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Extension Update by Gary Zoubek [September 15, 2011]

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Extension Update by Gary L. Zoubek - Extension Educator

Coming Events

York County 4-H Robotics Team

I want to congratulate the York Robotics team for doing a great job at the state fair in the soybean challenge.  The team of Christopher Gillespie, Jason Gloystein, Justin Heine, and Mitchell Heine finished second out of the seven teams competing.  They complete all eight challenges in the allotted five minutes.  They learned the details of the challenge at county fair time and were able to develop strategies and program the robots to master all the tasks!  Thanks also to leader Karl Heine, Nancy Heine with assistance from George Gillespie, Jim Carpenter and me.

I want to Thank the sponsors that help purchase the Lego Kits, the FLL team registration and set-up kits so that we were able to compete with two teams at last February’s competition at the SAC Aerospace Museum near Omaha as well as having a state fair team.

The sponsors are:

York County Corn Growers

York County 4-H Council

York State Bank

York Sunrise Sertoma

Time Warner Cable

Midwest Bank

George Gillespie Family

Cornerstone Bank

This year’s FLL project is going to be the food FACTOR and we’ll soon be organizing our two teams.

So what is FIRST LEGO League?  FIRST LEGO League (FLL) is an exciting and fun global robotics program that ignites an enthusiasm for discovery, science, and technology in youth!

• For children ages 9 – 14

• Teams of 2 – 10 members with an adult coach

• Youth build and program an autonomous robot using engineering concepts to complete tasks based on this year’s theme: food safety.

• Youth research and solve a real-world problem based on the theme.

• Youth present their research and solutions.

The part the young people like to do is program the robots, but they also have to do some research and present that info to judges.  It’s also about team work and working on real life challenges.

If your son or daughter might be interested, have them email me at gzoubek1@unl.edu or call me at 402-362-5508 so that I can keep them informed.  We’ll be organizing soon!

Information we’ll need is:

2012 York County 4-H Robotics Enrollment Form
Last Name: ______________ First Name: _____________ M.I.______
Address: _____________ City: _________ State: ______ Zip:_______
Phone: __________ Birth date: _______________Grade in school: __________
Name of School: ____________________________________________
Email Address: _____________________________________________

Next week I hope to post the state fair competition video so that you can check it out!

Cropping Update

Boy, have the soybean leaves really changed this past week!  You can almost see the leaves turn yellow and begin to fall off!

I’d like to remind area producers that are using ETgages and Watermark sensors that now’s a good time to get out and get them pulled from your fields and put away.  I pulled my Watermark sensors last week and they pulled relatively easy.    After I gather them, I wash of the soil on the pvc and really wash off the sensors and put them away where rodents can’t get to them.

I also pulled the ETgage or atmometer and drained the water out of the ceramic top.  If you don’t, you have a possibility of the top freezing and breaking!

I prepared my last  pod cast of the season.  It’s posted at:   http://cropwatch.unl.edu/web/cropwatch/archive?articleID=4641524  Or simply go to http://cropwatch.unl.edu and then the appropriate irrigation link.

Husker Harvest Days University of Nebraska Exhibits Theme
Today is the first day of Husker Harvest Days!  The show runs Sept. 13-15 near Grand Island.  As I mentioned last week, the theme for this year’s University of Nebraska Exhibit is “Inspiring Young Nebraskans.”

As Dr. Ronnie Green, NU vice president and IANR Harlan vice chancellor indicated, “Helping grow Nebraska’s future, helping meet Nebraska’s needs in food, fuel, water, other natural resources and people, is a goal of IANR, as part of Nebraska’s land-grant university.”

I’m sure most people know about the 4-H program that is part of UNL Extension.  Nebraska leads the nation in per capita enrollment.  We have approximately 144,000 youth involved!  Another display will include “ESI” (EntrepreneurShip Investigation) curriculum for youth 10-14.  Another will focus on robots and how they can generate both enthusiasm and knowledge in science, technology and math. “Teaching Science through Soybeans” is another stop while Nebraska’s youngest learners, from birth to age 5 are the focus of another exhibit.

The display will also include the Nebraska LEAD (Leadership Education Action Development) display as well as UNL Extension’s Mobile Diagnostic Lab plus the Market Journal team will be on hand with information and displays.

I hope you’ll plan to stop by and visit the display!  I plan to on Wednesday!

Mushroom Control in Landscapes

I’ve received a few questions about mushrooms in landscapes.  We have several different types that can be found and the management techniques for most of the fungi are similar.  You can physically remove them, and you can remove the organic material that they are growing on.  Cleaning up the landscape to reduce future food sources of the fungi also helps.  On your lawn or turf, try and keep thatch accumulation under check by aerating your turf on a regular basis.  Use conifer-based mulches that do not favor fungal growth as much as deciduous wood mulches do.

If you have fairy ring it can be managed by masking the green color in the lawn with iron or fertilizer applications and spot water and breaking up the fungal mast in areas where turf is stressed by fungal mat development.  For more information check out our NebGuide “ Mushrooms, Fairy Rings, and Other Nuisiance Fungi in the Landscape” at http://www.ianrpubs.unl.edu/epublic/live/g1914/build/g1914.pdf.

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