Making A Difference
Impact Summary Reports
- 2012 - Year in Review
- Beef Systems
- Learning Child
- Guardianship/Conservator Training Program
- Crops - Youth Programming
- Agricultural Economics
- Cropping Systems Productivity
- Food, Nutrition & Health
- Agriculture Water Management
- Animal Manure Management
- Water Climate Environment - Community
- Business Ventures and Innovation
- ECAP - Entrepreneurial Communities
- ESI and Beyond
- NACO Institute of Excellence
In the next few weeks and months you will begin to notice some changes in the Extension webpage layout and some familiar links will be moved to new locations. No links or information will be eliminated just relocated.
Summer Won’t be Dull with Local Camp Opportunities
By Cynthia Gill, Extension Educator
Despite the recent weather, summer and the end of school is upon us. Soon the “happy I’m out of school” attitudes of our school-aged children turn into “I’m bored”. The best way to counter the ”I’m bored” lament is to offer some out-of-the-ordinary activities that teach a new skill or hobby.
The University of Nebraska Extension - Cheyenne County Office has several interesting day camps and a fun overnight experience for local youth. Youth do not have to be a member of 4-H to participate.
First up in the summer fun is a variety of day camp options to mix and match according to the interest of the youth and are conveniently located at the Lodgepole Valley Youth Camp. Preregistration is required. These day camps are for youth in third grade and older.
Pajama Party – Learn the basics and explore the science of sewing and at the Pajama Party Workshop on June 4-6. This workshop is from 8 – noon. Participants will make their own pillowcase, pajama pants and decorate a t-shirt to match. The completed outfit may be modeled at the county fair. A limited number of sewing machines are available to use during the workshop.
Get Buggy participants will explore the world of entomology and begin their own personal bug collection. Kristi Nienhueser will teach the youth how to collect and display their finds. This workshop is at the same time at the pajama party, so youth have to choose!
SnapShot will focus on photography and is for beginners and others who want to learn more about composition and how to display your photography. This workshop is on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons, June 4 and 6, 1 – 5 p.m. Participants must have their own digital camera and will finish with at least two matted photographs illustrating their new talent.
Dinner Party is set for Wednesday afternoon, June 5, from 1 – 6:30. Participants at this workshop will spend their afternoon planning and preparing dinner for their families. Families are invited to dinner at 5:30. Table setting, table manners and menu planning are also on the afternoon’s agenda.
Later in June, have fun at Rick and Lucy’s Greenhouse! At this Gardening Workshop on Tuesday, June 25, participants will pick berries and dry herbs before making their own healthy lunch by picking vegetables from Ricky and Lucy's garden.
More experienced photographers should try the Advanced Photography Workshop with Heather Hausmann's Photography studio. Students will learn to use the settings on their digital camera and how to select good photos from the not-so-good. The class is set for Wednesday, June 19.
For an overnight adventure that isn’t too far from home, try the Outdoor Adventure Explorer Camp set for Thursday and Friday, June 20-21, at the Lodgepole Valley Youth Camp. This year’s theme is Dutch oven cooking and fishing! Everyone gets a t-shirt and a fishing pole.
Gear-Tech-21 Robotics Camp combines robotics, GPS (global positioning systems) and GIS (geographic information systems) in a challenging and fun program and it’s here in the southern panhandle! Learn more about it by participating in a three-day program at the Kimball Event Center in Kimball on July 9 – 11 from 8:30 – 5 p.m. Transportation from Sidney may be arranged.
For more information about 4-H in Cheyenne County or to register for a camp, please contact Cynthia Gill at email@example.com or call 308-254-4455 in Cheyenne County or 308-235-3122 in Kimball and Banner Counties. Stay in the know about our activities by liking our Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/UNLCheyenneCounty.
Global Warming and Weeds
By: Robert Wilson, Weed Specialist University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Panhandle Research & Extension Center, Scottsbluff (308) 632-1263
The summer of 2012 will be remembered as extremely hot and dry but also for the appearance of a new pigweed, Palmer amaranth. In early August, Panhandle producers observed a giant pigweed emerging above the corn canopy. Palmer amaranth welcome to the Panhandle.
