Renewable energy was the topic for discussion at a University of Nebraska Extension workshop last week in York, and more specifically solar energy. John Hay, an Extension educator expert in renewable energy, gave a presentation about solar energy at a workshop put on by York County Extension educator Jenny Rees. Read more in this week's print or e-editions.
Changes are coming for those who are raising food production animals. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is enforcing a veterinary feed directive (VFD) regulation update starting on Jan. 1, 2017. Last week, Dan Pachta of the Aurora Veterinary Clinic held a meeting for local cattle producers explaining what the upcoming regulations mean for their operations. Read more in this week's print or e-editions.
If you drive north from Highway 34 on K Road, all the fields are bare in their typical after-harvest state, but if you go a little farther you will run into a unique sea of green vegetation on either side of the road. “People always ask us if those are weeds,” Tom Yockey said. “Then they notice they look too uniform to be weeds.” John Yockey, along with sons Dan and Tom, started using cover crops in their fields three years ago. Read more in this week's print or e-editions.
Harvest season 2016 is quickly coming to an end as farmers in the area are already finished or are only a few acres away from calling it quits. After interviewing three local farmers, one thing continues to ring true for all -- soybeans were phenomenal. “Our bean crop was outstanding this year, and our corn crop was probably average,” local Aurora farmer Danny Janzen said. Read more in this week's print or e-editions.
For most farmers in Hamilton County and Nebraska it’s safe to say that retirement isn't the top thing they look forward to later in their life, but some like 71-year-old Glen Rauert are still able to keep their agriculture roots sprouting “I always have had my fingers back some way in farming,” Rauert explained. “I think everybody, when they retire they think, what am I going to do with my time? Am I going to be okay monetary wise? You're going down a whole new path. You lose that realm of security. I think that was always the scare.” Read more in this week's print or e-editions.
High Plains Ag students got another opportunity Oct. 18 to take advantage of the partnership they share with Orthman and Plains Equipment Group as they went out and harvested 1.1 acres of corn near the school and learned about soil sampling at the same time. “From Orthman's standpoint obviously the intent of any event with kids is to further their education, but also philosophy on the direction agriculture is going,” said Orthman regional product specialist Pat McNaught. Read more in this week's print or e-editions.
Val Oswald doesn’t pretend that farming is his passion, but he definitely has a knack for helping people, which makes it no surprise that he would come out of retirement to help during this year’s harvest season. Oswald, who grew up on a family farm west of Aurora, was a third generation farmer who was in the crop business for 30 years. During the last few years of his farming career, he became involved in landscape grading and refurbishing lawns. “It really wasn’t intended to be a business but there was such a need for it,” he said of his previous landscape business, Yard Works. Read more in this week's print or e-editions.
Locally grown beef -- It’s what’s for dinner at Hampton Public Schools, or soon will be thanks to a new program designed to bring beef from area farms directly to the school cafeteria. School lunch programs have been part of national legislation for over 80 years, but in the last decade the focus has been on the nutrition and health associated with every child’s daily intake. With these concerns continuing to grow as new information comes forward, there is still a lot of work and responsibility on the schools to ensure their food programs fit in with state and national nutritional requirements. Hampton Public Schools is taking a more direct approach to the challenge by implementing a new program that will bring in fresh local beef from area producers in an attempt to control the nutritional aspect while also providing better meal quality.
See this week's Ag Life section for the full story.
It’s definitely harvest season as clouds of dust can be seen across the county where combines are busy at work in the fields. Local farmers said soybean harvest started as early as two weeks ago, with some farmers beginning to take out lower moisture corn already. The weather over the weekend was pristine for getting a few more acres out of the field.
Precision ag technology is nothing new to the growers who attend Husker Harvest Days in Grand Island, but using drones as a type of precision ag is having farmers work to wrap their heads around the idea. A drone demonstration was held during HHD with companies showing off their flying skills.