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September 24, 2013
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Ag Notebook: More precip on the way for Nebraska

Nebraska fall may see more precipitation, threat of freeze nonissue

It could be a wet fall, the University of Nebraska-Lincoln climatologist says.

The state is seeing an uptick in precipitation just as harvest will be getting underway across Nebraska, said Al Dutcher, state climatologist in the university’s Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources.

“We have a strong monsoonal flow still holding on” in the desert southwest, he said. “We’ve seen heavy precipitation through the southern and central Rockies with mass flooding. As upper air troughs push into the Central Plains, they are bumping up against this tropical moisture and therefore we get stationary thunderstorm development, which are high precipitation events. Secondarily these are falling on areas that have been burnt by forest fires the past couple years so a lot the precipitation is running off and compounding the flood threat.”

The monsoonal flow has expanded to the western high plains of Kansas and parts of Texas. Western Nebraska also sits on the northern perimeter of this, he said.

“We do have some potential of seeing improvements in soil moisture levels based on this monsoon flow,” he said.

The brief battle with extreme heat is over, Dutcher said. There could still be a day or two this fall that will hit the 90 degree mark, particularly in Western Nebraska, but for the most part models are showing typical fall temperature swings from warm to cool, warm to cool, etc.

“And when we get these swings in temperatures, we have the ability to generate precipitation,” Dutcher said. The 90 day forecast for the eastern half of the state is for above-normal precipitation. The rest of the state has equal chances of above, normal or below precipitation.

“Unfortunately, in order to get soil moisture built up this fall, it is going to come at a price, and we would expect to see some harvest delays if the model projections are correct.”

— University of Nebraska-Lincoln

UNL’s Eirich appointed director of beef quality assurance

UNL Extension Educator Rob Eirich has been appointed as the director of beef quality assurance for the state of Nebraska.

Eirich’s position is a new one within the University, one that Eirich says represents a partnership between UNL, Nebraska Cattlemen, and the Nebraska Beef Council. In the past, Nebraska Cattlemen directed the state’s BQA program.

The BQA director position is housed, organizationally, in the UNL Animal Science Department and, physically, in the UNL Panhandle Research and Extension Center at Scottsbluff. Nebraska Cattlemen provide salary and program support, and some funding comes through the Nebraska Beef Council. All three entities make up an advisory board.

According to the National Beef Quality Assurance web site, “Beef Quality Assurance is a nationally coordinated, state implemented program that provides systematic information to U.S. beef producers and beef consumers of how common sense husbandry techniques can be coupled with accepted scientific knowledge to raise cattle under optimum management and environmental conditions.”

Eirich said BQA concerns itself with practices throughout the production process, mainly dealing with animal health, food safety and product quality.

— Rapid City Journal

National Farmers Union Honors Fortenberry

National Farmers Union recently announced the recipients of the Golden Triangle Award, the organization’s highest legislative honor.

The annual award is presented to members of Congress who have demonstrated leadership and support policies that benefit America’s family farmers, ranchers, fishermen and rural communities.

The Golden Triangle Award is based on NFU’s symbol – a triangle with “legislation” and “cooperation” forming the sides and “education” the base.

The Golden Triangle Awards have been presented every year since 1988.

Representative Jeff Fortenberry from Nebraska was honored with the 2013 Golden Triangle award.

Nebraska Farmers Union President John Hansen said, “Representative Fortenberry has once again stepped forward on behalf of family farm agriculture to provide leadership and support on key items in the contentious Farm Bill process. He successfully amended the Agriculture Committee’s proposal by adding meaningful payment limits language. He also fought for conservation compliance requirements for crop insurance, which will help protect that critical program from further attacks. Representative Fortenberry has become a very thoughtful and effective leader on agricultural issues.”

— National Farmers Union

Latest Crop Report Puts Corn at Record-Breaking Pace

Corn may be headed for a record-breaking year based on this month’s USDA Crop Report. The report, released on Thursday, forecasts corn at 13.8 billion bushels, up less than1 percent from last month and 28 percent from 2012. If reached, corn production will be the highest on record for the United States. Yields are expected to average 155.3 bushels per acre, just slightly higher than last month’s forecast and 31.9 bushels above the 2012 average. Soybeans are set to produce 3.15 billion bushels, down 3 percent from August, but up 4 percent from last year. If met, this would be the fourth largest soybean production on record.

— U.S. Department of Agriculture


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