Pigweeds have been growing in western Nebraska for many years. Most growers are familiar with redroot pigweed, a common weed problem. In recent years, redroot pigweed has not been as prevalent as in the past due to an increase in common lambsquarters which emerges earlier in the spring and has more tolerance to glyphosate.
Palmer amaranth is native to the lower Rio Grande Valley of Texas where cotton is an important crop. More recent weed identification manuals list Palmer amaranth as occurring in the southern half of the United States with northern expansion into Kansas. Temperature is prominent among ecological factors that determine which pigweed species will predominate. Palmer amaranth responds negatively to low temperatures found in the northern half of the United States. The ideal temperature range for Palmer amaranth growth is between 85 to 95 F and plant growth declines dramatically between 50 to 60 F. Growth rate, biomass, and seed production of Palmer amaranth are greater than redroot pigweed at temperatures between 65 to 95 F.
Palmer amaranth has expanded its range into western Nebraska for several reasons: annual increases in temperature, reduction in the use of herbicides at the time of crop planting, its ability to develop resistance to herbicides, and a decrease in preplant tillage have provided an environment favorable to the weed. Movement of Palmer amaranth seed from south to north can occur via farm equipment, especially combines, or as a contaminant in crop seeds or livestock feed moved from the south to the north. An interesting case in point occurred in 2011 when cottonseed cake used as a protein source for livestock was shipped north. Cotton fields infested with Palmer amaranth were harvested and as seed was removed from cotton fibers Palmer amaranth seed accompanied cotton seed and was mixed in the seed cake. Cattle utilized the protein and deposited the Palmer amaranth seed in an environment favorable for expansion.
Now that Palmer amaranth has found a new home, growers need to quickly address the problem by utilizing production practices that do not favor the spread of the weed. Palmer amaranth growing on your farm may already be resistant to some herbicide families. In southern growing regions, Palmer amaranth has developed resistance to the following herbicide families: dinitroanilines (Prowl, Sonalan), imidazolinones (Pursuit, Raptor), triazines (atrazine), PPO inhibitors (Reflex) and most recently EPSP synthetase inhibition (glyphosate). Therefore, plan your weed control program carefully and do not rely on a single herbicide mode of action for control.
In the Panhandle, Palmer amaranth has been most noticeable in corn. Corn and weeds such as kochia, common lambsquarters, and hairy nightshade emerge earlier in the spring than Palmer amaranth. Using a herbicide with soil residual such as atrazine, Balance Flexx, Callisto, Dual Magnum, Outlook, Prowl, Permit, Verdict, or Warrant at corn planting will help control early season emergence. Following with a postemergence weed control program with herbicides such as dicamba, 2,4-D, glyphosate, Impact or Laudis will help control later emerging plants. In dry bean, herbicides applied at planting such as Dual Magnum, Outlook, Prowl, Sonalan, or Permit can provide early season control while Raptor and Reflex will provide postemergence control.
For more information and photos see this article from Purdue.
Dealing with Drought Conditions for Grazing Cattle on Native Range and Pasture
The southern Panhandle is in the second consecutive spring of drought conditions. Precipitation September 1 to May 10 for the Southern Nebraska Panhandle is 60% of normal for this time period. The University of Nebraska-Lincoln Extension CropWatch website has weather information that shows precipitation summaries for all of Nebraska. This summary shows recent historic precipitation amounts and compares them to long term averages at locations throughout the Panhandle. Lack of precipitation beginning in the fall of 2011 has resulted in severely depleted soil moisture.
