• Curt Arens

    Women in Agriculture Hold the Future of Many Farms

    Husker Home Place

     by Curt Arens
     on April 1, 2014

    According to the 2007 U.S. Census of Agriculture, about half of the farmland in the country is owned or co-owned by women. While the 2012 Census of Agriculture showed a decrease in the number of women farmers, there is no doubt about the important role women play in the keeping and caring of the land. A series of workshops coming up in April, May and June are being sponsored by the Center for Rural Affairs, designed specifically for women in agriculture. These sessions are geared for a wide…

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  • Curt Arens

    Young Producers are Key to Building Livestock Production

    Husker Home Place

     by Curt Arens
     on March 18, 2014

    Nebraska may be number one in the country at feeding cattle, but it is no secret that the national cow herd has been declining in recent years. The pork and dairy industries have plenty of room to grow as well. Having attended state pork and dairy meetings in the last couple of weeks, I know that producers are anxious to bring new farmers into the fold and grow their herds too. Potential is abundant in these three livestock industries in the state, and the sheep and goat producers would say…

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  • Curt Arens

    Test Farm Production Questions Yourself

    Husker Home Place

     by Curt Arens
     on March 11, 2014

    This week, University of Nebraska Extension experts conducted two on-farm research workshops, discussing what can be learned from on-farm trials going on across the state. One of the key lines from a presentation was, “In production agriculture, it’s what you think you know, that you really don’t know, that can hurt you.” We are fortunate to have literally thousands of trials ongoing, testing products and procedures in crops and livestock production every year…

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  • Curt Arens

    Weather Outlook for the Upcoming Growing Season

    Husker Home Place

     by Curt Arens
     on January 21, 2014

    I know. I’m obsessed with the weather, it is true. I admit it. I watch TV weather reports with amazement. I listen for updated radio reports and read everything I can about the weather, trying to catch differences in reports from varied sources. I was an animal science major in college, but had to sneak an ag meteorology class into my course schedule. So, it should be no surprise that I sat in on a session at a farm show in Norfolk recently featuring Al Dutcher, Nebraska’s state…

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  • Curt Arens

    Baby, It's Cold Outside for Livestock

    Husker Home Place

     by Curt Arens
     on January 7, 2014

    When I was a kid, we finished hogs in outdoor lots. We managed the livestock in the winter months very carefully, keeping waterers open, even in frigid conditions, and bedding the hogs as much as possible. Still, they didn’t like to go outside to the self-feeders to eat when the temperatures dipped below zero. Who could blame them? I didn’t enjoy doing chores then either. I can recall one extremely frigid day in the early 1980s, working all day inside the warm farrowing barn…

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  • Curt Arens

    Curt's Crystal Clear Ag Predictions for 2014

    Husker Home Place

     by Curt Arens
     on December 31, 2013

    You know Nostradamus. The reputed seer living in 1500s France published a collection of prophecies that have since become famous. Of course, most folks attribute any resemblance of Nostradamus predictions to real life happenings as tenuous at best, but still, his often cryptic predictions have captured the imaginations of many. Well, in the spirit of the infamous seer, I have looked long and hard into my own pastures for inspiration, hoping to make predictions for the coming year that are just…

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  • Curt Arens

    Landlords and Tenants: Building Trust

    Husker Home Place

     by Curt Arens
     on December 17, 2013

    I just returned from one of the University of Nebraska Extension landlord and tenant workshops presented by UNL Extension educators, Allan Vyhnalek at Platte County and Tim Lemmons at  Madison County. I have attended these workshops before, but each and every time I attend, I learn something new and useful. There were several themes that resonated at this session, but something that kept coming up was the importance for tenants to build trust and nurture a quality business relationship…

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  • Curt Arens

    What Is Around the Corner?

    Husker Home Place

     by Curt Arens
     on December 10, 2013

    If you average the extreme drought and heat of 2012 and the wetter, cooler summer of 2013 together, you might get a “normal” year. It isn’t that unusual to have good crops following a year of extreme drought. While much of the state was still drier than normal this season, almost every farmer would agree that it certainly was cooler than a year ago, and most portions of the state received at least a few timely rains. It seems we are easily lulled into the idea that every…

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  • Curt Arens

    Give Panhandle Ranchers a Break

    Husker Home Place

     by Curt Arens
     on October 22, 2013

    Alright, enough is enough Mother Nature! I’m sure that’s what northern Panhandle ranchers are thinking right now. Forget rain, or snow, or dark of night, they have experienced tragedy and challenges to their agriculture operations of biblical proportions over the past 18 months. First, last summer was a complete and total disaster. No rain, no grass to speak of, and cow herd liquidations were all too common. Then, in late August and early September, wildfires ignited the…

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  • Curt Arens

    On the Farm, Patience is Not Only a Virtue, It is a Necessity

    Husker Home Place

     by Curt Arens
     on October 15, 2013

    A few years ago, I purchased 20 head of cows with three-month-old calves at their side. My cows were already turned out to pasture, so we drove directly to the pasture and dropped off the newly purchased critters with my herd. However, this pasture has a creek flowing through it, with two tributaries crossing it as well. Cows in that pasture need to know how to cross a creek with steep sides and a narrow, but relatively deep stream. When we dropped off the new cows and their calves, the cows…

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