Saturday, November 27, 2010

Mike Johanns Thanksgiving

From year to year our Thanksgiving feasts reflect both the changes and constancy in our lives. Times may be tough, but we can always look across the table at family and friends, and put into words and laughs our gratitude and happiness. I for one am particularly thankful this year to be a Nebraskan. As our country and the world continue to recover from an international recession, Nebraska has emerged as a leader and a shining example. Our unemployment rate remains less than half of the national average and second-lowest in the country. We are projected to increase jobs and payroll next year by 1.3 percent, seventh in the country. And the Cornhusker State continues to help set the standard for agriculture – ag will account for 6.8 percent of state GDP, third-largest in the country. These statistics are far from just a happy coincidence. They help paint a picture of a state that prides itself on hard work and common sense. Through your letters and emails to me, I know Nebraskans are informed, passionate, and committed to making our state, our country, and the world a better place. In Nebraska, the word "neighbor" describes not a geographical distinction but a relationship. Nebraskans safely rely on each other knowing they themselves would just as easily return the favor. This belief in individuals, families and communities is reflected in the local leaders Nebraskans elect and those who emerge through their own hard work. Statewide, our public servants and business owners make common sense decisions to improve and protect our long term future. They have the wisdom to make tough decisions and spend within their means. The Nebraska workforce and ag producers sustain a healthy economy and relationships predicated on common kindness. The pragmatism we've grown so accustomed to in Nebraska is beginning to take hold in Washington. Less than a year after I announced my opposition to the Congressional earmark process, support has increased for a resolution to ban them and cut down on wasteful spending. And after the November election, momentum is already moving back toward a government that taxes less and encourages the entrepreneurial spirit with which Nebraskans are so familiar. The thanks we give this year will bring great relief after a challenging year. We can happily count our blessings knowing that soon we will all be back at work for each other, that our engagement helps our state excel, and that our state continues to shape our country. The things for which we owe thanks differ from year to year, but our gratitude and commitment to our neighbors and to our great state will always remain on Thanksgiving.

Governor Dave Heineman

November 24, 2010 Dear Fellow Nebraskans: Today I want to provide an update on Nebraska’s P-16 Initiative that is working to strengthen our education system in Nebraska from preschool through high school and four years of college. I serve as chair of the P-16 Initiative with four key state education leaders serving as co-chairs, including: State Sen. Greg Adams, Chairman of the Legislature’s Education Committee, Dr. Roger Breed, Commissioner of the Nebraska Department of Education, University of Nebraska President James B. Milliken, and Liz Koop, President and CEO of EducationQuest Foundation. We have developed the following eight goals that will guide our work to strengthen education in Nebraska. Adopt a college and career preparation core curriculum that requires four years of English and three years each of math, science and social studies in Nebraska school districts by the 2014-15 school year. Eliminate the academic achievement gap between Nebraska’s K-12 Caucasian students and its African American, Hispanic, and Native American students. Develop an effective longitudinal data system which provides information on the Nebraska educational system from preschool through post-graduate degree attainment and entry into the workforce to help align resources with strategic goals. Attain a high school graduation rate of 90 percent or higher in every Nebraska high school. Improve Nebraska’s college-going rank to the Top 10 tier nationally. Provide affordable access for Nebraska students to attend Nebraska’s postsecondary institutions. Improve time to degree completion and increase graduation rates of Nebraska’s postsecondary institutions. Provide all students with the science, technology and math skills to succeed in postsecondary education and the 21st Century workforce. Earlier this year we accomplished the first goal when the State Board of Education approved the first update to high school graduation requirements in 25 years. While we are working on each of the seven remaining goals, our focus is to improve high school graduation rates and college attendance for Nebraska students. This fall my fellow P-16 co-chairs and I toured the state encouraging students and families to visit a college campus as they think about college and begin making plans for life after high school. Visiting a campus up close and in person can be especially important in changing the perceptions of students who don’t think they are a good fit for college. These are issues that other states are addressing as well. This year governors are involved in an initiative known as ‘Compete to Complete.’ It’s focused on encouraging more Americans to complete college degrees. In early December, I will be attending a conference in Charlottesville, Va. to talk about raising the bar for higher education with university and college presidents and other education leaders. We will be examining ways to improve higher education while also helping colleges and universities operate more efficiently in order to maximize resources during tight economic times. These are issues that impact Nebraska and all states. We are fortunate to have a team of committed leaders working to address these issues in Nebraska, and I look forward to sharing some of our successes and hearing the ideas of others who face these challenges. Dave Heineman

