Tag Archives: UNL

Lincoln, Neb., Sept. 16, 2020— An upcoming Nebraska Extension webinar will feature Jay Rempe, senior economist with Nebraska Farm Bureau, discussing recent shocks in the cattle industry and producer response in the state.

“Troubles in the Cattle Markets: A Farm Organization’s Response” will be presented on Sept. 24 at noon by the extension Farm and Ranch Management team in the Department of Agricultural Economics, as part of its weekly webinar series.

Events over the last year have driven to the surface long-standing questions concerning the cattle markets and market structure, which have resulted in numerous proposals being offered in Washington D.C. In response, the Nebraska Farm Bureau created a task force of cattle producers to study current markets and offer policy suggestions and recommendations. Rempe will discuss recent market events, responses by producers, the task force’s work and what has been learned about Nebraska’s cattle industry relative to the country.

A graduate of the Department of Agricultural Economics at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Rempe majored in agribusiness as an undergraduate and earned a Master of Science in Agricultural Economics in 1993. As the senior economist at Nebraska Farm Bureau, he his responsible for agricultural economic outlook, policy analysis, research and education programs. He previously served as vice president of governmental relations for Farm Bureau.

Registration for the webinar is free and can be completed at farm.unl.edu/webinars.

Nebraskans are quite creative in developing successful endeavors, particularly in times of need. With a struggling farm economy and the unknowns of the spread of viral infections, there is special emphasis on cultivating new opportunities to improve the lives of Nebraskans. Personnel with Nebraska Extension are uniquely positioned to help provide knowledge to people to cultivate these new opportunities.

Husker Harvest Days (HHD) has traditionally provided a venue for Nebraska Extension to connect with Nebraskans to discuss new developments in agriculture. Even though the face-to-face program has been cancelled, the Farm Progress Virtual Experience will provide an opportunity to learn about these developments in a number of topic areas that may be accessed at www.huskerharvestdays.com. Nebraska Extension will be participating in this program with the theme: Knowledge that Helps Cultivate Opportunities and will be accessible at the Extension website.

Nebraska Extension has created several presentation teams that will highlight topics in beef production, cover crops relative to soil health, pest management, water use issues, precision agriculture, and agriculture economic issues. In addition to these topics, lifestyle topics such as home landscapes, leadership development, rural and mental health issues, youth programs in college and career readiness and choosing University of Nebraska agriculture education programs will be presented.

Agriculture Related Presentations
Several Nebraska Extension teams will be providing knowledge to help farmers increase the efficiency of farm production.
Increasing the performance of beef cattle is essential for the farmers and ranchers of Nebraska, “The Beef State”. The Beef Systems Team will feature a discussion of reproduction and nutrition strategies. Presentations will include considerations for synchronization protocols, how to be flexible in formulating lower cost rations, and alternative systems and feed sources such as small grain silage and crop residues.
Cover crops also provide an important source of feed for livestock. In addition to providing this resource, there are a number of benefits to the use of cover crops to increase soil health; i.e. erosion reduction, weed suppression, and improved grazing. The Cover Crop/Soil Health Team will feature the use of a tabletop rainfall simulator to compare and contrast soils where best soil health management practices such as the use of cover crops, manure applications, and no-till have been used to those that have not used the practices.
The use of cover crops is also important in reducing nitrate contamination of ground water thus, maintaining the availability of high-quality water, the driver of agricultural production. The Irrigation and Water Utilization Team will provide further discussion on how producers can make water management decisions that utilize conservation practices to reduce nitrate contamination and to protect the quality of our valuable water resources.
Exploration of water management and other production techniques can best be accomplished through review of research results. On-farm research is a great way to generate valuable and relevant information to guide future management decisions specific for each farm operation. Members of the Precision Agriculture Team will share how to utilize agriculture technologies on farms to support more data driven decisions which will likely improve farm productivity, profitability, and sustainability.
Technology on sprayers is one area where there has been considerable change. The Pest Management Team will help program participants sort through the options to increase their understanding of why coverage matters in making a good pesticide application. From technologies like pulse of width modulation, selecting the appropriate nozzles, to picking the best adjuvants, Extension experts can help make sense of it all — and ensure farmers get the most effective and economical pest control.
As being discussed by many of the HHD Extension teams, the best use of essential information to make essential decisions is important for all farm operations. The Agricultural Economics Team will help wrap together many of the production team’s topics by highlighting their new website, farm.unl.edu as a hub to equip decision-makers with information for successful operations. Information will also be provided to assist farmers and ranchers with financial education and analysis through the Nebraska Strong Financial Services program and the Know Your Numbers, Know Your Options workshops.

