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Special Features Section, Superior Express

Jenny's REESources

Garage saling leads to elk sighting


Jenny's REESources, by Jenny Rees, UNL Extension
Grain quality from the 2014 harvest is generally expected to be high, although challenges may lie ahead in the need to store much of this harvest for an extended time, perhaps as much as two years. Charles Hurburgh, ISU professor in agricultural and biosystems engineering and professor in charge of Iowa Grain Quality Initiative, discusses the 2014 corn and soybean crops and lists key management actions for growers in an article that may be found at: He also links to http://www.iowagrain. org/ with 20-minute training modules on 1) aeration and dry grain storage, 2) fan performance, and 3) dryeration.
I have been asked if lawns can still be renovated. Ideally cool-season renovation for lawns should be done by Sept. 15 as new seedings may not be possible to establish by winter or be affected by winterkill. However, if you're still hoping to do some renovation, the sooner the better, and only for bluegrass and perennial ryegrass lawns. Any practice that will improve seed to soil contact will greatly increase success, such as power raking or core aerating. Post seeding care with frequent irrigation, mowing, and fertilization are critical to maximize establishment in the shortened time period before winter.
Now is also the best time to control perennial broadleaf weeds with spot herbicide treatments. Fall applications in mid-September through early November move the herbicide systemically down to the root system allowing for a more effective kill. Killing perennials weeds in the fall like clovers, dandelion and creeping jenny also allows for turfgrass to fill in and reduce competition for weeds next spring. While drift can still occur, there's less risk in the fall due to many non-target susceptible plants losing their leaves or soon dying and going dormant from frost.
Fall is also the most important time for fertilizing lawns. Bill Kreuser, assistant professor and turfgrass extension specialist, said research has found nitrogen uptake is lower during the end of fall compared to earlier. Nitrogen in the soil solution is transported to the roots via plant transpiration through a process called mass flow. The higher the transpiration rate, the more nitrogen gets to the roots. Low evapotranspiration during late fall limits mass flow and reduces access to nitrogen. As a result, nitrogen from late fall fertilization either sits in the soil until the grass resumes growth in the spring or it is lost through processes such as leaching. This work was also replicated and confirmed by research at the University of Minnesota and Penn State University.
Our current recommendations for fall fertilization for our heavy soils are: Apply slow release granular products in mid-September at 1.0 lbs per 1,000 square feet. Aim for a product with 50 percent slow release nitrogen or less. If additional nitrogen fertilization is required later in the fall, use products with more quick release nitrogen and don't apply nitrogen after mid to late-October depending on your location within Nebraska. Later applications will linger in the soil and promote excessive spring growth, increasing mowing requirements in the spring and depleting carbohydrates prior to summer.
I have received several questions about bagworms and evergreen trees losing a large amount of needles in the middle of the tree.
For bagworms, it is too late to spray this year. Right now we recommend hand-picking the bags off trees where feasible (obviously harder to do with windbreak situations) and destroying the bags. The best time to treat is in June-July depending on the growing season. This past year, bagworms were late, thus more people are noticing the two inch long tan bags of needles now. One way to determine the best time to treat is to remove some of the bags off your tree in late May and early June and place in a Ziplock bag outside the south-facing side of your home. When you see larvae emerging from the bags, you can target your pesticide application. More information on bagworms is available at
There's been concern about significant needle drop in the center of pine trees right now. Evergreen trees naturally shed needles every so many years depending on species and also depending on the type of growing season. If you're seeing entire branches of scotch and Austrian pines yellowing, it might be good to have the tree checked for potential pine wilt. But if you're just noticing needles dropping in the center of the tree, most likely the tree is going through a natural process of needle drop. More information here

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Garage saling leads to elk sighting

Superior residents Richard and Cindy Nelson were in the Ravenna area for the weekend and decided to visit some of the garage sales being held in association with the annual Highway 2 Junk Jaunt. The Junk Jaunt is among the oldest of Nebraska's multiple town garage sales. About five miles east of Ravenna they stopped at one of the sales and asked the proprietor how the day was going.
They found it was going so well. Highway traffic was heavier than normal and several accidents had been reported and this combination was discouraging shoppers.
It wasn't long before the Nelsons saw first hand what was the cause of the extra traffic. A wild elk was grazing in a pasture and even attracting the attention of some of his pasture mates. The animal appeared to circling around toward the highway and the Nelsons decided to pull off and wait. It wasn't long before the animal was within picture range.

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