Red Cross to Deliver Holiday Cards to Troops, Veterans

WASHINGTON, DC-Rep. Adrian Smith (R-NE) today announced the American Red Cross will again deliver holiday cards to American military personnel, veterans, and their families across the country and around the world. Smith's offices in Scottsbluff and Grand Island will again serve as collection points for constituents to drop off postage free cards. The Red Cross and Pitney Bowes will sort and package the cards and deliver them to military bases, veterans' hospitals, and other locations in the U.S. and abroad during the holidays. Last year, the Red Cross's Service to the Armed Forces staff and volunteers delivered more than 1 million cards for military men and women and their families. Cards should be sent to: Holiday Mail for Heroes P.O. Box 5456 Capitol Heights, MD 20791-5456 Postage free cards may also be dropped off at either of Smith's district offices.To ensure cards reach their destination, the following guidelines apply: All cards should be postmarked or dropped off to Smith's offices no later than Thursday, December 9, 2010. Participants are encouraged to limit the number of cards they submit to 15 from any one person or 50 from any one class or group. If mailing a large quantity, cards should be bundled and placed in large mailing envelopes. Each card does not need its own envelope or postage. All cards should be signed. Cards should be addressed to: "Dear Servicemember, family or veteran". Cards may not contain inserts, glitter, monetary gifts, photos, personal letters, or e-mail or home addresses. "This holiday season, we have a chance to show our support for the men and women who have sacrificed so much for our country. Let's all help make the holidays a wonderful time for our troops," Smith said.

Quote of the Day

"Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life....It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend." -Melody Beattie, American Author

Straight from the Horses Mouth

Duane A. Lienemann,

UNL Extension Educator,

Webster County

November 26, 2010 Edition We were sitting for lunch at Thramer’s Deli the other day in Blue Hill and the discussion at the table turned to Thanksgiving and why many of us get really sleepy after eating the traditional Thanksgiving feast. I was pretty sure that I knew the answer, but wanted to confirm it. I thought at the time that would be a good topic to address in a future column, and this seems like the perfect time to discuss it, as we all are recovering from the first of seasonal gluttony. First of all I have to admit that it doesn’t really matter what kind of food it is for me, it seems that after any large meal the gut seems to pull down the eyelids and I am looking for a place to lay down or at least sit down with my head back – and you probably know what happens next! Now that may simply come with the larger gut of an older man, but more likely is due simply to age and all that goes with it. That doesn’t seem very science-based so I did do a little research, and it is as I had remembered from the old microbiology classes about turkey containing a sedative ---but with some caveats. Turkey does have the makings of a natural sedative in i­t, it is actually an amino acid called “L-tryptophan” which is an essential amino acid, meaning that the body can't manufacture it. The body has to get tryptophan and other essential amino acids from food. Tryptophan helps the body produce the B-vitamin “Niacin”, which, ­in turn, helps the body produce “Serotonin and Melatonin”, neurotransmitters that exert a calming effect and regulates sleep. These remarkable chemicals act as calming agents in the brain and play a key role in sleep. So you might think that if you eat a lot of turkey, your body would produce more serotonin and you would feel calm and want a nap. Well it isn’t quite that simple. Even though the turkey is often cited as the culprit in after-dinner lethargy, the truth is that you could omit the bird altogether and still feel the effects of the feast. Many other foods, such as beef, beans and milk actually have higher concentrations of the amino acid. The truth is that L-tryptophan needs to be taken on an empty stomach and without any other amino acids or protein in order to make you drowsy. There's lots of protein in a serving of turkey and it's probably not the only food on the table. L-tryptophan may be found in turkey and other dietary proteins, but it's actually a carbohydrate-rich (as opposed to protein-rich) meal that increases the level of this amino acid in the brain and leads to serotonin synthesis. Carbohydrates stimulate the pancreas to secrete insulin. When this occurs, some amino acids that compete with tryptophan leave the bloodstream and enter muscle cells. This causes an increase in the relative concentration of tryptophan in the bloodstream. Serotonin is synthesized and you feel that familiar sleepy feeling. I would imagine that we probably will find some fat content in our Thanksgiving feast. They too play a part. Fats slow down the digestive system, giving Thanksgiving dinner plenty of time to take effect. Fats also take a lot of energy to digest, so the body will redirect blood to your digestive system to tackle the job. Since you have less blood-flow elsewhere, you will feel less energetic after eating a meal rich in fats. Some feasts include some alcoholic beverages, especially it seems when football is part of the equation. That is especially true this year when we get to see former Husker, Ndamukong Suh, play in the traditional Detroit Lions Thanksgiving Day game. Don’t forget the college games that have also become a part of the culture in America, including our beloved Huskers. Now here is where that could come into play. It seems we like to further relax to watch the games with alcohol beverage in hand. Alcohol is a central nervous system depressant. If alcoholic beverages are part of the holiday celebration, then they will add to the nap-factor. I have a suspicion however that overeating is a large part of the over-all sleepiness syndrome. After all, the average Thanksgiving meal contains 3,000 calories and 229 grams of fat. I actually thought it would be more than that. It actually takes a great deal of energy to digest a large meal. Most scientists think that there's a different reason why eating a special meal might make you drowsy. Eating a big Thanksgiving dinner causes increased blood flow to the stomach (needed to help digest the meal) and less blood flow to the brain. When your stomach is full, blood is directed away from other organ systems, including your nervous system. The result?.... You will feel the need to snooze after any big meal, particularly if it is high in fats and carbohydrates. There is some good news in all of this even if the original thought of Trytophan being a good sedative. There is a way to take advantage of the tryptophan in turkey. If you have trouble getting to sleep some night while there's still leftover turkey in the refrigerator, you could have a late snack of turkey and that, nutritionists say, might be the right amount of tryptophan on an empty stomach to help produce some serotonin. The real benefit of turkey may actually be in the left-overs used after you are hungry again. So perhaps we just need to cook an extra big turkey. Although many people, including my wife, find the holidays stressful, the most relaxing part of the festivities is likely to be the meal. No matter what you may have been doing throughout the day, Thanksgiving dinner provides an opportunity to sit back and relax -- a feeling that can carry over after the meal. So, why are you sleepy after a big turkey dinner? It's a combination of the type of food, amount of food, and celebratory atmosphere. I hope all of you had a very Happy Thanksgiving! Gosh I hope there is some left-over turkey in the frig! 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:

