How about this for a change, an annual program that will be held this year and it is NOT virtual? Well, it will be a little different and I am going to miss the great lunch that is always served by Cash Wise Foods in Owatonna. The annual Rice and Steele County Crops Days will be on three AM Minnesota Programs the last week of February. Extension Educator in Rice and Steele County Claire LaCanne had the idea of Crops Days on KDHL's AM Minnesota Programs? I am not the most "creative" person but I know a good idea when I hear one!

So, thanks to Claire's help the annual Rice and Steele County Crops Days will be February 23, 25, and 26, 2021. Below is Claire's news release with the topics and guests for each AM Minnesota Program. Remember too, that if you cannot listen to the AM Minnesota's live just a few minutes after each program it will be posted on our website: kdhl.com as a podcast.

Tuesday’s program will feature weed updates. Mike Cruse and David Nicolai, Extension Educators, will focus on updates regarding Palmer amaranth, a noxious weed on the Minnesota Department of Ag’s eradicate list. Mike Cruse serves Houston and Fillmore counties, in which Palmer amaranth has been discovered the past few years.

Thursday will feature crop diseases, focusing on corn tar spot. Dean Malvick, Extension Plant Pathologist, will talk about this disease that was recently confirmed in Minnesota in 2019. Tar spot of corn was also confirmed in several fields in this area of Minnesota in 2020.

 Friday’s program focuses on insect pest updates. Bob Koch, Extension Entomologist, will focus on soybean aphids and pesticide resistance, and will touch on some other insect pests as well. Researchers at the University, including Bob and his students, are finding that soybean aphids have been gaining resistance to certain insecticides in recent years.

If you listen to the programs live or as a podcast and fill out the survey you will be entered in a prize drawing. The winner will receive a University of Minnesota ball cap and gift card to Cash Wise Foods. We will have a survey link on our website and Claire will have a link at: extension.umn.edu/local/rice.

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