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Extension Update from Jenny Rees

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UPCOMING EVENTS:  
Dec. 6:  LBNRD Operator Training, 1:30 p.m., Blue Hill Community Center
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.-3 p.m., 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. 11:  Crop Science Investigation for Youth-Tour PTUSA in York, 5pm, RSVP jrees2@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
Dec. 13:  LBNRD Operator Training, 9 a.m., Legion in Lawrence
Dec. 13:  Ag Liens, Loans, and Leases, 10am-2:30 p.m., Davenport Community Center, https://go.unl.edu/try4 RSVP 1-800-464-0258
Dec. 13:  Cow-Calf Management in Limited Perennial Pasture, 6:30 p.m., Blue Hill Community Center, Blue Hill, RSVPbrad.schick@unl.edu
Dec. 14:  Nebraska Soybean Day and Machinery Expo, 8:30 a.m.-2:15 p.m., Saunders Co. Fairgrounds pavilion-Wahoo.
Dec. 14:  UBBNRD Nitrogen Mgmt Training, 9:30 a.m., Fairgrounds Hastings
Dec. 14:  Ag Liens, Loans, and Leases 10 a.m.-2:30 p.m., Phelps Co. Ag Center Holdrege, https://go.unl.edu/try4 RSVP 1-800-464-0258
Jan. 9-11:  Nebraska Turfgrass Conference, LaVista Conference Center, http://www.nebraskaturfgrass.com
Jan. 10 UBBNRD Nitrogen Mgmt Training, 9:30 a.m., Leadership Center Aurora
Jan. 10:
  York Ag Expo, Holthus Convention Center, York (Chemigation Training 9-Noon steve.melvin@unl.edu)
Jan. 11:  York Ag Expo, Holthus Convention Center, York (Private Pesticide Training 9-Noon jrees2@unl.edu)
Jan. 11:  LBNRD Operator Training, 1:30 p.m., Fairbury 4-H Bldg
Jan. 11:  Crop Production Clinic, North Platte, https://agronomy.unl.edu/cpc
Jan. 16:  LBNRD Operator Training, 9 a.m., Fairgrounds in Hastings
Jan. 16:  Crop Production Clinic, Norfolk, https://agronomy.unl.edu/cpc
Jan. 18:  LBNRD Training, 1:30 p.m., Davenport Community Center
Jan. 18:  Crop Production Clinic, Lincoln, https://agronomy.unl.edu/cpc
Jan. 18-19:  Hops Grower, Brewer Conference, Embassy Suites Downtown Omaha, http://www.growbrewnebraska.com/registration/
Jan. 24:  UBBNRD Nitrogen Mgmt Training, 9:30 a.m., Faigrounds in Seward
Jan. 24-25:  Nebraska Crop Management Conference, Kearney, https://agronomy.unl.edu/NCMC
Jan. 30:  “Partners In Progress Beef Seminar” Cow/Calf College at U.S. MARC near Clay Center, NE from 10-3:30 a.m., Registration at 9:30.  RSVP to (402) 759-3712.
Jan. 30-31:  No-Till On the Plains Winter Conference, Wichita, KS http://notill.org/
Feb. 1:  LBNRD Operator Training, 9am, Hebron Community Center
Feb. 1:  Merrick County Ag Day, Fairgrounds Central City RSVP:  steve.melvin@unl.edu
Feb. 7-9:  Nebraska Ag Tech Assoc. (NeATA) Conference
Feb. 8:  LBNRD Operator Training, 1:30 p.m., Fairgrounds Clay Center
Feb. 15:  LBNRD Operator Training, 9 a.m., Shickley Community Center
Feb. 15:  Hamilton County Ag Day, Fairgrounds Aurora, RSVP:  steve.melvin@unl.edu
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
Feb. 23: Farmers/Ranchers College: “Crop Insurance, Farm Bill Policy Update & More!”, Fillmore Co. Fairgrounds-Geneva, 10- 3:00 p.m., Registration at 9:30 a.m. RSVP to (402) 759-3712.
Feb. 28:  UBBNRD Nitrogen Mgmt Training, 9:30 a.m., Holthus Convention Center, York
Mar. 1:  LBNRD Operator Training, 1:30 p.m., Kenesaw Senior Center

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.

Corn Residue Removal Impacts on Yield: This article will focus on residue removal via baling and yield impacts sharing data from numerous research studies. A reminder that grain yield is related to residue production; with every 40 bu/ac of corn produced (56 lbs at 15.5% moisture), 1 ton of residue (at 10% moisture) is produced. 