Jean Bentz 1928-2010

Jean Bentz, 82, died Thursday November 25th, Thanksgiving day, at the Blue Hill Care Center in Blue Hill. There will be not services. The remains were cremated. A private family burial will be at a later date at Blue Hill Cemetery. Memorials may be given to Blue Hill Public Library Friends Foundation, c/o Barbara Novak, 19135 South Pawnee Ave., Lawrence, Ne 68957. Jean was born on November 8, 1928 to Joseph and Laura (Berns) Dusek at Bladen, Nebraska. She married T. Woodson (Woody) Bentz on May 9, 1954, in Blue Hill. She was active in the Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts and 4-H. She was a former member of the Blue Hill Home Improvement Club. She was also a member of the Board of Directors of the Blue Hill Public Library Friends Foundation. She is survived by one daughter, Barbara Novak and husband Larry of Lawrence, one son, Richard and his wife Marilyn of Ft. Smith, Arkansaw; three sisters, Lorrie Pike and husband Harold of Fairbury, Leona Yelenics of Independence, Mo., Dr. Dorothy E Susek of Winter Park, Colorado; two brothers Donald Dusek of Cottonwood, Arizona, Vernon "Bud" Dusek and wife Connie of Denver Colorado; one brother -in law Keith Matthews of Blue Springs, Nebraska; one aunt, Frances (Berns) Sidlo of Blue Hill; two grandchildren, Amy Novak of Wood River, Theodore J. Novak and wife Joan of Rapid City, South Dakota, three great grandsons, Hayden, Phillip and Stuart. She was preceded in death by her parents; husband; one sister Moneta Mathews.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Quote of the Day

You cannot help the poor by destroying the rich. You cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong. You cannot bring about prosperity by discouraging thrift. You cannot lift the wage earner up by pulling the wage payer down. You cannot further the brotherhood of man by inciting class hatred You cannot build character and courage by taking away people's initiative and independence. You cannot help people permanently by doing for them, what they could and should do for themselves. Abraham Lincoln

