Monday, August 31, 2015

September Birthdays

Best wishes to these Past and Present  Blue Hill area residents on their special day.
September 1 Rick Hubl, Mildred Siebrass & LaRae Schunk
September 2 Susan Danehey
September 3 Zeb Webber, Michael Reiman, Oma Tuck
September 3 Nancy Kort & James Johnson & Maverick Busboom
September 4 Dale Harrifeld
September 5 Allyn Judd
September 6 Paul Stoner
September 7 Phyllis  Alber Austin
September 8 Mark Norvel
September 9 Alan Schmidt
September 10 Brady Karr
September 11 Debbie Ostdick Lane
September12 Lacy Grace Meyer
September 13 Keith Piel
September 14 Alice Corner,Valarie Gray, & Wilson Alber
September 15 LaDonna Jesske & Justin Curtis
September 17 Keith Kort & Connie Lienemann
September 18 Allyssa Willicot
September 19 Jeff Mohlman & Kelsey Snieder
September 20 Cindy VanBoening
September 23 Afton Alber & Ashley Olsen
September 24 Audrey Piel
September 25 Marilyn Skarin  RIP
September 27 Shirley Barton
September 28 Pam Karr
September 29 Brandon Meyer

It's Our Water

Senator Deb Fischer


It was set to happen. The Obama administration’s rule to expand federal control over water in Nebraska and all across the country was supposed to go into effect on August 28. Thankfully, a federal judge intervened. 
Some of you may be unfamiliar with this new policy change, which will expand the definition of “waters of the United States” (WOTUS) under the Clean Water Act. Through this rule, known as WOTUS, the federal government can now regulate almost any water, from prairie potholes to farm ditches and everything in between. This is federal overreach at an absurd new level.
But on August 27, hours before the rule would go live, a temporary injunction was issued by U.S. District Court Judge Ralph Erickson of North Dakota. For now, Nebraska is one of 13 states exempted from the rule.
Since this proposal was announced in 2014, I have been a vocal opponent. The reason is simple: the negative and far-reaching impacts will harm the lives of all Nebraskans. I have led multiple efforts to enhance public input on this rule. Additionally, I have pushed for answers from the EPA regarding overreaching federal jurisdiction and cumbersome burdens from the rule’s costly permitting requirements.
In March, I held a Senate Environment and Public Works Committee field hearing on WOTUS in Lincoln. We heard from local community and business leaders about the specific impacts on our economy and the harm to Nebraska families. One witness from the Nebraska State Homebuilders Association noted that current regulations account for 25 percent of the costs of building a home. This rule will only exacerbate these costs and put the American dream of owning a home out of reach for countless people across the country.
Stakeholders in Nebraska were not alone in their opposition to WOTUS. Thirty-two states said they wanted this proposal to be withdrawn or modified. This is not a partisan issue – concern over this rule is bipartisan.
Despite our efforts, the final rule was announced in May. Before the release of the final rule, more than one million comments and concerns were submitted to the administration regarding the proposal. With the swift release of this rule, it seems highly unlikely that the administration took its time to thoroughly read through these comments and address the many concerns. Americans deserve more accountability from the federal government. 
The fight is not over. I have joined my colleagues to introduce legislation that will stop this rule altogether.
The first bill, known as the Federal Water Quality Protection Act, would require the Obama administration to consult states and stakeholders before imposing federal regulations on state-owned water resources. If enacted, this bipartisan bill would ensure that a thorough economic analysis is conducted before restricting states from managing their own natural resources.
Additionally, I introduced the Defending Rivers from Overreaching Policies (DROP) Act. This bill targets the flawed science used by the EPA to expand the definition of water. The administration failed to conduct an impartial and scientific analysis. The DROP Act would ensure that happens. 
Nebraska owns the water in our state and we strive every day to protect it and secure its viability. Our local communities, farmers, and ranchers have proven their ability to be good stewards of our natural resources. But now, this rule will inhibit state and local governments from effectively regulating our water as they have done for years. Nebraska has 23 Natural Resource Districts where local communities work every day to protect and manage our water. They should continue to do so. The citizens of Nebraska should control our state’s water, not bureaucrats in Washington.
We must work together to preserve our water for current and future generations. The best way to do this is by protecting the local control of this resource through policies that promote growth and conservation. I will continue working with my colleagues on ways to stop harmful regulations like this rule.
Thank you for participating in the democratic process. I look forward to visiting with you again next week.

