July 21, 2016



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Readers share how they cope with triple digit heat

Farmers warned about pesticide resistant palmer armaranth

Old tractor sale draws buyers from 10 states

Monarch habitat tour will begin in Nelson


The Cyber Express-Record

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The Superior Express & Jewell County News 21 July 2016


Work continued into the weekend digging out from more than a foot wet snow that fell last Tuesday. A rotary snow plow was used to open Highway 136 to two lanes of traffic through Nuckolls County last Thursday.

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Readers share how they cope with triple digit heat

When temperatures were forecast to be near or above the 100 degree mark this week, a regular reader of this newspaper asked, "Do the youngsters no longer play outside in the sprinklers on hot summer days? It seems like they are either at the pool or hiding inside their houses. I never see them outside."
The comments got the newspaper staff to thinking about how people cope with triple digit temperatures in this age of air conditioning and electronic games. A question posted Tuesday morning to the newspaper's Facebook page asked how the readers of that page planned to cope with the high temperatures. Here's what we learned:
We're staying in air conditioning hoping every outdoor worker stays smart and safe. We're also keeping our curtains closed to keep out the heat. When I lived in Florida, I put aluminum foil on my windows to reflect the heat. We used less power and air conditioning then. -Sandra Foote
Spending the hot afternoons either cleaning and organizing in our basement or continuing genealogy research, all inside the air conditioned house. -Gloria Schlaefli
Staying in the mountains of Utah! It's hot but no humidity. - Shawn Robinson
Our summer home is just across the parking lot from our Dairy Queen so I'm only outside to walk back and forth to work as needed. - Joan Frum
Going camping with the Boy Scouts.-Corey Scott
On a historical note, I vividly remember exiting the air conditioned Fisher Drug Store in downtown Superior into the August heat. The thermometer by the door read 116 degrees in the shade. The southerly winds heated by barren dry wheat fields all the way south to Texas. -John Huskinson
Ride instead of walk when I golf. -Rosemary Miller
We didn't think it was hot enough in Texas, so we're coming your direction! -Ann Higdon
I am hiding in the upright freezer. -Martin Pohlman
Drinking lots of always. It is the key to beating the heat. -Mark Ray
Working, but I am driving a truck with a good air conditioner. - Craig Dominy
Dairy Queen Days. -Ron Bradrick
Go from my air conditioned house to my air conditioned car to my air conditioned office where I wear a sweater all day. -Joanna Bayless
Going to Minneapolis where it be just as hot. -Carolyn Bowman (she didn't say but we wouldn't be surprised to learn she is going on her motorcycle.)
In the pool. -Nancy Burton

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Farmers warned about pesticide resistant palmer armaranth

