Feb. 28 On-Farm Research Update Meeting to Focus on Cover Crops & Soil Health

Feb. 28 On-Farm Research Update Meeting to Focus on Cover Crops & Soil Health

Each year, the On-Farm Research Network plans a series of update meetings and invites producers to attend in order to gain valuable crop production related information from the research projects conducted by Nebraska farmers. This year’s meetings run from February 18 – 28 at various locations throughout the state.

For the first time, a special session of the annual On-Farm Research update meetings will focus on cover crops, alternate crop rotations, and management systems that promote soil health.

Jointly sponsored by USDA-NRCS and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, the meeting will be 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on February 28th at the Holthus Convention Center in York, NE. Registration begins at 8:30 a.m., with welcome and introductions at 9:00 a.m. The remainder of the day will consist of presentations of on-farm research results, speaker presentations and group discussions. Participating farmers will present their research project and results from the 2019 growing season.

On-Farm Research Update Meetings in 2020

  • Feb. 18 – Beatrice, NE - Holiday Inn Express - 9 a.m.- 4 p.m. CST
  • Feb. 19 – Near Mead, NE - Eastern Nebraska Research and Extension Center - 9 a.m.- 4 p.m. CST
  • Feb. 20 – Norfolk, NE - Madison County Extension Office - 9 a.m.- 4 p.m. CST
  • Feb. 26 – Kearney, NE – Buffalo County Extension Office - 9 a.m.- 4 p.m. CST
  • Feb. 27 – Alliance, NE - Knight Museum & Sandhills Center - 9 a.m.- 2 p.m. MST
  • Feb. 28 – York, NE - Holthus Convention Center - 9 a.m.- 4 p.m. CST (York special focus - Cover Crops and Soil Health - Jointly sponsored by USDA-NRCS and the Nebraska On-Farm Research Network)

The day is designed to help producers explore current management approaches that support soil health while simultaneously addressing agronomic challenges such as improving infiltration and weed suppression.

Certified Crop Advisor Credits are applied for and pending upon approval. There is no fee to attend the event. Please pre-register at least 2 days in advance for meal planning purposes. Call 402-624-8030 or e-mail onfarm@unl.edu to register.

Agenda

9:00 AM

Introductions

  • Andrea Basche, UNL Assistant Professor in Cropping Systems
  • Daren Redfearn, UNL Associate Professor in Range and Forage Sciences
  • Aaron Hird, NRCS State Soil Health Specialist
Andrea Basche Daren Redfearn Aaron Hird

9:15 AM

What Small-Business Owners Need to Know About On-Farm Research

  • Nathan Mueller, Nebraska Extension Educator

As small business owners, crop producers have a lot to manage. Quality on-farm research leads to data-based business decisions. You don’t have to do it all yourself by being part of the Nebraska On-Farm Research Network. In this presentation, you will learn how science, statistics, and Ag technology collide to create actionable information for your small business.

Nathan Mueller

9:30 AM

Presentation of on-farm research reports

  • Aaron Hird, NRCS State Soil Health Specialist
  • Laura Thompson, Nebraska On-Farm Research Network & Ag Technology Extension Educator
  • Farmer collaborators in attendance

On-farm trials rationale, objectives, results, and observations.

Aaron Hird Laura Thompson

11:00 AM

Soil Health: A Microbial Perspective

  • Rhae Drijber, UNL professor with expertise on soil microbial ecology

This presentation will cover the impact of crop and soil management on microbial processes relevant to soil health. A key component of soil health stems from resilience, or the ability to recover from negative perturbations or stressors. How do we create and maintain a resilient soil microbiome? And can we measure this?

Rhae Drijber

11:30 AM

Discussion & participant survey.

Lunch will follow, with announcements at 12:45 PM.

1:00 PM

Regenerative Agriculture: Working Alongside Farmers to Manage for Soil Health

  • Fernanda Krupek, PhD student Department of Agronomy and Horticulture

This presentation will cover the research updates from the farms part of the Soil Health Initiative.

Fernanda Krupek

1:30 PM

Soybean cultivar selection to increase cover crop productivity

  • Chris Proctor, UNL assistant extension educator

The fall-window following grain harvest for cover crop establishment is short in Nebraska. Most cover crop research supports early cover crop planting for maximum biomass production. One management strategy that favors earlier cover crop planting is the use of early-season soybean maturity groups as this earlier harvest times. We will highlight research in Nebraska on the yields resulting from early-season soybean cultivars and the potential cover crop biomass gained from earlier grain harvest and planting.

Chris Proctor

2:00 PM

Continue on farm research reports and adjourn

  • Aaron Hird, NRCS State Soil Health Specialist
  • Laura Thompson, Nebraska On-Farm Research
  • Network & Ag Technology Extension Educator Farmer collaborators in attendance
Aaron Hird Laura Thompson