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JenREES 5/30/21

Driving to look at some on-farm research fields in Seward county last week, I came over the hill to see the flags lining Highway 34 at the cemetery. This time of year, when flags are set out lining streets in towns and at cemeteries, never ceases to get me. In that moment, with chills and tears, I said a prayer of gratitude for our Country, for our beautiful flag, for our freedoms and those who gave all for my freedom, and for living in this great Country. In spite of everything going on in the world, and in spite of how differently people view freedom and what’s happening, we still are so blessed to live in this Country! Many service members recall their battle buddies who never came home with them. Many military families throughout history have walked alongside the families left behind. Freedom truly is not free! So this Memorial Day, may we remember and be grateful for those who paid the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom, may we remember and be grateful to those families left behind, and may we keep praying for our Country and leaders, military members and their families.

Alfalfa weevils have been heavy this year. For those with alfalfa, you may have noticed the tops of your plants turning a grayish/brown color. The culprit is most likely alfalfa weevil larvae. They are green caterpillars with a white stripe down the back and dark head. They are often hard to find as they will go down to the crowns of plants in heat of day. By the time you read this, the alfalfa will most likely be put down. What you may observe: once the alfalfa is put down, the weevil larvae will continue to feed. The area under the windrows will turn brown as they feed on the regrowth. As soon as the alfalfa is baled, we’d recommend using an insecticide to kill the larvae and allow the alfalfa to regrow. I’m still seeing all stages of larvae in the field. Highly effective insecticides for alfalfa weevil control include those that are pyrethroids (active ingredient ends in “thrin”, such as Permethrin) and products containing indoxacarb (e.g., Steward). Each field situation may be different, though, so watch the regrowth. If it’s greening up and you’re not finding weevil larvae, they may have pupated and treatment may not be necessary.

Nebraska Land Link provides opportunities to connect land seekers with retiring landowners. Land access is one of the biggest challenges facing aspiring and beginning farmers. For some landowners, they simply do not have the next generation available to take over their operation. Nebraska Land Link is a project of Nebraska Extension’s Farm and Ranch Succession and Transition program and Nebraska Women in Agriculture. When you apply to Nebraska Land Link, either as a land seeker or a landowner, Nebraska Extension personnel will work to match your application with the most compatible counterpart. Using the answers you submit and offer in a potential interview, Nebraska Land Link matches are based on the shared values, interests and skills of both parties, so that a mutually beneficial and satisfying partnership can be forged over the course of the transition plan. You can learn more about the program at: https://farm.unl.edu/landlink and watch a short 3 minute introductory video at: https://go.unl.edu/8sv6.

Ash Trees Losing Leaves: The past few weeks I’ve received questions about ash trees losing leaves. Because of the weather conditions, anthracnose on shade trees, including ash, is fairly prevalent. It’s crazy how I didn’t take any pictures when looking at any of these trees…but what you will see are small dark spots on the leaves. The leaves may curl and turn yellow-green in color before dropping. There’s nothing you should do and a new flush of leaves will appear in time.

York Co. Progressive Ag Safety Day has been postponed to June 14, 2022.

Dealing with Conflict Dynamics for Farm and Ranch Families Course: Conflict and tension often arise in family farms and ranches. This new course strives to provide Nebraskans with tools to build a better culture. Participants will gain the skills and resources necessary to overcome the conflict that may be hampering their family and business relationships. The course will be taught by renowned farm family coach Elaine Froese and hosted by Nebraska Extension’s Women in Agriculture Program. The Conflict Dynamics Training is a three-part course that will be held virtually from 3:30 to 5 p.m. Central time on June 15, 22 and 29, via Zoom. An internet connection is required, and participants should plan on attending all three sessions. Participants in this course will take a Conflict Dynamics Profile assessment to measure their personal conflict behaviors. The profile will help participants understand how they respond to conflict, what triggers can escalate conflict and how to manage conflict more effectively. Froese will then guide participants through a discussion on how to deal with conflict and tension on the family farm or ranch. The course fee is $35 per participant and the class size is limited to 20 people. Registration closes June 11. Because of the sensitive nature of the course, it will not be recorded. Registration is open at https://wia.unl.edu/conflict-dynamics.


“Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.” John 15:13

JenREES 5-26-19

IMAG3602_1Driving through Nebraska towns around Memorial Day, I find the streets lined with flags such a beautiful site. Grateful to live in our Country with our freedoms. I’m also grateful for those who paid the ultimate price for our freedom and for their families left behind.

Flooding/Ponding and Crop Effects: With the rain, some may be experiencing ponding/flooding of crops. Emerged corn prior to 6 leaves can survive from two to four days depending on temperatures and if entire plants are submerged or not. Cooler air temperatures (60’s and cooler) allows for longer survival than temperatures in the mid-70’s and warmer. Little data exists for germinated seeds and seedlings prior to emergence, but they most likely would experience soil oxygen depletion within 48 hours. Once emerged, soybean may handle a fair amount of flooding due to the growing point being above ground (depending on if they’re submerged or not). Four or more days of flooding may result in shorter plants due to shorter internodes and/or perhaps fewer nodes. Stand reductions may be observed after seven days of flooding (depending on size and if completely submerged or not).

