Separate Plants by Irrigation Needs

When we plant a garden or flower bed, we think about sunlight preferences, color and bloom times most often, but there are other factors to think about including water requirements for the plants. All plants need water to survive, but they differ greatly in how much they need. Some plants are best planted along a pond edge or other very wet location because they like swampy, over irrigated locations. Where other plants require dry, well-drained soil. There are even some great plants used in rain gardens and similar areas that actually do well in both wet locations as well as dry conditions to overcome the changing environment when water collects during rain events and dries out between rains.

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Alfalfa in Rotation with Annual Crops Reduces Nitrate Leaching Potential and Increases Soil Organic Carbon Sequestration

As it aggressively scavenges nitrogen in the soil, alfalfa can greatly reduce nitrate contamination of groundwater with no negative implications for future crops if planted in rotations.
This UNL research study provides insights on the rotation of annual crops with alfalfa as a highly effective means of reducing nitrate-nitrogen contamination in groundwater.

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February 2023 Brings Wet and Warm Conditions East, Cold and Drier Conditions West

February U.S. Drought Monitor change. (Source: National Drought Mitigation Center)
Several areas of Nebraska had a one- to two-category improvement in drought conditions throughout the winter season, which has been the fifth wettest winter on record for the state.

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Understanding Soil Residual Nitrogen and its Dollar Value for Next Crop

For producers planting corn-on-corn this growing season, Nebraska Extension encourages taking soil samples to determine accurate nitrate levels and adjusting N application rates accordingly, as there may be considerable amounts of residual nitrogen left from the previous corn crop.
For producers planning corn-on-corn this growing season, there may be a substantial opportunity to reduce nitrogen fertilizer applications, as drought and reduced yields likely left higher-than-normal residual N in many fields.

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Manure Improves Soil Health and Provides Yield Stability and Reliability

Image showing different manure benefits to corn production
Cattle manure is a valuable resource for farmers, as it contains an abundance of macro and micronutrients that are essential for plant growth and development. The nutrients present in manure, such as nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), potassium (K), and other minerals are essential for soil fertility. One of the most significant advantages of using cattle manure as a fertilizer is that it can enhance the soil organic matter (SOM) content. Soil organic matter plays a crucial role in improving soil structure, water-holding capacity, and nutrient availability. Moreover, cattle manure can also increase the changeable fractions of carbon (C) & nitrogen (N) and enhance soil microbial activity, which is crucial for the decomposition and stabilization of soil organic carbon (SOC). The Knorr Holden plot, located at the Panhandle Research, Extension, and Education Center, Scottsbluff, Nebraska presents a unique opportunity for studying the impact of long-term manure (more than 77 years) applications on soil health and crop productivity.

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New Nebraska Custom Rates Survey Related to Livestock Services

Many farmers and ranchers make inquiries to Nebraska Extension about prevailing rates paid for various kinds of custom farm services. In addition to the regular biennial custom rates survey, the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s Center for Agricultural Profitability has launched a new survey designed to provide market rate information for the Nebraska livestock industry. Producers and operators that perform and provide custom services for others, or that utilize custom services and pay others, are invited to participate in the survey.

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Nebraska On-Farm Research Network Releases 2022 Results Publication

All Nebraska On-Farm Research results books are free to the public and available as PDF downloads.
The nearly 70 on-farm research studies conducted by Nebraska farmers in 2022 addressed fertility and soil management, cover crops, crop protection, equipment and non-traditional products, including biologicals.

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Evaluation of Diverse Cover Crops Across Nebraska: Findings from Spring-planted Cover Crops in 2022

photo of cover crop variety trial at Sidney, Nebraska.
Results from 2022 variety trial research conducted on numerous cover crop species at five UNL research stations across Nebraska.

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Calculating the Value of Nutrients in Manure

manure emoji with cash in its eyes
“How much is this manure worth?” This is a common question from both livestock farmers who are supplying manure and crop farmers who are utilizing it. To answer this question, it is important to understand the difference between gross value and net value. The gross value of manure reflects the equivalent commercial fertilizer value of the nutrients contained in the manure. The net value considers the impacts of application method, transportation, and cropping system nutrient needs as well as intrinsic values that are much more difficult to put a number on. Therefore, this article will focus on determining the gross value of nutrients in manure.

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Beneficial Fungi and Tree Health

Micorrhizae

Tree health is often a reflection root health. Good practices to improve root health include properly applied organic mulch, good water management to avoid overwatering but providing water as needed during dry periods, and avoiding root damage from construction or changes in soil grade. The Image shows thin white fungal mycorrhizae on the roots of a slash pine by Paul A. Mistretta, USDAForest Service, Bugwood.org

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