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JenREES 2-4-18

Dicamba Updates:  For those of you who farm in both Nebraska and Kansas, or have customers that do, the following is what is needed for RUP-dicamba training.  Nebraska and Kansas have a reciprocal agreement regarding private, commercial, and non-commercial applicator training.  Those who have a KS applicator license who wish to apply RUP dicamba in Nebraska don’t need to take additional pesticide training in Nebraska.  They do need to apply for a reciprocal license in Nebraska through the NDA and pay the $25 fee (private) or $90 fee (commercial/non-commercial) for a Nebraska pesticide applicator license.  There is no additional fee for dicamba training in Nebraska.  Kansas Dept. of Ag accepts Nebraska’s dicamba training with no further requirements.  Nebraska will accept Kansas dicamba training IF you can also prove you watched the NDA Nebraska specific requirements video.  Otherwise, it’s perhaps simpler to take the RUP online dicamba training from Nebraska or attend a Nebraska face to face session.

If you missed the UNL face to face sessions for your area, you can also attend Industry trainings which are upcoming and listed on the NDA website at:  http://www.nda.nebraska.gov/pesticide/dicamba.html (please refresh your browser).  And, you may wish to attend an industry training anyway depending on the product which you plan to apply to hear more about specific buffer requirements and ask specific questions.

Also, to be clear, anyone who has attended UNL trainings will not receive certificates.  Your proof of training will be to download the excel spreadsheet at the NDA website listed above and ensure your name is on that spreadsheet.  I’ve been asking that you give NDA 7-10 days before checking it with all the paperwork coming in right now.  If you attend a training and don’t see your name, please contact the trainer whose session you attended.  It may take longer for those of you who became new pesticide applicators.

The York UNL dicamba training has been rescheduled to February 16 from 10:00-11:30 a.m. at the 4-H Building at the Fairgrounds in York.  Updated FAQs can be found at this site (https://pested.unl.edu/documents/RUP_Dicamba_FAQ_2018.pdf) as we receive questions and verify answers with NDA and EPA (please refresh your browser for the updated info.)

Converting ground to annual/perennial forage systems:  For the past few years, some of you have spoken with me about converting a pivot to an annual forage system if you owned the land and had cattle.  We’ve worked through some economics and a handful of you have tried various options.  With current corn and soybean prices, I’ve received an increasing number of questions regarding this topic from farmers and ag lenders.  A team of Extension specialists including Dr.’s Jay Parsons, Mary Drewnoski, and Daren Redfearn are seeking your input into what they’ve put together for economics of example systems this coming year.  A webinar is scheduled for Tuesday, February 13th beginning at 6:00 p.m. CST.  To participate, you can click on the following url:  https://unl.zoom.us/j/827594794.  Audio can be through your computer speakers or you can also call in.  Full details regarding phone number options and additional information can be viewed at:  https://cropwatch.unl.edu/2018/economics-annual-and-perennial-forages-webinar.  The goal of this webinar is to explain economic examples for both annual and perennial forage systems using different classes of cattle and allow you to provide input into those numbers and ask questions.  For those of you interested in this topic and/or are already using annual forages/converted pivots to perennial grass systems, we’d greatly appreciate your input and please do consider sharing your insight!

York County Corn Grower Tour:  Gary Zoubek, Extension Educator Emeritus, has planned a great Corn Grower tour for those interested in attending on February 13th!  Please call the York County Extension Office at (402) 362-5508 if you plan to attend.  Attendees will meet at the York County Extension Office at 8 a.m. with travel to Lincoln at 8:30 a.m.  Tours in Lincoln will include Nebraska Innovation Campus (including Nebraska Innovation Studio (the makerspace), the Food Innovation Center, and the Greenhouse Innovation Center, home of the LemnaTec High Throughput Plant Phenotyping system).  Attendees will then tour Quantified Ag that developed cattle ear tags equipped with sensors to monitor the health of the individual as well as the herd.  Lunch at Valentinos will be followed by Campus visits including learning about biobased textiles, the Ag Econ Marketing Lab/Commodity Trading Room, and the UNL Dairy Store.  The final stop will be at Neogen labs that develops, manufacturers, and markets a diverse line of products dedicated to food and animal safety before traveling back to York around 5:15 p.m.  You can view more details and the full itinerary at:  https://jenreesources.com/2018/01/29/york-co-corn-grower-tour-feb-13/.

