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Special Features Section, Superior Express

Jenny's REESources

Breakfast planned on National Day of Prayer


Jenny's REESources, by Jenny Rees, UNL Extension
Crop update: Last week's rains were truly a blessing and greatly needed! Scouting wheat in Clay and Nuckolls counties, I found increases in aphid numbers (bird cherry oat aphid and corn leaf aphid), yet none were at economic thresholds. Our UNL entomologists say we need 20 aphids per stem to justify spraying at this stage. You can view all the thresholds for various wheat stages at My concern is that bird cherry oat aphids in particular can transmit barley yellow dwarf virus. This virus, once vectored, moves within the plant but doesn't show itself until the flag leaf appears yellow-purple in color. Because the flag leaf and two leaves below contribute more than 80 percent of a wheat plant's yield, this does cause concern. Also watch for fungal diseases such as powdery mildew, stripe and leaf rust in the lower wheat canopies as all these appeared again last week at low incidence.
Wegulo also found stripe rust moved from the lower canopy to the upper canopy in wheat in the Mead area last week. My hope is that for non-irrigated wheat, we can hold off on fungicide applications till flag leaf emergence with current wheat economics. It's important to be scouting your fields right now for aphids and disease as varieties also vary in their susceptibility and management decisions should be made on a field by field basis.
Soybeans: This week's CropWatch at has a number of articles dealing with soybean planting considerations. Nebraska research since 2004, including on-farm research, has documented planting date to be the primary factor influencing soybean yield. Research conducted in Lincoln in 2015 showed the April 23 planting date to yield the most compared to planting dates after that. Consider planting your soybeans in April to take advantage of the yield benefit with the key in mind of looking at the forecast for 48 hours and aiming for planting when soil temperatures are likely to remain at 50 or warmer for that time-period. The soybean study last year also found a benefit to mid-group 2 maturity groups only after a late-May planting date. This is something I'd like to see more research on in other parts of the state as we've seen some tremendous yields from farmers planting strong mid-group 2 genetics in late April.
I'm unsure if this is because of the genetics alone or if there's some environmental factors also affecting this in south-central Nebraska. If you're interested in an on-farm research study comparing mid-group 2 vs. mid-group 3 varieties with April planting dates, please let me know at Our on-farm research group also has a plant population study for narrow row soybeans that we'd like more farmers to consider if you're interested in that.
Lawns, gardens and trees: Are you noticing a silver-white appearance to your lawn right now? If you are, most likely it's because of powdery mildew, a fungal disease that affects turf. Susceptible varieties of Kentucky bluegrass in lawns like mine that have a lot of shade and not much air movement allow for this disease to occur. Management includes the use of preventive fungicides if you know you have a variety that's susceptible, reducing shade by keeping trees pruned, and overseeding with a resistant variety. If you're curious when is the best time in our area to plant different vegetables, Gary Zoubek, semi-retired extension educator, had put together a great resource available at
Trees: If needles on the ends of spruce branches have dropped off, the tree could be infected with Sirococcus shoot blight. This fungal disease mainly affects current year's growth on spruce, with damage extending to last year's growth. Symptoms are similar to winter injury or frost damage; however, shoots killed by Sirococcus are scattered rather than uniform. Young nursery plants may be killed by this disease while damage to large trees is confined to lower branches and has little effect on plant health. Infected shoots should be clipped and destroyed to prevent spore dispersal. If needed, preventive fungicides, such as chlorothalonil may be effective on reducing infection on young trees. Two fungicide applications are typically made in May.

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Breakfast planned on National Day of Prayer
The 65th annual National Day of Prayer will be observed Thursday, May 5. The local observance will include a breakfast served at the Living Faith Fellowship Church. Organizers have said the national day has profound significance for our country and an unprecedented opportunity to see the Lord's healing and renewing power made manifest as the nation's citizens humbly come before His throne.
The breakfast will be sponsored from 7 to 8 a.m. by the Nuckolls County Ministerial Association. Breakfast casseroles,muffins, fruit and juice will be on the menu.
The theme for 2016 is "Wake Up America." This emphasizes the need for the nation to return to the God of Our Fathers in reverence for His Holy Name. To further highlight the theme, the sponsors have chosen Isaiah 58:1a as the Scripture for this year:  "Shout it aloud, do not hold back. Raise your voice like a trumpet."
Tony Evans, the 2016 honorary chairman, wrote a special prayer which will be simultaneously read throughout the nation at noon (ET).  This recitation will illustrate the unity of God's people and acknowledging His dominion over the circumstances facing the people of the United States.  Millions of people will gather to pray at thousands of events facilitated by volunteer coordinators.
At this crucial time for our nation, we can do nothing more important than pray. 
The prayers reads as follows: "Dear Heavenly Father, We come to You today as a humble people desperate for Your supernatural intervention on behalf of our beloved nation.  First, we thank You for all the blessings You have bestowed on our land, blessings that have allowed us to bring so much good and benefit to not only our own citizens but also to the rest of the world. The very ideals upon which this country was founded were based on biblical truths, no matter how some try to rewrite history to deny that very fact today.
"This is why our hearts are so broken over how You continue to be marginalized and dismissed by both our people and our institutions. We are also saddened by the fact that Your people have contributed greatly to the spiritual apathy that now engulfs us. Our satisfaction in remaining religious without being fully committed to living out the truths of Your Word has caused us to become co-conspirators with the forces of evil that are destroying us as a society.
"It is for this reason that we personally and collectively repent of our carnality and recommit ourselves to becoming visible and verbal disciples of Jesus Christ. Enable us, by Your Spirit, to no longer be secret agent Christians but rather to publicly declare and live out Your truth in a spirit of love so that You feel welcome in our country once again.
"Thank You for Your promise to hear our prayers when we call to You with hearts of repentance and obedience, which is how we are appealing to You today, Father. On behalf of Your church, we affirm afresh the priority You are to us that You would fill every dimension of our lives as we seek to bring You glory through the advancement of Your kingdom in our personal lives, our family lives, and in the lives of our churches and our government leaders. We confidently invite heaven's intervention into all the affairs of our nation and we praise You in advance for Your answer.
"In Jesus' name we pray. Amen."