Local Interest

By Jessica Groskopf and Jim Jansen, UNL Agricultural Economists

The Preliminary Nebraska Farm Real Estate Market Survey Results released this month by the University of Nebraska revealed that Nebraska agricultural land declined in value for the reporting year ending Feb. 1, 2019.

This marks the fifth consecutive year of downward pressure, as market values have dropped approximately 20 percent since reaching a high in 2014. The average farmland value in the Panhandle is estimated to be $685 per acre, 4 percent lower than the prior year. 

“Keep Life Simple” is the theme of the annual Women in Agriculture Conference, which will feature information and advice about simplicity and excellence, making meals with a multi-cooker, forage production, youth loans, farming with disabilities, and more.

This year’s conference is scheduled for Friday, April 12, 2019 at Sidney. It will run from 8:15 a.m. until 3:45 p.m. at Buffalo Point Restaurant, 638 Cabela Drive.

The 2018 conference was canceled due to weather, but is being brought back in 2019.

The conference is intended to help women who are involved in agriculture improve their decision-making, increase understanding, and enhance their well-being in relation to their farm, ranch or agriculture-related business.

A research team at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Panhandle Research and Extension Center is developing a method of scheduling irrigation for dry edible beans that uses a sensor to remotely check the temperature of the crop canopy to determine when the crop needs water.

The method, known as infrared radiometry thermometer (IRT), has the potential to be cheaper and easier to install and manage than soil-moisture probes, according to Xin Qiao, Irrigation and Water Management Specialist at the Panhandle Center.

A QuickBooks Desktop for Farm and Ranch Record Keeping workshops will be held March 5, 2019 from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. at the Panhandle Research & Extension Center in Scottsbluff. The cost to attend is $65 per person. To register call 308-632-1230.

Jerry Terwilliger teaches the basics of QuickBooks Desktop in this hands-on workshop, 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.

Classes are limited to seven participants each, so please register soon.

Nebraska Extension will conduct chemigation certification training sessions through early April at Alliance, Sidney, Bridgeport, and Scottsbluff, as well as other sites around Nebraska, such as North Platte and Ainsworth.

Producers who plan to apply crop nutrients and pesticides through irrigation systems during 2019, including those who need to renew their 2018 permits, are required to attend a training session and pass the test administered afterward. Attendees are asked to pre-register at the extension office whose session they plan to attend. They will receive a training manual and calibration workbook to review before the training session.

Research findings and industry updates will be the focus of the Nebraska Extension Beef Feedlot Roundtables Feb. 12-14, 2019.

The first workshop will be Feb. 12 at Bridgeport, beginning with registration at 12:30 p.m. at Prairie Winds Community Center. Registration begins at 12:30 p.m., followed by presentations from 1 to 5 p.m. Following the program, Beef Quality Assurance (BQA) training and certification or recertification will be available each day. The meeting is organized by Nebraska Extension and the Nebraska Beef Council.

Online registration is encouraged and available at https://go.unl.edu/2019roundtable. Cost is $20 at the door if preregistered and $40 for walk-ins.

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