Monday, March 3, 2014

Weekly Events & Opportunities in Sustainable Farming & Foods

Using Contans for White Mold Management on Organic Farms Webinar

March 4. Online. Join eOrganic for a webinar on Using Contans (Coniothyrium minitans) for White Mold Management on Organic Farms, by Alex Stone of Oregon State University. Alex Stone will explain what white mold is, and how to diagnose it on the farm. She will discuss the life cycles of the biocontrol agent, Contans (Coniothyruium minitans), and the white mold pathogen (Sclerotinia sclerotiorum). Farmers will learn how to incorporate Contans into an integrated white mold management program. The webinar is free and open to the public. Advance registration is required.

Corn Stover for Feed and Fuel

March 3rd. 6pm Central. Participants will learn how to enhance their field crop production systems in the coming season and have an opportunity to ask questions of MSU agriculture experts. One MDARD Pesticide Recertification Credit will be available through each webinar for application to one of the following categories:  Private Core, Commercial Core or Field Crops. Participants can view the programs independently online free of charge. However, pre-registration is required to access connection information.

Entomology Lecture

Tuesday, March 4th. 4:00 pm-5:00 pm. "Thrips Management in Greenhouses" by Jenny Freed, entomology graduate student.  Location, Entomology Hall in Lincoln at UNL. Room 202. Contact, Jeri Cunningham, 402-472-8678,

Budgeting for Success: Adding a New Generation to a Row-Crop and Livestock Farm

March 4th. Want to ensure you stay profitable on a cash grain and livestock farm? Learn when, why and how to do farm budgets from a farm that has been successful for generations – and is in the process of adding a new generation to the family farm business.

Diet, Supplements and the Microbiome: The Cancer Connection

Wednesday, March 5th. 12:00 pm-1:00 pm. Dr. Cindy Davis, Director of Grants and Extramural Activities at the NIH Office of Dietary Supplements, will present a talk, “Diet, Supplements and the Microbiome: The Cancer Connection,” at the Nebraska Gateway to Nutrigenomics Seminar Series. This is a brown bag event with coffee and dessert provided. All interested faculty, students, and staff are invited to attend this free seminar. UNL's East Campus Union. Contact, Jolene Walker,

Pollinators, Pesticides, and Pathogens: Linking Bee Colony Health to Varroacide Exposures

Wednesday, March 5th. 4:00 pm-5:00 pm. Presented by Dr. Troy Anderson, Virginia Tech. A reception will be held at 3:30 p.m. The event is open to the public.

Invasive Weed Species & Cost-Share Program Conference

March 6th. 10am. Syracuse, Nebraska. Learn how to identify & control invasive weed species from the experts! Find out more information on the Five Rivers Weed Management Area’s Cost-Share program! Lunch will be served. Contact Bobbie Meints at Five Rivers RC&D no later than March 4th, 402-869-2355 or 

Webinar: “Plant traits driving seedling establishment following invasive plant control

Thursday, March 6. Webinar: “Plant traits driving seedling establishment following invasive plant control”, sponsored by the North American Invasive Plant Short Course. More info at

Environmental dynamics when evolutionary and ecological rates converge

Thursday, March 6th. 3:30 pm-4:30 pm. The School of Biological Sciences Seminar is a weekly series presented by invited speakers and UNL faculty to showcase current research advances in biological sciences. All School of Biological Sciences Seminars are free and open to the public.

Webinar: Cover Crops, Soil Health Principals and Maximizing Yields

Thursday, March 6. Cost is free but registration is required for each webinar and must be done at least one hour prior to start time.  More info at

CSA Expert Exchange

March 6-7. Online. This year’s conference will feature sessions over the course of two days – you can choose to participate in them live or watch the archived version at your convenience. The first day will focus on issues relevant to beginning farmers and those just getting started in the world of CSAs. The main event will consist of 3 one-hour sessions. Sessions will deal with topics such as marketing and social media, legal issues surrounding CSAs, crop planning and CSA coalitions. Use code “MOSES” for a $10 discount. Click here for more information.

All Bugs Good and Bad Webinar Series: Straight Talk About Termites

March 7th. 1pm Central. Termites play an essential role in recycling dead plant material.  The problem comes when they start trying to recycle houses and other things we humans want to keep!  This webinar will be presented by Dr. Xing Ping Hu, a Professor in the Department of Entomology and Plant Pathology at Auburn University.

Water Quality Index for Agricultural Runoff Tool

March 7th. 1:30pm. The Water Quality Index for Runoff from Agricultural Fields (WQIag) is a qualitative, multivariate tool that characterizes the quality of water exiting as surface runoff at the field scale. It is simple, transparent and easy-to-use web-based system.  In combination with the published literature, the WQIag captures heuristic knowledge of different disciplinary experts such as soil scientists, agronomists, nutrient management specialists, and irrigation specialists and conservationists. Based upon the field characteristics, crop management practices (nutrient, tillage, pest control, irrigation and drainage) and structural practices; it ranks runoff water from 1 to 10 where 10 being the best and 1 being the worst. The presentation will provide an overview of the tool with a demo and discuss how it can be used by NRCS field staff and others in evaluating and tracking effectiveness of conservation practices in improving water quality over time and space.

Department of Agronomy & Horticulture Seminar 

Gene network reconstruction as a tool to discover how plants make vitamins and co-factors. Friday, March 7th. 3:30 pm-5:00 pm. Seminar presented by Anna Block, assistant professor, UNL Agronomy & Horticulture. Refreshments served at 3:00 p.m. Location, Keim Hall on UNL's East Campus, Room 150.

Effects of Climate Change in Our Region

Winter Lecture Series. Sunday, March 9th. 7:00 pm-8:00 pm. Climate change is the focus of the 2014 Winter Lecture Series that will take place on several Sunday evenings at Hardin Hall auditorium. The lectures are free and open to the public. Hardin Hall Auditorium on UNL's East Campus. 


Local foods offer tangible economic benefits in some regions

Despite their typically small size and sparse distribution, farms that sell their products locally may boost economic growth in their communities in some regions of the U.S., according to a team of economists.

"There has been a lot of hope, but little evidence, that local food systems can be an engine of economic growth in communities," said Stephan Goetz, professor of agricultural and regional economics in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences and director of the Northeast Regional Center for Rural Development. "Our findings show that, at least in certain regions of the country, community-focused agriculture has had a measurable effect on economic growth."

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