Monthly Archives: August 2013

Extent of Storm Damage Visual

This map came from Kansas State University in a newsletter where they were talking about the vegetation differences from the Drought of 2012 to 2013 in Kansas.  A colleague shared this with me pointing out how obvious the storm in Clay County, NE is on this map.  Look above Kansas to the brown area-that’s the LOSS of vegetation we have right now in Clay County which is quite extensive-and neat how it’s captured unexpectedly on this map.
This was a map published by Kansas State University showing vegetation difference from 2012-2013.  Look above to the dark area in Nebraska-Yep-that's Clay County and the loss of vegetation due to August 1, 2013 storm.

Rural Futures Conference

Do you have a passion for building strong and resilient rural communities? Do you think about the future and what is in storeYouth Panel at Rural Futures Conference 2012 for rural people and places? If so, I’d encourage you to plan on November 3-5, 2013 at The Cornhusker, A Marriott Hotel in Lincoln, Nebraska for the 2013 Rural Futures Conference and participate in the dialogues around these very issues.

The theme for the 2013 Rural Futures Conference is Beyond Boundaries, which encourages all of us to step beyond our typical boundaries and work together to create positive rural futures. While moving beyond boundaries can be challenging and even ominous, it also provides the unique opportunity to implement a foundation of collaboration that can impact the future of rural people and places. The upcoming conference will celebrate the importance of rural and create energy and enthusiasm for new and innovative ways to address complex opportunities and challenges.  From University faculty, staff and students to community citizens and organizational partners, don’t miss the opportunity to transcend boundaries and collaboratively make a difference.

One of the greatest resources in any organization or community is its people. When we think about rural places, there is no doubt that the people and leadership in rural America is a driving force for progress.  There are several opportunities for you to be involved in and even contribute content to the 2013 Rural Futures Conference. We encourage you to share your knowledge and expertise at the conference to help us explore new ideas, discover synergies, and facilitate partnerships. Please consider being involved in one or more of these opportunities during the conference, and encourage others to become involved as well.

Quick Pitch Spotlight: Conference participants rapid fire their “big idea” for rural people and places.
Community Questions: Communities of place or interest pose questions that stimulate collaboration and potential research opportunities.
Faculty and Partner Poster Session: Participants display current work or research relevant to the rural futures.

Registration opens September 1, and will remain open until the seats are filled. Registration closed early last year because maximum capacity was reached, so register early to ensure your spot.  For more information or to register, visit ruralfutures.nebraska.edu/conference.

For the latest information on the 2103 Rural Futures Conference, follow Rural Futures on Twitter at twitter.com/rural_futures (hashtag: #RFC2013) or Facebook at facebook.com/ruralfutures

Apps and Mobile Sites for Mobile Devices on the Farm

It didn’t take long for the phrase “there’s an app for that” to be seen and heard regularly in the phone and mobile deviceUNL Extension Educator Gary Zoubek shares app information via his iPad during lunch at the Nebraska Technologies Association Conference world.  Today, there are many apps and mobile websites that can be fantastic tools for producers to use in decision-making.  University of Nebraska Extension has developed several mobile apps to take a look at and be sure to visit our site often to learn of additional new apps.  

In addition to our Extension Apps, Dennis Kahl, UNL Extension Educator, and I have also compiled a list of a few mobile apps that we think could be useful to farmers yet this year as they get closer to harvest, but also for next year to test out and see if they will indeed help them do work quicker and make decisions more accurately.

Today we are going to highlight a few mobile applications and mobile websites that producers may be using now as they make preparations for fall harvest.

