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UNL / Horticulture Technology / HORT 100 / How do we use the 45.2 million acres in nebraska?

How do we use the 45.2 million acres in nebraska?

How do we use the 45.2 million acres in nebraska?


School: University of Nebraska Lincoln
Department: Horticulture Technology
Course: Plants, Landscapes, and the Environment
Professor: Wortman
Term: Fall 2019
Tags: horticulture, fieldsystems, Corn, soybeans, conservation, winterwheat, drybeans, sugarbeets, oilseeds, Forage, hay, hemp, and landuse
Cost: 50
Name: HORT 100 Mini-Exam #4 Study Guide
Description: This study guide contains the combined lecture notes for the Field systems unit that could be covered on Mini-Exam #4.
Uploaded: 10/23/2019
7 Pages 9 Views 2 Unlocks

HORT 100 Mini-Exam 4 Study Guide

How do we use the 45.2 million acres in nebraska?

Introduction to Field Crop Production Systems (Large-Scale Food, Feed, Fuel, & Fiber (Ag) Crops)


1. Discuss importance of field crops to landscape and economy in  Nebraska

2. Describe general production considerations for field crops, and  environment influences.

3. Define conservation agriculture and explain Nebraska's practices 4. Compare and contrast end uses for field crops  

How do we use the 45.2 million acres in Nebraska? (chart on slides) Lime green: grassland (cattle)  

Yellow: corn

Dark green: soybeans

Brown: winter wheat

Majority of NE's harvested acres are filled with field crop systems  Harvested acres (~20 million acres)

o Corn, Soy, Wheat, Dry beans, Sunflowers, Sugar beets, Forages,  Vegetables, Orchards

What is nebraska's most important farm product?

Don't forget about the age old question of How do you compare alternatives?

 Farms

o See crops above

Nebraska's field crops

 Corn

 Soybeans

 Conservation practices

 Winter wheat

 Dry beans

 Sugar beets

 Alternative oilseeds

 Forages and hay

 Emerging field crops

o Switchgrass

o Hemp


 Fertilized to supplement soil pools of N

o Fertilizer N is applied more than one time in a growing season o Single application typically occurs in fall or early spring for  preplant application

o Anhydrous ammonia can be applied in the fall after <50*F to  reduce leaching

o Multiple applications occur via sidedress or fertigation

Which three field crops contribute most to nebraska's agricultural economy?

If you want to learn more check out How is reciprocal altruism different from kin selection?

 Soil prepared for planting with tillage or herbicides in April o Hybrid seed planted April/May

o Starter fertilizer (P, N, micros)

o Pest management approaches:

 Bt trait in seed for insect resistance

 Traits in seed for herbicide tolerance (Round-up,  


 Scout and spray as needed

 Corn is harvested in fall, dried, sored, processed, or fed o Drying in field is ideal, to not waste money and fuel to dry it  artificially

o Wet - milled into high-fructose corn syrup, glucose, starch, oil,  alcohol, fuel ethanol

 Demand for corn has increased largely for ethanol usage o Dry - milled into cereal, flour, meal, brewers’ grits

o U.S. gov. programs were essential for growth of syrup and  ethanol markets

 Sugar import duties

 Renewable fuel mandates


 Do not require N fertilizer because of bacteria that live in nodules o Starter fertilizer required in 40% of acres

o Rhizobia inoculant necessary occasionally

o Seed directly seeded acres in April/May Don't forget about the age old question of What is the significance of i love lucy?

o Aphids can lead to >30% yield loss

 Cultivars chosen based on maturity group

o Photoperiod sensitive

o Need short-day conditions (long nights) to flower

 Streetlights can interrupt the long nights and cause plants  near road to continue vegetative growth and not produce  beans for harvest We also discuss several other topics like What is the national integrated ballistic information network nibin database used for?

