The Central Platte NRD is now taking orders for conservation seedlings for spring planting. There are several varieties of conifers, shrubs and deciduous seedlings available; all selected to grow well in central Nebraska.
Conservation seedlings are ideal for landowners to plant as windbreaks, wildlife areas, riparian buffer strips, or for other conservation practices. The seedlings are grown at Halsey State Forest and are generally one to two years old when landowners receive them.
Seedlings are sold in bundles of 25 for $22.50. A tree-planting service is available for orders of 200 trees or more. The planting service costs an additional $.40 cents per seedling. To have a planting plan designed for you, contact your local USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS).
Small-acre packages are also available for landowners who don’t need 25 of the same kind of tree. The small-acre packages have 50 seedlings for $55 with five different species (10 of each kind) and are tailored for Eastern Nebraska, Western Nebraska, Flowering and Wildlife packages.
Central Platte NRD also sells fabric weed barrier to control weeds and conserve soil moisture. It is made of a polypropylene geotextile woven fabric that allows water to seep through, but sunlight can’t penetrate it. The fabric is sold in 6-foot rolls and 4-foot sheets. Weed barrier may be purchased without an order for trees.
Nebraska has a proud history of planting trees. Nebraska’s 23 Natural Resources Districts (NRDs) help landowners plant more than a million conservation trees each year. The Central Platte NRD has sold more than 3.7 million trees since 1972.
Conservation trees benefit both people and animals by providing shade and shelter, reduce soil erosion, protect crops and livestock, provide food and cover for wildlife, buffer noise, provide valuable products and add beauty to our landscape.
To place an order, contact the Central Platte NRD at (308) 385-6282, email Kelly Cole at firstname.lastname@example.org, or contact your local NRCS office.
Nebraska Farmers Union convention goes virtual
“107 Years of Service” is the theme for the 107th annual Nebraska Farmers Union (NeFU) state convention.
“For the first time ever, in order to conduct the necessary elections and business of the organization, and keep our members safe, we will be doing our convention virtually via ZOOM,” said John Hansen, NeFU president. “Instead of holding our convention in Kearney as scheduled, our convention will be held in farm homes across the state.”
NeFU delegates and members will elect board of directors from Districts 1 and 5. Incumbent Al Davis is running for re-election for District 1, and Camdyn Kavan is running for District 5 to replace retiring Director Ben Gotschall who announced he is moving to Maine to serve as the dairy manager at Wolfe’s Neck Center for Agriculture and the Environment in Freeport. The final district caucuses to field potential additional candidates and all elections will be held Friday morning between 11 a.m. and noon.
In addition to electing officers, three delegates and alternates to the National Farmers Union (NFU) Convention will be elected. The 2019-2020 NeFU policy will be extended for one year. Urgent, time-sensitive policy issues can be sent to the NeFU Board of Directors for consideration.
Registration is at the NeFU website: www.nebraskafarmersunion.org. The latest information will be on the website.
Hansen said they have condensed the two-day schedule down to one short day.
In addition to hearing from NFU President Rob Larew Friday after lunch, the convention will feature a state senator panel with Senators Brandt, DeBoer, Quick and Walz.
Nebraska Extension Master Gardener volunteer program goes virtual for 2021
Nebraska Extension is accepting applications for its 2021 Master Gardner Volunteer training program. The training will take place virtually.
The Nebraska Extension Master Gardener Volunteer program is a horticulture-related volunteer training program based in many counties and has been part of Nebraska Extension since 1976. Volunteers are trained by Nebraska Extension faculty and staff in horticulture, environmental, and landscape-system related topics. It was designed for individuals interested in learning more about gardening and landscape practices, or who have a passion for giving back to the community by sharing science-based horticulture information.
Participants are required to complete 40 hours of class training and 40 hours of volunteer service during the initial year of their involvement in the program. The initial training curriculum covers topics such as plant science, botany, insects, weed and wildlife management, pesticide safety, soils, turfgrass, and whole landscape system management.
Volunteers retain their certification through annual training and volunteering. Volunteer tasks may involve answering phones at a county Extension office, giving horticulture presentations to community organizations, assisting 4-H clubs with garden projects, judging horticulture exhibits at county and state fairs, participating in community garden projects, writing a garden column for the local paper and more.
Class times, location and cost vary across the state, but are generally offered February through May. The 2021 trainings will be presented virtually.
Volunteer applicants should be at least 19 years old, with a passion for plants, gardens and an excitement for learning more about your landscape system. Volunteers need to be willing to commit to the training and volunteer process and meet all requirements for yearly recertification.
For more information about the Nebraska Extension Master Gardener Volunteer program, find a training location coordinator near you, or learn to complete an application form, visit mastergardener.unl.edu.
USDA taking applications for Coronavirus Food Assistance Program
U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Farm Service Agency (FSA) reminds farmers and ranchers that the deadline to apply for the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program 2 (CFAP 2) is Dec. 11. This program provides direct relief to producers who continue to face market disruptions and associated costs because of COVID-19.
CFAP 2 will provide up to $14 billion to eligible producers of certain row crops, livestock, dairy, specialty crops, aquaculture and more. All eligible commodities, payment rates and calculations can be found on farmers.gov/cfap. CFAP 2 is a separate program from the first iteration of the program (CFAP 1) and interested producers must complete a new application to be eligible for payment for CFAP 2.
Producers have several options for applying to the CFAP 2 program by the Dec. 11 deadline:
— Using an online portal at farmers.gov/cfap. This allows producers with secure USDA login credentials, known as eAuthentication, to certify eligible commodities online, digitally sign applications and submit directly to the local USDA Service Center.
— Completing the application form using the CFAP 2 Application Generator and Payment Calculator found at farmers.gov/cfap. This Excel workbook allows customers to input information specific to their operation to determine estimated payments and populate the application form, which can be printed, then signed and submitted to their local USDA Service Center.
— Downloading the AD-3117 application form from farmers.gov/cfap and manually completing the form to submit to the local USDA Service Center by mail, electronically, or by hand delivery to an office drop box. In some limited cases, the office may be open for in-person business by appointment. Visit farmers.gov/coronavirus/service-center-status to check the status of your local office.
Producers of commodities with payments based on acreage will use acreage and yield information provided by FSA through the annual acreage reporting process. Producers have the option to complete their application by working directly with their local FSA office or online through the CFAP 2 Application Portal.
To find the latest information on CFAP 2, visit farmers.gov/cfap or call 877-508-8364.
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