Centennial Splash

 Welcome to Central Sandhills Extension serving Blaine, Grant, Hooker and Thomas Counties!

Fair entry forms are due  July 15th, a late fee of $10.00 (per member) will apply after this date!!

Interested in signing up for 4-H? Everything you need is right here.  4-H forms, newsletters, local county calendars, and links to livestock and horse IDs.                                                                           

GrassSnap- Mobile Monitoring App

Pasture monitoring is a "snap" with the mobile monitoring app called GrassSnap. Check out the unique features of the app, like the ghost image that allows the producer to effortlessly replicate the landscape view each year. Or how the app applies your pasture name (monitoring date and GPS location) to all images for that pasture (transect) and then saves them so they are ready to be directly added to the folder of previous years' images.  Visit the GrassSnap webpage for download instructions, videos on how to monitor, and user manual for Apple versions.  Free download for Android and Apple smart devices.

Pasture Leasing Workshop

Developing the Right Pasture Lease Agreement- Benefiting the Resources & Benefiting the Relationship.  "What's the going rate?" is a common question.  How do you balance a fair price, taking care of the land, and benefit both the landowner and grazer?    For more information, click here...

Deadly Pig Disease & 4-H Swine Shows

PEDV, a fatal and contagious virus to swine, has reached Nebraska.  The Nebraska State 4-H Office has release guidelines for keeping PEDV out of your swine facilities.  4-H families should decide if the risk of commingling pigs at county fair is worth the risk to their hog operation.

Quality Assurance Online Training for Livestock, Rabbit, & Poultry Exhibits

Plan on showing livestock, dairy, rabbit, or poultry at County Fair? Quality Assurance (QA) online classes will be required before you show. Three completed certificates are due June 15th to show at fair.

In order for all youth to have similar trainings, online courses have been developed. If you don't have access to the internet, let the office know and we will work to find access to internet.

In a nutshell:

*Online course is REQUIRED for all 4-H livestock exhibitors (beef, sheep, goat, rabbit, poultry, dairy, and swine) to show at county fair. Three (3) modules DUE June 15th (print your certificates as proof and mail to the Extension Office).
*Participants must complete 3 modules a year (they choose which 3) for their age division. Youth can work ahead… if they do work ahead, those modules will be applied toward future quality assurance requirements. New Moodle Course users will enter "Nebraska" for the enrollment key.
*You will need to create an account, then follow the instructions to the link for the online classes.
*Step-by-step instructions to sign up for online QA training here. County codes are Blaine (BLN), Thomas (THM), Hooker (HOK), and Grant (GRT).
*QA ensures a safe, wholesome food product for the consumer! Let's do our part!


Hints and tips:
*Print off the directions for QA Training. The detailed instructions make the process much easier.
*Write down your newly created user name and password, so you don't forget them and can log in later.
*Type in "Livestock Quality Assurance" and look for the Nebraska QA training. Several states are listed under Quality Assurance, but you want Nebraska's.
*The enrollment key is "Nebraska" and the "N" must be capitalized to work.
*Click on your age division on the left hand side. The modules will show up.
*There are several modules, but you can choose 3 to complete a quiz on.
*The topics have a video to watch, supporting materials, and a quiz. Some topics have a practice quiz, but the practice quiz won't count as a completed module.
*Take the quiz after watching the short video. Click "next", then "submit all and finish" if you are sure of your answers. Your score should appear. If you received an 80% or higher, print your certificate.
*The certificates are listed on the left-hand side under the topic. Click on the certificate to open.
*Trouble printing your certificate? Try another computer. Still not printing? Write down the name of the quizzes you completed, your score, and the date and call the Extension Office.

*A complete listing of all Livestock Quality Assurance resources (Registration Videos, FAQs, requirements, options, etc), can be found at http://4h.unl.edu/qualityassurance.

If you do not have internet access, you can come to the library and Bethany will help you through the online QA process.

