Author Archives: jenreesources

JenREES 1-20-19

Stress. We all have it in life. I didn’t really think about how stress can be good until my colleague Brandy VanDeWalle asked us some questions during her presentation at the Cow-Calf College. She asked us what we look like with good stress. Thinking about it, good stress allows me to be that much more productive in achieving tasks. I’m not a procrastinator, but long gone are the days where I used to color code my planner. My experiences with the military and being in Extension allowed me to give all that up for being spontaneous and flexible with the changes and deadlines placed upon me each day. So that’s me and good stress. We were also asked what we look like with bad stress. Many of us shared we tend to withdraw from others and be shorter/abrupt in responses than we intend. Weather perhaps plays a huge role in adding stress to lives for those of us in agriculture.

Research has shown each person has around 70,000 thoughts per day with 80% of the more repetitive thoughts being negative. Wow-80% negative! That blew me away. But they don’t have to be. Research also showed that taking a 10 minute walk reduced cortisol (stress hormone) in the brain by 50-70%. Even if a person doesn’t walk, taking a break can help. Last week we lost a couple of Nebraska farmers and my heart goes out to their families. The National Farm Medicine Center in Wisconsin tracked farm suicides during the 1980’s in the Upper Midwest and found that the suicide rates were 58 for every 100,000 farmers and ranchers. Suicide rates today are more than 50 percent higher than they were in the 1980’s at the peak of the farm crisis.

It’s so hard to know what others are going through; so often we wear masks. I’ve done this too. We’re all prone to much pride in life, especially in the midst of struggling. I challenge us all to do more in 2019. Let’s pay more attention to those around us, spend more time connecting, be more honest about our situations. There’s so many times a simple text, phone call, email, or visit changed the outlook on my day. Last week a farmer shared how the weather made for a challenging time with calving; a neighbor stopped by and brought him a slice of breakfast pizza. That simple act of noticing his struggle and taking time to talk changed his outlook. So let’s check in with each other more and have the courage to be honest about how things are truly going. There’s also a number of free resources for help including: Nebraska Farm Hotline – 1-800-464-0258; Farm Mediation Clinics 1-800-464-0258; Nebraska Legal Aid: http://www.legalaidofnebraska.com.

Economics: In thinking through options for lowering input costs, there’s several things that come to mind. Some may even be good on-farm research projects to test. One consideration with the new farm bill is the fact that there will be an increase in CRP acres. So, producers have a decision to make regarding potentially enrolling acres into CRP. And, if doing that, perhaps converting some land next to that area into an annual forage system is another option if you have cattle. I will go into the details of this in another column. We have had some guys doing this and it’s just another alternative to consider.

Reducing soybean populations without affecting yields has been proven via on-farm research for 12 years now. I’ve documented this regardless of what has happened in-season. We even had a York county producer who did this study in 2018 and raised 93 bu/ac with a final average stand of 67,000 plants/ac! And, for those with dectes stem borer, my observation has been that dectes doesn’t penetrate the stems as easily on these thicker stems in lower population fields. I don’t have any research, though, so if you’re interested in testing that, please let me know.

Common thinking is that max yield provides max returns. There’s some things like early soybean planting that I will always push for increasing yields. But otherwise, I tend to look at that statement differently and ask if we always have to look at max yields. What if we looked at maximizing economics instead? I realize a lot of seed purchases have been made. There’s some strong flex hybrids that yield really well in non-irrigated environments. A couple of farmers have also mentioned this to me. We’re curious what would happen if we put them under irrigation at lower populations. It could even be an on-farm study to compare a low pop (28K or less), lower input system to one’s current system with higher inputs. However, the question would be which is most economical in the end. Please let me know if you’d be interested in trying this.

