Monthly Archives: January 2023
January just flew by! Sharing upcoming February events.
Friday Conversations-Focus on Nutrients: These meetings will all be held 10 a.m.-Noon on Feb. 3, 10, and 24 in the 4-H Bldg in York. I started Friday in February conversations last year, and attendees shared to continue them. My goal is to connect farmers and ag industry to share practical info. on what is working and hasn’t worked around specific topics in their operations. These are informal meetings where I’ve asked some farmers to start the conversation and it builds from there. Last year the focus was on cover crops. This year, it’s around nutrient management. Please join us if interested for a time of connection, conversation, and learning! RSVP isn’t required but helps me with preparing (402-362-5508 or email@example.com). Topics include:
- Feb. 3: Understanding the soil microbiome (featuring Dr. Rhae Drijber, UNL soil microbiologist). Discussion around soil microbes and our expectations of what they can/can’t do.
- Feb. 10: Rethinking Grazing-Strategies for nutrient distribution. Producers share how they graze cornstalks, cover crops, pastures for the purpose of better nutrient distribution & value of this.
- Feb. 24: Nutrient balancing in conventional, regen, and organic systems. What does the term ‘nutrient balance’ mean to you, what does that look like, and how does one achieve it?
Feb. 9 Eastern NE Soil Health Conference is back at the Eastern NE R&E Center near Mead from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. (Registration at 8:30 a.m.). Topics include: Rediversifying crop rotations via Marshall McDaniel, ISU; Chad Dane (Clay Co. Farmer) and Jay Goertzen (York Co. Farmer) will share their experiences after 3 and 4 years interseeding cover crops into early season corn/soybeans on a farmer panel with me; Mary Drewnoski will share practical tips for selecting and grazing forage cover crops; A farmer panel will share on diversifying and intensifying crop rotations (Angela Knuth (Saunders County), Garret Ruskamp (Cuming County), Kyle Riesen (Jefferson County), and Haldon Fugate (Gage County) moderated by Nathan Mueller, NE Extension; and emerging topics will include biochar, kernza, and what’s new in the cover crop industry. There’s no charge, RSVP to: https://go.unl.edu/z7rx.
On-Farm Research Updates: They’re my favorite because the farmers share about research conducted on their own farms. If you haven’t attended in awhile, the York meeting has been designed around conversation with the goals of connection and learning from each other. Come hear farmers share their experiences on production practices such as soybean rates and maturities, nutrient management studies, cover crops, and products such as Pivot Bio PROVEN, Source N, and Xyway. There’s no charge, but RSVP is required for meal planning: https://go.unl.edu/2023ofr. All locations begin at 9 a.m. (Reg. at 8:30 a.m.). Locations: York (Feb. 15, Holthus Convention Center); Beatrice (Feb. 16, Holiday Inn); Fremont (Feb. 17, Extension Office); North Platte (Mar. 1 West Central REEC); Kearney (Mar. 2, Extension Office).
Certification Trainings Dates for programs listed below are listed at: https://jenreesources.com/upcoming-events/
- Pesticide Trainings: For those who have missed pesticide trainings, I still have some left in Geneva, Deshler, York, David City, Seward.
- Chemigation: I failed to remind people we were doing chemigation trainings last week in our area. If you still need this, you can do this online or attend in-person in Aurora, Central City, Grand Island, Columbus, Lincoln, or Beatrice.
- RUP Dicamba training is no longer provided by Extension. You need to take the trainings provided by the companies. Direct links at: https://jenreesources.com/upcoming-events/
Additional Meetings: Feb. 14 is the Ag Update in Central City with a focus on drought and water; Feb. 23-24 is Women in Ag in Kearney; and the Central Plains Irrigation Conference is in Kearney on Feb. 28-Mar. 1.