Trainings will be held:
*June 3- Thomas County Library (1-3 pm)
*June 4- Hooker County Library (9-11 am)
*June 4- Grant County Library (1-3 pm)
*June 5- Hooker County Library (1-3 pm)

Drought Resources Available

Producers face major decisions ahead at the drought continues. Resources are available at Managing Drought Risk on the Ranch and the UNL Beef Website. The Extension Office also has two hay probes, for producers who wish to test their forages. UNL Beef Specialists are also available to balance rations and answer questions about the drought's impacts on your cowherd or pastures.

 Ag Manager's Toolbox.  These spreadsheets will help farmers and ranchers figure feed cost per crude protein or TDN, calculate stocking rates for cornstalks, cost of raising one calf, breakevens on feeders or cull cows, cost of developing water on grazing lands, and other cropping tools.  Visit westcentral.unl.edu/agecon to view the spreadsheets.

Beef specialists will be hosting two webinars a month.  The timely webinars can be viewed through the internet on your computer during the session and ask questions.   The webinars are also archived at http://beef.unl.edu/beefwebinars.


Extension Highlights

Disaster Recovery Resources

We have complied a collection of resources to help those that have been affected by recent storms. More...

Marketing 2014 Calves

With current price levels, cow/calf producers could see good profits when selling 2014 calves. Aaron Berger, UNL Extension educator, outlines a few options to consider when thinking about marketing this year's calf crop. UNL's Beef website features more information on Livestock Risk Protection Insurance and determining costs of production.

Storing Distillers Grains

Distillers grains have become much cheaper, compared with earlier in the year. Aaron Stalker, UNL Extension beef range systems specialist, explains why using distillers grains could benefit producers – if they can properly store the product. More resources on storing distillers grains can be found here.

UNL Extension's Hort Update for August 18, 2014

Squash bugs

An email newsletter designed to assist horticulture professionals and Extension staff with seasonal environmental topics for lawns, trees and shrubs, landscape ornamentals, fruits and vegetables, and miscellaneous items.  Share with your colleagues and friends Hort Update,  Visit our web site for archived issues .

CropWatch Newslettercropwatchlogo

UNL Extension cropping system experts discuss the latest updates on cropping issues in Nebraska such as appearance of Pythium in corn and soybeans, wheat disease updates, and a new UNL climate app. During the growing season, each weeks CropWatch newsletter is posted on Fridays at http://cropwatch.unl.edu/

Acreage Insights e-News for September 2014


The Acreage Insights e-News, published by UNL Extension Acreage team, is a monthly electronic newsletter providing acreage owners with timely information to better manage their rural living environment. Click here to subscribe to this newsletter or check out the team's Acreage Insight web resources (http://acreage.unl.edu/).

UNL Extension's BeefWatch for September 2014

Check out the latest issue of UNL BeefWatch Newsletter. newsletter, designed to assist Beef producers and professionals. You may subscribe to receive this newsletter in your email and view the latest summaries on beef industry issues at http://Beef.UNL.edu 

Educational Program Resources for Communities (Free)Community1

As a leader in your community, often you are asked to present a program to club meetings, civic groups or professional organizations. Finding information for such a program and then organizing it can be challenging and time consuming. Look no further!

Faculty from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Extension are providing you research-based, educational program resources free-of-charge. Information in each program is based on research from educational institutions around the world. The programs listed reflect the variety of topics which our clientele cite as issues within their communities. Congratulations on leading your organization to a greater understanding of these priorities!  For lessons....

Making A Difference


Image and Link to UNL Extension TV

eXtension image - link to Extension.org

Extension Webcasts

Market Journal logoMarket Journal
Provides current grain/livestock market commentary and analysis; weather, climate, and soil moisture updates; practical advice from seasoned, working producers; and more.

BYF logo Backyard Farmer
View entire episodes or search for answers to your plant, yard, and insect problems. Watch Backyard Farmer live on NET1 April to mid September (Thursday, 7:00 pm CT). 

Ag Almanac logo Ag Almanac
Audio and video interviews with University of Nebraska-Lincoln Extension specialists and educators on topics ranging from crop and livestock production to health and nutrition to lawn and garden care, and more.