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AgLines: Central Platte NRD Board OKs agreement with Illinois Corn Growers Association

AgLines: Central Platte NRD Board OKs agreement with Illinois Corn Growers Association

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The Central Platte Natural Resources District’s board of directors recently approved an agreement with the Illinois Corn Growers Association to add a precision conservation specialist to the NRD staff for the Precision Conservation Management Program.

The specialist will be housed at the NRD’s newly constructed Thirty Mile Irrigation District headquarters near Cozad.

Precision Conservation Management is a program designed to help farmers understand and manage risks associated with adopting new conservation practices with the objective of helping farmers make sound financial decisions. It evaluates conservation practices on both their impact to the environment and their impact to family farmer profitability. PCM is looking to expand its reach into Nebraska with Frito Lay (PepsiCo) growers in the western area of the District.

The program originated from the Illinois Corn Growers Association, making up the conservation arm of the entity. PCM is funded by the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service – Regional Conservation Partnership Program. Along with applied economics, water quality outcomes and carbon sequestration values are generated.

Beef Quality Assurance certification offered in area

Grand Island, along with other area communities, will host the Nebraska Extension and Nebraska Beef Quality Assurance, which will offer Beef Quality Assurance Certification across the state from June 10-18.

Jesse Fulton, director of Nebraska Beef Quality Assurance, will be presenting the latest on the Nebraska BQA program and certifying producers in BQA and BQA Transportation. The BQA program educates beef producers on animal health best-management practices, proper stockmanship, and proper animal welfare guidelines. Beef cattle producers, who are committed to producing a quality, wholesome and safe beef product for consumers, are encouraged to attend to stay up to date on BQA practices.

All producers are invited to attend. BQA certification is valid for three years. If your last BQA training occurred prior to 2018, your BQA certification could be expired. Beef producers are encouraged to attend to keep their certification current. The certification fee for these events is waived for those wanting to become BQA certified/recertified.

For more information on Nebraska BQA, visit https://bqa.unl.edu/.

Area communities, include:

June 14, Albion: 6 to 9 p.m., Boone County Fair Grounds (Casey’s Building), West South Street. Meal provided by Zoetis. RSVP by June 7 to Brad Schick, 308-536-2691, brad.schick@unl.edu

June 15, Grand Island: 1 to 3 p.m., College Park, 3180 U.S. Highway 34. RSVP by June 14 to Brent Plugge, 308-236-1235, bplugge1@unl.edu

June 18, Broken Bow: 4 to 5:30 p.m., Broken Bow Country Club, 2280 Memorial Drive. Offered in conjunction with the West Central Affiliate Nebraska Cattlemen’s Meeting. Steak dinner provided. RSVP required by June 16 to Scott Reynolds (call or text) 308-870-0970, bowanimal@yahoo.com

Small Grains Improvement Team releases two new winter wheat varieties

The collaborative USDA-University of Nebraska Small Grains Improvement Team has developed two promising new winter wheat varieties: a hard white winter wheat (NW13493) and a hard red winter wheat (Epoch). Both new varieties could be available for planting in growers’ fields as early as fall 2021.

NW13493 was released primarily for its high-value white grain and broad adaptation to rainfed conventional and organic wheat production systems throughout Nebraska. NW13493 is sprouting- resistant and has a good disease resistance package and excellent milling and baking quality. NW13493 has been licensed to Bay State Milling Company and will be produced under contract with their agents. This critical partnership will maintain the necessary marketplace segregation for hard white winter wheat and protects growers.

Epoch, a hard red winter wheat tested as NE15420, is ideally suited for irrigated production and intensive management in western Nebraska, where it has excelled for grain yield and test weight in the Nebraska State Variety Trial. Epoch is a short stature, semi-dwarf line with excellent straw strength to reduce lodging under irrigation. It has a good disease resistance package with acceptable milling and baking quality.

“These new-to-the-market wheat varieties have exceptional higher yield and stronger disease resistance package,” said Hector Santiago, assistant dean of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s Agricultural Research Division.

He said these varieties represent a major achievement of the University of Nebraska Small Grains Breeding Program that without doubt “will positively impact wheat production in Nebraska, as they were developed to suit stakeholders growing areas and conditions in Nebraska and the Midwest.”

Stephen Baenziger, a wheat breeder who retired last month after 35 years with UNL, was instrumental in the development of these varieties. During Baenziger’s tenure, he has released, co-released or is in the process of releasing 44 winter wheat, seven winter barley and 13 winter triticale cultivars. Katherine Frels was recently hired to be the new small grains breeder and continue the tradition of producing new varieties.

Both the NW13493 and Epoch varieties were developed with support from the Nebraska Wheat Board. The Husker Genetics Foundation Seed Program will maintain breeder and foundation seed of NW13493 and Epoch, and the Nebraska Wheat Board has requested a license to assist with the marketing of this variety. See your local Certified Seed Dealer for variety characteristics and more information on these varieties.

Ricketts joins governors regarding Department of Justice investigation of meat processors

Gov. Pete Ricketts has joined a letter with five other governors to the U.S. Department of Justice seeking an update on a pending investigation regarding meat processors and allegations of anti-competitive behavior.

Ricketts and the governors said decades of consolidation in meatpacking has “significantly limited the options that producers have to market their cattle and has created a situation where one segment of the beef industry has near total control over the entire market.”

“As a result, the consistently high prices realized on the boxed beef side are not being reflected on the producer side, forcing consumers to pay a premium for beef while threatening many of our producers with the loss of their business,” they said.

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