I’ve also had a handful of guys mentioning they were interested in sorghum because of the reduced input costs. For those of you who I worked with during the last farm bill who kept sorghum base acres, I mentioned it may be wise to plant sorghum somewhere on those farms before the next farm bill because we never know what will happen regarding payments. We’ve learned in this new farm bill that there will be a payment reduction for any crop not grown in the last 10 years that you have base acres for. So that may be another reason to consider planting some sorghum for the future. If it’s been awhile since you’ve planted sorghum, there’s a free sorghum symposium on January 24 in Grand Island at the Extension Office. Registration begins at 9 a.m. and you can RSVP at: 402-471-4276.

JenREES 1-13-19

Thank you to all the committee members, sponsors, exhibitors, presenters, attendees, and media coverage of the York Ag Expo last week! Great to see so many turn out for the educational sessions as well!

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Packed room for chemigation training at York Ag Expo.

Farm Bill: I was extra pleased with the excellent questions and discussion with the afternoon educational sessions at the York Ag Expo. The following are the major changes that Dr. Brad Lubben, Extension Farm Policy Specialist, shared during the Farm Bill imag7264

presentation. Farmers will have the opportunity to make a new election for either ARC-CO or PLC for the years 2019-2020 (a two year decision), after which the decision will be a yearly one (beginning in 2021) until the end of the farm bill period. There’s more changes to the ARC program than PLC. For ARC, the primary source of yield data will most likely be RMA crop insurance data instead of NASS survey data. The 25% factor used to establish ARC-CO coverage by irrigated or non-irrigated practice is no longer in effect. Instead, a farmer can make a request to the FSA committee if not less than 5% of the acreage was irrigated or not less than 5% was non-irrigated during the 2014-2018 crop years. Coverage is now tied to a physical county regardless of administrative county. The plug yield in ARC-CO increased from 70% to 80% of the transitional yield. There will also be a trend yield adjustment similar to the Federal crop insurance trend-adjusted yield endorsement. When Brad showed what this looked like if applied to the previous farm bill, it increased the bu/ac in all the examples he showed. Thus, he speculates it should improve the ARC-CO benchmark. Regarding PLC, producers will have the opportunity to consider updating yields on farms. There’s a specific equation that will be used and because it’s focused more on the 2008-2012 period to help those farms most effected by drought, it may not provide a benefit to all farms. It would still be worth working through the equation just to make sure for your individual farms. The other change to PLC is the equation for the effective reference price. In 2014, several of us in Extension worked individually with you to help you through these decisions using decision support tools. Money was not provided in this farm bill to support the computer tools so we’re still waiting to see if they will be developed. We’re assuming they will be. Yet the decisions this time may be more straightforward with making a decision for the first two years followed by annually vs. the life of the farm bill like what happened in 2014. All resources and information can be found at http://farmbill.unl.edu. Regarding ARC vs. PLC decisions, Brad shared the following points:

  • Under stable, lower price levels, PLC support will kick in before ARC support for downward price movement.
  • Under modestly increasing price levels, ARC and PLC support may quickly disappear.
  • Under substantially higher prices, moving average price in ARC benchmark and moving average price in PLC effective reference price could rachet up support to near equivalent levels.

Survey: Every year in Extension we write annual reports to justify the work we accomplished during the year. Last week I shared a survey link to provide me feedback regarding 2018 efforts. Thank you for those who have responded; I appreciate it!!! The survey truly is anonymous. For those who haven’t responded, I would greatly appreciate your feedback on this short survey at: https://app2.sli.do/event/q2p1sedv/polls. A year ago I changed the way I did my email list and news columns. My hope is that the format is more beneficial for us all in spite of the extra time it takes me each week. I’m genuinely open to and desirous of your feedback. Also, if you’re reading this and would like to be added to my email list, please email me at jrees2@unl.edu and I will add you.

