UNL CropWatch July 13, 2010: UNL Panhandle REC Celebrates Centennial July 24

UNL CropWatch July 13, 2010: UNL Panhandle REC Celebrates Centennial July 24

July 13, 2010

The UNL Panhandle Research and Extension Center will celebrate its centennial Saturday, July 24 with a daylong event that features field tours, displays, history, fun and food.

The celebration will begin at 7:30 a.m. with a pancake breakfast courtesy of the Scottsbluff-Gering United Chamber of Commerce. Trailer tours and exhibits begin at 8:30 a.m. Tours and exhibits are listed below.

Centennial Schedule

7:30-9:00 a.m. Pancake breakfast courtesy of Scottsbluff-Gering United Chamber of Commerce
8:30-10:50 a.m. Field tours and exhibits
11:00-11:30 a.m. Welcome, introductions and centennial celebration
11:30 a.m.-1:00 p.m. Lunch courtesy of centennial sponsors
12:30-2:50 p.m. Field tours and exhibits
2:00-3:15 p.m. Watermelon feed

An 11 a.m. ceremony will take formal note of the occasion. Dignitaries and UNL administrators scheduled to attend the event include NU Regent Robert Phares of North Platte; UNL Chancellor Harvey Perlman; newly appointed Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources (IANR) Vice Chancellor and NU Vice President Ronnie Green; and State Sen. John Harms of Scottsbluff.

Messages will be read from Gov. Dave Hienemann, U.S. Sens. Ben Nelson and Mike Johanns, and 3rd Dist Rep. Adrian Smith.

Lunch will follow the ceremony, and the field tours and exhibits will be repeated afterward. A watermelon feed will wrap up the day by about 3 p.m.

All events will be at the Panhandle Research and Extension Center at 4502 Avenue I, Scottsbluff. Visitors will be guided to parking areas when they arrive at the center.

Field Tours

Field Machinery — From Horses to Satellites: Farm machinery used for Panhandle crops has changed dramatically in 100 years, in size, capacity, technology, and reduction in manual labor. Three phases will be demonstrated: horses pulling a planting implement used locally; a tractor and planting implement that would have been used locally in the 1940s; and a modern 250-plus-horsepower, satellite-guided, auto-steer tractor with a large, modern planter.

Also see:

A Brief Historical Perspective of UNL's Panhandle REC


Changes in Sugarbeet Production Over the Last Century: A signature crop in irrigated western Nebraska, sugarbeet cropping began with a multigerm seed planted thick, hand thinned, cultivated, and hand weeded. In the next step in its evolution, singlegerm seed was planted thick, RoNeet preplant, hand thinned, cultivated, and hand weeded. Third, singlegerm seed was planted to stand, Nortron preplant, with a half-rate postemergence herbicide program, and cultivated. Finally, Roundup-Ready Sugarbeets were planted to stand, glyphosate was applied three times, and there was no cultivation.

Changing Water for 100 Years: The evolution of irrigation in the Panhandle began with making cuts from an earthen ditch to flood irrigate and progressed to setting dams and siphon tubes; then to surge irrigation as a method to introduce automation with surface irrigation. Early center pivot systems and the challenges that irrigators had to overcome will be contrasted with modern center pivot systems that can turn on and off individual sprinklers using GPS technology all being able to be controlled from home computers and cell phones. In the newest irrigation technology to come to the valley, subsurface drip irrigation, water is applied under the ground to avoid evaporation and improve efficiency.

Exhibits on the Lawn

Potato Types and Nebraska History: The differences between different potato types and their characteristics for processing and cooking. The history of potato in Nebraska over the century and a half. How the potato came to be a world-wide staple, the discovery of potato chips, and the importation of french fries from Belgium.

The Food Preservation Journey: Changes in food preservation, from old, blue jars with zinc caps and rubber rings, antique canners, to the newer canners, jars, to freezer boxes, dried foods and ready-to-eat containers. Sample a new, edible food wrap made from fruits and vegetables.

A Century of Advancements in Plant Pathology: A microscope with camera will allow visitors to view pathogens up close. This will be contrasted with an old monocular scope that would have been used around 1910. Other displays will focus on the advancements of science and plant pathology topics over the years.

From County Agent to Educator: Significant periods over the past 100 years will be highlighted, including the issues addressed, tools they used, and how they have interacted with the farmer and rancher. Time periods will include the early years, the depression, world wars, and current day programs.

Beef: Improving Cattlemen’s Retail Value: Chuck rolls will be cut into the traditional roast and hamburger as well as the new cuts including flat iron and Denver steaks. Juicy, grilled taste samples of the new “beef value cuts” will be available.

4-H Celebrate the Past…Meet the Future: Celebrating the history and importance of 4-H in the Nebraska Panhandle with a “walking timeline” and digital scrapbook. Visitors will be invited to share what “4-H means to them” on video or in a blog.

Changes in the Feedlot Industry and Range Management: Slide show and food samples illustrating changes in the industry and the research that led it.

Insect Management and Pesticide Safety Then and Now: An overview of the progression of insect management and control strategies, from organic chemicals to plant-incorporated pesticides, and a look at the equipment, application, and technology that have evolved along the way. The goal is to highlight the advances in pesticide safety and insect management tools and technologies brought about by entomological study.

A Century of Small Grains Development: See the different types of small grains. Learn how the various species have grown or shrunk in importance over time, and how breeding has changed the cultivars that are used.

UNL Dry Bean Breeding Program: Changes in dry bean growth habit and improvements in disease resistance. Early cultivars grown in the 1960s will be compared with current elite lines from the UNL dry bean breeding program. Plots will be inoculated with bean common rust to show resistance in current UNL germplasm. The use of molecular DNA markers will be emphasized.

A Century of Soil, Fertilizer and Corn Research: Modern corn will be compared with open-pollinated or a type that represents early taller corn before hybrids. Side-by-side plots will compare corn with no nitrogen fertilizer applied to well-fertilized corn (modern and old). Samples of fertilizer materials from manure compost to Chilean nitrate, plus modern fertilizers, will show the developments in plant nutrition plus soil sampling tools.

Come See Nursing in the Past While Getting a Health Screen for the Future: While viewing nursing instruments used in the past, sit down and relax a minute while getting a quick health screening.

David Ostdiek
Communications Specialist, Panhandle REC