8th Annual Western Sustainable Ag Crop and Livestock Conference Dec. 6 in Ogallala
University of Nebraska-Lincoln Extension is hosting a Sustainable Ag Crops and Livestock Conference on improving soil health through cover crops and crop diversity Dec. 6 at Ogallala.
Cover crops and soil health, field peas, cropping practices' effects on insects, alternative enterprises, and a program for women in ag are among the sessions planned for the 8th annual conference. It will run from 8:45 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Mid-Plains Community College Ogallala Extended Campus, 512 East B St. South in Ogallala. Please see the Western Sustainable Ag Crop and Livestock Conference brochure for registration information.
Keynote speaker Keith Berns, co-owner and operator of Green Cover Seed, will discuss "Seven Things I Have Learned about Soil Health." Berns combines 17 years of no-till farming with 10 years of teaching agriculture and computers. He grows irrigated and dryland corn, soybeans, rye, triticale, sunflowers, peas and buckwheat on his 2,500- acre no-till farm in south central Nebraska.
Berns was awarded a North Central Region Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) Farmer/Rancher grant in 2008 to try cover crops. This led to helping neighbors locate cover crop seed and eventually grew into a family business, Green Cover Seeds.
Through Green Cover Seed, one of the major cover crop seed providers and educators in the United States, Berns has experimented with over 80 different cover crop types and hundreds of mixes planted into various situations, learning about cover crop growth, nitrogen fixation, moisture usage, and grazing utilization of cover crops.
Berns also developed the SmartMix CalculatorTM, one of the most widely used cover crop selection tools on the internet. He has a master's degree in agricultural education from the University of Nebraska and teaches on cover crops and soil health more than 20 times per year to various groups and audiences.
Over the past several years, Keith and his brother Brian have researched and incorporated cover crops into their no-till system. They have researched cover-crop water usage, cover crop nutrient content, and cover crop effect on following crops. They offer workshops and field tours to teach about opportunities offered by cover crops, such as improved soil structure, organic matter, biological life, water infiltration rate, nutrient cycling, and wildlife. Their website is https://greencoverseed.com/
For more information about the Western Sustainable Ag Crops and Livestock Conference and to register, contact Karen DeBoer, UNL Extension Educator at (308) 254-4455 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Lunch will be provided by the Open Range Grill. Walk-ins are welcome. However, the meal is not guaranteed unless pre-registration is received by Nov. 26. The cost is $35 per person.
A conference brochure is available at http://ckb.unl.edu.
Morning and afternoon workshops will focus on crop and livestock topics. Dr. Dipak K. Santra, UNL Extension Alternative Crops Breeding Specialist, will update farmers on his research findings evaluating field peas for grain production and potential as an alternative crop for western Nebraska.
Courtney Schuler, Business Development Manager at Stateline Producers Cooperative in Scottsbluff, will cover the markets and uses for field peas both domestically and globally. She will explain why Stateline expanded into field pea processing and how the cooperative operates.
Steve Tucker, a producer from Venango, Neb., will talk about methods of pea production that work in this area and what he has learned about growing field peas as a cash crop.
Julie Peterson, UNL Extension Entomology Specialist, will discuss options for farmers to increase on-farm plant diversity by providing non-crop habitat (such as CRP or wildflower strips) and diversifying crop fields through cover crops, crop rotations and companion planting. She explains how these practices can affect both the bad insects (pests) and the beneficial ones (predators, decomposers, pollinators), and will discuss the benefits for making pest-management decisions on the farm.
Livestock play an essential role in production for western Nebraska. Where there are livestock there are flies. Dr. Kristina Friesen, Medical and Livestock Entomologist at USDA's Agricultural Research Service, will talk about identification and integrated pest management of flies associated with livestock. She will help livestock producers identify the four common ‘filth flies' associated with livestock and discuss the behavioral ecology and economic impact of each fly. With proper fly identification, livestock producers can implement a management plan tailored to their system.
An afternoon panel will feature farmers who will lead a discussion on how they use cover crops, diversify crop rotations and integrate livestock to improve soil health.
A "Local Food Hubs" discussion will provide information about one type of alternative enterprise for farmers. The Nebraska Food Cooperative has a new local food hub in Ogallala. Members and producers will discuss future growth and opportunities that local foods provide.
Karen DeBoer, UNL Extension Educator will discuss educational opportunities for women involved in agriculture through a program called "Annie's Project": http://wia.unl.edu/anniesproject .
New Crop Technology Conference Dec. 4 at Sidney
"New Markets for New Crops" is the theme of the New crops Technology Conference scheduled for Thursday, Dec. 4, at Sidney.
The challenges of bringing new crops to market will be emphasized at the conference, which begins at 8:30 a.m. at Western Nebraska Community College's Sidney campus. The conference aims to update Nebraska growers with state-of-the-art information on marketing and economics and up-to-date research on production under limited irrigation of proso millet, sunflower, pea, fenugreek, and biofuel.