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Open Forum

Open Forum is your chance to comment on breaking news or ask a question -- on any issue. Any topic is fair game, although Blue Hill Today's comment policies still apply. (see bottom of left hand column.).Go ahead and sound off on anything. News, sports, weather, current events, government, social events. We are listening .A new Open Forum link may be re-posted every Monday (or there abouts) to keep it towards the top of the recent posts .Of course, your completed news article, news information, pictures, story idea, or suggestions to improve this site can still be sent to Blue Hill Today by e-mailing us at

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Johanns Offers 1099 Repeal that Doesn't Increase Deficit

November 17, 2010 WASHINGTON Sen. Mike Johanns (R-Neb.) today continued his effort to repeal the burdensome 1099 tax paperwork mandate embedded within the new health care law. Johanns reintroduced the Small Business Paperwork Reduction Act and will ask all Senators to agree to it. It eliminates Section 9006 of the new health care law requiring all businesses to file 1099 tax forms for business transactions totaling $600 more in a year. The bill is deficit-neutral, offset by unspent and unobligated federal dollars. "Momentum behind this repeal has been building since I first introduced it in July," Johanns said. "We've heard businesses say this will bury them in costly paperwork; we've heard a division of the IRS say it will lead to an increase in tax penalty errors; and we've heard the President himself call the mandate counterproductive. Now is the time to demonstrate to the American people and small businesses that common sense is returning to Washington and we mean what we say. This legislation could and should pass today." Background: • Section 9006 of the health care law mandates that every business, charity, and local and state government entity submit 1099 forms for business transactions totaling $600 or more in a given year. The new mandate adds routine business expenses like phone, office products, shipping costs and increases businesses' reporting requirements by as much as 2,000 percent. • Johanns introduced legislation on July 14, 2010 and proposed an amendment to the Small Business Jobs Act on September 15, 2010 that would have fully repealed the requirement. • Johanns' leadership on 1099 repeal: o Johanns Leads Push To Repeal Health Care Law's Paperwork Mandate – 7/14/10 o 1099 Amendment Gaining Bipartisan Support – 8/5/10 o Johanns: 1099 Alternative Punishes Job Creators, Hitting Thousands Of Small Businesses – 8/6/10 o Johanns: Small Business Bill Misses Critical Opportunity, Includes Additional 1099 Mandates – 9/16/10

Nebraskans want Congress Focused on Jobs, Taxes and Debt Reduction.

November 17, 2010 – Today, Nebraska’s Senator Ben Nelson issued these comments after voting against measures to move forward with Senate debate on food safety and employee pay legislation. “When I traveled across Nebraska during the congressional break Nebraskans told me loud and clear that my focus in this lame duck session should be on jobs, tax cuts and debt reduction. I listened, I heard and those are my priorities,” Senator Nelson said. “A lot of other important bills have and may come up in the next few weeks concerning defense policy, a new nuclear arms treaty with Russia, immigration, food safety and more. While those should be addressed and they will be addressed, now is not the time as far as I’m concerned. “The hundreds of Nebraskans I met with in recent weeks from North Platte to South Sioux City, Omaha to the Sandhills didn’t bring those issues up. Only one person brought up anything on immigration. “What I heard was this: Nebraska families and businesses want all of the tax cuts that expire on December 31st extended at least for a couple of years. With our still shaky economy, they want continuity, consistency and clarity. I’ve read that businesses are sitting on $1 trillion in cash. That money could be invested overseas if we play politics and don’t provide certainty soon. “Nebraskans also want Washington to create jobs and to protect jobs they still have. I couldn’t agree more. “And Nebraskans want Washington to cut the nearly $14 trillion federal debt that is a drag on our economy and a danger for our country’s future. “Everything else can wait, they told me, and I agree with them.”

