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Management Strategies for Minimizing Early Pregnancy Loss

Latest Updates from beef.unl.edu - Mon, 04/27/2020 - 10:24
Friday, May 1, 2020

As we approach the breeding season, cows and heifers are faced with a variety of stressors from the metabolic pressure of providing for a calf to changes in environment. Stress during early pregnancy is well documented to cause embryonic death and loss of pregnancy. However, making strategic management decisions during the fragile 2 months after breeding can help minimize those losses.


#socialdistancing: Create Physical Distance but Stay in Touch

Latest Updates from beef.unl.edu - Mon, 04/27/2020 - 09:27
Friday, May 1, 2020

You do not have to go far on social media to find farmers in tractors or families out with newborn calves with the hashtag “social distancing” and the caption “I’ll be engaging in social distancing this spring, like I do every year!”


Flooded Sandhills Subirrigated Meadows and Upland Sites

Latest Updates from beef.unl.edu - Mon, 04/27/2020 - 08:52
Friday, May 1, 2020

Meadows cover approximately 10% of the land area in the Nebraska Sandhills. These meadows have both subirrigated and wetland ecological sites and are an important forage resource for many ranches and provide 2 to 3 times more forage than associated Sandhills uplands. Meadows are also vital to biodiversity and hydrology in the Sandhills and there are many native wildlife and plant species that are found in these subirrigated and wetland areas.


Considerations when Planting Green

Latest Updates from cropwatch.unl.edu - Fri, 04/24/2020 - 10:40
Corn planted into green cereal rye in 2020. Growers that switched to planting green, say it was much easier to plant compared with planting into the decomposing-dying cover. In spite of these observations, planting green is not for everyone and one needs to assess the risk of doing so.

Assessing Freeze Injury to Wheat

Latest Updates from cropwatch.unl.edu - Thu, 04/23/2020 - 11:56
It takes a number of warm days (a week or more depending on temperatures) after freezing to determine the condition of the winter wheat crop, so don’t make any quick decisions after a freeze.

Flies on Pastured Cattle

Latest Updates from beef.unl.edu - Wed, 04/22/2020 - 09:52
Friday, May 1, 2020

As livestock producers prepare for another grazing season, thoughts are often directed towards grass conditions, animal conditioning, and fence repair. An additional very important consideration should include what type of flies will impact their pastured cattle, and what method of fly control will work best for their management system. Livestock fly control should be viewed as having a positive economic impact on livestock operations. In Nebraska and elsewhere, there are three fly species that economically impact pastured cattle; horn fly, face fly and stable fly.


5 Tips for Working Remotely from Home and Caring for Children During COVID-19

Latest Updates from child.unl.edu - Wed, 04/22/2020 - 09:28
Image Source: B Janning, Hastings, Nebraska

If we could press rewind and go back in time to mid-March, I wonder what you would have been doing.  The sudden and abrupt transition to working from home and having to juggle roles of employee, parent, and teacher all at once was certainly something most of us were not prepared for. Most of us had little time to plan how we would design our work space, daily schedules and balance work and family under one roof full time. If this sounds like your “new normal,” you are not alone.  I have found some helpful tips and words of encouragement I would like to pass along from a recent article by Holly Hatton-Bowers and Carrie L. Hanson-Bradley, Assistant Professors at the University of Nebraska.

TIP 1: Acknowledge Emotions:

Emotions are normal and healthy and give us clues to what we may need to feel better.

Dr. Dan Siegel says that it is helpful to “name it to tame it.”  We often feel emotions in our bodies first, such as tightness in our chest or a stiff neck. Siegel advises us to stop for a minute, pay attention to what we feel in our bodies and then name our emotion. The authors recommended saying, “My body feels…and the emotion I am experiencing is…”

Keep in mind that emotions are not forever, “name it, tame it” and move on. Judging ourselves for having emotions only makes us feel worse.

