Posted in Crops, Horticulture, Irrigation, Livestock, Youth

You are Not Alone

With the difficult times in our ag economy and difficult times many Nebraskans are facing with the flooding and blizzards, know that you are NOT alone and being #NebraskaStrong means being strong enough to ask for help. YouAreNotAlone_16x9_red.jpg

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Posted in Youth

4-H Builds Friendships

As we approach this county fair season, it is important to remember how important it is to focus on the important on the life skills being taught. As adults we need to be role models to youth and help them have a positive experience. It’s not the ribbon placing or the trophy that matters but rather the experience one has from participation in activities such as county fair.

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When I ask 4-H members the question, “What do you like most about 4-H?” they often respond with “the friendships!” 4-H’ers have the unique opportunity to meet and interact with youth from all across the county, the state and even the country. 4-H brings together youth with similar interests and you never forget the people you meet through the program.

Friends are vital to school-age youth’s healthy development. Friendships provide youth with more than just fun playmates. Friendships help them develop emotionally and morally. In interacting with friends, youth learn many social skills, such as how to communicate, cooperate, and solve problems. They practice controlling their emotions and responding to the emotions of others. They develop the ability to think through and negotiate different situations that arise in their relationships. Having friends even affects school performance. Youth tend to have better attitudes about school and learning when they have friends there.

Friendships help youth develop emotionally and morally, and help them to learn critical life skills such as social skills, communication, cooperation, problem solving, and many more.  Part of being a good friend is learning how to deal with conflict. There are a number of strategies to teach youth to resolve problems they have with other youth.

Strategies for Conflict Resolution

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  • When angry, separate yourself from the situation and take time to cool off.
  • Attack the problem, not the person. Start with a compliment.
  • Communicate your feelings assertively, NOT aggressively. Express them without blaming.
  • Focus on the issue, NOT your position about the issue.
  • Accept and respect that individual opinions may differ. Don’t try to force compliance; work to develop common agreement.
  • Do not view the situation as a competition in which one person has to win and one has to lose. Work toward a solution that will enable both parties to have some of their needs met.
  • Focus on areas of common interest and agreement, instead of areas of disagreement and opposition.
  • NEVER jump to conclusions or make assumptions about what another person is feeling or thinking.
  • Listen without interrupting. Ask for feedback, if needed, to assure a clear understanding of the issue.
  • Remember, when only one person’s needs are satisfied in a conflict, it is NOT resolved and will continue.
  • Forget the past and stay in the present.
  • Build “power with” NOT “power over” others.
  • Thank the person for listening.

Find out more about this topic by visiting the Nebraska Extension child and youth development web site at http://child.unl.edu/child-care-professionals and click on Expanded Learning Opportunities. To request additional information or programs contact Leanne Manning, Extension Educator at leanne.manning@unl.edu or 402-821-2151.

Posted in Crops, Livestock, Programming

Good farmer or a great manager?

The difference between a good farmer and a great manager often comes down to knowing the true financial position of a farm. Good records make it possible to track an operation’s true financial position. Inaccurate records can lead to misguided management decisions.

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“Good Farmer to Great Manager” Record-keeping classes will teach farmers and ranchers to keep accurate records for their operations. These classes will be held at three locations:

  • Lincoln, July 18 – 19 at the Lancaster County Extension Office
  • Bridgeport, July 25 – 26 at the Prairie Winds Community Center
  • Grand Island, July 30 – 31 at the Hall County Extension Office

Each class will run from 1p.m. until 5 p.m. the first day, and 8 a.m. until noon the second day. The course fee is $50 per participant; class size is limited to 25 people per location. Register online at https://www.regonline.com/registration/Checkin.aspx…

Keeping good records is less about using a certain software and more about gathering and organizing information, according to Tina Barret the Executive Director of Nebraska Farm Business Inc. and course instructor. “In this class, you will learn about what information you should have easily available as part of your farm or ranch records. When you have good records, everything from tax preparation, annual loan renewals, and financial analysis become much easier,” she said. “More importantly, it will allow you to make financial management decisions that improve your business.”

Posted in Horticulture

Mosquitoes

Mosquitoes are a huge irritation in the summer months. Mosquitoes are a type of insect that is in the same order as flies, which means they are closely related to flies and gnats, which all tend to bother us. Mosquitoes are also vectors of many different diseases. Because of these factors, we need to do what we can to eliminate the problem and reduce mosquito populations.

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The best way to avoid any pathogens transmitted by mosquitoes is to prevent being bitten. Like any pest management program, IPM is the strategy that works best to prevent mosquito bites at home in the yard. Sanitation is a must to eliminate breeding sites and harborage locations of mosquitoes. Female mosquitoes lay eggs on the surface of standing water and the larvae (“wigglers”) require water to survive before pupation. Removal of stagnant water in a variety of containers such as flowerpots, buckets, gutters, pool covers, used tires, and dog bowls will break the mosquito life cycle. A general rule is to dump any water that has been standing for more than five days.

