Professional Development Time for Crop Producers - By Nathan Mueller

   This is a busy time of year for crop producers to attend industry meetings, conferences, workshops, clinics, and required trainings and certifications. Just like any other small business owner, there are numerous opportunities for producers to keep up and learn about the latest information on running their business. Producers need to obtain the proper licenses, certifications, and trainings required by local, state, and federal regulations too.

   As the local Nebraska Extension Cropping Systems Educator, I have a role in offering both optional professional development programs and collaborating with government entities to teach required certifications and trainings for licenses. December through March is equivalent to my planting season for producers, as I am very busy planting ideas at 3 to 4 programs a week now through March.

   If you are a crop producer or agribusiness representative, or just a citizen wanting to increase your literacy about agriculture in your area, here are some opportunities for you in the coming months.

   Wilber Crop Clinic, Friday, February 7, Sokol Hall:  I am really looking forward to my first year hosting the Wilber Crop Clinic with a great lineup of eight speakers talking weather, markets, new pests, precision ag and soil fertility. The displays go up in the morning at 8:00 a.m. and the educational program starts at 9:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. No pre-registration is required, simply register at the door. You must be present to win door prizes at the end of the program. Learn more at our event website at croptechcafe.org/wilbercropclinic.

   Chemigation Certification: Applying fertilizer through pivots is becoming more popular due to the hybrids we are planting today and the opportunity for nitrogen efficiency savings. If your certification has expired in 2020 or taking the class for the first time, please pre-register at my office at 402-821-2151 for the following trainings that run from 9:00 am to 12:00 Noon at the following dates and locations: Beatrice on Tuesday, January 28 at the Gage County Extension Office, Tecumseh NRD office on Tuesday, March 17, or on Wednesday, May 20 at the Lancaster County Extension Office. For initial certifications, getting materials in advance from our office is suggested or view online at: water.unl.edu/article/agricultural-irrigation/chemigation (scroll to the bottom of the page).

   Private Applicator Restricted Use Pesticide Training: There are over 650 applicators in Saline, Jefferson and Gage counties that need to renew their private applicator pesticide license to purchase and/or use and apply restricted use pesticides. If you only purchase and use 2,4-D and glyphosate those are general use products and of course no license is required. If you have questions give us a call. I will be offering 14 different training opportunities starting on January 29 running through March 30. To see the full list of trainings, view and pre-register online at croptechcafe.org/localprograms/training-certification or call our office at 402-821-2151.

   Get ready for these and many of the other professional development opportunities offered by your land-grant university by contacting your local Nebraska Extension office. Know your crop, know your tech, know your bottom line.