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Extension Update by Gary Zoubeck [December 6, 2012]


Coming Events

It’s December!
What a great weekend temperature wise!  If we could just have received some rain along with the fog!  It’s December and with temperatures in the 50/60s, it does not seem like December or that Christmas is just around the corner.  I guess that’s what’s great about Nebraska, no two years are the same, and if you just stick around a day or two the weather can and will change!

Climate Masters of Nebraska
Speaking of weather change, if you are interested in climate and what’s happening UNL last year started a training program similar to the Master Gardener program.  It’s called “Climate Masters of Nebraska,” and is a second year program at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s School of Natural Resources.  It is a ten week course starting January 16, 2013.  Any community member that is 19 years or older is welcome to participate. Throughout the course, participants will learn ways in which to act locally to save money, protect the environment and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.  The course, funded by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, will teach participants various ways that they as individuals can reduce greenhouse gas emissions.  In exchange for the free course, participants volunteer 30 hours of their time educating others in the community.

I’m thinking about enrolling in this 10-week course that will meet every Wednesday evening from 6:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.  Classes will focus on the basics of climate change, home energy, transportation, green building, renewables, yards, consumption and waste, food, water conservation, preparing for climate change, and more.  Two field trips will also be offered as part of the course.

For more information and registration, please visit the Climate Masters website: http://ClimateMasters.unl.edu or contact Tonya Bernadt at climatemasters@unl.edu.

Nebraska Ag Classic
Just a reminder of the Nebraska Ag Classic planned for December 12 in Grand Island at the Midtown Holiday Inn during the Nebraska Ag Classic.  The Nebraska Ag Classic represents the combined efforts of twelve different agricultural, commodity, and ag leadership organizations to provide to those attending our conference one of the largest and best events to be held in Nebraska. To register, go to: http://www.neagclassic.org.

Irrigation Management
Irrigators may want to consider attending a Deficit Irrigation Management Workshop planned for December 7 at the Monsanto Water Utilization and Learning Center near Gothenburg.  At this workshop, University of Nebraska-Lincoln researchers and extension specialists will report on a long-term research program on deficit irrigation and share recommendations based on what they learned.  The workshop will be 9:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.  Registration begins at 8:30 a.m.  Cost is $25 and CCA credits can be available.  Please register to Chuck Burr at chuck.burr@unl.edu  (308-696-6740) or Gary Stone gstone2@unl.edu (308‐632‐1230) by Dec. 4.  More information and promotional flier can be found at:  http://water.unl.edu/web/cropswater/home.  Check out the “Did You Know” link on the right hand side of the page!

Dr. David Kohl to Speak
I’ve mentioned it before, but just a reminder, that Dr. David Kohl will be the featured speaker on Monday December 10 at the Opera House in Bruning for one of the Farmers & Ranchers College workshops.  His topic is “Agriculture: What’s Around the Corner & Down the Road”.   It should be an interesting and informative presentation!

For more information or to register, contact Brandy VanDeWalle at 402-759-3712 to reserve your spot!  The presentation will be from 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Christmas Gifts for the Producer in Your Family
It’s that time of year when we’re all thinking about getting those perfect gifts for our family members!

I’ve come up with a few ideas for the producer in your life:



Est. Cost

ET gage Estimate crop water use $225.00
Watermark sensors Measures soil water $34.00
Handheld meter Reads soil water $242.00
Watermark monitor (data logger) Logs & graphs seasonal soil water $383.00
JMC back-saver probe Installs sensors and collect soil samples $471.00
Watermark sensor puller Takes work out of pulling sensors $50.00
Crop Water App for iPhone/iPad Calculates soil water depleted/and available Free

If you farm in the Upper Big Blue NRD, they have a cost share program for much of this equipment.  Go to the following link:  http://www.upperbigblue.org/nrdwebsite/pages/dept_water.htm and click on the irrigation scheduling link.

If you would like to purchase the Watermark sensor puller, check out this link; it’s produced in York County:  http://www.collettenterprises.net/

The Crop Water App was developed at the request of Nebraska Agricultural Water Management Network (NAWMN) participants. This app provides an easy way to estimate soil water status based on Watermark sensors installed at depths of 1, 2, and 3 feet. With these sensor readings, the Crop Water app will estimate the water used as well as what is still available for Nebraska soils. You can also see historic sensor readings and graph the data if you’d like.

You can download it from iTunes at: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/crop-water/id557926049?mt=8

If you’d like more information about this tools, give me a call at 402-362-5508 or email me at gary.zoubek@unl.edu.

Farm Beginnings® Classes begin Beginnings Dec. 8
Farm Beginnings® is an educational training and support program designed to help people who want to evaluate and plan their farm enterprise. Farm Beginnings® participants engage in a mentorship experience and network with a variety of successful, innovative farmers; attend practical, high quality seminars, field days and conferences.  This will be the 5th Farm Beginnings® class held in Nebraska.  The class will begin December 8 at the UNL ARDC near Mead.  If are interested in the program or you’d like more information, go to http://nemaha.unl.edu/.  You can still sign up and there are scholarships available that will help with the cost.  For questions about the program you can contact Gary Lesoing at (402) 274-4755 or glesoing2@unl.edu.

Landlord/Tenant Cash Lease Workshop Planned
I’ve mentioned it before, but Coleen Pallas, Extension Assistant wanted me to remind both area tenants and landlords of a workshop sponsored by the NE Soybean Board and the North Central Risk Management Education Center in conjunction with the  University of Nebraska-Lincoln Extension.  The workshop will be on December 13 from 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. on the Polk County Fairgrounds in Osceola.

“The Landlord/Tenant Cash Lease workshop series will help producers and landowners deal with the volatility of their cash rents,” said Allan Vyhnalek, UNL Extension educator in Platte County.  “Landlords are trying to be loyal to their tenants, yet want a fair return for the land asset. Tenants want to be sure to stay in business, yet feel the pressure of bidding to keep the land base that they have been farming,” said Vyhnalek.

Topics for discussion include: expectations from the lease, including goal setting for the rental property; lease communication; determining appropriate information sharing for both the tenant and landlord; relatives – tips for farm leases that include relatives; irrigation system questions, as they pertain to setting lease rates; alternative cash lease arrangements; flexible provision considerations for your situation; and other topics like grain bin rental will be covered as time allows.  Managing the 2012 drought and implications for 2013 will also be discussed.

This workshop is free, but registration is required to reserve a spot. Please register by December 10.  Handout materials, a meal, and refreshments provided.  Participation is limited. To register, call the Polk County Extension Office at 402-747-2321 or email Colleen Pallas at: colleen.pallas@unl.edu.





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