Headline News




Special Features Section, Superior Express

Jenny's REESources

Letter to the 38th Legislative District


Jenny's REESources, By Jenny Rees, UNL Extension
This past week contained many off-target herbicide concern calls. Prior to Memorial Day I made a note that post-herbicide applications to corn began in much of the area and anticipated phone
calls to begin in about two weeks. Most of the conversations this week were more FYI to let me know they had soybean leaf cupping.
Here's a few things to consider if you are having soybean leaf cupping.
First, was a post-herbicide application made to your soybeans? If so, check for any potential tank contamination (Check out this CropWatch article: If not, check out this publication ( to determine if any of the criteria mentioned could possibly be contributing to the problem.
Determine how old the plant is by asking when the soybean was planted
and even better when it emerged. A soybean plant will produce a new node every 3.75 days. To determine the timing of damage, I count the total number of nodes on the plant to the last trifoliolate where leaf edges are not touching. The total number of nodes may differ in different parts of the field such as irrigated and non-irrigated especially after herbicide damage and drought-stress (Example 8 nodes irrigated and 6 non-irrigated). Take the number of nodes X 3.75 to get total approximation of plant age. Then count back on the calendar to determine approximate emergence date. If I use 8 nodes in this example X 3.75 = around 30 days ago the plant emerged.
I then count the number of nodes to the first damage I see on leaves (Example 3). Multiply this number of nodes times 3.75 and count forward on the calendar from emergence to that date. For instance, in this case, damage occurred around 11 days after emergence.
I also like to count how many completely unfurled trifoliolates are affected (Example 6 trifoliolates). Take that number and multiply by 3.75 (Example 6 X 3.75= approximately 23 days ago the damage occurred). In this example, it worked to count either direction (from emergence and from current date) to determine approximate timing of off-target movement occurring. In all the situations I've looked at thus far, the timing goes back to around Memorial Day with post-dicamba herbicide applications applied to corn.
Auxin-like herbicides affect only cell division. Thus, fully developed leaves (no longer expanding via cell division) are not affected even though they may be expanding by leaf cell enlargement. Only the tips of the newest exposed soybean leaves may experience damage to dicamba as they are still undergoing cell division. Otherwise, it can take 7-14 days for leaf damage from dicamba injury to appear on susceptible plants and damage will occur typically 4-6 nodes. This is because dicamba is also translocated once inside leaf cells. Thus it impacts cell division of the leaf primordia at the stem apex. We may not even see those leaves yet because they are still enclosed in the stem apex tissue.
In a matter of weeks, affected fields can go from appearing to have minor damage, to looking really bad, to growing out of damage. It looks worst when those affected nodes push upward giving the field a grayish-white cast to it as the leaves become much reduced in size and are tightly cupped. Eventually the leaves will begin to look more normal again in time (as long as a second off-target movement doesn't occur).
What can you do? Water via irrigation or rainfall is the best recovery tool for dicamba damage. Waiting is another. We're blessed to grow indeterminate soybean in Nebraska which continues to produce nodes and leaves upon flowering which allows our soybean to grow out of damage.
Wait till harvest to determine any yield impacts if there are areas impacted vs. those which aren't. Otherwise, field-scale damage is difficult to discern yield impacts.
You can talk with your neighbors or ag retailers regarding what they sprayed. In our area of the state, it's often difficult to pinpoint the source of off-target movement with so many applying dicamba products to corn for palmer control often around the same time-frame. Now that post-apps to soybean are also occurring, that may also become a challenge. Of all the fields I visited last year, fewer than a handful of farmers sought any sort of compensation and those were more often because of tank contamination issues. If you wish to pursue that route, you need to file a complaint with the Nebraska Department of Ag.
For future dicamba applications, check out these best management tips: For those of you reading this in a source outside of my blog, I created a video to hopefully be more visual and clear on understanding this method of diagnosing timing. You can check it out at my YouTube site:

To return to the top of the page and choose another feature story, click here.


Letter to the 38th Legislative District
By Sen. John Kuehn,
Nebraska Legislature
Tax policy discussions in Nebraska tend to focus on the big three taxes: property, sales and income. Most of the graphics you see and statistics you read compare the total amount of property taxes collected by local governments with the sales tax and income tax revenues of the state general fund.
Ignoring almost half of the other sources of revenue collected by state and local government in Nebraska, these oversimplified comparisons exclude a substantial tax you pay: local sales taxes. In addition to the state sales tax rate of 5.5 percent, cities and counties have the option to charge an
additional sales tax rate of 0.5, 1.0, 1.5, 1.75 or 2 percent on your purchases.
The location of the point of sale determines the total tax rate. More than 200 cities and villages charge sales tax. One county, Dakota County, has a 0.5 percent sales tax. Of those cities, 16 communities, including Minden in District 38, charge the highest rate of 2 percent. The state collects the combined rate and distributes the municipality's portion back.
During calendar year 2017, $462 million was collected by cities in local sales and use taxes. To put this amount in perspective, the total sales tax collections by the state of Nebraska for fiscal year 2017 was $1.55 billion. Local communities charged you an additional 30 percent of the state total in local sales taxes. Each of those small, interval amounts on your receipts add up to a substantial sum. As we all are aware, the property tax burden is a subject of much conversation across Nebraska. Cities set a levy and collect property taxes as well. In 2017, cities collected $398 million from property owners. This amount is dwarfed by the $462 million in sales taxes collected by cities during that same time period ­­ a total of 16 percent more, to be exact. Combined, cities and villages assessed $860 million in local taxes to fund city government.
These, of course, are not the only sources of revenue for cities and villages. A number of tax reform proposals include charging sales taxes on goods and services that are currently exempt. The concept is to expand the tax base over more goods and start charging sales taxes on previously untaxed services. The purported purpose would be to use the additional revenues collected by the state to fund local government activities currently paid by property taxes. The historical experience and practical outcomes of that tax policy are the topic of another column, but the proposal does have significant tax implications beyond generating state revenue.
Charging sales taxes on more goods and services will increase the amount you pay in local sales tax as well. Unlike a simple increase in the state sales tax rate, which only increases your tax bill to the state, eliminating current sales tax exemptions increases both state and local taxes. Whether or not local cities would lower their property taxes in the same amount their sales tax revenue increases would be determined by each community. They could simply use the increased revenue as a windfall and increase their spending and your total tax bill.
Since 2006 Nebraska municipalities have collected more than $4.6 billion in local sales and use taxes. A 54 percent increase in sales taxes collected, more than $162 million more is
charged annually by city governments today. During that same time period, city property taxes collected increased by 57 percent, from $253 million to the
current $398 million. I don't know about your personal situation, but I can
assure you neither my income nor my disposable budget have increased by 50 percent since 2006.
It is no wonder Nebraska tax payers are feeling pinched in every direction. Any honest discussion about balancing Nebraska's tax burden must include all of the taxes Nebraskans pay. Excluding significant tax burdens from the analysis of any tax solution, such as local sales taxes, is akin to trying to solve a Rubik's cube with the specific color of half the squares covered. The "big three" is an incomplete representation of Nebraska's tax burden. It must include all taxes collected by state and
local government, including local sales tax.