Ben Beckman - Extension Educator

Ben Beckman

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PO Box 368 101 E Centre Hartington NE 68739-0368
US
Cutting hay in field

Pasture and Forage Minute: Deciphering a Hay Test

March 10, 2021
Extension educators Ben Beckman and Brad Schick break down hay testing and what you need to know to keep your forage crops at optimum performance.

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musk thistle

Fall Thistle Control in Pastures

September 30, 2020
Fall, specifically October and early November, is a key time to chemically control thistles in pastures, both biennial and perennial thistles. Proper identification of thistles is key to picking the proper chemical control.

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fall alfalfa field

October Alfalfa Harvest Considerations

September 30, 2020
With droughty conditions across the state and late season moisture regenerating stands of alfalfa, is there still an opportunity to take October alfalfa cuttings? And which stands could handle a late season cut?

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Alfalfa
Alfalfa stand previously interseeded with grass and legumes near Columbus, NE. – Megan Taylor

Evaluating Alfalfa Stands Part II - Renovation Options

August 12, 2020
Typically, alfalfa’s autotoxicity makes planting into established stands impossible. However, in new stands that are less than 12 months old, there is a chance that reseeding alfalfa in areas that are extremely thin or void of alfalfa may see success.

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thinning alfalfa

Evaluating Alfalfa Stands Part 1 - Using the Hay Square Method

August 5, 2020
Were you expecting more from your alfalfa yields? Is it time to renovate, start over, or move on? Typically, evaluating stands occurs in the spring, but evaluating this fall will give you a better idea going forward and allow more time for future options.

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alfalfa field

Weed Control in Alfalfa Post Green-Up

April 29, 2020
Scouting in early spring is the best way to categorize current weed problems and those that may become issues later in the season and into the following year.

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Sorghum-sudan cover crop plant damaged by a light frost

Forage Hazards Following a Freeze Event

October 6, 2023
Freezing temperatures cause metabolic and cellular changes to our forage crops — prussic acid formation and nitrate poisoning are the biggest concerns. Learn more about these issues and how to avoid them.

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Figure 1. This wheat field just off the Cedar River near Fullerton has 4-6 inches of sediment from spring flooding. Prevented planting and cover crops can help protect against soil erosion and provide feed for cattle. (Photo by Megan Taylor)
Figure 1. This wheat field just off the Cedar River near Fullerton has 4-6 inches of sediment from spring flooding. Prevented planting and cover crops can help protect against soil erosion and provide feed for cattle. (Photo by Megan Taylor)

Prevented Planting and Cover Crops

June 21, 2019
This week when the USDA Risk Management Agency changed the deadline for grazing, cutting, or haying cover crops planted on prevented planting acres to Sept. 1, new options opened up for selecting cover crops to best meet the end use and to provide higher quality feed for cattle. Learn about what to consider when selecting cover crops and how your choices can affect prevented planting payments.

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