Sunday, October 31, 2010

November Birthdays

November 1, 1948 Lila Crane November 1, 1989 Charles Toms IV November 2 Cheryl Carper November 3 Zora Yoder November 2 Tonna Gilbert November 4, 1994 Garret Sharp November 4 Gladys Lampman November 5 Lori Derby November 6 Annette Spencer November 6 Duane Arterburn November 8 Kerry Whipple November 9 Donna Rose November 10 Nina Garner November 11 Jim Hoffman Noveber 14, 1996 Kevin Williams November 13 Esther Wademan November 13 Margaret Kuhn November 13 Heather Skarin November 14 Gerry Skarin November 14 Peggy Kerr November 15 Josh Henderson November 15 1977 Jacob Tenhoff November 15 Leslie Frazier November 15 Pat Myers November 15 Heath Arterburn November 16 1988 Molly Coffey November 18 Sue Magrin November 19 Sandi Bostock November 21 Rocky Zimmerman November 21 Ray Mazour November 22 Paul Wormuth November 22 Adam Kort November 23 George Mohlman November 23,1923 Clayton Heinrich November 24, Joshua Lowe November 24, 1983 Katie Brenn November 24, 1983 Stephanie Curtis November 24 Leanne Ensign November 26, 1968 Donna Kort November 26 Sonja Krueger November 26 Eldon Kearney November 27 Tammy Maupin Alber November 27, 1962 Mark Stanley Petska November 27 Bill Zimmerman November 28, 1965 Vicki Alber November 30, 1926 Ruby Stevens November 30, 1964 Darren Gaede November 30 1971 Henry A. Seeman

Hunter Safety Encouraged

— The annual pheasant hunt started in Nebraska and state officials are asking hunters to adhere to safety practices. Nebraska officials say there were a dozen hunting-related accidents involving a shotgun, rifle or handgun in 2009, including two in which people died. Hunting experts say such incidents are always preventable. Mike Streeter is the Nebraska hunter education coordinator for the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission. Streeter said the most common cause of a hunting accident in Nebraska is when shooters swing on flying game birds and fire without knowing what is beyond their target, striking hunting companions with shot. Hunting incidents resulting in injury or death are rare in Nebraska. The injury rate per 1,000 hunters commonly is lower than 0.01 percent. The commission says Nebraska has about 170,000 hunters each year, and the state has averaged about 12 incidents a year over the past decade. In such an incident, the age of the person firing the firearm is three times as likely to be in 10 to 19 years old as any other age group. In Nebraska's 2009 accidents, six of the shooters were 10 to 19 years old, four were 20 to 29 and two were 40 to 49. In seven incidents, the shooter shot himself or herself. Someone else was shot in five incidents. In two instances, a non-hunter was injured or killed. Three involved illegal activity. Six involved the discharge of a rifle, three a shotgun and three a handgun. Three of the incidents involved hunting nongame animals, three involved hunting furbearers, one involved hunting small game, three involved hunting upland birds and two involved hunting deer. The incidents that resulted in a death occurred in Wheeler County in June and Saunders County in December. Hunters who aren't visible are often the cause of the top hunting accidents. Hunters are encouraged to wear more blaze orange than the minimum required. The pheasant hunt started Saturday with hundreds of armed hunters in area fields. Hunting experts suggest hunters stay in contact with one another and stay in a straight line when pushing a field. Hunters also should have a plan before hunting, make sure to unload firearms when crossing obstacles and properly identify their targets Streeter said Nebraska hunters do an excellent job of ensuring safety each year. “Safe hunting is no accident,'' he said. “Follow the rules.”

Pheasant hunting successful in South Central Nebraska

Blue Hill, Neb. — Pheasant hunting season opened across the state Saturday, October 30. There were plenty of hunters out in the Blue Hill Area looking for the colorful birds. Several groups of area hunters reached their limits early in the day. South Central Nebraska seems to have plenty of the birds this year. The Nebraska Game and Parks Commission says there are plenty of pheasants in southwest Nebraska, where there's a high amount of public access. The Game and Parks' 2010 Upland Game Hunting Outlook predicts that following the southwest region, highest pheasant populations can be found in the Sandhills, central, northeast, Panhandle and southeast regions. The pheasant season ends Jan. 31. Only roosters may be taken. The daily bag limit is three birds, and the possession limit is 12. The quail and partridge seasons also run from Saturday through Jan. 31.


Duane A. Lienemann UNL Extension Educator Webster County October 29, 2010 Edition A year ago at this time we had already gone through two weeks of winter, which never seemed to lose its grip well into early spring. That caught a lot of us off guard and we did not get to utilize stalks like we normally do and it of course had a huge affect on feed inventory and condition of our cows going into spring. Speaking of inventory, last week I centered my discussion on taking inventory of what you have for your herd. Now we need to take a look at some other factors to finish getting ready for winter care of our cattle. We know that it is just around the corner. How do you feed? One important factor that we sometimes don’t think about is that we to consider how you feed your forage sources. Are round bales simply placed out in pastures or lots as is? Are they fed in hay rings or bale feeders? Are they rolled out on the ground? Is silage or wet distillers grain fed on the ground or in troughs or feeders of some type? Feeding any type of forage on the ground dramatically increases the amount of loss you experience. Repeated research and experience has shown that losses in round hay bales fed on the ground can exceed 30 percent. Simply placing a hay ring around the bales so cows cannot stand or lay on hay as well as urinate or defecate on it will dramatically reduce losses. The same is true of feeding silage or WDGS. Feeding in troughs eliminates most of the waste. These savings can quickly pay for the investment you have in feeders and troughs. For example if you are comparing feeding round baled hay on the ground to feeding in a bale ring, consider the two levels of loss on a purely economic basis. University studies show that feeding hay on the ground with out a ring or similar feeder can create a loss of $1000 per 100 head over a given feeding period. A producer can afford to invest in several rings for less than his losses in one year and save those dollars in subsequent years. Take a Cow Herd Inventory: Your forage and other supplementation needs will be largely determined by your herd inventory. Questions you have to ask include: What is the size of my cow herd, including cows, larger calves (which will be held over), or developing heifers and bulls. A very basic rule of thumb is that the average cow will eat about 2.5 % of her body weight in dry matter per day. In other words, a 1200 lb. cow needs to consume around 30 lbs. of dry matter every day. This is easy to calculate if a cow is eating only dry hay. The hay probably averages 85 percent dry matter or better. This means that a 1200 lb. cow would need to consume about 35 lbs. of hay per day. Therefore, this is from all sources, standing grass or crop residue, hay, silage, grain, etc. Other factors which may affect this include temperatures (heat – they eat less, cold – they eat more), moisture conditions (wet, dry, muddy, etc.), stage of production (dry, trimester of pregnancy). Therefore we need to build in a “fudge factor” of 20 percent or so. Take Inventory of Cow Condition: How do we do this. I have discussed this in several articles, but it bears repeating. Learn about Body Condition Score (BCS) and then utilize it. By the end of summer the producer needs to go through and assess what the average BCS is of his herd. In many cases it is very common for producers to come into the fall and winter of the year with a herd at a lower BCS than would be preferable. Remember it is common and actually physiologically natural for a cow to lose a certain amount of weight as she goes through winter. Let's say one body condition score. For a cow averaging 1200 to 1,400 lbs, this is about 100 to 150 lbs of body weight. Therefore, if she comes into this period in better condition, i.e. a BCS of 5 instead of a BCS 4 she will lose down to a BCS that is still workable (i.e. a BCS 4 instead of 3. Research has shown that a cow will breed optimally at a BCS of 5 to 6. If she enters winter at a 5 and loses down to a 4 it is much simpler to get her back to a 5 than is she comes in at a 4 and loses down to a 3 and subsequently you need to get her back to a 5. The difference here is for her to gain back only 100 to 150 lbs as opposed to gaining back 200 to 250 lbs or more. Obviously the first option is less expensive, in many ways, not just financially. To accomplish this actually requires looking at your herd and determine how they came through summer grazing and if you have them on stalks – how do they look? Did they ever recover from last winter? Hopefully a wet spring went a long ways towards this goal. No matter what, at this point in time it is obviously too late to accommodate for deficiencies in last year's program. This will need now to be a goal for next year. At this point, the producer has to examine where the herd is currently and what he will have to do to get through calving (assuming a spring breeding season) and rebreeding, subsequently maintaining or building BCS up until that point. If he has a fall calving herd it is a matter of determining what must be done now to maintain condition and possibly build it from calving to rebreeding and then subsequently holding BCS as much as possible as the cows with young calves are wintered. The most important thing to me about BCS is the months just prior to and after calving. It has huge ramification on calf and even cow mortality, the ability for the cow to keep the calf and more importantly to breed back in a timely fashion. Assessing the Difference: Now that we have done our inventories, looked at forage supplies - what you have produced or laid in, and what you need, you can determine where you stand and make calculations based on the typical Nebraska time frame for hay feeding season that normally runs from November 15 until about March 31 or about 135 days. Are you ready? Are your cows ready? I hope so. Best advice - adhere to the 5 P's -Proper Planning Prevents Poor Performance. The preceding information comes from the research and personal observations of the writer which may or may not reflect the views of UNL or UNL Extension. For more further information on these or other topics contact D. A. Lienemann, UNL Extension Educator for Webster County in Red Cloud, (402) 746-3417 or email to: or go to the website at:

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Lienemann President NCEA

Duane (Dewey) Lienemann, UNL Extension Educator for Webster County was installed as President of the Nebraska Cooperative Extension Association (NCEA) at their fall conference in Kearney on October 13. He will preside over the organization during the coming year. Lienemann had served the past year as President-Elect and took the gavel from Past President Bill Kranz, Associate Professor and Irrigation Specialist at Northeast Research & Extension Center in Concord, NE. He will now preside over all regular and special NCEA meetings, appoint committees with advice of the executive committee and approval of the board, and will serve as the official representative of the Association to other entities including the Nebraska Association of County Extension Boards, Nebraska 4-H Foundation and several others. He will also attend to other duties naturally developing upon the office of President. Previously Lienemann had served as President of the Nebraska Association of County Agriculture Agents (NACAA) and on several key NCEA committees. He had served earlier as Secretary of the NACAA and as a district representative to both the NACAA and the NCEA and as Sergeant of Arms for the NCEA. The NCEA is the umbrella professional organization for UNL Extension personnel. It includes individuals representing: Nebraska Chapter of the National Association of 4-H Agents (NAE4-HA), Specialists Section of NCEA, Nebraska Affiliate of National Extension Association of Family and Consumer Sciences (NEAFCS), Alpha Upsilon Chapter of Epsilon Sigma Phi (ESP), Association of Natural Resource Extension Professionals (ANREP), Nebraska Chapter of National Association of Community Development Extension Professionals (NACDEP) and Nebraska Chapter of National Association of County Agriculture Agents (NACAA). Lienemann is the UNL Extension Educator for Webster County and works out of Red Cloud, NE. He is a livestock focused educator under the Beef Systems Spire of Excellence for the University of Nebraska Institute for Agriculture and Natural Resources (IANR). He resides in Blue Hill, NE with his wife Connie. He is in his eleventh year with the University of Nebraska after a distinguished career for 29 years as an agriculture education instructor, most of which were at Blue Hill High School. An interesting side note is that the new President Elect of the NCEA is his daughter, Deanna (Lienemann) Karmazin. Ms. Karmazin is an UNL Extension Assistant, responsible for Animal Science and Agriculture with the Lancaster County UNL Extension in Lincoln, NE. Karmazin had served previously as President of the NAE4-HA. She will take the gavel as President after her father completes his term. Deanna is a native of Blue Hill, NE and now resides in Lincoln with her husband, Steve Karmazin and two children, Chris and Lauren.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Collins Hubl

Eric and Casey Hubl are the parents of a Baby girl. Collins was born October 23, 2010. the 7# 7oz baby was born at 9:28 a. m. She was 19.3 inches long. Collins was welcomed at home by her "big sister" Ava. Grandparents are Joe and Lisa Hubl. Richard and Jolaine Hubl are great-grandparents.

Quote of the day

"Blaming the prince of the fools should not blind anyone to the vast confederacy of fools that made him their prince. " anonymous

Jezebel Lee Olsen

Ian and Ashley (Hubl) Olsen of Red Cloud have welcomed into their home a new daughter. Jezebel Lee Olsen was born at 12:43 p.m., October 26, 2010. She weighed 6 # 15 oz and was 19 inches long. Karen and Rick Hubl are Jezebel's grandparents. Richard "Sug" and Jolaine Hubl and Anita Kucera and the late Wencil Kucera are her great grandparents

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Blue Hill defeats Kearney Catholic

The score, Blue Hill 40 Kearney Catholic 22. ( A difference of 18 points.) The same team that defeated Blue Hill in their last regular season game on October 21st by a score of 27 to 10 lost tonight to Blue Hill. ( a difference of 17 points.) Kearney Catholic scored 49 points against Blue Hill in two games. Blue Hill scored 50 points against Kearney Catholic in two games. Blue Hill will now advance to the second round of the c2 playoff games. That game will be played in Blue Hill Wednesday November 3rd. The opponent will be Cambridge who defeated Superior tonight 45 to 21. See the updated bracket at the link below.

Quote of the day

Success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which he has overcome. -Booker T. Washington

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Pheasant season Opens

25 Oct 2010 LINCOLN, Neb. – Pheasant hunting season opens across the state on Oct. 30, according to the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission. Pheasant abundance appears to be high in southwest Nebraska, according to Game and Parks’ 2010 Upland Game Hunting Outlook. Combined with public access, this region should offer excellent pheasant hunting opportunities. The outlook is based on surveys and input from biologists and staff. According to the outlook, the abundance of pheasants in Nebraska this year is highest in the southwest, followed by the Sandhills, central, northeast, Panhandle, and southeast regions. Overall, the abundance statewide is slightly lower than in 2009. Pheasant season is an excellent opportunity for experienced hunters to introduce the activity to a person who never has hunted or reintroduce it to someone who has not hunted in many years. The pheasant season ends Jan. 31, 2011. Only rooster pheasants may be taken. The daily bag limit is three birds and the possession limit is 12. The quail and partridge seasons also are Oct. 30-Jan. 31. All upland bird hunters, except for residents under age 16, are required to have a Nebraska hunting license and a habitat stamp. An annual permit costs $14 for residents and $81 for nonresidents. The annual habitat stamp is $20. Hunters should review the 2010 Nebraska Public Access Atlas, which includes Conservation Reserve Program-Management Access Program lands, as well as Open Fields and Waters program lands, and other public hunting lands. …

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Straight from the Horses Mouth

