Often the phrase “there’s always next year” is heard when hard times hit individuals. This speaks to the optimism many have! 2019 has been challenging for many, perhaps also cumulative from previous years. There’s no promise of life being easy on this earth; it’s broken as is everything in it. Challenges, adversity provide potential to build something rich and lasting-things like one’s faith, relationships, and character. As we enter this new year, may we seek to live life with purpose, focus on the important things, and dig deep/come alongside others in the midst of difficulty. Wishing everyone a blessed 2020!
Extension Survey: Being funded by tax payer dollars, Extension employees need to justify the work we do in reports. Whether you only interact with me by reading this column or have asked me horticulture or ag related questions, I’m asking for your feedback. Please go to: slido.com, join with code 4EXT and fill out a quick, anonymous, 7 question survey for me! Thank you!
Winter Programs: Those in agriculture in this part of the State should have received (or will soon receive) a mailing from your local Extension Office that shares our winter program brochure, a pesticide letter, and additional program flyers. Following is what’s happening the week of January 6th.
Landlord/Tenant Lease Workshops: These 3-hour workshops will cover: ag finance and the real estate market; current trends in ag finance across Nebraska; negotiation skills for effectively managing land leases; and more. No charge. Jan. 7, 1:30 p.m., Extension Office in Seward (402-643-2981); Jan. 8, 9 a.m., 4-H Building in York (402-362-5508); and Jan. 15, 1 p.m., Fairgrounds in Clay Center (402-762-3644).
York Ag Expo: Come out to the York Ag Expo at the Holthus Convention Center January 9th and 10th! The Expo features a number of vendors and free ag appreciation lunches both days catered by Kerry’s. On January 9th, I’m providing private pesticide applicator training at 9:30 a.m. and on January 10th, chemigation training is provided at 9:00 a.m. You can find more information at: https://yorkchamber.org/event/ag-expo/. RUP Dicamba training is not offered at the Expo. You can complete that at other face to face trainings or online at: https://pested.unl.edu/dicamba after Jan. 1.
Private Pesticide Training: Training dates/locations are available at: go.unl.edu/2020pat. Cost for face to face training is $40. Options for initial license include attending a face to face training or taking the online course (cost $75) at pested.unl.edu. Options for renewal include: attending a face to face training, taking the online course, or attending a Crop Production Clinic (Beatrice Jan. 10, York Jan. 14, cost $80) or the Nebraska Crop Management Conference in Kearney (Jan. 22-23) agronomy.unl.edu/cpc.
Chemigation Training: To apply chemicals/fertilizer through irrigation systems, chemigation certification is needed. View dates/locations for initial and recertification training at: go.unl.edu/2020chemigation. Those recertifying may also complete the training and test online without testing with Extension: https://water.unl.edu/article/agricultural-irrigation/chemigation. Wait till after Jan. 1, 2020.
Annie’s Inspired Workshops: These provide women involved with agriculture an opportunity to network and learn together while having fun! All workshops have a hands-on component and will be held from 6-8 p.m. beginning with a light meal. Cost is $5 per person per session. Join us for Beef 101 at the Polk County Fairgrounds in Osceola, Jan. 6th! Please RSVP: (402) 367-7410 or (402) 362-5508.
Good Farmer, Great Manager is taught by Tina Barrett, Executive Director of Nebraska Farm Business, Inc. The difference between a good farmer and a great manager often comes down to knowing the true financial position of a farm. This class will be held in York from 1-5 p.m. Jan. 23 and Jan. 24, from 8-Noon at the 4-H Bldg at Fairgrounds in York. The course fee is $50 per participant; limited to 25 people. Learn more and register at: https://wia.unl.edu/GFGM. Tina shares more at: https://youtu.be/LaVZRPzG1HM.
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.