|Duane A. Lienemann|
Nebraska Extension Educator
Gosh, first we were wanting the moisture, then we got it and we were all happy, then some farmers were getting nervous about planting and the chance of fungus and perhaps not as happy, and now we have come full circle to, not just wanting moisture – but needing it. Oh, I know some folks around us had some good showers and even some heavy rains, but it seems as per normal usual that we have an umbrella over us lately. There are a couple of other things that are really furthering the concern and that is the heat with temps right at or either side of 100 degrees.
One thing is for sure, it is certainly acting as a catalyst for the wheat to turn. My guess is that we will be seeing combines in the field in as few as 7-10 days. It will be interesting to see what the field reports will be on our wheat crop this year. It to like the weather from not looking good to looking really good, so I guess we will soon see. Wheat has always surprised me, and I have wrote it off and underestimated yield, but it seems it is like a cat with 9 lives, so I will reserve my prediction until after it is harvested! It would not surprise me if we see most of the wheat out before the fourth of July and certainly before the Webster County Fair which is early this year – July 9-16. I was worried that our fair may hit wheat harvest, but with this weather, I don’t think I have to worry. Here’s wishing all our wheat producers a bountiful and safe harvest.
Speaking of these high temperatures and even some accompanying humidity we are getting some brutal days, not only for humans but particularly for our animals. We have to be cognizant about staying cool, drinking plenty of liquids (water being the best), dressing appropriately, finding shade, doing what we can early and late and limiting activity during the hottest part of the day. Those are great suggestions for we humans. But what about our livestock?
I am sure that everyone is keeping an eye on the heat stress level for their livestock and particularly those in confinement. I sent out some material a week ago concerning the early heat wave with a number of resources available. It may be good to remind you of them. So here are links to some information that we have released: BeefWatch News Articles: June 2015 http://beef.unl.edu/feeder-cattle-heat-stress ; May 2016 http://newsroom.unl.edu/announce/beef/5311/30522 . You can find the “Feedlot Heat Stress Information and Management Guide” @ http://go.unl.edu/94bo . There is also a handy Temperature Humidity Index (THI) or Cattle THI Chart that can be found at http://go.unl.edu/sdxt . The USDA actually has a Heat Stress Homepage which may be found at: http://www.ars.usda.gov/Main/docs.htm?docid=21348 .
It looks like we may not have a break from this heat and probably humidity until the middle of next week. The main thing is to consider that our animals need many of the same things we do in weather like this. The most important of which is accessibility to lots of clean, cool water. Then see to keeping an eye on them, utilizing cooling apparatus and breeze, providing shade in any way you can, and certainly watch when, where and how you work livestock (early morning and evenings may be best). If you do handle livestock, be sure it is in a quiet, slow manner and if you are shipping livestock please be cognizant of early morning or late evening schedules to avoid the heat in trucks and trailers.
One thing that the heat doesn’t seem to bother is weeds. There are plenty of them this year and some that I haven’t seen for years. That is the bad thing about good moisture in the early growing season. There is some new information on weed control. I suggest that every farmer, crop consultant and anyone interested attend the Nebraska Extension Weed Management Field Day which is being held at Clay Center on Wednesday, June 29. It will go from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the South Central Agricultural Laboratory near Clay Center. An early morning tour will focus on weed management in soybeans followed by a tour of weed management in corn and sorghum.
The field day will provide an opportunity to identify several broadleaf and grass weeds commonly found in corn and soybean fields in Nebraska. UNL agronomists have indicated that several new herbicides and technologies are coming to the market, including Enlist Corn and Soybean, Roundup Ready 2 Xtend Soybean, Balance Bean and INZEN sorghum. Attending this field day will help you understand each new herbicide and learn of the technologies being used. The field day will also include on-site demonstrations of new technology and new herbicides for corn, soybean and sorghum. Field experiments will provide information for weed control options using several herbicide programs including the new products.
June 15 has significance for county fairs all across Nebraska as that is the last day to register potential exhibits and especially for those livestock projects that may go on to the Nebraska State Fair. But that date is also important to the USDA Farm Service Agency as it starts the process for nominations for the local FSA County Committee. Webster County FSA election this year is looking for representation for Local Administrative Area #1 which consists of residents of Harmony, Glenwood, Potsdam and Oak Creek townships. Election will also be held for Local Administrative Area #3 this year. It consists of Stillwater, Cowles, Pleasant Hill, Beaver Creek, Guide Rock, Garfield, and Line townships. Eligible voters can either apply or nominate someone of your choice to appear on the election ballot. Eligible voters in these townships will then elect County Committee (COC) representatives for a 3 year term. Forms can be obtained from the Webster County FSA Office or from the Nebraska Extension office in Red Cloud. I will close with a sincere wish that you all keep cool, protect your livestock, pets and certainly yourself and wish you the very best as we near wheat harvest and final preparations for 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: firstname.lastname@example.org or on the web at: http://extension.unl.edu/statewide/webster