Monday Extension Report – May 15, 2017

May 15, 2017

Schedules of events available

The complete schedule of summer 4-H events and the Cherry County Fair 4-H schedule are both now available on our website, cherry.unl.edu.

June 1 is the last day for new families to enroll in 4-H for the 2017 year and it is the last day for current members to add projects.

Tractor Safety Course – June 6 & 7

A quick reminder that a Tractor Safety Course will be offered June 6 & 7 for youth aged 14 and 15. Federal law requires all youth aged 14 and 15 that intend to work on a farm or ranch other than their parents to obtain certification through a Tractor Safety Course.  This course will be held at the Cherry County Fairgrounds.  Pre-registration must be received at the extension office by May 29.  The class costs $60. More information, a list of other training locations and dates, and the registration form is available here.

Persistence is key to successful weed control

I wrote an article for Progressive Cattleman magazine a couple months ago on the importance of persistence in weed control. Many of you probably didn’t see that article, so I will share the high points today.

Persistence is the key to a successful long-term pasture weed control program. Land managers are constantly seeking a magic bullet weed control strategy that will allow them to check weed control off the to do list and never think about it again. Whether it’s a herbicide application or a biological control release, the desire is to get it done and move on. Unfortunately, it’s not that simple.

A successful weed control program is a never-ending circle of surveillance, discovery, action and more surveillance.

Surveillance

Keep a sharp eye out for problem weeds. Pay particular attention to roadsides and ditches where weed seeds could have come in the water, or on vehicles or equipment. Watch fence lines and power lines, some weed seeds can remain viable after passing through a bird’s digestive system and be deposited in dropping of roosting birds. Check areas where you fed purchased hay. Many weed infestations have been traced to hay.

Discovery & Action

Discovery and action should go hand in hand. Too often managers will discover a weed infestation and intend to do something, but fail to follow though in a timely manner. Good surveillance and quick discovery don’t kill weeds, effective actions do.

When taking action, consider all of the weed control tools available. Weed management professionals recommend a five-pronged integrated approach to weed management; prevention, biological control, cultural control, mechanical control, and chemical control.

More Surveillance

This is where many weed management programs break down. Persistent follow-up is necessary. No weed control project will be 100% successful.

Successful weed control programs aren’t a once and done task to be checked off your list. Persistence is the key to success.

I wrote the article for ranchers dealing with pasture weeds, but the same principles apply for homeowner weed problems.

As always, you can call the extension office at 402-376-1850 for more information.