On-Farm Research Updates: This week brings my favorite winter meetings, the on-farm research updates on Feb. 25 and 26! I’m passionate about on-farm research as it’s such a practical, inexpensive way to address the research questions growers have! These meetings are more meaningful to me because we get to hear from the farmers themselves who conducted the studies and have more discussion around the topics. They do look different this year with a huge number of people registered virtually vs. in-person. They’re also only a half day and we won’t cover the entire book of studies that were conducted. However, whether you participate virtually or in-person, you will hopefully hear from farmers who conducted on-farm research studies. And, this ‘in-person’ meeting does have people at most local sites also presenting in person. I realize that’s been a point of confusion/frustration as we’ve hosted many zoom meetings as ‘in-person’ watch events where no one presented live at the location. Register for virtual or in-person at: https://go.unl.edu/h83j.
I enjoy hearing from the farmers themselves regarding why they conduct on-farm research. The following YouTube video produced in 2020 highlights area farmers David and Doug Cast of Beaver Crossing and Ken Herz of Lawrence: https://youtu.be/tEy-I43CT0E.
Succession/Estate Planning opportunities are upcoming with a two-part webinar event held Feb. 25 and Mar. 4 at Noon. You can register for those at: https://farm.unl.edu/webinars . There’s also an in-person event at Central City at the Fairgrounds on March 2 at 9:30 a.m. and please RSVP to 308-946-3843 if you’d like to attend.
Tree and Houseplant Webinars: A webinar focused on trees will be Feb. 26 from 9 a.m.-Noon with registration here: Go.unl.edu/ProHort. A houseplant webinar series will occur on Feb. 27 and Mar. 6 from 10-noon with registration here: https://go.unl.edu/houseplants101.
Nitrogen Studies: With spring nitrogen applications around the corner, perhaps you are interested in testing different rates, timing, or inhibitors on your farm? On-farm research is a great option to consider! For some specific precision nitrogen studies (including inhibitors), there are stipends of $1300 available to producers interested in those studies. More info: https://cropwatch.unl.edu/precision-nitrogen-management-farm-research-project. There’s also a partnership with the Upper Big Blue NRD where those interested in conducting nutrient management or cover crop studies may receive $300 in reimbursement costs. If you’re interested in a study like this, please let me know. Next week I’ll share on nitrogen rate and timing results.
Farm Bill: Another tool that may be more visual in helping you make these decisions is the K-State tool at: https://www.agmanager.info/ag-policy/2018-farm-bill/tradeoff-between-20212022-arc-and-plc and I added it to my Farm Bill Decision Tools blog post. It shows you in one chart what happens with potential ARC-CO or PLC triggers by crop depending on what market year average price does or what county yield does. It doesn’t allow you to put in a historical irrigated percentage (HIP), so you need to consider that when selecting ‘irrigated’ or ‘nonirrigated’ in the tool. With it being in one chart, visually, perhaps that would help some of you more? It honestly doesn’t change what I’ve shared with you before, but it seems people are really struggling with this decision, so if you need another way to visualize what to do, it may help. Ultimately, no matter what tool is used, PLC is favored most often in corn, milo, and wheat. Soybeans often could go either way, and likely there may be no payment for soy or corn unless something substantial happens with MYA price or county yields. If you’re really on the fence, it may be helpful/wise to just split decisions between the two programs for different farms? For counties where there’s split irrigated/non-irrigated payments, particularly in areas that are drought-prone, look at what county average yield will trigger ARC-CO for your specific county using the tool. Crop insurance and marketing are ultimately a huge chunk of risk management too. Ultimately, the decision is up to you and no one can predict prices/yields. This information is just shared as a way to hopefully help with your decision making.
I still haven’t heard/seen that 2020 county average yields have been released for me to help anyone with looking at ARC-IC. From the past, we needed around 20% farm level yield loss compared to county average yield for ARC-IC to trigger. So, for those with significant yield loss from wind events, depending on how your farms are grouped, it still may be something to look at. Hopefully county average yields will be available soon.
