Weekly News Releases and Columns

  September 25,  2017


Larry Howard

Extension Educator

Nebraska Extension

Serving Cuming County

Crop Residue Exchange Program  

The Crop Residue Exchange is an online engagement tool designed to assist farmer-cattlemen relationship development with the goal of encouraging mutually beneficial agreements to utilize crop residue for the purposes of grazing. A recent UNL survey showed that 17% of farmers, that do not have any cattle grazing corn residue on acres they farm, list lack of access to cattle as the major reason. This online exchange serves as a way for corn and other crop producers to better market their crop residue to cattle producers and develop mutually beneficial grazing agreements.

The Crop Residue Exchange is available online at http://cropresidueexchange.unl.edu. After establishing a login account, farmers can list cropland available for grazing by drawing out the plot of land available using an interactive map and entering in basic information about the type of residue, fencing situation, water availability, and dates available. Producers also provide their preferred contact information. Livestock producers can login and search the database for cropland available for grazing within radius of a given location of interest.

The primary objective of this exchange is to assist in the development of farmer-cattlemen relationships. In the near future the exchange also seeks to provide educational material and tools that support these relationships. Items under development include a lease agreement template to assist in the contract arrangement between the cattle owner and the farmer, links to tools and guidelines to help farmers and cattle owners correctly stock crop residue fields, and summary information on crop residue grazing rates. These will be available to all registered users of the exchange.

Graze to Keep Grass Healthy

Pastures sometimes have lots of weeds remaining this time of year and it is tempting to graze hard enough to use those weeds.  But is this actually good for the pasture?  Nebraska Extension Forage Specialist, Bruce Anderson recently shared some comments on this topic.

Many pasture weeds can provide satisfactory protein and energy for cattle when eaten, but cattle avoid them due to poor palatability.  If pressed hard enough, though, cattle will eat many of them when there is nothing else to eat.  While this gets rid of the weeds temporarily, if might not be healthy for the pasture.

Every pasture has millions of weed seeds in the soil and the potential to become weedy.  Since some pastures stay relatively clean while other pastures become weedy, other factors undoubtedly influence the weed population.  Simply grazing or controlling weeds by spraying or cutting does little to prevent weeds from coming back again unless these other factors are changed to better support desirable plants.

To control weeds, it is much more important to manage grazing to support healthy desirable plants than to weaken or remove unwanted weeds.  Grazing that allows sufficient leaf area to remain following grazing that supports rapid regrowth, allows good winterizing, and holds snow and rain moisture on the land rather than running off will benefit the desirable grasses and legumes.  Giving pasture plants adequate time to recover after grazing before grazing again is another way to improve or maintain pasture health and strengthen the competitive ability of desirable plants.

Weeds in a pasture can indicate that the pasture and the desired plants in it are not in a healthy condition.  For improvement to occur, controlling weeds is not enough.  Changing management to strengthen desired grasses and legumes also is essential.


Crop Water Use

Estimated Crop Water use (inch/day)

Corn:  Emerge Date 5/13, Prior 3 Days 0.05, Next 3 Days 0.01

Soybean:  Emerge Date 5/25, Prior 3 Days 0.00, Next 3 Days 0.01

Alfalfa:  Emerge Date 4/01, Prior 3 Days 0.20, Next 3 Days 0.17

Grass:  Emerge Date 4/15, Prior 3 Days 0.04, Next 3 Days 0.03

Producers should note that immediately after cutting, water use for alfalfa will be 50% of the figure given; after ten days, water use will be 75%; and at 20 days after cutting, water use is the figure given.

These crop figures are provided by University of Nebraska-Lincoln Extension in Cuming County.  They are based on West Point weather factors and are good for 50-mile radius.  Check the Crop Watch web site (http://cropwatch.unl.edu/gdd-etdata) daily for a more detailed current report.


SOURCE:   Larry Howard, Extension Educator

RELEASE DATE: September 25, 2017


Enter the Make It With Wool Contest! The object of the contest is to promote the beauty and versatility of wool fabric and yarn; to encourage personal creations in sewing, knitting, crocheting, spinning and weaving of wool fabric; and to recognize creative skills.

The 2017 State Make It With Wool Contest will be November 18 at the Lancaster Extension Education Center in Lincoln, NE beginning at 9:00 a.m.  Everyone is invited to the public Fashion Show at 1:00 p.m.

The divisions determined by age as of January 1, 2017 (national rule), are as follows:

  • Preteen – age 12 and under

  • Junior – age 13 to 16

  • Senior – age 17 to 24

  • Adult – age 25 and over

  • Made For Others

For more information, contact the Nebraska State Director: Andrea Nisley, P.O. Box 757, Lexington NE 68850 (phone 308-324-5501) anisley1@unl.eu or the district directors.  Distric directors include:

  • District 1 – Doris Rush of Scottsbluff, 308-635-0156 and Rosalene Tollman of Marsland, 308-665-2415

  • District II – Crystal Fangmeier of Hebron, 402-768-4183

  • District III – Diane Bolin of Eagle, 402-781-2304

Entry forms, fees, wool samples and wool testing fees are due October 15, 2017 to Andrea Nisley.  The fabrics/yarns used for the wool contest must be 100% wool or wool blend (minimum 69% wool or specialty wool fiber) for each fashion fabric or yarn used. Specialty wool fibers include mohair, cashmere, alpaca, camel, and llama.

More information is available on the National Make It With Wool website: (http://www.nationalmakeitwithwool.com)

Earlier this year, the 2016 state contest winners competed at the 2017 National Contest in Denver, Colorado where Abigail Olson of Sargent received 3rd place in the Junior Division and Merna Hanson of Juniata received 7th place in the Adult Division.  Another Nebraska representative was Charmayne Popp of Broken Bow in the Senior Division.

The National Make It With Wool also has a fashion design Competition for college students who are currently enrolled in a college-level fashion or apparel design program.  Entry deadline is November 1.  Information criteria how to enter and deadline information is given on the National Make It With Wool Website.


SOURCE:   Andrea Nisley, Extension Educator

RELEASE DATE: September 25, 2017 

Experience the Power of Red

High school students and their parents are invited to explore opportunities available to help them prepare for a future in Agriculture and Natural Resources. The University of Nebraska-Lincoln College of Agricultural Science and Natural Resources (CASNR) is hosting “Power of Red” on Saturday, September 30 on East Campus in Lincoln beginning at 9:00 a.m. and concluding at 2:30 p.m.

“Power of Red” will provide youth with an opportunity to learn more about 30+ majors within CASNR, interact with faculty and staff, and experience East Campus life. Registration is due September 22nd. Register for the event by going to this website: http://go.unl.edu/casnrvisitday.


SOURCE:   Melissa Nordboe, Extension Assistant

RELEASE DATE: September 25, 2017