Duane A. Lienemann, UNL Extension Educator, Webster County October 23, 2010 Edition Last week I centered my discussion on taking care of those calves that either have already or soon will be weaned. I also suggested that we should now look at the care of their mommas as we head into the winter season. Every year about this time, cattlemen are faced with a host of decisions they have to make. Most of them focus on how they will manage and care for their herd over the next few months – primarily winter. We need to assume each year that we may have a severe winter, and we all know that we have not had adequate moisture conditions coming into this season and that could prove to create more of a problem. Regardless of where a producer fits in this situation, I think we need to take a look at structuring the decision making process with two primary issues in mind – improved performance and improved profits. Our main goal here is to develop and utilize a system by which the producer can prioritize the tasks at hand by implementing decisions that will improve cattle condition, performance and profitability. To accomplish our goals there are a lot of things we will need to take a look at. This will likely take more than one article. Let’s get started with this topic. Where Are You Right Now? The first thing you need to determine is what the status is today of your operation and the components that make up your operation. This may include forage inventory, brood cow body condition, grain or feed prices and available options and so on. Let’s take a look at these components individually and see how they tie into our management program. The saying goes that “an army marches on its stomach”. The same is true of a cowherd. Research has long shown us the importance of nutrition on a cow's performance. Cowboy economics has long shown us that the need to provide this nutrition also needs to be done in cost effective manner. And finally, because of how the Good Lord designed a cow, she derives the largest portion of her needed nutrients from forages. All this said, as cattlemen, we've known for years that the optimal way to provide the nutrient needs for our cowherd is to produce adequate levels of good quality forage. Unfortunately mother-nature doesn't always cooperate so we have to make allowances most of the time. We can’t predict the future for weather very accurately but we can come pretty close in taking inventory of what we have. Because we live in an area that has a pretty good supply of corn, grain sorghum stalks and soybean residue, we need to ask ourselves “Do we have access to enough of this forage source to get us to the time where we need to look at supplemental feeding?” The most commonly used stalks come from corn, so let’s take a look at that. The residue that remains after corn harvest can be effectively utilized as cattle feed, with an average total dietary nutrient concentration of 50-55 percent and a crude protein concentration of 4-6 percent. Although these values are low, it important to recognize that after weaning, the nutrient requirements for cows are also very low, and can nearly be met with cornstalk grazing alone, assuming that there are no outside barriers that could limit intake. No matter what feed is used a 1400 lb cow needs 33 pounds of dry matter each day and adjust from there. So please take that into consideration when determining your needs. The most palatable parts of cornstalk residue are the husk and the leaf, so naturally these portions will be consumed first with the remaining stem and cob being less desirable to cattle. Therefore, one important consideration is the amount of husk and leaf that are available. The University of Nebraska devised a formula to determine this amount based on corn yield. The formula is: Pounds of leaf and husk per acre = ([bushels per acre corn grain yield X 38.2] + 429) x 0.39. Let’s say you estimated your corn crop average at 175 bu/acre. Using the formula, this would result in about 2,775 pounds of leaf and husk per acre. About 50 percent of this will be lost due to trampling and other factors, so about 1,380 pounds will be available for grazing. This amount of residue is enough to feed a 600-pound steer for about 80 days, and feed a 1,400 pound cow for about 40 days. So you can figure how many acres of good stalks you need to get to the point where you can start feeding other forages. There are of course other considerations like snow cover, mud and condition of stalks that we have to consider when figuring the longevity and practicality of utilizing this “cheap cost” source of forage. Inventory Stored Forages: Now we need to determine how much hay or other forage stock that you have produced and what is available for feeding? How many round or square bales have you put up? What do the bales weigh on the average? What is the quality of these forage sources. It doesn’t hurt to get some tests done for nutrients. You may want to weigh the hay bales you have put up to get an idea of how much you have. I am a lousy predictor of round bale weight and I would bet that many others are in the same boat. The weight of hay bales is also affected by a lot of variables. These include moisture content of the baled forage, type of forage, baler settings, operator experience, storage methods, etc. If you put up silage you need to figure how much is needed and how much you have on hand. You can figure how much you need with a simple rule of thumb. Figuring 65 percent moisture in your pile, to get 10 lbs of dry matter per head you need to provide about 28.5 lbs of silage (actual) per head per day (10 lbs/35 percent Dry Matter or 10/.35 = 28.5). You will then need to determine how much silage you have in a pile. You can do that by using formulas for the type of silage storage you use. I have several software programs in my office that will help you with this if you should need them. Just give me a call. We are going to look at some other steps that we need to take in the next issue. The preceding information comes from the research and personal observations of the writer which may or may not reflect the views of UNL or UNL Extension. For more further information on these or other topics contact D. A. Lienemann, UNL Extension Educator for Webster County in Red Cloud, (402) 746-3417 or email to: or go to the website at:    

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Kearney Catholic 27 Blue Hill 10

In a disapointing end to the regular season Blue Hill's high school football team lost to the Kearney Catholic football team with a score of 27 to 10. This ended Blue Hill's regular season play with a five to 3 record.
. Blue Hill opens class C-2 playoffs at Kearney Catholic on Thursday, October 28. If/when BH wins they will be at home against the winner of Cambridge (8-0) and Superior (3-5). The entire bracket is available at

Deer Cause Concern for Drivers

Two weeks ago an area man lost his life in an automobile accident caused by a deer.
Deer are on the move now and that will only increase as hunting season for deer opens in the near future. In Clay County Sheriff Jeff Franklin says hardly an evening goes by without a vehicle - deer accident in his county. Franklin believes that this area of the state is over populated with deer at this time.
State Farm insurance provider has estimated that deer-vehicle accidents are up by 21 percent in the last five years. Nebraska has the 12th highest rate of deer accidents in the United States. As a driver your chance of coliding with a deer in the next 12 months are 1 in 111, according to State Farm.
In Adams County eight deer-vehicle accidents occurred between Sept 8 and Oct 16th. All of those in occurred during the dark hours. Adams County Sheriff Greg McGee said drivers should consider installing deer whistles on their vehicles. This small device produces a sound that alerts deer and similar animals to the approaching vehicle, keeping them from the area. The devices are inexpensive, costing under six dollars at Wal-Mart. Adams County Sheriff says that in the last 20 years since installing deer whistles county officers have had only three deer related accidents that caused substantial damages whereas before installing the devices they would average that many each year. Bugs, dirt and debris can affect the operation of the deer whistles so they should be replaced periodically.
When approaching a deer on the road experts say it is best not to swerve. Dont take the ditch, don't go into the other lane. Those options could cause more damage than just striking the animal. Just be aware, don't speed, and drive with care, especially in the early morning or evening hours.

Open Forum

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Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Friends Help Disabled Farmer Harvest

More than three months ago, July 12, Randy Kort of Ayr was injured when he was accidently pinned against his house by a pickup when the operator confused the brake and accelator pedals. He was taken to Mary Lanning Hospital in Hastings and then transfered to Bryan LGH Medical Center in Lincoln for treatment. After months of treatment and physical therapy he still struggles to regain his strength and his ability to take care of his farming operation. Monday morning friends and neighbors gathered at the Kort farm to bring in his crops. Twenty people volunteered, offering their time and their equipment to take care of the 150 acres of corn. The work began at 7 a. m and ended early afternoon. Some of the people who volunteered time and /or equipment were Wayne Bonifas, Jeff Bachman and Warren Evans. This type of response is typical in the farming community. Kort was described as a "good joe" who would do the same for anyone in his situation. Randy Kort is president of the Adams Central Board of Education.


