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Straight From The Horse's Mouth

Jenny's REESources


Straight From The Horse's Mouth, by Duane Lienamann, UNL Extension
Have you ever really thought about the meaning of Memorial Day and the real reason for the upcoming weekend? I think it would be pertinent, since as I write this column we are at the beginning of Memorial Day weekend, which is observed annually on the last Monday in May. I know school alumni banquets and gatherings are held during this weekend many people look forward to the weekend for many reasons. I would count myself among those who use the weekend to remember family members who have departed and to try to gather as a family whenever or wherever we can. I will visit graves and will enjoy a day from work, but maybe we should give pause to what it is about!
Memorial Day was originally designed to commemorate all men and women who have died in war or military service for the United States. Many people do visit cemeteries and memorials on Memorial Day, but many more use it for rest and relaxation, many times at lakes or parks. Many people have traditionally seen it as the start of the summer season. But whatever the traditions for families, I believe we may find it has lost its meaning over the years. I think it would be good to take a look at this holiday in this week's edition and I will explain why I feel the way I do.
Let's first look at a little history of this federal holiday. You may be surprised that Memorial Day, as we know it today, was inspired by the way people in southern states honored their dead. That tradition was not lost on General John Logan, national commander of the Grand Army of the Republic, who observed the practice and felt strongly that it should be celebrated by our nation. He went to congress and proposed a day be officially proclaimed in memory for those who lost their lives during the Civil War. Congress declared the first day of remembrance on May 5, 1868, to be first observed on May 30, 1868, when flowers were placed on the graves of Union and Confederate soldiers at Arlington National Cemetery. The original "Decoration Day."
I wonder how many people know or remember that what we now call Memorial Day was originally known as Decoration Day. The first state to officially recognize the holiday was New York, in 1873, but by 1890 it was recognized by all of the northern states. What is ironic is this practice originated in the Confederate states, but the south refused to acknowledge the day, instead honoring their dead on a different day. This separation continued until after World War I, when the holiday changed from honoring just those who died in the Civil War to honoring all Americans who died fighting in any war. It is now celebrated in almost every state on the last Monday of May and is known almost universally as Memorial Day.
I think most people link this day with poppies. I would bet many of you have donated a dollar or two to affix one of those red poppies to your lapel. Have you ever wondered where the poppy came in as part of the Memorial Day celebration? As I understand it, in 1915, inspired by the poem, "In Flanders Fields," Moina Michael penned the following lines: "We cherish too, the poppy red. That grows on fields where valor led. It seems to signal to the skies. That blood of heroes never dies." She then conceived an idea to wear red poppies on Memorial Day in honor of those who died serving the nation during war. She was the first to wear one, and sold poppies to her friends and co-workers, with the money going to benefit servicemen in need. Shortly before Memorial Day in 1922 the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) became the first veterans' organization to nationally sell poppies. Two years later their "Buddy" Poppy program began, selling artificial poppies made by disabled veterans. It is a tradition that is still popular in our country. Do you have yours?
I mentioned at the beginning of this column I believe we lost the value and meaning of this hallowed event. I honestly believe this happened with the passing by Congress of the "National Holiday Act of 1971," which was to ensure a three day weekend for federal holidays. I think it made it all the easier for people to be distracted from the spirit and meaning of the day. It may be worth noting that several southern states have an additional separate day for honoring the Confederate war dead. Maybe the original practitioners still understand the reason.
I think you will find traditional observance of Memorial Day has diminished through the years. I think moving to the three day weekend encouraged putting emphasis on other things rather than our fallen soldiers. Memorial Day has become less of an occasion of remembrance. Many people choose to hold picnics, sporting events and family gatherings on this weekend. Many Americans, in my opinion, have forgotten the meaning and traditions of Memorial Day. At many cemeteries, the graves of the fallen are increasingly ignored and even neglected. Most people no longer remember the proper flag etiquette for the day. While there are towns and cities that still hold Memorial Day parades, many have not held a parade in decades or put out flags at cemeteries or on the town square to honor them.
Some people think the day is for honoring any and all dead, and not just those fallen in service to our country. While I think it is good and right to honor our own passed loved ones, I think we don't want to forget those who this day was originally prescribed for. Thank a veteran or stop by the grave of someone who gave their life for their country and our collective freedom. I personally salute my father and both of my grandfathers, who all served our country in World War II and World War I respectively. They are now gone, but not forgotten. Nor do I forget all those who fought before them, with them and since then to make sure we are free to celebrate as we see fit. Let us not forget the reason for Memorial Day!

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Jenny's REESources, by Jenny Rees, UNL Extension

Monday was the last day to plant an insured corn crop (June 10th is the date for soybeans) and still receive the full level of insurance coverage (called final planting date).
Monte Vandeveer, a Nebraska extension educator, shared several options for acres that hadn't been planted by the final planting date in this weeks CropWatch (
He advised plant the insured crop during the late planting period and insurance coverage will be provided. The late planting period for corn in Nebraska is 20 days after the final planting date. The production guarantee is reduced 1 percent per day for each day that planting is delayed after the final planting date.
Plant the insured crop after the late planting period has ended if you have been prevented from planting during the late planting period, and insurance coverage will be provided. The insurance guarantee will be 60 percent of the original production guarantee.
Acreage that was prevented from being planted because of an insured cause of loss can be left idle and receive a full prevented planting payment, also equal to 60 percent of the original production guarantee.
Plant a cover crop during or after the end of the late planting period and receive a full prevented planting payment as long as it is not hayed or grazed before Nov. 1. The cover crop cannot be harvested for grain or seed at any time.
Plant another crop (second crop) after the late planting period (if also prevented from planting through the late planting period), and receive a prevented planting payment equal to 35 percent of the prevented planting guarantee.
More information including examples can be found in this week's CropWatch.
For those affected by flooding or frost, you may have taken stand counts and wondered how much potential yield loss may occur at a certain level of stand reduction.
Iowa State University Extension's Corn Field Guide addresses this question for corn. The assumptions based on their research are early planting (mid-late April) produces highest yields and optimum economical yields occurred at a seeding rate of 35,000 seeds per acre.
View table at the following link by scrolling to the bottom of the page: It's interesting to note from this table that replant may not provide the yield potential of early planted corn even at much reduced stands.
When it comes to soybeans, Nebraska On-Farm Research has consistently shown from 2006-2014 that reduced seeding rates did not significantly impact yield. A Hamilton County farmer planted the lowest range of populations in 2010: 60K, 90K, 120K and 150K seeds per acre which yielded 69.7, 72.4, 73.8, and 74.6 bushels per acre respectively with no statistical yield differences. We have additional studies at http://cropwatch. which show in many cases, it didn't pay to replant soybeans after hail situations.
Each potential replant situation needs to be assessed independently and when in doubt, on-farm research is a great way to test if replanting was the best decision for you.
Please contact your local extension educator if you're interested in testing any replant situations or any questions you have via on-farm research this year

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