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Extension Update from Jenny Rees

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UPCOMING EVENTS:  
Aug. 10-13:  Seward County Fair
Aug. 11:  Soybean Management Field Days, Tekamah.  RSVP:  http://ardc.unl.edu/soydays
Aug. 14:  Project Sense Field Day, Lower Loup NRD, near Monroe, NE, 5 p.m.-7 p.m.
Aug. 16:  Project Sense Field Day, Central Platte NRD, Ken Seim farm near Chapman, NE, 10 a.m.-Noon
Aug. 16:  Corn Disease Diagnostic Workshop, 5:30-7 p.m., Activity Building, Clay Co Fairgrounds, jrees2@unl.edu
Aug. 17:  Corn Disease Diagnostic Workshop, 10-11:30 a.m., 4-H Building, York Co. Fairgrounds, jrees2@unl.edu
Aug. 18:  Rain Garden Installation Design Workshop for landscape professionals, Earl May in Columbus, Contact Kelly Feehan kfeehan2@unl.edu
Aug. 22:  Project Sense Field Day, Upper Big Blue NRD, Cole Anderson farm near Beaver Crossing, NE, 11 a.m.-1 p.m.
Aug. 23:  Crop Management Diagnostic Clinic:  Soybean Production Training, ARDC (now ENREC) near Mead, 8:30-5pm RSVP http://ardc.unl.edu/cmdc.shtml
Aug. 24:  Crop Management Diagnostic Clinic:  Corn Production Training, ARDC (now ENREC) near Mead, 8-4pm RSVP http://ardc.unl.edu/cmdc.shtml
Aug. 24:  West Central Crops and Water Field Day, West Central R&E Center, North Platte
Aug. 24:  York County Corn Grower Plot Tailgate, 5-7pm, 1416 Road I, York County.
Aug. 25-Sept. 4:  Nebraska State Fair, http://www.statefair.org
Sept. 12-14:  40th Husker Harvest Days near Grand Island, http://huskerharvestdays.com/hh17/Public/Enter.aspx

What a beautiful week of weather-especially for County Fair!  A special thank you to all who helped make the York County Fair a success! Reminder that Seward County Fair is August 10-13!

Painted Lady Butterflies/Thistle Caterpillars:  Every year we see thistle caterpillars in soybean fields to a low extent but this year larger numbers have been observed.  The thistle caterpillar larvae can feed on 100 species of plants but most commonly feed on thistles, soybean, sunflower, and vegetable garden plants.  South of HWY 4 some growers treated for first generation due to the amount of defoliation occurring.  The orange/black butterflies that have been flying the past 10-14 days have mostly been painted lady butterflies, the adult of thistle caterpillars.  The butterflies prefer nectar from flowers that are 3-6 feet in height such as thistles, asters, cosmos, liatris, clovers, milkweeds, and others.  Entomologists said they should typically migrate north, but we have seen egg laying occurring in soybean fields.  The key will be to watch for defoliation of soybean leaves-perhaps even alfalfa as I’ve also seen the butterflies in those fields.  Defoliation of 20% during pod/seed set with live caterpillars present is the economic threshold.  The webbing they create doesn’t damage the soybeans, just the defoliation when it gets to threshold levels.  Even though they are called “thistle caterpillars”, their damage only sets thistles back; it doesn’t kill them.  If the name of these sound familiar to you, these caterpillars and butterflies are often also used in classrooms to teach the lifecycle of insects with complete metamorphosis (egg/larva/pupa/adult).