Balancing Species Protection and Soybean Production workshop on Feb 9th and 10th in Lincoln, NE. For individuals (soybean growers, crop consultants, and ag professionals) across Nebraska and Iowa interested in participating. This is an important opportunity to communicate the impact of the Endangered Species Act on ag production and to find solutions that work for farmers and the species in our communities. Goal is to bring together a diverse group of stakeholders to discuss the impacts of national pesticide decisions on a local level and identify the potential consequences and co-benefits of conservation practices for pesticide mitigation measures, endangered species protections, and soil and water conservation. Discuss current ag productivity stressors and listed species needs to work towards developing local adaptive management solutions that can ultimately feed into national pesticide decisions. Having these conversations at a local level can potentially provide greater flexibility in managing new or emerging production issues. Please email Dr. Justin McMechan by Feb. 2 if you’re interested in attending or have comments to share: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Many farmers are interested in finding ways to grow the same or more bushels with less inputs. Nebraska On-Farm Research has been working with farmers to test different studies, including nutrient management ones, on their farms since the 1990’s. Area on-farm research cooperators and I started the 2022 season with 35 studies, but only 15 made it to harvest with the hail.
While there’s numerous nutrient management studies throughout Nebraska, I’ll focus on local data. Since 2020, one farmer in the Henderson area has been testing nitrogen rate and timing studies. Fields were impacted by July 9 windstorms in 2020 and 2021 and the June 14 hailstorms in 2022. His goals include testing any benefits (yield and nitrogen carryover) to split applying nitrogen vs. applying it mostly up front, and also testing his nitrogen rate vs. +/- 50 lb N/ac. He’s currently amassed 7 site-years worth of data of which only 3 have shown a difference when reducing his grower rate by 50 lb N/ac. For reference, the soil type is silty clay loam/silt loams and his yield goal is around 240 bu/ac. These studies received partial sponsorship from the Upper Big Blue NRD. All the data is shown in charts at jenreesources.com.
In 2022, his nitrogen timing study was conducted on the same strips as in 2021. This study looked at spring vs. split application of nitrogen at 50 lb rate differences. Treatments were: Spring anhydrous of 180 lb N/ac, Spring anhydrous of 230 lb N/ac, Split 180 (120 lb N as spring anhydrous + 60 lb 32% UAN sidedress), and Split 230 (170 lb N as spring anhydrous + 60 lb as 32% UAN sidedress). The field received 35% hail damage at V5 with harvest stands reduced to around 23,000 plants/ac. Yields from the four treatments listed above respectively: 226, 229, 227, and 230 bu/ac with no yield differences amongst the treatments. In 2021, on the same strips of spring vs. split, treatments of 140 vs. 190 lb N/ac were compared. There again were no yield differences with yields ranging from 235-237 in 2021.
In 2022, he also conducted a study testing the economically optimum nitrogen rate on irrigated corn. The previous crop was soybean and this field had 25% hail damage at V6 on June 14, reducing harvest stands to an average of 23,500 plants/ac. Fall anhydrous in November 2021 was applied at rates of 0, 50, 100, 150, and 200 lb N/ac. All treatments then received a sidedress application of 50 lb N/ac as 32% UAN at V8. The sidedress was surface applied and didn’t get incorporated until a rain 10 days later. 2022 was a high mineralization year, but it’s still incredible to see that with only 50 lb N/ac, he achieved 211 bu/ac! The 100 lb N/ac received 222 bu/ac. There were no yield differences between the 150, 200, 250 lb N/ac treatments with respective yields of 231, 232, and 230 bu/ac. The economically optimal nitrogen rate was determined to be 121 lb N/ac for this field. Studies like this are interesting to show what our farmers are trying. They’re also helpful for examining and rethinking nutrient application rates and timing to our fields. If you’re interested in learning more, would encourage you to RSVP for our on-farm research update held Feb. 15 at the Holthus Convention Center in York at: RSVP: https://go.unl.edu/2023ofr.
Hamilton Co. Ag Day: Steve Melvin has put together great opportunities for the Hamilton and Merrick Co. Ag Days this year! Jan. 31 is Hamilton Co. Ag Day at Fairgrounds in Aurora with registration at 9 a.m. and program beginning at 9:30 a.m. with Corn and USDA updates. Additional morning topics include corn and soybean insect and disease updates and irrigation scheduling info. Lunch is sponsored by AKRS equipment. The afternoon is focused on a Farm/Ranch Transition Succession Workshop with Al Vyhnalek, UNL Farm succession specialist and Tom Fehringer, Attorney. I’ve heard a lot of farm succession speakers and this duo of Al and Tom is extra helpful. They are so practical and share in a way that is easily understandable and relatable. I could relate to the family stories they shared and have seen some people in tears for two main reasons: wishing they had heard the info. earlier and also grateful they had the info. now to change things for the future. Please consider attending!
