Agriculture


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  • UNL Survey finds Nebraska ag land values up 5 percent

    Jul 11, 2024

    For the fifth consecutive year, the average all-land value of agricultural land in Nebraska increased, reaching $4,015 per acre in the 12-month period ending Feb. 1, 2024, according to the final report from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s 2023-2024 Farm Real Estate Market Survey. This marks a 5 percent increase over the prior year and is the highest non-inflation-adjusted statewide land value in the history of the survey. Based on 2024 market values, Nebraska’s estimated total value of agricultural land and buildings rose to app...

  • Holiday weekend rain-storm add to yearly rain total

    Jul 11, 2024

    Many folks in south central Nebraska are just sitting back and enjoying what seems to be very adequate rainfall for the year. Even with the weekend storm that toppled 30 poles in the South Central Public Power District, most of which were in Clay County, the local area has been mostly storm damaged free in 2024. The weekend storm was interesting. The wind and rain event seemed to be the worse in the Clay Center to Sutton area, but the South Central Public Power District had to repair damage in Nuckolls and Webster counties as well. They...

  • Local yield data reviewed productive wheat plots

    Sandra L. Wick|Jun 6, 2024

    Well, it won't be long, and the combines and farm trucks will be rolling in the wheat fields around north central Kansas. The 2024 wheat crop has certainly been through a variety of conditions during the growing season with some looking pretty good while others not so good. I will provide an update on the Post Rock Extension District Wheat Demonstration Plot Tours that were held the end of May. Annually, the Post Rock Extension District conducts face-to-face tours of our wheat demonstration plot...

  • LBNRD orders stay on irrigation wells

    May 23, 2024

    The directors of the Little Blue Natural Resources District have ordered an immediate district wide stay on the construction of all high-capacity irrigation wells and the expansion of irrigated acres. It will remain in place indefinitely. The stay specifically addressed the district’s area one which is the district’s largest area and the area where the aquifer is the thickest and most productive. Other areas of the district had been previously placed under stays. The full text of the rules may be obtained at www.littlebluenrd.org or at the dis...

  • 2024 Rainfall is greater than 2023

    May 23, 2024

    The current weather condition is probably the most talked about conversation in most rural areas. I suspect we here in southcentral Nebraska follow that trend. Last week a television weather reporter went back and compared the first four and one-half months of 2024 to the similar period in 2023. His conclusion was that most all reporting stations reported an increase in rainfall in 2024 compared to 2023. We at the NC Locomotive-Gazette decided to report similar figures in the local area. The conclusions about the rainfall totals for the two...

  • LRNRD charts groundwater use

    May 16, 2024

    The Lower Republican Natural Resources District this week reported on groundwater use in the four counties served by the district for the past three years. The average district use was 9.86 inches in 2022. This was up from 6.32 in 2021. The use declined in 2023 to 7.69 inches. The average use by year starting with 2021 and continuing through 2023 for each of the four counties is as follows: Furnas, 7.25, 10.96, 7.33; Harlan, 6.04, 10.67, 7.58; Franklin, 6.31, 9.19, 7.53; Webster, 5.84, 8.97, 8.65; and Nuckolls, 6.03, 6.75, 8.32. This year,...

  • Northern Kansas scout alert for Wheat Stripe Rust

    Sandra L. Wick|May 16, 2024

    Yet another disease may soon or already is affecting the wheat in north central Kansas. Unfortunately, stripe rust continues to spread throughout the state of Kansas from the south to the north with more showing up in our area. Stripe rust is a serious threat to wheat production in Kansas and has been reported in Kansas for decades. Certain weather conditions can significantly affect the spread and development of the disease. Research indicates the population of the fungus that causes stripe...

  • Post Rock Extension District Wheat Tour on Wednesday, May 22

    May 16, 2024

    The 2024 KSU-Post Rock Extension District Wheat Plot Tours are Wednesday, May 22, to view more than 25 varieties in each of the wheat plots with five stops. The wheat tour day will have an “eastern” and “western” leg of the tours starting at 10 a.m. in Smith County with the Jewell County tour starting at 10:30 a.m. Two sites will offer lunch at 11:30 a.m. In Jewell at the city lake at the shelter house (blue water tower) sponsored by State Exchange Bank and noon at the Osborne County Wheat Plot sponsored by Midway Co-op, Inc. The Osborne...

