Monthly Archives: January 2022

JenREES 1/30/22

It’s been so great to see people at winter programs again and January just flew by! Last winter was different teaching via zoom and I’ve appreciated the interaction and discussions at meetings this year. This week sharing a few answers to questions I received and also a few additional February programs.

Weed Guides: For those who needed private applicator recertification, you were mailed a sheet of paper which shared how you can purchase a weed guide. On the paper it says that shipping is free, but I was told that’s not the case if you order it via Marketplace. In order to have free shipping, you need to mail the piece of paper with your $25 to the Pesticide Office via the address on the paper. For anyone who doesn’t need the 2022 Guide but would be ok with a 2021 Guide, please let me or your local Extension educator know and we can arrange for you to get a copy of last year’s for free.

Extension Meeting Updates: Just a note to please RSVP when attending Extension events as not everyone is as flexible as I’ve been! This helps for meals and also any covid requirements.

Update on Soil Health Conference Feb. 2: There’s now a virtual option. They are not allowing walk-ins, so regardless if you plan to attend in person or virtually, you can register at:

Reminder of Ag Update at Fairgrounds in Aurora this week on Feb. 2 which also qualifies for UBBNRD nitrogen certification credits. Registration at 9 a.m. with program from 9:30-4 p.m. RSVP: 402-694-6174.

Also reminder of my first of a series of meetings on Practical Cover Crop Management on Feb. 4th from 10 a.m.-Noon at the 4-H building in York. This week we will hear from Keith Berns on basics of how to get started with cover crops. We will also hear from additional farmers in how they started using cover crops in their operations. RSVP to 402-362-5508.

Feb. 8 Building Farm and Ranch Resiliency in the Age of Financial Uncertainty is the last of the Farmers and Ranchers College meetings this winter. It will be held at the Fairgrounds in Geneva with registration at 8:45 a.m. and program from 9 a.m.-Noon. The workshop will cover cash rental rates, land values, leasing strategies, landlord/tenant communication, farm and ranch succession planning and an overview of farm programs for landowners. There’s no charge and please RSVP to 402-759-3712.

Feb. 17 On-Farm Research Updates for our area will be held at the Cornerstone Event Center at the Fairgrounds in York from 9 a.m.-3:30 p.m. (registration at 8:30). Meetings like this, to me, are the most powerful as they provide an opportunity to hear directly from the growers who conducted on-farm research. Replicated, field-scale comparisons were completed in growers’ fields, using their equipment. If it wasn’t for these growers, often, I wouldn’t have the information I do to share on the various questions asked of me. Attendees will receive a complimentary copy of the 2021 Research Results Update book, which contains results from on-farm research studies, including studies on products such as Xyway in-furrow fungicide, Pivot Bio PROVEN, nitrification inhibitors, and non-traditional products. Production and technology studies include ones on hydraulic downforce, soybean practices, starter fertilizer, nitrogen rates and timing, crop models for N management, and cover crop and soil health. The Nebraska On-Farm Research Network is a statewide, on-farm research program that addresses critical farmer production, profitability and natural resources questions. Growers take an active role in the on-farm research project sponsored by Nebraska Extension in partnership with the Nebraska Corn Growers Association, the Nebraska Corn Board, the Nebraska Soybean Checkoff and the Nebraska Dry Bean Commission. Please RSVP at: GO.UNL.EDU/2022ONFARMRESEARCH. This meeting also qualifies for UBBNRD nitrogen recertification credits.

Farm Bill Decisions

Farm Bill: Been receiving questions on farm bill since before Christmas and just hadn’t taken time to dig into it till this week. Viewing charts is helpful to me, so I’ve added some to, including one from Robin Reid from K-State which is helpful in understanding how program payments are triggered. If you missed the UNL/FSA farm bill webinar, you can view it at: I am not running simulations this year and don’t recommend that you do it either. The Texas A&M tool is a very good tool, but it will show you a range of probabilities beyond what is realistic for this 2022 decision, barring some type of trainwreck. If you’d like to very easily see for yourself what yields and prices would be necessary to trigger program payments, download the spreadsheet from K-State (and I have an example on my blog):

Looking at any potential payments for the 2021 crop, projected prices are substantially above the PLC price payments for crops like corn, soybean, wheat, and sorghum grown in Nebraska and would take a 23-33% price reduction to trigger a PLC payment. They’re also substantially above (30-47%) the price and would take a 30-40% county yield loss to trigger ARC-Co. I’m unsure counties with more substantial wind damage from July 9, 2021 wind storm had enough county average yield loss to trigger and ARC-Co payment…and many may have chosen PLC corn last year with the prices at the time anyway.