2020 York County Spring Anhydrous Nitrogen Rate on Corn
This study essentially showed what the previous studies had: that less nitrogen can be applied without hurting yield or net return. 50 lb/ac N above the grower rate resulted in reduced profit. Field yields were impacted by the July 9, 2020 wind storm. This study is sponsored in part by the UBBNRD.
|Pre-Plant||In-season||lbs N/bu grain||Yield||Marginal Net Return|
|110 lb N/ac spring NH3 (March)||25 lb N/ac as UAN May||0.73 C||184 A||$599.14 A|
|160 lb N/ac spring NH3 (March)||25 lb N/ac as UAN May||0.98 B||189 A||$600.38 A|
|210 lb N/ac spring NH3 (March)||25 lb N/ac as UAN May||1.23 A||191 A||$594.88 A|
2020 Hamilton County Evaluating Nitrogen Rate and Timing on Corn
This study showed no difference in nitrogen timing nor rate on yield and showed less nitrogen can be applied without impacting yield. Yields were impacted by the July 9, 2020 windstorm. This study is sponsored in part by the UBBNRD.
|Pre-Plant||In-season||lbs N/bu grain||Yield||Marginal Net Return|
|180 lb N/ac Fall NH3||25 lb N/ac as UAN May||1.03 B||199 A||$629.85 A|
|230 lb N/ac Fall NH3||25 lb N/ac as UAN May||1.27 A||201 A||$625.49 A|
|180 lb N/ac Spring NH3||25 lb N/ac as UAN May||1.02 B||201 A||$638.30 A|
|230 lb N/ac Spring NH3||25 lb N/ac as UAN May||1.24 A||206 A||$641.70 A|
|120 lb/ac N Spring NH3||25 lb N/ac as UAN May|
60 lb N/ac side-dress V8
|1.00 B||205 A||$645.69 A|
|170 lb/ac N Spring NH3||25 lb N/ac as UAN May|
60 lb N/ac side-dress V8
|1.24 A||206 A||$633.50 A|
2021 Hamilton County Spring Anhydrous N Rate Study
This study showed no reduction in yield of grower rate vs. 50 lb N/ac under the rate; however, the yield from the -50 lb rate treatment was different from the 50+ rate. There were no differences in marginal net return. This field received 20% wind damage from July 9, 2021 storm. Partially sponsored by UBBNRD.
2021 York County Spring Anhydrous N Rate Study
This study showed no yield difference between the grower rate and 50 lb N/ac over the grower rate but they yielded significantly more than the 50 lb N/ac under treatment and had greater marginal net return. This field received 20% wind damage from July 9, 2021 storm. Study partially sponsored by UBBNRD.
2021 York County Timing by N Rate Study
(Sponsored in part by UBBNRD)
Spring 140 lb/ac: 110 lb/ac N as anhydrous and 30 lb/ac N with herbicide
Spring 190 lb/ac: 160 lb/ac N as anhydrous and 30 lb/ac N with herbicide
Split 140 lb/ac: 50 lb/ac N as anhydrous, 30 lb/ac N with herbicide, and 60 lb/ac N sidedressed at V8
Split 190 lb/ac: 100 lb/ac N as anhydrous, 30 lb/ac N with herbicide, and 60 lb/ac N sidedressed at V8
2022 York County Timing by N Rate Study (same strips as 2021)
(Sponsored in part by UBBNRD)
35% hail damage on June 14, 2022 at V5
Spring 180 lb/ac: 180 lb/ac N as anhydrous
Spring 230 lb/ac: 160 lb/ac N as anhydrous and 30 lb/ac N with herbicide
Split 180 lb/ac: 120 lb/ac N as anhydrous and 60 lb/ac N sidedressed at V8
Split 230 lb/ac: 170 lb/ac N as anhydrous and 60 lb/ac N sidedressed at V8
2022 Economically Optimum Nitrogen Rate
(Sponsored in part by UBBNRD)
25% hail damage on June 14, 2022 at V6
Treatments: Fall anhydrous applied November 2021. Sidedress application of 50 lb N/ac 32% UAN at V8.