TIP 2: Manage Expectations:

It is difficult to juggle all of one’s roles at the same time, so do not expect to be able to fulfill all the roles you play at the same level you did before COVID-19. It can be helpful to understand that each individual manages change differently; and this is particularly true as families adjust to the newness of working from home, parenting, and teaching at the same time.  Some will embrace it as a new opportunity for creativity while others can feel overwhelmed.  

What about Parenting Expectations?

Daily routines will be different for each individual family.  Whether it be educational activities, or family time together, young children need more than ever right now is time to connect, cuddle, have a routine with some flexibility, and to feel safe.

Can you find ways to make every day activities fun for your child? Perhaps the family meal time could turn into a picnic on the floor.  Maybe you could make a game of sorting socks when doing the laundry. Try and be intentional about when you need to work and when to play or be with your children.  It’s like putting deposits in the bank, when children receive moments of our undivided attention, then they are more likely to feel okay when parents need to move away to focus on work.

TIP 3: Create a Schedule:

Sit down and create a schedule that works for your family.  Keeping in mind it is good to allow for flexibility. Schedule in work time and time for household chores. Time for children to play and do chores and school work too.  If there are two parents in the home, the adults could alternate work hours so as to keep children safe as well as giving them the parent connection time they need most.

Image source: Sara Gavin, Sacramento, California

TIP 4: Practice Self Care                                                                   

It is healthy to take time away to focus on what you need as an adult. Yet, when we are under stress, self-care is one of the first things that gets pushed aside. Here are a few strategies:

  • Listening to music
  • Taking the time to virtually connect with friends and family
  • Spend time in nature
  • Exercise
  • Practice deep breathing or meditation
  • Eating healthy
  • Reading or drawing,
  • Getting adequate sleep and waking up at the same time each day
  • Practice positive thinking, and/or practice gratitude

TIP 5: Be Gentle with Yourself

We are collectively experiencing a worldwide crisis, and crises trigger our brains into fight, flight or freeze mode. That means our brains are focused on surviving, not thriving. So it is normal to feel like you aren’t functioning at your peak level. Have you felt forgetful lately, not as motivated, or find yourself not knowing what day it is? It may be your brain’s way of protecting you in this time of stress.

Soon, we will be able to look back on this time and process what has happened, but in-depth processing happens only after one feels emotionally and physically safe. So in this time of crisis, be gentle with yourself (and with others). Self-compassion creates space where mistakes are viewed as valuable learning opportunities, tiny victories call for huge celebrations, and we can acknowledge our suffering without criticizing ourselves for being human.

More Resources Related to this topic:

Zero to Three – many resources of activities to do with children and tips for managing stress and being with the family during COVID-19.

Child Mind Institute – https://childmind.org/coping-during-covid-19-resources-for-parents/ (they have live Facebook video chats with clinicians


UNL A Beautiful Day website – ideas for engaging children (0-8 years) in learning and play activities https://cehs.unl.edu/abeautifulday/

Sesame Street have excellent resources for engaging children in learning at home activities during COVID-19, http://www.sesamestreet.org/caring

Tips for Managing Screen Time: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/04/13/parenting/manage-screen-time-coronavirus.html

Be Kind to Yourself https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/between-cultures/201802/be-kind-yourself

Self-Care Tips During the Covid-19 Pandemic https://www.mayoclinichealthsystem.org/hometown-health/speaking-of-health/self-care-tips-during-the-covid-19-pandemic

Staying Active at Home https://food.unl.edu/article/family-food-fun-home#stayingactiveathome


Peer Reviewed by Holly Hatton-Bowers, Assistant Professor, University of Nebraska and Linda Reddish, Extension Educator, The Learning Child

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

It is Canada thistle, not Canadian thistle . . .

Latest Updates from beef.unl.edu - Mon, 04/20/2020 - 16:26
Friday, May 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.


COVID-19 Branding Guidelines

Latest Updates from beef.unl.edu - Fri, 04/17/2020 - 16:18
Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Branding is the social event of the spring signaling the end of winter and the long hours of calving, and the beginning of greener pastures ahead. Friends and neighbors come from far and wide to help out and relive the cherished tradition.

