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Special Features Section, Superior Express

Jenny's REESources

Straight From The Horse's Mouth


Jenny's REESources, by Jenny Rees, UNL Extension
Harvest is progressing and we are anticipating a higher amount of stalk rot this year. This is because increased disease pressure on the leaves of corn plants reduces the phytosynthetic capability of those leaves. We've had a great fill period for corn and plants started taking material from the stalks to fill those ears. You can check your fields for stalk rot by walking into the field and pinching (placing the first internode of the stalk above the soil line between your thumb and first finger and applying pressure to) 20 plants. Take a percentage of those that crush in your hand. We recommend doing this in four or five areas of the field to get an average, and harvest the fields with the highest percentage of stalk rot first.
If you haven't been aware of this, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has published proposed changes and is seeking public comment to the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) specifically regarding certification of pesticide applicators. These proposed changes would impact anyone needing a certified applicator license for the purchase and use of restricted use pesticides which are not available for purchase by the general public, require special handling and may only be applied by a certified applicator or someone working under his or her direct supervision. The public comment period for the proposed changes to the certification rule runs through Nov. 23. Changes with most significant impact can be seen on page 4 of Recertification Requirements Unit XIV.B, available at n_rule_detailed_comparison_chart.pdf.  
The proposed changes define a continuing education unit (CEU) as 50 minutes of active training time. Currently Nebraska Department of Ag (NDA) does not require a specific time for training but instead requires that each competency is addressed during private and commercial recertification training. I take my role in certifying applicators for your private pesticide license seriously, because safety with pesticides is serious for ourselves, our families, others around us and the environment. I do my best to cover all the required material by EPA, NDA, in addition to giving you research-based crop information. You will see the certification requirements impact you as applicators and those of us who conduct certification and recertification trainings.
The proposed changes require that both private and commercial applicators receive six CEUs covering core content (general standards), three CEUs for each private category (new categories proposed: aerial, soil fumigation, and non-soil fumigation) and six CEUs for each commercial category. The proposed rule changes would impact private pesticide applicators in the following ways: Every three years, private applicators would need five hours of training to recertify, unless they needed to add another category, which would be an additional three hours for private categories and six hours for commercial applicators. A test would also be required for first-time private applicators to prove competency. For more information on this topic, go to:
For those with confined animal feeding operations (CAFOs), the Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality has scheduled the 2015 environmental update and CAFO workshop for Dec. 11 at the Lifelong Learning Center at Northeast Community College in Norfolk.

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Straight From The Horse's Mouth, by Duane Lienemann, UNL Extension
Seems I have always been involved with 4-H. Have for most of my life. Since about age eight, I have in some way worked with 4-H ­­ a daughter or grandchldren in 4-H and, of course, the last more than 15 years as a Nebraska extension educator. I have been intimately involved with 4-H activities at the county, district and state levels. It may be a surprise to some, since I was a long time ag education instructor and FFA advisor, that I was a 10 year 4-H member and still have my record books, 4-H awards and meeting attendance bars for my 4-H achievement pin. It was the foundation on which I built my eventual career. It led me to a love of agriculture and a decision to go to a high school with an agriculture program, then to college to see what direction to go with my life.
Two people beyond my parents were instrumental in that monumental decision I made when I graduated from high school. The Franklin County ag agent and my high school vocational agriculture teacher at good old Wilcox High School both saw something in me and advised me to go beyond the borders of familiarity and spread my wings at UNL. I was always curious and had an insatiable appetite for anything that involved agriculture. I am certain my involvement in 4-H was the catalyst for that desire. I wasn't sure what I wanted to major in or what path was ahead of me, but I knew it would be some form of agriculture, starting with pre-vet science. That was until I found out how much chemistry I had to take. I will be the first to admit it was not my best subject. So I ended up majoring in ag education, ag economics and agronomy in hopes of getting a high paying job in the ag industry. But I ended up doing just what my mentors thought I should do. Now more than 50 years later, I have gone full circle, thanks to an organization that had such an impact on my life. This is a special week for the four leaf clover!
National 4-H Week Oct. 4-10
Six million young people across the country are celebrating National 4-H Week, an annual celebration during the first full week of October. During this week, 4-H is showing pride in the great things it offers young people and saying thanks to the incredible 4-H youths who work each day to have a positive impact. For more than 100 years, 4-H has stood behind the idea that youth is the single, strongest catalyst for change. What began as a way to give rural youths new agricultural skills has grown into a global organization that teaches a range of life skills. It is dedicated to positive youth development and helps them step up to challenges in a complex and changing world. It is dedicated to helping cultivate the next generation of leaders and tackling the nation's top challenges, such as the shortage of skilled professionals, maintaining global competitiveness, encouraging civic involvement and becoming a healthier society. 4-H is making the best better!
The Tufts Institute did research on the positive effect of 4-H. Not surprisingly to me, they found the structured learning, encouragement and adult mentoring youths receive in 4-H plays a vital role in helping them achieve success in life and contribute to their communities. The research showed the 4-H experience grows young people who are four times more likely to contribute to their communities, two times more likely to make healthier choices, two times more likely to be civically active, and two times more likely to participate in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) programs. I know the value of youth organizations like 4-H and FFA and can verify their advantages.
The nation's largest youth development organization, 4-H grows confident young people who are empowered for life and prepared for career. 4-H programs empower nearly six million young people across the U.S. through experiences that develop critical life skills. 4-H is the youth development program of our nation's cooperative extension system and USDA. It serves every county and parish in the U.S. through a network of 110 public universities and more than 3,000 extension offices. Globally, 4-H collaborates with independent programs to empower one million youths in 50 countries. In Nebraska, one in three age-eligible youths from all 93 counties are enrolled in 4-H, for a total enrollment of approximately 140,000. Nearly 50,000 Nebraska youths participated in school enrichment experiences and more than 33,000 were members of a 4-H club. Nearly 11,000 youths and adults participated in 4-H camping programs and approximately 12,000 volunteers share their time and resources with Nebraska 4-H. I think that is pretty darn impressive.
The mission of Nebraska 4-H is to empower youths to reach their full potential, working and learning in partnerships with caring adults. Nebraska 4-H strives to help young people achieve their greatest potential by introducing high-quality youth development experiences into their lives. Engagement in 4-H results in youths who make positive decisions about their health and future goals. They are advocates and leaders, determined to leave a lasting impact on Nebraska. By taking part in Nebraska 4-H, youths are preparing for a successful future by focusing on 4-H science, agricultural literacy, career development and college readiness, community engagement and healthy living. For more information, to go to or The 2015 National 4-H Week theme is "4-H Grows Here!" That's an appropriate theme, evident in the county I am lucky enough to live and work in. 4-H does grow and prosper with the support of communities, parents, businesses and, of course, the youths! Happy 4-H week!