Local Interest

When commodity prices go down, it’s important to keep financial books on the ranch for more than just tax time.

Nebraska Extension Educators will teach how to use Quicken, a popular commercial record-keeping package that is user friendly, inexpensive and easy to find, in two upcoming workshops in Scottsbluff. Quicken is flexible for ag and non-ag business enterprises and separates out family living expenses.

These workshops are limited to 10 participants. The cost is $20 per participant. Dates and locations:

Scottsbluff, Dec. 20, 2017: 5:30-8:30 p.m. at the Panhandle Research and Extension Center. To register call Jessica Groskopf 308-632-1247.

The basics of QuickBooks financial software for farmers and ranchers will be taught in a workshop Dec. 15, 2017 at Scottsbluff. The workshop will run from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. To register call Jessica Groskopf at 308-632-1247. Jerry Terwilliger of the Center for Rural Affairs teaches the basics of desktop QuickBooks, focusing on the record-keeping needs of farmers and ranchers. Participants will learn how to input transactions, use accounts, categories, inventories, invoices, and run common reports. Cost is $55 per participant, and the classes are limited to five participants per location.

      Ranchers who want to reduce calf loss at calving and to learn how to properly assist cows at calving should plan to attend “Assisting the Beef Cow at Calving” programs at six locations in December, with Dr. Robert Mortimer, a nationally known veterinarian from Colorado State University.

      Dr. Mortimer will discuss handling calving difficulty, with emphasis on decision making and the hows and whys of techniques for providing assistance.

      Dr. Mortimer developed a program strongly emphasizing hands-on experience in calving management and produced a video with Elanco and Beef Today on “How to Save More Calves at Calving.”

Jim Schild and Gary Stone, Extension Educators, Scotts Bluff County

The single biggest use of water in the average western Nebraska household is irrigating the Kentucky bluegrass lawn.

But there are two alternative turfs that allow homeowners to manage water more efficiently: tall fescue, a cool-season grass, and buffalograss, a warm-season grass. Each has advantages and disadvantages.

Tall fescue can use more water than bluegrass, but its advantage is a deep, extensive root system, which can extend as deep as 2 ½ to 3 feet in western Nebraska soils. The effective rooting depth for Kentucky bluegrass is 6 to 8 inches.

By Jim Schild and Gary Stone, Extension Educators, UNL Panhandle Research and Extension Center

Fertilizing a turf grass lawn is a lot more than just buying a bag of fertilizer and spreading it all in the spring.

There are several decisions to make. One is how much fertilizer to apply; another is when to apply it. And spring is not the best time to apply most of the year's fertilizer.

The goal of a good fertilizer program is to keep growth at a minimum while maintaining a good, thick, dense, well-colored lawn. To reach the goal, at least two-thirds of the fertilizer should be applied during the fall to thicken the turf and help the grass recover after the summer stress.

Jackie Guzman, Extension Educator
Scotts Bluff County

Now that children are home from school on summer break, parents can spend the next three months just keeping them busy, or else they can seize an opportunity to build a stronger family and maybe create new traditions.

Many families have their own traditions. As long as I can remember, every December my family’s tradition has been to make tamales together – a very labor intensive process.  Regardless, we all look forward to our annual family gathering.

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