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Extension Update by Jenny Rees

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Apr. 3-5 Our Farms, Our Future Sustainable Ag Conference, St. Louis, MO, https://ofof.sare.org/
Apr. 4:  Capturing Value in Cropping Systems Using Cattle9-4 p.m., ENREC near Mead
Apr. 4-5:  Connecting Entrepreneurial Communities, Hastings, NE
Apr. 4-6Nebraska State FFA Convention, Lincoln
Apr. 16 Crop Science Investigation (CSI): Soil texture/residue exp., 5-6 p.m., Extension Office York, RSVP jrees2@unl.edu
Apr. 18 Tree Care Workshop, 5:30-7 p.m., Fairgrounds, Clay Center. Light meal, $5.  Pre-register (402) 762-3644.
Apr. 18-20:  Great Plains Symposium, Kearney, https://www.unl.edu/plains/2018-ecotourism-symposium
Apr. 28:  Spring Affair Plant Sale, 9 a.m.-2 p.m., Lancaster Event Center in Lincoln.
May 9:  Introductory Level Field Scout Training, ENREC near Mead
May 21:  Crop Science Investigation (CSI):  In the field, 5-6 p.m., RSVP jrees2@unl.edu
May 22-23:  Tractor Safety Training, Fairgrounds, Geneva, (402) 759-3712
May 24-25 Tractor Safety Training, Fairgrounds, Hastings, (402) 461-7209
May 29-20:  Tractor Safety Training, Fairgrounds, Kearney, (308) 236-1235

Hope you had a blessed Easter!  The Wheat Stem Maggot in Cover Crop Webinar can now be viewed at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XGjuzMlrjhQ&feature=youtu.be.  The link for the survey mentioned in the webinar is no longer available but you are welcome to contact Dr. Justin McMechan for additional comments/questions.  He goes through a number of insects to watch for and his ultimate message is to scout to determine termination timing.

Cover Crop Interseeding:  A few weeks ago I attended the interseeding cover crops field day which had a really good attendance for March!  For those of you considering this, I learned it’s best to start earlier than V6…consider V3 and if it’s wet, you have a better chance of actually getting interseeding accomplished by V6.  This is year 3 of their study.  The first year they used a spreader to seed the mixes.  The second year they found utilizing insecticide boxes for the seeding when they cultivated worked the best.  The third year they used a Hiniker inter-row seeder which they purchased.

Regarding mixes, most of them included annual ryegrass or cereal rye.  There’s a Penn State mix (27# total of annual ryegrass, red clover, and hairy vetch) that has been successful in northern U.S. states.  Very little cover was observable this spring,IMAG4136 but from a photo provided, it appeared growth came on during corn senescence and after harvest last year.  Fall biomass wasn’t measured last year which will hopefully be measured in the future to obtain more data on the success of the mixes.  My take, if your goal is early spring grazing or early spring cover, I’m unsure that much can beat cereal rye, even if it was dormant seeded.  If you’re looking for a way to get some cover established prior to corn harvest for either fall grazing or just fall soil cover, interseeding with a mix containing the annual ryegrass looked good from the pictures they showed.  If you’re interested in any cover crop or other on-farm research studies this year, please let me know!

Tree Care Workshop:  Trees are very valuable in our landscapes. They provide us with beauty, shade, oxygen, and better resale on our homes. These trees need our help to ensure they have healthy growth. When they have a disease or insect problem, it is up to us to manage those pests to help them live many years. On Wednesday, April 18th from 5:30-7 p.m. at the Fairgrounds in Clay Center, Nicole Stoner will teach us what to do with our trees. Nicole is a Horticulture Educator from Gage County. This tree program is $5.00 and will cover light refreshments and your educational materials. Nicole will cover watering, insect and disease problems, general care, and planting of trees. Please pre-register by April 13th with Nebraska Extension in Clay County by calling 402-762-3644 or emailing dpeshek2@unl.edu.

Spring Affair Plant Sale:  Spring Affair, the Midwest’s largest plant sale and gardening event, will be Saturday, April 28 at the Lancaster Event Center in Lincoln from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.  More than 700 different varieties of perennials, herbs, grasses, trees, shrubs and other plants will be available. They are selected for regional suitability, uniqueness, popular demand and provided by Bluebird Nursery, Inc., of Clarkson, Neb. It is sponsored by the Nebraska Statewide Arboretum as an educational tool, fundraising event and to promote regional plants.  For information and inspiration, half hour plant talks will be offered at:

  • 10:00 – “Nebraska Native Plants for Birds” by Jason St. Sauver, Spring Creek Prairie Audubon Center
  • 11:00 – “Gardening 101: I’ve got my plants, now what?” by Justin Evertson, Green Infrastructure Coordinator for the Nebraska Statewide Arboretum
  • 12:00 – “The Guilt-free Garden” by Mark Canney, Park Planner & Designer for Lincoln Parks & Recreation

Admission to the sale is free. The plant sale, presentations, educational booths and vendors of garden-related items are all in Pavilion I of the Lancaster Event Center with plenty of free parking.  For more information, visit https://plantnebraska.org/spring-affair.

DriftWatch/BeeCheck:  Nebraska Department of Ag (NDA) encourages pesticide applicators to check out DriftWatch/BeeCheck at http://driftwatch.org to minimize pesticide drift.  It’s important for those with sensitive sites such as organic, bees, vegetables, grapes, etc. to add them to this website and important for all applicators to check this website for sensitive locations around our fields.  Several states have been added to DriftWatch/BeeCheck in the last year and a few more are in the works, making it more beneficial to applicators working near the state line or those working in multiple states.  FieldWatch, the company that manages DriftWatch/BeeCheck, now offers data subscriptions for obtaining data files for GIS maps or live stream data through several mapping software providers.  It will be rolling out a new mobile app very soon, FieldCheck, for applicators who have registered as an applicator (which is free to do).  You can also view the most recent edition of NDA’s Plant Health Protection Update at:  https://us14.campaign-archive.com/home/?u=eb13611bfcca17410ce5c5f52&id=10756f8d33.

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