Extension to ‘Cultivate Opportunities’ for Attendees at 2021 Husker Harvest Days
The University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL), the Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources (IANR) along with Nebraska Extension will be providing an education program to provide Knowledge That Helps Cultivate Opportunities in a number of agricultural topics at the 2021 Husker Harvest Days (HHD) farm show, scheduled for Tuesday through Thursday, Sept. 14-16. The program will be housed in the UNL “Big Red Building” located at lot 827. An agriculture careers program will be located in a large white tent immediately east of the building.
Teams of Nebraska Extension educators and specialists will be sharing their field-proven experiences with new research-based, unbiased information. The wide variety of topics should provide a wealth of information that could lead to more success and wellbeing in the lives of visitors to the UNL Big Red Building.
Farm and ranch economic and financial decisions are important but can be hard to make. Faculty from the UNL Agriculture Economics Center for Agricultural Profitability will provide information to help make good management decisions.
Nebraska has the second-largest number of cattle on feed in the United States, thus is one of the most important agriculture industries in the state. The Beef Systems Team will provide information to help producers manage feed costs and maintain animal performance. This information will help the cattle producer continue to provide a quality animal for the consumer and help maintain a healthy income.
When farmers raise livestock, they will always produce manure. Members of the UNL Animal Manure Management Team will emphasis that using livestock manure to fertilize cropland is nature’s original recycling program, and recycling locally available manure nutrients before importing inorganic fertilizer is the key to protecting the environment. Their goal is to provide farmers with resources and tools to make the most of manure that they may have available.
Cover Crop Production
The use of cover crops has increase significantly in the last several years. Just like the use of manure on crop fields, planting cover crops will increase soil organic matter and improve the ability of the soil to grow a crop. The Cover Crop Team will demonstrate how the small effort made to plant a cover crop will result in a large payback both financially and in land quality improvement.
Water Quality and Quantity Issues
Increasing soil organic matter, boosting water infiltration and reducing loss of soil nitrogen are important issues in protecting the quality of both surface and aquifer held water. The Water Issues Team will provide information on how best to manage soil water and apply irrigation to increase crop production while conserving our natural resources. Participating farmers will better understand the economics of using the practices and learn how to maintain a high quality and plentiful water supply that will reduce some of the uncertainty they face in crop production.
Digital Agriculture and On-farm Research
There have been significant improvements in the equipment that farmers use to produce their crops, including the ability to record yield data. The Digital Agriculture and On-Farm Research Team will highlight how farmers can use this data to guide them on future management decisions. Farmers will learn that on-farm research is not difficult to conduct and the results will help them increase the productivity of their land, resulting in increased profitability.
Crop Pest Management
Pests change in their occurrence and response to control tactics, thus are a continual challenge to manage. The Pest Management Team will highlight the results of research on pesticide products and alternative approaches to pest control. They will also review issues of managing pesticide resistance and how to deal with new and emerging pest problems. This information will give people a better understanding of the pests they find in and around their fields and homes, and how to manage them.
Nebraskans place a high value on trees. Trees bring a significant value to farms and landscapes by blocking the wind, reducing soil erosion and providing habitat for wildlife. Sometimes it can be a challenge to maintain trees in a grassland state such as Nebraska. Thus, the Community Environment Team will be providing information that will help farmers and home residents select the right trees for their situation and maintain their health.
Farm Family Wellbeing
Maintaining a healthy wellbeing is also very important for humans. Stress can happen to all people and it is important to understand that normal to feel overwhelmed, particularly during tough times. The Healthy Lifestyles and Wellness Team will be providing information to help people learn to maintain their wellbeing and be able to recognize when family and friends may need assistance. Learning these skills will help keep families and communities together.
Communities need people to provide leadership to continue to prosper. The administrator of the Nebraska LEAD program will be sharing information about how they can help develop the skills people need to help lead rural communities. LEAD program participants become exposed to diverse societal and business thinking, develop a respect for agriculture’s history and heritage and learn to investigate and listen to all sides of an issue. The skills learned help participants to maintain the “good life” in their communities.
Young people also need training to be able to establish a career and contribute to their communities. The UNL exhibit will feature an Agriculture Careers Zone adjacent to the “Big Red Building”. The Career Zone Team includes representatives from the Nebraska 4-H College and Careers Readiness Team, the UNL College of Agriculture and Natural Resources Admissions office and the Nebraska College of Technical Agriculture Admissions office. The representatives will provide information on agricultural careers, preparation for post high school training and career success markers. This information will help youth develop career paths that can bring them back to live and help our rural communities thrive.
In addition to all of the program information that is being provided, IANR faculty will be available to answer crop and animal production questions. They will also be available to look at plant and insect samples the visitors might bring along. We all look forward to seeing and visiting with all HHD participants.