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Stuff your Holiday Menu with Helpful Food Safety Tips

The Thanksgiving feast traditionally marks the beginning of the holiday season. FSIS has a few pointers to ensure that your turkey (chicken, goose, or other poultry) is cooked safely. Turkey’s most constant accompaniment, stuffing, requires the same food safety caution in its preparation as the bird itself. Bread stuffing, stuffing made from cornbread or rice, stuffing cooked inside the bird or browned in a casserole, or any other variation that your family likes is safest when prepared just before cooking. The dry and wet ingredients for stuffing can be prepared separately ahead of time and chilled, but not mixed until time to cook. The stuffing should be moist, not dry, because heat destroys bacteria more rapidly in a moist environment. Baking stuffing outside the turkey in a casserole dish is the safest method and provides busy cooks with more flexibility to prepare ahead. Never stuff poultry with frozen or pre-cooked stuffing! When needed, cook frozen or pre-baked stuffing to a safe internal temperature of 165 °F before serving. When preparing Thanksgiving foods, take a minute to step back, make sure you have a food thermometer, and plan ahead so that you can fully and safely enjoy this holiday menu. Check out more helpful tips at Sheets/Lets_Talk_Turkey/index.asp.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Mason James Brenn

Mason James Brenn was born November 3, 2010 at Mary Lanning Memorial Hospital in Hastings, Nebraska. He is the son of Greg and Katie (Burken) Brenn. Mason weighed 6 pounds and five ounces and was 19 inches long. He is the grandson of Mary and Roger Burken.


Duane A. Lienemann,
UNL Extension Educator, Webster County November 12, 2010 Edition Last week I commented on how lack of late summer and fall moisture not only reflects itself in the condition and quality of our stored beans and corn, it reflects on our hard red winter wheat, fall forages and pastures. Let’s take a look at those this week as well as some other factors we need to discuss. As I write this we are getting some moisture. I know a lot of us were hoping for a 2-4” two week rain, knowing full well that it was a long shot at best. But hey, we will take this little shot of moisture. It at least helps settle the dust, of which we have seen plenty of this Fall. Winter Wheat Condition: We in South Central Nebraska are not much different that a large portion of the primary Hard Red Wheat Belt. If you go walk through the wheat fields you will notice that these fields show varied degrees of decreased greenness, growth and even emergence. We had great wheat planting weather and even had corn, soybean and milo harvest out of the way early allowing for timely planting. So why do we have problems showing up in the wheat? First of all I think we can blame the scorching hot summer temperatures followed by Mother Nature turning down the spigot in the month and a half to two months leading up to planting of the 2011 winter wheat crop. Combining with the lower than normal emergence percentages, the wheat health/quality and seedling emergence is significantly degraded over the average vegetation conditions. What it comes down to is that we needed rain, and unfortunately we needed it a lot earlier that right now. Don’t get me wrong, this is a nice reprieve, but we will have to see if it is timely enough and gives us enough quantity to save or at least give this year’s wheat crop a chance to get started. I am always reminded of my grandfather’s sage wisdom on wheat. He always maintained that “Wheat has 9 lives – like a cat”. More times than not, he has been proven right, but that really doesn’t make me worry any less about the potential for severe damage out in the fields. I guess we will see what the weather does and what this all looks like early next spring. I think you may want to write on you calendar to go look at it though. There may be some decisions to be made next spring! Range, Pasture & Hay Land Condition: I also urge you to remember that wheat is not the lone vegetation: Range and pastureland for winter forage is of poorer than normal conditions right now. I am certain all of you noticed the quick decline in the pasture and hay ground conditions and even the cracks that were showing up in these pastures and hay fields. That is never good, unless you use the adage that “cracks allow moisture to enter the ground”. I for one would rather not see those cracks or diminished quality of grass as it enters the dormant stage. The last month is critical time for grass, forbs and legumes to store up nutrients for next years growth and help. I just wonder if we got there. I understand also that the soils in the fields are really hard this year and that even putting in the anhydrous knives for fall fertilizing is a bit of a challenge. I think that probably tells us a lot. You may want to remember these conditions as we go into next Spring. Weather Considerations: On another anomaly that probably is affecting our weather that we might want to keep track of, is the status of the current La Niña event in the equatorial Pacific, and perhaps consider its potential ramifications on the 2011 cropping/grazing year-- especially as producers make their management strategies for next year. Word has it that this will be a warmer and dryer winter than normal which may be also that we will be coming into next spring on the short end of moisture. We are rapidly approaching the time frame where the moisture is white colored. I would rather have that slow 3” rain, but if Mother Nature follows it’s Nebraska demeanor it would not surprise me to see it come in that fluffy form, which leads me to another thought. How does all of this weather affect the health of our livestock? Dust and Livestock: I would imagine that anyone who has dry-lotted weaning calves or cull cows, or for that matter other livestock, that you have noticed the haze around them. If you haven’t noticed the dust, it is likely you have noticed the coughing or hacking, the mattered or weeping eyes, and snotty noses of these cattle. It would not surprise me if we have a little dust pneumonia going on. Now that can be normal under normal conditions, but these are not normal conditions and this really needs to be watched. With this going on already and the body under stress, I think it could be an accident waiting products. The publication is available @ Just click on “Publications”, or you can request a printed copy from the Nebraska Corn Board. You might also contact your local UNL Extension office. Now - let it rain!!.......
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:

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Blue Hill Volunteer Fire Department sees Action

The Blue Hill Volunteer Fire Department was called out Tuesday afternoon to a fire in Charlie Pavelka's corn stalks near Blue Hill. Approximately six members of the department responded to the call. The fire was caused by a over heated bearing in a combine owned by Pavelka. Sparks from the over heated bearing ignited corn stalks. Approximately 15 acres of corn stalks were burned. The corn in the field had already been harvested. The extremely dry weather conditions have contributed to several fires calls to the Blue Hill volunteer department in the last weeks.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Chloe Kay Gatch

Chloe Kay Gatch was born October 18, 2010 in Kingsland, GA to Tiffany and Judson Gatch. The little girl weighed 7 pounds and 13 ounces. she was 20 1/2 inches long. She has a brother Judson "JJ" to welcome her home. Grandparents are Jerry and Hilarie (Alber) Haack (former Blue Hill residents) and Judson and Mary Gatch of Beaufort, South Carolina. Great grandparents are Sylvia Alber of Blue Hill, Jerry Haack of Aurora, Ne . Chloe was baptized at Holy Trinity Lutheran church in Kingsland Ga. on Sunday November 7th.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Johanns Counters Latest Pipeline Claims

November 4, 2010 WASHINGTON Sen. Mike Johanns today sent a letter to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton directly addressing statements opposing the consideration of additional alternative routes for the Keystone XL pipeline proposed by TransCanada Corporation. Johanns also reiterated his request for a Supplemental Draft Environmental Impact Statement. “TransCanada seems to be arguing that the shortest route is best, yet the route they propose is not the shortest route from the oil’s source to its destination, nor is it the shortest route through the U.S.,” said Johanns. “I find it striking that TransCanada contends the U.S. government should approve this route because it impacts fewer Canadian landowners and less Canadian land. The United States Department of State should examine the environmental impact in our country. The shortest route through the U.S. has not yet been examined and the State Department has an obligation to do so.” On November 3, 2010, TransCanada Corporation sent a letter to the State Department and issued a news release contending that because the proposed Keystone XL route is the shortest route, no further analysis is necessary under U.S. law. However, TransCanada fails to acknowledge that the proposed route impacts more U.S. land (and less Canadian land) than the existing Keystone pipeline. Because the proposed route is not the shortest route through the United States and the Draft Environmental Impact Statement concludes that the shortest route would “have the least overall environmental impact,” the State Department should be compelled to conduct a Supplemental Draft Environmental Impact Statement. A copy of the letter can be found here.


