Local Interest

By Kathleen Cue, Nebraska Extension Horticulture Educator

In carpentry, there is an old adage urging us to measure twice and cut once. The same can be said when it comes to plants.  Planning is the least expensive of the plant selection process, simply requiring a little of our time to talk to experts and glean information from catalogs and web sources.  I’ve never had a client say, “Gosh, I’m really sorry I planned and did the research!”  Rather, I hear from clients who didn’t adequately plan and are now dealing with how to help plants survive or costly removals.

Nebraska Farm Custom Rates are released to help farmers & landowners determine fair rates for many different field actions. These rates are updated every 2 years.

Every two years a survey of custom operators is conducted to determine the current rates charged for specific machinery operations. The survey is divided into two parts. Part I includes the spring and summer operations such as planting, tillage and baling hay. Part II includes information about fall operations such as harvesting and hauling as well as miscellaneous custom work activities on the farm. 

Custom Rates Report *(PDF)

Nebraska Farm Custom Rates information.

Saving Seeds

By Kathleen Cue, Nebraska Extension Horticulture Educator

 Long before the advent of seed catalogs, gardeners saved seed from their prettiest, tastiest and most promising flowers and vegetables of the gardening season, discarding the seeds from the blah, the unattractive and the poor producers.  In essence, gardeners have helped mold the shape of gardening selections, making them some of the earliest purveyors of genetic modification.

 Today, the farm-to-table movement has generated new interest in the time-honored practice of seed saving. Before starting seed saving, there are two concepts that are worth knowing and understanding.

Fall Garden Clean Up

By Kathleen Cue, Nebraska Extension Horticulture Educator

 When cleaning up the fall garden, it’s hard to know what should be cleared away and what should stay.  Gurus of tidiness opt for removing everything now in order to start with a clean slate in the spring.  But is there such a thing as too much tidiness?  It turns out that, yes indeed, that can be true. 

 Plant stems act as a catch-all, collecting leaves, twigs and other bits of organic debris around the crown of perennial plants. This mulch layer protects the crown and root system from weather extremes, making them more winter-hardy.

The Benefits of Fallen Leaves

By Kathleen Cue, Nebraska Extension Horticulture Educator

 It’s too bad autumn’s fallen leaves are seen as a nuisance, something to be gotten rid of as soon as possible. In truth, they are a boon to landscapes, serving as mulches, benefiting soils, and boosting our compost piles. Not only are leaf piles fun to jump in and make for great leaf fights, by using leaves, we keep this resource out of landfills.

By Nebraska Extension Horticulture Educator Kathleen Cue

 

They are cute.  They are little.  So what is the big deal if there are lots of grasshoppers?  These seemingly innocuous little guys and gals can be quite harmful to our landscape plants and vegetable gardens.  As grasshoppers grow, their appetites become larger, making the damage they do even more severe.

Floating row covers and screens can work as exclusion devices to protect plants but bear in mind that grasshoppers can chew through floating row covers and screens made of nylon (not metal screens, thank goodness).  Exclusion devices will need to be removed so bees and other pollinators can pollinate vegetable plants.

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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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