Duane A. Lienemann, UNL Extension Educator, Webster County October 16, 2010 Edition
With the pending conclusion of a fast and efficient harvest, the arrival of a dry fall, and a lot of corn stalks ready to be grazed, many calves will soon be on the move from their home farms to new homes, if they haven’t already.
Calf prices are relatively good so this should be a time that beef producers should feel pretty good about their investment in their cattle herds. The trouble is that this is also a time when young calves don’t feel so good and the potential for a good return from the cow may be taken away from the producer in the form of sick or even dead calves.
Unfortunately, many of the calves that leave their home farms may not have been vaccinated. But even if they all were vaccinated, some of those may even be in jeopardy. Many of us have had the unfortunate experience of having well vaccinated calves get sick anyway after being exposed to conditions conducive to disease and more likely from being stressed with a new routine. Hopefully calves have been vaccinated against at least the worse types of disease. Well vaccinated calves usually don’t die of IBR, BVD or Blackleg; but the story is not that simple.
One of the reasons calves still get sick after vaccination is that there a number of viruses for which no vaccination is available, and quite honestly there are probably some viruses that change too rapidly to ever have enough vaccines to prevent all such infections. In this scenario calves do not fare very well. Many calves infected with viruses will develop pneumonias that will make their condition very serious.
Calves lack the ability to efficiently prevent bacteria from invading their lungs. Some of these bacteria are normal bugs that live in the noses and throats of calves but don’t invade unless there is a viral infection or stress. Others of the bacteria probably are more serious causes of disease and build up among sick cattle to which calves are exposed.
This and many other problems come from a very simple dilemma for the calves – stress. One of the best ways of avoiding sickness and disease is to eliminate, or at least minimize, that stress. We can usually prevent stress to our calves by making sure that these calves don’t experience days without feed and water; not being away from their mothers all at once; and are given a chance to stay home to rest and recuperate.
Of course what I have described is the weaning process and we know that those things happen when we wean the calves from their mommas. That is something that is part of raising cattle and something that we have to do each year. In the end, the bottom line is that a lot of calves have the ripe opportunity to get really sick. Without antibiotics and tender loving care they will either have prolonged, serious disease that will result in major losses in production if not death and a total loss.
How can we cut down on this risk? Well, first of all I firmly believe that a good vaccination regimen/protocol for calves is paramount. I also like to see parasite control or prevention as part of the protocol. You should work with your local vet to address this. I also think that producers should parallel health care protocols with a plan to reduce stress. One of the first things I suggest to help alleviate this problem is to separate the stress of weaning from the stress of marketing. The markets, and many buyers, oftentimes are willing to pay you to do this as long as you find the right way to sell calves. The bonus is that you can get some economical gains.
The next suggestion is to wean gently. This can be accomplished by using on-farm weaning, fence line weaning, or even a “nose-weaner” system. Don’t overlook the value of good watering systems for both weaning and marketing procedures. Good, clean water is in my opinion very vital to the well being and health of calves and cows that are stress. Water is not the only nutritional decision; make sure that you use high quality hay and grain as well as a palatable, medium energy supplement at weaning. You might also consider introducing your calves to tanks and bunks. I guess you could call that tank and bunk training. Something that I have always believed in is low stress handling. Be gentle and kind to your animals and get them to know you and your routines. Part of low stress handling is to separate the stress of processing (vaccination, implanting, etc.) from the stress of weaning and marketing. You should also separate the stress of castration and dehorning from those stress factors. And if at all possible, shorten the time-in-transit when getting your calves to market. If you feel that you need to supplement their feed with antibiotics or utilize injectable antibiotics, please use these antibiotics judiciously. Metaphylactic antibiotic treatment (usually given when calves are purchased) is one of the most effective procedures that have been studied in recent years in preventing illness and death in “high risk” calves. High risk calves are those where the prior owner didn’t do the suggestions that I have given above. Sick calves seem to be a fact of life. However, good management can reduce the rate of sickness and minimize the bad outcomes.
While you are watching the calves as proceed through the weaning and marketing process of this year’s calf crop don’t forget about the cows. Check the condition scores of your cows as they start a new grazing season on corrn, milo stalks, or soybean stubble. Remember that they are also under stress when you take them away from their calves and move them from the familiar slopes of the pasture to the rough ground and different forage that they will find in the stalks and stubble that will be there new home. I think we need to talk more on cow care next week. Happy weaning!
The preceding information comes from the research and personal observations of the writer which may or may not reflect the views of UNL or UNL Extension. For more further information on these or other topics contact D. A. Lienemann, UNL Extension Educator for Webster County in Red Cloud, (402) 746-3417 or email to: or go to the website at:

Friday, October 15, 2010

Trials scheduled in Child Abuse Case.

Wilbur Jacob "Jake" Cox of Blue Hill has entered a plea of not guilty to charges of first degree assault and child abuse causing injury. Webster County District Judge Stephen Illingsworth found probable cause for the charges after a preliminary hearing on Wednesday, October 13, 2010. Wilbur Cox's trial has been scheduled for January 10th, 2011. February 26th 2010 during a preliminary hearing Webster County Court Judge Michael Offner. heard testimoney regarding the Cox's nine week old daughter's injuries that required her treatment in the emergency room at Mary Lanning Hospital in Hastings. Wilbur Cox and his wife Jessica Cox both face a charge of child abuse that resuted in serious bodily injury to their infant daughter who was born November 26, 2009. January 30, 2010 she was taken to the emergency room at Mary Lanning Hospital in Hastings by her parents because she was coughing up blood. In Mary Lanning emergency room doctors treated the infant and installed a breathing tube . Officials at Mary Lanning contacted Hastings Police who in turn contacted the Webster County Sheriff's department. Officer Ron Sunday responded from Webster County. Officer Sunday and Hastings Police officer Steven Murphy were advised by hospital personell that the baby had other injuries including broken ribs and bruises on her back. While the baby was taken by ambulance to Hastings airport and then life flighted to Children's Hospital in Omaha authorities interrogated the parents. Jessica Cox reportedly told officers that she and the baby's father had pulled on the baby during an argument in such a way that they might have injured the baby. She also said she had tossed the baby into he air during play time and this possibly might have injured her. The parents also reported that Wilbur Jacob Cox's three year old daughter from a previous relationship might have hugged the baby too hard. After the baby was examined by a child abuse pediatrician in Children's hospital in Omaha she was found to have a skull fracture, seven broken ribs and both shin bones in the baby's legs were broken. Some of her injuries were in the process of healing. The baby had surgery performed at Children's hospital to repair damage done to the back of her throad that cut her carotid artery. A medical report submitted to the court stated the baby's injuries were consistent with non-accidental trauma. The infant had been cared for by only Jake and Jessica Cox, no day care had been involved. No one else is suspected of inflicting the injuries on the baby. Jessica Cox was represented by Attorney Michael Mead and Jake Cox was represented by Attorney Don Theobald. Mead agrued that no evidence was presented that pointed at who caused the baby's injuries. He also questioned whether the Coxes had been read their Miranda rights so anything said should not be used against them. Child abuse resulting in serious bodily injury is a class 3 Felony punishable by up to 20 years inprisonment and a $25,000 fine. Jessica Cox has been charged with child abuse resulting in serious badily injury. Her trial is scheduled for December 22 aat 9:30 A. M. First Degree assault is a class 2 felony punishable by up to 50 years in prison. Since being dismissed from the hospital the baby was taken into custody of Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Second Webster Co. Pheasants Forever Youth Mentor Hunt held