Decisions for 2022 need to be made by March 15, 2022. For 2022, neither ARC-Co nor PLC would be anticipated to trigger for corn, soybean, wheat, sorghum with current USDA projected prices (which are just numbers at this time). K-State does a nice job of compiling the different sources of 2022/2023 MYA prices and updating them every month here: Different election decisions (ARC-Co or PLC) can be made for crops in different FSA farm numbers if you’d like to spread risk. Fields with higher yields would be more favorable for your PLC decisions.

A consideration for ARC-Co for corn, soybean, wheat, or milo would be if a county has a lot of non-irrigated acres and one anticipates a drought event in 2022. That may look additionally favorable if the county has the opportunity to split crops into irrigated and non-irrigated decisions.

For soybean, ARC-Co is potentially a little more favorable than PLC, but still most likely won’t trigger a payment. The Soybean MYA price would need to fall below $8.40 to trigger a PLC payment and below $7.84 to trigger an ARC-Co payment with an average yield.

For corn, the MYA price would need to fall below $3.70 to trigger a PLC payment and below $3.18 to trigger an ARC-Co payment with an average yield. Robin Reid with K-State shares, “Strong export demand currently would lead us to believe that PLC payments are unlikely, but again, much uncertainty exists. A farmer could select PLC for the downside price protection or, if they are optimistic that current high prices are here to stay, selecting ARC-County would give them a higher likelihood of payment if county yields are low. In the case of irrigated corn, the likelihood of a yield loss large enough to trigger an ARC-County payment is less, so irrigated base may lend itself more to PLC.” I would note, this is true unless the county has a history of major storm events which traditionally have impacted county average yields, thus making ARC-Co irrigated also an option.

For wheat, PLC has been favorable in the past, but current prices are well above the $5.50 reference price. And for sorghum, PLC has also been favorable in the past with a $3.95 reference price, but again, current prices are well above this.  

Bottom line, it’s not anticipated that either PLC nor ARC-Co will trigger program payments for 2022 at this time. I think many farmers would prefer good crops and decent prices. ARC-Co and PLC are tools for risk management and perhaps crop insurance tools will play an even bigger factor in managing risk for this coming year.

Courtesy Robin Reid, K-State.

Payments for 2021 are not likely for either ARC-Co or PLC elections barring major price changes or large average county yield losses. Slide via Brad Lubben, UNL.

Projected prices for 2022 to aid in 2022 election decisions. Again, it would take a major price drop or major county average yield loss to trigger payments. Slide via Brad Lubben, UNL.

This spreadsheet is great tool to very visually see just how much prices and yields have to change to trigger either PLC or ARC-Co for a crop in a county. In this corn example, PLC triggers at the reference price of $3.70. For ARC-Co, at that $3.70 price, county average yield would need to drop to 191 bu/ac to trigger ARC-Co. Or with higher prices, the county average yield would have to drop below 191 bu/ac. I think most farmers would prefer good yields and decent prices. The spreadsheet can be downloaded from K-State at:

February 2022 Events

It seems like January is flying by with hitting winter programming hard! So, with only a few weeks left, wanted to get some early February programs on your radar. But first, sharing a correction for York Co. Corn Grower Banquet on evening of Jan. 20th: the social time begins at 5:30 p.m. with meal at 6:00 p.m.

For those interested in growing or utilizing sorghum, there’s two upcoming opportunities. One Jan. 26 in Lincoln regarding using sorghum food products and another Jan. 27 in Kearney regarding sorghum research. You can view topics and register here:

For those attending Crop Production Clinics, just FYI that a weed guide is provided with your registration. Reminder Hastings Jan. 19, Kearney Jan. 25, York Jan. 26 and virtual Jan. 28. Register at:

Feb. 2 Soil Health Conference: For those who’ve attended the Eastern Nebraska Soil Health Conference in the past, it will be held at David City at the Fairgrounds this year. No details yet but registration starts at 8:30 a.m. with program from 9 a.m.-3:30 p.m. Registration at:

Feb. 2 Hamilton Co. Ag Day will be held at fairgrounds in Aurora. This event also qualifies for nitrogen certification credits from UBBNRD. Registration begins at 9 a.m. with program from 9:30-3:30 p.m. Topics include: updates from Nebraska Corn Growers and USDA, Understanding southern power’s pricing changes and options, Understanding on-farm solar and land leasing for solar development, Nitrogen sensors, Nitrogen inhibitors and sources for 2022, Ag water dashboard, and What’s been learned from interseeding cover crops. There’s no charge and lunch is sponsored by Aurora Coop.

