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Nebraska Corn, Soybeans Rated 82% Good to Excellent

Latest Updates from cropwatch.unl.edu - Tue, 06/02/2020 - 16:10
As of May 31, 2020, Nebraska corn planting was complete and soybeans planted was 95% according to the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service. Planting and emergence of both crops continues to be ahead of five year averages.

The Great Outdoors Holds Great Opportunity for Your Child

Latest Updates from child.unl.edu - Mon, 06/01/2020 - 08:00
Photo source: The Learning Child

As a child, I remember running around barefoot with my siblings,exploring woods, climbing trees, and building forts. Oh, the memories. I had scrapes, bruises, and even stitches at times, but they were worth it.In addition to the great memories made, did you know there are endless benefits of simply letting your child run outside and play? The next time you’re deciding whether to let your child play inside or outside, you might want to consider all the opportunities that come with the great outdoors.

Increased Physical Activity

Although it seems as if your child has endless energy, letting them play outside can help release some bottled up energy. Everything from walking, running, and jumping around, to climbing trees and carrying building supplies for forts, contributes to the development of strength, balance, and coordination. According to the Stateofobesity.org, Nebraska ranks 5th with a 2-4-year-old obesity rate of 16.9%. Yikes! Just think how our rates might decrease if children spent more time outside.

Development of Gross Motor Skills and Fine Motor Skills

Developing these skills directly affects the creation of strong, healthy, capable children. Gross motor skills help your child run, walk, and climb. Fine motor skills are used when they pick up sticks or make a nature bracelet with all of their outdoor treasures. Development of these skills requires lots of practice,and outdoor adventures offer just that.

Social Interaction

No matter if your child is playing with siblings, friends, or you, they are gaining social interaction. Being outside with limited toys can push children to expand their imaginations. When combining different imaginations, new ideas and brainstorming skills are created. Teamwork is also strenghtened. Whether they are ‘playing house’ or building something, your child will be working together with others, and learning teamwork young could benefit your child in their future endeavors.

Use of Imagination

I just mentioned that when your child is outside, it can force them to use their imaginations. Children need to experience boredom at times in order to create new levels of play. Once they do, they can see objects in new ways, such as using mud to make cake or pretending a stick is a mixing spoon. Also, when your child has free time, they have time to daydream, and that can lead to some of their most creative ideas.

It is the beginning of summer and that means it’s the perfect time for your child to go enjoy all of the benefits that the great outdoors offers!


Peer Reviewed by Leanne Manning, Extension Educator, The Learning Child and Lisa Poppe, Extension Educator, The Learning Child

Make sure to follow The Learning Child on social media for more research-based early childhood education resources!

Accurately Growth Staging Corn after Lower Leaf Loss and Implication for Post-emergence Herbicide Application

Latest Updates from cropwatch.unl.edu - Fri, 05/29/2020 - 09:50
After a frost, or hail event, the dead tissue is not able to resurrect itself and is eventually sloughed off as the plant continues to grow. Thus a common question is how do I determine corn growth stage when I can no longer count leaves?

Q and A: Why is Corn Emergence Uneven This Year?

Latest Updates from cropwatch.unl.edu - Fri, 05/29/2020 - 08:56
Planting conditions seemed to be “perfect” this year. This allowed a large percent of corn and soybean acres in Nebraska to be planted earlier than in previous years. Because conditions seemed so good, the question is why emergence has been uneven in some fields this year.

CARES Act: Coronavirus Food Assistance Program for Crop Producers

Latest Updates from cropwatch.unl.edu - Fri, 05/29/2020 - 08:07
While agricultural producers and agribusinesses are eligible for two programs administered through the Small Business Administration, the primary support for agriculture is coming from USDA through the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP). Read more about the CFAP program and register for the June 4 webinar.

Is It Too Easy to Turn Irrigation Water On?

Latest Updates from cropwatch.unl.edu - Thu, 05/28/2020 - 14:47
I have worked with irrigation management for almost 20 years. Today most farmers are doing a better job than when I started, however many still tend to over apply water -- leaving room for improvement. That left me wondering “Why” and “What could help more farmers apply the optimal amount of irrigation water?”

