Home News Agriculture Extension Update from Jenny Rees

Extension Update from Jenny Rees


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.

Amelioration Strategies after Corn Residue Removal:  The last two weeks I’ve shared research results regarding corn stover removal and impacts on nutrient, soil erosion, soil organic carbon, and the succeeding crop yields.  Most of the studies, including the ones I write about here, are continuous corn and stover removal each year to determine the potential worst case scenarios and recommendations for producers.  Some have asked how amelioration practices such as cover crops and adding manure affect nutrient and soil properties when corn stover is removed.  More research has been published in the past year with research ongoing.  A key factor when looking at these research results is to know what was the soil type in the study; silt loam soils and irrigated situations appear to be more resilient than sandy ones and non-irrigated environments.

One study from 2013-2016 looked at soil property changes and corn yield with 5 different corn residue removal rates (0, 25, 50, 75, and 100%) and the addition of three cover crop treatments (no cover; early cereal rye termination of 2-3 weeks prior to corn planting; late cereal rye termination mostly occurring within 10 days after corn was planted).  This was studied in a non-irrigated (Rogers Memorial Farm near Lincoln, NE) and an irrigated environment (South Central Ag Lab near Clay Center) both in no-till continuous corn systems.  Both locations had silt loam soils.  Residue was removed in mid to late October each year at each location and cereal rye cover crop treatments were drilled shortly thereafter.  The cover crops were not irrigated for establishment or additional growth. 

For soil properties, wet aggregate stability (to determine potential for water erosion), concentrations of particulate organic matter, soil organic carbon and total soil N after three years of management were measured. 

There was a reduction in size of wet aggregate stability in the non-irrigated site over three years with complete residue removal suggesting the potential for increased water erosion.  Irrigated soils may be more resilient in their response to wet aggregate stability to residue removal suggesting that more residue could be removed from irrigated sites compared to non-irrigated sites in the short term.  Early termination appeared to have no effect on offsetting the corn residue removal effects on water erosion potential.  Later termination of the cover crop resulted in increase of wet aggregate stability at both locations.  On average, later cover crop termination resulted in 0.7 tons/acre biomass compared to 0.2 tons/acre under early termination.  Increased cover crop biomass occurred where residue was removed compared to where it was not.  The authors suggest that a cover crop biomass yield above 0.4 tons/acre may offset the water erosion potential effects of crop residue removal. 

Soil organic carbon and total nitrogen concentrations weren’t significantly affected by either residue removal or timing of cover crop termination in either site after three years.  This suggests that in the short term, even high rates of residue removal do not reduce these concentrations.  Addition of cover crops after residue removal at both sites increased soil organic carbon concentrations.  A 13.5% increase in particulate organic carbon was observed with later termination over early termination and the control treatments at the irrigated site at the 1 foot depth.  There were no effects at the 2 foot depth.

Residue removal 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.  It was noted that corn was shorter in the non-irrigated field at 0% residue removal vs. 50% and 100% residue removal early in the season; however, the heights were consistent by tasseling.  This is similar to the irrigated field in which corn was taller early in the season at the 100% residue removal compared to 0% and 50% with similar heights for all residue removal treatments by tasseling.  Residue removal and cover crop termination date also didn’t affect the amount of residue the corn plants produced each year.  The overall conclusion of the study suggested that higher than the suggested 30-50% of residue removed may be possible in some soils (such as silt loam) when cover crops are used to help ameliorate the effects of removal.

Another Nebraska study near Bellwood looked at effects of aerial interseeded cereal rye vs. no cover into a standing corn crop in late August/early September from 2013-2015.  Corn was harvested as high moisture corn followed by residue removal treatments of 71% corn residue removal or no removal on a sandy loam soil.  This study was conducted on strip-till, irrigated, continuous corn.  They found that the treatments did not affect fertility properties or subsequent corn yield.  However, increased wind erosion was noted by harvesting 71% of the residue on sandy loam soils compared to no residue harvest or addition of the rye cover crop.  The addition of the rye cover crop did not significantly impact soil properties on a sandy loam soil within three years but it tended to reduce soil erosion.  It was also noted that biomass production by aerially interseeding the rye into standing corn vs. the authors’ other studies of drilling the rye after harvest didn’t appear to increase cover crop biomass in spite of being seeded two months earlier.  This could be due to variability of establishment and biomass production of the aerially interseeded rye each year, which may have also been a limitation on impacting soil properties in a more positive way.

A five year study at UNL’s South Central Ag Lab near Clay Center looked at corn residue removal and interactions of irrigation rate (full or limited to 60%), fertilizer management (112 lbs N/ac vs. 180 lbs N/ac) and amelioration practices of winter cover crop, manure, or no amelioration practice on continuous irrigated corn yield.  Cereal rye was drilled in late October after harvest at a rate of 100 lbs/acre and was terminated two weeks prior to planting corn.  For the manure treatment, sheep or cattle manure was applied following corn and stover harvest in the fall every two years based on phosphorus removal.  Statistical yield increases occurred with stover removal and the 180 lbs N/ac nitrogen rate suggesting these yield increases could be expected in irrigated, no-till, continuous corn systems where residue was removed on silt-loam soils.  There were no statistical yield differences based on irrigation amounts nor type of amelioration practice.  Addition of cover crop or manure as amelioration practices did increase two types of nitrogen efficiency measured in the study while maintaining soil organic carbon and yield and reducing soil erosion.

My conclusion:  these Nebraska studies suggest that the addition of a cover crop or manure after corn stover removal does not negatively impact the subsequent corn yield where water is not limiting and aids in reducing erosion on all soil types.  Higher amounts of cover crop biomass (over 0.4 tons/acre) may be necessary to positively affect soil properties in the top foot in the short-term of 3-5 years.  Studies are ongoing to determine additional and consistent impacts over time.  An economic component of amelioration practices would also be beneficial. 

Grain Marketing Workshop:  Marketing grain may not be your favorite thing or your strength.  Upcoming grain marketing workshops in Beatrice at the Gage County Extension Office (Dec. 11) and the 4-H Building in York (Dec. 12) are designed to help you understand futures and options to protect farmers from adverse market movements.  Participants will use a computer simulator (computers are provided) to practice what you learn based on previous, actual market years.  Participants will then leave the workshop having programmed a marketing plan into their smartphone using the Grain Marketing Plan smartphone app.  Please RSVP to jrees2@unl.edu or 402-362-5508 if you plan to attend in York or 402-873-3166 if you plan to attend in Beatrice.  There is no charge for the workshop, lunch is provided, and it will run from 9:30 a.m.-3:00 p.m.



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