Saturday, August 29, 2015


Duane A. Lienemann
Nebraska Extension Educator

      It is Nebraska State Fair time! Anyone that knows me  can tell you that this is one of my favorite times of the year. I love everything about Nebraska’s big celebration of agriculture, our heritage and traditions. Involvement in the Nebraska State Fair has been a ritual for me for many years.  I remember going to Lincoln for my very first State Fair. I believe it was around 1955 and I had the opportunity to go with my dad and grandfather. They were going there to look at farm machinery and livestock, but I think in many ways it was social for them too, much like it is for me. Their catching up with relatives or other fellow farmers and stockmen gave me plenty of time to crawl on and marvel at these shiny new wonders or to walk through the barns to see the best livestock in our state and maybe the world! I don’t think I have missed a year ever since, either as a wide eyed farm kid marveling at the carnival rides or all the sights and sounds and “oh – so many people” or in later years as a 4-H and FFA exhibitor, participating in the Nebraska State 4-H Livestock Judging Contest, then as a college student, and finally my adult years as an FFA Advisor and Extension Educator. And no. I never get tired of it!
     I know that it is hard for my family and probably a lot of other people to understand just what I see in spending my days and evenings at a “hot, dirty and boring” event like livestock shows, county fairs and especially the Nebraska State Fair.  I have written in former columns about what I like about these venues, the values I see for our youth and the comradeship that comes with sharing that same feeling with other people just like me. The nice thing is that about six years ago it was moved to a fabulous location with wonderful buildings and a brand new dedication to agriculture! There has been new life breathed into the State Fair and it feels good. Nebraska, after all, is about agriculture and one out of three people in Nebraska are employed in an agriculturally based career in agriculture. It is what rural American and especially rural Nebraska is all about.  It is fun to see the amazement on people’s faces when they first walk into the Livestock Exhibit Hall and Show Arena. I believe it is even more enhanced with the Nebraska Building which has the theme “Raising Nebraska”, which features of course – Nebraska Agriculture and does make you go WOW!  Just to the south end of the building is the Nebraska Games and Park exhibit which also is outstanding and very much worth seeing. These are just a few of many!
     It still gives me goose bumps to see a great lineup of cattle, hogs, sheep (or you name it) strutting their stuff in the arena soil, or the bevy of activities and efforts of parents and youth getting their animals ready for show.  It is hard to describe the smell, the excitement and the anticipation that seems to hang in the air. Among all the other things that the State Fair provides, this is the major attraction for me.  It never gets old, only my body does! As a County Extension Educator, former ag teacher/FFA advisor and former cattle producer - who had students and even a daughter that loved to show cattle, I am fully aware of the time and effort of a large number of people that work together to make shows and exhibitions possible. This list of people includes the exhibitors, family members, breeders, veterinarians, 4-H club leaders, FFA advisors, award sponsors, show management, and other volunteers working behind the scenes. There are countless hours of time and significant dollars dedicated to the successful completion of a show. So why do we do it? What is significant about the fair?
     Regardless of what some people may think, I was not around when the concept of holding livestock shows began. I can speculate that the goals of those involved were relatively simple. I am pretty certain that exhibitions or expositions, and eventually county fairs were started as a means to showcase local agricultural production, learn about new technologies, and let folks learn about what was considered the industry standard for crops or of a particular species of animal for that era. I would bet further that those county venues led to a group of people betting on their county stock and deciding that they needed a statewide exhibition or exposition to settle the bragging rights. I'm sure that some folks were motivated by making a little bit of profit off the event or perhaps a chance to show off and especially sell their pedigrees as well!
     As an Extension Educator and/or Ag Teacher, I would be remiss not point out the direct benefits to 4-H and FFA youth that participate in livestock shows. Youth that participate in junior shows have the opportunity to learn many lessons that can better prepare them for adulthood. Project participation prepares youth who desire to become involved in production agriculture in the future a sound knowledge base to work from when developing their own herds. Besides learning about animal husbandry, 4-H and other youth programs can provide the opportunity to develop leadership, responsibility, teamwork, ethical decision-making skills, etc. through their participation in livestock shows. Our ag youth rock!!!
     I do believe possibly the most important purpose for having venues like the Nebraska State Fair grows in significance with every passing day. Shows and exhibitions provide animal agriculture with a golden opportunity to better educate an uninformed public about what we produce and the methods we use to accomplish food production. The public's disconnect with production agriculture is growing in rural and urban settings alike. I believe it is the responsibility of every exhibitor, family, farm, or ranch that participates in a show to tell the public about our positive role in feeding the world. Outside of family functions or acquaintances at school or your job, when will you have a better opportunity to tell the story about how we raise our product? It is easier to tell the story at a show because you have the animal on hand to assist with "show and tell!" Yes – it really is as easy as that! The whole 10 days are full of wonderful things to see, eat and experience. I hope to see some of you at the open shows and especially at the 4-H and FFA livestock shows at the Nebraska State Fair!

The preceding information comes from the research and personal observations of the writer which may or may not reflect the views of UNL or Nebraska Extension. For more further information on these or other topics contact D. A. Lienemann, Nebraska Extension Educator for Webster County in Red Cloud, (402) 746-3417 or email to: or go to the website at: 

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Traveling Nebraska and listening to you.

By Governor Pete Ricketts.
Over the past month, I have been traveling and holding town halls across the state to listen to Nebraskans like you and to share an update on the priorities on which my administration has focused over the first seven months.  Input from the Second House, the people of Nebraska, helps to shape my policy priorities.  These travels have taken me from Falls City to Chadron and Laurel to Ogallala and a number of communities in between.  This is part of my administration’s effort to establish a culture of accountability and transparency in state government.  Holding town halls lets me hear directly from you about your concerns, hopes, and ideas.
At the town halls, I have heard from Nebraskans on a vast array of issues ranging from taxes and corrections to mental health and infrastructure needs.  One issue, however, has stood out from all others.  Everywhere I travel, families, ag producers, and business owners say the same thing: property taxes are too high.  This year, we took steps to cut the growth of government by about half and delivered over $400 million in property tax relief, an over 45 percent increase over the previous biennium.  This is a win for taxpayers, but there is more work to be done.  According to the Tax Foundation, Nebraska has the 13th highest property taxes in the nation.  I have heard countless accounts of the impact of high property taxes.  Nebraskans like Gary in Ord have shared their property tax bills with me, and their taxes have skyrocketed dramatically.  In Gary’s case, his taxes went up over 145 percent over eight years on one parcel of land.
At many of the town halls, I heard from citizens concerned about the Legislature’s repeal of the death penalty this past session.  Overwhelmingly, Nebraskans want to see capital punishment reinstated and carried out for public safety reasons.  Attendees have asked questions about reforms that are happening in the Corrections Department, and I have been able to share with them an update on some of the great progress Director Scott Frakes is making in his agency.  Later this fall, Director Frakes will be announcing his strategic plan for the agency as he continues to change the culture of Corrections.
Another common concern I hear at town halls is the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) overreach on many fronts including the Waters of the U.S. Rule, the Clean Power Plan, and the Renewable Fuel Standard.  The EPA continues to act like an unelected fourth branch of government, and the rules they are legislating through regulation are having a very real impact on the lives of Nebraskans.  One woman who attended my Loup City town hall mentioned that the EPA is forcing her to remove a culvert next to her pasture because the culvert in the EPA’s opinion is prohibiting the natural flow of the water through a ditch.
A multitude of important issues were raised at the town halls, and my administration continues to listen to concerns and ideas from people like you.  This week I will be holding another town hall in Norfolk.  You can find all the details about the town hall by visiting  Be sure to watch this website for updates, and for other public events which my office publishes on a weekly basis.  If you are not able to make it to any of the town halls, I hope you will take the time to share your thoughts with me by emailing my office at or calling 402-471-2244.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Halftime in a Year of Progress