50 lb N/ac (0 lb anhydrous, 50 lb sidedress)
100 lb N/ac (50 lb anhydrous, 50 lb sidedress)
150 lb N/ac (100 lb anhydrous, 50 lb sidedress)
200 lb N/ac (150 lb anhydrous, 50 lb sidedress)
250 lb N/ac (200 lb anhydrous, 50 lb sidedress)
Ag Conference: Thank you to everyone with the York Chamber, Holthus Convention Center, Chamber Ag Committee and Ambassadors, York Visitors Bureau, Sponsors, Vendors, Newspaper and Radio for all their work and help with the York Ag Conference last week! It takes a great team to pull off a successful event. Several individuals were very helpful to me with the pesticide certification trainings; I’m grateful to each of you for your help! Grateful for all the farmers who attended and it was great to catch up with several of you!
Crop Production Clinic Clarification: Both commercial and non-commercial applicators in the ag plant and research and demonstration categories can renew at any of the crop production clinics. The York clinic is reformatted compared to the other clinics, but recertification can be received at any CPC. You can pre-register or walk-in that day for same cost. Info: https://agronomy.unl.edu/cpc.
This week I’ll share on soybean production studies. Our on-farm research update with farmers sharing their results will be Feb. 15 at the Holthus Convention Center in York. Pre-registration at: https://go.unl.edu/3j8q. Grateful for all the cooperators who work with me via on-farm research!
Soybean Seeding Rates: A first-year cooperator from the Utica area chose a soybean seeding rate study of 100,000 vs. 130,000 vs. 160,000 seeds/ac. He planted April 18 with NK 28-T3XF strip-tilled into corn. I started emergence counts May 9 when cotyledons had pulled just above the soil surface. 68% of the 130K, 52% of the 160K, and 48% of the 100K had emerged on Day 1. By Day 9 when I took the last counts, 95% of the 160K, 93% of the 130K, and 94% of the 100K had emerged. The May 22 frost with heavy residue reduced stands in areas of the field down to 35,000 plants/ac. The farmer decided not to replant a large portion of the field including where I had taken these initial emergence counts. This field missed the June 14 hail. The data shared doesn’t include the areas of the field down to 35K. At harvest, 81% of 160K (129,000 plants/ac), 79% of the 130K (103,000 plants/ac), and 86% of the 100K (86,000 plants/ac) remained. There were no yield differences with the 100K yielding 71 bu/ac, 130K yielding 72 bu/ac, and 160K yielding 73 bu/ac. The study results follow 17 years-worth of on-farm research results showing no yield loss when reducing seeding rates of 160-180K down to 120-140K in heavier textured soils. Our Nebraska data also shows that soybean planting rates of 80,000 to 120,000 seeds/ac resulted in the highest profitability.
Soybean Maturity Studies: Seth Naeve, University of Minnesota shared that compared to lower yielding varieties, highest yielding varieties produce between 20 to 40% greater yields. Thus, variety selection is the greatest factor for impacting soybean yield. Third-party information is limited in Nebraska. If there’s interest in a soybean grower plot in the area (particularly someone willing to host this), please let me know. Some third-party resources include: F.I.R.S.T Soybean Testing Program (https://www.firstseedtests.com/), and data from Universities such as Iowa State, K-State, South Dakota State, and Missouri. Seed companies have numerous locations with data. When possible, look at how a variety performs over multiple years at multiple locations.