As the US continues to limit the spread of COVID-19 by closing offices and promoting social distancing and working from home, agriculture does not stop. The work must go on. Although calves must be branded, not taking precautions can mean the difference between life and death for some loved ones.  


CARES Act: Paycheck Protection Program Loans - Partnerships

Latest Updates from cropwatch.unl.edu - Fri, 04/17/2020 - 11:31
The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act is working to help alleviate the strain many businesses and individuals have under the current circumstances. This article gives information on guidelines announced for partnerships and Schedule C’s.

Will Feeding Silage to Lactating Cows Give my Calves Scours?

Latest Updates from beef.unl.edu - Fri, 04/17/2020 - 10:02
Friday, May 1, 2020

Many cow-calf producers in Nebraska have become accustomed to using distillers grains as a source of both protein and energy to help meet the nutritional needs of lactating cows from calving until green grass is available. Due to the ongoing distillers shortage, many producers are considering including corn silage in the ration to help alleviate some of the energy shortfall in their hay resources. However, concerns have been expressed that silage in the diet will result in diarrhea or scours in their calves.


Potential Respirator Shortage Due to COVID-19

Latest Updates from cropwatch.unl.edu - Thu, 04/16/2020 - 16:43
Personal protective equipment (PPE) may be in short supply, regionally or nationally, in the 2020 growing season. What can people in Ag industry do to prepare?

Soybean Seeding Rate On-Farm Research

Latest Updates from cropwatch.unl.edu - Thu, 04/16/2020 - 11:27
Figure 1. Location by county (shown by red fill) for soybean seeding rate studies through the Nebraska On-Farm Research Network from 1990 to 2019 based on the resultsfinder.unl.edu database. Counties with studies not currently in the database are noted by red lines and have been reported in CropWatch articles. The Nebraska On-Farm Research Network has shown that a seeding rate of 120,000 seeds per acre has performed well across counties, farms, and fields in Nebraska.

Safe Handling of Treated Seed

Latest Updates from cropwatch.unl.edu - Thu, 04/16/2020 - 11:18
This year remember to be safe when handling treated seed and check the seed tag for specific handling and use directions.

Two Nutrient Management Decision Tools Updated

Latest Updates from cropwatch.unl.edu - Thu, 04/16/2020 - 11:08
Recently, two nutrient management tools produced by Nebraska Extension have been updated and are now available.

Consider Label Restriction of Soybean Herbicides Based on Geographical Region in Nebraska

Latest Updates from cropwatch.unl.edu - Thu, 04/16/2020 - 10:02
Applying a pre-emergence herbicide with multiple sites of action is particularly important in fields where herbicide-resistant weeds are present or suspected.

What is your Competitive Advantage?

Latest Updates from beef.unl.edu - Wed, 04/15/2020 - 16:15
Friday, May 1, 2020

One of the ways that beef producers can be successful in their business is to identify what their competitive advantage is in relation to their competition.  What is it about your product, skills, reputation, business structure, location or service that sets you apart from others?  What gives you a “leg up” on the competition?


Freeze Damage to Alfalfa

Latest Updates from cropwatch.unl.edu - Wed, 04/15/2020 - 15:24
April freeze nips alfalfa. Extent of damage varies based on numerous factors, but no management actions are recommended.

Heifer CONSULT Available for use by Beef Cow-calf Producers

Latest Updates from beef.unl.edu - Wed, 04/15/2020 - 12:06
Friday, May 1, 2020

Heifer CONSULT (Collaborative, Online, Novel, Science-based, User-friendly, Learning, Tool) is designed to help beef cow-calf producers improve the reproductive success of their heifers and young cows.  If a producer is not satisfied with the current reproductive success of replacement heifers and/or first-calf heifers, this CONSULT will help identify problem areas and provide possible solutions. Please work closely with your veterinarian to create the best heifer development program for your herd.