  • UNL CropWater – provides an easy way to estimate soil water status based on Watermark sensors installed at depths of 1, 2, and 3 feet. With these sensor readings, the Crop Water app will estimate the water used as well as what is still available for Nebraska soils.
  • Market Journal –  Television for Ag Business Decisions.  Weekly crop reports, markets, weather and current insect, MJ app from UNL Extension based off Market Journal TV show http://marketjournal.unl.edu disease and harvest issues. It was also listed at Agriculture.com’s #1 ag app for 2013.
  • RealAgriculture – focuses on the issues that are impacting agriculture.  The site is focused on getting farmers the opinions on issues so that you not only get the news but the insight into what the news means in the production business.
  • DTN/PF – The Progressive Farmer – provides market data, link charts to market data for single, seamless view of how the latest prices correlate with current market trends.
  • Farm Progress – Keep up on local ag news, grain and livestock markets, enhanced weather and blogs as well as Nebraska Farmer magazine.
  • Husker Harvest Days Show – Maximize your time at Husker Harvest Days with this application that includes exhibitor and category lists, show maps and other tools to help you maximize your time at the show.
  • Ag PhD Harvest Loss Calculator – Allows farmers to estimate yield loss before and during harvest by recording the number of individual corn, soybean, wheat, sorghum, barley or oat seeds found on the ground in a square foot.
  • Combine Performance Optimizer by John Deere – Help operators adjust and set the critical settings for next year’s harvest of small and large grain crops to improve machine performance.
  • Calibrate My Sprayer – Aid in the proper calibration of spraying equipment.
  • In addition to the apps listed above, Crop Life featured a story of the Top 13 Mobile Ag Apps for 2013 and Agriculture.com has a list of mobile apps.  Take a look at these as well.

With wireless technology available in most areas of the state, we utilize Verizon Wireless with our mobile devices in the field and in our communities to update various social media outlets such as Twitter, Facebook and blogs.  Mobile access has allowed University of Nebraska Lincoln Extension to provide current information and situations in the field at all times.  We encourage producers to subscribe to various resources including:

Special thanks to Dennis Kahl as a Guest blog contributor to this post!

Soybean Stem Borer

Great information on Soybean Stem Borer from Brandy VanDeWalle’s blog!

Views from VanDeWalle

Several years ago I received a call from a grower who had lots of soybeans that were lodged; it was confirmed their fields had the soybean stem borer, which was one of the first times it was reported in Nebraska in recent years. This year at the Soybean Management Field Day, entomologists reported that it has now moved north of the interstate and into York County as well.MussmanField 003

UNL extension entomologists, Bob Wright and Tom Hunt wrote an article last year on CropWatch providing the following information. This beetle (Dectes texanus texanus) has been moving into Nebraska from north central Kansas over the last decade.

The adult is a gray, elongate beetle about 0.5 inch long with antennae that are longer than the body. Females lay eggs from late June to August on various plants, including cocklebur, giant ragweed, sunflower, and soybean. On soybean, eggs are primarily laid…

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Forage Options After the Storm

Thank you to everyone who participated in the Town Hall Discussion on such short notice last week!  It was cool watchingPanel discussion during storm damage meeting everyone come together to discuss the concerns at hand.  Here’s a recap of some of the discussion regarding forage options.  We also have provided numerous articles this week and will again next week at UNL’s CropWatch website.  I will continue to post more about our local conditions on my blog.

Forage Options

Dr. Bruce Anderson explained that the best potential usage of storm damaged corn that won’t go for grain is to use it for silage.  He stressed that the silage has to be made at the correct moisture and packed well-and that standing corn could be over 80% moisture right now.  He mentioned the easiest and maybe the best way to lower moisture content is to simply wait until some stalks start to turn brown. This will also allow the surviving corn to continue to add tonnage.  If waiting isn’t desirable, reduce moisture by windowing the crop and allow it to wilt one-half to one full day before chopping. You also could mix grain or chopped hay with freshly chopped corn to lower the moisture content. It takes quite a bit of material for mixing though — about 7 bushels of grain or 350 pounds of hay to lower each ton of silage from 80% to 70% moisture.  When making silage, he recommended adding the inoculant during the chopping process to allow for proper fermentation.

He mentioned haying and baling were an option but that he was concerned about the amount of time it would take for the stalks to dry down at the current moisture.  He recommended crimping the stalks if at all possible to help aid in the drying process.  Be sure to test it for nitrates before feeding.

Grazing might be the easiest way to use damaged corn, and this is a good way to extend your grazing season. You might even plant some corn grain or sorghum-sudangrass or oats and turnips between rows to grow more forage for grazing if you can wait until late fall before grazing. Be sure to introduce livestock slowly to this new forage by feeding them before turning them in to reduce the chances of digestive problems.  Also, strip graze the field to reduce trampling losses and get more grazing.

Shredding was mentioned as an option in some fields.  Dr. Bob Klein observed two years ago in the wind storm out in western Nebraska that shredding of plant material led to piles after wind drifted loose material in the field.  That made for a difficult planting situation the following year.  Making earlage was also mentioned as an option.

Additional Resources:

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