Headline News




Special Features Section, Superior Express

Jenny's REESources

Straight From the Horse's Mouth


Jenny's REESources, by Jenny Rees, UNL Extension
Harvest is rapidly progressing! For those noticing a black dust coming out of the back of the combine, this is most likely fungal spores that live on dead and decaying material. We had several rain events late in the season coupled with corn leaf aphids in several fields during the growing season. Sooty mold is one fungus that thrives on the excrement of aphids creating a gray-black appearance on leaf tissue. It is a secondary fungus and doesn't directly cause yield loss or quality concerns of the corn ear. However, it can irritate the respiratory system. If it's causing problems to people in your harvest operation, masks can help. We have a CropWatch article with videos regarding different masks for respiratory help at
A reminder of our grain storage website at
Harvest is also a great time to be thinking of on-farm research topics for next year. As yield results come in, consider on-farm research in different fields and topics that will answer your production questions next year.
AgriFuture Conference in Kearney will be held Oct. 28-30 at the Younes Conference Center. Students and faculty from the Nebraska College of Technical Agriculture at Curtis will be among participants in the multi-state event. NCTA joins University of Nebraska-Lincoln Extension, the Wyoming Department of Agriculture, and others in coordinating the event. National speakers will include Michael Scuse, undersecretary for farm and foreign Agricultural Services at the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Trent Loos, Loos Tales radio personality of and ag producer from Loup City, and Andy Vance, entrepreneur and agriculture journalist with Feedstuffs from Ohio
Breakout sessions will feature agriculture awareness, natural resources, local and global agriculture, trends in agriculture, and financial resources presented by Dee Griffin, DVM, Great Plains Veterinary Educational Center, Clay Center, Gary Lesoing, UNL extension educator in Nemaha County and Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education representative for Nebraska, Allen Vyhnalek, UNL extension educator, Platte County, and Vaughn Hammond of Union Orchard, Union.
Conference pre-registrations are requested but will also be taken at the door.
National Food Entrepreneur Program Seminar has been a great one for helping food entrepreneurs begin their businesses. The University of Nebraska Food Processing Center is offering a one-day seminar for all individuals interested in exploring the idea of starting a food manufacturing business. All interested individuals are encouraged to attend the "Recipe to Reality" seminar which will be offered on Nov. 15. Pre-registration is required and space is limited. Registration deadline is Nov. 1. For more information contact for an information packet.

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


Straight From the Horse's Mouth, by Duane Lienemann, UNL Extension

Where do I start this week? Perhaps with what I feel is good news for area farmers. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has approved the use of Enlist Duo which will provide a new tool to help farmers manage troublesome weeds while growing genetically engineered corn and soybeans. The EPA's decision allows the use of Dow Chemical Co.'s new herbicide in six Midwestern states: Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Ohio, South Dakota and Wisconsin. The agency is accepting comments until Nov. 14, on whether to register in 10 more states including Nebraska and Kansas, all subject to certain restrictions.
This breakthrough technology will likely soon be approved for use with Enlist corn and soybeans right here in Nebraska. EPA's decision is the final step in the federal regulatory process for the Enlist system. The Enlist corn and soybean traits were deregulated by the USDA on Sept. 17 and this now completes the cycle to give us a new tool.
Enlist Duo consists of a common pesticide known by the brand name Roundup plus a slight variation on another pesticide that has been used for many, many years, 2,4-D. The approved formulation contains the choline salt of 2,4-D which is less prone to drift than the other forms of 2,4-D.
The agency has also put in place restrictions to avoid pesticide drift, including a 30-foot in-field 'no spray" buffer zone around the application area, no pesticide application when the wind speed is above 15 mph, and only ground applications are permitted.
To ensure that weeds will not become resistant to 2,4-D and continue increased herbicide use, EPA is imposing a new, robust set of requirements on the registrant. These requirements include extensive surveying and reporting to EPA, grower education and remediation plans. The registration will expire in six years, allowing EPA to revisit the issue of resistance. In the future, the agency intends to apply this approach to weed resistance management for all existing and new herbicides used on herbicide tolerant crops. This action provides an additional tool for the ag community to manage resistant weeds.
Both Glyphosate and 2,4-D have long been in use in agriculture and around homes and are two of the most widely used herbicides to control weeds in the world. Farmers have been pushing for approval of Enlist Duo for years as an alternative to Monsanto's Roundup system, which includes a weed killer and Roundup Ready crops. It was released a year ago in Canada. This release in the Midwest is welcome to most of our farmers for one particular big reason. It is a well-known fact that some weeds have developed immunity to Roundup and have become problematic and this gives us a great tool.
There has been a big push by environmentalist groups like EarthJustice and Label Now to keep the new product off the market and in fact I addressed some misinformation on it that was being pushed by Dr. Oz. The main talking point by these groups is that they say it has "Agent Orange" in the ingredients, which has been banned. That just is not true and yet they highlight all of their arguments with that statement along with the moniker that Dr. Oz put forward as this being a "GMO pesticide," which is also not factual because this pesticide has no DNA so obviously it cannot be genetically modified.
The confusion comes from the addition of 2.4-D which is a common name for the chemical 2,4-Dichlorophenoxyacetic acid. 2,4-D plus another form of this chemical family 2,4, 5-T, were indeed components of Agent Orange, which was an herbicidal weapon the United States military used in the Vietnam War. As a Vietnam Era college student, I can tell you that there are lots of awful stories about that chemical and it is troubling that those against this newly introduced pesticide use that as their major talking point. Maybe a little background would be in order to help you understand the controversy.
Agent Orange is one of the herbicides and defoliants used by the U.S. military as part of its herbicidal warfare program, Operation Ranch Hand, during the Vietnam War from 1961 to 1971. It was a mixture of equal parts of the aforementioned two herbicides, 2,4,5-T and 2,4-D. It was used to eliminate forest cover for North Vietnamese and Viet Cong troops, as well as crops that might be used to feed them. In 1969, it became widely known that the 2,4,5-T component of Agent Orange was contaminated with dioxin, a toxic chemical found to cause adverse health effects and birth outcomes in laboratory studies. In April 1970, the U.S. government restricted use of 2,4,5-T, because of the contaminant and therefore Agent Orange, in both Vietnam and the U.S. It was not the 2,4-D or the 2,4,5-T but rather the contaminant dioxin that was the problem.
So if you study the facts, the environmentalists who call 2,4-D Agent Orange are furthering an urban myth, because the deadly part of Agent Orange has been banned for years and in 1985 they also banned 2,4, 5-T, the contaminated component of Agent Orange that made it dangerous. Calling this tool Agent Orange just is not correct! It is a scare tactic.
After many years of research and scrutiny the EPA examined the potential harm to humans, the environment, wildlife, endangered species and others in its studies on Enlist Duo. It found that use of Enlist Duo would be safe for all ages and agricultural workers, as well as animals and the environment. The decision reflects sounds science and an understanding of the risks of pesticides to human health and the environment. The agency evaluated the risks to all age groups, from infants to the elderly, and took into account exposures through food, water, pesticide drift, and as a result of use around homes. The decision meets the rigorous Food Quality Protection Act standard of reasonable certainty of no harm to human health. The EPA even made mention that the herbicide is not related to the deadly component of Agent Orange, which is banned, which negates the arguments that the environmentalists use. I like the fact that EPA is using a balanced approach for once!

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