Crop Production Clinics and Nebraska Crop Management Conference: Thank you to all who requested via surveys, emails, or phone calls in 2018 that you wanted to see the Crop Production Clinic back in the area! You were heard and one will be held in York at the Holthus Convention Center on January 17th! You can see the full schedule at http://agronomy.unl.edu/cpc. The Nebraska Crop Management Conference in Kearney on Jan. 28-29 has the same topics as Crop Production Clinics with additional topics and out of state speakers. You can view the registration for that conference at: https://agronomy.unl.edu/NCMC. While I realize many of you attend CPC for specific reasons, there is an opportunity this year to participate in a university research study and be paid for your time. Simanti Banerjee, an assistant professor in the Department of Agricultural Economics, is studying producer behaviors in response to farm bill programs. The study will take up to two hours. Average earnings from participating in the study are expected to be up to $100, depending on your decisions and those of other participants. All information collected is confidential and your responses are anonymous and will not be connected to your name. You can read more and register to participate in this study at this site: https://agronomy.unl.edu/crop-production-clinic-study-consent. Looking forward to seeing those who attend the upcoming CPC and NCMC!

Merrick and Hamilton Co. Ag Days

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Cow/Calf College Moved

Cow Calf College moved to the Clay County Fairgrounds on January 14, 2019.

Views from VanDeWalle

With the government shut-down, the Meat Animal Research Center is closed, thus we are forced to move the Cow/Calf College program to the Clay County Fairgrounds. The Fairgrounds are located on the west side of Clay Center, located off of West Johnson Street. Registration is filling quickly, so if you would like to attend, please register.2019 cow calf college agenda

 

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JenREES 1-6-19

It feels like a long time since I wrote! Being burned out, I wasn’t ready to reflect on 2018 in my previous column. Perhaps some of you felt that way too? There were plenty of challenges for agriculture in 2018. Grateful for breaks. Grateful for a new year! Grateful for good new hires in Extension to help with the work load throughout the State! As I reflect on the past several years, thank you for your support as I’ve done my best to cover a lot of counties to the best of my ability. Grateful for the opportunity to serve Nebraskans via Extension and to enjoy this work! And while it comes at the expense of our farmers, I’m grateful for the continual opportunity to learn with every new crop/pest problem. I know a few of you have wished these problems didn’t have to happen to you so I could learn! Yet I do appreciate the phone calls to work through situations with our farmers and ag industry professionals. While each year presents unique challenges, I’m always inspired by the resiliency of our farmers and those in the ag community. Looking forward to serving you in 2019!

Short Survey: In Extension, we always need to prove that what we do in our work brings value to those of you we serve. Would you please consider completing this short survey for me to provide feedback, specifically regarding my email newsletter, news column, any specific way I helped you last year, and ways I can improve in my Extension role in 2019? All feedback is anonymous. Please go to the following direct link: https://app2.sli.do/event/q2p1sedv/polls or you can also go to https://www.sli.do/ and enter the code 7708. Thank you for considering this!

York Ag Expo: Reminder of the York Ag Expo this week! Hoping to see many people come out to view the exhibits and also come to the educational sessions. I try to train people to RSVP for all my educational events, but walk-ins are always welcome. Chemigation is on January 9th from 9 a.m.-Noon with Steve Melvin. Then come out and hear the latest on the Farm Bill, Crop Insurance decisions, and Farm Taxes from 1-4 p.m. from Brad Lubben, Cory Walters, and Austin Duerfeldt. On January 10th, I will present private pesticide training from 9 a.m.-Noon. Then come out for residue and manure management from 1-4 p.m. with Mary Drewnoski, Michael Sindelar, Tim Mundorf, and myself. From 4-5 p.m. will be the keynote speaker Chad E. Colby. Agribusiness after-hours from 5-6 p.m. Ag appreciation lunch both days and all exhibitors and sponsors can be found at: https://yorkchamber.org/event/ag-expo/. Hope to see you there!

RUP Dicamba Training: On the Nebraska Department of Ag website, you will now see the list of UNL face-to-face trainings, the link to the UNL online dicamba training, and a list of certified applicators who have completed dicamba training. I took the online course on Friday so I could better answer questions. This year, it allows you to take one of two tracks: presentations by Dr. Bob Klein or Dr. Greg Kruger. You are also welcome to take both for more information. There are instructions with screenshots on the online dicamba training webpage: https://pested.unl.edu/dicamba-training-instructions. Some reminders regarding this, the applicator’s name and applicator ID number need to be listed when registering for the online course. Last year we had some wives complete the registration for husbands and then the wives were listed as certified and not the husbands. This year anyone applying RUP dicamba must complete approved RUP dicamba training and must also be a certified licensed pesticide applicator. Regarding face to face trainings, I am not having a dicamba training during the York AgExpo, but there are many options available that can be viewed on the NDA website. For that training, you will need to bring your certified applicator number. If you are a new pesticide applicator who hasn’t received a number yet, you will put ‘pending’.