Wheat Disease Update: Stripe Rust Confirmed in Nebraska

Latest Updates from cropwatch.unl.edu - Thu, 05/28/2020 - 14:29
During a survey of wheat fields in south central and southeast Nebraska on May 27, stripe rust was found at trace levels in a grower’s wheat field in Thayer County in southeast Nebraska.

Soil Residual Herbicide Options after Corn Emergence

Latest Updates from cropwatch.unl.edu - Thu, 05/28/2020 - 09:59
Application of soil residual herbicides is important because they deliver a few weeks of residual weed control and aid in weed resistance management by incorporating additional site(s) of action in herbicide program. Several residual herbicides can be applied after corn emergence without injury to corn.

New Research Shows When Nebraska’s Groundwater Supply Recharges

Latest Updates from cropwatch.unl.edu - Thu, 05/28/2020 - 09:45
From left, Aaron Mittelstet, Troy Gilmore, Mikaela Cherry and Didier Gatsmana sample groundwater in the Little Blue Natural Resources District near Hastings in July 2018. A recent study from Cherry, doctoral candidate in the School of Natural Resources, and colleagues found that winter precipitation reloads most of the state’s groundwater supply. (Courtesy photo/Sydney Corcoran) When it rains, and even when it pours and floods like it did in Nebraska in late 2018 and through much of 2019, the precipitation that hits the surface doesn’t always factor in to recharging the state’s vast and vital groundwater supply. So when does it most often happen?

NASS: 77% Corn, 56% Soybean Emerged, Winter Wheat 70% Good to Excellent

Latest Updates from cropwatch.unl.edu - Thu, 05/28/2020 - 09:38
As of Sunday, May 24th, corn and soybean planting and emergence continues to be well ahead of the five year average, according to the USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service. In addition, 70% of winter wheat is rated is rated good to excellent.

Cattle and the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP) Payments

Latest Updates from beef.unl.edu - Thu, 05/28/2020 - 08:33
Monday, June 1, 2020

The USDA recently announced more details on the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP) aid payments. In total, $19 billion is included in the aid package, $16 billion in direct payments to producers and $3 billion in commodity food purchases. Payment details are a bit complicated depending upon whether producers sold their commodities during the time period from January 15 to April 15, 2020.


Field Bindweed

Latest Updates from beef.unl.edu - Wed, 05/27/2020 - 09:55
Monday, June 1, 2020

Early Detection and Rapid Response (EDRR) is a concept to identify potentially invasive species prior to or just as the establishment of the invasive is taking place.  An Integrated Pest Management plan (IPM) can be developed to manage, contain and eradicate the invasive species before it can spread further.  This will avoid costly, long-term control efforts.


Fermenting for Forages: Finding the Right Moisture

Latest Updates from beef.unl.edu - Wed, 05/27/2020 - 09:27
Monday, June 1, 2020

Developing cattle rations without distillers products to provide moisture and protein is an issue on many producers’ minds.  One option this summer is to cut fall planted rye or spring oats, wheat, triticale, or barley for silage.   Small grain silage can add moisture and some protein to rations and help fill the gap before corn silage is ready to harvest this fall.


Fermenting for Forages: Small Grain Silage

Latest Updates from beef.unl.edu - Wed, 05/27/2020 - 07:47
Monday, June 1, 2020

When the term silage is used, typically what comes to mind is corn silage. This is especially true in the Great Plains and Midwest where corn is king. Another silage that may be less known is small grain silage.


Dealing with Blister Beetles

Latest Updates from beef.unl.edu - Tue, 05/26/2020 - 09:55
Monday, June 1, 2020

Blister beetles, from the family Meloidae, are sometimes referred to as oil beetles and found in all parts of the Unites States and Canada. Adult blister beetles vary in size and color but are recognized by the elongated, narrow, cylindrical, and soft bodies. In Nebraska, the three-striped, grey, and black blister beetles (Fig. 1) are the most common species. Blister beetles produce a chemical called cantharidin which is toxic to animals and humans. The male blister beetle secretes cantharidin and presents it to the female after mating.


Spring Miller Moth Invasion

Latest Updates from cropwatch.unl.edu - Tue, 05/26/2020 - 08:52
During the daylight hours the army cutworm moths seek shelter in cracks and crevices including those found in houses and other buildings. The moths begin to emerge from these locations at dusk to resume their feeding and westward migration.