Palmer armaranth is quickly becoming a troublsome weed for farmers nationwide and a field day devoted to this weed was held July 12 at Shickley. Among those attending was Jenny Rees, a Nebraska Cooperative Extension Service agent and regular contributor to this newspaper. Her report follows:
I was thankful to have had the opportunity to attend the palmer amaranth resistance field day. Jason Norsworthy from the University of Arkansas was the keynote speaker and I learned much from his presentations on the biology of palmer and the situation they're facing in the southern U.S. with resistance to it.
He began by saying that palmer amaranth is the No. 1 troublesome weed in the U.S. because of its growth rate and seed production.
I came away with the key message of managing seed production. In Arkansas, the primary question asked when ground is for sale or rent is "do you have pigweed?" (which means palmer down there) and ground is turned down depending on weed pressure.
There's even a county extension agent who teamed with area farmers for a zero tolerance for palmer in their area. Anytime they see palmer, they call the farmer whose land it's on and tell them to take care of it.
A study done in Nebraska in 57 soybean fields showed a 99 percent retention rate of seed going into the combine during harvest. Thus, it's important to consider equipment purchases from the south and movement of equipment from palmer infested fields to others.
On average, one plant will produce 60,000 seeds at harvest with plants on the edge of the field producing more than 1.5 million seeds or plants.
Palmer amaranth seed will begin emerging in late April in Nebraska in fields with little or no residue cover; peak emergence occurs around the 4th week of June. Emergence is continuous for 5 to 6 months. Early in the season, growth rate is 0.75 to one inch per day. Jason showed photos of palmer treated at five to eight inches (which is too late) and 14 days later was 36 to 40 inches tall, a growth rate of 2.5 inches per day. He also shared data that 1 plant in 1 foot of row resulted in a 17 percent yield reduction. Flowering occurs 21 days after emergence with pollen traveling as much as 1000 feet ­­ thus the ability for cross-pollination for herbicide resistance.
Jason mentioned even allowing one percent of palmer to survive in field results in tremendous genetic variability for herbicide resistance due to the distance of pollen movement. For seeds emerging in early July, the resulting plant will produce viable seed within four weeks. Jason said management of palmer is season-long until early September in Nebraska. Thirty-six to 44 percent of seeds emerge at 0-1 inch; seven percent emerge at 2 inches; two percent emerge at three inch depth.
Studies done on the persistence (ability of the seed to remain in the soil) showed that tilling the soil to bury the palmer seed resulted in 67 percent reduction in the seed bank within 12 months and 84 percent reduction in the seed bank after 24 months. A key they are using in the south is tillage followed by a cover crop. Having shaded ground and no tillage prior to planting reduces palmer germination as soil temperature is a critical factor in early palmer emergence.
Because they have resistance to six different herbicide chemistries in the south, management also includes cultivating the crop in-season followed by hand-weeding where the female plants are physically removed from the field.
A University of Georgia study showed that if palmer was weeded and then allowed to lie on the ground, the female plants could regenerate roots within 48 hours and still produce viable seed. This study also showed palmer had to be hoed at least one inch below the soil surface in order for it not to regenerate a stem. Quick canopy closure is also important as light also influences palmer germination. Nine percent of seed germination is reduced by canopy closure.
The biology in itself makes it hard to argue palmer very well could be the most troublesome weed in the U.S. I've seen quite a bit of mis-diagnosis of what truly is palmer and what isn't in our part of the state. Honestly, I'm curious to know what percent of crossing we have between palmer and tall waterhemp.
Keys for identification include looking at the petiole (stem attached to the leaf). Touch the base of the petiole to the tip of the leaf and fold in half. If any petiole can be seen beyond the leaf, the plant is palmer. If only the leaf can be seen, it's waterhemp. Palmer and spiny amaranth (we have both but can't differentiate till reproductive stages), have longer petioles than leaves and leaves are often ovate to diamond shaped. A white or gray watermark can sometimes be seen on both palmer and spiny amaranth leaves, but it's honestly rare that I've seen that with any consistency in our area fields.
Palmer amaranth is dioecious, meaning there are separate male and female plants that can't be distinguished until the reproductive stages. The male plants have a soft inflourescence whereas the female plants have bristly flowers.
For management, keys include: starting clean and staying clean by having no weeds at planting and overlaying with residual herbicide followed by another residual herbicide two to three weeks later. Use at least two effective herbicide modes of action for your field situation tank-mixed together and any weeds present need to be sprayed less than four inches tall. Full rates need to be applied.
Jason showed data where he applied sublethal dosages with the new dicamba chemistry in soybeans and showed genetic resistance to the full dicamba rate within three generations.
He said controlling seed production is key and "the economic threshold for palmer is zero plants." Removal of all non-controlled resistant weeds in the field is ke¡1
I'll close with a quote from Jason that I've also mentioned in pesticide training in the past, "If it works, do something different next year" ­­ because doing the same thing with the same seed traits and pesticide chemistries only helps build resistance into all our pest and pathogen populations.