York-Hamilton Cattlemen’s Banquet: The York-Hamilton County Cattlemen are planning their 71ST Annual Cattlemen’s Banquet for Tuesday January 29, 2019 at the Holthus Convention Center in York. Dave Thorell of Loomis, NE will be the featured entertainment. Dave Thorell is a regionally known speaker, avid agriculture advocate, humorist, story teller and was the voice of Agriculture News for over forty years on KRVN Radio.  Thorell was elected into the Nebraska Broadcaster Hall of Fame. The Cattlemen will also recognize Rich Pearson of Hordville and Allen Roehrs of Bradshaw as Honored Guests for the evening for their contributions to the area livestock industry and the Cattlemen’s Association. The evening starts at 6:30 with social time, a Prime Rib meal at 7:00 with entertainment and recognition of honored guests to follow. Cattlemen’s Banquet tickets are $25 per person. Sponsorships are also available that include two banquet tickets and recognition at the banquet for $150.  Cattlemen’s Banquet tickets can be purchased from any of the York-Hamilton County Cattlemen’s Directors including Brian Blase of Hordville; Brock Ekhoff and Terry Ross of Aurora; Jeff Underwood of Exeter; Allen Klute and Mark Klute of Hampton; David McDonald of Phillips, Jeff Meradith, Kim Regier and Josh Chrisman of York; Kim Siebert of Henderson, plus the Extension Offices in York County and Hamilton County.

JenREES 12-30-18

Happy New Year! The following are upcoming programs you may be interested in attending.

York Ag Expo: Hope to see you at this year’s York Ag Expo at the Holthus Convention Center in York January 9 and 10th! The list of sponsors and exhibitors can be viewed at: https://yorkchamber.org/event/ag-expo/. Educational sessions are being offered again at the Expo. On January 9th, Chemigation training (both initial and recertification) will begin at 9 a.m. There is no charge and please bring a calculator with you. If you are coming for initial training, I’d recommend you get the materials before-hand to look through and you can receive them from the Extension Office. At 1 p.m., Brad Lubben, Cory Walters, and Austin Duerfeldt with UNL will share the latest on the Farm Bill, Crop Insurance decisions, and Farm Tax information. Farm Credit Services of America will also share information. On January 10th, I will have a private pesticide training session at 9 a.m. Please bring your barcode letter from NDA if you have it and the cost is $40. Then at 1 p.m., Mary Drewnoski, Michael Sindelar, and I will discuss residue removal considerations via baling and grazing. Tim Mundorf with Central Valley Ag (CVA) will be sharing on the value of manure as well. At 4 p.m. on Thursday the 10th, Chad E. Colby, Ag Technologist and well known on Ag Twitter, will be the keynote speaker. He is being sponsored by CVA. This will be followed by the Celebrating Ag Social Hour sponsored by the Rural Radio Network from 5-7 p.m. Lunch will be served both days beginning at 11:30 a.m. and sponsored by Cornerstone Bank. Hope to see you there!

Pulse Crop Expo:  There’s been quite an interest in pulse crops the past few years in Nebraska. Some growers are looking at pulse crops to change up labor requirements during the year, looking for a different market and price, or looking for another crop that allows cover crops to be planted and established after harvest.  To learn about getting started with pulse crops or how to enhance your existing pulse production, don’t miss the 2019 Nebraska Pulse Crops Expo January 7 at the Holiday Inn in Kearney from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Lucas Haag, northwest area agronomist with Kansas State University, will be the keynote speaker, presenting on field pea growth and development and management of field peas at critical growth stages. Other presentations include research-based information on production practices, tillage, seeding rates, and irrigation. The 2019 NE Pulse Crops Expo is sponsored by the SARE (Sustainable Agriculture and Research Education), the Nebraska Environmental Trust, and pulse crops industry partners. There is no charge, but please register by going to: https://cropwatch.unl.edu/nebraska-pulse-crops-expo-registration or calling 402-318-1124.

