Nebraska Extension in the Central Sandhills

Local Interest

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We are excited to announce a new opportunity for 4-H youth participating in livestock projects! The Nebraska 4-H Livestock Achievement Program is designed to promote all educational aspects of 4-H livestock projects including selection, production, leadership, and exhibition by recognizing youth striving to improve in their livestock project knowledge and leadership.

 The program recognizes Members of Excellence across all 4-H livestock project areas, including: beef, sheep, meat goat, swine, dairy cattle, dairy goat, rabbit, and poultry.

Deadline Reminders:

4-H youth must be enrolled and membership paid by June 15 to be eligible to exhibit at any NE county fairs or the Nebraska State Fair, per new State 4-H rules.  Membership fees are $10 per youth for the entire membership year, reguardless of how many projects a 4-H member may participate in. When enrolling online at https://ne.4honline.com/ be sure to use Firefox or Google Chrome. We ask that all of our 4-H volunteer and leaders also enroll. Dues can be paid online or a check will need to be mailed to the Extension Office in Thedford.

Need help choosing your 4-H projects for the year? Utilize the Nebraska 4-H Pick-A-Project website and/or the handy printable project checklist at: https://4h.unl.edu/news/pick-your-project, on the Central Sandhills Extension web page https://extension.unl.edu/statewide/centralshandhills or www.centralsandhills.unl.edu.

By Anita Gall, Nebraska Extension Master Gardener

Tread carefully to avoid soil compaction: As you venture out into your landscape and planting beds, be mindful of how wet the soil is. Kids, pets and people walking on soil that has excessive moisture can cause compaction. A compacted soil can continue to cause plant stress throughout the growing season. Walking on wet soil breaks down the soil aggregates, making it hard for plant roots to penetrate and for water and air to infiltrate or move through the soil pores.

David Lott, Horticulture Extension Educator created a spring garden worksheet to help gardeners determine when to either start seeds indoors, or when to direct seed crops outdoors. For starting seeds indoors for transplants, the 90% frost free date, weeks needed to grow various crops and the two-week hardening period before planting determine the most appropriate planting date. For direct seeding of crops into the ground, the minimum soil temperature, days to maturity, and the two-week harvest period help determine when the best time to direct seed. Determine the soil temperature using a soil thermometer with the enclosed instructions will be vital to avoid planting too early, which either stops germination or stunts development of transplants.

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