing Barley in Minnesota (Rehm, Schmitt).
      Provides cost-effective fertilizer recommendations for barley production.
    • Fertilizing Corn in Minnesota (Lamb, Randall, Rehm).
      Provides fertilization recommendations for corn that are agronomically sound, environmentally safe, and economically favorable.
    • Fertilizing Soybeans in Minnesota (Rehm, Schmitt).
      Provides updated fertilizer recommendations to soybean producers.
    • Fertilizing Sugar Beet in Minnesota and North Dakota (Lamb, Rehm). 
      Describes the fertility needs of sugar beets in MN and ND. Includes advice on how to calculate needed nutrient applications using a soil test, previous crop information, and placement of nutrients. For sugar beet producers.
    • Fertilizing Wheat in Minnesota (Rehm, Schmitt).
      Provides cost-effective fertilizer recommendations for wheat production.
    • Managing Nitrogen for Corn Production on Irrigated Sandy Soils (.pdf - 640 KB) (Rehm).
      Discusses importance of flexibility in nitrogen management, nitrogen management options, sources, and matching nitrogen and water management.
    • Postharvest to Postemergence Fertilizer Management (Rehm).
      Describes fertilizer management practices for profitable corn and soybean production in ridge-till and no-till systems.
    • Potato Fertilization on Irrigated Soils (Rosen).
      Describes importance of soil test before investigating types of fertilizer needed for raising potatoes on irrigated soil.
    • A Soil Nitrogen Test Option For N Recommendations with Corn (Schmitt, Randall, Rehm).
      Informs and educates those making nitrogen recommendations and using nitrogen fertilizer about a new soil nitrogen test for corn.
    • Soil Sampling for Variable Rate Fertilizer and Lime Applications (.pdf - 1.56 MB) (Rehm et al). 
      This publication compares the strengths of several soil sampling strategies that can be used in the application of precision farming techniques to the setting of fertilizer and lime application rates across fields. For extension educators, crop consultants, farm producers and soils researchers in the north central region of the U.S. and adjacent areas of Canada.
    • Use of Banded Fertilizer for Corn Production (Rehm).
      Describes the various banded applications of fertilizer for corn production and the best management practices for each; uses color illustrations.
    • Validating Nitrogen Rates for Corn on Farm Fields in Southern Minnesota (.pdf - 2.1 MB) (Randall, G.; Schmitt, M.; Strock, J.; Lamb, J.)

    Management

    •  Nitrogen Application with Irrigation Water-Chemigation (Rehm).
      Outlines the factors (irrigation systems, safety devices, calibrations, etc.) that a farm manager needs to consider before starting nitrogen chemigation with one or more irrigation systems.
    • Plant Analysis: Sampling and Interpretation (.pdf - 291 KB) (Overdahl).
      Discusses why plant sampling is important and how to prepare and submit samples for analysis.
    • Providing Proper N Credit for Legumes (O'Leary, Rehm, Schmitt).
      Discusses ways of putting nitrogen (N) to most efficient use. Describes characteristics and influences of legume crops.
    • Setting Realistic Crop Yield Goals (Rehm, Schmitt).
      Climate, genetics, crop management, and the physical and chemical properties of soils strongly influence crop yields, therefore, it's important to spend some time establishing a realistic yield goal for each field each year.
    • Soils and Landscapes of Minnesota (Anderson).
      Describes the major soil areas found in Minnesota and how these soils are the result of five major environmental elements (parent material, climate, relief, living organisms, and time). Includes maps of Minnesota's soil parent materials, its mean annual temperatures, its annual precipitation, its general relief, and its original vegetation.
    • Soil Coalition Ratios for Crop Production (Rehm).
      Describes the concept of cation ratios in soils and discusses the importance of these ratios for crop production.
    • Soil Compaction: Causes, Effects, and Control (Moncrief).
      Examples of soil compaction, focusing on the areas of Causes and Consequences, Surface Compaction, Subsoil Compaction, and Control. Provides comprehensive list of references. Also includes ways to minimize compaction.
    • Soil Sampling as a Basis for Fertilizer Application (.pdf - 1.78 MB) (Cihacek, Franzen).
      Discusses how and where to take useful soil samples.
    • Supplemental Nitrogen Worksheet for Corn
      Resource to help determine if supplemental or extra Nitrogen is needed.
    • Tips for Profitable Crop Residue Management Systems (Moncrief).
      Explains the profitability of any conservation tillage system as function of two factors: maintaining yields economically equal to conventional systems, and cost and level production inputs.
    • Using the Soil Nitrate Test in Minnesota (Rehm, Schmitt).
      Suggests the Soil Nitrate Test as a best management practice (BMP) to sample soils for residual nitrogen measurement. Tells when and where in Minnesota the Soil Nitrate Test is most helpful in determining nutrient needs of crops.

