• Curt Arens

    Nebraska Farmers Don't Hope for Snow Very Often

    Husker Home Place

     by Curt Arens
     on March 12, 2013

    Beggars can’t be choosers. That’s the old adage. But when it comes to moisture, farmers are usually pretty choosy about the timing, the form and how much wind we receive with the moisture. After recent snow and ice storms have rumbled through the area, I can see now that farmers in my neck of the woods are not complaining. I was visiting on the phone with a farmer one evening a few weeks ago when a snowstorm was raging outside. I asked him how much snow he thought he had…

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  • Curt Arens

    "Dust Bowl" Viewers Deserve to Hear the Rest of the Story

    Husker Home Place

     by Curt Arens
     on January 24, 2013

    Dear Mr. Burns, I have thoroughly enjoyed your film making for years, especially your award-winning effort in “The Civil War.” As a long-time student of American history, I credit Sister Veronica, my wonderful history teacher at St. Rose School, and your film, “The Civil War,” with my passion for that particular historical period. Your recipe for films, including photos and film footage, experts of the period, eyewitness accounts and how you weave each piece…

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  • Curt Arens

    Drought Sends Beef Producers Looking For Answers

    Husker Home Place

     by Curt Arens
     on December 18, 2012

    I’m about as optimistic as anyone. But I’ve attended enough drought meetings this past year to understand that drought forces producers to make decisions that are extremely difficult. And the aftermath impact is not always known. Almost all grazing experts are telling producers to destock their herds and delay turnout this spring on pasture to save the pastures from sure destruction. Producers are encouraged to plant annuals, if there is adequate moisture, to fill in the…

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  • Curt Arens

    Harvest is a Time to Reflect and Plan for Next Year

    Husker Home Place

     by Curt Arens
     on October 16, 2012

    The combines have slowed down in our part of the state, almost finished with harvest. More acres were planted this year to row crops across the country, but almost all farmers have been extremely disappointed with the outcome. Yet, in the face of adversity, autumn still came around, and Mother Nature showed her fall colors in grand display, although most of the summer has been drab brown, black and gray. One Sunday recently, I grabbed my camera and walked around the farmstead, taking photos…

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  • Curt Arens

    Ranchers Finding Hope in Recovery from Wildfires and Drought

    Husker Home Place

     by Curt Arens
     on September 20, 2012

    There were plenty of questions to be answered among 120 plus ranchers and landowners attending a wildfire recovery meeting held at Norden yesterday. The meeting was held in the dance hall at the Keya Paha County fairgrounds, one of just a few structures saved when late July wildfires raged through the community of Norden, on its way to burning around 117 square miles of grazing land in Rock, Brown, Keya Paha and Cherry counties. Not to be outdone, fires have ravaged land around the state…

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  • Curt Arens

    Lessons Learned From the Summer of Drought and Fire

    Husker Home Place

     by Curt Arens
     on August 16, 2012

    Producers around the state have learned a lot in this year of drought and wildfires. Most young farmers and many not-so-young farmers have never seen conditions as dry as they have been in their lifetimes. Many haven’t seen a single really dry year in at least two decades or more. This season has been a time of trial and error, when we've had to be creative and innovative. So, we’ve dusted off some of the old axioms of farming and ranching, and we’ve been taking…

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  • Curt Arens

    Double Whammy: Drought and Fire Hit Ranchers

    Husker Home Place

     by Curt Arens
     on August 1, 2012

    Fire was on everyone’s mind. As I ate my lunch at Big John’s Restaurant in Ainsworth the other day during a trip to Brown and Keya Paha counties to cover the aftermath of the wildfires that recently swept through that area, fire fighting stories were the greatest source of conversation for other diners around me. Signs on business windows, including Big John’s, simply said, “Thank you fire fighters and volunteers.” Driving through what was once the tiny community…

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  • Curt Arens

    Carrying Out a Drought Plan Can Be Painful

    Husker Home Place

     by Curt Arens
     on July 25, 2012

    This past Friday was a tough day. I had been dreading the day for some time, although I knew it was coming up on the horizon. With each passing day of extreme heat and no rain, I watched my paddocks of grass dry and turn into nothing more than kindling for a fire. Warm season pastures that normally carried my small herd through the hottest of summer months never materialized. Cool season grasses that greened up early this season, provided some April grazing, but fizzled out in the summer sun…

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  • Curt Arens

    Accepting Drought and Making Plans

    Husker Home Place

     by Curt Arens
     on July 17, 2012

    They say that acceptance of the problem is the first step in dealing with it. I suppose that could be said of an addiction or of drought. I think over the past few weeks, many farmers have been in denial. We’ve kept our eyes upward, hoping and praying for a crop-saving rain. But, as I spoke with my neighbors and farming friends over the past week, I’ve noticed a marked change in attitude. Most of the farmers have given up the anxiety of waiting for rain. They have come to the…

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  • Curt Arens

    Silver Lining: Top 10 Good Things About Drought

    Husker Home Place

     by Curt Arens
     on July 10, 2012

    Yes, it is one of the driest years on record for many of us. Yes, it has thus far been one of the hottest summers any of us can recall. There is no grass. Hay is high priced and almost completely unavailable. But hey, I still have my health. And besides, even in the drought of the Dirty Thirties, my grandparents held barn dances, farm couples got married, had children and life went on. They had fun and found humor in their disaster. Years ago, I interviewed John Leader, an upbeat, lively…

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