 Harvested in the fall, then dried, stored, processed, or used as feed o World's #1 animal protein source for feed

o #2 source of vegetable oil

o U.S. is world's largest producer, 2nd in exports

o 80% meal, 20% oil

o 97% animal feed, 3% food products

Cover crops

 Essential to conservation agriculture

 Cover crops: crops planted to conserve natural resources, improve  health of soil, and preserving, adding or cycling nutrients and  managing weeds

 Combatting soil erosion

o Soil coverage (dead or alive) reduces erosion in highly erodible  soils

 Replace supplement synthetic fertilizer

o Increased soil Nitrogen

 Nitrogen scavenging (catch crops)

 Biological nitrogen fixation (Fabaceae family)  

o Capacity for N fixation depends on climate and crop  We also discuss several other topics like How youtube works?


 Increase or maintain soil Organic Matter

o Increases OM and improved soil aggregation = increased water  holding capacity

o Shown to provide yield stability in low rainfall years compared to  rotations without cover crops

 Weed control

o Light interception

o Lower soil temp

o Physical interference

o Delayed soil N release

 No-till in conservation ag

o Do not kill plant residue or destroy soil structure through tillage  to reduce erosion

o Linked to herbicide-resistance issue

o Reduce yields but performs best in rainfed systems  

 Overall reduction  

Grassed waterways and terraces reduce erosion

 Waterways and terraces can be used to reestablish prairie habitat

Winter wheat  

 3rd most popular crop in the US and NE

 Directly seeded in narrow rows in fall of temperate climates  Herbaceous winter annual

 Requires vernalization to start flowering (40*F >3 weeks)  Hybrid cash/cover crop providing winter soil cover

 >85% grown in Nebraska without irrigation

 Challenges and opportunities

o Fertilized with N in fall or spring, P fertilization as a seedling, K  sufficient If you want to learn more check out How is hereditary information passed through generations?

o Disease management

 Wheat streak mosaic virus

 Leaf rust pathogens

o Harvested in July  

 Fallow

 Double crop

 Cover crops

 Forage and grazing

 Harvested wheat is the principal food grain for consumption in US o Milling byproducts used in animal feed

o Similar to fruits and vegetables = quality is important  Color (pasta)

 Protein (baking quality and nutrition)

 Gluten (cooking and dough strength)

Dry Beans

 Nebraska is the 3rd largest producer in US

o Domesticated 7,000 years ago in Central America and moved  north

 Grown with corn and squash (intercropping)

o Leading source of vegetable protein in US

o Pinto = 42%

o Navy pea = 17%

o Black = 11%

o Great Northern = 5%  

o Garbanzo = 5%

 Require more intensive management

o Irrigation

o 2-3 fungicide applications

o Prone to Iron deficiency in Western NE

 Hauled to the elevator

o Inspected for USDA quality specifications

 Color

 Defects (skin broken, mashed up)

 Character (flavor, texture)

 Sold bagged or canned

o Brine-packed in cans  

o Chili, refried, etc.

o 7.5 lbs/person consumed in 2016

 Restaurant and fast food businesses

Sugar beets

 Alternative to sugarcane

 Grown in temperate climates like NE

 Biennial, with sugar stored in a tap root for an energy source for  overwintering

o Grown as an annual for sugar

o Grown as a biennial if growing for seed

 Planted April - June via direct seed

 Neutral to alkaline soils

 Excessive soil N can limit sugar content of root

o Too little can limit growth and yield

 Semi-arid high plains  

o NE sugar beet acres are irrigated

o Dry climate, less soil splash, limits foliar diseases

o Hot days and cool nights increase storage of sucrose

o 95% contain gene for tolerance to glyphosate

 Harvest requires specialized equipment

o Loose soils

o Cold winters allow for longer storage and sucrose preservation o Pulp, tops, and molasses are byproducts can be fed to livestock o Char is being studied as a soil amendment

 Demographics and economy were shaped in Scottsbluff county through sugar beets

o Enabled railway for transport of beets and coal for fuel

o Highest county-level population growth rates between 1910 and  1920 (147%)

o German-Russians were recruited from Lincoln and Omaha to help fulfill demand

o European background of production knowledge

o By 1924 2/3s of sugar beet workers in Scottsbluff county were  German-Russians

o German-Russians were displaced by Mexican and Japanese  workers  

o 2nd and 3rd generation German-Russians still reside in and own  land in the area


