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Extension Update from Jenny Rees


Nov. 6:  So You Inherited a Farm, Now What? Hall County Extension, Grand Island 9:30 a.m. RSVP:  308-385-5088
Nov. 8:  Growing Nebraska Summit, Cornhusker Hotel Lincoln, 8:15 a.m.-4pm, RSVP:  https://ianr.unl.edu/ianr-fall-conference
Nov. 8:  Webcast: The Drone Age is Here and We’re Screwing it Up, 3:30 p.m., http://research.unl.edu/nebraskalectures
Nov. 9:  Forest Products Marketing Workshop, Kearney, NE, https://www.eventbrite.com/e/forest-products-marketing-workshop-tickets-38081724463Nov. 13:  So You Inherited a Farm, Now What? 1:30 p.m., 4-H Bldg York, RSVP (402) 362-5508 or jrees2@unl.edu
Nov. 13:  Estate Planning Meeting, 6:30 p.m., 4-H Bldg York, RSVP (402) 362-5508 or jrees2@unl.edu
Nov. 15:  Sprayer Clinic for Dicamba/Enlist, NE College Tech Ag Curtis, 12:30 p.m., RSVP 308-696-6705 or robert.klein@unl.edu
Nov. 16:  Grain Marketing Seminar:  Intro to Futures and Options, 9:30-3 p.m., former ARDC near Mead, RSVP (402) 261-7572
Nov. 16:
  York County Corn Grower Banquet, 6:30 p.m. Social, 7 p.m. Supper, Chances ‘R’, Tickets at York Co. Extension Office or from Corn Grower Directors
Nov. 19-21:  Facing Challenges: Shaping the Future Water Conference, Holiday Inn Kearney, http://www.newra.net/nwra-nsia-joint-convention/
Nov. 21:  Grain Marketing Seminar:  Intro. to Futures and Options, 10 a.m.-3:30 p.m., Extension Office Holdrege, RSVP (308) 345-3390Nov. 27:  On-Farm Research Brainstorm/Discussion Session, 1-4 p.m., 4-H Bldg Fairgrounds Aurora, RSVP jrees2@unl.edu or steve.melvin@unl.edu
Dec. 7:  Farmers and Ranchers College:  Dr. David Kohl, 1-4 p.m., Bruning Opera House, Bruning
Dec. 11:  Grain Marketing Seminar:  Intro to Futures and Options, 9:30 a.m.-3pm, Extension Office Beatrice, RSVP (402) 873-3166
Dec. 11:  Beef Quality Assurance Training, 3-5 p.m., Saunders Co. Extension (former ARDC), RSVP 402-624-8030 or kristen.ulmer@unl.edu
Dec. 12:  Grain Marketing Seminar: Intro to Futures and Options, 9:30 a.m.-3 p.m., 4-H Building York, RSVP (402) 362-5508
Dec. 12:  Beef Quality Assurance Training, 3-5 p.m., Jefferson Co. 4-H Building in Fairbury, RSVP 402-624-8030 or kristen.ulmer@unl.edu
Dec. 12:  Beef Quality Assurance Training, 7-9 p.m., Civic Center in Seward, RSVP 402-624-8030 or kristen.ulmer@unl.edu
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. 18-19:  Hops Grower, Brewer Conference, Embassy Suites Downtown Omaha, http://www.growbrewnebraska.com/registration/
Jan. 24-25:  Crop Management Conference, Kearney
Jan. 30-31:  No-Till On the Plains Winter Conference, Wichita, KS http://notill.org/
Feb. 7-9:  Nebraska Ag Tech Assoc. (NeATA) Conference
Feb. 19:  Nebraska On-Farm Research Network Update, former ARDC near Mead
Feb. 20:  Nebraska On-Farm Research Network Update, Lifelong Learning Center Northeast Com. College, Norfolk
Feb. 21:  Nebraska On-Farm Research Network Update, Hall Co. Extension Office, Grand Island
Feb. 22-23:  Women in Ag 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.

Downed Corn and Grazing:  As harvest has been wrapping up, I’ve received calls about grazing corn fields.  A few asked about using sodium bicarbonate.  Dr. Mary Drewnoski, Beef Systems Specialist, shared there’s not data to indicate it would be beneficial.  The research data when sodium bicarbonate was used in dairy diets showed inconsistent results with a 50% roughage diet.  With the beef cows eating an almost all grain diet, she and other beef specialists don’t recommend this.  They all feel the best thing to do is limit access and/or move calves through first to pick up most of the grain after adapting them.  She explains how this can be done in this KRVN interview:  http://krvnam.streamon.fm/listen-pl-2741?smc=79 and in this article:  https://go.unl.edu/8j4n.   The article also contains a table which shows a quick guide to how much area to limit cattle depending on the amount of corn on the ground. 