Like anything, residue removal has both positive and negative effects. Positive effects include reducing disease pressure from residue-borne pathogens, increased soil temperature leading to increased microbial activity and reduced nitrogen immobilization, increased germination and uniform plant emergence due to warmer soil temperatures. Negative effects of residue removal include increasing the potential for wind erosion (0, 27%, and 37% in first, second, and third year of a Nebraska study on sandy loam soil), water loss to evaporation (2.5-5”/year in North Platte study), soil loss through heavy rain events in the spring on sloping fields, increasing the raindrop impact reducing soil water infiltration rates leading to more water runoff, increasing the potential for weed pressure, and nutrient removal from the field.      
Usually greater than 30% residue is left after baling with many striving to leave at least 50% residue in place.  Research has shown a minimum of 2.4 tons/acre of residue is necessary to maintain soil organic carbon in no-till systems.  A study conducted in eastern Colorado found that in a no-till, continuous corn system with 66% residue removal and adequate nitrogen applied for crop needs, soil organic carbon decreased over the 7 years of the study compared to its increase in the check where no residue was removed.  Residue removal did result in yield increases in the study (mostly within the first 3-4 years) with the researchers recommending residue removal every other year to every third year in this type of system to negate losses in soil carbon while potentially increasing yields. 

A three year Nebraska study with non-irrigated site at Lincoln and irrigated site at South Central Ag Lab near Clay Center (both no-till continuous corn on silt loam soils) suggests that potentially greater than 30-50% residue could be removed depending on the soil type when a cover crop is used as an amelioration practice in the system.  The amount of residue removed and cover crop termination date did not affect corn yield when all three years were combined.  There were individual year and location effects on corn yield suggesting these effects may be year and/or site-specific. 

A non-irrigated study in no-till continuous corn receiving treatments of 0 or 50% residue removal with 54, 107, and 160 lb/ac nitrogen application to the successive crop was conducted for 10 years at the Ag Research Development Center near Mead, NE.  Results found corn yield reduction of 1.9 bu/ac when residue was removed over the 10 year period vs. when residue was retained.  It was speculated the yield reduction was due to evaporative losses of water in the non-irrigated environment.  Yields were significantly less with only 54 lb/ac of nitrogen applied to the corn crop and there were no significant yield differences with 107 or 160 lb/ac nitrogen applications.

An irrigated study in both no-till and conventional till continuous corn with 0, 40%, and 80% residue removal was also conducted for 10 years at the ARDC near Mead, NE with 180 lb/ac of nitrogen applied to all treatments.  Soil samples were also collected at 1 foot increments to a total of five feet to measure any changes in soil carbon.  Results showed grain yields were greater in the disk till compared to no-till study regardless of percent residue removed.  A 40% residue removal resulted in a 5.8 bu/ac average yield increase in disk-till and 15 bu/ac yield increase in no-till.  However, soil organic carbon over the 10 years of study in the top foot of soil decreased significantly for all treatments except for the no-till, no residue removal.  It remained similar for all treatments in all depths below the top foot.

Authors in another study analyzed 239 site-years across 36 research studies mostly in the U.S. Corn Belt finding on average a 3% yield increase with residue removal vs. no residue removed.  They also found a 20% yield increase across these studies in tillage vs. no-till systems where no residue was removed.  There was no tillage effect on grain yield with moderate and high residue removal.  Thus the suggestion that incorporating some residue removal into a cropping system could aid application of reduced tillage systems across more acres in environments where water deficits are not limiting to crop productivity.   

A soil erosion study was conducted in a field near York, NE from 2006-2009 where portions of the field contained 8% slopes.  Treatments included strips with 0 and 53% residue removal following grain harvest.  Within these treatments were subplots where cobs were retained and removed.  Simulated rainfall of 1.7” in 30 minutes was then applied to these plots under a known soil moisture content and then applied again the following day under saturated moisture conditions.  Runoff from the simulated irrigation occurred within 196 seconds where residue was removed compared to 240 seconds where it was not.  Sediment loss was 30% greater when residue was removed and cob removal had no effect on runoff or sediment loss.

To summarize, these and other studies show that where moisture is not limited, residue removal can result in no yield reduction to yield increases for the subsequent crop.  Most often it was speculated or correlated to warmer soil temperatures allowing for more uniform seed germination, emergence and plant stands.  Residue removal doesn’t come without cost, though, as continuous removal beyond three years has shown negative impacts on soil carbon.  Sediment loss has also been shown to occur on sloping soils or sandy soils via wind erosion.  Considerations should include residue removal on fields with minimal slope.  Also consider reducing impacts on the soil by planting cover crops, reducing tillage practices, and adding manure on fields where residue has been removed.  Research results on these types of amelioration practices will be shared next week.

Grain Marketing Workshop York Dec. 12:  Topic:  strategies for using futures and options to protect farmers from adverse market movements.  Will feature the ‘Marketing in a New Era’ simulator and ‘Grain Marketing Plan’ smartphone app.  Dec. 12 in York at 4-H Building from 9:30 a.m.-3p.m.  No charge and lunch included.  RSVP (402) 362-5508.  Will also be held Dec. 11 at Extension Office in Beatrice.

Farmers/Ranchers College Dec. 7:  “Positioning for Success in the Economic Reset”” w/ Dr. David Kohl, Professor Emeritus, Dept. of AAEC, VA TECH at the Opera House in Bruning, NE from 1-4:00 pm.  RSVP (402) 759-3712.

Ag Liens, Loans, and Leases Dec. 13:  This workshop will be held in Davenport December 13 at the Community Center from 10 a.m.-2:30 p.m.  There is no charge and lunch will be provided.  RSVP at 800-464-0258.

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