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Extension Update from Jenny Rees



May 10:  Field Scout Training, 8am Registration with 8:25am training, (800) 529-8030, http://ardc.unl.edu/crop.shtml
May 30-21:  Youth Tractor Safety Class, 8am, Kearney Fairgrounds (308) 236-1235
June 28:  South Central Ag Lab Weed Science Field Day, SCAL near Clay Center (morning)
June 28:  South Central Ag Lab Cover Crop Field Day, SCAL near Clay Center (afternoon)
July 10-11:  Youth Tractor Safety Class, 8am, Grand Island College Park (308) 385-5088.
July 18:  Crop Management Diagnostic Clinic:  Soil Health, ARDC (now ENREC) near Mead
Aug. 2:  Crop Management Diagnostic Clinic:  Precision Ag Training, ARDC (now ENREC) near Mead
Aug. 8:  Soybean Management Field Days, North Platte
Aug. 9:  Soybean Management Field Days, Ord
Aug. 10:  Soybean Management Field Days, Auburn
Aug. 11:  Soybean Management Field Days, Tekamah
Aug. 23:  Crop Management Diagnostic Clinic:  Soybean Production Training, ARDC (now ENREC) near Mead
Aug. 24:  Crop Management Diagnostic Clinic:  Corn Production Training, ARDC (now ENREC) near Mead

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.

Crop Updates:  Last week’s rains provided some much-needed soil moisture followed by a beautiful weekend to be outdoors!  Articles in this week’s CropWatch at http://cropwatch.unl.edu warn of getting into wet fields too early which can result in sidewall compaction and also share on assessing plant stands for emergence and any need to replant. 

I also have a blog post at http://jenreesources.com regarding crop updates from scouting fields last week with photos.  Many have called regarding alfalfa and most I have looked at are a result of low temperatures and freeze effects.

Nebraska Corn and Soybean Pocket Field Guides:  Thanks to support from the Nebraska Corn and Soybean Boards, a pocket field guide was compiled for both corn and soybean information by lead authors Dr. Jim Specht and Dr. Tom Hoegemeyer.  These guides were mailed to all members of Nebraska Corn and Soybean Grower Associations last week.  Some have been asking where they can receive more copies or how they can obtain one if they didn’t receive one.  Additional copies were printed and should have been ordered by your local Extension Office or someone associated with it.  So please contact your local Extension Office if you’re interested in receiving a copy and they will let you know when it’s available to pick up!

Roundup for Lawns:  There’s been a few questions about the new lawn product being advertised with a familiar name yet says grass is not killed.  But the new Roundup for Lawns is NOT the traditional Roundup herbicide as the two products have completely different active ingredients.

Roundup Weed and Grass Killer is a brand name of an herbicide that contains glyphosate. This active ingredient nonselectively kills most plants, including both broadleaves and grasses. Homeowners may use this product to kill anything growing in cracks, between patio pavers, even entire lawns prior to renovation, for example. Farmers also use glyphosate in their fields to kill plants as a burn-down prior to planting or after harvest or to selectively kill unwanted plants when they have glyphosate tolerant corn, soybean, or alfalfa. For homeowners, while there may be exceptions, expect that all plants sprayed with Roundup Weed and Grass Killer will die.

Roundup for Lawns, is the brand name of a new herbicide that does not contain glyphosate; rather it contains the active ingredients MCPA, quinclorac, dicamba and sulfentrazone. Each is a selective herbicide that controls various weeds without harming Kentucky bluegrass, perennial ryegrass or tall fescue lawns. Research trials do, however, show that some of the active ingredients in Roundup for Lawns (MCPA and dicamba) could cause short-lived injury to buffalograss lawns.  Other manufacturers have mixtures that contain similar ingredients as Roundup for Lawns and target the same weeds. Labels describe the ingredients.

Store shelves contain a number of Roundup products for home use, thus it’s important to read the label and active ingredients to understand which product is being selected for what purpose.  There’s also a range of price points that reflect what the product does.  For instance, least expensive Roundup products often are traditional glyphosate which is non-selective and will kill most plants.  More expensive products may have additional active ingredients added to them to target additional pests such as poison ivy or provide a residual control which could affect new grass seedings.    

Milkweed for Pollinators:  I also received several questions last week regarding milkweed for pollinators such as butterflies.  While I’m unsure what press releases people were seeing, I haven’t been able to confirm anyone is providing free seed in Nebraska.  There have been Facebook posts and advertising from a cereal company about free wildflower seed, but those aren’t advised as some of the plants within the seed packet are considered noxious and/or invasive in different states.  You can contact your local nursery for recommendations of different plants or seed sources that work well locally.  Nebraska sources of wildflower seed mixes include:  Stock Seed Farms in Murdock, NE; Green Cover Seeds in Bladen, NE; and Arrow Seeds in Broken Bow, NE.   This list may not be exhaustive and is not an endorsement in the event I’ve missed someone else in the State.  I just have personally worked with and utilized seed from these sources in the past and know they carry wildflower/pollinator mixes suited for Nebraska.  The Nebraska Statewide Arboretum also does a bloom box program each spring and fall and you can learn more about that here:  http://plantnebraska.org/plants/bloom-box.html.

Some also specifically asked about Butterfly Milkweed.  I really enjoy this plant in my gardens and it’s also the 2017 Perennial Plant of the Year!  The following is information from Nicole Stoner, horticulture educator in Gage County.  “Butterfly milkweed was chosen for the 2017 Perennial Plant of the year to ‘celebrate an excellent plant known for its ability to support insects and birds and serve as the primary caterpillar food for a beloved North American native butterfly’. That butterfly would be the Monarch butterfly. Monarchs have been decreasing in their population over the past few years due to many different factors, but lack of food is one. Milkweed is the primary source of food for Monarch butterflies and that plant is now reduced in our environment due to the way that we garden and the fact that people regard milkweeds as weeds. Planting pollinator plants will help with the populations.

Butterfly milkweed is a native plant with small, bright orange colored flowers that are held in bunches throughout the plant. This is not the common milkweed that most people find to be a weed, which is another great pollinator plant. This is a unique and interesting plant that will attract many pollinators to your garden. The plants grow 2-3 feet tall and wide. Butterfly milkweed plants are a great addition to any landscape, but especially in a prairie, native grass area, or naturalized planting.”




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