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Old tractor sale draws buyers from 10 states
Potential bidders from 10 states, including Nebraska, were in attendance at Edgar, Friday, and the Nuckolls County fairgrounds, Nelson, Saturday, to look over the more than 100 vintage tractors and accessories which were to be auctioned . Marlan and Susan Watson, Superior residents, had donated their collection of antique and vintage tractors, acquired over the course of more than 45 years of collecting, to the Nebraska Lutheran Outdoors Ministries organization. The group has traditionally used quilt sales as a means to fund their two camps located at Ashland and Lodgepole. Watson approached the group in 2015 and inquired as to their interest in accepting his collection as a donation to be auctioned and the funds to be used with restrictions by the organization. This was uncharted territory for the organization and after much study it was decided the project was feasible After more than a year of organizing the logistics of the sale, the auction was held Friday and Saturday.
The tractors, mostly steel tired vintage John Deere models, were scattered across locations in Nuckolls and Clay counties. Many of the tractors had been converted to rubber tires before Watson purchased them. Some of the tractors were in running condition while others could be utilized for parts. Watson acquired the steel tired models because they required little maintenance while not being used. They had steel tires, were hand cranked and could be stored without worry of tires rotting or batteries going dead. He also acquired unwanted steel tires and implements. He reached the point in his life when he realized he was not going to be able to restore the tractors. He did not want to burden his children with the task of their disposal at a later date. Some of the tractors he acquired were strictly for parts.
Organizing the sale was a challenge. The Nebraska Lutheran Outdoors Ministries sent emissaries to churches throughout Nebraska seeking volunteers to assist with the sale. The logistics required to stage the event were enormous. The equipment had to be picked up from several locations and hauled to the auction sites.
The Edgar sale was held on a city block of land owned by the Watson family and space was at a premium. Moving tractors and equipment around to allow purchasers to move their items off the sale site was akin to playing a strategic board game. The Nuckolls County fairgrounds location afforded a vast amount of space. Friday's sale at Edgar was plagued by a steady rain but that did not deter the serious buyers, some from California, who donned rain gear and waited to bid. The weather was kinder on Saturday, with clouds and cool temperatures keeping the large crowd comfortable. Nixon Auctioneers, Wakefield, Neb., conducted the auction. The auctioneers worked at a brisk pace, describing each item and tractor, then disposing of the items in a timely fashion. Pick-up trucks connected to flat bed trailers surrounded the site, ready to load the winning items.
Without the effort of the many volunteers , the sale would not have been possible. There were people who were unable to attend the event who sent in donations for the camps.
Donors and sponsors of the event were Marlan and Susan Watson, Lavern and Verla Heitmann, Landmark Implement, Superior, C & M Supply, Ruskin and Sharon Bohling. Companies and organization who donated labor and materials were C & M Supply, Ruskin, CPI, Nelson, Salem Lutheran Church Women and the Superior Ministerial Association.
Individual volunteers who assisted with the organization of the sale and moving the sale items were Ross, Jack, Sarah and Violet Carstensen, Rolie Christensen, Tobe Duensing, Bruce Freitag, Dave Gambica, Dave Gebers, Alfred Hanson, Doyle Heitmann, Lavern and Steve Heitmann, Pastor Jonathan Jensen, Nate Kenley, Rex and Monte Kirchhoff, Ken Klepper, Brad Krenke, Chris Meyer, Glen Mueller, Kenny Poppe, Terry Preifert, Lyle Schardt, Ryan Schardt, Rob Schlichtman, John Stables, Matt Vieselmeyer, Aaron Watson and family, Matt Watson and family and Marlan and Susan Watson and Brian Wolfe. Jason Gerdes, director of development for the Nebraska Lutheran Outdoor Ministries, assisted with coordinating the event. Without the volunteers the event would never have been possible.
The sale grossed more than $119,000 before expenses. Some collectors purchased tractors for restoration while others were in search of parts. All were adamant that these antique tractors were not be sent to the scrap dealers. Tractors which once worked the land went to new homes and the proceeds will allow future generations of Nebraska youth to be exposed to the agricultural experience at the camps.

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Monarch habitat tour will begin in Nelson
Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever will be hosting a habitat workshop and tour highlighting the importance of monarchs and bees and how these insects relate to pheasant and quail management. The event will be held on Friday, July 29, from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. The workshop will begin at the Nelson Community Center, where discussion topics will include the decline of the monarch butterfly and key habitat needs, honey bee and native bee importance and pheasant and quail habitat management. Honey bee demonstrations will be given by an experienced bee keeper and the tour will include plant ID in native rangeland. The workshop is free of charge and a meal is provided.
"Monarch butterflies have experienced drastic declines for a variety of reasons. Conservation groups are pulling together to stop the decline as the insect is an iconic species. The conservation of monarchs in the United States, Mexico and Canada means conservation for all pollinators and other wildlife. Pheasants, quail and other wildlife will benefit from the conservation of monarchs," said Kelsi Wehrman, wildlife biologist and Pheasants Forever state coordinator.
One out of every third bite of food we take is because of the work of pollinators. In Nebraska, insects are necessary for alfalfa and sunflower production. Soybean pods have also shown a 61 percent increase in size when bees are present. Insects are responsible for pollinating 80 percent of our trees and plants, including American plum, elderberry and maples. There's also a direct link between plant diversity near streams and fish diversity.
USDA has put together a national pollinator plan with a goal of enhancing seven million acres of land for pollinators. Several funding opportunities exist through federal, state and local programs to enhance areas for pollinators which can also help improve our grazing lands. Currently, there is a sign up for pollinator habitat through the CRP program that includes a $150 per acre bonus payment, an annual payment based on soil type and 50 percent reimbursement of establishment costs. This workshop will explain all the available options, including new programs in the works through Pheasants Forever.
This workshop is part of a series of 11 landowner workshops and tours held across the state that are designed not only to demonstrate management practices, but to highlight state and federal conservation practices that are available to landowners. In addition to Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever, the 2016 landowner tours are made possible with support from the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission, Farm Service Agency, Natural Resources Conservation Service and the Nebraska Environmental Trust. To learn more about these informational meetings or to register, visit or contact Kelsi Wehrman.

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