  • Farm owner identifies picture taken near Hardy

    May 9, 2024

    From time to time Ideal Title Company publishes an advertisement in this newspaper which contains an aerial photo of an area farm taken about 50 years ago. The current owner of the farm is invited to visit the newspaper office, tell us a bit about the farm and claim the photo. At this writing the photo published in the last issue has not been claimed but a previously published photo has been claimed. Loretta Pedersen called at The Express and reported the pictured farm has been owned by members of her family since the early 1900s. The farm is...

  • Five stops planned on wheat tour

    May 9, 2024

    Don’t forget to mark your calendars for the 2024 KSU-Post Rock Extension District Wheat Plot Tours, Wednesday, May 22, to view more than 25 varieties in each of the wheat plots with five stops. The wheat tour day will have an “eastern” and “western” leg of the tours starting at 10 a.m. in Smith County with the Jewell County tour starting at 10:30 a.m. There will be two sites for lunch at 11:30 a.m. in Jewell at the city lake shelter house (blue water tower) sponsored by State Exchange Bank and noon at the Osborne County Wheat Plot sponsored...

  • Nebraska FFA concludes 96th FFA Convention

    Mar 11, 2024

    More than 7,000 FFA members, advisors and guests attended and participated in the 96th Nebraska FFA Convention, held April 3 through 5 in Lincoln. Students competed in various contests all school year to qualify for the state convention. Those winning their Leadership Development Events, Career Development Events and Agriscience Fair projects will go onto compete at the National FFA Convention against other states in their respective areas. Proficiency Area winners will also be judged at the national level and will know in August if they have...

  • Tractor safety classes offered by K-State Research and Extension Districts for 2024

    Mar 11, 2024

    This summer, thousands of Kansas teenagers will begin their first job working for a farmer or rancher. For those that are ages 14 or 15, they must complete a tractor safety course in order to be legally employed. A 13-year-old may enroll in the training if turning 14 before the next year’s class is offered, but the certificate will not be issued until their 14th birthday. To help prepare some of those youth for the upcoming work season, K-State Research and Extension Districts are collaborating and will be hosting four in-person tractor safety...

  • Deadline approaching for risk coverage, price loss coverage programs for 2024

    Feb 29, 2024

    The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is encouraging agricultural producers to contact their county Farm Service Agency (FSA) office to enroll in the Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) and Price Loss Coverage (PLC) programs for the 2024 crop year. The deadline to complete enrollment and any election change is March 15. Producers can elect coverage and enroll in ARC-County (ARC-CO) or PLC, which provide crop-by-crop protection, or ARC-Individual (ARC-IC), which protects the entire farm. Although election changes for 2024 are optional,...

  • Wildlife official advises: Protect poultry flocks, do not touch sick water fowl

    Feb 22, 2024

    White geese call to one another continually as they move into the local corn fields to feed and back to Lovewell Lake to rest and roost. For local residents, they announce spring is close. Planting season is almost here. But as the white goose population explodes and the area's water basin areas shrink, the migration potentially exposes the area poultry flocks to avian influenza. Rob Unruh, Kansas wildlife specialist, askes area residents to not touch dead geese. "We have had people wading the...

  • NWS reports on 2023 precipitation

    Feb 22, 2024

    Although not as severely dry as the previous year, 2023 was another overall-drier-than-normal year for most of the 30 counties served by the National Weather Service office at Hastings. The weather service has reported about 75 perecent of the area received at least slightly below normal precipitation, with counties east of Highway 281 the overall-driest. Of the approximately one-fourth of the 30-county area that received slightly above normal precipitation, it was almost entirely concentrated within counties west of Highway 281. The majority...

  • Prairie Shooters compete in 4-H quiz bowl in Mankato.

    Jan 25, 2024

    Prairie Shooters compete in 4-H quiz bowl in Mankato. Pictured (back row, from left) are Isabelle Wilburn, Haylee Bledsoe, Jayce Cady, Lily Walker, Jillyan Cady, Nelson Underwood, Abbey Schleifer, front row: Wyatt Walker, Lucy Wilburn, Claire Walker, Bradley Bledsoe and Katie Thronson....

