Agriculture & Horticulture

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The articles below are John Wilson's weekly columns. These cover a variety of topics related to agriculture and horticulture, insect, weed and disease pests.

For more information on any of these contact your local Nebraska Extension office.


May 25, 2017

Signs of Spring

Who needs a calendar to know when it’s spring? I have a fail-safe way to tell when it gets here. I just wait until I start getting calls from homeowners who have had a close encounter with a snake. Read more.


May 18, 2017

Check Alfalfa for Weevil Damage

While everyone has been concentrating on getting corn and soybeans planted, don’t forget about alfalfa. There have been a few scattered reports of alfalfa weevil in alfalfa fields. I haven’t heard any reports on clover leaf weevils. Read more.


May 11, 2017

Monitor Stands in Early Planted Corn

This certainly has been a challenging spring for farmers trying to get crops planted in many areas.  Between prolonged rainy conditions and soil temperatures taking a plunge, there just weren’t a lot of good opportunities to get crops planted in April. Read more.


May 4, 2017

Ticks, Ticks and more Ticks!

I’ve been out a couple of times in search of morel mushrooms. Unfortunately I’ve found more ticks than mushrooms! Ticks are close relatives of mites and spiders and pass through four stages in their life cycle: egg, larva, nymph and adult. All stages except the egg are blood-sucking parasites that can also carry diseases. Read more.


April 27, 2017

April Showers...

The old saying goes, “April showers bring May flowers” so my question to you is, what do May flowers bring? I’ll let you think about that one for a couple of minutes! I don’t know that it’s the kind of May flowers most people hope for, but April showers certainly have generated calls about purple flowers in lawns. Read more.


April 20, 2017

Arbor Day - 2017

Arbor Day will be this Friday, April 28, and it has its “roots” in Nebraska. J. Sterling Morton described Nebraska as a “treeless prairie” when he moved here from Michigan in 1854. He proposed a tree planting holiday to the State Board of Agriculture in 1872. The first Arbor Day was observed in Nebraska on April 10 that year and more than a million trees were planted in Nebraska. Read more.


April 13, 2017

Controlling Weeds in Your Fields

Recently I ran into an article that addressed a topic that is a concern to many farmers going into this growing season... resistant weeds and the cost of controlling them. This information was in a blog from Bob Hartzler, extension weed specialist at Iowa State University. Read more.


April 5, 2017

“Control Noxious Weeds This Spring”

With recent rains and near or above normal temperatures predicted the next couple of weeks, we are rapidly approaching the window of time for controlling noxious weeds this spring. Fall may be the best time to control noxious weeds, but don’t neglect your opportunities this spring. Read more.


March 30, 2017


As a follow-up to last week’s article about severe weather awareness week, I thought it might be good to review some facts and myths considering our most violent form of severe weather in this part of the country, the tornado. Last week, I attended a storm spotter class where we learned tornadoes can occur any month of the year, but are most common in April, May and June in Nebraska.  Read more.


March 23, 2017

“Severe Weather Awareness Week”

This week, March 27-31, is Nebraska Severe Weather Awareness Week. I think it is interesting that we have a whole week designated as Severe Weather Awareness Week, but only one day in November designated as Winter Weather Awareness Day. We are fortunate that we have not experienced any severe weather this spring... Read more.


March 15, 2017

“From The Grocery Store!”

Unfortunately, this is the response from more and more children and young adults across the U.S. when asked, "Where does your food come from?" Nebraskans may be less inclined to respond this way, but even in Nebraska, where agriculture is our number one industry, there is a growing disconnect between the food we eat and where it was produced. Read more.


March 9, 2017

“They’re Back!”

While watching a movie one evening last weekend, my wife said something to me about, “They’re Back!” This sounded like a line out of some cheap horror movie, but then I realized what she was talking about. Read more.