Farmers and Ranchers Cow/Calf College:  This annual program will be held at the U.S. Meat Animal Research Center and Great Plains Veterinary Education Center near Clay Center on January 14, 2019 with registration, coffee and donuts starting at 9:30 a.m. The program will run from 9:55 a.m. until 3:30 p.m. This program is sponsored by Nebraska Extension’s Farmers and Ranchers College and RSVP is needed for the noon meal. Speakers include: Welcome by Dr. Mark Boggess of USMARC and Dr. Dale Grotelueschen, Director of the Great Plains Veterinary Education Center; Mary Drewnoski with “To Graze or Not to Graze?  Factors that Affect Risk Nitrate Toxicity in Annual Forages”; Rick Funston with “Increasing Production Efficiency”; Brandy VanDeWalle on “Family Farm Stress”; Amy Schmidt with “Top 3 Environmental Considerations During Short-Term Cow-Calf Confinement” and Dr. Kip Lukasiewicz on “Animal Husbandry Strategies to Improve One’s Efficiency”.  Please pre-register by January 8th, to (402) 759-3712. Walk-ins are accepted, but may not get a lunch. You may also complete your registration online at http://go.unl.edu/farmersrancherscollege.  Remember, your contact information is required to be on the U.S. MARC property, so pre-registration is helpful and will save you time at the door!

23rd Annual Great Plains Growers Conference: This conference will be held in St. Joseph, Missouri on January 10-12 for anyone interested in growing fruit, vegetable, hydroponics, cut flowers for production. Topics on Jan. 10 include: “Cover Crops and Soil Health”; “Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) Grower Training”; “Hops Potential”, “Selling Local Foods” and “Honey Bees & Beekeeping”. Concurrent sessions on Friday and Saturday Jan. 11 and 12 provide more than 50 presentations on a wealth of subjects. In addition to presentations on conventional and organic vegetable production, there will be tracks on tree and small fruit production; organic and conventional vegetable production; season extension; greenhouse and hydroponics; cut flowers and technology for growers. A full program, registration information and more information can be found at the website: www.greatplainsgrowersconference.org.

JenREES 12-23-18

Wishing everyone a wonderful Christmas and time to celebrate this special time of year with family and friends!

With the re-registration of the restricted use pesticide (RUP) dicamba products, I’ve been receiving questions regarding the training and label requirements. Dr. Rodrigo Werle who is now a weed scientist in Wisconsin put together a really nice blog post to help understand the new buffer label requirements at: http://www.wiscweeds.info/post/dicamba-buffer-requirements/.

RUP dicamba training can be obtained at the Crop Production Clinics (CPC), Nebraska Crop Management Conference (NCMC), Approved Industry Trainings, Extension Trainings, and via an online course. It is not built into our private applicator pesticide training, but many of us are offering it as an option on the same day and at the same location as pesticide training. There is no charge for dicamba training (unless you’re taking it at a program that requires a fee such as CPC and NCMC). You have to be a certified pesticide applicator to apply RUP dicamba this year and you need to provide your applicator number for dicamba training.

All information from the Nebraska Department of Ag including labels, best management practices, list of trainings and list of certified applicators who’ve taken the training, can be found at: http://www.nda.nebraska.gov/pesticide/dicamba.html. The online dicamba training (available after January 1, 2019) and additional informational resources from UNL can be found at: https://pested.unl.edu/dicamba.

