I can remember in past years that late July and August were a bit more laid back compared to today in the field day arena.
The so-called "slow news" times of late summer don't exist anymore. And, of course, the lazy, hazy days of summer never existed for farmers. For ag writers, the calendar is seemingly more packed than ever this year with crop production events sponsored by commodity associations, UNL Extension and the seed industry.
It's a testament to the fact that information gathering is a continuing process for you in today's high technology agriculture. And there is a wealth of good information being presented.
Let's take a look at what's in store.
If you're a soybean producer, August is your month. UNL Extension and state soybean organizations will hold Soybean Management Field Days at four farms, Aug. 13-16. And later, UNL Extension will conduct Soybean Cyst Nematode field days, Aug. 21, 22, 27, and 28, also on farms. SCN is considered a soybean's growers No. 1 pest, but it's often overlooked as a cause of yield loss. As always, check with your local Extension office for locations.
The challenge of herbicide resistance isn't going away anytime soon. It will likely worsen. So, UNL Extension will hold herbicide-resistant weed management field days—Aug. 6, near David City, and Aug. 7 near Fremont. Call 402-472-1527 for information.
Diagnosing crop ailments is crucial. In a continuing series of UNL-sponsored Crop Diagnostic Clinics, one will be held Aug. 28 to address cover crops as a soil improvement practice. If you're one of many Nebraska farmers and cattlemen interested in learning more about cover crops, this is one program you shouldn't miss. It will be held at the UNL Agricultural Research and Development Center near Mead. Call 402-624-8030.
Cattlemen have some great opportunities in store in August, too. The annual Nebraska Grazing Conference, in Kearney, has become one of the leading conferences of its type in the country. This year's event is Aug. 13 and 14. In light of continued dryness, grazing management is more important than ever. A rancher panel is always a highlight of this conference. Call 402-472-4101.
One of the largest research ranches in the country, the Gudmundsen Sandhills Laboratory north of Whitman, has its annual open house Aug. 21. While the field day provides the latest in UNL grazing land and beef cow nutrition research, you'll find it to be one of the most scenic range environments in the Sandhills. The lunch is great, too. Ag writers always consider lunch.
There seems to be a continual tweaking of cattle finishing diets, based on the costs of corn, ethanol coproducts and roughages. Pencil in the date Aug. 21 on your calendar for a webinar, "Using Elevated Levels of Silage in Finishing Diets." Go to https//connect.unl/extension/. The select "Enter as Guest." On the next screen, enter your name and click on the Enter Room button to join webinar. It begins at 12:30.
I'm sure you have a seed company field day somewhere near you, too, where you can get the latest on hybrids, pest resistance and where those companies are in the drought-resistance arena.
And don't forget the Nebraska State Fair, starting Aug. 23, and, of course, Husker Harvest Days Sept. 10-12.
There are many more of these educational events ahead. Take advantage of what they offer. Whether you raise crops or cattle, or both, you need to keep up with the latest practices and technologies.