Fertilizer-nitrogen Injury

Latest Updates from cropwatch.unl.edu - Fri, 05/22/2020 - 09:29
Nitrogen (N) is the most limiting nutrient in corn. However, there is risk of crop injury with band application of fertilizer-N.

Supporting Unique Interests of Children

Latest Updates from child.unl.edu - Fri, 05/22/2020 - 08:00
Image source: Jody Green

I am a professional entomologist. I studied insects and spiders at the college level, and I educate people about how to manage and prevent bugs from bugging them. Though I have always had an appreciation for insects, I didn’t know urban entomology and pest management would be a career option for me, and I was an adult when I decided on a non-traditional career for a woman. Unfortunately, many children lack the role models, resources, and support to follow their passion.

A true story that is near and dear to my heart is the story of Sophia Spencer, a Canadian girl whose love for bugs brought out a negative reaction at school simply because bullies believed that girls should not like bugs. Seven-year-old Sophia was ready to give up her favorite things, until her mom jumped in to help her out. As a parent, I can understand the feelings of frustration and helplessness, not knowing exactly how to help your child. Desperate to encourage her daughter, Sophia’s mother wrote a letter to the Entomological Society of Canada and a post on Twitter was sent out to entomologists around the world like a red alert. As a woman entomologist, I responded immediately by sending one of hundreds of messages intended for Sophia. Little did Sophia’s mom know, she initiated a huge movement, which is now associated with the hashtag #BugsR4Girls.

So, what can we learn from Sophia’s experience?



Teach kindness, empathy, and respect for each other.


Commit to learning with them, foster their curiosity, and support their interests, whether it be fleeting or lasting. Do some research, buy or borrow some books, find a podcast, or a video.


Reach out to an expert in the field through a professional organization or college directory. Passionate people love to share their passion with others.


Set aside conceptions of what boys and girls should play with and how they should play, so that all children can benefit from toys and activities.


Encourage children, regardless of gender, to ask questions and use all of their sense to discovery the world around them. Nature play is beneficial for a child’s overall development, health, and wellbeing.


Whichever outlet you prefer, set your boundaries, and follow through. Social media has a way of bringing people closer, but can also be intertwined with negative outcomes.


If you have an expertise in something, you can inspire, nurture, and help a child struggling to find a role model.


Role models come in all shapes and sizes. Small voices can be heard, we need to elevate them.


Children follow our lead and if we show passion for our work or hobbies, they will seek out the same for their own lives.


Image source: Jody Green

Yes, insects at times can be challenge, but they are also a major pollinator supporter of crops and flowers. Introduce children to insects through art, music, literature, and simple observations.

Sophia not only found a community of entomologists to encourage her love for insects, but in the last few years has co-authored a scientific paper and wrote a children’s book. To learn more about her experience in her own words and voice, read and listen to the NPR story from 2017 or recent (2020) CBC Radio story. She definitely showed the world that bugs were for her and she continues to inspire others with her story.


Arthro-Pod EP 71: #BugsR4Girls with Sophia Spencer. http://arthro-pod.blogspot.com/2020/03/arthro-pod-ep-71-bugsr4girls-with.html

Jackson, M. and Spencer, S. (2017) Engaging for a Good Cause: Sophia’s Story and Why #BugsR4Girls. Annals of the Entomological Society of America, 110 (5): 439-448. https://doi.org/10.1093/aesa/sax055

Spencer, S. and McNamera, M. (2020). The Bug Girl (A True Story). New York: Schwartz & Wade Books.

4-H. Entomology Curriculum: Teaming with Insects. https://4-h.org/parents/curriculum/entomology/


Peer Reviewed by Linda Reddish, Extension Educator, The Learning Child and Katherine Krause, Extension Educator, The Learning Child

Make sure to follow The Learning Child on social media for more research-based early childhood education resources!

Corn, Soybean Planting Well Ahead of Last Year

Latest Updates from cropwatch.unl.edu - Thu, 05/21/2020 - 16:42
Corn planted was 91%, as of Sunday, May 17, 2020, well ahead of 63% last year, and ahead of 78% for the five-year average. Emerged was 54%. Soybeans planted was 78%, well ahead of 34% last year and 42% average. Emerged was 29%, well ahead of 5% last year and 8% average.