Quality of Life Related Presentations
While knowledge of production efficiency is one of the keys for successful farms, maintenance of the quality of life and planning for the future of agriculture are also important.
The environment in which one lives can have a significant impact on quality of life. Trees are important components of the landscape around homes and farms that improve the living environment. The Community Environment Team will provide information about the benefits trees provide for the environment, wildlife, and the people that enjoy them. They will also provide tips on tree selection, planting, and maintenance.
A good living environment can help maintain a person’s outlook on life. There are additional tools that can be used to help improve this outlook. Farmers, ranchers, and everyone in the agricultural community, including their families need to be equipped with mental health resources and tools to improve wellness and reduce stress. The Rural Family Stress and Wellness Team brings together individuals from a variety of disciplines with complementary knowledge sets to help rural communities in time of need. Information on how to recognize the symptoms of stress, resources on suicide awareness and prevention, and five steps to support your well-being will be highlighted.
Good community leaders are essential to help Nebraskans navigate life, particularly in difficult times. The Nebraska LEAD Program has been developing agricultural leaders for over 38 years. The program director of the Nebraska LEAD Program will provide information that highlights the importance of developing strong leadership skills.
Learning life skills is also important for younger students. Equipping Nebraska youth with the skills needed to succeed after high school and empowering them to make decisions about their future is the primary focus of the 4-H College and Career Success Team. The team will share decision making information for youth, in grades 4 through 12, and their parents, with the greatest reach being with high school youth. Program participants will learn how to be better prepared to make higher education and career decisions which increases their ability to positively contribute to their community.
To complement this information about developing the future of young Nebraskans, the College Recruitment Team, comprised of representatives from the UNL College of Agriculture and Natural Resources (CASNR) and the Nebraska College of Technical Agriculture (NCTA), will provide information about attending education programs on the Lincoln and Curtis campuses, respectively.

Even though COVID-19 has changed how we do things this year, we have made adjustments that will allow continued education by presenting high quality information in a virtual environment. It is the hope of the Nebraska Extension, CASNR, and NCTA Husker Harvest Days teams that the information being provided will help participants increase their knowledge to help cultivate opportunities and to develop strong solutions to the diverse issues that are facing rural Nebraskans. We invite Nebraskans to participate in the Farm Progress Virtual Experience at www.huskerharvestdays.com where the typical HHD exhibitors including Nebraska Extension will be found. A direct link to Nebraska Extension topics will be available at extension.unl.edu.

 

 

An upcoming Nebraska Extension webinar will discuss the factors going into cow-calf producer decisions on whether to retain cattle to feedlots or keep cattle for backgrounding.

“Ownership Retention Decisions: Is the Market Willing to Pay?” will be presented on Thursday at noon by Elliott Dennis, assistant professor of livestock marketing and risk management, and Jay Parsons, professor and extension farm and ranch management specialist, both in the Department of Agricultural Economics. The presentation is supported by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture.

The webinar is part of an ongoing weekly series produced by the extension Farm and Ranch Management Team in the Department of Agricultural Economics. It will be held live on Zoom for approximately one hour, including time for questions from participants.

Registration is free and can be completed at farm.unl.edu/webinars.

 

 

LINCOLN — An upcoming Nebraska Extension webinar will cover communication and negotiation strategies in farm and ranch succession planning.

Successful Ag Succession: Communications and Negotiations will be held on Thursday at noon.

When those who are closest to us are also our business partners, things can get complicated. But planning and decision-making can go more smoothly with improved communications. Successful farm and ranch transitions depend on meaningful family discussions and even negotiations. This webinar will highlight specific skills and ideas that will help with these conversations.

It will be presented by Allan Vyhnalek, an extension educator for farm and ranch succession.

The webinar is part of an ongoing weekly series produced by the extension Farm and Ranch Management Team in the Department of Agricultural Economics. It will be held live on Zoom for approximately one hour, including time for questions from participants.

Registration is free and can be completed at farm.unl.edu/webinars.

When: Thursday, Aug. 27, 2020, noon CDT
Where: Via Zoom (register at farm.unl.edu)

The Coivd-19 pandemic is not stopping Nebraska Extension from moving with field days. However there will be one big difference from years past: 2020 will be hosted entirely online in a virtual setting.

Chuck Burr, Crops and Water Extension Educator, said if people try and show up in person, there will be no tables, chairs or donuts. Burr is helping lead the UNL West Central Research, Extension and Education Centers Water and Crops Field Day August 27. The topic for 2020 is “Using Precision Technology to Improve Profitability.”

In an exclusive interview with the Rural Radio Network, Burr discussed the speakers and specific areas that will be covered in the meeting.