We now have 13 site-years worth of data from Seward and York counties comparing Group 2 and Group 3 maturity soybeans. Reasons for considering a Group 2 variety in our area include spreading out harvest, opportunity for planting cover crops for greater fall growth, and spreading risk from weather events. In 10 of the 13 site-years, there were no yield differences between high-yielding Group 2 and 3 varieties when planted mid-April to early May. In the other three site-years, the Group 3 varieties had higher yields than the Group 2 varieties. One reason was late season rains benefited Group 3 soybeans in non-irrigated environments in two site-years. In the gravity irrigated ridge-till environment, harvesting the Group 2 variety sooner may have helped reduce plants from lodging down into furrows that are difficult to pick up at harvest.
Happy New Year! This week I’m providing an update on upcoming January 2023 meetings.
Private Pesticide Applicator Trainings: This is the year where a number of us need to recertify. If you plan to attend an in-person training, please RSVP to the local Extension office in the county you plan to attend. Cost for training is $50, whether one takes the training in person or online. For those who are recertifying online at pested.unl.edu, there is an option that allows you to skip the training and go straight to the test if you prefer. If you fail the test, you are allowed to go back through the training.
RUP Dicamba Training is not being provided by Extension. Attend a training through Bayer, BASF, or Syngenta. Direct links to their training info. at: https://jenreesources.com/upcoming-events/.
Commercial/Non-Commercial Pesticide Applicator Trainings: For those seeking initial trainings, the easiest way to obtain certification is go to https://pested.unl.edu/certification-and-training, click on ‘commercial/non-commercial’, and follow the instructions for purchasing materials and signing up for a training class and/or testing location. For Recertification in Ag Plant (Category 01), please plan to attend one of the Crop Production Clinics (CPC) throughout the State. On Jan. 20th CPC in York, we’ve redesigned the recertification training to include hands-on stations including a sprayer, nozzle spray table, etc. We will also have the crop/soil/water room in York but we will not have the traditional disease, insect, weed sessions. For CPC full agenda, please go to: https://agronomy.unl.edu/cpc.
York Ag Conference: This will be held January 12th from 8 a.m.-6 p.m. at the Holthus Convention Center. It’s been redesigned as a one-day conference with ‘expert’ discussions on meteorology/trees/soil health/ag markets/autonomous ag, etc., farmer coffee chats, in addition to exhibitor booths. I’m hosting two private pesticide training sessions (9 a.m. and 1 p.m.) at the Conference and am requiring RSVP to 402-362-5508. Free ag appreciation lunch sponsored by Cornerstone Bank will be served from 11:30-1:30 p.m. There will also be a Celebrating Ag Happy Hour beginning at 3:30 p.m. sponsored by the York County Corn Growers. Additional major sponsors include CVA, Rural Radio Network, York Co. Visitors Bureau, Midwest Bank, York News Times, Kroeker & Kroeker Insurance & Real Estate, and Nebraska Extension. For more information, please visit: https://yorkchamber.org/york-ag-conference/.
Chemigation Trainings are for those who apply fertilizer and/or pesticide through irrigation systems. There is no fee for these trainings. They can be done online or in-person. Area in-person trainings in January include: Jan. 25 at 1:30 p.m. at Fairgrounds in Hastings, Jan. 26 at 1 p.m. at the Community Center in Davenport, Jan. 26 at 1:30 p.m. at Community Center in Blue Hill, and Jan. 27 at 9:30 a.m. at the Cornerstone Event Center at the Fairgrounds in York.
The Power of Negotiation and Communication is provided via Women in Ag focusing on women, but men are welcome to attend. It is a 4-part workshop held Jan. 18, Jan. 25, Feb. 1 and Feb. 8 from 5:30-8:30 p.m. Topics include: Lease Agreement Basics; Landlord/Tenant Relations; Negotiation/ Communication Skills; and Conservation Practices. Locations hosting include: Ext. Office in Geneva, Fairgrounds in Central City, and Ext. Office in Lexington. More info: go.unl.edu/negotiation.
York-Hamilton Cattlemen Banquet will be Tues., January 31 at the Holthus Convention Center in York. Doors open at 6:30 with cash bar followed by prime rib meal, entertainment, and recognition of honored guests. Rex Havens is the evening entertainment. He’s a former college professor who has made the transition to standup comedian. Tickets are $25 per person, or banquet sponsorships that include two banquet tickets and the business 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 UNL Extension Offices in Hamilton and York Counties.