Agriculture & Horticulture
The articles below are John Wilson's weekly columns. These cover a variety of topics related to agriculture and horticulture as well as insect, weed and disease pests. John Wilson is a Cropping & Water Systems Extension Educator in Burt County and can be reached by calling Nebraska Extension in Burt County at 402-374-2929 or by E-Mailing him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information on any of these contact your local Nebraska Extension office.
October 18, 2018
Harvest and Grain Bin Safety
I’m sure many local farmers trying to get crops harvested this fall feel a little bit like the Nebraska Cornhuskers. No matter what they do, something seems to always be blocking their progress. Our weather this fall certainly has not been conducive to getting crops harvested and pose some real threats to the health and safety of those trying to get crops harvested and in the bin.
October 11, 2018
It Feels Like Winter is Here... YUCK!
Six months ago it felt like we went from winter to summer with only about one week of spring. Now it feels like we’re doing just the opposite. I like fall, I want fall, fall is one of my favorite times of the year. However frost advisories make me think of winter rather than beautiful, sunny fall days.
October 4, 2018
Don’t Spread Weed Seed at Harvest
Now that fall is here and crops are mature, it’s easy to see weed escapes that might not have been as visible last summer. Some precautions at harvest can reduce weed seed being moved from one field to another. This will help reduce the weed control challenges next growing season.
September 27, 2018
Controlling Noxious Weeds
September 20, 2018
Fire Safety At Harvest
Harvest is always a busy time of year. A few local farmers had just started harvest, but after things dry out after the recent rains, I anticipate harvest will shift into high gear. Crops are maturing rapidly and if we don’t have a lot of weather delays, we should have a very early harvest this year. However, we can’t let the rush to get crops harvested come before safety.
September 13, 2018
SCN... Looking Back, Looking Ahead
September 6, 2018
Avoid Compaction at Harvest
Harvest is one of my favorite times of year. Watching fields being harvested takes me back to my days of growing up on a farm in the Platte River Valley. One big difference is our soils were sandier than most soils in northeast Nebraska and susceptible, but less prone to compaction.
Nebraska Extension in Burt County
Coming Soon – MFP!
I was just visiting with staff at our local Farm Service Agency office and it seems that the MFP, or Market Facilitation Program, has been generating a lot of questions. If you are not familiar with it, this program provides direct payments to help producers of certain agricultural commodities that have been directly impacted by illegal retaliatory tariffs, resulting in the loss of traditional exports.
August 30, 2018
Fall Lawn Care
August 16, 2018
Corn & Soybean Pests
There are a couple crop pests I’d like to ask farmers, field scouts, crop consultants, or anyone else that is out in corn and soybean fields to help me identify. These are both relatively new in Nebraska and we are just learning more about them. Let’s take soybeans first.
August 9, 2018
Until recently, we’ve had timely rains most of the summer and supplemental water demands for our turf have been minimal. About a week ago, I watered my lawn for only the second time all summer. However, looking at the extended forecast with above average temperatures and below normal precipitation for the majority of August, watering our lawns may become critical.
August 2, 2018
Soybean Management Field Days
For 20 years, Soybean Management Field Days have helped Nebraska soybean growers stay competitive in the global marketplace. These programs focus on bringing research-based information to local farms. Last year we hosted one of these in Burt County.
July 25, 2018
“S” is for Scouting, Soybeans & SCN
July 12, 2018
Yellow Nutsedge Control
July 19, 2018
World Cup of Tomatoes
July 5, 2018
Last week I talked about the Emerald Ash Borer, an invasive insect that is causing a lot of concern for homeowners. It has been identified in a few locations in Nebraska and is likely to continue its gradual spread across the state in years to come, devastating the state’s ash tree population as it spreads.
June 28, 2018
Emerald Ash Borers
June 21, 2018
Brown Spots in Lawns
The warm humid conditions we’re experiencing can promote diseases such as dollar spot and brown patch. If brown spots appear in your lawn, diagnose the problem before applying a pesticide. Disease and insect pests can build up resistance to pesticides, especially if they are overused. Pesticides are also chemicals we should not put into the environment unless they are needed.
June 14, 2018
Reduce Spray Drift Damage
For such a slow start with planting this spring, crops sure grew a lot in the last week or two. Unfortunately crops aren’t the only thing that’s growing. In some fields I visited recently, I noticed a variety of weeds were growing just as fast where a preplant or a preemergence herbicide had not been applied.
June 6, 2018
I think volunteer corn has been a problem as long as farmers have been growing corn. However, stock rot last summer and high winds last fall resulted in more downed corn in some areas. This is in addition to normal harvest losses. This resulted with more volunteer corn in some fields this spring.
May 30, 2018
Holcus Leaf Spot in Corn
Frequent rains earlier this month and any future hard rains are conditions favorable for the development of a disease we occasionally see in corn fields. Fortunately it is not a serious problem, but it can cause a lot of anxiety for farmers when they see this in their fields.
May 23, 2018
Scout Emerging Corn for Insects
May 17, 2018
Mosquitos Suck, Too!
May 3, 2018
Last weekend I went out in the trees behind my house in search of morel mushrooms. Unfortunately I 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.
April 26, 2018
This has been one strange spring! And because of it, I’ve gotten more than the usual number of calls from farmers who wonder if they need to apply starter fertilizer when they plant. Unfortunately, “It depends” is not the answer most farmers want to hear.
April 19, 2018
Arbor Day - “Rooted” in Nebraska
Arbor Day will be this Friday, April 27, 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 across the state.
April 12, 2018
Controlling Crabgrass... Easier Than Dissecting Frogs
April 5, 2018
“Tornadoes - Fact & Fiction”
March 29, 2018
“Severe Weather Awareness Week”
March 22, 2018
ALFALFA - The Forgotten Crop
Too often alfalfa is the forgotten farm crop... farmers take care of alfalfa when they’re caught up on everything else. I’d like to suggest you move alfalfa higher on your priority list... and one of the first things you need to do with your alfalfa fields should be done in the next few weeks when it gets a little dryer.
March 15, 2018
Checking Stored Grain
March 8, 2018
Shade Tree Borers
With emerald ash borer (EAB) in the news, homeowners are paying closer attention to their trees for signs of borers. This is great that homeowners are watching their trees closer! But it amazes me that everyone who finds a hole in the bark on their tree is sure they have EAB... even if the holes are in the bark of something other than an ash tree!
March 1, 2018
Native Plants in the Landscape
A popular trend in gardening is including native plants. When people hear the word native, they often picture a prairie-like landscape. One person may think of something beautiful and natural while another may see something resembling a weed patch.
February 22, 2018
Spring Fever? Spring Chores!
February 22, 2018
Improve Pastures NOW!
February 8, 2018
Dicamba Training 2108
February 1, 2018
There are a couple great conferences coming up later this month, but I wanted to pass along information on them now so you could get them on the calendar.