Culex mosquitoes are active biters in the evening, so it is important to wear long sleeves and pants or permethrin-treated clothing when outdoors between dusk and dawn. The effective insect repellents applied to skin include those with the active ingredients: DEET, picaridin, or the oil of lemon eucalyptus.

As far as chemical control, Mosquito Dunks contain the active ingredient bacterium, Bacillus thurengiensis israelensis (Bti), which is toxic to mosquito larvae when consumed, but non-toxic to humans, pets, pollinators, fish, and other wildlife. They are sold in hardware stores, and will dissolve in standing water such as water troughs, fishponds, rain barrels, and birdbaths. They are effective immediately and can last for a month. (We have mosquito dunks in our Extension office free from Public Health Solutions.)

It is not recommend to use foggers or adulticide treatments by homeowners. These treatments are not effective for more than a couple of days and should only be used a few days ahead of a large outdoor get-together if absolutely necessary.

It is best to utilize IPM to reduce your exposure to mosquitoes because they spread many diseases including West Nile Virus and the Zika virus. Most people who get West Nile Virus have no symptoms or have flu-like symptoms. However, from 2001 to 2009 1,100 deaths in the U.S. were attributed to West Nile Virus. Most of the deaths occurred in people ages 65 and older.

As for the Zika Virus, it has been known about since 1947, but has just recently hit the news as it spreads more. Zika does appear to have minimal impacts on adult humans, but if a pregnant woman becomes infected, her fetus may suffer from developmental abnormalities such as microcephaly. The good news is that the main mosquito that transmits Zika isn’t in Nebraska. The mosquito that most commonly transmits zika to humans is the yellow fever mosquito, Aedes aegypti. We are not on high alert for Zika in Nebraska, but it is still a good idea to protect yourself from mosquito bites to reduce the chance of West Nile and other mosquito vectored diseases.

Information for this article came from Nicole Stoner, Drs. Jody Green and Jonathan Larson, Nebraska Extension Educators.

Posted in Crops, Programming

Weed Science Field Days

Recently I came across an article from Penn State Extension that started out, “No matter what definition is used, weeds are plants whose undesirable qualities outweigh their good points.” A basic definition I use, is “a plant that is out of place and not where it is intended to be”.  No matter how you define it, weeds continue to be a problem for many farmers across the country. Weeds usually have an abundant seed production, rapid population establishment, seed dormancy, long-term survival of buried seed, adaption for them to spread and the ability to occupy sites disturbed by human activity. Weeds reduce crop quality, interfere with harvest, serve as hosts for crop diseases or provide shelter for insects to overwinter, can limit the choice of crop rotation sequences and cultural practices and some can even produce chemical substances toxic to plants, animals or humans. For producers in the area, there are two field days approaching to help manage weeds.Screen Shot 2019-05-23 at 8.21.41 PM

Growers, crop consultants, ag professionals and extension educators are encouraged to attend Nebraska Extension’s weed management field day from 8.30 a.m. to 1 p.m. June 26 at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln’s South Central Agricultural Laboratory near Clay Center.

The field day will include on-site demonstrations of herbicides for weed control in corn, popcorn and soybean. An early morning demonstration will focus on weed control in soybeans followed by a demonstration of projects for weed control in corn and popcorn.

According to Extension Weed Management Specialist Amit Jhala, a number of projects will be demonstrated during the field day, including weed control in XtendFlex soybean, Enlist Corn, and Alite 27 Soybean. New this year for participants, is the opportunity to learn about a research project aimed at terminating cereal rye before and after planting soybean and control of volunteer corn in Enlist Corn.  Certified Crop Advisor (CCA) continuing education units are available.

There is no cost to attend the field day, but participants are asked to register at http://agronomy.unl.edu/fieldday. The South Central Agricultural Laboratory is 4.5 miles west of the intersection of Highways 14 and 6, or 12.4 miles east of Hastings on Highway 6.

Another field day for those interested in management of glyphosate-resistant Palmer amaranth is a Nebraska Extension field day, supported by the Nebraska Soybean Board, from 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. July 10 near Carleton. Palmer amaranth is a member of the pigweed family and is one of the most troublesome weeds in soybean fields because of its resistance to glyphosate and some other herbicide groups. Greenhouse dose-response studies have confirmed resistance when glyphosate was applied even at higher rates.

At the field day, experiments will demonstrate how to control glyphosate-resistant Palmer amaranth in Roundup Ready 2 Xtend, Enlist and Alite 27 soybeans in Nebraska. Keynote speaker, Jason Norsworthy will share his experiences for management of glyphosate-resistant Palmer amaranth. Norsworthy is a professor of weed science at the University of Arkansas. Three certified crop adviser credits will be available.

There is no cost to attend the field day. However, pre-registration is required before 3 p.m. on July 9. To register, visit http://agronomy.unl.edu/palmer.

Directions to the field day: From Geneva, go south on Hwy 81 for 14.6 miles, turn west onto Hwy 4 for 5.3 miles. For more information, contact Amit Jhala at 402-472-1534 or Amit.Jhala@unl.edu.