The Nebraska FFA Foundation is now seeking applications for 2019-20 local chapter grants and storm relief fund grants.
The local chapter grant program, in its third year, supports Nebraska agricultural education classrooms, FFA programs and individual student entrepreneurship Supervised Agricultural Experiences. Funds are provided by supporters of the Nebraska FFA Foundation and its general fund.
This year, grant requests may be any amount up to $10,000 each. Applications are being accepted until June 30, 2019. Successful proposals from 2018-19 varied from greenhouse repairs to a CNC router to grow towers to animal learning lab.
To learn more, visit www.neffafoundation.org.
Nebraska farmers and ranchers impacted by the “Bomb Cyclone” and raging flood waters this spring are working hard on cleaning up and assessing the damages to their ag operations.
One of the more significant losses experienced by landowners has been the death of livestock. The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) has financial assistance available to help landowners cope with the aftermath of livestock losses.
Through NRCS’ Environmental Quality Incentives Program – commonly referred to as EQIP farmers and ranchers can apply for financial assistance to properly dispose of dead livestock. Applications are being accepted now through July 1. This is an extension of the original sign up periods announced immediately following the flooding/blizzard.
Producers who have not already disposed of livestock can apply for EQIP now. Producers can then get a waiver to allow them to begin working to dispose of deceased livestock before having an approved EQIP contract.
Producers in the area who suffered other damages due to the blizzard and flooding – such as damaged fencing, water sources, or windbreaks – may also seek assistance from NRCS through general EQIP funding. The sign-up period for general EQIP is continuous and has no cut off application date.
For more information about the programs and assistance available from NRCS, visit your local USDA Service Center or www.ne.nrcs.usda.gov.
The most common cause of agricultural-related death in Nebraska is overturned tractors and all-terrain vehicles (ATVs). Employing anyone uncertified under age 16 is a liability risk for farmers if those children operate such equipment.
Nebraska Extension’s Tractor Safety & Hazardous Occupations Courses take place at 12 Nebraska locations this year for teens 14 or 15 years of age who will work on a farm. Anyone older than 15 is also welcome to attend, but those under age 14 are not eligible to take the class. Extensive training on tractor and ATV safety occurs during in-class lessons with hands-on activities. Instilling an attitude of safety and a respect for agricultural equipment is the primary goal of the course.
The first day of classroom instruction includes hands-on demonstrations, concluding with a written test. Classroom instruction will cover the required elements of the National Safe Tractor and Machinery Operation Program. Students are required to pass the test before taking the driving test on day two. The second day will include a physical driving test with equipment operation and ATV safety lessons. To receive certification, students must demonstrate competence in hitching and unhitching equipment and driving a tractor and trailer through a standardized course. In most locations, instructors will offer an ATV simulator experience to learn about safe behaviors and laws for ATVs and UTVs. Students will also complete homework assignments for the second day.
Instructors for the course include staff members of Central States Center for Agricultural Safety and Health: Aaron Yoder, PhD, Ellen Duysen, Daniel Kent, and UNMC student Jill Oatman.
All on-site classes begin at 8:00 A.M. and end times will vary, depending on the number of participants. Training site locations, Site Coordinator contact numbers, and dates of training includes:
July 1 & 2 – Fairgrounds, Weeping Water – (402) 267-2205
Cost of the course is $60, which includes educational materials, instruction, supplies, and lunches.
To register, print and complete a registration form and submit with payment to the appropriate Site Coordinator at least one week before the course (call the specific location number listed above for mailing address and instructions).
Farmers and ranchers interested in improving wildlife habitat on their operations are encouraged to apply now for funding available from the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS). Those interested in receiving funding should apply by July 5, 2019.
Funding is available through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP). EQIP has designated funding specifically for wildlife habit improvement through the Wildlife Initiative Nebraska. Funding can be used to plant native grass species, control brush on rangeland, conduct prescribed burns to improve grassland and much more.
EQIP is one of the most widely applied conservation programs in Nebraska. Through this program, conservation practices were installed on over 475,000 acres in Nebraska during 2018 with over 900,000 acres currently under contract statewide.
The goal of EQIP is to provide a financial incentive to encourage landowners to install conservation practices that protect natural resources, resulting in cleaner air and water, healthy soil and more wildlife habitat.
Individuals interested in entering into an EQIP agreement may apply at any time, but the application cut-off to be considered for funding through the Wildlife Initiative Nebraska will be July 5, 2019. The first step is to visit your local NRCS field office and complete an application.
For more information about the Environmental Quality Incentives Program and other conservation programs, visit your local NRCS field office or www.ne.nrcs.usda.gov.
