LINCOLN, Neb. — Southeast Nebraska farmers can sharpen their management strategies for the third- and fourth-most grown crops at Nebraska Extension’s second annual Southeast Nebraska Alfalfa and Wheat Expo on Thursday, Sept. 1, 2022, in Crete.
Much like the inaugural expo in 2021 — which included 63 attendees and 13 exhibitor booths — the second annual expo will help farmers prepare to grow these crops for the first time, and fine-tune the skills of experienced alfalfa and winter wheat growers. Uniquely suited to bring farmers unbiased and research-based information, Nebraska Extension educators will address important issues for southeast Nebraska farmers and allow for great one-on-one discussion with local private industry exhibitors and sponsors.
This year’s expo hosts, Southeast Nebraska Water and Integrating Cropping Systems Extension Educator Nathan Mueller and Southeast Nebraska Beef Systems Extension Educators Wayde Pickinpaugh and Connor Biehler, said they advocate for more diverse crop rotations that are both underutilized and undervalued. Integrating alfalfa and winter wheat into the crop rotation can provide a critical tool to mitigate extreme weather like flash droughts, improve soil health, increase corn and soybean yields, combat troublesome pests like Palmer amaranth, and increase flexibility in manure management plans and cattle feed.
Located at the Tuxedo Park Exhibition Building in Crete, the expo will begin at 8 a.m. Sept. 1 with a light breakfast and exhibitor booths. The educational program starts at 9 a.m. and ends at 3 p.m.
Royce Schaneman, Nebraska Wheat Board executive director, and Dave Bauer, mayor of Crete, will welcome attendees at the expo prior to morning speakers and topics about wheat.
Wheat topics and speakers from 9 a.m. to noon include:
- Variety recommendations — Dr. Nathan Mueller
- Underseeding red clover — Dr. Katja Koehler-Cole
- Hail damage and wheat streak mosaic — Dr. Stephen Wegulo
- Cost-share programs for growing wheat — Lydia English
- Feeding wheat grain to cattle — Wayde Pickinpaugh
Topics on alfalfa during the afternoon sessions from 1-3 p.m. include:
- Benefits of diverse crop rotations for wildlife — Dr. Andrew Little
- Potato leaf hopper management — Dr. Bob Wright
- Irrigation management — Steve Melvin
- Herbicide management for late summer seeded alfalfa — Dr. Chris Proctor
Door prizes will be drawn, and A&W root beers floats will be served from 3-3:30 p.m.
The expo is free to attend and includes lunch from City Slicker’s Bar and Grill, but pre-registration is requested by Tuesday, Aug. 30. To get more information on the expo and to pre-register online, please visit the expo homepage on Crop Tech Café or call the Saline County Extension office at 402-821-2151. For inquiries about these and other agronomy-related events from Nebraska Extension, contact Nathan Mueller at 402-821-1722.
— Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of Nebraska-Lincoln