Ben Beckman - Extension Educator

Ben Beckman

faculty
Work
PO Box 368 101 E Centre Hartington NE 68739-0368
US
Black grass bug
Whitish spots (stippling) are an indication of black grass bugs feeding, which can be managed by intense spring and fall grazing, hay removal, and foliar insecticides for severe infestations. (Photo courtesy Whitney Cranshaw, Colorado State University)

Pasture and Forage Minute: Irrigating First Cutting Alfalfa, Black Grass Bugs and Short Pastures

June 9, 2023
This week — irrigation strategies for moisture-stressed alfalfa prior to first cutting, controlling black grass bugs in wheatgrass, and techniques for stretching pasture.

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Leafy spurge
An effective strategy for controlling leafy spurge is to pair spring applications that prevent seed production with a fall treatment to control new growth.

Pasture and Forage Minute: Controlling Alfalfa Weevil and Leafy Spurge, First Cutting Alfalfa

June 1, 2023
With first cutting alfalfa to begin soon, extension educators discuss the importance of scouting for alfalfa weevils to mitigate yield losses and strategies for timing harvest, plus control options for leafy spurge.

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Hay harvest
The best time to cut grass hay is when the grass nutrient content matches the nutritional needs of your livestock — before heads begin to emerge for young animals, and before seeds develop for mature animals.

Pasture and Forage Minute: Small Grains and Grass Harvest, Fencing Costs

May 23, 2023
This week — Nebraska Extension educators share target protein levels of small grains and grass hay for the upcoming harvest, and analyze the cost of various fencing options.

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Cattle in pasture
Whether cereal plant forages are grazed out, hayed or harvested as wheatlage this year, the goal is to timely plant subsequent summer annuals between mid-May to mid-June for optimizing yields.

Pasture and Forage Minute: Wheat Grazing vs. Grain Value, Choosing Summer Forage

May 16, 2023
This week — Recommendations for producers considering wheat for forage, including varieties and planting timelines for summer annual grasses, plus tips on control measures for poison hemlock.

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Musk thistle
Musk thistle control should be done in spring when plants are in their short rosette growth form, as herbicides are ineffective after the flowering stage.

Pasture and Forage Minute: Equipment Maintenance, Controlling Musk Thistle and No-Till on the Plains Tours

May 11, 2023
This week, extension educators review a checklist for pre-season hay equipment maintenance, tips for controlling musk thistle in pastures, and details of this year's No-Till on the Plains Whirlwind tours in June.

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Irrigated alfalfa
For maximum season production, the first alfalfa cutting typically requires six to seven inches of water — if soil profiles are currently very dry, spring irrigation should be considered.

Pasture and Forage Minute: Early Season Alfalfa Irrigation, Trigger Dates and Weed Control

April 19, 2023
This week — Strategies for irrigating alfalfa in early season dry soil conditions, grazing to control abundant weed growth due to drought and forming a drought plan.

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Alfalfa field
Early spring is a good time to evaluate alfalfa stands to assess reseeding needs, and begin control measures on winter annual weeds like pennycress, downy brome and cheatgrass to get the best quality out of your first cutting of alfalfa.

Pasture and Forage Minute: Alfalfa Weed and Stand Management, Grazing Winter Annuals

April 10, 2023
This week — Tips on controlling winter annual weeds for optimum first cutting hay quality, evaluating alfalfa stands with a hay square, and grazing rye, winter wheat and triticale during a cool start to spring.

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Grasshopper
Though central and western Nebraska a have a higher risk for grasshopper outbreaks this season, a cool, wet spring would mitigate population growth not only for this growing season, but also the following year.

Pasture and Forage Minute: Alfalfa Seed Selection, Grasshoppers After Drought

April 5, 2023
This week — Reviewing seed selection to avoid anthracnose and Phytophthora root rot, assessing alfalfa stands and predictions on grasshopper populations following the 2022 drought.

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