Posted in Livestock, Uncategorized

2017 Summer Grazing Tour

Mark your calendars for the Nebraska Grazing Lands Coalition (NGLC) –Nebraska Extension joint Summer Grazing Tour scheduled for June 13, 2017 in south central Nebraska. The tour will involve two Nebraska grazers with three stops including the Bruning Cow Camp near Reynolds, John Lange Land and Cattle near Belvidere and Bruning Family Farms Headquarters near Bruning.Calf Baby Farm Mother Cow Cattle

Stop I — Reynolds, NE – Bruning Cow Camp

  • Started in the 1950’s with the first purchase.
  • Currently 2100 acres of native grass pastures with 60 acres of prairie hay grown. Cross fenced with 50 paddocks- none larger than 80 acres. All served by well water and tanks with 5 wire barb wire fences and corral systems.
  • Rotationally grazed from May 1-November 1 using approximately 6-7 aces per Spring cow/calf unit.
  • Reseeded farming area to Big and Little Bluestem, Side Oats Gramma, Indian Grass and Switch Grass. One area seeding with Intermediate Wheat Grass.

Stop 2 — Belvidere, NE -Lange Land & Cattle, LLC Angus

  • Larry and Rosalie Lange purchased this 320 acres in 1970.
  • In 2004, John Lange installed NRCS EQUIP water tanks and fencing.
  • In 2016, two small pivots were reseeded to grass and more cross fencing is planned to utilize the irrigated grass with the native pasture.

Stop 3 — Bruning, NE – Bruning Family Farms LLC Headquarters

  • Currently 300 acres of irrigated cool season grasses with approximately 20 paddocks- mostly 10-20 acres.
  • Figure approximately 1-2 acres per pair, mostly Fall calving cows.

Preregistration is $20 per person (pay at the door) and includes an evening steak fry provided by Bruning Family Farms. Preregistration is required for meal counts by contacting the Nebraska Extension Office in Furnas County (308 268 3105) by Tuesday, June 6. You can also contact Erin Laborie, Nebraska Extension Beef Systems Educator at erin.laborie@unl.edu. Tour starts with registration beginning at 7:30 AM at the Fairbury Livestock Auction (if coming from the east) and at 8:30 AM at the Bruning Cow Camp south of Reynolds (if coming from the west).

The Nebraska Grazing Lands Coalition is an independent organization of ranchers, interest groups, and agencies whose mission is to collaborate on projects that improve the management and health of Nebraska grazing lands and ensure long-term stability of rangeland resources. The NGLC is funded through grants from the USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service, the Nebraska Environmental Trust, and the Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program of the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, USDA.

Posted in Crops, Irrigation, Livestock, Uncategorized

Census of Agriculture

According to a news release from the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS), America’s farmers and ranchers will soon have the opportunity to strongly represent agriculture in their communities and industry by taking part in the 2017 Census of Agriculture. Conducted every five years by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS), the census, to be mailed at the end of this year, is a complete count of all U.S. farms, ranches, and those who operate them.

pexels-photo
Photo Credit: pexels.com

The Census of Agriculture is the only source of uniform, comprehensive, and impartial agriculture data for every county in the United States, according to the NASS administrator Huber Hamer.  The Census of Agriculture highlights land use and ownership, operator characteristics, production practices, income and expenditures, and other topics. The 2012 Census of Agriculture revealed that over three million farmers operated more than two million farms, spanning over 914 million acres. This was a four percent decrease in the number of U.S. farms from the previous census in 2007. However, agriculture sales, income, and expenses increased between 2007 and 2012. This telling information and thousands of other agriculture statistics are a direct result of responses to the Census of Agriculture.

Producers who are new to farming or did not receive a Census of Agriculture in 2012 still have time to sign up to receive the 2017 Census of Agriculture report form by visiting http://www.agcensus.usda.gov and clicking on the ‘Make Sure You Are Counted’ button through June. NASS defines a farm as any place from which $1,000 or more of agricultural products were produced and sold, or normally would have been sold, during the census year (2017).

For more information about the 2017 Census of Agriculture and to see how census data are used, visit www.agcensus.usda.gov or call (800) 727-9540.

Posted in Crops, Horticulture, Irrigation, Livestock, Uncategorized, Youth

Celebrate Agriculture!

The Agriculture Council of America (ACA) hosts National Agriculture Day on March 21, 2017. This marks the 44th anniversary of National Ag Day, which is celebrated in classrooms and communities across the country. The theme for National Ag Day 2017 is “Agriculture: Food For Life.” The purpose of National Agriculture Day is to tell the true story of American agriculture and remind citizens that agriculture is a part of all of us. A number of producers, agricultural associations,Ag Day2017 corporations, students and government organizations involved in agriculture are expected to participate.

