Grateful March is here! With the warm weather the past few days and geese flying, spring will be here before we know it.
Wheat Stem Maggot Webinar: With that in mind, several with cover crops have asked if we have an update on wheat stem maggot and the timing of termination. If you recall, last year we saw wheat stem maggot move from wheat and rye cover crops into newly emerged corn in some fields where the cover was terminated at or after planting. We’ve had several farmers in the area who have went to the later termination and it seemed to have worked well prior to last year. While I wonder if it was more of a fluke due to a warm February in 2017, Dr. Justin McMechan, Extension Crop Protection Specialist, collected maggots from infested fields and reared them to better understand their life cycle. I asked him to share a webinar on what he’s learned including recommendations and information on insects of cover crops in general. If you’re interested, please join us Wednesday, March 14th from Noon-1 p.m. at the following weblink: https://unl.zoom.us/j/976118766.
Dicamba and 2,4-D: Also received a number of calls last week regarding clarification on training required for dicamba and 2,4-D. There is no required additional training to apply 2,4-D products or any dicamba products other than the RUP dicamba products XtendiMax, Fexapan, and Engenia.
National Spray Drift Webinar: Join pesticide spray applicators from across the nation on March 15 for a webinar on “Strategies for Managing Pesticide Spray Drift” being presented by Nebraska Extension Weed Scientist and Application Technology Specialist Greg Kruger. The webinar is tailored to growers, pesticide applicators and other interested stakeholders who use pesticides and pesticide application equipment. It will be held from 10:30 to noon CT on that Thursday. Pesticide spray drift is the movement of pesticide dust or droplets through the air — at the time of application or soon after — to any site other than the area intended. Spray drift can affect people’s health, damage nearby crops, and pose a risk to non-target organisms. Kruger manages the Pesticide Application Technology Laboratory at the university’s West Central Research and Extension Center in North Platte, where he uses a wind tunnel to test pesticides and spray adjuvants for drift. Kruger has a BS from the Ohio State University, where he studied agribusiness and applied economics, and an MS in plant pathology and a PhD in weed science from Purdue University. This EPA program is geared toward reducing spray drift from pesticide applications to crops, fruits and vegetables, and aerial applications. It will cover general pesticide applications with a focus on agricultural applications. The EPA program is free, but participants are asked to register in advance here: https://register.gotowebinar.com/register/1526938365731023875.
Kiwanis Club of Seward and SCCDP Ag Banquet: The 50th Annual Kiwanis and SCCDP Agricultural Recognition Banquet will be held Monday, March 19, 2018 at the Seward County Ag Pavilion at the fairgrounds in Seward, NE. The banquet is held during this time in honor of National Ag Week, March 18-24, 2018. The event kicks off with a social hour of wine and cheese beginning at 5:30 p.m. followed by a Prime Rib Dinner beginning at 6:30 and Awards Presentation beginning at 7:00. Mike Meyer, radio announcer, will serve as the evening emcee with Governor Pete Ricketts as the featured speaker. Cast Family Farms (Roy, Doug, David, Patrick, Nathan, and Dustin) will be honored as the 2018 Seward Kiwanis Outstanding Farm Family of the Year. Bill White with The Austin Company, will be honored as the Seward County AgriBusiness of the Year. Tickets cost $25.00 and can be obtained by contacting Shelly Hansen at the Cattle Bank at 402-643-3636.
Farmer Appreciation Open House will be held for the public at the York County USDA Service Center in York March 5-8 from 8:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m. The Farm Service Agency, Natural Resources Conservation Service, Upper Big Blue NRD, and Nebraska Extension will have informational booths. Light refreshments and door prizes will also be available.
Pruning Trees: Kelly Feehan, Extension Educator in Platte County shares, “With shade tree pruning commonly started in March, there is a general rule for when to start pruning young trees. After planting a tree, avoid pruning for a few years; especially avoid removing the lowest limbs. Leave lower limbs until they are about one inch in diameter. It is fine to remove double leaders and dead or damaged branches at planting, but otherwise avoid pruning newly planted trees for about three years. From four to ten years after planting is the most important time for pruning young trees to develop a strong branching structure and to remove branches when small. Ideally, prune branches before they reach two to four inches in diameter. Smaller wounds seal and callus over quicker than large wounds and more efficiently produce chemical walls that prevent the spread of decay within a tree. It is important to avoid pruning too much at any one time so remove a few branches each year.”