The technology keynote speaker is Michael Horsch of Horsch Equipment in Germany. Burr relayed that Horsch has been incorporating the latest technology into all of the equipment they  produce since the 1980s.

For farmers and others interested in the virtual field day, Burr said there is built-in question and answer time for each session and it’s actually longer than most field days given the virtual setting.

Registration for the, Using Precision Technology to Improve Profitability, is available at https://extension.unl.edu/statewide/westcentral/2020-virtual-water-and-crops-field-day/.

Listen to the full interview with Chuck Burr here:

 

In February, Dr. Pablo Loza was making plans to relocate from Argentina to Scottsbluff to assume his duties as the new feedlot management and nutrition specialist at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Panhandle Research Feedlot on May 1.

Five months later he remains grounded from traveling by the COVID-19 pandemic, as are so many others. But Loza is stuck farther from his workplace than most. In his apartment in Cordoba, Argentina, he awaits the lifting of restrictions on work visas in the United States.

Meanwhile, he is remotely launching research and extension activities in western Nebraska: conducting a research study, hunting for funding, and meeting virtually with colleagues and with cattle feeders in western Nebraska using the online meeting platforms.

Dr. Clint Krehbiel, head of the Animal Science Department at the UNL Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources (IANR), said Loza was caught up in the U.S. federal government’s ban on H-1B work visas (for highly trained specialty occupations), and might not be able to move to Scottsbluff until January 2021. He added, “In the interim, we have hired him as an adjunct professor and he will continue to work from Argentina. Pablo has interacted with western Nebraska producers and has an experiment underway at the Panhandle Feedlot.”

At the time of his UNL appointment, Loza was director of a research farm about 15 miles south of Cordoba, Argentina’s second-largest city. He moved to the city in May, the time when he had been scheduled to begin duties in Nebraska. But he didn’t think he would be in Cordoba for three months and counting. In Argentina movement is highly restricted and the economy has been hurting since before the pandemic.

Loza also has experience in the United States, including Nebraska. He received a Ph.D. from UNL in 2008 in ruminant nutrition, a master’s degree in ruminant nutrition from Colorado State University, in addition to his degree in agricultural engineering from the National University of Cordoba. He has conducted research in Nebraska, Colorado, and Louisiana.

Loza has been trying to build relationships with his new clientele in western Nebraska. “We did a pretty decent zoom meeting with a group of producers from the area. We talked about things that worried them, how to serve them from a distance, things that could be related to problems they had at the time,” he said.

He also has started a research trial into how cattle behave with a sudden change in their rations due to temporary production cutbacks in ethanol plants, which reduced the availability of an ethanol coproduct, distillers grains, to feedlots.

The project is intended to begin establishing a baseline and provide information about options for replacing important feedstuffs in the event of a disruption – which also could happen in the future under different circumstances, Loza points out. “We take things for granted that things will never change sometimes.”

There are not many potential replacements for distillers grain, according to Loza. The closest would be soybean meals, but cattle feeders in the Panhandle would need to transport soy meal a long way. Another potential replacement would be sunflower meal, also not exactly an abundant product in Nebraska.

Other, more local replacements such as field peas or other peas could be researched, but Loza said their volume would be limited and their protein content and quality variable. “There are probably other sources of vegetable proteins, but might not be as economical, and not in that volume.”

 During the pandemic Loza also has been meeting with colleagues in Extension and the U.S. Department of Agriculture, searching for programs, opportunities, and funding, as well as potential channels for getting information and advice to producers.

He is eager to be able to meet in person with his clientele, the feedlot operators. Online meetings are the best option available, but are not the same as in-person visits to feedlots, especially early in a working relationship. “You can’t jump out of your screen and talk to them for a half hour,” he said. “You want to go visit their operation, see what they’re doing, what they need, to get a feeling.”

Loza is working on having an invitational meeting for producers that would include a presentation on a technical topic and then a period of questions, answers and general discussion – “how they are doing, sharing information on how they are coping with the challenges of their operations.”

In Scottsbluff, meantime, Loza said fellow faculty member Dr. Karla Wilke, Cow-Calf Systems and Stocker Management Specialist at the Panhandle Center, has been helpful in seeing that activities are carried out at the Panhandle Research Feedlot, as have research technicians Nabor Guzman and Doug Pieper.

He also has regular virtual meetings with the research technicians, as well as graduate students and Animal Science faculty. “Everybody’s trying to do what they can. But I’m ready to be there in person.”

After the pandemic, Loza also hopes to conduct research into alternative local rations such as small grains or sugarbeet pulp. His ideal research program would address two types of issues: those that are local to the Panhandle, and those that are applicable to the high plains region.