Hands-On Corn and Soybean Disease Class with Microscopes:  This idea was inspired by a farmer who wanted to know more about how to diagnose the diseases on his farm with his own microscope.  With an increasing number of farmers, consultants, and ag industry professionals obtaining microscopes, I thought it would be great to teach a hands-on class to know how to diagnose corn fungal vs. bacterial diseases via microscopes.  The more eyes we have in the field and more we partner together, the better we all are at serving our growers and I appreciate the industry partners I work with each day!  So, Sarah Schlund, Extension Educator for Dawson/Buffalo/Hall counties and I will co-teach small group sessions on August 16 and 17.  The session August 16th will be held from 5:30-7:00 p.m. at the Fairgrounds in Clay Center.  The August 17th session will be held from 10 a.m.-11:30 a.m. at the 4-H Building in York.  Sessions are limited to 20 participants due to microscope constraints.  Please RSVP to jrees2@unl.edu if you are interested in attending either session.  Light refreshments of cookies, tea, coffee will be provided and there’s no cost to attend.  Participants are welcome to bring their own corn disease samples and microscopes if they’d like.  Participants will learn skills to diagnose bacterial from fungal diseases, fungal spore identification of major corn diseases, and how to take photos from the microscope with your smartphone to quickly share with UNL and others.

Project Sense Field Days:  Project SENSE (Sensors for Efficient Nitrogen Use and Stewardship of the Environment) focuses on improving the efficiency of nitrogen fertilizer use.  Nebraska Extension is working directly with producers in conducting research trials on their own fields. Project SENSE is a collaborative effort between the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, the Nebraska Corn Board, and five Natural Resources Districts (NRDs) in Nebraska, and producers participating in the Nebraska On-Farm Research Network. Growers in attendance will see an applicator outfitted with crop canopy sensors, and how they can improve nitrogen use efficiency. Strategies which direct crop nitrogen status at early growth stages are a promising way to improve nitrogen fertilizer efficiency and improve groundwater nitrate levels.  A free noon lunch will be served. Please preregister 2 days in advance for meal planning purposes. To preregister, call 308-754-5422 or e-mail tingram5@unl.edu. The closest field days will be:     
         *Wednesday, August 16, Ken Seim Farm, Chapman, NE from 10:00 a.m.–Noon.  (Directions: West of Chapman on G Road to 2nd Road (Worms Rd). Go North to K Road, East 1 mile to 3rd Rd. South ½ mile on west side of road.)     
         *Tuesday, August 22, Blue River Ag, 3730 Denton Rd, Beaver Crossing, NE 11:00 a.m. -1:00 p.m. (Includes unmanned aerial system demo). 

Ag Climate Tools and Grain Storage Webinar: Anyone interested in ag climate tools and grain storage information is welcome to join a free webinar on Friday, August 25th at 10:00 am.  Speakers:  Dr. Beth Hall, Director of the Midwest Regional Climate Center, and Dr. Kenneth Hellevang, Extension Engineer, North Dakota State University.   To connect, go to:  https://purdue.webex.com/purdue/onstage/g.php?MTID=ee7347c5408878ff28535bfe9939da118

Sustainable Agriculture Tour:  You also may be interested in the following sustainable agricultural tour sponsored in large part by Sustainable Agriculture Research Education.  The tour will take place on August 15, 2017.  A bus will leave UNL East Campus at 7:30 a.m. and tentatively return by 5:30 p.m.  The cost is $25/person and you can RSVP to Gary Lesoing at (402) 274-4755 or email glesoing2@unl.edu.  RSVP must be received by August 11.  Tour stops include:  West Blue Farm (Dave and Deb Welsch) by Milford, NE which is a certified organic corn, soybean, and alfalfa farm; Pekarek Produce (Ryan and Katie Pekarek) near Dwight, NE in which they grow several vegetables for farmers’ markets and grocery stores utilizing high tunnels and greenhouses in their production system; Larry Stanislav’s organic farm near Abie utilizing rotation of spring wheat, corn, soybeans, and cover crops and utilizes crimping and flaming for weed control; Liz Sarno near Abie showcasing organic, grass finished cattle and boer goat herd; and Mark Roh near Abie who will discuss his crop rotations, pest control methods and on-farm processing.

Lawn and Garden:  August is a great month for lawn renovation! The following resource is great for improving lawns in the fall whether complete renovation or overseeding thin areas.  I like this resource because it goes step by step how to do either option.  You can find it by going here:  http://go.unl.edu/rthq.

 

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