Nebraska Extension at Husker Harvest Days to Highlight Strategies for Staying Strong

Integrating cover crops, maximizing irrigation efficiency, managing risk and making your farm more weather resilient are among the crop production topics being presented in the Big Red Building at Husker Harvest Days Sept. 9-11.
Figure 1. Integrating cover crops, maximizing irrigation efficiency, managing risk and making your farm more weather resilient are among the crop production topics being presented in the Big Red Building at Husker Harvest Days Sept. 9-11. Stop by to learn more about the latest research. Here, Nebraska Extension Educator Linda Reddish (left) visits with families about staying strong in times of stress at the 2018 Husker Harvest Days.

Nebraska Extension at Husker Harvest Days to Highlight Strategies for Staying Strong

The University of Nebraska-Lincoln Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources (IANR) and Nebraska Extension are pleased to invite farmers and their families to visit their exhibit at the 2019 Husker Harvest Days (HHD) Agriculture Show September 9-11 near Grand Island. The IANR Exhibit is in the Big Red Building, located on Eighth Street, just east of Central Avenue.

Nebraska Extension Educator talking with high school students at 2018 Husker Harvest Days
Figure 2. Husker Harvest Days is a great opportunity to connect youth with UNL, farmers with crop and pest extension experts, and families with extension education and resources. UNL 4-H Coordinator Ashley Benes visits with high school students at the 2018 HHD

As a part of the University of Nebraska’s 150th anniversary celebration, the exhibits will highlight agricultural innovations that are strengthening Nebraska’s agricultural economy. In addition, given current challenges in agriculture, exhibits will emphasize resiliency and strategies for staying strong. The exhibit building will spotlight nine topics in three areas: farm production, farm personal life, and developing personal skills.

These topics are more diverse than recent HHD shows and include more hands-on experiences. Farmers and their families are encouraged to come with their questions and bring crop and pest samples for identification.

Presentations, enhanced by a wall of video screens featuring further information, will be made every half hour in the university building. Each presentation will be complemented with information about preparing for and recovering from economic or weather-related challenges. The presentations will be followed by an opportunity for questions and more in-depth conversations with the presenter.

Topics include:

Cover Crops – Advantages of incorporating cover crops into farm systems, how to get started, and how to customize your cover crop strategy. Cover crops have been shown to improve farm efficiency and profits by suppressing weeds, increasing the health of soil organisms, reducing soil erosion, and providing forage for livestock.

Maximizing the Efficiency of Center Pivot Irrigation — Information on operating irrigation systems at the proper water pressure and how leakage in the system can affect pressure and uniformity. Repair of irrigation systems following weather-related damage also will be covered.

Keys to Calving Success — A life-size model cow will enhance conversations on cow condition and calving. Presentations will stress the importance of healthy cows, critical stages in the calving process, and timeliness in calf consumption of colostrum. The team will also review how livestock producers can help their herd recover from extreme weather events.

Understanding Risk Management Strategies — Important for farm success, these strategies include knowledge of government farm programs, use of crop insurance, use of farm budgets, and how best to market grain and animals. Presenters will stress the importance of gathering and using good data to make sound decisions and how to use available economic tools to improve profit.

Developing Weather Ready Farms — As many Nebraskans learned this spring, it is critical to be prepared for adverse weather. This program will highlight creation of emergency plans, use of technology in the planning process, and where to find relief after a disaster.

Staying Nebraska Strong — Living through a disaster can be stressful. Learn how to help your farm family stay resilient and mentally, physically, and emotionally strong. Learn about the many wellness resources available throughout the state and how to access them.   

Sustainable And Resilient Landscapes — Maintaining a comfortable living environment is one strategy to reduce stress. The climate of the Great Plains can make it difficult to grow trees, lawns, and gardens that enhance our homes. Learn about creating sustainable and resilient landscapes that reflect local needs. Presenters will also discuss how to respond when extreme weather damages landscape plants.

Lifelong Education and Career Opportunities in Agriculture and Natural Resources —Teams from the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources and the Nebraska College of Technical Agriculture will provide information about their programs and today’s careers. The 4-H College Readiness Team will provide, via virtual reality technology, a look at energy-related careers for production agriculture and other agriculture careers. The director of the Nebraska LEAD program will provide information about CASNR’s adult agriculture leadership program that provides experiences to help farmers gain the skills necessary to respond to the challenges facing agriculture in Nebraska.

It is the sincere wish of Nebraska Extension and the IANR faculty that Nebraska farmers and their families are successful in their endeavors. It is through this wish that we hope to have great conversations about creating Strategies for Staying Strong with a large number of farmers who visit the HHD Show.