Monthly Archives: November 2022
Hope you had a blessed Thanksgiving! With the end of harvest begins winter meeting season. Sharing this week on some upcoming December events that my colleagues are hosting.
Dec. 1: Solar Electric for Farms, Homes and Businesses will be held from 6-8 p.m. at the Lancaster Co. Extension Office in Lincoln. It will also be held on Dec. 15 from 6-8 p.m. at the Fairgrounds in Central City. This workshop is for homeowners, farmers, and business owners who are interested in exploring solar PV systems. The workshop will help you decide if solar is right for you by learning about how systems work, safety, the value of electricity, value of incentives, and how to evaluate quotes from installers. Cost is $10. More info and registration at: https://go.unl.edu/solarworkshops2022.
Dec. 8: Farmers and Ranchers College will kick off with its traditional program featuring Dr. David Kohl. Registration will start at 12:45 p.m. and the program will start at 1 p.m. at the Opera House in Bruning, Nebraska. The program is titled, “Agriculture Today: New Era of Prosperity or Temporary Opportunity?”. Dr. Kohl is always a popular speaker. Don’t miss out on this engaging session that applies the big picture variables to your business, family and personal life.
Dec. 9-10: I mentioned this last week, but a reminder, Returning to the Farm workshop will be held Dec. 9-10 at the Holthus Convention Center in York. More information here: https://cap.unl.edu/rtf22 .
Dec. 14: The Confronting Cropping Challenges program will help producers make decisions for the 2023 growing season and they can renew their private pesticide applicator license. The program will be offered in five locations across northeast Nebraska in December. The closest location to this area will be held Wed., Dec. 14 at the Butler Co. Event Center in David City from 1-4 p.m. Program topics include tar spot of corn, drift management/boom sprayer calibration, and drought considerations. Attendees can join the first three informational sessions or if you need to renew your private pesticide applicator license in 2023, please attend the whole program. This training will only offer recertification of private pesticide licenses; those needing initial training will need to attend a training course offered in early 2023. The cost for the program is $10 if you are only attending the first three sessions. If you are being recertified for your private pesticide applicators license, the cost will be $60. The additional $50 is the same as you would pay to be recertified at a traditional private pesticide applicator training. Pre-registration online is appreciated but not required.
Dec. 15: In collaboration with the Farmers and Ranchers College, the University of Nebraska Lincoln’s Center for Agricultural Profitability has scheduled a hands-on workshop for Thursday, Dec. 15, 2022, in Geneva. This workshop is for ag producers, farm managers, bankers and anyone interested in learning more about utilizing the free online Agricultural Budget Calculator (ABC) for enterprise budgeting. The workshop will run from 1-3 p.m. at the Fillmore County Fairgrounds, 641 N Fifth St., Geneva, Nebraska.
Dec. 15: Nebraska Soybean Day and Machinery Expo will be held at the fairgrounds in Wahoo from 8:30 a.m. (view exhibits with program beginning at 9:10 a.m.) to 2:15 p.m. Alan Brugler will be the keynote speaking on “Tricks and Tools to Survive Drought, War, Inflation, and Long Tails”. Additional topics include: Farm transition or succession-there is a difference and Soybean stem borer. The Pancake Man will serve lunch. There’s no cost but the Saunders Co. Soybean Association requests each attendee bring 1 or 2 cans of non-perishable food for the food pantry.
I’m so grateful that harvest is mostly complete at this point! When so much of the crop was replanted in late June/early July, I wasn’t anticipating harvest to get rolling till mid-November for the replant crop. The early frost ended up being beneficial in that way. With Thanksgiving approaching this week, I realized how much I needed to take time and reflect on the year; perhaps you do too? I realize many want to forget it, but it can be healing to think through what one experienced and look for the positives amid the challenges. We ran from what seemed to be one issue to another which led to an extra exhausting year with minimal time to process. I’m not ready to share thoughts yet, but it has been helpful for me to reflect. Hoping you can take time this Thanksgiving to reflect on the blessings amidst the hard things. There truly are so many! Wishing you and your family a blessed Thanksgiving!
Thanksgiving resources: For Thanksgiving turkey prep, fun recipes, and family activities, check out: https://food.unl.edu/article/thanksgiving-central. En español: https://go.unl.edu/z7di. My colleague Brandy VanDeWalle also shares some gratitude research in this post: https://vandewalleviews.com/2022/11/04/gratitude-improves-health-well-being/.