JenREES 1-28-18

Last week was the first week I hosted dicamba trainings. Socially I haven’t seen the divisiveness within conventional ag that I’ve observed around this topic.

As I showed the dicamba videos, I stopped on a couple of slides to make a few points that were true for our area of the State last year; some farmers thanked me for doing so at the end of my trainings. This column is going to focus on these points because they’re not being discussed and by not talking about them, we’re not sharing the entire story of what happened in Nebraska last year. Caveat: I’m speaking only from my observations for the area of the State I serve and my news column is not peer reviewed.

The majority of my calls still come from Clay, Nuckolls, Thayer, and to a lesser extent Fillmore Counties because we’ve built relationships and I continue to serve you till we have a new educator in Clay County. I received my first dicamba call in June. All but three soybean fields along the way to the field I was asked to look at were cupped for the entire field. There was drought stress in the area and at first I wondered if there was something environmental occurring. Then I started making phone calls as to what herbicides were applied to crops in the area. No one met me at the fields that day-I just spent the entire afternoon/early evening walking fields and taking pictures for a 20 mile radius. In my inquiries I learned numerous corn fields all had corn dicamba formulations applied to them; the soybean fields sprayed at that time only had burndown apps but not post-apps. I continued to look at damaged soybean fields for six weeks in 10 counties.

When we think about last May, it was wet, cold and windy delaying corn post

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applications. The first few weeks of June were very hot and humid and in my notes I mentioned “seemed like the whole countryside was spraying corn at one time”. Humidity may have decreased during the night and some felt light winds may have shifted directions some evenings. There was potential for increased volatility and temperature inversions and in discussions a handful of agronomists agreed that “herbicide seemed to hang in the air”. Palmer had gotten too tall very quickly and corn dicamba formulations went on hundreds of thousands of acres in the area-more than what we’ve before experienced-and, they did a nice job against palmer in most situations.

Much of what we see and hear is about the three now RUP dicamba products that were used last year. I’m not saying that damage didn’t potentially occur from these formulations. However, at least 90% of off-target movement I looked at primarily in Thayer, Fillmore, Nuckolls, and Clay started with corn dicamba formulations. I don’t know if that is the case in other parts of the State. I was able to determine the same thing in specific situations I was called out to in York, Seward, and a few central Nebraska counties. As the summer progressed, the soybean formulations came more into play and we were also finding 2,4-D damage based on samples sent to the South Dakota lab, which is also interesting. There’s fields I looked at that were affected by off-target movement twice and a couple even perhaps three times as the summer progressed.

Why do I say so much damage started with corn apps? When I couldn’t figure out what

dicamba text box

was occurring, I let the plants tell the story. UNL Research from Dr. Jim Specht says a soybean will produce a new node every 3.75 days. Research on dicamba shows that it takes 7-14 days for leaf damage to occur on susceptible plants. So I started counting nodes. I counted how many total nodes were on the plant and multiplied by 3.75 to figure out how many days old the plant was. I then figured out about the date of the trifoliate with the leaf cupping damage and counted back on the calendar 7-14 days. This correlated over 90% of the time to a corn dicamba product applied…and often several farmers or Coops in the area applied products so it was hard to tell where it came from. Most I talked to agreed to just wait till harvest because with whole-field damage, there wasn’t a good way to compare yields. There may be a better method and I wasn’t aware of others doing this till I started sharing it last summer in my news column-but it’s the only thing I could figure out at the time. I chose not to report the number of calls I received nor acres damaged as I was unsure how the information would eventually be used; thus, to answer the questions why on power-point presentations, the areas I serve remain blank regarding reporting when you all know we had large numbers of acres damaged.

Another point. There’s a number of ways that pesticides can move off-target including particle drift, through tank contamination, temperature inversions, and volatility. New research is also looking into movement on dust particles. If we just look at the potential for volatility, we know the three RUP products do not have ammonium sulfate (AMS) in them and it is off-label to add AMS. Research has also shown these three RUP dicamba formulations to be 50-70% less volatile than other dicamba formulations. There’s over 30 corn dicamba formulations registered for use in Nebraska; some have AMS in them or most allow AMS to be added to them.

