Manure Spreader Calibration is Not Just for Research Plots

photo of manure on tarp during manure spreader calibration
Just like a spreader used for commercial fertilizer, a manure spreader must also be calibrated. If you don’t know the rate you’re applying, how can you possibly calculate the nutrients you’ve applied? And if you’re not factoring in the nutrients in the manure, you’re wasting money. And who wants to do that?

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Optimize Those Last Few Irrigations

Scheduling the last few irrigations of the season deserves extra attention because the goal is not only to focus on keeping the crop wet enough to produce optimal yields, but also on using up stored soil water. Leaving the field a little drier at the end of the season will save irrigation costs, decrease leaching losses, improve soil conditions for harvest traffic, and save water for future years. Growers also don't want to miss out on capturing off-season precipitation.

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Know Your Well program empowers students to understand local water quality

Access to quality water is critical. Testing can indicate whether water is safe for people to consume. Know Your Well is a program used to test well water across Nebraska at no cost to the community, while teaching local high school students valuable skills.

In the past seven years, Know Your Well has been implemented in more than 28 school districts throughout the state. The program has received funding to grow to 50 or more schools over the next few years and expand its curriculm.

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Irrigation Scheduling Application to Conserve Water Resources

Pivot irrigation system
Agriculture today is not what it was a decade ago. We are at an interesting pace of agricultural technological innovation and development in sensors, controls, robotics and technology, including irrigation scheduling applications. The declining quantity and quality of freshwater resources in many parts of the world, including the United States, imposes significant challenges for producers, managers, advisors and decision-makers to produce more yield with less water. It is necessary to promote sound management strategies to improve irrigation efficiency and conserve water resources. By using irrigation scheduling applications, producers can make more informed decisions that can lead to higher yields with fewer irrigation inputs. Nebraska is one of the top states that produces maize under different irrigation methods, in third place after Iowa and Illinois. The total irrigated area in Nebraska reaches about 9.3 million acres. More than 85% of the total irrigation areas use the center pivot irrigation system, while about 15% is covered by furrow irrigation and less than 1% is managed by subsurface drip irrigation systems (see fig. 1). A new irrigation scheduling application is being developed to improve irrigation scheduling that can have a substantial impact in using limited water supplies more effectively and increase yield per unit applied of irrigation water and sustain agricultural productivity. At the request of Irriga Global, Lutry, Switzerland, a field test was initiated for the 2022 growing season on maize fields to evaluate the irrigation scheduling application in one of the Irrigation Today.

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Nebraska Water Center Researchers Conduct Statewide Project to Characterize Nitrogen Transformation Beneath the Ground Surface

How nitrogen moves and is changed in the soil is important to help protect Nebraska's groundwater from contamination. However, these changes are not fully understood. To help understand these processes, a research team led by Dr. Arindam Malakar, scientist and research assistant professor in the School of Natural Resources and the Nebraska Water Center part of the Daugherty Water for Food Global Institute at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, has begun a statewide study to uncover nitrogen transformation in the vadose zone.

Continue reading about their project across Nebraska.

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Boost Landscape Appeal with a Curb Strip Garden

Many urban landscapes have a forlorn narrow planting strip between the curb and sidewalk, otherwise known as a “hell strip”. Healthy curbside plantings help filter and absorb rainwater, preventing landscape fertilizers and other pollutants from entering storm drains.

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Using Water Resources More Efficiently

Nebraska is no stranger to dry spells, especially during the summer months. Unfortunately, we have been experiencing longer year-round dry spells in recent years that are becoming more severe to deal with. While using water more efficiently is always a good habit to adopt, it becomes more critical during times of drought, even if restrictions are not mandatory yet.

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More Roots = Increased Soil Health

sunflower roots
During the Soil Health School, presenters will cover many aspects of the science related to soil health, including foundational soil health principles, the evaluation of soil health management practices, and get to experience many hands-on soil health investigations and demonstrations. As a bit of a sneak preview, this article highlights what Leslie Johnson, Nebraska Extension Statewide Manure Educator will be sharing that day. Of course, she’ll be talking about how manure can impact soil health, but the role she’s the most excited about because it will be the most hands-on, is getting to show different ways of determining root growth.

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Fly Control on Livestock Operations

image describing breaking the fly reproductive cycle for control. Image credit Cassandra Olds, Kansas State University.
Flies are numerous this summer. They drive us all nuts, but are they a problem beyond our annoyance? The answer is yes, flies are more than just a nuisance. Flies can carry and transfer diseases between animals. Additionally, they can create wounds where other diseases can enter. So, how do we control them?

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Avoid "Set it and Forget it" With Turf Irrigation Systems

Lawn irrigation
Tall fescue tolerates dry periods better than KBG due to a deeper root system that uses moisture deeper in the soil. However, it does not have the physiological ability to go dormant to avoid dying from drought. If tall fescue begins to turn off color from a lack of water, it requires irrigation.

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