Senator Deb Fischer
I have enjoyed hearing from you as I travel across the state of Nebraska this month. In my meetings and listening sessions from college campuses in Omaha to coffee shops in Chadron, I have appreciated the candid conversations about the challenges facing our nation. This feedback guides my efforts to bring Nebraska common sense to Washington.
We have accomplished many things by restoring important deliberation and debate to the U.S. Senate. It has been refreshing to move away from partisan divide and focus instead on making progress.
As we begin the final half of 2015, I am proud to be part of this new majority – one that is more efficient, more productive, and more accountable to the American people. This year alone, over 80 bipartisan bills have passed the Senate. Thirty-one of these bills have been signed into law, including legislation to expand trade, a bill to bring justice to the perpetrators of human trafficking, and a bill that requires Congress to have a say in the Iran nuclear agreement.
But none of this matters without an open process. All senators – no matter their party – must have the opportunity to have their voices heard. In 2014, then-Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada allowed only 15 roll call votes on amendments. So far this year, the Senate has taken 160.
In this new atmosphere, I have been able to work with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to achieve good things for Nebraskans and all Americans.
In January, I introduced a bill to authorize the minting of commemorative coins in honor of Boys Town’s 100th anniversary. This past July, it was signed into law. In the Senate, we spread the message of Boys Town and what this organization has done for countless families across the country. It didn’t take long before we received major bipartisan support for this legislation, collecting 73 cosponsors. During a visit to Boys Town this month, I was honored to present a copy of the law to the current director, Father Steven Boes.
Meanwhile, industries like agriculture and transportation are using new technologies to increase efficiency and drive growth through interconnected devices. This phenomenon is often referred to as the “Internet of Things.” As a world leader in technology, the United States needs to capitalize on the economic potential of innovation. In that vein, I led a bipartisan coalition of senators to pass a Senate resolution that commits our nation to a strategy for the Internet of Things. It incentivizes the use of new technologies and seeks to maximize consumer opportunity and economic growth. This resolution, which passed the Senate in March, is an important first step in promoting new ideas and innovations for years to come. I am pleased to be a leader for new technology in the Senate.
Bipartisan achievements do not stop there. In May, I joined Senator Bill Nelson, a Democrat from Florida, to introduce the E-Warranty Act. This bill would provide manufacturers with the option of posting their warranty information online. In an age where technology is getting smaller, faster, and more efficient, companies need the flexibility to meet the demands of their consumers.
I also teamed up with Senator Joe Manchin, a Democrat from West Virginia, on a proposal to eliminate a ridiculous situation where the government has been spending money on nothing. Together we introduced the Grants Oversight and New Efficiency Act. By requiring agencies to close out expired grant accounts, this bill would help prevent the federal government from throwing away your hard-earned dollars.
These are just a few of the ways I am working hard to represent Nebraska’s interests by reaching across the aisle. We have achieved many successes, but our work is only beginning. Nebraskans deserve accountability and results, not gridlock and uncertainty. With your continued feedback, we can ensure that this pattern of productivity continues.
Thank you for participating in the democratic process. I look forward to visiting with you again next week.

Saturday, August 22, 2015


Duane A Lienemann
Nebraska Extension Educator
      I have always been a voracious reader. I guess curiosity and the need to learn has been innate in me. I am sure my mother was hoping that my first words to come out of my mouth as a baby would be “mom” or “dad” but according to my baby book I must have pointed at a light switch and the first words were “What’s that?”  Nobody had pointed that out to me in my first formative months and I wanted to know! I think inquisitiveness and need to know has led me to be whom and what I am. The retention is not as good as it used to be, but that mental thirst always seems to be there. 
     Now what is the point of that discussion you might ask? As I progressed through life I started centering in on things that primarily focus on agricultural topics and most people know that is where I have made my living over the years. To get that base knowledge, not only for myself but for the young people I taught and now adult farmers I needed to go to the well to keep abreast and up to date. Farm magazines, periodicals and now with the internet – blogs, websites and access to articles gleaned from all over the country, all at the tip of your finger, is pure Nirvana to me. In these readings you come across things that you feel you cannot express thoughts any better and it is simply best to share them. I found something written by Tim Lust, who is the CEO of the National Sorghum Producers. I think it is a good read and should give us pause for thought.
     “When the well's dry, we shall know the worth of water," said Benjamin Franklin. Similarly, if ever we lose the hard-working independent family farms that take care of the nation's landscape while producing a diverse set of crops more reliably and efficiently than any farm sector in history, then, and only then, will we truly understand the value they provide. 
I, for one, hope we as a nation never get to that point and I will work every day on behalf of agricultural producers to prevent such a scenario. But, it's a challenge for a number of reasons; chief among them is we take our secure, affordable, national food supply for granted. It's always been there, it always will be.
     To be sure, the "well" that is the American farmer is not going dry, but here are some reasons why we should make certain that the policies we embrace don't put our farmers in danger. First, the demographics are not on our side. The number of farmers continues to decline and the age of farmers continues to increase. These numbers speak to a way of life that is hard and seems to grow harder by the day. Second, the business of farming is getting ugly. The Secretary of Agriculture is forecasting a 32 percent decline in net farm income from 2014 to 2015 and lower commodity prices for the foreseeable future. Third, when farmers aren't dealing with the vagaries of Mother Nature and falling commodity prices, then they're worried about the constant threat of new regulatory burdens. Just consider recent activity in Washington: the Environmental Protection Agency finalized a rule that some have labeled the biggest land grab in the history of the U.S. causing every ditch across rural America to be regulated as a major waterway. Farmers and ranchers will endure the brunt of this new regulation as the primary stewards of land resources in the U.S.
     Finally, to add to this political risk and uncertainty, some lawmakers are trying to use the appropriations process to threaten farm policy one year into the 2014 Farm Bill. This is after the farm safety net has already borne dramatic cuts over the last decade in an effort to reduce our national deficit. Crop Insurance was the primary target. And, while the efforts were rightly rejected, they could have brought an agricultural sector that is already suffering to its knees. Farmers purchase crop insurance to protect against losses due to natural disasters. They only receive an indemnity after suffering a verifiable loss and paying their deductible. Crop insurance enables farmers to rebound quickly after a disaster and it prevents dramatic farm losses, which in turn allows them to pay credit obligations and fixed expenses.
     This system is hugely important for not only farmers, but also to rural communities and the national economy as a whole. Nation-wide, agriculture accounts for nearly $800 billion in economic activity and supports one out of every 11 jobs in the economy. Cutting the farm safety net would serve to reduce farm financial protection and drive independent American farm families out of business. Meanwhile, our foreign competitors seem more than ready to move the U.S. out of the agriculture business as they ramp up support for their own farmers. As Texas Tech University's Darren Hudson recently told a Congressional committee in June, “Other countries are treating their agricultural sectors as a national asset for security purposes and for the U.S. not to consider the implications of those choices would leave us at a competitive disadvantage." Indeed, it would be a tragic commentary if years from now – having squandered our own national asset because we didn't fully appreciate its worth – we look back and remember what we had and lost.”
     Those issues stated above are national in scope, and I can add a lot of things that are state or local based issues. There is so much that hinges on how we in agriculture approach these coming years. We sometimes can become our own worst enemies and not even know it. We can no longer just sit on the seat of our tractors, oblivious to what is around us. We can no longer just sip coffee at the local coffee shop or co-op and complain about what is happening around us. Don’t just be reactive. We must be proactive and most importantly – just become active! Join associations that can work on the problems that are around us. There is strength in numbers and it is powerful when many voices become one. Look at your commodity groups or associations like the local, state or national cattlemen, pork producers, corn growers, sorghum growers, soybean growers and federations like Farm Bureau. Be a part of the solution. The livelihood that you may save could be your own!