Early spring soil moisture is critical in this region for forage production on native range and seeded introduced cool season pastures. A current lack of soil moisture combined with below normal precipitation mean that management changes need to be planned for the upcoming growing and grazing season on native range and pasture. It is important to plan decision point dates and to consider options for reducing cattle grazing when the forage available from native range or pasture will be severely reduced due to drought conditions. The following are options for producers to consider:
1. Delay pasture turnout. Delay pasture turnout at least two to four weeks, to give native grasses the have the opportunity to utilize what moisture is available and develop growth and root reserves which will benefit plant health and total forage production. If we don’t get significant precipitation in the rest of April, May and June to grow grass, delaying grazing till late summer or after killing frost in the fall would be best for rangeland and pasture health.
2. Plant annual forages for summer grazing and or hay. If irrigation is available summer annuals such as Sudan grass, forage sorghums and sorghum-Sudan grass planted in late May and June can provide grazing July through September. Summer annuals such as foxtail millet and teff can be planted as a crop for hay.
3. Examine the cost of feeding cow-calf pairs or replacement heifers a complete ration in a dry-lot. With current feed prices this is expensive, but may be one of the few options available that will allow producers to retain cows.
4. Plan to early wean calves. Depending upon the cow and the stage of milk production, early weaning results in a 25 to 45% reduction in cow nutrition requirements. Calves can be weaned and placed on a high quality diet as early as 60-90 days of age..
5. Reduce numbers by selling yearlings, replacement heifers and cows that have lost calves or are poor producers. Evaluate what you believe to be a core group of cows that you feel would be a critical to take through the drought and allow you to rebuild your herd. All others may need to be marketed to save feed and resources for the core herd.
6. Look for additional grazing sources outside the area. The states east of Nebraska have seen some drought relief and may be willing to take cows in to graze for the summer. Carefully evaluate all the potential costs and risks involved with moving cattle to a different area for grazing. Often time it takes a significant amount of time for cattle to adapt to a new environment. The stress of moving the cattle can result in significant decreases in cattle performance and health.
7. In 2012, Conservation Reserve Program acres (CRP) were released for haying and grazing. It is possible that these might be available for grazing in 2013 as well. Plan ahead and look for opportunities to utilize these acres as a grazing resource. CRP forage is often low in quality so additional protein supplement may be needed for cattle grazing these acres. Water and fence are often not available on CRP so planning how to provide this infrastructure to allow for grazing will be need.
The University of Nebraska-Lincoln Extension has specialists and resources available to assist producers in developing a drought plan and analyzing potential options. The following websites have information for ranchers and farmers on dealing with drought.
Please contact me if you have questions about management strategies for dealing with drought conditions. Aaron Berger, UNL Extension, Kimball-Banner and Cheyenne Counties, 308.235.3122, firstname.lastname@example.org
Knowledge for Life: University of Nebraska-Lincoln Extension Offers Tree Watering Advice
In many parts of Cheyenne County, evergreen trees are showing signs of stress and even death as a result of last year’s drought.
Pines and junipers seem to be showing the most damage from drought. In pines, often the uppermost branches are showing damage by turning brown. It is best to wait and see if the buds on these trees will grow this spring before making a decision to remove the tree. If the trees are completely brown and have no live buds for this year’s growth, they probably will not recover.
Trees need from 2-3 inches of moisture per month during the spring and summer. Rain is ideal. Since we are still in a drought, trees will probably need to be watered.
It is important to water trees properly. Here are some guidelines to consider when watering trees:
• Newly planted trees need supplemental watering to survive. We define “newly planted” as within the last 5-10 years, given the current extreme drought conditions. Even well-established trees that are 20 years or older are showing stress and need supplemental watering.
• Concentrate watering under the tree’s canopy for a long enough duration that water is getting beyond the turf-rooting zone to a depth of 8-12 inches or more. Use a long screwdriver or rod to see how deep the water is penetrating. If the ground is dry, it typically is difficult to push the screwdriver in more than a few inches.
• Allow soils to dry slightly between irrigations to avoid over watering since trees need moist, but not saturated soil in order to grow well.
• Watering with soaker hoses or drip systems allows water to slowly infiltrate the soil with minimum water loss due to wind or evaporation.