Feb. 8 is Merrick Co. Ag Update at fairgrounds in Central City. Registration begins at 9 a.m. with program from 9:30-3:30 p.m. The morning topics are similar to what is being shared in Aurora. In addition to those topics, there will be a farmer-led session on non-chemical weed control options, Weed management in the Platte Valley, Land lease considerations for 2022, Irrigation scheduling from satellite imagery, and Effects of crop residue baling on land and animal performance. There’s no charge and lunch is sponsored by Archer Credit Union.

Practical Cover Crop Management: New this year, I’m hosting a two-hour series (10 a.m.-Noon) each Friday in February at the 4-H Building at York Fairgrounds. When asked questions, I often share that a specific farmer has tried a certain practice and share what was learned, but I often don’t know the specific details farmers ask about. So, my goal with this series is that you hear directly from farmers, build connections and learn together. I envision this series being applicable to crop and livestock producers, ag industry professionals, landlords, and bankers. Please RSVP at 402-362-5508 or

  • Feb. 4: Back to Basics: Getting started with cover crops is an opportunity for those who have never tried covers or want to learn more. Learn the basics of timing, rates, species, and when to plant for different systems. Learn goals and what has/hasn’t worked for different farmers.
  • Feb. 11: Termination timing including planting green is an opportunity to hear from farmers who plant small grains like rye and their experiences in terminating the cover crop prior to planting corn/soybeans or planting green and terminating the cover after planting corn and soybeans.
  • Feb. 18: Interseeding cover crops is an opportunity to hear from farmers planting cover crops into growing corn or soybean crops. Learn about herbicide choices, species selection, goals, and what has been learned.
  • Feb. 25: Reducing inputs with cover crops is an attempt to discuss numbers/economics around cover crop management. Hear how farmers are reducing nitrogen and chemical inputs by utilizing cover crops. Discuss how we can place an economic value on any soil changes.

JenREES 1/9/22

It was great to kick off winter programming last week and reconnect with people at the York Ag Expo! For those who attended pesticide training, please allow up to 3 weeks for the postcard with billing info. from NDA to be mailed to you. If you don’t receive a postcard in 3 weeks, please contact me or the local educator you received training from.

Two upcoming webinars of potential interest:

York County Corn Grower Banquet will be held Jan. 20th at Stone Creek in McCool Junction. Social will begin at 5:30 p.m. A supper of broasted chicken and roast beef will be served at 6:00 p.m. with program shortly after. The evening’s entertainment will be comedian Kris Covi. Kris is a Nebraska comedian who can be seen at events around the country and is known for his family friendly comedy. Tickets are $12/person and can be purchased from any York Co. Corn Grower director, the York Co. Extension Office, or at the door the evening of the 20th.

Nebraska Farm Income and Farm Policy Directions: Had several conversations the past week regarding farm income, bill, and thinking about the future. Dr. Brad Lubben recently wrote an article on this, so I’m sharing excerpts in the event you missed it. The full article can be viewed at:

“Farm Income: Using official state-level farm income data published by USDA’s Economic Research Service through 2020 and my projections for 2021-2024, net farm income in Nebraska is currently projected to be $8.1 billion in 2021, a sharp rise from the $5.3 billion estimate for 2020, which itself was up substantially from the $3.5 billion average over the 2015-2019 downturn. Stronger commodity prices since late 2020 coupled with reduced, but still substantial government payments led to the record income estimates.

“The record farm income levels may not last however, as forecasts through 2024 based on longer-term baseline projections from USDA and the Food and Agricultural Policy Center (FAPRI) at the University of Missouri pull Nebraska farm income back to the $5 billion to $6 billion range. An expected pullback in some commodity prices, a sharp rise in input costs, and a dramatic decline in government payments account for the drop in projected farm income.

“Safety Net: Looking closer at government payments provides insight on the role of the federal safety net as well as management decisions ahead for producers. Relying again on data from USDA’s Economic Research Service through 2020 and my projections for 2021-2024, the analysis shows government payments dropping from unprecedented levels in 2020 to minimal levels over the coming years.