Why is this important? AMS can increase the potential for volatility. In research from the University of Arkansas and from Purdue, soil was treated and placed in low tunnels between two soybean rows. The low tunnels were removed after 48 hours then percent soybean injury was measured. For example, adding AMS to Xtendimax (which is off-label but allowed for research purposes) resulted in a 20-30% increase in soybean injury due to volatility. The injury observed was similar to that of Banvel. The non-RUP corn dicamba labels allow for use of AMS while the RUP dicamba labels don’t. The label is the law and a legal document.

So what do we recommend for best management practices for corn dicamba apps? We’ve had numerous conversations within Nebraska Extension. I’m truly hoping we can come to some consensus based on the research that is known to provide BMPs for you in the next few weeks.

One consideration as we think about resistance management: UNL research found it only took three generations of spraying palmer amaranth in greenhouse settings before resistance occurred. One best management practice would be to not use dicamba in both corn and soybeans each year as it’s a tool too critical for us in managing palmer.

Ultimately, while I’m speaking of dicamba here, the overarching issue is pesticide applications in general and what off-target movement does to all sensitive plants and even what we’re breathing. I realize we can’t control weather. However, we all need to do what we can to always read and follow label requirements to avoid off-target movement of pesticides in all situations. To have another year like last year with great off-target pesticide movement may potentially impact pesticide applications in large ways in the future.

JenREES 1-21-18

Dicamba Questions:  This continues to be the main question topic each day.  Some questions I can answer for you:  Yes, the UNL training (whether online or in person) does certify you to apply RUP dicamba next year.  At the in person training hosted by local Extension Educators, you will only be viewing the same videos as the online training.  You will need to bring your pesticide applicator number found on your green pesticide card as you will need that at registration.  There is no fee for these trainings in our part of the State.  We aren’t allowed to answer specific questions regarding the RUP labels.  Please direct your RUP label questions to NDA.  You may also find it helpful to attend the specific industry training based on the product you intend to apply to answer more label-specific questions.  You can find all the record keeping, approved trainings, and dicamba certification list at the NDA website:  http://www.nda.nebraska.gov/pesticide/dicamba.html.  Extension is doing our best to put together Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) with NDA based on the questions we’re receiving-particularly when it comes to buffer questions and record keeping.

Nebraska Crop Management Conference:  Reminder this conference will be held in Kearney at the Younes Convention Center this week on Wednesday and Thursday!  Have received numerous questions regarding this.  You can attend either one day or both days.  If you need commercial/non-commercial/private applicator recertification, you can attend either day to receive it but you must take the recertification courses highlighted on the agenda (this part is like regular Crop Production Clinics).  The pesticide application recertification portion ALSO includes dicamba training, so attending that portion also allows you to be certified for dicamba training.  There is also the opportunity for chemigation certification in a separate class.  There are a number of additional topics that I’d encourage you to check out to determine which day you attend if you choose not to attend both.  You can still register and can view all the information at:  https://agronomy.unl.edu/NCMC.

Beef Profit Tip Workshops:  During the winter of 2018, Nebraska Extension will host 17 Beef Profitability Workshops in Eastern Nebraska counties to help beef producers evaluate their operations in order to make them more profitable through the latest research information. These workshops have been held across Nebraska for the past fifteen years.  Extension Educators will present topics such as Composting Livestock Mortality Carcasses, Mineral Nutrition, Grass Production, Cover Crop Production, Hay Storage and Hay Waste, Fencing and Watering Options on Crop Residue, Nebraska Fence Laws and others. Topics will vary based on the location.  The cost is $15.00 but may vary from location depending on local sponsorship. Please register three days in advance with the local Extension Office for the location you plan on attending.  Closest locations include:  February 8, 2018 – Fillmore County @ Fairgrounds Ag Hall in Geneva, NE at 1:00 p.m. Contact Brad Schick at 402-746-3417.  February 26, 2018 – Saunders County Extension Office at 1:00 p.m. @ ENREC near Mead, NE. Contact Kristen Ulmer at 402-624-8030.  February 28, 2018 – Saline County at 1:00 p.m. @ Lutheran Church Fellowship Hall in Wilber, NE. Contact Randy Pryor at 402-821-2151. All locations can be viewed at:  http://newsroom.unl.edu/announce/beef/7388/42220.