  • NPPA announces 2024 NPPA Pork Ambassadors

    Jan 25, 2024

    The Nebraska Pork Producers Association (NPPA) has selected the 2024 Pork Ambassadors. Five college-age students, under the direction of Sophia Lentfer, education director for the association, will participate in the year long program. Olivia Vanderford is a freshman studying agricultural communications at UNL. Daughter of Jon and Taryn Vanderford of Lincoln, Nebraska. Danielle Burge is a junior at UNL majoring in animal science and is a member of the Engler Agribusiness Entrepreneurship...

  • Cold Stress: Don't ignore the warning signs

    Jan 18, 2024

    Cold temperatures, high winds and wet conditions are commonplace on the farm in winter. While working outside is often inescapable, understanding how these conditions affect our bodies and our health are key to working safely. Begin by dressing appropriately for weather conditions. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), dressing properly is essential to preventing cold stress. These guidelines can help ensure clothing helps protect from cold temperatures: • Wear at least three layers of loose-fitting clothing a...

  • Kansas Farm Bureau to recognize tradition, heritage of family farms

    Jan 4, 2024

    Kansas Farm Bureau is continuing in 2024 its recognition for “Sesquicentennial Farms” in conjunction with its annual “Century Farm” program. The Century Farm program honors Farm Bureau members who own farms of at least 80 acres within the same family for 100 years or more. The Sesquicentennial Farm recognition goes to farms in the same family for at least 150 years. “Kansas farmers and ranchers have a lot to be proud of,” Joe Newland, Kansas Farm Bureau president, said. “One thing we take pride in is our value in the traditions and strong famil...

  • Unusual find

    Nov 30, 2023

    There has been an unusual find this week in a northern Jewell County field. Two dead buck deer were observed but there was no evidence of blood or signs the animals had been dragged to the disposal site. On closer examination, it was determined the deer had apparently been fighting and gotten their antlers tangled in the bottom wire that had been pulled from the landowners’ fence. Locked together, they eventually died....

  • Inventure Day for students held at Nuckolls County Fairgrounds

    Nov 30, 2023

    Nuckolls and Thayer County Extension hosted their first annual Inventure Day at the Nuckolls County fairgrounds on Friday, Nov. 17. Inventure Day is a single-day entrepreneurial adventure for middle school youth developed by the Nebraska Extension Entrepreneurship Focus Team. Using innovation and creative problem-solving, teams of youth develop unique business concepts around a given widget which is used as inspiration for a product or service. Teams move through the Inventure Factory,...

  • NWS predicts snow Saturday

    Nov 23, 2023

    It has been a long dryspell but we finally have widespread precipitation to report. Rain started after midnight Saturday and continued until about sundown Monday. At times it was heavy and at other times it was a light drizzle. A CoCoRHs gauge maintained in the heart of Superior recorded 0.64 before 7 a.m. Sunday, 0.37 in the following 24 hours and 0.l5 by 7 a.m. Tuesday for a total of 1.16. The official National Weather Service gauge near the northwest corner of the community measured 1.20 in the same time period. A gauge 1.5 miles north of...

  • Important industry issues to be addressed at KLA convention

    Nov 2, 2023

    The program at next month’s Kansas Livestock Association (KLA) Convention will address future trade opportunities for the beef and dairy sectors, prospects for cattle prices in 2024 and what consumers consider before purchasing beef. KLA members and guests will gather to hear these presentations and others Nov. 29 through Dec. 1 in Wichita. Also during the organization’s annual meeting, ranchers, feeders and dairymen will have opportunities to provide input on KLA policy, exchange management ideas with other livestock producers and see the lat...

  • Everett Benoit ranked 4th in Angus Registrations for Kansas During 2023

    Oct 5, 2023

    Everett L Benoit, Esbon, ranked as fourth largest in registering the most Angus beef cattle in Kansas with the American Angus Association during fiscal year 2023, which ended Sept. 30, according to Mark McCully, association chief executive officer. Angus breeders across the nation in 2023 registered 300,761 head of Angus cattle....

  • 2023 Harvest a disappointment

    Jenny Rees|Oct 5, 2023

    It’s been a fairly full month of harvest! I’ve heard much disappointment in yields thus far. Perspective for me comes from helping serve eight counties this past year and seeing such a range of conditions. I have struggled to find ways to encourage as I talk with growers. I’m just so grateful harvest is here as, to me, every field finished is one field closer to being done with 2023! I also realize that’s not a great way to look at a year, but it’s honestly where I’m at. Thus far, non-irrigated soybeans have averaged 20 to 25 bushels per...

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