Numerous factors may cause stress for farmers and ranchers. Many face financial problems, marketing uncertainties, farm transfer issues, production challenges, and more. When temporary stress turns into chronic stress, it can impact health and mental wellness.
Nebraska Extension, in partnership with Michigan State Extension, is offering workshops in Scottsbluff and Chadron in July for individuals who work with farmers and ranchers on a regular basis, such as bank lenders, ag suppliers, healthcare professionals, and anyone involved with the lives of farmers and ranchers.
The Chadron workshop is set for Wednesday, July 10, from 10 a.m. until noon (lunch provided) at Dawes County Extension, 250 Main St., Ste 8, Chadron. Please register by July 9: Contact Tiffany at 308.432.3373 or
The Scottsbluff workshop will take place Thursday, July 11, from 10 a.m. until noon (lunch provided) at the Panhandle Research and Extension Center, 4205 Avenue I, Scottsbluff.
(Please register by July 9: Contact Carrie at 308.632.1276 or email@example.com.)
Policy development at the Iowa Corn Growers Association (ICGA) is a vital grassroots process. Each year, ICGA hosts roundtable meetings in local communities across the state to gather insight and feedback on priorities from members. The meetings, which will be held in June and July, allow ICGA members to come together, share a meal, and discuss key issues impacting corn farmers. Policies brought forward and approved at roundtable meetings go on to the annual ICGA Grassroots Summit on August 26-27 for the ICGA delegates to debate for adoption into the ICGA policy book. This process enables the organization to take action in lobbying for and supporting sound policy development and pro-farmer legislation.
July 9 – Ames – Johnny’s at Hilton Coliseum with ISU VIP guest appearance, (5PM)
Roundtables are FREE for ICGA members, but registration is requested. A meal will be included at each session. If you can’t attend a roundtable but wish to present a policy resolution for consideration, please contact your local ICGA Board member. Go to iowacorn.org/roundtables for more information.
Registration for the summer 2019 Crop Management Clinic is now open. New to this year’s clinic will be an extra day of training, education and discussion with a total of 19 scheduled learning sessions, covered by 15 Iowa State University Extension and Outreach specialists. The clinic will be held on July 10-11.
The Crop Management Clinic will examine and illustrate the latest crop, soil, nutrient and pest management techniques and strategies. ISU Extension and Outreach specialists will approach the content from an intermediate perspective, building upon the foundations of the four core topic areas. Crop managers with a basic understanding and skillset in crop scouting and nutrient management, who want a more in-depth working knowledge of these practices will benefit greatly from the two days’ worth of knowledge and experience.
New topics to be featured this year include: soil health testing and recommendations; how to assess opportunity areas for wildlife habitat and conservation on the farm; integrated pest management and identifying pests; research on cropping systems; and weed issues.
This event will be hosted by Iowa State at FEEL on 1928 240th St., Boone. Registrants should plan to arrive at 8:30 a.m. for check-in, with opening comments beginning at 8:55 a.m., July 10. The first day of the clinic will conclude at 4:30 p.m. The clinic will continue on July 11, with refreshments at 7:30 a.m., sessions starting at 8 a.m. and adjourn at 3:40 p.m. Lunch will be provided on both days, with some light refreshments available at check-in. Beverages will also be available throughout the day.
Advance registration is required to attend this event. Early registration for the two-day event is $250 and must be completed before midnight July 3. Registration includes refreshments, lunch and course materials. Additional information, including an outline of all topics and online registration, is available at http://www.aep.iastate.edu/feel/index.html.
For additional information visit the event website. This clinic qualifies for 12.5 continuing education credits for Iowa Certified Crop Advisers, subject to board approval, in the following categories: 2.0 nutrient management, 5.0 pest management, 125 soil and water management, 3.0 crop management.
Growers, crop consultants and extension educators interested in management of glyphosate-resistant Palmer amaranth are encouraged to attend Nebraska Extension’s 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. Site is located on the south side of Hwy 4 between C St. and Renwick St. in Carleton. GPS coordinates: 40°18’24.7”N 97°40’29.0”W.
For more information, contact Amit Jhala at 402-472-1534 or Amit.Jhala@unl.edu.
Agriculture in the Nebraska Panhandle offers many career opportunities besides being a farmer or rancher. An entire industry has developed to support farmers in the field as they grow food; to process the food they grow; and research the best ways to grow a safe, plentiful supply of food.
Local Extension staff have created a unique camp to expose 4-H youth ages 8-12 to some of the not-so-well-known agricultural options available in the area.
The Panhandle Ag 4-H Camp is scheduled for Thursday, July 11, at the University of Nebraska Panhandle Research and Extension Center. To learn more, contact local Extension Offices, or register on-line at https://forms.gle/