Returning to the Farm Workshop Dec. 9-10 at Holthus Convention Center in York: Only 50% of farm families have an estate plan in place. Billions of dollars will be transferred in the next 10 years in agriculture. Does your family have a plan in place to ensure that assets are transferred the way you desire? Being in Extension, I’ve heard and watched stories of heartbreak when one generation passed and the next wasn’t able to farm or ranch on ground the way either generation hoped. It’s happened in my family and perhaps some of you have experienced this too? So much of this comes down to communication. Most of us don’t communicate well and sometimes we need tools to help. Legal tools can then help with putting communicated goals and desires into place.
I highly recommend this workshop! It assists families and agricultural operations with developing financial plans and successful working arrangements to meet their unique needs. It will guide families in developing estate and transition plans, setting personal and professional goals and improving the communication process between family members. Sometimes the greatest barriers in life are our ability to communicate effectively with each other. As I’ve sat in the room during these workshops, I’ve watched barriers break down as different members listened long enough to learn what another person was saying (or not saying). I’ve watched a neutral environment where hard things were discussed and honesty was shared.
It really is intended for multiple generations to attend together. My colleagues have families work through scenarios/questions as multiple generations set around tables…things like what happens if different people pass unexpectedly, what happens in the event of a divorce or remarriage and what does asset transfer look like if that happens, who is all included and who isn’t included, fair and equal and are they the same, etc. My colleagues share numerous genuine stories, both humorous and hard, to drive home points. And, I’ve watched the different families represented in the room become friends, bouncing ideas off each other throughout the workshop and staying in touch months and years later. The workshop fee is $70 per person which includes meals and all the materials. It also includes two follow-up virtual workshops in the evenings on Jan. 12 and Feb. 2. Registration is due by early Dec. With this opportunity so close and with the main speaker and farm transition educator, Al Vyhnalek planning to retire this coming spring, I truly hope your family can take advantage of this! More info: https://cap.unl.edu/rtf22.
This week, I’m sharing information I learned at last week’s weed science school. One thing that was new to me, perhaps I should’ve known it but never really thought about it, waterhemp is a shade tolerant plant! We talk about palmer being so incredibly efficient with sunlight that I never thought about waterhemp being so efficient in the shade.
Dr. Kevin Bradley, weed scientist at the University of Missouri gave a great presentation. He had three main points which I share below.
1-More complex herbicide labels: get used to new labels for the future. Those who read the new Enlist® label would be more familiar with them. The labels are based on hydrologic soil groups (determined by soil texture which influences water infiltration and holding capacity). Depending on those hydrologic soil groups, the land manager/applicator needs to meet a minimum number of credits specified by complying with various management practices. This is similar to requirements EPA was proposing in their review of atrazine. Kevin shared this appears to be the way new labels will be formulated for the future.
2-Integrated approaches for weed control: ones he mentioned included cover crops, robots, releasing sterile weed pollen, electrocution, flaming, tillage practices, crop rotation, and chemicals. He did some work with Weed Zapper™ on electrocution of weeds. It has a copper boom attached to the front of the tractor which electrocutes any plant it contacts with up to 15,000 volts. It does this with a 110,000 watt generator attached to the back of the tractor. He shared that it had the best application on weed escapes later in the season that were at flowering or beyond (as a seed control mechanism) vs. trying to control smaller weeds. It provided decent control of marestail, giant ragweed, and waterhemp but not palmer and grasses. His team looked at any impacts to seed viability later in the season. On waterhemp with viable seed, the electrocution reduced that seed viability by 67%.
He also shared on combine seed destroyers where companies are hoping to provide this technology as an add-on feature to kill weed seed. He shared Redekop™ has a deal with Deere in Canada while Seed Terminator™ is planning to work with all brands right now. In the south where there’s typically green palmer at harvest, he said there’s an issue with clogging when using seed destroyers but didn’t see that issue as much in Missouri. His team put cameras on the ground and on the combine to show how it worked and they also collected seed during harvesting. The video from the cameras showed around 30% of weed seed shatters prior to entering the combine header…so there’s a portion that will never have a chance to be destroyed. However, it did an incredible job of separating weed seeds and funneling them into the seed destroyer where damaged waterhemp seed exiting the combine ranged from 66-83%. Across the 7 locations over two years, fuel consumption was 3 gal/hour greater, engine load was 5.6% higher, and speed was 0.24 mph slower when the Seed Terminator™ was on. They saw a significant reduction of waterhemp in the soil. It just depended on if it took 1 or 2 years to achieve it.