    Waste Management

    • Fertilizing Cropland With Beef Manure (.pdf - 1.09 MB) (Schmitt, Rehm).
      Details how to manage beef manure to maximize nutrient benefits while protecting the environment. Discusses solid vs. liquid manure and best times of the year to make applications.
    • Fertilizing Cropland With Swine Manure (.pdf - 1.10 MB) (Schmitt, Rehm).
      Details how to manage swine manure to maximize nutrient benefits while protecting the environment. Discusses solid vs. liquid manure and best times of the year to make applications.
    • Livestock Manure Sampling (1994) (.pdf - 868 KB) (Schmitt, Wagar).
      Shows how to do accurate manure sampling to analyze for nutrient content.
    • Livestock Manure Sampling (Revised 2000) (.pdf - 868 KB) (Schmitt, Wagar).
      Shows how to do accurate manure sampling to analyze for nutrient content.
    • Manure and Pasture Management for Recreational Horse Owners (Halbach).
      The publication is intended to help recreational horse owners better manage their manure and pastures.
    • Self Assessment Worksheets for Manure Management Plans (.pdf - 1.16 MB) (Schmitt). 
      Discusses crop nutrient needs and manure application rates, while providing several worksheets to determine nutrient production and fertilizer nutrient requirements.
    • Utilization of Municipal Solid Waste Compost as Bedding Material for Cattle Feedlots (Halbach).
      Information on proper utilization of municipal solid waste compost as bedding material for cattle feedlots, and use for assessment of further research.

    Homeowners

    Garden

    • Carrots (Rosen) Online.
    • Growing Asparagus in Minnesota (Fritz, Rosen, Hutchinson, Becker, Beckerman, Wright, Tong, Nennich).
      Provides guidelines for production of asparagus including site selection and preparation, establishment techniques, cultural requirements, pest management, and harvesting.
    • Growing Garlic in Minnesota (Rosen) Online.
    • Growing Vine Crops in Minnesota (Rosen).
      Instructions are given for site selection, soil preparation, on starting seeds, variety selection, and summer care.
    • Lead in the Home Garden and Urban Soil Environment (Rosen).
      Informs homeowners about risks involved with gardening in high lead soils.
    • Nutrient Management for Commercial Fruit & Vegetable Crops in Minnesota (.pdf - 5.47 MB) (Rosen).
      Provides guidelines for economically and environmentally sound use of fertilizers for commercial fruit and vegetable production.
    • Preventing Pollution Problems from Lawn and Garden Fertilizers; (Rosen).
      Suggests routine soil test before making decisions on phosphorus and/or nitrogen. Includes phosphorus fertilizer suggestions based on soil test report and explains fertilizer misuse.
    • Soil Test Interpretations and Fertilizer Management for Lawns, Turf, Gardens, and Landscape Plants (Rosen).
      Presents up-to-date soil fertilizer management information.
    • Sweet Corn (Rosen) Online.
    • Understanding Phosphorus in Minnesota Soils (Rehm, Schmitt).
      Discusses the implications of phosphorus in the soil, including buildup, absorption, movement, and methods of application. For those concerned about levels of phosphorus in soils.
    • Yellow Storage Onions (Rosen) Online.

    Turf and Trees

    Compost

    • Backyard Composting (Rosen).
      A condensed version of "Composting and Mulching: A Guide to Managing Organic Yard Wastes" (see below).
    • Composting and Mulching: A Guide to Managing Organic Yard Wastes (Halbach, Rosen).
      A comprehensive guide for anyone wanting to learn about composting, building a compost area and how composting works.
    • Home Yard Waste Chippers/Shredders (Halbach).
      Describes chipper/shredder machines and their use in reducing yard waste. Warns of possible dangers and gives tips on safety gear and safe machine operation.
    • Options for Disposing of Leaves (Halbach).
      Offers the homeowner a variety of ways to dispose of leaves.
    • Structures for Backyard Composting (Halbach).
      Contains plans for building five different composting bins and explains the benefits of each.

    Solid/Hazardous Waste

    • Life Cycle of a Consumer Product (Fact Sheet) (Halbach).
      Discusses the life cycle of a consumer product from an ecosystems prospective.
    • Rinsing Pesticide Containers (Halbach).
      Describes how rinsing helps protect the environment and suggests proper rinsing procedures.
    • Safe Home, Clean Earth - An Educational Packet on Household Hazardous Products (Halbach).
      A resource to educators throughout the state who are involved in educating the general public about household hazardous products.

    Sewage Systems/Septic Tanks

    • Choosing an Alternate Septic System for a Homesite with Thin Soil over Bedrock, a High Water Table, and a Steep Slope (Anderson).
      Includes 3 publications presenting different kinds of septic system challenges and solutions. Accompanying video further illustrates the main points of these septic systems.
    • Evaluating Soil Texture for a House Site (Anderson).
      Provides a field method to estimate the proportion of sand, silt, and clay in soil samples. Provides information on building site potentials and soils ability to treat septic tank effluent.
    • Landscaping Septic Systems (Anderson).
      Presents practical and creative options for planning septic system placement and landscaping.
    • Locating On-Site Home Sewage Treatment Systems (Anderson).
      Describes procedures for site evaluation for sewage treatment in municipal areas.