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Extension Update by Gary Zoubeck [April 3, 2014]

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Coming Events

  • April 4, 2014 – Agri-Business After Hours Celebration, 5:00 – 7:00 p.m., Cornerstone Event Center, York Fairgrounds

Nebraska Weather
We’ve continued our roller coaster weather-wise. We get a great day and then once that’s not so nice? I checked the soils temperature on Sunday and for the 29th of March at the 4” depth it averaged 38 F.  For the week it averaged 36 F!  No wonder things are greening up slowly, but the warmer temperatures and windy conditions will help warm those temperatures up. But it appears that we’ll continue the roller coaster weather for the next week or so.

If you’re interested in the latest soil temperatures, go to our CropWatch website http://cropwatch.unl.edu/ and click on the weather link.

Ag After Hours
Also, I hope you’ll consider attending the Agri-Business After Hours Celebration planned for April 4 between 5:00-7:00 p.m. at the Cornerstone Ag Event Center on the York Fairgrounds. More details at:  http://york.unl.edu/crops-future.

Male Robins/Other Male Birds Acting Funny
Every spring, I receive a question or two about male birds (like robins) acting funny in front of windows as they try to establish their territories. Part of this behavior involves keeping other males out, but these males can’t tell the difference between another real male and their reflection. Thus they charge windows trying to kick that other male out of the area.

To stop this behavior and save the males from injury do what you can to reduce the window’s reflectivity. Some suggestions include:

1.  Apply a thin layer of liquid dish soap to the window. Once spring has passed, you simply wash it off with water.
2.  Place a light behind the window.
3.  Apply stickers to the window, or tape paper to it to break up the reflection
4.  Dangle objects in front of the window.

This behavior will only last a few weeks. Once it does, you can change your window back to normal.

Irrigation Management Cost Share Opportunities
It has not been feeling like spring the past several day, but hopefully it’s around the corner. Now is the time to begin planning and thinking about the upcoming irrigation season. If you’ve been using the ETgages and Watermark Sensors, now is the time to check your inventory to see if you need to replace the ETgage canvas cover, bird spikes etc. Do you need to replace some of the sensors that were damaged or are not working properly?

If you have not been using this equipment, I’d suggest this is the year to give it a try; I’d be happy to assist you installing/using the equipment. This is a short ink to the Upper Big Blue NRD 2014 Cost share form:  http://go.unl.edu/zkxx. I hope you’ll consider ordering some of the equipment for you this season.

Don’t hesitate to visit with me or Dan Leininger at the NRD if you have any questions about these tools.

Cash Rents/Land Values
Each year at this time, one of the common questions our office receives is about the latest Cornhusker Economics Rental Survey results.  This seasons results are in for the past year our farmland values remained steady.  The survey results can be found at:  http://agecon.unl.edu/cornhuskereconomics.

It’s important when determining land rental rates that all parties remember that over the long haul both the tenant and the landowner must both make profits for the arrangement to work.  We’ve had big swings in crop prices and inputs, so arrangements need to be adjusted both up and down over time.

Corn Grower & RoundUp Ready Soybean Plots
Just a reminder to all area seed representatives.  If you’re interested in participating in the two York County plots, now’s the time to get the entries made.  If you’d like entry information, give me a call at 402-362-5508 or email me at gary.zoubek@unl.edu.

Irrigation Cooperators Needed
We’re looking for potential irrigators to help with an Energy Star Guide project for irrigation pumping plants.  The idea is that you match Pump Impeller A with Diesel Engine X and based upon the published values you should be able to pump and acre-inch of water using an AX volume of diesel fuel.  So the Energy Star Guide would be a range in gallons of diesel fuel needed for pumping an acre-inch of water (example for 125 feet of lift and 50 psi the system should use 2.19 gallons of diesel fuel per acre-inch pumped).  In this example the system would be operating at 100% of the NPPPC.

What we’re looking for are producers that have systems where the center pivot includes a corner arm or where the pivot irrigates in rolling terrain.  Ideally, we are looking for systems that are 5 years old or less.  UNL would run a pumping test on your system and share that info with you.  If you be interested, give me a call at 402-362-5508 or email me at gary.zoubek@unl.edu.  I hope to hear from several producers in our area.  I’ll be glad to visit with you if you have any questions.

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