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Extension Update by Gary Zoubeck [August 1, 2013]

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Coming Events

It’s Fair Time
As I mentioned last week, it’s hard to believe, but it’s time for another York County Fair!  It’s also really hard to believe that this will also be my 25th year of involvement with it.  We moved to York in June of 1989.  We have a great group of Ag. Society or Fairboard members, 4-H leaders, families and volunteers that make the York County Fair a success.

I hope you’ll take the time to attend the many events and check out all the open class, 4-H and FFA exhibits.  Do you have some garden produce, baked goods, or clothing you’d like to brag about?  Enter an item or two on Tuesday evening July 30 from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. or Wednesday morning July 31 from 8:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.  Open class entries are made in Ag Hall across from the Extension Office, but first register in the old school house (Fair Office).  Copies of the fair book are available at our office or on line at: http://www.yorkcountyfair.com/.  Be sure to check out the long list of activities.   It’s Cruise Nights at the fair, we’ll see you there!

Yard and Garden
How are things going for you with your yard and garden?  June and July continues to be much drier than normal and it’s starting to showing up in our lawns and gardens.   Our Turf Specialist Zac Reicher, Professor, Turfgrass Science prepared a great Turf iNfo article this past week on irrigating our lawns.  He recommends maintaining a good mowing height and irrigating deeply when signs of drought stress in the form on foot prints are seen.  If you monitor your turf, you know the areas that dry out first.

He indicated “Deep and infrequent irrigation is best for turfgrass health (optimum rooting, minimal pest pressure, etc).  In other words, do not irrigate until you see the first signs of drought stress, which is “footprinting” or a bluish-gray color to the turf in mid-afternoon.  Most turf can easily withstand this type of drought stress for a short period.  Once these symptoms are seen, irrigate that evening or preferably the next morning wetting the soil to the depth of rooting, which may be an inch on some lawns or four inches on other lawns.  Then do not irrigate again until you see the signs of drought stress, which may be few days to a few weeks depending on the species and health of turf, soil type, and most importantly the weather. Irrigating in this fashion will maintain a healthy lawn with a minimum of water.  Be careful, however, to avoid traffic while the plants are in even minor drought stress.”

Check out the complete article on turf irrigation and management.  That address is:  http://turf.unl.edu/.  Click on the “Continued heat and drought forcing irrigation on lawns” link.

Are you harvesting lots of produce from your garden?  I’ve really started getting lots of cucumbers, zucchini, summer squash, and green beans if I have time to pick them.  Skip one or two days and those zucchini must trip or quadruple in size.  Alice Henneman, and Extension Educator in Lincoln recently prepared a great article on “8 Tips for Better Tasting Fruits & Vegetables”.

The tips include:

1)      Know which fruits ripen after they’re picked

2)      Keep fruits and vegetable separate in the refrigerator.  (Fruits give off ethylene gas which can shorten the storage life of vegetables)

3)      Refrigerate produce in perforated plastic bags.

4)      Remove radish tops before storing.

5)      Wash fruits and vegetables correctly.

6)      Take a salad for a spin!

7)      Keep fruits and vegetables separate from certain foods.

8)      Prevent cut fruits from turning brown.

She shared some great information.  It’s available at: http://lancaster.unl.edu/nebline/2013/aug13/.  I hope you’ll take time to check it out so that you’ll have the best tasting fruit and vegetables possible.  I learned several great tips from the article.

A problem I’ve received a few calls and I’ve seen it in my garden this year is blossom end rot on tomatoes and summer squash.  It’s showing up on the bottoms of tomato as a brown, leathery spot. Blossom end rot is most common on the first fruit of the season; and usually stops on its own as the season progresses.

Blossom end rot is not a disease, but is caused by a lack of calcium in the fruit or an in-balance.  The lack of calcium in the fruit is usually due to factors that prevent plants efficiently taking up and moving calcium from roots to fruits; or is due to lush foliage using the calcium before it reaches the fruit. Usually the plants adjust and after the first few the later fruits are OK.  One thing to do is try and keep the soil consistently moist for healthy roots by mulching and not fertilizing too much with nitrogen.

I’ve seen more of this than usual in my garden, so I probably have not done a good job of maintaining uniform soil moisture.  I probably let the plants get a little drier than I should  have and then applied a little too much water.

Cropping Update
It was great to wake up to rain falling Monday morning.  The gage at the Extension Office had .70” as of 10:00 a.m.  The ETgages I’m monitoring in York, east of town as well as south of town dropped about 1.25” for the week.  The one I have in town by the office dropped 1.50”.  The grass covered ETgage dropped 1.25” so that’s what our turf used this past week, however we received a little over an inch or rain between the two events.  The cool temperatures and humidity has helped keep the ETgage drops down.

With much of the early planted corn now tasseling the crop coefficient is 1.10, so to estimate the crop water use for we multiply 1.25 x 1.10 so our crop water use was 1.37” for the week or just under .2”/day.

Soybean Management Field Day Planned
I hope you’ve marked your calendar and have called in to reserve your spot for our August 14th Soybean Management Field Day just East of York on the Jerry Stahr farm.  Other dates and sites are August 13th is in Minden at the Olsen Cattle Co. Farm; August 15th in Pierce at the Mike Krueger Farm; and August 16th in Waterloo at the Walvoord and Sons Farm.  Registration begins at 9 a.m. with the program from 9:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m.

Topics include:  adjuvants and water quality; fungicide and insecticide inputs-yield results and risks; row spacing; soybean nutrients including micronutrient study; irrigation management; the golden triangle-Nebraska’s livestock production past, present, and future.

There is no charge thanks to the Nebraska Soybean Board but please pre-register at 800-529-8030.  For more information:  http://ardc.unl.edu/soydays.

Herbicide Resistant Field Days
Last week I mentioned the two herbicide resistant field days are planned for Monday August 6 at David City and the other is August 7 at Fremont.

Field day topics include: Glyphosate Dose Response and Liberty Link Soybean; Management Systems: Study various herbicide programs and their effectiveness in controlling glyphosate-resistant weed populations.  Dicamba-Resistant Soybean (Fremont only): View demonstrations of how dicamba-resistant soybean can provide another post-emergence tool for weed management.  Carrier Rate: See how carrier rate impacts herbicides.

In addition to these topics, there will be a presentation on glyphosate-resistant giant ragweed at David City and glyphosate-resistant waterhemp at Fremont.  Each field day will begin at 9 a.m. and end at 1:30 p.m. following lunch.

The events are free but preregistration is required by this Friday, August 2.  Register online at http://agronomy.unl.edu/weedresistmgt.

David City: From Hwy 15 in David City, turn west on East A St., then continue west for 2 blocks and look for the UNL field sign.

Fremont: Parking is not available at the site. Please park in the Fremont Tractor Supply parking lot (next to Walmart), and shuttle buses will transport you the 1.5 miles to the field day site.

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