• Root feeders efficiently water many trees in a short period of time and direct water at the critical rooting zone 8-12 inches below the surface of the soil. By forcing water down into the rooting area, root feeders increase soil oxygen levels and create more favorable growing conditions.
• During hot, dry periods water trees every 6-10 days. Newly planted trees need water at least every 5-7 days.
• Fertilizing trees is not recommended during a time of drought. Adding fertilizer could cause a flush of growth and further stress trees with higher water demands.
• Mulch trees to reduce evaporation, soil temperature and water runoff. Mulch also improves water penetration into the root zone and limits weed growth.
• Maintain an average 2-3 inch layer of well-seasoned, aged woodchips. Use “utility grade” chips, which are typically fairly large, thin woodchips produced from utility clearing operations, as opposed to double ground or grinder chips. Larger chips typically last 1-2 seasons, layer well and do not mat together, allowing good gas exchange between the soil and atmosphere. Low oxygen levels in soil can be a limiting factor in root growth.
• Avoid mulch products such as river rock, pea gravel, etc. as they can dramatically increase soil temperatures. Also, avoid cypress mulch as it readily mats together and takes a long time to break down and add to the soil profile.
• If you decide to decrease lawn watering, don’t stop watering trees. Trees cannot go dormant during the growing season.
• Prioritize watering efforts in the landscape. In terms of environmental, economic and social benefits, landscape priorities tend to run in this order: trees, shrubs, perennials and ornamental grasses and turf grasses. It is much easier to replace turf than to replant established trees.
For information on caring for newly planted trees, see the publication.
For more information, please contact me at email@example.com or call 308-254-4455.
UNL BeefWatch Newsletter
Check out the second (April) issue of UNL BeefWatch Newsletter. Subscribe to receive monthly updates direct to your email inbox.
Drought Increases Toxic and Poisonous
Plant Risk to Livestock
UNL Extension Educator, Scott Cotton is reminding producers who graze livestock on range and pasture that of one of the side effects of drought can be increased risk of poisoning from toxic plants. Drought generates increased poisoning risks for livestock due to reduced availability, timing shifts and physiological changes in the “desired” forages on rangelands and pastures. More...
Stocking Rate Lease Agreements
Stocking rate, lease rate and a drought clause are key components of a grazing lease agreement. Jay Jenkins UNL Extension Educator in Cherry County recommends that people who own grazing land and those who lease it use a written agreement that addresses these three factors… more
Annie’s Project for Farm/Ranch Women
UNL Extension and Farm Credit Services of America host Annie's Project, a course to develop management and decision-making skills of farm and ranch women. Classes will be held at Thedford starting May 22 with registration preferred by May 1. Click here for a registration information . Four similar workshops are planned in Nebraska with tentative plans set for Sydney, NE. Contact your local Extension office for more information about programs in your region or go to Annies Project for more information.
Trigger Dates and Stocking Rates:
Drought Mitigation Cornerstones
UNL Extension Educator, Cindy Tusler is encouraging ranchers to use trigger dates and stocking rates as tools to help them plan and make choices related to ongoing drought conditions. A written drought management plan using these tools can assist producers in making decisions. More...
Programs for Communities (Free)
As a leader in your community, often you are asked to present a program to club meetings, civic groups or professional organizations. Finding information for such a program and then organizing it can be challenging and time consuming. Look no further!
Faculty from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Extension are providing you research-based, educational program resources free-of-charge. Information in each program is based on research from educational institutions around the world. The programs listed reflect the variety of topics which our clientele cite as issues within their communities. Congratulations on leading your organization to a greater understanding of these priorities! For lessons....
Provides current grain/livestock market commentary and analysis; weather, climate, and soil moisture updates; practical advice from seasoned, working producers; and more.
View entire episodes or search for answers to your plant, yard, and insect problems. Watch Backyard Farmer live on NET1 April to mid September (Thursday, 7:00 pm CT).
Audio and video interviews with University of Nebraska-Lincoln Extension specialists and educators on topics ranging from crop and livestock production to health and nutrition to lawn and garden care, and more.