JenREES 5/1/22

What a blessing to receive rain!!! That almost seems like an understatement with the joy several shared with me as rain hit different locations of the State. The benefits were huge for pastures and lawns, activating herbicides, helping with ammonia burn, helping germinate seeds. There’s also just something about the way the air smells and to hear it after it being since last fall since much of the State has experienced a substantial rain.

And, I realize the winds also caused damage to some buildings and hundreds of pivots on top of all the pivots damaged from wildfires in the southwest part of the State. So sorry to hear about all the damages and here’s hoping they can be fixed/replaced soon.

Free Well Testing: From May 1-31, any Nebraska resident can sign up for free well water testing for nitrate, nitrate, and phosphate in well water and surface water. For more information and to sign up please go to:

Food Preservation: Freezing Garden Produce webinar will be held May 3 from 7-8 p.m. To register, please go to: Freezing produce has been my go-to when I’m short on time!

K-Junction Solar Project Open House will be held on May 11th from 6:30-8:30 p.m. at Stone Creek Event Center in McCool Junction. From 6:30-7 p.m. will be an open community format. At 7 p.m. there will be moderated open Q/A with EDF renewable representatives. Food and drink will be provided.

Tractor Safety Training Courses will be held in late May and early June throughout the State. The first day of instruction can be taken either in person or online. The second day is a hands-on event including the required driving test. Teens 14 or 15 years of age who work on farms, or others who are interested in learning about safe farming practices are encouraged to register. Federal law prohibits children under 16 years of age from using certain equipment on a farm unless their parents or legal guardians own the farm. However, certification received through the course grants an exemption to the law allowing 14- and 15-year-olds to drive a tractor and to do field work with certain mechanized equipment. The closest hands-on training date is May 26th at Raising Nebraska, 501 East Fonner Park Rd, Grand Island (Contact:  Sarah Polak, 308.385.3967, The closest driving date is located June 9 at Adams County Extension, 2975 South Baltimore Ave, Hastings (Contact:  Ron Seymour and Twila Bankson 402-461-7209, For more information or to register, please go to:

Pasture/Range Management in Drought: A recent webinar shared how to trigger pasture and forage management decisions before a drought including animal turnout and stocking rates. You can view it here if interested:

Ornamental pears, also known as Callery pears, have been blooming. Kelly Feehan in Platte Co. shares, “If thinking of planting one of these white blooming trees, it might be best to reconsider. Ornamental pears have been a popular tree for white spring blooms, but this tree is overplanted and has issues with bark blasting and fire blight disease. More important, ornamental pear is on the Nebraska invasive species list; planting them is discouraged. The seeds of Callery pear are relished by song birds and small mammals who rapidly distribute them over a large area. If you want a white spring blooming tree, avoid planting ornamental pear and select a serviceberry, white flowering crabapple or Japanese tree lilac instead.”

About jenreesources

I'm the Crops and Water Extension Educator for York and Seward counties in Nebraska with a focus in irrigated crop production and plant pathology.

Posted on May 1, 2022, in JenREES Columns. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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