Saturday, January 23, 2010

Needs assessed for Geospatial Information System (GIS) software programs

Published: Saturday, January 23, 2010 12:24 AM CST

Hall County Crops & Water Extension Update
by Mark R. Hinze, M.S.
UNL - Regional Agronomy Extension Educator

(308) 385-5088 office; E-mail:

With the costs of production seemingly out of control in recent years, the need for supplying the right amount of nutrients at the right location and at the right time is becoming increasingly important. The University of Nebraska Extension in Hall County is considering writing GIS modules for the more popular GIS programs. Among the programs is a software program called "Ag-Leader - SMS." This program, while ready to use off the shelf, still needs nutrient algorithms programmed to make it function with ease for Variable Rate Treatments (VRT).

Farmers today may not have the time or the resources readily available to create VRTs for nitrogen, phosphorus, sulfur, zinc and ag lime. Further study is ongoing to determine whether UNL Extension should consider this as a viable program and subsequent workshops may be established if the need is justifiable. If you have need for a supplemental module package and you would like us to assist in the creation of such or want more information, please contact me at the Hall County extension office at (308) 385-5088.

Nebraska Agriculture Technology Association (NeATA)

The NeATA Conference is scheduled for Jan. 27 through Jan. 28 at the Midtown Holiday Inn in Grand Island. For a conference brochure, see the Web site:

The Nebraska Agricultural Technologies Association is a membership network that provides a venue for members to share agricultural research experiences and related knowledge with each other. NeATA was founded in 2001 by innovative Nebraska farmers, ranchers, agribusiness representatives, and UNL Extension.

NeATA strives to identify and explore new technologies practical for agriculture with consideration to financial returns for producers. Identifying agronomic practices that reduce economic and environmental risks, thus promoting the stewardship of land water resources, is paramount to this effort.

Nebraska Ag Water Management Demonstration Network (NAWMDN)

We have several producers in the project, but it would be great to have many more from the Hall County area. The Central Platte Natural Resource District is considering a cost share on ET gauges and Watermark Soil Sensors. The NAWMDN program has been successful because UNL Extension and NRD personnel are working one-on-one with producers and then producers are sharing their success stories with other producers. Producers surveyed in 2007 and 2008 indicated that on average they've reduced irrigation applications and associated energy saving by 2 acre-inches for both corn and soybeans.

We hope you'll consider giving the NAWMDN a try in 2010. Stop by our Extension office or the NRD for more information.

Coming events

Jan. 27-28 -- NeATA Conference, Midtown Holiday Inn, Grand Island

Jan. 29 - Spatial Variability in Soils Workshop, Midtown Holiday Inn, Grand Island

Feb. 10 -- Private Pesticide Applicator Training, College Park, Grand Island 7 p.m.

Mar. 2 -- Private Pesticide Applicator Training, College Park, Grand Island, 1 p.m.

Mark Hinze is the regional agronomy extension educator at the Hall County extension office.

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