Prevent plant may be another topic on some growers’ minds in addition to considerations after the May 25 corn planting date for crop insurance. These are addressed in this week’s CropWatch at http://cropwatch.unl.edu.

Interseeding Cover Crops: In a previous news column, I touched on the topic of interseeding cover crops into corn or soybean. For this week’s CropWatch at http://cropwatch.unl.edu, we provide more information based on the research available. For those considering this as an on-farm research study, please contact me or your local Extension Educator soon to work out details.

Wheat: Michael Sindelar and I looked at wheat in Clay and Nuckolls counties last week. For diseases we’re mostly seeing powdery mildew and septoria leaf blotch. Backlighting revealing yellow specks on upper leaves in some fields will most likely develop into leaf rust. Wheat ranges from nearing flag leaf to beginning flowering. My concern for wheat in the heading to flowering stage is risk of fusarium head blight (scab) with the rain we’ve been receiving at heading/flowering. The scab risk tool (http://www.wheatscab.psu.edu/) is showing a low to medium risk for our part of the State right now. If you do consider a fungicide, your best options include Prosaro, Caramba, or Miravis Ace as these products will help protect against scab in addition to kill any fungal diseases on your wheat leaves. Other products are off-label once flowering begins or are not as effective preventing scab based on research. Best application timing to prevent scab is when 30% of the plants in the field are at 15% flowering (early flowering stages).

Lawn Care: I know some are getting tired of mowing already! Just a reminder to keep mowing heights at 3″. Spring is an important time for deeper root establishment before the summer heat sets in and maintaining a higher lawn height allows the grass to develop that root system. I’m seeing several lawns being scalped in an effort to reduce amount of mowing. Mowing too short stresses the grass impacting its ability to set deeper roots for later. It will also allow for more weeds to germinate in the lawn.

Memorial Day

Greater love has no one than this than to lay down his life for his friends- John 15:13

Grateful for those who paid the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom and for their families left behind.

Deployment

One year.  Twelve months.  Three hundred sixty five days.  As I’ve aged, time tends to fly by faster.  As a military wife during a deployment, in many ways this has seemed like the slowest year of my life.  Yet here I stand at the dawning of the end with the realization that in some ways, the past year didn’t drag quite as much as I thought.

Looking back on this deployment I find myself remembering some not so proud moments.  There were times I was angry and perhaps a tad bitter and had a downright bad attitude…I remember telling myself “this stinks”.  I remember trying to deposit the hail insurance check written in my husband’s name early on in the deployment…trying to explain I had power of attorney and he was in Afghanistan as I then broke down in tears…it was Aug. 6, 2011, the day the Chinook helicopter went down in eastern Afghanistan and my heart was broken for the families being informed back home.  I remember the kindness of the ladies at the bank as I walked out, swallowed my pride composing myself, and walked back in.  I remember having no sense of joy as God allowed several trials into my life in a very short period of time…and while I had specifically prayed in a way for them, and while God answered that prayer in ways I never imagined possible nor ways I honestly wanted, the pain of the emotional struggle dealing with those trials with a husband half a globe away seemed overbearing at times.  Yet through it all, as I prayed for joy in the midst of them, God allowed me to find joy.  He gave me His strength, peace, comfort.  He helped me to heal and He taught me much in the process.  I can’t imagine going through a deployment or anything in life without God!  He truly is my “refuge and strength, an ever present help in time of trouble”.

For the most part as I reflect, though, I feel I remained strong and positive.  I’m so proud of my husband and all our men and women in uniform!  I’m so proud of the military families left behind carrying the load faithfully, dutifully till their military members return.  I’m thankful for the friendships made along the way at family readiness group, yellow ribbon events, and in informal meetings with various military wives.  I’m thankful for the friendships my husband has made while overseas-friendships that will last a lifetime and that made being away from home a little easier.  I’m thankful for the positive difference my husband and his team have made in the lives of the Afghan people.  I’m thankful God gave me the opportunity to work with these ADT teams since 2008.  I’m thankful to live in the greatest Nation in the world-a free nation-and for those who continue to sacrifice to maintain our freedoms.  I’m thankful God allowed my soldier to return home and my heart aches this Memorial Day for those who aren’t so fortunate…  

As I’ve listened to my husband’s stories and viewed pictures and videos of his missions, my eyes have been opened even more how much I daily take for granted.  This deployment has once again reminded me how much I take my spouse for granted as well.  When he returns, I want to “live everyday like he’s leaving tomorrow” as this military blog post so beautifully points out.  I don’t want to take the day to day things for granted and God has also taught me much about being the wife He wants me to be through this.

I have a sticker on my truck that my husband gave me before he left.  It says, “1/2 of my heart is in Afghanistan”.  I’ve had several people tell me they tear up when they see my truck and that sticker.  The saying is true even though I’m complete in Christ.  I can’t say it hurt quite as much when he first deployed-probably because I was more mentally prepared then-but after coming home for two week leave and leaving again, I truly felt like my heart had been ripped in half.  I’m looking forward to the day when I can remove the sticker but keep it in a place I will always see it to remind me…to remind me of what it was like…to remind me to continually pray for our military and their families back here.  I’m looking forward to the day that my whole heart is back at home with me in the U.S.A.!

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