The preceding information comes from the research and personal observations of the writer which may or may not reflect the views of UNL or Nebraska Extension. For more further information on these or other topics contact D. A. Lienemann, Nebraska Extension Educator for Webster County in Red Cloud, (402) 746-3417 or email to: or go to the website at: 

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

49 State Attorneys General Reach $71 Million Consumer Settlement with Amgen

The Attorneys General have reached a $71 million settlement with Amgen Inc. to resolve allegations that Amgen unlawfully promoted biologic medications Aranesp and Enbrel.  Aranesp is used to treat certain types of anemia by stimulating bone marrow to produce red blood cells.  Enbrel is used to treat a number of conditions, including plaque psoriasis.  The Complaint and Agreement to Entry of Final Consent Judgment (Agreement) filed today alleges that Amgen violated state consumer protection laws by: (1) promoting Aranesp for dosing frequencies longer than the FDA approved label without competent and reliable scientific evidence to substantiate the extended dosing frequencies; (2) promoting Aranesp for anemia caused by cancer without having FDA approval or competent and reliable scientific evidence to support it; and (3) promoting Enbrel for mild plaque psoriasis even though Enbrel is only approved by the FDA to treat chronic moderate to severe plaque psoriasis.
The Agreement also requires Amgen to reform its marketing and promotional practices.  For example, under the terms of the Agreement Amgen shall not:
  • make, or cause to be made, any written or oral claim that is false, misleading, or deceptive in promoting Enbrel or any drug in the same class as Aranesp;
  • represent that Enbrel or any drug in the same class as Aranesp has any sponsorship, approval, characteristics, ingredients, uses, benefits, quantities, or qualities that it does not have; 
  • use a compendium[1] listing or publication to promote Enbrel or any drug in the same class as Aranesp for an Off-Label use to a Health Care Professional;
  • allow Amgen Marketing and Amgen Sales to initiate interactions with a compendium or determine the content of any materials for submissions to a compendium relating to Enbrel or any drug in the same class as Aranesp; and
  • submit a Special Supplement to a compendium to support an Off-Label Use of Enbrel or any drug in the same class as Aranesp or use a third party to lobby a compendium on Amgen’s behalf without notifying the compendium that it is acting at Amgen’s request.
The other states participating in the settlement are Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.
[1] A drug compendium is typically a non-profit reference book listing drug strengths, quality, and ingredients.  

Monday, August 17, 2015

Lights Out

U. S. Senator Deb Fischer

Presidents are known for rushing new policies during their last two years in office. Without the pressure of re-election, they begin to focus on their legacies and often aggressively pursue partisan proposals.
We have seen this before, and we are seeing it now. What’s new is the scope and consequence of these actions. This month, the Obama administration is targeting our electricity and setting the stage for unprecedented harm to Nebraska families and our economy.
On August 3, 2015, President Obama finalized new Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulations. This rule, known as the Clean Power Plan, attempts to reduce our state’s carbon emissions by 40 percent through punishing mandates. For Nebraska, this rule is even worse than initially expected. In fact, we are one of the “biggest losers” under the administration’s final rule because the reductions goals for our state are 50 percent more stringent than they were in the proposed rule.
The so-called Clean Power Plan is designed to favor certain sources of energy over others by unfairly targeting coal-fired power plants and forcing states to meet new emission requirements. To comply with these regulations, states will be rewarded for showing preference to renewable energy sources, such as wind and solar, and severely punished for using the existing abundance of fossil fuels. We have seen this charade before and the results are always the same. When the government interferes with the free market and innovation, the economy collapses. 
Nebraska has the distinction of being the nation’s sole 100 percent public power state. Because of this, our citizens understand the dangers of overregulating our electricity system. This is why President Obama’s rule is so alarming: It will effectively shut down many of the existing coal-fired power plants that produce two-thirds of our state’s electricity. The result? Lights out.
Utilities in Nebraska are already expanding and investing in renewable energy sources. Our coal plants are leading the way by incorporating clean coal technology to reduce emissions while boosting our economy. But “one-size-fits-all” mandates from Washington are not the solution 
The plan’s negative consequences were illuminated in June by a panel of expert witnesses during a hearing of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee. As a member of this committee, I asked the witnesses how the president’s proposed carbon regulations would affect middle- and low-income families, minority communities, and energy-intensive manufacturing operations. They provided sobering accounts of how the EPA’s plan would harm families and how these effects would far outweigh the alleged environmental benefits.
To combat the plan, I have joined Senator Shelly Moore Capito of West Virginia to introduce the Affordable Reliable Energy Now Act (ARENA). This bill would halt the damaging effects of the plan by requiring the EPA to demonstrate the viability of its proposal. It would require the EPA to study the rule’s effects at a minimum of six separate power facilities before implementing new mandates. Additionally, ARENA provisions would extend the compliance dates for the EPA’s new regulations until after a final judicial review of the proposal has occurred.
Put simply, our legislation will force the EPA to prove the economic benefits of this rule. It will also hold the EPA accountable for the harm this will inflict on Nebraskans and families across the nation.
I will continue to oppose this rule’s implementation and protect Nebraska from the administration’s unprecedented power grab. We cannot afford to roll the dice with our economy and the electricity you rely on in your daily life.
Thank you for participating in the democratic process. I look forward to visiting with you again next week.

