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Extension Update from Jenny Rees



May 10:  Field Scout Training, 8am Registration with 8:25am training, (800) 529-8030, http://ardc.unl.edu/crop.shtml
May 30-21:  Youth Tractor Safety Class, 8am, Kearney Fairgrounds (308) 236-1235
June 28:  South Central Ag Lab Weed Science Field Day, SCAL near Clay Center (morning)
June 28:  South Central Ag Lab Cover Crop Field Day, SCAL near Clay Center (afternoon)
July 10-11:  Youth Tractor Safety Class, 8am, Grand Island College Park (308) 385-5088.
July 18:  Crop Management Diagnostic Clinic:  Soil Health, ARDC (now ENREC) near Mead
Aug. 2:  Crop Management Diagnostic Clinic:  Precision Ag Training, ARDC (now ENREC) near Mead
Aug. 8:  Soybean Management Field Days, North Platte
Aug. 9:  Soybean Management Field Days, Ord
Aug. 10:  Soybean Management Field Days, Auburn
Aug. 11:  Soybean Management Field Days, Tekamah
Aug. 23:  Crop Management Diagnostic Clinic:  Soybean Production Training, ARDC (now ENREC) near Mead
Aug. 24:  Crop Management Diagnostic Clinic:  Corn Production Training, ARDC (now ENREC) near Mead

Farm Finance Clinic Sites and Dates To sign up for a clinic or to get more information, call Michelle at the Nebraska Farm Hotline at 1-800-464-0258.

Thank you to everyone who helped with and brought items to the Household Hazardous Waste Disposals in the various counties in our area this year!  It’s a blessing to have these opportunities to dispose of these items properly!

Planting Update:  Planters have been rolling with both corn and some soybeans being planted.  The York County Corn Grower Plot was also planted on Saturday morning and special thanks to Ron and Brad Makovicka for this!  I’ve already shared many planting tips from UNL so here’s wishing you a safe remainder of the planting season!

Wheat Update:  I looked at several wheat fields in Nuckolls and Clay Counties last week.  While stripe rust has now been confirmed in the Nebraska Panhandle, I haven’t seen it in our area yet and it also has not been confirmed in the Kansas Counties just bordering our southern tier of counties.  Wheat is taking off and appears to have jointed a few weeks ago.  There’s quite a range in wheat greenness and growth among fields and within fields with endrows being greener and taller in some cases than the rest of the field.  Planting depth differences can be one reason for this.  Digging up plants in these situations, the seed was deeper-anywhere from 1-2” compared to the other plants in the field where the seed has ranged anywhere from on the soil surface to 1/2”.  A combination of things such as loose soil seed bed coupled with not enough weight on the drill can allow for shallower planting than intended.  This may not allow for that seed to be down in even moisture and temperature conditions or allow for better root development going into winter to help with winterkill.  The endrows may have been more compacted allowing for a firmer seedbed and the seed to be planted at the intended depth.  Low pH and various viral diseases can also cause variation in wheat growth and greenness.  Most of what I’ve seen thus far this year has been planting depth related, though. 

Field Scout Training:  Entry-level crop scouts, summer interns, farmers and anyone interested in understanding crop scouting and plant growth are encouraged to consider attending the Field Scout Training on May 10th.  It will be held at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln’s Eastern Nebraska Research and Extension Center, formerly the Agricultural Research and Development Center near Mead.  Registration begins at 8 a.m. with training from 8:25 a.m. to 5 p.m. Topics include:  how corn and soybean plants grow and develop; soybean and corn insect management; using plant morphology and a seedling identification key to identify weeds; crop diseases; and a nutrient deficiency quiz.  CCA credits are available.  For more information or to register, contact Nebraska Extension at (800) 529-8030, e-mail Keith Glewen at kglewen1@unl.edu, or online at http://ardc.unl.edu/crop.shtml.

Lawn mowing has begun. If you stick to a once a week mowing schedule, this may not be often enough during rapid spring growth. Healthy turfgrass has an extensive root system. Removing more than one-third of the grass blade while mowing stresses and decreases the root system; setting the lawn up for heat stress and other issues during summer. Mowing may be needed every four or five days during spring. When mowing begins in spring, set the mower height then stick with it through summer and fall. “Set it and forget it” is the best advice for mowing height. A height of 3 to 3.5”, and not removing more than one-third of the grass blade during any one mowing, is an important practice for Kentucky bluegrass and tall fescue. Frequent mowing and a tall height helps turfgrass better tolerate heat and drought stress, compete well with weeds, and to be less susceptible to disease and insect issues.

Ornamental Pears and Bark Shatter:
  If the bark of ornamental pear trees begins to fall off, this is a sign of cold temperature injury.  Unfortunately, there is nothing that can be done at this point; and the trunk area should not be treated or covered with anything such as wound paint or tree wrap. This type of injury is common with ornamental pears, and current loss of bark is likely due to cold temperature injury that occurred in November, 2014. We had a warm fall; then temperatures dropped suddenly to 5 degrees. Ornamental pears go dormant later than other trees. If not fully dormant, cold temperatures can damage the tissue just beneath the bark. This damage eventually leads to bark falling off one- to four or five years after the initial damage. Provide adequate moisture and mulch the tree; then wait and see what happens. When it dies, do not replace it with an ornamental pear.

Evergreen Trees:  If needles on the end of pine trees turned brown last year, it could be due to either pine tip moth or a disease called Sphaeropsis tip blight.  Take the dead clump of needles at the tip of the tree branches and see if there’s any holes/hollowing where the needles join the branch.  If not, most likely the problem is tip blight disease.  If they are hollow, you may or may not see a caterpillar inside and this would be due to pine tip moth.  Knowing the difference is important for correct prevention.  Now is the time to spray trees for tip blight and more information can be found here:  http://nfs.unl.edu/documents/foresthealth/diseasesevergreen.pdf.  Spraying for tip moth doesn’t occur until mid-May and more information regarding that can be found here:   http://nfs.unl.edu/documents/foresthealth/insectevergreen.pdf.

Rose Pruning:  Pruning of roses is best done in mid- to late April, just after new growth begins. Most pruning is done to remove winter killed portions of rose canes which are typically black and show no signs of new growth.  Pruning of hybrid tea roses can also be used to manipulate the size, timing and number of flowers a plant produces.  Prune hybrid tea roses to a height of 12-24 inches.  Completely remove dead, diseased, weak or broken branches by cutting them back to the crown. Also remove branches that cross over and rub one another. On shrub roses, remove up to one third of the oldest, woodiest stems each year, cutting them back near the plant’s crown. This encourages growth of new, vigorous stems from the plant crown and eliminates development of many old, woody branches with poor flower production. It also increases air circulation through the plant, reducing the potential for disease problems.





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