Saturday October 2, more than 30 volunteers gathered at the Rep. Valley Trap club near Rosemont to help with the second annual Pheasants Forever Youth mentor hunt. Twenty young people ( ages 11-15) were guests of the Webster County Pheasants Forever chapter to participate in the well organized event. Jamie Reiman is the President of the Webster County Pheasants Forever chapter and was the chief organizer in coordinating the different elements of the event. Volunteers came from Lincoln, Hastings as well as Webster County. The goal of the event is to teach young people to hunt safely and responsibly, to conserve natural resources, respect the rights of the land owners and to enxcourage interest in the sport of bird hunting. Before being selected to participate in the hunt a youth must have completed a certified hunter safety course. The event is limited to 20 participants. Last year 14 youth participated, this year 20 participated. Each youth was given an orange hunter safety vest with logo by the PF chapter. Once a youth has participated they are not eligible for participation the following year unless there should not be enough applicants to fill the quota. The day long event includes instruction and participation in archery (This year instructor was Mark Petska.) Dog Training, (by Keith Penrose, of Hastings) trap shoot (thanks to Dave & Bruce Kohmetscher) 22 shoot ( ) a live pheasant hunt with a hunting dog ( Toby Alber and Andy Alber, Hope, Pete, McKenzie and ) Jason Fowler and dog, Joel Morgan and Dog, After each youth was able to bag a bird they were taught how to clean the game. A lunch, provided by the Pheasants Forever Chapter was prepared and served at noon by Vickie Alber and other board members. Wimmers Weiners provided the Brats for the event and Thramers provided the buns, Wal Mart also donated toward the lunch. Special thanks to Dick Hartman and JoAnn Meents for allowing the Chapter and the youth access to their property for hunting the live birds. Funds for the event come from the chapter's major fund raising activity, a banquet, which has been well supported in past years by local businesses and sportmen. The next banquet to be held in February 5, 2011. The Webster CountyPheasants Forever event is one of about 70 youth mentor hunts sponsored by Nebraska Pheasant Forever chapters across the state, during the month of October. Pheasants Forever Chapters across the state and Nebraska Game and Parks commission have been combining their efforts to provide Youth mentor hunts since 1996. Door prizes were given including a 22 rifle and a mounted pheasant donated by Osage taxidermy. Pheasants Forever obtained special permission from the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission to allow for this live bird hunt prior to the opening of the regular pheasant hunting season.


The community room at the Blue Hill Community Senior Center will be the site of the Red Cross Blood drive on October 21. Volunteers will be receiving Blood donors from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. For an appointment donors can contact Ruby Krueger at 756 3470, Shirley Kort at 756 3301, Carolee Whipple at 756 3955 or Tonia Rouse at 756 4444. Appointments may also be scheduled on line at
To successfully donate blood it is good to remember these healthy tips
(1) Maintain a healthy iron level in your diet by eating iron rich foods, such as spinach, red meat, fish, poultry, beans, iron-fortified cereals and raisins. (2) Get a good night's sleep. (3) Drink an extra 16 oz. of water and fluids before the donation. (4) Eat a healthy meal before your donation. Avoid fatty foods, such as hamburgers, fries or ice cream before donating. Tests for infections done on all donated blood can be affected by fats that appear in your blood for several hours after eating fatty foods.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Train vs. Semi truck Cowles

These pictures were taken on October 13th in Cowles, Nebraska following the collision of this work train and the semi truck loaded with grain, owned and driven by Gary Lammers of Bladen. The accident occurred in the late afternoon. Both the train and the truck were traveling at a very slow rate of speed at the time of the accident. No injuries were reported by either the driver of the truck or the occupants of the train. The grain spilled in the accident was picked up with a grain vacumn by employees of the Cowles grain elevator.
A semi truck loaded with grain was struck on the crossing at Cowles by this work engine on the railroad track. The accident occurred late Wednesday afternoon. Both vehicles were traveling at a slow speed, both unable to stop in time to avoid the collision. Gary Lammers of Bladen was the driver of the truck. No one was injured in the accident.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Rocky Lee Kenneth Schriner 1989-2010

Rocky Lee Kenneth Schriner, 21, Deweese, Ne., died Thursday, October 7, 2010 due to a motor vehicle accident. Services are Tuesday, October 12, 2010 at the United Methodist Church, Blue Hill, Ne., 2:00 P.M. with Rev. Michael Lee Burgess Officiating. Burial will be in the Presbyterian Cemetery, Campbell, Ne. Visitation will be Monday from 9:00 A.M.-8:00 P.M. at Merten-Butler Mortuary, Blue Hill, Ne. and one hour prior to services at the church. Memorials to the family. Merten-Butler Mortuary of Blue Hill, Ne. is in charge of arrangements. Rocky was born on September 25, 1989 at Hastings, Ne. to Ross Richardson & Susan Schriner. Growing up he was active in Cub Scouts, played Football, Basketball & had Wrestled. In the 3rd grade, he placed fourth in State Wrestling and in 5th grade he was the only one on his team that placed at State Wrestling. He graduated from Job Corp in Chadron with his GED. He had earned his Facility Maintenance Certificate and was working on his Journeyman Electricians Certificate. He was an apprentice electrician and was currently working in the cafeteria at Hastings College. He is survived by his Father: Ross Richardson, Mother: Susan Carman & Her Husband: Floyd , Lincoln, Ne., Grandfather: Kenneth Schriner, Lawrence, Ne., Step Sister: Melissa Carman, North Platte, Ne., Step Brother: Michael Carman, Campbell, Ne., Brothers & Sisters, (1) Aunt: Cindy Ferguson & Family, Blue Hill, Ne., (2) Uncles: Bernard Schriner & Family, Lincoln, Ne., Teddi Schriner, Kenesaw, Ne., Nephews Alex Carman and E.J. Martinez, Niece, Peggy Carman, Numerous Aunts, Uncles, family and friends. He was preceded in death by his Maternal Grandmother: Betty Schriner & (1) Stepbrother: Mark T. Lutz.
Vehicle - Deer Caused Death of Deweese Man
Rocky Schriner died early Thursday morning (october 7, 2010) on highway 74 near Road D on his way to work. He collided with a 2010 Ford Escape driven by 54 year old Carol A. Hagemann after Hagemann struck a deer and crossed the center line stricking Schriner who was driving a 1994 Honda Accord. Both drivers were wearing seatbelts and neither had any passengers. Both vehicles came to a stop at the point of impact. Clay County Sheriff Jeff Franklin said authorities believe that striking the deer caused an air bag in Hagemann's vehicle to deploy and that she then lost her view of the road and careened into the westbound lane. Schriner apparently tried to move off the roadway and out of Hagemann's path but didn't have time to do so. The collision occurred at the crest of a hill. Franklin said that this was the first time he had worked an accident scene in which a vehicle-deer collision had led to a fatality. He warned that deer are moving everywhere and people need to be very aware. Franklin said a driver confronting a deer in the roadway will be safer hitting the animal than swerving and running the risk of rolling in the ditch, hitting some fixed obstacle or colliding with another vehicle. He says people should stay in their lane and hit the deer. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, deer-vehicle collisions in the U.S. cause about 200 fatalities each year.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Blue Hill 41 Southern Valley 12

The Blue Hill Bobcats Football team again gave hometown fans a winning team with a 41 to 12 Victory over Southern Valley friday night. Shane Faimon scored three touchdowns. Matt Thramer did a great job kicking. Kelly Faimon had 13 tackles to lead the defense. Jared Krueger had 95 yards rushing on 13 carries. Faimon had 83 yards on 14 carries.