Pushing Back on Washington

By Governor Pete Ricketts

One of the greatest barriers to growing Nebraska is the increasingly burdensome regulations coming out of Washington, D.C.  As Governor, one of my top priorities is pushing back on these regulations and creating a business-friendly climate in our state so that hardworking Nebraskans can find the good-paying jobs that we rely on to keep Nebraska a great place to live, work, and raise a family.  Washington bureaucrats, however, have continued to author new rules that seek to regulate many aspects of our lives.
Earlier this summer, the Obama Administration announced the final Waters of the U.S. (WOTUS) rule which appears to give federal authorities the ability to regulate almost any body of water imaginable.  Previously, the federal government’s regulatory authority was generally limited to “navigable” bodies of water like rivers or lakes.  In fact, the Clean Water Act mentions the phrase “navigable waters” over 80 times.  After this final rule, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) now has the authority to regulate ponds, ditches, or even standing water after a rain.  This is a massive expansion of their authority, and has potentially costly impacts on farmers, ranchers, and businesses who may be required to seek expensive permits when their activities impact even relatively small bodies of water.
At the beginning of this month, President Obama launched a new initiative which he is calling his “Clean Power Plan.”  This plan aims to reduce carbon emissions by forcing individual states to develop plans to reduce emissions to a target level mandated by the federal government.  For example, Nebraska would be required to reduce emissions by 40% with compliance required by 2022, less than seven years away.  While this plan involves state action, compliance by our state was made virtually impossible because of logistical barriers.  For instance, it takes longer to plan new power transmission lines and new sources of power, than the Obama Administration gave states for compliance.
The Clean Power Plan will also prove to be costly for our state and consumers.  In Nebraska, our public power districts have a statutory obligation to provide low-cost power to their customers.  Utility companies are starting to examine the impact of the Clean Power Plan on their ratepayers, and some are already finding that it will force them to move from low-cost sources of power like coal, which means higher utility bills for consumers like you.  Recent studies of how the Clean Power Plan would impact Nebraska have found that ratepayers in our state would face 12% to 35% increases in their utility bills.
Additionally, this mandate from the federal government is unnecessary because Nebraska utilities are already working to diversify their energy portfolio.  Nebraska has almost 500 wind turbines with a combined capacity of over 800 megawatts of power.  In 2014, utility-scale wind energy generated 2.8 billion kilowatthours of electricity.  This year, Nebraska Public Power District announced in conjunction with Monolith Materials that Sheldon Station near Hallam would be the first utility-scale hydrogen powered generator in the U.S., and is expected to produce 125 megawatts of clean electricity.  Ironically, it is unclear under the new rules whether Nebraska will even be able to count this project toward carbon emission reduction requirements. This demonstrates how poorly-written and misguided this new regulation is.
Washington continues to impose a new, unprecedented level of control on states which threatens our state’s sovereignty.  Because the EPA has overstepped the authority given to them by Congress, we have joined a lawsuit with 28 other states against the EPA over WOTUS.  We are also suing the federal government, along with 15 other states, over the Clean Power Plan.  The EPA must follow the law, and we cannot let their actions go unchecked.  I encourage you to contact your federal representatives and the EPA to let them know what you think about these new rules.  As you begin to feel the impact of these new regulations, I also want to hear from you.  Please contact my office by calling 402-471-2244 or emailing


Saturday, August 15, 2015


Duane A. Lienemnn
Nebraska Extension Educator

     It is hard to believe that we are getting so close to wheat planting time. This time of year, one of the most requested documents from our office is the UNL Fall Seed Guide. We used to get a bundle of them about this time of year. However, things have changed and like so many other things with computers, smart phones, etc. the best way now to get information like that is to go on line. You can download the guide for interactive investigation of the newest wheat and other fall crop seeds by going to:  or if you are more like me and like something in your hands you can download the same guide by going to . Either way you will find the information on wheat, barley and triticale. 
     This year we really need to pay attention to our seed, seed varieties and really study before we make our decisions. While the 2015 Fall Seed Guide as linked above is the popular venue, another good way of looking for specific information for a county or area that is closest to you and to your farming method is to go to . I also like going to the virtual wheat tour page which can be found at
      With the abundance of scab infected wheat this year that has not been shipped to the elevator I have entertained questions concerning feeding the wheat, planting the wheat as a crop and also using this wheat for a cover crop or in a cover crop mix. Let’s look at wheat as a feed. It is not common in our area to use wheat for livestock feed, but certain has and can be done. To get rid of infected wheat it might be a good alternative to use scabby grain as feed for livestock.  However, due to the high concentration of vomitoxin in the grain, it is imperative that care be taken to measure the levels of vomitoxin and ensure they are below the maximum advisory limits before feeding.  Certain livestock are very sensitive to vomitoxin and should not be fed highly scabby wheat grain. While vomitoxin itself is not very poisonous, it can be associated with vomiting (thus the name “vomitoxin”), feed refusal and decreased feed consumption in swine, which can affect animal performance. Cattle are very resistant to the effects of vomitoxin but hogs are much more sensitive. Specific feeding recommendations may be found at: .
     I have also been asked about using the straw from these infected fields for feed and/or bedding. It should be noted that vomitoxin has been found in straw but it is not certain if the straw itself was contaminated or if the straw simply contained parts of contaminated wheat heads, which is logical. Straw from scabby fields can contain DON at concentrations that exceed 2 ppm.  Therefore, straw from scabby fields should be tested for DON before using it for feed, hay or bedding. I doubt that treating it with ammonia will have any effect on the contaminant.
     The next question is to using the scabby wheat for seed for this coming season. I certainly do not recommend that you do, as it in my opinion that you are just asking for more or compounded problems next year. Instead, find a source of non-contaminated, certified wheat and then for additional protection you may want to treat that wheat before planting. If you have no recourse and want or need to use your wheat that you feel is not highly contaminated make sure it is thoroughly cleaned and then treated with a systemic fungicide before planting. A good resource for determining which fungicide or amount to use is:   or if you prefer our neighbor to the south also has a good list at: .  However, due to the very high levels of scab in most area fields that were not sprayed with a fungicide at flowering, most of the grain is so severely damaged that cleaning and treating it with a fungicide will not be effective and will certainly not be economically justifiable. 
     The last part was to instead of using this wheat as seed wheat to use it as a cover crop, or put in a cocktail mix for a cover crop. There was a good and timely article in CropWatch this week concerning this topic and basically what it said was as follows. Planting scabby wheat grain as seed for a cover crop may sound like a bargain. However, stand establishment will likely be poor because the Fusarium in the seed will infect the seedlings, reducing emergence or causing seedling blight after emergence. Some of the seed will not germinate at all due to Fusarium infection. The result will be in an uneven stand that cannot provide the full benefits of a cover crop. I think it will cost you rather than benefit you.
     Another reason why scabby wheat grain should not be used as seed for a cover crop is the introduction of a high concentration of Fusarium inoculum in the field.  When scabby grain comes in contact with moisture in the soil, the Fusarium spores germinate and form mfycelium.  Survival structures of the fungus, known as chlamydospores, form in the mycelium and remain in the soil for many years, providing inoculum that infects subsequent crops.  Fusarium mycelium will infect seedlings of many field crops including corn, soybean, and wheat, causing damping off and seedling blights.  It also will infect the roots and crowns of plants that survive, causing root and crown rots.  As a result, yield will be significantly reduced. So once again, I suggest just staying clear of using this seed at all. It will probably be best to incinerate it or take it to a land fill. I know that all of this sounds very discouraging but I want to remind everyone that wheat is still a great crop and is invaluable in farms with livestock and for those that are in a rotational system. Don’t give up on it!!
     Last but not least don’t forget this year's South Central Ag Lab Field Day on Wednesday, August 19 near Clay Center. See the latest UNL research on cover crops, BT corn, precision fertilizer management, and soil water monitoring. You can find information on it at:   