Master Gardeners:  Are you an individual who enjoys gardening and giving back to others?  Then you should consider becoming a Master Gardener.  Who are Master Gardeners?  They are people who love plants, and enjoy sharing their knowledge with others.  Training includes forty hours of classroom instruction in general horticulture, plus basic insect and disease control knowledge. After training, Master Gardener interns give back 40 hours of volunteer service in their community through a variety of activities including helping Extension staff with clientele questions, teaching youth or adult programs, and working in demonstration landscapes.  If you’re interested in joining Master Gardeners in York or Seward, you will need to complete and submit an application.  Sarah Browning and Mary Jane Frogge, Lancaster Co. Extension, oversee the Master Gardener program in York and Seward.  There are a few options for completing the program:

Option 1 – One year training program, weekday classes- 9:00 a.m. to 4 p.m. Classes are held from mid-February through early April, at the Lancaster County Extension Office, 444 Cherrycreek Road. Complete an application on-line at http://go.unl.edu/mgapplication, or contact Mary Jane Frogge for more information. Email: mfrogge2@unl.edu, (402) 441-7180. Program cost is $190.00 per person.

Option 2 – Two year training program, Tuesday evening webinars- 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Webinars are held from February 6 through March 13 at the York County Extension Office (RSVP 402-362-5508).  They are also held at the Clay County Extension Office in Clay Center (RSVP 402-762-3644). Complete an application on-line at http://go.unl.edu/mgapplication, or contact Mary Jane Frogge for more information. Email: mfrogge2@unl.edu, (402) 441-7180. Program cost (for new master gardeners) is $190.00 per person.  Application deadline – January 30.

4-H FEST:  Megan and Tanya in the York County Extension Office are planning this fun event for the whole family.  It will be held Feb. 18th from 4:00-6:00 p.m. at the Cornerstone Building at the Fairgrounds in York.  Enjoy FREE hands-on activities and carnival-style games while experiencing the variety that 4-H has to offer. The first 50 youth in the door will receive a 4-H prize! There will be pictures with Lil’ Green, inflatables, prizes and it’s all FREE! Concessions will also be available. Open to all York County families. (4-H is for youth ages 5-18)

JenREES 1-13-18

Winter meetings are going full throttle, as is the flu season, it appears.  Grateful for all

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Farmer Panel: Tyler Burkey, Kim Siebert, Scott Gonnerman, Paul Althouse, and Chad Dane (not pictured).

the speakers, farmer panelists, and distance technology that allowed speakers to present in spite of the flu with the AgExpo last week!  Also grateful to have those educational sessions and the good discussions for those who attended.  Thank you to all the exhibitors and everyone who worked so hard to make the Expo happen!  Lyndy Phillips gave a wonderful performance and his message was great for all of us… “laugh more, stress less!”.

Face to Face Dicamba Trainings:  Several Extension Educators have decided to provide one face-to-face dicamba training per county.  During this training, attendees will watch the same video series that you can view in the online training.  All state-wide face-to-face trainings offered through UNL will be posted at the NDA website at:  http://www.nda.nebraska.gov/pesticide/dicamba.html
Anyone attending will need to know your pesticide applicator number which is found on your green pesticide card.  Also, please be sure to check out this week’s CropWatch at http://cropwatch.unl.edu regarding several dicamba-related articles.  Area upcoming trainings include:
Jan. 22:  York County:  Cornerstone Event Center, Fairgrounds, York, 2:00-3:30 p.m.
Jan. 23:  Nuckolls County:  Auditorium in Nelson, 10:00-11:30 a.m.
Jan. 23:  Clay County:  Activity Bldg., Fairgrounds, Clay Center, 3:00-4:30 p.m.
Jan. 29:  Thayer County:  Community Center in Davenport, 5:00-6:30 p.m.
Jan. 31:  Seward County:  Civic Center in Seward, 5:00-6:30 p.m.
Feb. 6:  Kearney County:  Fairgrounds in Minden, Noon-1:30 p.m.
Feb. 12:  Merrick County:  Fairgrounds in Central City, 10:00-11:30 a.m.
Feb. 14:  Gosper County:  Fairgrounds in Elwood, 1:00-2:30 p.m.
Feb. 15:  Fillmore County:  Fairgrounds in Geneva, 2:00-3:30 p.m.
Feb. 22:  Hamilton County:  4-H Building, Fairgrounds in Aurora, 10:00-11:30 a.m.
Feb. 22:  Harlan County:  Courthouse meeting room in Alma, 11:30 a.m.-1:00 p.m.
Feb. 26:  Polk County:  Polk Co. Fairgrounds, Osceola, 10:00-11:30 a.m.
Mar. 6:  Webster County:  Webster Co. Fairgrounds, Bladen, 4:30-6:00 p.m.
Mar. 15:  Adams County:  Adams County Fairgrounds, Hastings, 4:30-6:00 p.m.

