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Extension Update from Jenny Rees

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UPCOMING EVENTS:  
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,http://cropwatch.unl.edu/2017/west-cental-water-and-crops-field-day-aug-24
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
Aug. 31:  Ag Land Management Seminar, Registration 9am, Program 9:30-3 p.m., Adams Co. Fairgrounds, Hastings RSVP 402-461-7209
Aug. 31:  Hamilton County Corn Grower Plot Tour, 11 a.m., west of M Road and HWY 34 on the south side, just past the viaduct.
Sept. 6:  Sorghum Field Day, Mike Baker Farm near Trenton, NE, 5:00 p.m., RSVP (402) 471-4276west of M Road and HWY 34 on the south side, just past the viaduct.
Sept. 7:  Sorghum Field Day, John Donicek Farm near Lawrence, NE, 5:30 p.m., RSVP (402) 471-4276
Sept. 8:  Sorghum Field Day, John Dvoracek Farm near Farwell, NE, 11:00 a.m., RSVP (402) 471-4276
Sept. 12-14:  40th Husker Harvest Days near Grand Island, http://huskerharvestdays.com/hh17/Public/Enter.aspx
Nov. 16:  York County Corn Grower Banquet
Dec. 7:  Farmers and Ranchers College:  Dr. David Kohl, 1-4 p.m., Bruning Opera House, Bruning
Dec. 12:  Grain Marketing Seminar, 4-H Building York
Jan. 10-11:  York Ag Expo, Holthus Convention Center, York
Jan. 11:  Crop Production Clinic, North Platte
Jan. 16:  Crop Production Clinic, Norfolk
Jan. 18:  Crop Production Clinic, Lincoln
Jan. 24-25:  Crop Management Conference, Kearney

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.

York and Hamilton County Corn Grower Plot Field Days:  The York County Corn Growers Variety Plot Tour will be this Thursday, August 24th from 5-7 p.m. at 1416 Road I in York County.  Eight seed companies are represented within the plot.  There is no formal program and attendees are free to come view the hybrids as it works for them within the two-hour time-frame.  Refreshments will also be available.

Steve Melvin, Extension Educator for Hamilton/Merrick counties shares the Hamilton County Corn Growers Plot Tour will be August 31st starting at 11:00 a.m. west of M Road and HWY 34 on the south side, just past the viaduct.  The program will feature the demonstration of seven different irrigation scheduling equipment systems which have been recording data this summer.  Steve will lead a discussion focusing on understanding the data from the equipment and making good irrigation scheduling decisions with it. The discussion will give you the opportunity to compare low cost simple devices to the latest high tech systems that provide the information on a smart phone or computer. The systems include rain gauge plus an ETgage by ETgage Company, Watermark Monitor by Irrometer, The Profiler by Servi-Tech, AddVANTAGE Pro by Adcon Telemetry, Virtual Optimizer by Crop Metrics, FieldNET Advisor by Lindsay and Phytech.  Five of the systems have telemetry that placed the data on a website where the irrigator can see and analyze the information. The different devices are all installed in close proximity to each other, have been recording data this irrigation season, and can be accessed at the following sites. For more information, contact Steve Melvin at 308-946-3849 or steve.melvin@unl.edu.  The event will continue with lunch starting at noon at the Oswald Farm followed by the irrigation scheduling presentations. The farm is located from L Road and Hwy 34 (5 miles west of the Hwy 34 and 14 junction in Aurora), 1 mile south to 12th Rd., then 1/2 mile west on the south side. 

Corn Residue Exchange:  The Crop Residue Exchange is an interactive, online tool designed to help farmers and cattle producers connect and develop mutually beneficial agreements for using crop residue for grazing. A recent UNL survey funded by USDA Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education showed that 17% of farmers list lack of access to cattle as the major reason cattle aren’t used to graze residue on their farmland. This new online exchange serves as a way for corn and other crop producers to market their crop residue to cattle producers.

The Crop Residue Exchange is available online at http://cropresidueexchange.unl.edu. After establishing a log-in account, farmers can list cropland available for grazing by drawing out the plot of land available using an interactive map and entering in basic information about the type of residue, fencing situation, water availability, and dates available. They also provide their preferred contact information. Livestock producers can log in and search the database for cropland available for grazing within radius of a given location of interest.

While the primary objective of this exchange is to assist in the development of farmer-cattle producer relationships, it’s expected that in the near future the exchange will provide educational material and tools to support these relationships. Items under development include:  a lease template to help cattle owners and farmers develop a contract; links to tools and guidelines to help farmers and cattle owners correctly stock crop residue fields, and summary information on crop residue grazing rates.  These tools will be available to all registered users of the exchange.  Development of the Crop Residue Exchange was made possible with funding support from the Nebraska Extension Innovation Grants Program.

Dicamba Survey:  Nebraska Extension educators and specialists have appreciated hearing from growers and agriculture professionals on suspected injury to soybean from dicamba use in soybean and corn as this helps us understand what problems exist and to formulate helpful suggestions in the future. We would like to gather more specific information to help identify what factors may have led to increased soybean injury this year. We are asking for your cooperation by taking an online survey at:  https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/VGXDBT9.  Please feel free to include additional information about your experience with dicamba application or suspected injury this summer via email to dicamba@unl.edu.

Evaluating Irrigation System:  Steve Melvin wrote an article for this week’s CropWatch on evaluating your irrigation system at the end of the season at:  http://go.unl.edu/2d3g.

Lawn Care:  Kelly Feehan, Extension Educator in Platte County shares the following lawn care tips, “If you want a dense, healthy lawn more resistant to weeds, diseases and insects, the care provided during fall is often more important than spring care.  Fertilization, continued mowing at a tall height, and keeping the soil moist well into fall is needed. Core aeration or plugging is another good fall practice.

Older lawns of Kentucky bluegrass and tall fescue, those that are 10 to 15 or more years old, typically need two fertilizer applications each year. The fall application is best made in late August or early September using a fertilizer with slow release forms of nitrogen.  On younger lawns, two fertilizer applications are recommended during fall.  Make the first one in late August or early September and the second in mid to late October.  For the first one, select a fertilizer with slow release nitrogen sources. For the later application, use a fast release nitrogen source so the plants take it up before dormancy.

Continue mowing at a height of three to three and a half inches until that last mowing. A tall height improves root growth and helps shade out weed seedlings that may be germinating during fall.  Good moisture from recent rains make turning off automatic irrigation systems a must. However, monitor soil moisture and turn on irrigation systems whenever the soil dries to keep the soil moist well into fall.          

Cultivation practices like core aeration and power raking will cause some damage to turfgrass. Hold off on these practices until about the middle of September. Power raking is only recommended when the true thatch layer exceeds three-fourths of an inch.  Core aeration can be done annually to relieve soil compaction, increase infiltration of water and fertilizer, and improve root growth and function. It should be done at least once every three years; and more often on lawns growing on clay soils or that have a lot of foot traffic.

If seeding or overseeding is needed, the best window for seeding tall fescue and Kentucky bluegrass lawns is from mid-August into early September. The earlier tall fescue can be seeded, the better. If seeded too late, seedlings may not survive the winter. Prepare a good seed bed, purchase quality seed, and seed soon. 

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