UNL CropWatch Dec. 22, 2010 Panhandle No-till Partnership to Sponsor 9 Workshops this Winter

UNL CropWatch Dec. 22, 2010 Panhandle No-till Partnership to Sponsor 9 Workshops this Winter

Dec. 22, 2010

The Nebraska Panhandle No-till Partnership will be hosting a series of no-till workshops this January and February on improving soil quality, managing irrigation and conserving water; and using crop rotation.

The Nebraska Panhandle No-till Partnership includes the Upper Niobrara White, North Platte, and South Platte natural resources districts, the Natural Resources Conservation Service, and UNL Extension. Support for these events is also being provided by the Nebraska No-till Cadre and the Nebraska Continuous No-till Project through a grant from the Nebraska Environmental Trust Fund.

Dates & Places

Jan. 5 – Rushville, Methodist Church, 10 a.m. - 3 p.m.
Jan. 6 – Alliance, Alliance Public Library, 1750 Sweetwater, Room A, 10 a.m. - 3 p.m.
Jan. 7 – Kimball, Kimball/Banner County Fairgrounds,
4-H Building, 10 a.m. - 3 p.m.

Improving Soil Quality Workshops

The first series, “Spend the Day with Ray,” will feature Ray Ward, owner of Ward Laboratories, Kathy Buttle, NRCS soil quality specialist; and Mark Watson, Panhandle no-till education coordinator. Watson will discuss the changes in soil quality he’s seen by using a no-till crop production system on his farm for nearly 20 years. These workshops will explore what determines soil quality, what producers can do to improve soil quality, and how improving soil quality improves water infiltration, water retention, and nutrient availability to plants. The workshops will be informal with plenty of time for discussion about these topics and any other topics related to soil. 

Dates & Places

Feb. 8 – Upper Niobrara White NRD Water Issues Meeting, Alliance, Legion Club meeting room, 9 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Feb. 9 – Bridgeport, Prairie Winds Community Center, 10 a.m. - 3 p.m.
Feb. 10 – Sidney, South Platte NRD office, 10 a.m. - 3 p.m.

No-till Irrigation Management and Water Conservation Workshops

The second workshop series will focus on irrigated no-till crop production and water conservation. Presenters will include Steve Melvin, John Smith, and Gary Stone, UNL Extension faculty members, and Watson. Melvin will discuss the use of soil moisture sensors in managing irrigation water according to soil moisture readings and expected crop water use. Stone will discuss research being conducted on no-till limited irrigation water use. Smith will discuss his research in edible beans with direct harvesting and using cover crops. Watson will discuss his management of residue and soil quality, and how he uses soil moisture monitoring equipment to determine irrigation requirements for his crops.

Dates & Places

Feb. 22 – Chadron, Country Kitchen Restaurant, 10 a.m. - 3 p.m.
Feb. 23 – Alliance, Public Library, 1750 Sweetwater,
10 a.m. - 3 p.m.
Feb. 24 – Sidney, South Platte NRD Office, 10 a.m. - 3 p.m.

Cropping Rotation Workshops

The third series of no-till workshops will feature Drew Lyon, Dipak Santra, and Karla Jenkins, extension specialists and UNL researchers at the Panhandle Research and Extension Center in Scottsbluff. Topics for this workshop will include crop rotations for dryland crop production, alternative crops, forages, and the use of field peas in livestock feed rations. Watson will discuss how he uses legumes in his crop rotation. These meetings will be informal with opportunities for discussion of local no-till topics.

Meeting Information

A free lunch will be included at each site.

For more information or to register for a lunch count, contact Watson at mwatsonntec@charter.net or at (308) 760-5259.

Mark Watson
Panhandle No-till Education Coordinator
Nebraska Panhandle No-till Partnership


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