Sharing more February events this week. Will share more on-farm research results in future weeks.
Looking forward to hearing farmers and livestock producers share at two opportunities this week. Reminder of the Eastern NE Soil Health Conference at Eastern NE R&E Center near Mead on Feb. 9th beginning at 9 a.m. (Reg. at 8:30 a.m.). Also a reminder of our Conversations around Rethinking Grazing-Strategies for nutrient distribution on Feb. 10th from 10-noon at the 4-H Building in York. I’ve asked a few producers to kick off the conversation on how they’re grazing cornstalks, cover crops, pastures for the purpose of better nutrient distribution. If you’re interested in this topic, please plan to attend to share your perspectives, what you’re doing, and questions!
For those reading this planning on attending pesticide recertification trainings in Hastings in Feb. and Mar., the location is at the Extension Office (2975 S. Baltimore Ave.) in Hastings and NOT at the fairgrounds as listed in the winter program brochure.
Farm Bill Webinar: Nebraska USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) is reminding producers now is the time to make elections and enroll in the Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) and Price Loss Coverage (PLC) programs for the 2023 crop year. The signup period is open through March 15, 2023.
Producers can learn about the ARC and PLC options during a UNL Center for Agricultural Profitability webinar scheduled for 12 p.m. CT on Tuesday, Feb. 7. Cathy Anderson, production and compliance programs chief for the Nebraska Farm Service Agency, and Brad Lubben, extension policy specialist in the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s Department of Agricultural Economics, will present and share information relevant for producers, ag professionals and ag stakeholders. Registration for the webinar is free and can be found at: https://go.unl.edu/cap2-7.
Feb. 14 Ag Update Merrick Co.: Nebraska water quality’s impact on human health and more, Ag Update 2023 will be held Tuesday, Feb. 14 at the Merrick County Youth and Agriculture Education Center, 1784 Fairgrounds Rd, Central City. It will start with breakfast refreshments provided by Archer Credit Union and exhibits opening at 9 am. The event has a great lineup of speakers and exhibits, including “Nebraska Water, Connecting all Nebraskans” with Crystal Powers, “How Water and Substances Move in Soils and the Vadose Zone” with Aaron Daigh, and “Home Reverse Osmosis Cost Share Program” with Steve Melvin. Lunch will be provided and sponsored by Cornerstone Bank. The day will wrap-up about 3:15 p.m. with door prizes. RSVP to Steve Melvin at (308) 946-3843 or at the Merrick County Extension site.
Feb. 28-Mar. 1 Central Plains Irrigation Conference: The event will take place at the Kearney Holiday Inn Convention Center. This is an educational event and opportunity for networking among producers, university officials, industry leaders and other stakeholders. Irrigation in the Central Plains region will be the focus of the conference with topics such as, but not limited to: Getting the most out of your technology and irrigation support tools; Cover crops and residue management; Remote sensing and drone technology; Pivot performance; “Ogallala Aquifer’s Story: Human, Environment and Production”; Insect and nutrient management via chemigation; “TAPS: Effects of Participant Decisions on Profitability & Efficiency”. The conference will be from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 28 and then 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. on Wednesday, March 1. The cost to attend the event is $55 in advance or $65 at the door. Registration cost does include the lunch meal on Tuesday. Registration is available online, and payment ahead of the conference is appreciated via check or credit card. CCA credits are pending. A vendor show will be available and if your business or organization is interested in having a booth, please contact Donna Lamm at 785-462-7574.
Wishing you and your family a blessed Christmas!!!
Farm Bill Webinar Link: Received some questions this month regarding decisions for 2021 ARC/PLC election sign-up but haven’t looked at or worked with decision tools yet. Last week there was a webinar on program elections and the recorded link can be found at: https://go.unl.edu/yg90. For those of you who elected ARC-IC for 2019-2020 due to prevent plant or significant yield loss in 2019, it will be important to reconsider your options. This webinar does a great job of explaining and going through them. While our last election we could look back to get an idea, we don’t have that opportunity going forward. It’s nice that it’s a one year election so it can be changed as prices/yields fluctuate. Hope to share more information in January after working with real data to get a feel for things. Curious how the significant windstorm and drought in areas may impact decisions for specific counties going forward. For now, you can find more information, including the decision tools, at: https://www.fsa.usda.gov/programs-and-services/arcplc_program/index. If you’ve used the decision tools in the past, you will use the same login info. you created in the past.
Ag Land Leasing and Budgeting Webinar was also held last week. If you missed it or were interested in watching the recording, you can do so at the following YouTube link for 30 days: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dH-RVIhnIG8&t=166s.
Ag Budgeting Workshop: calculating the cost of production per crop enterprise was a webinar held after the ag leasing webinar. You can also view this recording via YouTube at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KIgbkp0QNH0.
Live Christmas Trees: Just a reminder to daily check live Christmas trees for their watering needs to avoid a fire hazard. Kelly Feehan, Extension horticulture educator shares, “The rule-of-thumb is a tree will use one quart of water per day for every inch of trunk diameter near the base. If you have a tree with a 3-inch base, it can use 3 quarts of water per day. The trunk should have been freshly cut at a slant just prior to putting it in the stand. If the stand is empty for more than six to eight hours, the tree’s pores plug up again. Water uptake is much reduced and the tree dries out sooner. If a tree stand dries out for half a day or more, the only thing that can be done is to remove the tree from the stand and recut the base; which is not a fun task with the lights and ornaments. When watering, nothing needs to be added to water in the tree stand to promote freshness.”
Christmas Cactus: Kelly also shares the following, “to keep Christmas cactus blooming as long as possible, place it in bright but indirect light. Too much sun can cause leaves to turn yellow. Keep soil or potting mix constantly moist but not waterlogged. Even though they are cactus, they are jungle natives and prefer just moist conditions with indirect light. Avoid fertilizing Christmas cactus during the winter; but do fertilize every other week from spring through fall. Plants seem to flower best if they are a little pot bound; but if roots become over-crowded in the container, blooming will decrease. If you haven’t repotted in several years, or you notice a decrease in flowering from the previous year, repot the plant into a slightly larger pot, but wait until spring. If possible, move the plants outside for summer. Keep in a shady area as Christmas cactus will not tolerate full sun.”