Home News Agriculture Extension Update by Gary Zoubek

Extension Update by Gary Zoubek [March 29, 2012]


Coming Events

April 4, 1:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m., Chemigation Training, 4-H Building, York

April 16, 8:30 p.m. – Extension Board Exec Meeting, Extension Office, York


Landowner/Tenant Lease Workshop 

We had a great workshop last Wednesday that every landowner/tenant in the area should attend on a regular basis.  I want to thank the team for doing a great job from both the tenant and landowners points of view.  Topics included trend is farmland values and cash lease values, good lease communications, writing a good lease, and flexible cash leases.  If you missed the workshop and would like copies of the handout materials, stop by our office and pickup a copy.

Speaking of flexible leases, I believe that flexible leases are a tool that should be used in more and more situations.A copy of the flexible lease EC is available on the web at:   http://www.ianrpubs.unl.edu/epublic/live/ec862/build/ec862.pdf.  For a lease to work, all parties must be treated fair for leases or cash rents to work over the long time.  You cannot use price or yield alone when figuring rents, input costs for both parties must also be considered.

Thanks to the team presenting and to the Nebraska Soybean Board for sponsoring the workshop!


Nebraska Agricultural Water Management Network Informational Meetings Planned

Are you an irrigator, if so I’d like to encourage you to become involved in our Nebraska Agricultural Water Management Network or NAWMN for short!  We’ve just concluded a couple of meetings in the Upper Big Blue NRD but have one planned for tomorrow Tuesday March 20th in York in the 4-H Building and the Little Blue NRD has a couple planned for March 27th at 1:30 p.m. the Little Blue NRD in Davenport and on March 28th at 9:30 a.m. at the Fairgrounds in Hastings.

At these meetings, we’ve been sharing what we have learned about irrigation scheduling in Nebraska using ETgages and Watermark sensors.  If you couldn’t make one of the meetings, give me or other Extension Educators or NRD staff a call, we’d be glad to visit with you about the NAWMN!  Give me a call at 402-362-5508, email me at gzoubek1@unl.edu or call Dan Leininger

402-362-6601.  With the price of fuel going up, we have had more interest than ever about these tools and learning how to save fuel without sacrificing yields.  You can also learn more at:   http://water.unl.edu/nawmn.  Give me a call at 402-362-5508 or email me at gzoubek1@unl.edu,

I’d be happy to visit with you about these two tools


York Agri-Business After Hours

We had a great Agri-Business After Hours last Friday!  Congratulations to Brad Gloystein for his service to agriculture!  Thanks to the event sponsors and congratulations to the many prize winners!  The money raised each year at this event goes to provide scholarships for youth interested in agriculture!


Weatherfest: “Weather and Climate All Around Us”

Again this weekend, we had tornadoes and severe weather in Nebraska so I’d like to encourage area families to consider attending Weatherfest 2012 which will take place in Hardin Hall, which is located on the East Campus at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Hardin Hall is located at the intersection of 33rd and Holdrege Street.  The Weatherfest event provides weather and science related educational activities for K-12 students and their families. The underlying theme for all Family Weatherfest events is: “Surviving the Storms”.  Exhibitors and Severe Weather Experts are brought in to each event to touch upon this theme, and its varying aspects.

The listing of activities at Weatherfest 2012 includes:  Be Weather Wise with Weather Whys; Clouds all Around Us; Discover Geography; Lore of the Tree Rings; Nature Corner; Observing the Weather; Picture Yourself in the Storm; “Snakes Alive at Weatherfest; Tern and Plover, Meet Pebbles; The Great Reservoir Race; Tornado Generator; and Weather and Climate Hit or Myth.  For more information go to: http://www.cpsws.unl.edu.


Yard & Garden

I just received an electronic copy of our horticulture update newsletter that’s brought to us on a regular basis by our Extension Staff including the Backyard Farmer Crew!  The newsletter can be found at: http://byf.unl.edu/hortupdate.  This issue is packed full of timely information for the homeowner.  Some topic for lawns include:  Pre-emergence herbicide application timing, seeding cool season turf, fertilizing, mowing and watering suggestions, earthworms, winter annuals moles and disease control.  The latest issue also included topics about trees and shrubs, ornamentals as well as fruits, vegetables and much more!

I’ve received several calls about applying in pre-emergence herbicides to turf to control crabgrass and when should I spray for broad leaf weeds!  Typically I like to make only one application of pre-emergence herbicides for crabgrass and we normally suggest making that application the first part of May when soil temperatures are around 55 F or more.  I went to our CropWatch website to check soil temperatures Monday morning and here in York they averaged 54.7 F!  That’s 12.5 F below our normal average!

As a result of these unseasonable temperatures, our turf specialists have indicated that most home owners have two choices:

  • For the most reliable crabgrass control, the best option (now) is to make an application at 50 to 75% of the high label rate (check specific product label) within the next week or so (a full month ahead of normal) and then plan on making a sequential application at 50% of the high label rate in early to mid-June.
  • An alternative to this is to wait and see what the weather does, and then be prepared with an application with dithiopyr (Dimension) at the high label rate which will control emerged crabgrass (prior to tillering) and also provide pre-emergence control of that yet to emerge.

Almost all of the current preemergence herbicides (dithiopyr, pendiamethalin, prodiamine) are available as fertilizer/herbicide combinations, but cool-season grasses need little nitrogen in the early spring regardless if it is in March this year or late April in most years. So, it is important to use a herbicide/fertilizer combination with as little nitrogen as possible to avoid a large growth flush and maximize long-term health of the plant. The problem is finding a product with little or no N.  If you find a selection of products, do some quick math and calculate which product delivers the lowest amount of N/1000 sq ft, preferably 0.50 to 0.75 lbs N/1000 sq ft. Also, slow release N will extend the window of N release and minimize the potential growth spike after application. Slow release sources include sulfur- or polymer-coated urea, urea formaldehyde, methylenediurea, dimethylenetriurea, or natural organic nitrogen. These are listed on the label as “slowly water soluble” or “water insoluble”. Pay special attention to N sources followed by an asterisk and be sure read and follow the entire label of any product you apply.

For the complete story, check out the articles at: http://turf.unl.edu/.  If you have had problems with crabgrass in the past, you’ll want to get the products on!  Most year people get too eager to make the applications and they apply the products too early and the product gives out when the peak emergence of crabgrass is occurring.  It has sure been an unusual winter and spring, but I guess that’s Nebraska!

Given the weather this spring, many lawns will need two applications with the first applied soon. Or wait and see what the weather does and apply a product containing dithiopyr (Dimension) later this spring to control small emerged crabgrass as well as that yet to emerge.


Chemigation Training and Certification Class Planned

I have my second chemigation training session planned for Wednesday April 4, at 1:00 p.m. in the 4-H Building here in York.

Participants will be provided a manual and calibration workbook the day of the training, but it this will be your first time, you may want to stop by our office to obtain a copy of the materials so that you can review them prior to attending the training session.  The training/testing will take approximately 3 to 4 hours.

On the day of training please bring your Chemigation Training Manual, Calibration Workbook, and a calculator. There is no charge for the manuals or training. Advanced registration is not required.



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