Agricultural Production Crop Production

Crop Production

The production of crops is the heart of Nebraska's economy. Water is essential to all plant growth. Thus Nebraska's economy relies on a plentiful supply of water to produce crops – in both rainfed and irrigated environments. Several factors involved with producing crops interact with either water supply or water quality issues – or both.

Bow Creek Producer Incentive Workshop

map of Bow Creek watershed priority area
Best management practices benefit soil and water quality. Learn about nutrient management plans and incentive payments available in the Bow Creek watershed.

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New Article Traces Aspects of the History of Irrigation in the Great Plains and Water Productivity

Center pivot irrigation systems dot the landscape along the South Platte River in Western Nebraska
A recent article by Dr. Steve Evett and others traces the history of irrigation in the Great Plains region from a geographical, technical, and political perspective as well as how it has impacted the water resources

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Now is the Time to Use the Nutrients You are Banking in Your Soils

By incorporating residual nitrate-nitrogen into the nitrogen fertilizer prescription, there is potential to substantially reduce fertilizer cost per acre.
With the recent increase in fertilizer prices, it is more important than ever to use the right amount of fertilizer to maximize the economic returns. Applying too little or too much fertilizer can result in substantial economic loss.

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Maximizing Profitability of Manure Use

truck mounted spreader going over tarps to calibrate
Fertility is critical to a good crop, so we know not to ignore our crop fertility needs, but we don’t always think about ways we may be able to trim costs by better utilizing local nutrients. Manure has many benefits, including some related to soil health, but perhaps the most recognized benefit is that manure contains the nutrients our crops need. Manure isn’t always an inexpensive product, but it contains multiple nutrients that are highly valued when planning your fertility program.

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Scheduling the Last Few Irrigations of the Season Deserves More of Your Management Time Than Earlier Irrigations

Nebraska Irrigation Center Pivot
Scheduling the last few irrigations of the season deserves more of your management time than earlier irrigations because one must not only focus on keeping the crop wet enough to produce optimal yields, but also on using up enough of the stored soil water to lower the level to 40% of plant available water in the top four feet. This level will give about 2.4 inches of water storage room in sandy soils and about 5.5 inches in silt loam soils. Unfortunately, many irrigators leave the soil fairly wet with little to no storage room according to a recent study.

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