The preceding information comes from the research and personal observations of the writer which may or ay not reflect the views of UNL or Nebraska Extension. For more further information on these or other topics contact D. A. Lienemann, Nebraska Extension Educator for Webster County in Red Cloud, (402) 746-3417 or email to: or go to the website at: 

Sunday, August 9, 2015


Aug. 10: Small Unmanned Aircraft Vehicles (sUAV) Workshop, Colby, Ks
Aug. 11: Soybean Management Field Days, Bergman Farm, 11289 741 Road, Holdrege, NE
Aug. 11: K-State Beef Conference, 5-9 p.m., 4-H Center, Pratt County Fairgrounds, Pratt, Kan.,
Aug. 11-12: Nebraska Grazing Conference, Ramada Inn, Kearney, Neb.,
Aug. 12: Soybean Management Field Days, Bonsack Farm, 3770 S 90th Road, Alda, NE
Aug. 14: Nebraska Farm Bureau Ag Issues Meeting, 8:30 am, Holiday Inn, Kearney, NE
Aug. 14: South Central Cattlemen Golf Tournament, 4 Person Scramble, Red Cloud Golf Club, Hans Burken 402-469-1966
Aug. 14-15: Stargazing at the Willa Cather Prairie, Red Cloud, NE Tracy Tucker,
Aug. 17: Land Value and Rental Rate Meeting, Hall Co. Fairgrounds, Fonner Park, Grand Island, NE 9:30 a.m. 402-385-5088
Aug. 18-19: Nebraska LEDRS Conference, Holiday Inn, Grand Island, NE
Aug. 19:  UNL South Central Ag Lab Field Day, South Central Ag Lab, Clay Center RSVP to (402) 762-3536
Aug. 19: Land Value & Rental Rate Meeting, Red Willow Co. Fairgrounds Community Bldng, McCook, NE 1:00 p.m. 402-345-3390
Aug. 20: Companion Animal & Equine Afterschool Program Training, 10:00 am, Hall Co. Ext., College Park, Grand Island, NE
Aug. 20:  UNL ‘Project Sense’ Field Day, Fairgrounds York, 6 p.m.  RSVP to 402-624-8000 or e-mail
Aug. 24:  UNL ‘Project Sense’ Field Day, Fairgrounds Deshler, 6 p.m.  RSVP to 402-624-8000 or e-mail
Aug. 26: Gudmundsen Sandhills Lab Open House, Whitman, NE
Aug. 26:  Crop Management Diagnostic Clinic (Soil & Water), ARDC near Mead, 
Aug. 27:  Crop Management Diagnostic Clinic, ARDC near Mead,
Aug. 28-30: Oregon Trail Rodeo, Adams County Fairgrounds, Hastings, NE
Aug. 28- Sept.7: Nebraska State Fair, NE State Fairgrounds, Fonner Park, Grand Island, NE
Aug. 29: State 4-H & FFA Dairy Judging Contest, Nebraska State Fairgrounds, Fonner Park, Grand Island, NE
Sept. 2: Grain Sorghum Field Day, 5:30 pm, Mike Baker Farm, Trenton, NE
Sept. 9: Webster County 4-H Youth Council Meeting, 8:00 pm, Webster Co Fair Exhibit Hall, Bladen, NE
Sept. 10: Grain Sorghum Field Day, 6:00 pm, John Dvoracek Farm,  Farwell, NE
Sept. 10: Area 4-H & FFA Range Judging Contest, Adams County Fairgrounds, Hastings, NE
Sept. 10-12: Miles of Memories Country MusicFest, Adams County Fairgrounds, Hastings, NE
Sept. 12-13: Old Trusty Antique Engine & Collectors Show, Clay County Fairgrounds, Clay Center, NE
Sept. 19: Paw Event, 9 am-1 pm, Hastings Tractor Supply, Hastings, NE
Sept. 20: Earl Bates "Will Rogers in the 21st Century", 7:30 pm, Willa Cather Opera House, Red Cloud, NE
Sept. 22-23: Youth Science Field Day, Lincoln Co. Fairgrounds, North Platte, NE
Sept. 22-23: Water Jamboree Liberty Cove, Lawrence, NE
Sept. 23: Silver Lake Farm Safety Days, Webster County Fairgrounds, Bladen, NE
Sept. 24-27: Aksarben Livestock Show, CenturyLink Convention Center, Omaha, NE
Sept. 29: Youth Science Field Day, Phelps Co. Fairgrounds, Ag Hall, Holdrege, NE
Sept. 29-30: State Range Judging Contest, Scottsbluff, NE
Sept. 30: Youth Science Field Day, Dawson County Fairgrounds, Lexington, NE
Oct. 7: District 4-H & FFA Land Judging Contests, Locations TBA
Oct. 14-15: Youth Science Field Day, Buffalo County Fairgrounds, Kearney, NE
Oct. 16-18: Fall Home & Garden Exposition, Century Link Center, Omaha, NE
Oct. 21: State 4-H/FFA Land Judging Contest, Location TBA
Oct. 21- Nov. 1: American Royal Livestock Show, Kansas City, MO
Oct. 29 -Nov. 1: Nebraska Extension Ag Educators Fall Ag Tour to Purdue University, Indiana
Nov. 4-5: 8th Annual Nebraska Wind & Solar Conference, Omaha Hilton, Omaha, NE
Nov. 18-19: 2015 Gateway Farm Expo, Buffalo County Fairgrounds, Kearney, NE
Dec. 2-4: Nebraska Cattlemen Annual Convention, Younes Conference Center, Kearney, NE
Dec. 3: Webster Co Christmas Greenery Workshop, Exhibit Hall, Webster Co Fairgrounds, Bladen, NE
Dec. 5: Webster Co Christmas Greenery Workshop, Exhibit Hall, Webster Co Fairgrounds, Bladen, NE
Dec. 6-8: Nebraska Farm Bureau Annual Convention, Embassy Suites, LaVista, NE