I’ve been thinking about these dicamba buffer requirements in addition to how heavy palmer and other weeds often are on our endrows. Research shows that palmer is sensitive to red and natural light in triggering germination. Research and observation have shown incorporation of a small grain helps with reducing palmer amaranth germination early in the season, and if taken to grain, delays germination till after harvest of the small grain. Chris Proctor, Extension Educator, and I were talking and wondered if we should consider incorporating a small grain into our endrows (especially in soybean fields) or possibly even perennial grasses for situations that would be a better fit?  I’m unsure how practical this is for every farmer or every situation, but in floating the idea with farmers as I’ve presented about palmer, it seems like it may work for some. We’ve seen from previous years the challenges with weather in being able to spray dicamba and herbicides in general. With the buffer requirements and the fact that endrows often have heavier weed pressure, I just wonder if we need to start looking at treating endrows differently. Would like to hear your thoughts on this and/or other ideas!

We also know from research at the University in Arkansas in greenhouse studies that palmer only took three generations to become resistant to dicamba. Considering three generations, it’s like saying dicamba is applied to soybean one year, corn the next year, and soybean again the following year with year 4 showing resistance developing. Dicamba is a great tool in our toolbox and palmer is perhaps our most difficult weed to control right now. Consider choosing which crops you will use dicamba on this next growing season and think through the next few years’ crop rotation and herbicide program on your different farms to help with selection pressure and resistance management.

Area Extension Dicamba Trainings:
  • Jan. 21: York County, 5 p.m., 4-H Bldg, York
  • Jan. 22: Thayer County, 5:30 p.m., Community Center, Davenport
  • Feb. 5: Merrick County, 10:00 a.m., Fairgrounds, Central City
  • Feb. 6: Hamilton County, 10:00 a.m., Fairgrounds, Aurora
  • Feb. 7: Seward County, 11:30 a.m., Civic Center, Seward
  • Feb. 12: Kearney County, 12:00 p.m., Fairgrounds, Minden
  • Feb. 14: Webster County, 12:00 p.m., Community Center, Blue Hill
  • Feb. 19: Franklin County, 1:30 p.m., Fairgrounds, Franklin
  • Feb. 20: Clay County, 2:00 p.m., Fairgrounds, Clay Center
  • Feb. 28: Nuckolls County, 10:00 a.m., Community Center, Nelson
  • Mar. 5: Hamilton County, 10:00 a.m., Fairgrounds Aurora,
  • Mar. 11: Adams County, 4:00 p.m., Fairgrounds, Hastings
  • Mar. 12: Jefferson County, 10:00 a.m., Fairgrounds, Fairbury
  • Mar. 13: Gage County, 10:00 a.m., Extension Office, Beatrice
  • Mar. 14: Saline County, 10:00 a.m., Extension Office, Wilber

JenREES 12-16-18

This year we’ve seen quite an increase in baling of soybean residue in the area. I’ve also heard this in other parts of the State. Soybean residue can be used for bedding, or for feed as roughage or mixed with distiller’s grains. In speaking with farmers and livestock producers, there’s perhaps a number of reasons why we’re seeing an increase in soybean residue acres baled this year. While we’re not short on corn residue, the late harvest delayed baling of corn residue for some and they were looking for another forage source. Hay prices have been higher this fall and continue to increase, making soybean residue a less expensive alternative. Some crop growers may also have been seeking added income.

Some colleagues and I addressed questions we were receiving in a recent UNL CropWatch article. Questions have centered around the value of this residue. I’ve shared in previous articles that approximately 1 ton of corn/grain sorghum residue is produced for every 40 bushels. For soybeans, it takes 30 bushels to produce 1 ton of crop residue. So to give an example, a corn field averaging 240 bu/ac would result in approximately 6 tons of residue/acre. In comparison, a soybean field averaging 60 bu/ac would only produce 2 tons of residue/acre.

In general, there’s not too much difference in the amount of nutrients removed from corn vs. soybean residue.

