Nebraska Extension in the Central Sandhills

Local Interest

Free webinar Wednesday, May 5, 10:00 - 11:30 am CDT Register Here

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 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:, on the Central Sandhills Extension web page or

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.


Nebraska Extension in the Central Sandhills

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Cotton to retire after 25 years with Nebraska Extension

June 22, 2021
Following a 37-year career working for land-grant universities and the national Cooperative Extension system, including 25 years with the University of Nebraska – Lincoln, Dan Cotton will retire June 30.

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Nebraska Extension to host Inaugural Specialty Crop Conference & Trade Show

June 11, 2021
Nebraska Extension, in partnership with the Nebraska Department of Agriculture, will host the Nebraska Specialty Crop Conference on November 9-10, 2021, on Nebraska’s Innovation Campus.

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Nebraska Extension field day for management of Palmer amaranth in corn

June 9, 2021
Growers, crop consultants and extension educators interested in management of atrazine/glyphosate-resistant Palmer amaranth are encouraged to attend Nebraska Extension's field day, supported by the Nebraska Corn Board, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. June 30 near Carleton.

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Wheat stem sawfly emergence – field notes from early June

June 7, 2021

Lincoln, Neb. —The wheat stem sawfly has begun emergence throughout the High Plains. Observations from several locations – the High Plains Ag Lab (HPAL) near Sidney, Neb., the U.S. Department of Agriculture Agricultural Research Service (USDA-ARS) Research Station near Akron, Colo., and as far east as Deuel County, Neb. – indicate very high populations of wheat stem sawfly in wheat fields.

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