Farmers and Ranchers Cow/Calf College – Jan. 30:  The annual Farmers and Ranchers Cow/Calf College “Partners in Progress – Beef Seminar” will be held at the U.S. Meat Animal Research Center and Great Plains Veterinary Education Center near Clay Center on Jan. 30 with registration, coffee and donuts starting at 9:30 a.m. This program is sponsored by Nebraska Extension’s Farmers and Ranchers College. There is no cost; it does include a noon meal, which means that early registration is necessary to reserve materials and a meal.  Please pre-register by Jan. 23rd, to Fillmore County Extension by calling (402) 759-3712 or registering online at https://go.unl.edu/t38n to ensure a seat and lunch. Walk-ins are accepted, but may not get a lunch. 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!

The program begins at 10:00 a.m. with a welcome by Dr. Gary Bennett of USMARC and Dr. Dale Grotelueschen, Director of the Great Plains Veterinary Education Center. Brett Crosby with Custom Ag Solutions will kick off the event with “Ways to Optimize Cattle Marketing”.  Mary Drewnoski, Nebraska Extension Specialist will present on “One Size Does Not Fit All: Grazing residue with various classes of cattle.” She will talk about some of the issues many producers had this year with so much corn in the stalks and strategies for effectively grazing residue.  Lunch session will feature “Livestock Disaster Assistance Programs” from Fillmore County FSA Director, Ryne NortonThe afternoon session will start with Rob Eirich, Nebraska Extension Educator with the “Beef Quality Assurance Audit”. It is important to know how beef producers have done in regards to quality assurance and results were just released in the summer of 2017.  Dr. Kip Lukasiewicz, Sandhills Cattle Consultants Inc., will lead you through “Implementing BQA and Animal Husbandry”. A popular presenter, Dr. Kip is sure to entertain you while being right on target to address some of critical quality assurance issues that face beef producers. For our beef producers Dr. Kip will also inform participants on effective animal husbandry and stockmanship techniques.  A presenter panel will wrap up the event.

York/Hamilton County Cattlemen’s Banquet:  The 70th Annual York-Hamilton County Cattlemen’s Banquet is scheduled for Tuesday, January 30 (6:30 p.m. social, 7 p.m. prime rib) at the Holthus Convention Center in York, reported Gerald Peterson, Cattlemen’s Secretary.

The Annual Cattlemen’s Banquet will feature entertainment by The Peterson Farm Brothers of Assaria, Kansas.  The brothers Greg, Nathan, Kendall and their ‘honorary bro’ Laura started their entertainment careers by producing farming and agriculture oriented videos to help inform the general public about day to day farm life.  Since 2012 the Brothers have been producing videos, writing songs and traveling the Midwest with their Advocacy for Agriculture message.  Their first song “I’m Farming and I Grow It” received over 5 million YouTube views from over 200 countries in two weeks.

Kim Siebert, York-Hamilton Cattlemen’s President said tickets are $25 and are available from any of the York-Hamilton County Cattlemen’s Directors or at the Extension Offices in York and Hamilton Counties.   York-Hamilton County Cattlemen Directors for 2017 include: Brock Ekhoff and Terry Ross of Aurora, David McDonald of Phillips, Allen Klute and Mark Klute of Hampton, Jeff Underwood of Exeter, Jeff Meradith, Josh Chrisman and Kim Regier of York, Chad Hoffschneider of Waco, Brian Blasé of Hordville, and Kim Siebert of Henderson.