“Government payments in Nebraska peaked at nearly $2.5 billion in 2020 as ad hoc COVID-19 relief rolled out primarily in the form of Paycheck Projection Program support and Coronavirus Food Assistance Program payments. That was more than double the payments of 2019, which itself was high due to the ad hoc relief in the form of Market Facilitation Program payments to combat losses related to on-going trade conflicts. Government payments dropped dramatically in 2021 as COVID-19 relief scaled back and they look to virtually disappear by 2022 except for the stable, predictable conservation payments of around $150 million per year.

“Amid the massive ad hoc payments over the past four years (trade assistance payments in 2018-2020 and COVID-19 relief payments in 2020-2021), the core part of the farm income safety net, namely commodity programs, have largely disappeared in relevance.

“Under the 2018 Farm Bill, producers had an opportunity to change their enrollment for 2019 and beyond and largely shifted toward PLC given the price projections at the time and the relative support of the ARC program versus the Price Loss Coverage (PLC) program. ARC and PLC payments in 2020 for the 2019 crop were substantial at more than $240 million (almost all PLC) but have dropped to around $50 million for 2021 and are projected at minimal levels going forward given current price levels and projections.” The rest of the article can be viewed at:

Figure 1. Net Farm Income in Nebraska

Source: USDA-ERS and author calculations.

Figure 2. Government Payments in Nebraska

Source: USDA-ERS and author calculations.

JenREES 1/2/22

Happy New Year! Wishing everyone a safe and blessed 2022! This week I’m going to share some info. on upcoming ag programs for the month of January.

The end of the year also means report time for those of us in Extension. Each year we need to justify the things we do in trying to help people with research-based information. If you would please consider helping me by completing this short 5 question survey I’d greatly appreciate it. Thanks!

York Ag Expo will be held Jan. 6-7 at the Holthus Convention Center in York. Thank you to all the vendors and the sponsors of this event! An Ag Appreciation Lunch will begin each day at 11:30 a.m. and is sponsored by Cornerstone Bank. Pesticide Training will be at 9:30 a.m. on the 6th and Chemigation Training will be at 9:30 a.m. on the 7th. Please RSVP to 402-362-5508 or if you plan on attending either of these.  

Crop Production Clinics are back in person this year with a larger number of locations to attend. The closest to this area are Beatrice on Jan. 13, Hastings on Jan. 19, ENREC near Ithaca on Jan. 21, Kearney on Jan. 25, York on Jan. 26 and a virtual option on Jan. 28. There’s still the pest management room which provides for commercial, non-commercial, and private applicator pesticide certification and the crop/soil/water room. We’ve also worked to create a few highly interactive sessions and will look forward to hearing feedback regarding them. You can learn more and register at

Cow-Calf College will be held Jan. 25 at the Clay County Fairgrounds from 9:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Registration starts at 9:00 a.m. This year’s program will be offered in a hybrid format through zoom & attendance in person. The 2022 Cow-Calf College will start with an in-depth look at eastern redcedar control in the morning. The afternoon will have updates by beef cow-calf specialist, Kacie McCarthy and a special presentation by Tom Field focusing on ways to engage youth in the beef industry.  

This year’s program provides flexibility. For those only interested in red cedar control, you can attend the morning session, which includes development of management plans, effective integration of management tools, and use of new rangeland monitoring platforms. Those interested in bull management and strategies for transitioning the next generation of beef producers and professionals, can attend the afternoon sessions. All the sessions will be offered in-person and available via zoom. For those attending in person, lunch will be provided for those who register by calling the Fillmore County Extension Office at 402-759-3712 or Clay County Extension Office at 402-762-3644 or online at To participate via zoom, register at

York/Hamilton Cattlemen’s Banquet is scheduled for Jan. 25, 2022 at the Holthus Convention Center in York. The evening’s entertainment will feature Greg Warren of the St. Louis, MO area. Greg is a standup comedian and was a member of the ‘Where the Field Corn Grows’ comedy tour. The evening starts at 6:30 with a cash bar, a Prime Rib meal at 7:00 with entertainment and recognition of honored guests to follow. Tickets are $25 per person, or banquet sponsorships that include two banquet tickets and recognition at the banquet are available for $150. Cattlemen’s Banquet tickets can be purchased from any of the York-Hamilton County Cattlemen’s Directors or at the Extension Offices in Hamilton and York Counties.

Also, save the date for York County Corn Growers Banquet on the evening of Jan. 20, 2022. Additional details to follow.

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