National Ag Day is organized by the Agriculture Council of America. ACA is a nonprofit organization composed of leaders in the agricultural, food and fiber community, dedicating its efforts to increasing the public’s awareness of agriculture’s role in modern society. The National Ag Day program encourages every American to:

  • Understand how food and fiber products are produced.
  • Appreciate the role agriculture plays in providing safe, abundant and affordable products.
  • Value the essential role of agriculture in maintaining a strong economy.
  • Acknowledge and consider career opportunities in the agriculture, food and fiber industry.NewAgDay_Original.jpg

Since National Ag Day is one day out of the year, it is important for us to note that we everyday we should promote agriculture and share our story. Did you know how amazing Nebraska agriculture is?  The Nebraska Department of Agriculture publishes some statistics that are interesting to read! For example, nationally, Nebraska ranks first in popcorn production, Great northern bean production and commercial red
meat production. Nebraska ranks second on pinto bean production, number of head of bison and proso millet production. We rank third for corn grain production and corn exports and fourth in cash receipts for all farm commodities. Nebraska ranks fifth soybean and grain sorghum production.

Cash receipts from farm marketings contributed over $23 billion to Nebraska’s economy in 2015 and 6.1 percent of the U.S. total. Every dollar in agricultural exports generates $1.22 in economic activities such as transportation, financing, warehousing and production. Nebraska’s $6.4 billion in agricultural exports in 2015 translate into $7.8 billion in additional economic activity.

One in four jobs in Nebraska is related to agriculture, thus the importance agriculture has on our economy. In Extension, we have several great programs that not only teach youth the importance of agriculture, but also strive to make youth aware of the numerous career opportunities in agriculture. As technology continues to advance, types of careers in agriculture will also continue to expand.

In conclusion, while March 21st is one day devoted to celebrating agriculture, we should celebrate agriculture everyday. If you ate, thank a farmer or rancher who produced your food. From the food we eat to the clothes we wear, tires on our cars, toothpaste, crayons, windshield wiper fluid, etc., we need to thank our American farmers and ranchers for providing us with products that are affordable and good for the environment. Thank you farmers and ranchers!

Posted in Crops, Livestock, Programming, Uncategorized

Tips & Tricks for the Ag Women

The last Farmers and Ranchers College program of the season is a special program for the ladies in agriculture and will be February 27, 2017 at Lazy Horse Vineyard near Ohiowa, NE with registration at 5:45 and program starting at 6:00 p.m. Why a program for “just women”?

According to a 2016 Cornhusker Economics article:
“The involvement of women in agriculture nationwide and in Nebraska has increased in recent years. According to the 2012 Ag Census, there are approximately 47,000 operators in Nebraska– 20,000 are women who partner with their spouses or other business partners. In addition, 4,091 women are the primary operators of their agricultural operation. Many women comment that business and estate planning is an issue that is the most difficult to tackle with their partners and family members, but is the most important.” womenagprogram

Also according to the 2012 Ag Census, approximately 1 million women in the United States are involved in agriculture and women principal operators of U.S. farms account for around $13 billion in annual agricultural product sales.

According to the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), when women have more decision-making power in agriculture, there are positive effects on child health, nutrition and agricultural productivity. IFPRI’s research also found that women’s “innovative group-based approaches can help women’s capacity for risk management by safeguarding their control over critical assets.”

While there are hurdles women have overcome in agriculture, one way for women to face the stress and pressure of stigma is through peer social networking. For example, last year I conducted Annie’s Project, which is a 6-week program in which women learn risk management principles with their female peers. This program is successful largely due to the fact women are able to comfortably learn from each other.

Whether women (participants) want a chance to socialize with peers about agriculture or take some time to reflect on the important role they have in the ag industry, this final Farmers & Ranchers College program will feature Debbie Lyons-Blythe who is a mom, wife and rancher from Kansas. As a blogger since 2009, Debbie provides tips and trick for the ag woman in answering questions from people who don’t live in rural areas. Her blog can be found at kidscowsandgrass.com. Registration for this free program is appreciated by February 20th for meal planning purposes.

The Farmers and Ranchers College Committee consists of Fred Bruning of Bruning, Bryan Dohrman of Grafton, Sarah Miller of Carleton, Jennifer Engle of Fairmont, Ryne Norton of York, Jim Donovan of Geneva, Bryce Kassik of Geneva, Eric Kamler of Geneva, and Brandy VanDeWalle of Ohiowa.

Hope to see the women of ag at the Tips and Tricks for the Women in Ag on February 27th! To register, call the office at (402) 759-3712 or online.

