Local Interest

Due to the COVID-19 virus outbreak, the Panhandle Research and Extension Center will be closing its office in Scottsbluff to walk-in traffic, effective at 5 p.m. Friday, March 20, until further notice. This includes the Scotts Bluff County Extension Office.

The Extension Office’s telephone number, 308-632-1485, is still available to leave a message. Calls will be forwarded to an employee who is working remotely. Voicemails will be checked frequently and responded to. People who need to contact Extension staff should be able to continue to use telephone or email as before.

A large majority of people who responded to a recent survey rated water quality in the North Platte Valley of western Nebraska as good or excellent.

Still, most of the survey respondents also said they are somewhat or very concerned about water quality, although usually by a smaller majority.

There was usually a gap between agricultural and residential residents on rating water quality; the level of concern water quality; water quality’s effects on quality of life; and potential sources of water contaminants.

Musk thistle is a non-native biennial forb but can behave occasionally as an annual. It reproduces/spreads from seed. Musk thistle is a prolific seed producer. Each thistle plant can produce 10,000 up to 120,000 seeds. Germination of seed and emergence of seedlings can occur anytime and are correlated with light and moisture. Optimum germination will take place in moist soil with 59° to 68°F soil temperature in the light and 68° to 86°F in the dark. Approximately one third of the seeds produced are viable. Viability of the seed varies. Water, wind, livestock, wildlife, vehicles and humans disperse seed.

The STEM Careers Issue Team is excited to announce that the NebrASKa Scientist Virtual Field Trips will continue throughout the summer as part of the 4-H Virtual Summer Programing. 

Our kick-off event is Tuesday, May 26th with a visit to Wildcat Hills in Gering, NE. We will learn about the Big Horn Sheep living in the area as we learn how to be a biologist! The content is mostly driven towards 7th-12th graders. If able to join the live session, youth are encouraged to ask Amanda Filipe, Nebraska Game and Parks Outdoor Education Specialist, any questions about the sheep, Wildcat Hills, or what it takes to be a biologist. 

Looking for a family activity that provides opportunities to share traditions, recipes and fun? Try baking together using these helpful tips from the Home Baking Association:
Nebraska Extension and the Department of Agronomy and Horticulture have launched a new student gardening competition to take place this summer in 2020. The Biggest Grower competition offers Nebraska high school students the opportunity to learn how to start their own garden and small growing operation. Students will plant, grow, cultivate, harvest and distribute their own fresh specialty crops in a garden space or in containers. Participants will be placed in virtual teams with one team chosen as The Biggest Grower and each team member will be awarded a $50 Amazon gift card. Additionally, one high school junior or senior will be awarded a College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources Department of Agronomy and Horticulture scholarship of $1,000.

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Nebraska Extension in Scotts Bluff County

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Nebraska Extension showcasing 4-H’ers at county fairs

May 22, 2020
Nebraska Extension is working to make sure all 4-H’ers across the state have the opportunity to showcase their hard work come county fair time this summer.

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Nebraska Extension, UNMC to host discussion on impact of pandemic-related stress on farmers and ranchers

May 22, 2020
Nebraska Extension and the University of Nebraska Medical Center’s Rural Health Initiative will host a discussion about the impact of COVID-related stress on farmers, ranchers and others engaged in agriculture.

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