The registration fee is $35 per person for registrations received by Dec. 1, and $45 after that date and at the door. The fee includes refreshments and lunch.
Brochures and registrations forms are available by calling the UNL Panhandle Research and Extension Center at 308-632-1230, or downloading from the Panhandle Center website at panhandle.unl.edu.
Registration begins at 8:30 a.m. Topics and speakers include:
• Water Issues in Nebraska (Gary Hergert, UNL Soil Scientist)
• Sunflower Irrigation Response (Joel Schneekloth, CSU Water Resource Specialist)
• Canola Irrigation Response (Alexander Pavlista, UNL Crop Physiologist)
• Biofuel Crops and Water Use (Gary Hergert, UNL Soil Scientist)
• Fenugreek, Medicinal Crop (Dipak Santra, UNL Alternative Crops Specialist)
• Fenugreek Irrigation Response (Alexander Pavlista, UNL Crop Physiologist)
• Crops for Health (Vicki Schlegel, UNL Food Scientist)
• Proso Millet's New Markets (Noel Rudie, Harvest Innovations Director)
• Pea Varieties and New Markets (Dipak Santra, UNL Alternative Crops Specialist)
• Bringing New Crops to Market (Jessica Johnson, Extension Educator - Economics)
• Industry Panel on Marketing New Crops
The conference will adjourn at 4:30 p.m.
For more information, contact Dipak Santra, Alternative Crops Breeding Specialist at the UNL Panhandle Research and Extension Center, 308-632-1244, email email@example.com; Alexander Pavlista, Crop Physiologist, phone 308-632-1240, email firstname.lastname@example.org; Karen DeBoer, Extension Educator
Cheyenne-Banner-Kimball Counties, phone 308-254-4455, email email@example.com; or John Thomas, Extension Educator, Box Butte County, phone 308-762-5616, email firstname.lastname@example.org
Space for commercial booths will be available. For more information, contact Dipak Santra by Dec. 1.
The Five Essentials of Successful Ranch Management
The Nebraska Grazing Lands Coalition (NGLC) and UNL Extension are hosting Burke Teichert, noted ranch profitability strategist, on a four day, eight stop traveling road show across Nebraska. Western Wyoming native, Burke was the General Manager of the Livestock Division of U&I Inc. in the Tri-Cities area of Washington where he developed a livestock division to graze the crop residue on two very large farms irrigated with water pumped from the Columbia and Snake Rivers. From 1980 to 1990 he worked with the Welfare Services Department of the LDS Church as Manager of Production and later as Manager of seven cattle ranches in Utah. For 10 years, he worked as a General Manager and later as Vice President and General Manager with AgReserves Inc. where he was involved in seven major ranch acquisitions in the US and the management of a number of farms and ranches in the US as well as Canada and Argentina. He developed a reputation
for organizing ranches to be very cost-effective and profitable with very efficient, small crews. Burke is also a proponent of planned, time-controlled grazing for improved soil health and ranch productivity. Since retirement, he has worked as a contract manager, consultant and speaker. He has also traveled extensively in the U.S. and in parts of Canada and Central and South America as well as England, Australia and New Zealand on company business or as a consultant or speaker.
Please join us to hear Burke Teichert speak to the five essentials of Successful Ranch Management including:
Approach should be both integrative and holistic.
Strive for continuous improvement of the key resources—land, livestock and people.
Use good analysis and decisions making tools
War on costs
Emphasis on marketing
"The interesting thing is that it all begins with the way we manage our grazing and farming. Good grazing improves the land, lets us control costs by using larger herds and reduce our dependence on fed feeds, helps us cut overhead costs, makes us look at calving season and the breeding program to more closely fit the natural environment, etc."- Burke Teichert
Tuesday, November 18, 2014
9:30 AM – 1:30 PM (MT time) Cheyenne Co. 4-H Building, Sidney, NE
Contact Aaron Berger, UNL Extension Office in Banner, Kimball and Cheyenne Counties
308 235 3122
Cost $15 which covers the cost of the meal. NGLC will pick up the cost of all student registrations. Must preregister by November 14 to reserve a meal by calling the UNL Extension office indicated. Registrations will be taken until full. For more information, contact Ron Bolze, Coordinator, Nebraska Grazing Lands Coalition, 402 321 0067 (cell) or email@example.com
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Marketing 2014 Calves
With current price levels, cow/calf producers could see good profits when selling 2014 calves. Aaron Berger, UNL Extension educator, outlines a few options to consider when thinking about marketing this year's calf crop. UNL's Beef website features more information on Livestock Risk Protection Insurance and determining costs of production.
Storing Distillers Grains
Distillers grains have become much cheaper, compared with earlier in the year. Aaron Stalker, UNL Extension beef range systems specialist, explains why using distillers grains could benefit producers – if they can properly store the product. More resources on storing distillers grains can be found here.
UNL Extension's Hort Update for August 18, 2014
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Acreage Insights e-News for September 2014
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