RUP Dicamba Training for Soybeans

My top question the past two weeks has been about dicamba training.  I just received the information regarding this training from our pesticide program coordinators.

First, to clarify some mis-understandings:  Dicamba training is required for those applying the following dicamba products:    XtendiMax®, FeXapan™, and Engenia®.  These products are all Restricted Use Pesticides (RUP) this year; thus, you have to be a certified applicator to purchase and use these products.  Dicamba training is not required if you’re applying dicamba corn products (unless it is the above-mentioned products).

Second, pesticide training of any kind is not the same as dicamba training.  Dicamba training is completely separate.  Having your pesticide applicator license does not qualify you to apply RUP dicamba in 2018.

Third, some have asked if everyone in the operation needs this training or not…specifically the person who is purchasing the RUP dicamba with his/her applicator license but is not the one intending on applying the chemical.  NDA says that, “Dicamba-specific training is only required for application of the product, not for purchase of the product.”

  • You need to be a certified pesticide applicator to purchase the RUP dicamba products.
  • You need to be a certified pesticide applicator and complete dicamba training to apply the RUP dicamba product.  So hopefully that helps clarify who in your operations need this training.

Your options for RUP dicamba training include the following:

  1. Nebraska Extension online training course hosted by eXtension. See the link at : https://campus.extension.org/login/index.php (1.25-1.5 hours).
  2. Crop Production Clinics or Nebraska Crop Management Conference. Details at https://agronomy.unl.edu/cpc and https://agronomy.unl.edu/ncmc
  3. County-hosted training sessions at the option of local educators presenting the video which is the same as the online training (1.25-1.5 hours).
  4. RUP dicamba product (XtendiMax®, FeXapan™, and Engenia®) manufacturer sponsored training. Each manufacturer will advertise individually.

I took the online training so I could better answer your questions.  The link to the UNL online dicamba training can be found at the http://pested.unl.edu site or you can go directly to the training at:  https://campus.extension.org/login/index.php.  Once at this site, you will need to create an account.  You will then be sent a confirmation email and upon opening that, you will be logged in.  From the course list choose “pest management”.pestmgmtdicambapic

Then scroll and click on “Online Training for Dicamba Herbicide”. onlinetrainingfordicambapic

You will then need to register for the training.  It will ask you to add your Nebraska pesticide applicator number in a specific field as well.  Your name and applicator number are required before you begin the training.  You can then click on the first video followed by the first quiz.  It keeps track if you completed the entire video or not before you can advance.coursepic

I felt the information was good overall and I appreciated the fact that they mentioned how corn dicamba applications also influenced the problems we saw in 2017.  They also share quite a bit of research regarding volatility, conditions/timing of temperature inversions, dosage amounts and effects on yield.  The quizzes are short and were fairly common sense.  You can click to check each answer once you have selected your choice and will have to submit all your answers before moving on.  When you have completed all the videos and quizzes, you can have a certificate emailed to you.  You will also be officially entered into Nebraska Department of Ag’s database.  NDA said they will only honor those names in their database as those who’ve completed dicamba training.

NDA is asking ag retailers selling these RUP dicamba products to check the NDA database to ensure the person applying the product has received dicamba training.  NDA’s dicamba information including record keeping forms, etc. can be found at:  http://www.nda.nebraska.gov/pesticide/dicamba.html.

The other thing you need to know:  some have asked if a group of people can watch the online training at the same time at your farmstead.  The answer is actually no from the standpoint you all would have to watch the training on separate computers/devices.  The only way your name is recorded in the NDA database is through your registration name and pesticide applicator number on the training site.  It only allows one person to enter his/her information to view the training and complete the quizzes.  If you attend an NDA approved face-to-face training such as at Crop Production Clinics, you can train as a group but will still need to supply your individual names and pesticide applicator numbers at the training.

Hopefully this helps clarify some of the questions you have and during this cold weather, you have the opportunity to get this training completed if you need it for 2018.