Saturday, August 8, 2015


Duane A. Lienemann
Nebraska Extension Educator
     What a difference a week can make! While we probably didn’t get the million dollar rains, but it certainly puts all of our crop and pastureland in a different light, for at least a little while.  There is no doubt that this moisture that we got this past week is a Godsend and is very much appreciated, even by those that had put hay down. That being said, we are still on the edge in many places in South Central Nebraska. This should help the top portion of our soil moisture, freshen the growing plants, improve the attitudes of a lot of dryland farmers and give some relief to our irrigators, but the subsoil is still critically low in many of those places that have not been blessed with rainfall. We will need timely rains now to get us to maturity and harvest. Don’t stop doing the rain dances, praying or going to Church --- we still need all the help we can get!
     Ag Pen Pal Program: There are several things I think it would be good to discuss in this edition and the first is something that is easy to do and I believe is so very important for we in agriculture who will be continually contending with the lack of literacy in agriculture or understanding of farming by consumers, and that starts with our children. I have a little vested interest in this project because it also involves my daughter, but I would support this effort regardless. Nebraska Agriculture in the Classroom is seeking farm/ranch families and classrooms across Nebraska to be part of the Ag Pen Pal Program.  The Ag Pen Pal Program helps educate students about their food, fiber and fuel through creating a personal connection between a farmer or rancher and a classroom. Farm and ranch pen pals are encouraged to write letters or emails as well as visit their classroom in person or via Skype. If you are a farmer/rancher, teacher or are just simply advocates for agriculture and am interested in being a part of the Ag Pen Pal Program, email Deanna Karmazin at or get ahold of me and I will get you to the proper channels.  I know several people who have done this and each of them tell me that it is an incredible experience. This progressive individuals say they probably get more out of it than the young students they befriend! Here is a chance for you to both influence and to educate our future consumers!
     Land Rent Decisions: It is, of course, common knowledge to most landlords and renters alike that decisions concerning land rental agreements, lease termination (including terminating handshake or verbal leases) have a suggested deadline of August 31, 2015. That means that landlord and renters should be engaged in determining their agreements for the coming 2016 crop and grazing year. There has been a lot of discussion because of the increased value of land, increased taxes coupled with the very evident decline in crop prices which has precipitated some angst in the ag communities. 
     2015 cash rental rates for cropland for cropland declined in all ag districts. However grazing rental rates rose from 10 to 35% Monthly pair and stocker pasture rental rates set record levels. It was not a surprise to me to see that hayland prices rose 20% statewide while grazing land rose 9% for tillable land and 16% for non-tillable grazing land. Crop ground prices dropped 4 to 9% with the largest drop in dryland cropland with no irrigation potential. Also the more marginal cropland had a larger value decline than higher quality farmland. Even though land values declined over the past year, all districts and land types are higher than 5 years ago, thus the need to look at some changes that are evident in pasture and grazing rates. It has been evident that many landlords and renters alike have been changing their thoughts on renting pasture from a per acre basis to a cow/calf pair cost per monthly basis. First the drought conditions over the past several years and need for more acres of grass per pair than the normal rates helped precipitate this and now with the higher prices for stocker-feeders and cattle in general, coupled with the spike in the value of pasture and hayland has dictated that many people change their rental agreements to a monthly cow/calf pair rental rate. Let’s take a look at this change and why it is happening.
      Grazing Rates for Cow-Calf Pairs:  The recently published Nebraska Farm Real Estate Market Highlights 2014-2015 report indicates pasture rental rates for cow-calf pairs and stockers have set record highs for the second year in Nebraska even with some fluctuation. Panel members indicated the driving force behind these rates stem from record setting cattle prices along with the expectation for these values to remain high into the future. The average rental rates per month for cow-calf pairs and stockers are reported in Table 1 ( ). A complete listing of the counties located in each Agricultural Statistics District of Nebraska can be found in the full report which are available electronically via the Nebraska Farm Real Estate website: It may be good to get a good background.
      Cattle producers across Nebraska have shown their willingness to bid up rental rates as the profitability of the cow-calf and stocker industry remain quite high. As landlords and tenants negotiate grazing rates for cow-calf pairs and stockers, both parties must keep in mind what rate would be viable to satisfy the needs of everyone involved in the transactions. Some of the common elements landlords and tenants must agree upon as part of grassland rental arrangement include which party is responsible for maintaining fences, wells, water tanks, and control of noxious weeds. Other provisions that may be negotiated include the checking of livestock and dispensing of mineral and salt depending upon the distance of the tenants operation from the rented parcel.  It shows an average rate in the South district of just short of $58 per cow/calf pair per month of grazing. Grazing rates for cow-calf pairs fluctuate across Nebraska depending upon the district. Local market forces along with inherent attributes of the ground influence the rental rates negotiated by cattle producers across Nebraska. Actual land values and rental rates may vary depending upon the quality of the parcel and local market for an area. 

The preceding information comes from the research and personal observations of the writer which may or ay not reflect the views of UNL or Nebraska Extension. For more further information on these or other topics contact D. A. Lienemann, Nebraska Extension Educator for Webster County in Red Cloud, (402) 746-3417 or email to: or go to the website at: 

Monday, August 3, 2015

A Shocking Lack of Compassion

Sen. Deb Fischer
Many of you have been following the horrible revelations in the news about Planned Parenthood. The footage detailing their callous role in the harvesting of baby body parts is alarming and potentially illegal. Moreover, comments on these videos stating that certain doctors are intentionally altering the method of abortion by moving bodies within the womb to obtain organs suggest a clear violation of the law.
Americans are right to be outraged by the lack of compassion for these women and their unborn children. This is an organization that receives over half a billion dollars in taxpayer funding each year. Something needs to be done.
Throughout my time in public service, I have been committed to supporting common-sense, pro-life measures that offer compassion for women and unborn children in difficult circumstances.
Nebraska was the first state in the country to pass a 20-week abortion ban, which I supported as a state senator. That legislation passed by an overwhelming vote of 44 to 5. Pro-life and pro-choice senators came together and supported the bill because it was good policy.
In the U.S. Senate, I am a cosponsor of a similar bill, the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act. According to numerous studies and medical experts, this is the point at which unborn children are capable of feeling pain. The majority of the American people support limits on late term abortions. This reasonable policy adopted by the Nebraska legislature should now be adopted at the federal level.
Meanwhile, the Planned Parenthood scandal deserves decisive action. We must put an end to these horrific practices. For this reason, I joined Senator Joni Ernst of Iowa and several of our colleagues to introduce legislation that would halt funding for this organization. Our bill would ensure that taxpayer dollars are redirected to state and local health departments, community health centers, and hospitals that provide women’s health care services. The services include, but are not limited to: diagnostic laboratory and radiology services, well-child care, prenatal and postnatal care, immunizations, and cervical and breast cancer screenings.
In Nebraska, there are six federally-qualified health centers and 36 clinic sites that have served over 64,000 people. From Omaha to the panhandle these centers provide care across our state. Ultimately, our bill directs federal funding where it should be: supporting women’s health, not Planned Parenthood.
Targeting this funding is not enough. Planned Parenthood’s actions require a thorough and careful investigation. For that reason, I recently joined 49 of my Senate colleagues in a letter to HHS Secretary Burwell, drawing attention to the legal, ethical, and policy issues raised by these videos. In our letter, we called on Secretary Burwell to cooperate with ongoing and future investigations into these practices.
I hope you will continue to follow this issue and voice your concerns as we move forward.
Thank you for participating in the democratic process. I look forward to visiting with you again next week.