3-Zero tolerance for resistant weeds was an interesting topic to discuss with the audience. Ultimately, he was sharing that we’re in a new era of resistant weeds in which plants are able to break down the herbicide at increased rates using ‘metabolic resistance’. I need to dig into this to better understand these mechanisms, but he talked about ‘target site resistance’ where weeds in the 1990’s-early 2000’s conferred resistance by overcoming a specific site of action so the herbicide couldn’t bind. Since 2010 through today, weeds are able to use ‘metabolic resistance’ in which they can confer resistance to other herbicides in same group and possibly to herbicides in other groups. No one had good answers on how to get to a ‘zero tolerance for resistant weeds’ but one thing we all agreed upon was that it would take integrated approaches in order to do so.
Fall Herbicide is one management tool besides seeding small grains to control winter annual weeds and marestail (horseweed); it may not be necessary for every field. It’s important to scout fields for current weed pressure. Also consider targeting fields that have a history of winter annual weeds or marestail. Nebraska research shows up to 95% of marestail germinates in the fall, so fall application can aid management. Most products contain 2,4-D and/or dicamba. Tank-mixing a residual herbicide with a burndown product will improve marestail control because the residual activity will control marestail emerging after herbicide application.
Some winter annual weeds also serve as hosts for pathogens like soybean cyst nematode (SCN): purple deadnettle (strong host), henbit (strong host), field pennycress (moderate host), shepherd’s-purse (weak host), small-flowered bittercress (weak host), and common chickweed (weak host). SCN can reproduce in the field on henbit and purple deadnettle. We have no research to show that a fall application helps with palmer even though some feel it does.
Regarding temperatures, Dr. Amit Jhala has shared the ideal temperature for applying most post-emergence herbicides is between 65°F and 85°F. Herbicides can be applied at 40°F to 60°F, but weeds may be killed slowly. When the temperature is below 40°F for an extended time after burndown, weed control will most likely be reduced, specifically for a systemic burndown herbicide such as glyphosate. Additionally, weed control may be reduced under cloudy conditions following an initial temperature drop below 40°F. With late-fall herbicide applications be sure to add labeled adjuvants to improve herbicide efficacy.
Frosts of less than 25°F usually cause leaf damage to annual plants, making them poor targets for herbicide applications; however, winter annual weeds may tolerate a frost up to 20°F and continue growing when conditions improve, with little tissue damage. After weeds experience frost, active growth may not begin again for a few days. Growers should wait until new leaf tissue is produced, scout the field, and then consider applying herbicide. Generally, this would be when nighttime temperatures are 35°F or greater and daytime temperatures are at least 50°F for two consecutive days. Additionally, sunshine is needed for plants to recover.
Grazing Restrictions: Be sure to check labels for any grazing restrictions if livestock will graze cornstalks after a fall herbicide application (I’ve added photos of the grazing restrictions from the 2022 Weed Guide on my blog jenreesources.com). If the label doesn’t specify and you want to be on the safe side, a rule of thumb is to use the pre-harvest interval for the amount of time to wait before grazing stalks.
Water Testing Kits from UBBNRD: The following is a small excerpt from the UBBNRD Blueprint newsletter on this helpful program for rural residents. For the full article and information, please see: https://www.upperbigblue.org/%E2%80%8B-free-water-quality-test-kits-offered-rural-residents. “Consuming water with elevated levels of nitrate-nitrogen can have significant health risks, especially for younger people. (EPA guideline for safe drinking water is less than 10 parts per million of nitrate.) Annual testing of your water is an important way to protect the health of everyone in your home—and a new test kit now available through the Upper Big Blue Natural Resources District makes that even easier to do. Thanks to a partnership with the University of Nebraska Lincoln, the Upper Big Blue NRD can now mail simplified at-home test kits to district residents for free. To request a kit, call (402) 362-6601 or email firstname.lastname@example.org with your home mailing address. The at-home kits are not as sensitive as having a sample tested in the lab, but they do provide a simple way to determine if additional testing is required to identify what further steps need to be taken to improve drinking water quality, such as installing a reverse osmosis filter.”
2022 Nebraska Ballot Initiatives are explained by Dr. Dave Aiken in this document https://agecon.unl.edu/2022-nebraska-ballot-issues and webinar https://go.unl.edu/n2pw.