A new series of webinars will focus on “Agricultural Energy Management: Strategies to Save on Electricity Bills”.
Electricity can be a major input cost to farms and as production costs rise, producers are interested in finding ways to mitigate these expenses. This series of webinars will help introduce farming strategies so growers can save on their electricity bills.
This three-part webinar series will cover the components of the electric bill, how to interpret electric bills, and strategies for saving on energy loads, power loads, and power factor loads. The series is co-hosted by John Hay with Nebraska Extension and Eric Romich of The Ohio State University Extension.
All three webinars will be offered at 11 a.m. and will last one hour. The dates and topics are: Strategies for Saving on Energy Loads, September 30; Strategies for Saving on Demand Charges, October 7; and Strategies for Saving on Power Factor Loads, October 14.
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To register, go to the following link: https://go.unl.edu/v3xw.
Questions can be directed to John Hay, Nebraska Extension Educator ([email protected]; 402-472-0408).
If you were able to attend this year’s Soybean Management Field Days in Eastern Nebraska, you had the opportunity to learn a little more about combine cleaning and its importance to seed management. weeds.
We were fortunate to have University of Wisconsin-Madison Extension Specialist Dan Smith present at all four sites to discuss the importance of combine cleaning, especially when managing Propagation and Distribution of Palmer Amaranth Seeds. Growers had the opportunity to walk around the combine, note which parts of the combine were important to focus on for cleaning, and even see if they could find any leftover seed that could be a potential problem when moving from field to field.
Research has shown that up to 99% of Palmer amaranth seeds can survive going through the combine harvester and can easily spread within and between fields. Once you have Palmer amaranth in your field it can be difficult to manage, especially when the weather is hot and dry like we have experienced this year.
Smith pointed out that all it really takes is 30 minutes of your time to clean specific parts of the combine. That could be a long time for many growers, especially with the fields drying up as quickly as they are this year. However, those 30 minutes could save you a lot of time and money in the future to help prevent the spread of Palmer pigweed and other noxious or potentially herbicide resistant weeds to otherwise clean fields. .
The four areas he said to focus on were the head, feed house, rock trap, and rotor. You can clean these areas using a portable air compressor or even a leaf blower. He also recommended running a bag of cattle wood shavings around to clean the rotor/auger area.
If you’re really short on time, he focused on the head and feed house, because that’s where 49% and 30% of the weed seeds collected in their studies germinated successfully, respectively.
It is best to clean the combine in the field where the problem exists to avoid spreading the seed further. You can certainly clean the combine in the store, but be careful with your boots and sweep up the debris as the seed can get stuck in the treads and move onto otherwise clean fields.
As always, consider your personal health and wear a mask and eye protection when cleaning the combine. Make sure everything is turned off and work with a buddy system, if possible, for general safety and faster cleanup.
Sarah Sivits is Dawson County Extension’s Crop and Water Educator and serves Dawson, Buffalo and Hall counties. Contact her at 308-324-5501 or by email at [email protected]