 Grown for cut flowers, confectionary type, and oil type

o Oil type for cooking, fuel, or bird seed

 Sunflower cooking oil low in saturated fat

 Demand is driven through health trends

o Confectionary type sold for roasted seeds and bird seed  Valuable rotational crop with winter wheat

o Deep roots to access soil water

o Breaks weed and pest cycles

o Planted in June or July

 Warm season

 Avoid insect pests

 Moth lays eggs on heads and larvae tunnel into seed

o Large seed planted deeply

 1 - 2"

o Respond to fertilizer, excess N can reduce seed oil content   Exhibit heliotropism: solar-tracking mechanism in plants   Harvested with a typical combine with minor adjustments

o In storage for a long time because it is dry to adjust to the  market

Pennycress (Thlaspi arvense)  

 Alternative oil seed crop

o Usually a winter annual weed

o Seeds have 36% oil content and suitable for biodiesel

 Soybean = 20%

 Sunflower = 40%

o Short growth cycle

 Sandwiched in corn and soybean rotation in central US

 Valuable pollinator resources

 Aerially seeded into corn like a cover crop

o Interseeded in soybean can produce biomass and soil cover


 45% all US popcorn is grown in NE

o Most in Holt county

 85% irrigated

 Similar cultural practices and pests as seed corn

 Seeding rates higher due to smaller plants and lower yield  Kernels dried in the field, not in a grain dryer

o Could start popping kernels in dryer

 Combine harvest with premium for undamaged kernels o Stored @ 70% humidity because they won't pop if they are too  dry

o Produced under contract

 ConAgra Food owns 1/3 popcorn market with brands  

o Quality determined by popping volume, tenderness, flavor  


 Legumes, high-quality forage

o High protein content for livestock

 Small-seeded, emergence declines with depth >1 inch

o Good in sandy soils

 Autotoxicity of alfalfa residue requires a delay of >4 weeks to replant o Residue is toxic to seeds germinating  

 Nebraska is #4 in US  

 Perennial

o Stands are maintained for 2-5 years before rotation  

 1 year to establish diminishing returns by 5th year

o Best adapted to neutral pH soils

o 2-4 cuttings per season

o Insect and pathogen pest, competitive with weeds after  establishment  

 Low input, rotational crop that can reduce environmental impact

Range and pasture  

 >50% of land use in Nebraska

 Rangelands (46%) = land with native vegetation, including grasses,  forbs, and shrubs

 Pasture = seeded, introduced species

 Contributes to culture and identity of the state

o Cattle industry creates $12 billion to industry per year

 Provide immediate forage for livestock grazing

 Important habitat for wildlife, recreation, hunting, ecosystem   Intensity of rangeland management is driven by intensity of livestock  grazing

o Systems provide a sequential movement of animals among  pastures with defined periods

o Short duration or rotational grazing improves grazing distribution and uniform forage removal

 Compensatory growth of plants  

 Promotes biodiversity and environmental benefits  

 Rangeland in NE has big threat: Eastern red cedar

o Removed by burning pasture lines with controlled fires  

Industrial Hemp (Cannabis sativa)

 Now legal with restrictions

 Different cultivar from marijuana in fiber and THC content  (psychoactive chemical)

o THC in marijuana = 3 - 30%  

o THC in hemp = 0.3% (legal requirement)

 Grown legally in US from 1606 - 1938

 Provision for legalized production on a state-by-state basis included in  2018 farm bill

 Grown for fiber, seed or both

o Food and body products

o Clothing, car parts, building materials

 Dioecious: has male and female plants

o Female plants are desirable for seed (males don't produce seed)  & fiber production (males die sooner)  

 Some males are required for pollination

 Short-day plant (like soybean)

o Only flowers with >12-hour nights

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