Blue Hill Band Participated in Melody Round up in Hastings

The 59th annual Hastings College Melody Round-Up Parade was held Saturday morning in downtown Hastings. The parade included marching bands, floats by Hastings College organizations, antique and classic cars and the 2010 Hastings College Homecoming royalty.The parade route began at the intersection of Fourth Street and Colorado Avenue, then proceed west on Fourth Street to Lincoln Avenue, south on Lincoln Avenue to Second Street, and east on Second Street to Kansas Avenue. Participating bands included: Hastings High School, Holdrege High School, Doniphan-Trumbull High School, Blue Hill High School, Hastings St. Cecilia, Superior High School, Kenesaw High School, Kearney Catholic High School, Sandy Creek High School, St. Paul High School, Deshler High School, Wilcox-Hildreth High School, Harvard Junior/Senior High School, Hampton Junior/Senior High School, Giltner Public School, Greeley-Wolbach High School, Red Cloud Junior/Senior High School, Hastings College, Holdrege Middle School and Doniphan Junior High. Bands were evaluated by judges and awarded divisional ratings and awards. Winners received awards during a special presentation at 11:30 a.m. at Dutton-Lainson Plaza, Second Street and St. Joseph Avenue. Judges for the marching band competition were Marc LaChance, professor of music at Hastings College, and Phil Parker, adjunct professor of music at Hastings College. Director of the Blue Hill Band is l Bill McMurtry.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Straight from the Horses Mouth

Duane A. Lienemann,
UNL Extension Educator, Webster County October 8, 2010 Edition Wow! I don’t remember in many years a harvest window like we are having this year. Talk about perfect weather. I typically love this time of year, but it always seems it is much too short. No matter what, this weather is a God-send to our ag producers who are working around the crop to get those crops out and into the bin or to the elevator. I have heard several reports on soybean harvest, as those are typically the first crop to be harvested and for the most part it sounds pretty good. Most farmers I have talked to are indicated yields right at what they had expected, and of course some were a little disappointed in the yields and some were really pleased. So that would tell me that we must be about average. There are some concerns on longer season or late planted beans that are still a little “green”, they need a little bit of time. I have also heard that the moisture in beans are really dry with some down around 6%, a far cry from last year, but as a whole it looks pretty good. Corn harvest is starting to progress with a lot of dryland corn and some irrigated that is succumbing to the combines. I think the consensus is that the corn may not be quite as good as was anticipated, but then I have heard some really good reports mixed in with some of those that are disappointed. We do for sure have corn significantly lower in moisture than last year at this time with some excellent test weights. I guess we will soon find out where we stand with harvest rapidly nearing full bore and probably an early end. Speaking of harvest, have any of you noticed the amount of dust coming off the beans this year? I know the farmers have mentioned it. In fact when coming home from North Platte from a meeting last week I really thought in a couple of places that I was going to come up on a fire, and when I got to the field it was a combine in soybeans surrounded by dust from the beans. While most of us don’t even think about it since dust is a part of the rural theme others look at it differently. Environmental alarmists have put pressure on the EPA to change the standards for “particulates.” I had several comments on my last week’s article, and in particular on the dust regulations being looked at by the EPA, wanting to know what that is all about. I have mentioned it several times over the past year, but I guess I have never really explained what is going on. As we go through the fall harvest I am, as well as farm groups and wary farmers, watching a federal debate over whether to clamp down on one of rural life's constant companions — the dust clouds that farm machinery kick up in fields and along unpaved roads or by those combines or even livestock in pastures or lots. Anybody that has grown up in rural areas or especially on the farm knows that dust is just part of the job. Cultivating the fields or just driving up and down our gravel or unimproved roads causes a lot of dust, not to mention handling livestock or harvesting crops. When you get out into the agricultural areas of this country what you have is dust — dust is a part of doing business. And most of rural dust is just dust, not “particulates” as is suggested by the EPA. The EPA is reviewing its airborne pollutant standards, as required every five years under the Clean Air Act. It's looking both at its standards for tiny particles of industrial pollution, and slightly larger particles called "coarse particulate matter" that covers a lot of areas, but yes it includes dust. The EPA's scientific advisers told the agency this summer that the agency could better protect public health by replacing the existing standard of 150 micrograms of coarse particles per cubic meter with a standard between 65 and 85 micrograms per cubic meter. That means they are going to cut in half the allowed standard. Part of the argument by supporters of tougher restrictions said they're needed to help clear the air of tiny grains that can lodge deep in the lungs, worsening heart and respiratory problems. They, and the EPA, say it's not just loose soil that blows around and off farms, the particles also include diesel exhaust from farm machinery, animal waste and herbicides and insecticides. We of course know that the bulk of what is out there is just plain, good ole Nebraska dirt! Supporters of stricter regulations, has urged the EPA to adopt stricter limits. The group maintains that officials could reduce dust, from paving gravel roads to encouraging farmers to grow more of their crops using no-till approaches that reduce the need for tractor work. Hmmm, haven’t we already been doing no-till? Let’s go talk to our county commissioners about paving all of our gravel roads and our minimum maintenance roads. You think taxes are high now! A lot of knee-jerk alarmist are getting on board and state that it would be “really easy to control the dust on machinery and combines and on our roads”. We just need to put an “attachment on our farm equipment that sprays water on the dust and pave all of our gravel roads,” and of course –“eliminate feedlots”. Gosh I wonder if these people live in California. The agency is expected to release a final document next month spelling out its options for revising the standards. The EPA plans to announce any proposed changes in February, and will likely approve a final updated rule by October 2011. The agency would then determine which areas of the nation don't meet those new standards. The EPA says they do not have any plans to focus on regulating dust from farm fields or gravel roads, and that as part of the EPA's mission to protect public health the assessment focuses on significant sources of pollution most of which are in urban areas. If that were true, why put agricultural regulations in their proposed assessment policy in the first place. They must think we are blinded by the dust! The preceding information comes from the research and personal observations of the writer which may or may not reflect the views of UNL or UNL Extension. For more further information on these or other topics contact D. A. Lienemann, UNL Extension Educator for Webster County in Red Cloud, (402) 746-3417 or email to: or go to the website at:

Thursday, October 7, 2010

USDA to Issue Major Annual Program Payments to Farmers and Ranchers

WASHINGTON, Oct 4, 2010 –Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced that during this month, USDA will distribute approximately $1.6 billion in annual Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) rental payments and $3.8 billion in final 2010 direct payments to America’s farmers and ranchers. “October is an important production month because CRP rental payments, direct and counter-cyclical payments (DCP), and now Average Crop Revenue Election (ACRE) payments are paid during this first month of the Federal fiscal year,” said Vilsack. “These funds support the agricultural economy and responsible stewardship of America’s production acreage.” Beginning today, producers holding 744,000 CRP contracts on 416,000 farms will receive an average of $52.56 per acre in CRP rental payments. Producers earn an average of $3,955 per farm enrolled in CRP. Included in the totals are 402,000 contracts (4.6 million acres) for continuous CRP enrollments and 342,000 contracts (26.7 million acres) enrolled under general CRP sign-ups. Currently, total CRP enrollment stands at 31.3 million acres, making CRP the largest public-private partnership for conservation and wildlife habitat in the United States. This voluntary program helps agricultural producers safeguard environmentally sensitive land and provide millions of acres of habitat for game and non-game wildlife species. USDA also issues non-rental CRP payments throughout the year. These payments for certain contracts include a 50 percent expense reimbursement for establishing and managing cover as well as incentive payments for enrolling eligible high priority conservation practices. A table located at lists enrollments by state, number of contracts, number of farms, acres enrolled as of the end of the 2010 fiscal year and CRP projected rental payments for fiscal year 2011. Beginning Oct. 12, final direct payments for the DCP and ACRE programs will be made to more than 1.1 million producers on 1.7 million farms enrolled in these programs. Participants in DCP or ACRE had the option of receiving a 22 percent advance direct payment when the farm was enrolled or delaying the direct payment until after the end of the fiscal year. ACRE revenue payments are scheduled to be made at a later time. The Secretary said that a final peanut counter-cyclical payment will be made this month which, when summed with the advance payment, totals $47 million. The 2009 counter-cyclical payments are for producers on farms with base acres of peanuts and upland cotton enrolled in DCP and ACRE. The ACRE revenue payment date and rate will be announced in the future. Final counter-cyclical payments will be made as follows: The final 2009-crop peanut counter-cyclical payment (CCP) rate is $25.00 per ton or $0.0125 per pound. Producers with peanut base acres who accepted a partial payment in March 2010 received $9.20 per ton or $0.0046 per pound. They are due an additional $15.80 per ton or $0.0079 per pound. The final marketing year price for 2009-crop peanuts is $434.00 per ton or $0.217 per pound. The final 2009-crop upland cotton CCP rate will be determined after October 8. The 2008 Farm Bill authorized a partial CCP payment in March 2010, with a final payment made at the end of the marketing year. Producers with upland cotton base acres who accepted a partial payment in March 2010 received $0.0103 per pound. Since the effective price for wheat, barley, oats, corn, soybeans, grain sorghum, dry peas and lentils exceeds the target price, as required by statute, the Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC) will not issue any 2009 CCP payments for these crops. Counter-cyclical payment rates for sunflower seed, canola, crambe, flaxseed, mustard seed, rapeseed, safflower, sesame seed, large chickpeas, and small chickpeas will be determined as soon as practical after the market year average price is published on Nov. 30, and for rice, after Jan. 31, 2011. Based on market price information to date, no counter-cyclical payments are expected to be issued for these crops. For more information on CRP, DCP or ACRE, producers should contact their local FSA office or visit FSA's Website at USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer and lender. To file a complaint of discrimination, write: USDA, Director, Office of Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Ave., SW, Washington, D.C. 20250-9410 or call toll-free at (866) 632-9992 (English) or (800) 877-8339 (TDD) or (866) 377-8642 (English Federal-relay) or (800) 845-6136 (Spanish Federal-relay).

Dorothy M. Hesman 1916-2010

Blue Hill resident Dorothy M. Hesman, 94, died Wednesday, October 6, 2010, at Mary Lanning memorial Hospital in Hastings. Services are pending at Merten-Butler Mortuary in Blue Hill ***** Dorothy Mae Hesman, 94, Blue Hill, Ne. died Wednesday, October 6, 2010 at Mary Lanning Memorial Hospital, Hastings, Ne. Services are Saturday, October 9, 2:00 P.M. at the United Methodist Church, Blue Hill, Ne. with Rev. Michael Burgess Officiating. Burial will be in Blue Hill Cemetery, Blue Hill, Ne. Visitation will be one hour prior to services at the church. Memorials to the Family. Merten-Butler Mortuary of Blue Hill, Ne. is in charge of arrangements. Dorothy was born on October 29, 1915 to Joseph & Christina (Lauritson) Frazier near Roseland, Nebraska. She married Elmer A. Hesman on May 21, 1940 at Red Cloud, Ne. They farmed Northeast of Blue Hill until 1980 when they moved to Hastings, Ne. They moved back to Blue Hill in Nov. 1998. She had been a member of Pauline Methodist Church, Grace United Methodist Church, Hastings, Ne. and was a current member of Blue Hill United Methodist Church. She had done Volunteer work at Mary Lanning Hospital for 18 years. She loved to bowl and joined several leagues in Hastings and Blue Hill. She is survived by (1) Son: James & His Wife: Cathy, Littleton, Colorado, (3) Grandchildren: Shawn, Aurora, Colorado, Troy & His Wife: Sara, Littleton, Colorado, Amy Hesman, San Diego, California, (1) Great Grandson: Porter. She was preceded in death by her parents, husband, (1) Son: David, (6) Sisters & (4) Brothers. *****************************************************************************************

Quote of the Day

"Nothing will work unless you do."
--Maya Angelou

Straight from the Horses Mouth

Duane Lienemann, UNL extention educator, Webster Co. October 1, 2010 Edition I can’t believe that harvest is here. After last year’s harvest fiasco, it is really good to see these beautiful harvest days and the combines and trucks rolling. I even heard some producers say that the beans were almost too dry. It seems that harvest is going pretty good however and most everyone is glad to be going. It will be interesting to me to see where we end up with yields this year. Beans seem average to above and corn looks to be average to perhaps a little below average. I guess we will see. At any rate we will of course take what the good Lord provides us. I have been keeping up, with a lot of interest, in the continuing saga of “Agriculture vs EPA” and it has gotten to be a lot more interesting this past week. I know that a lot of people watch soap operas on TV and I have to admit they don’t appeal to me, however what is going on in Washington is very similar to that format, its very own “EPA Soap Opera!” This past Thursday, the Senate Ag Committee conducted a hearing on EPA regulations and it was clear to me that if nothing else the EPA has a major public relations campaign it needs to undertake in farm country. Several lawmakers made charges of "regulations run amok" or the perception of regulations run amok in the U.S. ag community. The Ag Committee Chair voiced disappointment over "vague, overreaching and unnecessarily burdensome EPA regulation" on agriculture. One statement at the hearing really resonated with me. It essentially said that “Right now, at a time when every American feels anxious about his or her own economic future and the economic future of the country, our farmers, ranchers, and foresters are facing, at least 10 and perhaps as many as 20 new regulatory requirements”. What makes these decisions critical and so important to us in the ag production sector is that each of any regulations that are levied on us will add to their cost, making it harder for them to compete in a world that is marked by stiff and usually unfair competition. And most, if not all, of these regulations rely on dubious rationales and not on sound science and, as a consequence, will be of questionable benefit to the goal of conservation and environmental protection. The committee urged EPA director Lisa Jackson (who is a “green enthusiast” and “global warming activist”) to work together with the agriculture community to set these common-sense goals, instead of using the command and control, top-down approach that this Administration has relied on thus far. Other lawmakers raised several specific examples of EPA regulations that are creating concern in farm country like rules or proposals on dust, spray drift and more, imploring Jackson and her agency to step back and really consider the impact of their decisions on agriculture. Perhaps our letters and phone calls to our representatives and senators do help! Now if our story just falls on willing ears. I have been talking about the ongoing discussion on the common herbicide atrazine. I just read something that highlights the heavy handed tactics of our government and the EPA that worries me. Jere White of the Kansas Corn Growers Association, was testifying about EPA’s rush to conduct yet another review of the safety of atrazine during a hearing of the Senate Agriculture Committee in Washington. He testified in support of atrazine, sharing concerns over trial attorney harassment of stakeholders. The very next day, activist attorneys sought and obtained subpoenas against Kansas Corn (Growers Association), Kansas Sorghum (Producers) and Mr. White personally. That really throws up a red flag to me. Meanwhile, in Washington, this re-review barrels on like a runaway train and farmers and people like me are left to conclude that what we are witnessing here is not science-driven, but merely politics and agendas. There is some good political news in this arena. The “Representation for Farmers Act”, (a bi-partisan bill) that has been introduced in the Senate. This bill would give the Secretary of Agriculture the authority to appoint up to three members to the EPA’s Science Advisory Board. Currently the board has 50 members, none of which have an agricultural background. The bill is designed to make sure American farmers are represented in the decision-making process for environmental policies and regulations that could impact agriculture. Now that is a novel and welcome idea. Also of interest and hope, the Rural America Solutions Group, hosted a forum last week entitled, “The EPA’s Assault on Rural America: How New Regulations and Proposed Legislation are Stifling Job Creation and Economic Growth.” Experts from across the country discussed EPA regulations and provided real-life examples of how these regulations and related legislation have affected their work, families, and communities. The forum discussed EPA’s zero tolerance standards for pesticide spray drift which many consider unachievable; attempts to double the current regulatory standard on farm dust which would make tilling a field, operating a feedlot, or driving a farm vehicle nearly impossible; new hazardous emission regulations for stationary irrigation vehicles, and an unprecedented ban on the pesticide Atrazine, which could cost nearly 50,000 agriculture-related jobs if put into effect. No one disputes the need or desire for clean air and water, bountiful habitat and healthy landscapes, but at some point, which I believe we are getting dangerously close to, regulatory burdens on farmers and ranchers will hinder rather than help them become better stewards of the land and more bountiful producers of food, fiber and fuel. Remember that the farmer is the “Original Environmentalist”. Keep the faith and keep contacting your legislators. It may save your farm! The preceding information comes from the research and personal observations of the writer which may or may not reflect the views of UNL or UNL Extension. For more further information on these or other topics contact D. A. Lienemann, UNL Extension Educator for Webster County in Red Cloud, (402) 746-3417 or email to: or go to the website at:

State Range Judging Held at Red Cloud

Over 375 students, and an additional 20 adults, and professionals competed in the 2010 State Range Judging Contest held near Red Cloud on September 29th. Over 40 volunteers representing the Nebraska Section-Society for Range Management; University of Nebraska Extension-Webster County; USDA - Natural Resources Conservation Service, Farm Service Agency, and Twin Valley RC&D; as well as the Lower Republican Natural Resources District helped conduct and score the contest. The State contest followed six Area range judging contests that were held earlier across Nebraska around mid September. At these contests the participants test their skills in plant identification, plant characteristics, range site and condition determinations as well as solving range management questions. Educational programs on UNL Range Education, Willa Cather Prairie, and the Republican River Water Project were presented during the time between the contest and the results. Engraved plaques and ribbons are awarded to the top performers at each contest. Freshman and sophomore students competed in the Junior Division. There were 45 teams and over 180 individuals competing in that division. The top individual was Cole Gibbens of West Holt High School at Atkinson. The top Junior team was also from West Holt High School and consisted of Cole Gibbens, Dylan Laible, Daniel Frickel and Marcus Marcellus. Chase County Imperial High School placed second followed by Ord High School and then Burwell High School. Locally, Superior High School teams got 12th and 25th with Red Cloud coming in 14th. Blue Hill teams finished 19th, 32nd and 41st respectively. Individually, top placings from Red Cloud included: Jacob Nikodym placed 25th and Tanner Rupprect 34th. Blue Hill; Chase Golter 46th and Maci Coffee 64th. Superior; Lauren Rempe 32nd, Gavin Caldwell 51st, Trent Richardson 55th, and Casey Shipman 66th. The Senior Division competition was open to 11th and 12th graders. There were 46 teams and 177 individuals competing in the Senior division. The top individual scorer was Johnny Ference of Ord High School. In the Senior team competition, Ord took first team honors. The winning team consisted of Johnny Ference, Kris Hornickel, Christie Schauer and Tom Krcilek. Sargent High School came in second, followed by West Holt and Diller Odell. Locally, Superior High School came in 7th, 16th and 27th respectively. Blue Hill placed 30th and 33rd while Red Cloud placed 32nd. Individually, Bethany Brittenham from Superior placed 3rd and received a $500 scholarship from CASNR. Erin Kinley from Blue Hill placed 8th and also received a $500 scholarship. Others placing highly were: Victoria Simonson (39th), Rebecca Genung (41st), Andrew Brinnenham (53rd) and Justin Petsch (57th) all from Superior. First place in the Professional Division went to David Gibbens of Atkinson with Kevin Wetovick from Fullerton taking 2nd. Melissa Bonifas from Blue Hill placed 8th. In addition to the annual sponsorship by the Nebraska Section-Society for Range Management, this year’s contest was sponsored by University of Nebraska Cooperative Extension-Webster County, USDA - Natural Resources Conservation Service, and the Lower Republican

USDA announces voluntary Public Access and Habitat Incentive Program

WASHINGTON, Oct 4, 2010 –Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced that 17 state public access programs will receive grants totaling $11.76 million through the Voluntary Public Access and Habitat Incentive Program (VPA-HIP). The state programs were selected from 28 applications vying for the competitive VPA-HIP grants program that was announced July 8, 2010. "This administration is committed to preserving and enhancing the great conservation legacy of our nation’s hunters and anglers for the benefit of current and future generations," Vilsack said. “VPA-HIP will help achieve conservation goals and increase opportunities for hunting, fishing and other outdoor recreation by providing greater access to privately held lands and we are excited to assist these 17 states in developing new and enhancing existing public access and habitat incentive programs." The 17 states and their grant amounts are: Arizona - $600,000 Colorado - $445,318 Idaho - $400,000 Illinois - $525,250 Iowa - $500,000 Kansas - $1,500,000 Kentucky - $651,515 Michigan - $457,449 Minnesota - $582,367 Nebraska - $1,091,164 North Dakota - $300,000 Oregon - $786,795 Pennsylvania - $1,500,000 South Dakota - $558,325 Utah - $84,837 Washington - $836,999 Wisconsin - $936,040. The Voluntary Public Access and Habitat Incentive Program incentivizes owners and operators of privately held farm, ranch and forest land to voluntarily give hunters, fishermen, hikers, bird watchers and other recreational outdoor enthusiasts access to land for their enjoyment. Program funds were made available to states and tribal governments through a competitive process. Eligible states and tribal governments could request funding for existing public access programs, to create new public access programs, or to provide incentives to improve wildlife habitat on enrolled lands. VPA-HIP funds may be used to provide rental payments and other incentives, such as technical or conservation services to landowners who, in return, provide the public access to their land. Funding priority was given to proposals that use the grant money to address these objectives: Maximize participation by landowners; Ensure that land enrolled in the program has appropriate wildlife habitat; Provide incentives to strengthen wildlife habitat improvement efforts on Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP) land, if available; Supplement funding and services from other federal, state, tribal government or private resources that is provided in the form of cash or in-kind services; and Inform the public about the location of public access land. FSA will open the grant application period for fiscal year 2011 funding after publication of a final rule. It is anticipated that the grant application period for states and tribal governments will occur in the late fall of 2010. For more information on VPA-HIP and other FSA programs, visit USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer and lender. To file a complaint of discrimination, write: USDA, Director, Office of Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Ave., SW, Washington, D.C. 20250-9410 or call toll-free at (866) 632-9992 (English) or (800) 877-8339 (TDD) or (866) 377-8642 (English Federal-relay) or (800) 845-6136 (Spanish Federal-relay). .

Monday, October 4, 2010

Quote of the Day

" Maturity begins to grow when you sense your concern for others outweighing your concern for yourself" John McNaughton