Crops to cattle to be focus of annual extension event

by Chabella Guzman, Communications Spec I University of Nebraska–Lincoln Panhandle Rsch & Ext Center

A sunflower disease will be among the many topics at the annual PARTT on Aug. 23, at the UNL Panhandle Research Extension and Education Center campus in Scottsbluff. Photo by Bob Harveson

The annual Panhandle Agriculture Research and Technology Tour will be held on Wednesday, Aug. 23, at the UNL Panhandle Research Extension and Education Center campus in Scottsbluff. 

The free event will begin with registration at 8:30 a.m. and a welcome at 8:50, followed by tours of the research plots. Farm machinery will be displayed in the parking lot, including combines and headers suitable for direct harvesting of dry edible beans.

“I’ll be talking about the adoption of the method of direct harvesting dry edible beans and some basic practices that can make direct harvest successful. Along with some pros and cons of direct harvest,” said John Thomas, Nebraska Extension educator. 

Xin Qiao, Nebraska Extension irrigation, water management specialist, and Gary Stone, Nebraska Extension educator, will give an update on irrigation research. Qiao said his team has created a weekly water report. Growers and others can subscribe to it by text. He will also discuss pivot-mounted camera systems for water and potentially nutrient/disease/weed monitoring.

Another stop on the tour will look at “Managing Multiple Diseases of Specialty Crops in Nebraska.” Bob Harveson, Nebraska Extension plant pathologist, said they have been evaluating new products and trying new methods for reducing the effects of diseases such as early and late blight infections in potatoes, Phomopsis stem canker, and Rhizopus head rot in sunflowers. 

“We will also discuss the newly discovered virus disease, sunflower ring spot mottle. It was detected in sunflower plots this year,” Harveson said. 

Other topics include:

  • How are Cattle good for the Environment? - Karla Wilke
  • Feedlot management - Pablo Loza
  • Management of Palmer amaranth – Nevin Lawrence
  • Soil Nutrient Management for Sustainable Sugar Beet Production – Bijesh Maharjan 
  • Ag Economics Update – Jessica Groskopf
  • Is the International Year of Millets 2023 Important to Nebraska? – Dipak Santra
  • Use of Geophysics in Environmental and Engineering Problems – Mohamed Aboushanab
  • Update on Dry Bean Breeding Program - Carlos Urrea
  • Precision Technology in White Mold Disease in Dry Beans - Weizhen Liang

PARTT is free and open to the public. Tours will be held in the morning, with afternoon sessions in the auditorium. For more information or to register, visit

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