Posted in Crops, Livestock, Programming, Uncategorized

Managing for Difficult Times

According to the Nebraska Department of Agriculture, one in four jobs is related to agriculture in Nebraska. This signifies the importance of agriculture to Nebraska’s overall economy. Current market conditions are a challenge for many agricultural producers. In response to the economic downturn, Nebraska Extension has developed an initiative focused on strengthening Nebraska’s agricultural economy.strong-neb-ag-twitter

A new series of educational materials is featured on the Nebraska Extension CropWatch and Beef websites. Nebraska Extension specialists and educators from across multiple disciplines share research-based information to help producers reduce input costs, increase efficiencies, and improve profitability of farm and livestock operations. In planning for the coming season, consider how you can incorporate the strategies that best match your cropping systems, livestock operations, and management styles into your operation.

These educational materials will be available on CropWatch.unl.edu and on Beef.unl.edu. Find related information on Twitter at #StrongNebAg.

As this initiative is being developed, Fillmore County will be hosting a program, building off these same materials, titled Managing for Difficult Times on February 22nd starting at 9:30 a.m. at the Fillmore County Fairgrounds in Geneva, NE. During this program, Nebraska Extension faculty will present topics to help improve profitability such as cutting out production practices that are not economically feasible. Land leasing updates and strategies will be presented in addition to a review of basic financial recordkeeping. This program will equip farmers with strategies for reducing stress and keeping our families healthy during difficult times. Finally, tips on preparing for farm loan renewal time will be given.

A local update on the progress of the Fortigen fertilizer plant will be given. Nebraska AgrAbility resources will be shared as well. As always, all programs are free due to the generous support of Farmers and Ranchers College Sponsors. Registration is due February 16th for a meal count and can be done online through fillmore.unl.edu or by calling the office at (402) 759-3712.

The Farmers and Ranchers College Committee consists of Fred Bruning of Bruning, Bryan Dohrman of Grafton, Sarah Miller of Carleton, Jennifer Engle of Fairmont, Ryne Norton of York, Jim Donovan of Geneva, Bryce Kassik of Geneva, Eric Kamler of Geneva, and Brandy VanDeWalle of Ohiowa.

Next week’s post will provide details about the last Farmers and Ranchers College program of the season which is a special program for the ladies in agriculture and will be February 27, 2017 at Lazy Horse Vineyard near Ohiowa, NE with registration at 5:45 and program starting at 6:00 p.m.

Posted in Livestock, Programming, Uncategorized

Cow/Calf College on January 31

The annual Farmers and Ranchers Cow/Calf College “Partners in Progress – Beef Seminar” will be held at the U.S. Meat Animal Research Center and Great Plains Veterinary Education Center near Clay Center on January 31, 2017 with registration, coffee and donuts starting at 9:00 a.m. The program will run from 9:30 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. This program is sponsored by Nebraska Extension’s Farmers and Ranchers College and will feature several outstanding speakers discussing issues and management strategies that can affect the profitability of all beef producers. There is no cost for the event and the public is invited. It does include a noon meal, which means that early registration is necessary to reserve materials and a meal.frcollege-logo-front-panel

The “Cow/Calf College” will begin at 9:35 a.m. with a welcome by Dr. John Pollak, Director of USMARC and Dr. Dale Grotelueschen, Director of the Great Plains Veterinary Education Center. Mary Drewnoski, Nebraska Extension Specialist and Chad Engle, USMARC Livestock Operations Manager, will kick off the seminar with “Annual Forage Systems – A Pasture Alternative.” They will offer strategies for utilizing cover crops and other forages. Kate Brooks with UNL’s Department of Agricultural Economics will present an update on the “Cattle Market”. Kate will share latest trends with beef marketing to make a profit.

Lunch is provided and will be handled with a rotation system during two noon sessions featuring split sessions on: “Management Tips and Strategies” from a local producer and the 2015 Leopold Conservation Winner, Brian Shaw.

The afternoon session will start with Aaron Berger, Nebraska Extension Educator on “Strategic Ranch Management during an Economic Downturn”. With lower prices, it is imperative for producers to have a plan in place and follow through with it in order to remain viable in today’s rapidly changing global markets.

Dr. Kip Lukasiewicz, Sandhills Cattle Consultants Inc., will lead you through “The Veterinary Feed Directive Update”. Back from last year, Dr. Kip is sure to entertain you while being right on target to address some of critical health issues that face beef producers. For our beef producers Dr. Kip will also inform participants how to comply with the Veterinary Feed Directive (VFD) as well as other feed and vaccine protocols.

All presenters will then join pull everything together, give their final thoughts and considerations and provide a coffee-shop style panel discussion during which cattlemen can ask questions and get answers on questions that came to them during the day’s sessions. A chance for door prizes will be awarded to those that stay for the entire event.

Please pre-register by January 24th, to the Nebraska Extension Office in Fillmore County or call (402) 759-3712 to insure a seat and lunch. Walk-ins are accepted, but may not get a lunch. You may also complete your registration online on fillmore.unl.edu by going to the agricultural page and clicking on the “registration link”. Remember, your contact information is required, so pre-registration is helpful!