Reminder:  York Ag Expo at the Holthus Convention Center in York January 10-11.  Schedule of Events and Exhibitors:  http://yorkchamber.org/yorkagexpo/
Educational Sessions:   https://jenreesources.com/2017/12/26/york-ag-expo-educational-sessions/ 

Reflections on 2017

Happy New Year!!! This week has been a good one to reflect on 2017.

It was a year of unusual situations such as the dry winter allowing for nitrogen burn onIMAG1311 corn, herbicide carryover, wheat stem maggot in corn from late-terminated wheat/rye, dicamba concerns on soybeans/trees/vegetables, downed corn ears and the challenge of recovering them…I think so often as I reflect, it’s easy to see the problems that occurred as those tended to be the headlines.

But as I also reflect, I think of so much more. It’s been a hard several years both personally and professionally for me and one reason I love Extension is for the relationships I’m so blessed to have. As I reflect on this past year, it was a year of spending time sharing the ways we all were hurting/healing while looking at crop problems, working in on-farm research plots, or just visiting. It was a special year in building even deeper relationships with many of you whom I’ve served in the past and meeting new people in the area I’m serving. Thank you also for your grace as it is a challenge serving regions of counties. I truly am grateful for the friendships and opportunity to serve you!

One of my highlights was pesticide training…yes, pesticide training! I know it’s required for us as private applicators every three years, but it’s my chance to teach/learn from/see so many of you and do my best to share important crop information as well. I enjoy winter meeting time as it always feels like a big reunion to me to see who comes and to catch up! Pesticide training last year was fun to still have the opportunity to train those of you in my former area and meet many in my new area.

Another highlight is a group of youth I meet with each month for Crop ScienceIMAG0122 Investigation (CSI). This was such a rewarding experience for me in Clay County working with Clay/Nuckolls county youth and watching them learn, grow, and some pursue ag careers through the years. In York County I’m blessed with a very young, energetic group of youth who are so much fun and love to learn! Basically, the youth are detectives every time we meet as I give them a real problem to solve. We spend time out in the fields learning about crop growth, weed/insect/disease ID, take industry tours, etc. Our youth right now are mostly in the 6-11 year old range but any youth and parents are welcome to join us if you’re interested. Please just let me know at jrees2@unl.edu for meeting times.

On-farm research plots are always a highlight for me for how much can be learned and this year we had some intense plots regarding data collection! Grateful for the farmer-cooperators in the time spent on these plots and how you’re so good at working with me.

I also am grateful to the media. With fewer of us in Ag Extension, we’re called on more often to share when problems arise. So grateful for the relationships with all our media partners-TV, radio, newspapers, magazines-and all you do in helping us share our research-based information timely!

As I think about 2018, one concern continues to be low commodity prices and ways to make it through. The Farm Bill and what will happen regarding it is another topic. Dicamba unfortunately may continue to be a topic. And, it seems like every year we have varying weather that creates challenges and opportunities. Two things that will continue are the optimism/resiliency I see every year in our farmers and the strong family that Ag in general is. Here’s wishing you a safe and blessed 2018!

York Ag Expo: Reminder of the York Ag Expo January 10-11 at the Holthus Convention Center in York. A full list of exhibitors is available at: http://yorkchamber.org/yorkagexpo/. Lyndy Phillips will be the speaker at the Prime Rib Supper at Stone Creek in McCool Junction with social hour at 5:30 p.m. and supper at 6:30 p.m. Tickets can be purchased for $30 at the York Chamber Office. I’m really excited for the opportunity to provide educational sessions this year and am particularly excited about the cover crops/annual forages for grazing. If you have cattle and are looking for outside-the-box ideas, this session may be helpful. Educational sessions include:
• Chemigation Training by Steve Melvin, Jan. 10 from 9-Noon
• Cover Crops/Annual Forages for Grazing, Jan. 10 from 1-4 p.m.
• Private Pesticide Training by Jenny Rees, Jan. 11 from 9-Noon
• Precision Ag, Jan. 11 from 1-4 p.m.

Winter Ag Program Brochure:  You can also find our winter ag program brochure for South Central/Southeast Nebraska at:  https://go.unl.edu/vzyg.

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