Great to see and meet so many at the York Ag Expo last week! And, to the 156 of you who attended pesticide training, thank you again for your kindness and grace with the packed room and overflow to the hallway. Sharing this week on February upcoming ag programs and adding the flyers to https://jenreesources.com.
Jan. 28th is the Farmers and Ranchers Cow-Calf College at the US Meat Animal Research Center near Clay Center. Registration begins at 9:30 a.m. with program beginning at 9:55 a.m. Topics include: Forage Sampling, Understanding Annual Cow Costs, Questions to Ask Your Vet before Calving Season, Blockchains: Connecting Consumers with their Food (IMI Global), and Alternative Meats and Alternative Statistics: What the data says. There is no charge and meal is provided. It’s best to pre-register to save time and you can do so at https://go.unl.edu/frcollegereg. You can also RSVP at (402) 759-3712.
Feb. 4 is the Hamilton County Ag Day at the fairgrounds in Aurora (Reg. at 9 a.m. with program beginning at 9:30 a.m.). Attendance at this event qualifies for UBBNRD nitrogen management training. Many have asked about nitrogen research and this event is geared towards providing that. Topics include: In-season nitrogen application, management to reduce nitrate leaching, fertigation equipment & procedures for in-season management, crop nutrients from manure, cover crops and nitrogen management, optimum irrigation application, on-farm research for evaluating N management, land rental considerations for 2020, in addition to updates from Nebraska Corn and USDA. There is no charge.
Feb. 13 is the Nebraska Cover Crop Conference near Mead with registration beginning at 8:30 a.m. and program from 9 a.m.-3:30 p.m. This year’s focus is on interseeding cover crops into corn/soybean. Loran Steinlage from Iowa will share what he’s doing with 60” row spacings and keeping something growing in his fields 365 days of the year. Noah Seim from Merrick County (30” rows for a few years) and Jay Goertzen from York County (36” rows for 1 year) both have interseeding projects with Nebraska on-farm research and will share their experiences. Additional Topics/Speakers include: Finding the right fit with cover crops (Abbey Wick from NDSU), Selling cover crop seed in Nebraska (Steve Knox with Nebraska Crop Improvement), Accelerating soil health adoption by quantifying economic and environmental outcomes (Brian Brandt, Ohio), Review of cover crop demonstrations in the Central Platte NRD (Dean Krull), Cover crops by helicopter: FAQ (Brent Wulf, Hexagon Helicopters, Inc.), and Soil Health (Aaron Hird, NRCS). There is no charge for this event including meal and it’s a large event. Registration is required by Feb. 7. More info. and register at: https://extension.unl.edu/statewide/enre/nebraska-cover-crop-conference/ or 402-624-8030.
Nebraska On-Farm Research Updates: Believing in the value of on-farm research, these are among my favorite meetings each year! These meetings give you an opportunity to hear from your peers regarding research they’re trying in cooperation with Nebraska Extension. We often wouldn’t have research on topics many of you ask me about if it wasn’t for our on-farm research cooperators, so I’m grateful to them! Dates include: Feb. 18 at Holiday Inn Express in Beatrice, Feb. 19 near Mead at ENREC, Feb. 20 in Norfolk at the Extension Office, Feb. 26 in Kearney at the Extension Office, and Feb. 28 in York at the Holthus Convention Center. The Feb. 28 meeting in York will be unique focusing only on cover crop and soil health research and that meeting also qualifies for UBBNRD nitrogen management training. Each meeting runs from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. (registration at 8:30 a.m.). Meal is included and there’s no cost thanks to our partnerships with Nebraska Corn, Soybean, and Dry Bean Boards and Growers’ Associations. Please pre-register at least 2 days in advance for meal planning purposes to: firstname.lastname@example.org or 402-624-8030.