Water News Archive

Manure and Mulch are Teaming Up

Cedar trees are spreading into grasslands and reducing forages that support cattle grazing. The Nebraska Forest Service is promoting management practices to keep the trees from spreading outside of their usual habitat and into grasslands and areas along the banks of rivers and streams (called ‘riparian forests’). So what do cedar trees have to do with manure? Since 2015, two resourceful farmers have generously given up a few acres of their fields for UNL researchers to test various applications of mulch alone or co-mingled with cattle or swine manure.

Read More

Best Application Tips for Winter Application

As we deal with frozen soils, switching to surface manure application, and the challenges of dealing with manure application during colder temperatures we need to be mindful of our application practices. While these application conditions don’t necessarily increase nutrient loss, they do increase the risk of potential loss.

Read More

To Aerate or Not to Aerate? That is the winter question.

It’s been getting colder and winter is upon us.  If you have an aerator in your pond you maybe wondering what to do with it.  Cold water holds more oxygen, animal and plant use of this oxygen is lower than in the winter than the summer, and oxygen-using decomposition is very slow.  So, if the pond is open most of the winter or only has occasional ice cover, the pond should not have an oxygen problem.  In this case, aeration is not benefitting the pond.

Read More

Safe Pesticide Storage

As we move into winter, store lawn and garden pesticides correctly and securely. Read and follow the label for safety and to help prevent accidental poisoning or spills that could contaminate storage areas or water resources.

Read More

Observations of Manure Management on a South Dakota Dairy

As a part of the North American Manure Expo events, participants were invited to tour a family-operated dairy farm located in Hamlin County, SD to witness first-hand some of the improvements that have been added to their manure management system over the past few years. I was able to observe how, in trying economic times for the dairy industry, this family farm has modified their manure management system to get the most out of precious resources – water and nutrients.

Read More

Checklist for Winterizing Your Center Pivot

Irrigation season has wrapped up here in Nebraska. Now is a good time to evaluate you center pivot to make sure it is ready for winter and for another growing season. Here is a quick list of things to look at before winter sets in.

Read More

Recycle Tree Leaves for Healthy Lawns, Gardens, and Water

Freezing temperatures are ending the growing season and its time to do yard and garden cleanup to help reduce overwintering diseases and insects; and to reduce the amount of plant debris washed into streams, lakes, and ponds where they contribute to water pollution.

Read More

Drought Tolerant Shrubs

Water conservation is important in home and business landscapes. While leaving automatic irrigation systems turned off, and only turning them on when plants need water, is a much needed practice change in many residential and business landscapes, selecting drought tolerant plants is also important.

This article focuses on drought tolerant shrubs for different functions. While listed as drought tolerant, keep in mind plants need established roots to develop tolerance to dry sites. It is often a deep or extensive root system that makes a plant drought tolerant.

Read More

Building Soil Organic Matter Takes Time

Our “instant” culture gravitates to testimonials about how to rapidly increase soil organic matter by 1% within 1 to 3 years. Conversations with lenders and landlords regarding rewards on manure applications and multi-species cover crops investments would likely be easier if financial rewards or measured soil physical properties came quickly.

Read More

Estimating Nitrogen Credit from Manure

Manure is a valuable source of nutrients offering agronomic and soil health value. Most manure nutrients (e.g. phosphorus) can be managed successfully with traditional soil analysis. However, nitrogen in manure requires some simple advance planning to insure that it is given proper credit for offsetting commercial fertilizer inputs.

Read More

Pages

Sign up for updates from UNL Water

Sign Up Here