  • Corn (17 lbs N, 4 lb P2O5, 34 lb K2O, 3 lb S)
  • Soybean (17 lbs N, 3 lbs P2O5, 13 lbs K2O, 2 lbs S)

To determine the value of these nutrients, one would need to know the current fertilizer nutrient price per pound. Value also includes maintaining soil properties, which is harder to place a value upon. Based on the research, it’s recommended to leave at least 2 tons/acre of residue in the field to maintain soil organic matter. More needs to be retained for many fields to prevent excessive soil erosion and some fields should not be harvested. In previous articles, I shared our best management practices to consider for removal of corn residue. In the corn field example above, 6 tons of residue are available. Removing 2-3 tons of residue still leaves 50% or more residue on this field. In comparison, the soybean field with 2 tons/acre of residue at harvest is already at the 2 ton/acre limit to maintain soil organic matter. Regular soybean residue removal is not recommended as it is expected to result in reduced organic matter and increased soil erosion.

Soybean residue is a lower quality feed than corn, sorghum, and wheat residue. Forage tests show a range of 35-38% total digestible nutrients (TDN) and 3.9-4% crude protein; these numbers are less than wheat residue. For comparison, forage tests from corn residue ranged from 47-54% TDN and 4.5-6.5% crude protein (sorghum residue would be similar). The highest edge of those ranges would be similar to average grass hay.

USDA showed a price of $50/ton for soybean residue. Assuming 88% dry matter (DM), then that is $162 to $189/ton of TDN with 4% crude protein. In comparison, corn residue bales were $60 to 65/ton. Assuming 83% DM and 50% TDN, corn residue is a better deal (on an energy basis) at $150 to $156/ton of TDN with 5-6% crude protein. For perspective, good grass hay is $85 to $100/ton. Assuming 88% DM and 55-60% TDN, it is $160 to $205/ton TDN. A true economic analysis would take into consideration the residue removal costs, nutrient removal, and potential for soil loss (even though it’s hard to put a value on that). The 2018 Nebraska Farm Custom Rates shows rates for cornstalk raking and baling. Soybean residue removal numbers aren’t provided.

As a source of dry matter, soybean stubble is a low cost source for feedlots. However, soybean stubble is less valuable than both corn and wheat baled residue on an energy basis. The reduced feed quality and higher cost of the feed value doesn’t justify the economics of baling and feeding soybean residue for cow-calf producers. From a short-term and long-term soil productivity perspective, including for soil and water conservation, soybean residue removal is not justified for agronomic and economic purposes. Factors such as late harvest delaying baling of corn residue, higher hay prices, and opportunity to sell soybean residue may have resulted in more soybean residue baling this year.

 


 

Table 2: Farm custom rates for cornstalk raking, baling, and moving
OPERATION STATE AVERAGE
REPORTED COST
Shredding cornstalks $16.20/acre
Raking cornstalks $8.09/acre
Baling cornstalks, large round baler
(average 1258 lbs/bale)
$15.63/bale
Lifting/moving large round bales with tractor
(average distance 1.54 miles)
$2.85/bale

References

eXtension Article. October 24, 2008. “What is the comparison between corn stalk bales, soybean bales and milo stalk bales?

Nebraska Hay Summary. https://www.ams.usda.gov/market-news/hay-reports

Wortmann, Charles S., Robert N. Klein, and Charles A. Shapiro. 2012. Harvesting Crop Residues. Nebraska Extension NebGuide G1846.

York Ag Expo

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Successful Farmer Series

Views from VanDeWalle

My colleague, Tyler Williams in Lancaster County is again providing a series of programs for the successful farmer to start in January at the Lancaster County Extension Office or available online. All programs will run from 9-11:30 a.m. and be at the Lancaster Extension Education Center in Lincoln or can be viewed online at Lancaster.unl.edu/ag. A summary of the programs is provided below.

corn field Photo by Todd Trapani on Pexels.com

January 4 – Cover Cropping 2.0 taught by Justin McMechan, Extension Cropping Systems SpecialistPaul Jasa, Extension Engineer sponsored by Sustainable Ag Research and Education (SARE).
Session Description: Utilizing cover crops has been a popular topic for many workshops and conferences. This session will focus on the next level of cover crops beyond the basics. Justin McMechan will provide an overview of pest and beneficial insects in cover crop systems, as well as strategies and practices for mitigation the risk…

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