Duane A. Lienemann,
UNL Extension Educator, Webster County November 5, 2010 Edition A year ago we were worried about the condition of both soybeans and corn in the bins, if we even had them in the bin because they were too wet! It always amazes me what a difference a year can make. I do not ever remember a fall like this one. It is wonderful for harvesting, putting up electric fence for stalk grazing (although I hear that is not an easy task this year – too dry and hard), and really nice for weaning off those spring calves. Along with the very nice climate has been a very noticeable lack of moisture. By the time area farmers began harvesting their soybeans this fall the moisture level was below 12% and was plummeting, a far cry from last year. The warm dry weather that we experienced sucked the moisture out of soybean pods like a thirsty cow at a stock tank. Typically, farmers avoided harvesting beans in the morning when stems are tougher, but that was the only time of day when the old moisture tester could get any reading out of the sample. We are past that, they are in the bin, what now? Most of the time you are concerned about keeping humidity out of the grain, but that is not a concern in this case. We actually have a lot of beans in the bin under 8% of moisture (I have heard of some as low as 6%), and that could give us some problems down the road. Maintaining soybean quality, particularly including an effort to keep them whole and avoid splitting, is an important function of storage and handling. While your soybeans may be stable right now in the bin, you may be holding your breath to ensure they remain that way. Overly dry soybeans will have a tendency to split and will certainly cost you money when they cross the scale when you decide to ship them. One of your priorities may be to recondition the beans, but keep in mind that adding liquid water to soybeans is a violation of federal law. Not that anybody at the local coffee shop or watering hole has mentioned that. The main thing if even it is in jest, don’t go there. However, that being said, it is possible to increase the moisture in your stored beans over time to recondition them and reduce potential deterioration from splitting. Now of course, Mother Nature will have to lend a helping hand and give us some humidity. If your beans are less than 10% moisture, any humidity above 55% will help add moisture. The best bet is air of 65 to 70% humidity. That may be helped with use of the fan during night hours when humidity is higher, and with a timer on your fan. Most specialists will warn again excessive rewetting through conditioning. Since beans will swell with moisture, too much will jeopardize the bottom rings of your bin and could have detrimental affects on your stored grain. You may want to remember however that it is a slow tedious process, but I do think it will pay off on your settlement sheet. Please be aware that reconditioning time depends primarily on airflow per bushel and weather conditions. It is fastest when airflow per bushel is high and air is warm and humid. Reconditioning will be most successful in a bin equipped as a drying bin - one that has a full perforated floor and a fan that can deliver at least 0.75 cfm/bu. Even with this airflow, it would probably take at least a month of fan operation to move a rewetting front all the way through the bin. If it is available, use a bin equipped with stirring equipment. If stirring equipment is not available, consider transferring the beans to another bin to mix the wet and dry layers if you have both conditions. Consider using timers, humidistats, programmable controllers, or some other type of automatic control to limit fan operation to weather conditions that will cause rewetting. As we approach winter you may want to keep the reconditioned beans cool (20 to 30°F is the suggested winter storage temperature in Nebraska) to reduce chances of spoilage. Speaking of spoilage, watch carefully for signs of moldy beans and for excessive stress on the bin. And keep in mind that you can't run the fan continuously because in a typical fall, continuous fan operation would result in drying rather than rewetting. Attempts to use storage bins equipped with low-airflow aeration systems to recondition crops are usually not very successful - mainly because it just takes too long to move the rewetting front very far into the bin. In my mind the best route is to use common sense and what nature provides. I have received several questions about immature, frosted, or green-colored beans with some of the late planted or longer season beans and with the frost that hit a couple of weeks ago. In the case when frost kills soybean plants before the seeds are fully mature, make sure you remove as much chaff and green plant material as possible when binning the beans. Immature beans can be stored without significant molding, but concentrations of green chaff can lead to heating in storage. Although it is commonly stated that green soybeans will eventually turn yellow in storage, the color change is actually pretty minimal. It might still be worthwhile to store green soybeans for a few months after harvest though, to avoid the high discounts that are applied in years when large quantities of green beans are delivered during harvest. Just make sure that any green beans going into storage are clean, evenly distributed throughout the bin, and cooled as soon as possible after harvest. The lack of late summer and fall moisture not only reflects itself in the condition and quality of our stored beans and corn, it reflects on our hard red winter wheat, fall forages and pastures. We will explore that next week. Don’t forget to turn your clocks. Let’s see – spring ahead, fall back! Could it really be that time of year? 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:

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Blue Hill Bobcats meet Cambridge Trojans

Season Over for Blue Hill Second round playoffs Final Score Cambridge 22 Blue Hill 0 Half time score Cambridge 14 Blue Hill 0

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Election Results November 2, 2010

In the election held November 2, 2010, Three hundred and thirty registered voters in Blue Hill turned out to vote. This was 42% of the 787 total registered voters. . With the ballots counted the election results are as follows FOR BLUE HILL SCHOOL BOARD Elected top three Jim Mackin 280 Jennifer Reiman 254 Tom Schmidt 187 Robert Willicott 157 Rick Myers 129       FOR BLUE HILL CITY COUNCIL (Elect 3) Leland Ostdiek 165 Rochelle Seeman 152 James D. Johnson 135 Arlo Kranau 133 John (Jack) Mohlman 61 Albert Gray 57       FOR BLUE HILL CITY MAYOR Keri Schunk 205   Three hundred and thirty voters turned out 787 registered voters 42% of registered voters voted. Webster County Government to see all the elections results for Webster County click on the Webster County Government link on this blog and then go to Election results.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Quote of the Day

"Pain insists upon being attended to. God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our consciences, but shouts in our pains. It is his megaphone to rouse a deaf world." --C.S. Lewis