The reason why she suggests to move calves through first is that they haven’t learned to seek out the corn ears or grain as this is a learned behavior; thus they tend to slowly adapt to increasing grain consumption over time.  She suggests, “Although there is some risk of acidosis, feeding them corn and working them up to 5 lbs/calf of grain before turnout should help. Calves eating only corn grain and residue will not have enough protein in the diet to make full use of the energy available. Feeding 2 lbs of distillers can increase gain substantially and increase returns. Using the calves to glean the majority of grain and moving them from field to field before the cows may be a great way to reduce risk and make money at the same time.”

When it comes to her suggestion of strip grazing she shares, “Those with a pivot fence can readily use this system. Allowing the pairs access to 10 lbs of corn and feeding 2 lbs of DM from distillers grains should allow the cows to maintain bodyweight and the calves to gain 1.0 to 1.5 lbs/day. If cows are weaned, limiting cows to no more than 10 lbs/day of grain will allow them to increase their body condition score (BCS) by 0.5 to 1 over the winter. Before turnout, producers should start feeding grain and work cows up to at least 7 lbs/head of grain over a week to 10 days.  If you are going to need to move to a new field over the winter (based on stocking rate and the amount of residue in the field), there will likely be an issue when all the grain has been grazed and the cows are eating only residue. When they are moved to a new field, they will have full access to grain again but their rumen will no longer be adapted. Thus, there are two options:

  1. Once cows are acclimated to full grain, they could be split into groups on multiple fields that they will graze for the rest of the winter.
  2. All cows could be quickly moved through all fields, allowing them to harvest most of the grain. Once most of the grain has been gleaned from all the fields, the cows can be moved back through the fields to make use of the rest of the residue. 

Regardless of the class of animals grazed or the method used, providing monensin can be beneficial. If no supplemental feed is provided, using a free-choice mineral with monensin in it can help.” 

I’ve also received several questions regarding other options such as raking and baling to pick up downed corn.  I don’t personally have experience to know how effective these methods are or how to best achieve this, but Bob Klein, Extension Cropping Systems Specialist in North Platte does from a 2012 wind storm.  He provided me a PowerPoint with photos but I need to talk with him and add notes.  My goal would be to share this on CropWatch as soon as we can yet this week.  In the meantime, if you have specific questions about this, you can reach Bob at 308-696-6705 or robert.klein@unl.edu.

Potential Reasons for Weakened Ear Shanks:  I’ve also received questions regarding the causes of weakened ear shanks and wrote an article for CropWatch on that this week.  You can see the full article here in which I reflect on the entire growing season:  https://go.unl.edu/x6ho.  Like many things that happen in our fields each year, this was most likely due to a combination of factors and could vary from field to field. One hypothesis of events leading to this “perfect storm” for ear loss is: 

  • high heat and/or drought stress during pollination led to weakened ear shanks coupled with
  • cool August temperatures and a long grain-fill period that resulted in larger, heavier ears coupled with
  • late-season, excessive October rains that allowed for greater stalk and ear rot coupled with
  • rapid kernel moisture dry down followed by
  • a week of high sustained winds.

Literature suggests that high heat and/or drought stress during pollination followed by good weather conditions for grain fill, stalk and ear rots, rapid kernel moisture dry down creating a brittle shank attachment, and hybrid genetics in which the shank diameter can differ can all attribute to weakened ear shanks.  If we think back to 2017, we had the potential for many of these factors in addition to potentially others that came into play.  The week of high sustained winds in October was perhaps the final straw.  Al Dutcher provides more information regarding what those wind gusts looked like for various parts of the State in this week’s CropWatch as well at http://cropwatch.unl.edu.   

York County Corn Grower Banquet November 16:  Hopefully most will be finished with harvest and can come celebrate at the York County Corn Grower Banquet to be held November 16 at Chances ‘R’ in York!  A social time begins at 6:30 p.m. followed by the meal and program at 7:00 p.m.  Kim Eberly of Aurora will provide a presentation on her LEAD 35 trip to China, Laos, and Thailand.  Brandon Hunnicutt, National Corn Board Member from Giltner, NE, will provide a National and State Update.  Tickets are $10 and can be purchased from any York County Corn Grower director or at the York County Extension Office.  We hope to see you there!

Also, a special thanks to Ron and Brad Makovicka for all their efforts with the York County Corn Grower Plot this past year!  We also appreciate all the companies who participated!  Results of the plot can be found at https://go.unl.edu/5mdf.

Reminder:  Nov. 13:  So You Inherited a Farm, Now What? and Cash Lease Information, 1:30 p.m., 4-H Bldg York, RSVP (402) 362-5508 or jrees2@unl.edu; Nov. 13:  Estate Planning Meeting, 6:30 p.m., 4-H Bldg York, RSVP (402) 362-5508 or jrees2@unl.edu



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