Saturday, August 1, 2015


Duane A. Lienemann
Nebraska Extension Educator
       I woke up in the middle of the night to what sounded like an impressive thunderstorm and then drifted back off into dreamland, assuming we would have copious amounts of rain in the gage by morning.  But as usual for this part of the country it was more bluster than reality. I guess you call these things “dry storms”, and we certainly have been getting our share of those.  It is not too hard to figure out that  in this part of South Central Nebraska  we have been on the short end of the stick on moisture, even as around us there seems to be adequate and in some cases “much more than adequate” rainfall. Folks, we are dry and we will soon be out of subsoil moister. I think the pivot corners and pastures are an indication of that fact. We will soon see cupped bean leafs and “pineapple” corn leafs in our dryland fields as well. I know this is all in God’s hands so it may behoove us to offer up some prayers and then perhaps start planning some alternative practices that we have had to resort to for the better part of this past 15 years. It seems we are right back into – more of the same.
     This could be a very long month and it goes beyond the fact that August 2015 has 5 Saturdays and 5 Sundays. I guess it is fairly normal for August to be long, hot and dry but usually we have some subsoil moisture to kind of get us through. For many years Webster County had their County Fair the first week in August and I remember the heat and dry, but it also seems that we could count on a good rain during the fair, sometimes pretty impressive rains.  Our fair is over and it did not bring much rain and it doesn’t look much better for us this first week in August.  I have been asked if I would go do that rain dance, but I have declined because in the past when I have done that, all I got was lightning and dry thunder. My dancing evidently does not please the “Rain Maker”! 
     If you go across the region there is a difference in how the crops and pastures look and some don’t look too bad while others certainly can be rightfully described as getting the “short end of the stick”. Of course you hear the locals tell those that come to the coffee shops with stories of a good rain or even a timely shower – “You must have a better preacher at your Church!” or “You guys must pay your preacher better than we do.” There is no doubt that if that were the case I know a lot of farmers who would dig a lot deeper into their pockets, but unfortunately it is not that simple or easy. So all we can do is pray and look at being as conservation minded as we possibly can, and then use the tools that God has given us.
     For you that doubt that we are right back into this drought condition, you may want to access the UNL Drought Mitigation website at:   I would imagine that most farmers I know have been acclimated towards these dry times and have already adopted things like canopy management, cover crops, no-till, reduced tillage practices, weed control, residue management and planting varieties that are more drought resistant. I might add that milo looks pretty good right now!  I encourage those that have cow/calf operations to look at supplementing your pastures and perhaps early-weaning of your calves to save what grass we can. Many of us are blessed to have irrigation and that is a great insurance program, but even our irrigators need to be conservative when it comes to water. ET monitors have proven to be great help when it comes to scheduling of irrigation and even irrigation amounts. 
     Seed Wheat: Now we need to be thinking of planting wheat, even with these dry conditions. This could be a big challenge this year for many reasons, including dry fields. It is no secret that we didn’t have the best wheat this year because of winter-kill, then a quick influx of striped rust at a most inopportune time, decimating our yields and opening up then to even more problems with head scab. The disease, caused mainly by the fungus “Fusarium graminearum”, is characterized by premature whitening or bleaching of wheat heads. These bleached spikelets are sterile or contain kernels that are shriveled and/or appear chalky white or pink and are referred to as scabby kernels, or tombstones. Scabby grain usually contains the mycotoxin deoxynivalenol or DON, also known as vomitoxin. These mycotoxins are harmful to humans and animals and of course the wheat kernels themselves do not make good seed wheat and should be avoided if possible. That being said, it could be a bit of a struggle to find good seed wheat this year and if you are looking for some, you may want to lay in your seed early this year. Decent seed wheat will be short in supply and some may have to travel miles to get it.
     One of the main questions being asked is whether scab will affect the quality of the wheat seed this fall. Yes, scab will indeed reduce seed quality tremendously, causing germination rates and stands to plummet. However, the vomitoxin that is usually present in scabby seed is not your biggest problem in terms seed germination, damage to the embryo is your problem. Seed treatment I think is a no-brainer, and you should try to do so as soon as possible to reduce further fungal growth. Cleaning will get rid of light, scabby materials, and this will naturally increase the test weight of the lot. In addition to cleaning and treating, seeds should be stored under cool, dry conditions until planting to prevent mold development. Blending of scabby wheat with healthy wheat is another good option to increase the overall quality of the lot. Increasing the seeding rate will also be helpful, but you should determine percent germination first - this will help you to adjust your seeding rate accordingly. I know that some producers feel they don’t have much choice, so if you absolutely have to plant scabby wheat, cleaning, germ test, and fungicide seed treatment are absolutely necessary. I suggest going to:  for guidance on this. It is not that long and State Fair, Husker Harvest Days will be over, school will be going full force and we are in wheat planting season. Where did this summer go?

The preceding information comes from the research and personal observations of the writer which may or ay not reflect the views of UNL or Nebraska Extension. For more further information on these or other topics contact D. A. Lienemann, Nebraska Extension Educator for Webster County in Red Cloud, (402) 746-3417 or email to: or go to the website at: 

August Birthdays

August 1 Daniel Kinley
August 4 Alicia Gibson & Walter Witte
August 5 Robbey Willicott & Terry Schunk
August 6 Maintainer man, Toby Alber
August 6 Donelda Hartman (RIP)
August 7   Mildred Willems & Torey Kranau
August 8   Lois “Blondie”Mohlman
August 9 Andy Alber
August 11 Clint James & Amanda Wademan
August 12 Elmer Rae Krueger & Ron Hartman
August 13 Darlene Engel & Kevin C. Kort
August 14 Robert Meents & Sammy Jo Lemke
August 15 Marilyn Alber,  Bryan Groves & Marla Coffey
August 16 Nickol Frazier-Dirks
August 17 Johnny Kearney & Krista Olson Karr
August 18 Mary Schliesinger,  Danece Meyer & Nancy Kort
August 19 Kelli Gilbert & Bessie Skarin
August 20 Roger Bunner
August 22 1936-2008 Norman Alber
August 22 Tami Wells Zubrod,  Chuck Hewitt, Hulda Scheiding
August 22 Gerald Toepher
August 23 Kim Hargis Ernst,  Ron Faber & Jeff Coffey
August 24 Brad Johnson
August 25 Sheila Hesman & Jerry Shaw
  August 27 Jeff Toepher
August 28 Jane A. Moore
August 29 Tim Hoffman
August 30 Kay Jordening, Rocky Premer, Ted Armstrong
August 30 Irene Hesman
August 31 Burnell Kottwitz, &  Evelyn Seeman