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Extension Update by Gary Zoubek [May 24, 2012]

Coming Events
May 29, 2012 – 8:00 p.m. – Extension Board Meeting, Extension Office, York
June 19, 2012 – 7:00 p.m. – PQA Plus Webinar, Extension Office, York

Cropping Update/Nebraska Weather
Finally a little rain this past weekend, but not really a lot!  I had .5” in my rain gauge, but I know that some areas received a little more, while we also did have some hail in a few areas including the Bradshaw area and the York County Corn Grower plot.  It stripped up the leaves, but I’m pretty sure that it will grow out of it.
Boy I hope we don’t have very many more weeks of wind like this past one! We had winds averaging over 15 mph for three days and had five days with humidity’s in the low to mid 30’s.  The ETgages that I’ve been monitoring dropped between 2.3 to 2.6” for the week.  That’s a lot more than what we typically experience, however we do get many of our larges drops at this time of the year!  The good news is that the crop is small so the crop coefficient is also small the corn I’m watch near the ETgages is in the 5 leaf stage so the coefficient is between .18 and .35, so we’ll use .28.  We multiply .28 times the ETgage drop to get the crop water use for corn of about .63” for the past week, so with the rain, we basically broke even or just lost a little ground!

The field where we install the sensors last year is still near field capacity when I checked it last week!  The fields that were not worked were looking better than those that were worked but with that wind, fields standing in water would have not looked good either!

I’ve been helping several of our new NAWMN cooperators install ETgages as well as Watermark Sensors!  The crop is really starting to take off and grow.  We’re maturing considerably faster than normal, but what really is that in Nebraska.  I even install a few in some horticultural crops like tomatoes and squash, so we’ll see how they work there!

I mentioned last week that I installed an ETgage that has a #30 or grass cover rather than the alfalfa cover on it!  We use it to estimate the water use for watered grass or turf!  It dropped 1.7” for the week or an average of .24” per day!  So since the corn and soybeans are small and has a smaller coefficient, the grass used more water this week than corn did!  Since the grass has a root zone that’s about a foot deep, we were seeing may areas of grass really showing drought stress as if it was July or August but it’s only May!

Hopefully we’ll change the cycle and start getting some more normal weather rather than the ups and downs that we’ve been having!

For more info about ETgages and Watermark sensors contact Dan at the NRD or me!  Also check out the NAWMN website: http://water.unl.edu/web/cropswater/nawmdn.  Check out the Extension Circular “Watermark Granular Matrix Sensor for Measuring Soil Matric Potential for Irrigation Management” and NebGuide  “Using Modified Atmometer (ET) for Irrigation Management”.  We also have videos on how to install and use these tools along with growth charts for estimating the various crops stage of growth and water use as well as charts that estimated the soil water depletions for various Watermark Sensor readings for various soil types.

Irrigation Management Home Study Course
I did see several pivot running last week, but I’m not sure how much water was hitting the ground it those winds?  Hopefully those types of winds are over for a while? Are you interested in learning more about irrigation management?  We have a home study course that is now on-line,  I hope you will check it out!  You can register on-line at the following address: http://marketplace.unl.edu/extension/registration.

The link also allows students to take the course for CCA credits.  At this site, we also have the Soils Home Study Course!

PQA Plus Webinar Planned
It’s more important today than ever that livestock producers care for their animals and get certified every three years.  We will be hosting this training at our office on June 19th at 7:00 p.m.  I’d like to remind all area pork producers that need this training to get the date down on their calendar and plan to attend!

Yard and Garden
So how’s your yard and garden doing?  I’ve received several samples of pines the past couple of weeks and of those we checked, 25% had pine wilt and the remaining ones one of two or combination of dothistroma needle or diplodia or sphaeropsis tip blight.  The severity of these two diseases can be treated with fungicides if they are timed correctly, but we’re getting late in the season for treatment this season!  For more information check out these two NebGuides:

How’s your gardening doing!  I’ve picked my first head of broccoli this week and more are on the way.  My peas are blooming so they won’t be too far away!  I planted some early snap beans that are blooming now!  I’ve had reports of corn rootworm larvae hatching, so now is the time to be on guard for cucumber beetles that carry bacterial wilt to your vine crops!  You want to control these pests from feeding on your cucumbers and other vine crops!

If you’ve had problems with tomato leaf spot disease, I’d suggest that you use mulches and keep the soil from splashing onto your plants, don’t get the foliage wet and I’d recommend regular fungicide applications starting when you set the plant out and on a weekly or ten day schedule up till you start harvesting your first ripe tomatoes.  If you want to treat your vine crops, your tomatoes and snap beans, I’d include an insecticide that will control the cucumber beetles, bean leaf beetles and other pasts along with the leaf spot diseases!

I’d like to remind all the 4-H gardeners, now that the school year is over; it’s time to be getting that planting done!  I want to Thank Cal Williams for getting our tomatillo’s started!  It should be a fun crop to grow!  So, 4-H members, stop by the Extension Office and pick them up and get them planted!



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