*Nebraska Extension* Gage County

February 2023


Be sure to keep updated by checking our Facebook page, as there are some exciting opportunities coming up.

In this Issue:


Office closed February 20th

Horticulture-Nicole Stoner

Reading the Seed Packet

Lenten Rose for Winter Interest

Water & Integrated Cropping Systems-Nathan Mueller

UNL Expands CropWatch Resource with Podcast

2023 Private Pesticide Applicator Training Options

Food, Nutrition & Health-Tara Dunker

A soup-er recipe for national soup month

Fiber is your body's best friend

4-H & Youth Development- Jacie Milius

4-H Enrollment

Nebraska 4-H Month

Reading the Seed Packet From: Nicole Stoner

As I stare out the window at the snow on the ground, it is hard to believe I am starting to get spring fever, but I am. I start thinking about my summer garden, the fresh produce, and what I want to grow this spring. The seed catalogs are all here and I’m ready to place my order so I can start my seeds indoors in the coming weeks. But what does all the information on the seed packet mean?

Lenten Rose for Winter Interest By Nicole Stoner

Once we get past Christmas, I always start thinking about spring gardening again. I know it is very early to do that in January, but the seed catalogs start coming in the mail and I get excited for the growing season. One plant that blooms very early and could be added to your gardens is one called Helleborus, or more commonly, Lenten Rose.
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UNL Expands CropWatch Resource with Podcast. From Nathan Mueller

Thanks to my colleague, Nate Dorsey, for putting together this guest post for Crop Tech Cafe. The University of Nebraska-Lincoln Extension has been sharing the latest information on crop production and research through a resource known as CropWatch since 1992. CropWatch originally started as a printed newsletter, but the newsletter could only be released a few times per season because of the logistics of printing and mailing new issues.

Katy Moore, a communications specialist with the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, said that one of the missions of CropWatch is to share timely and relevant information with agricultural producers throughout the state. As such, the expansion of the internet was viewed as a tremendous opportunity, “CropWatch’s website was launched in 1996 to provide easier access so that farmers across the entire state could benefit from CropWatch’s resources,” said Moore.

While the website had the benefit of being easier to access, it also allowed for sharing information faster, “When farmers are dealing with a new or unknown crop issue, they need fast answers,” explained Moore, “Our goal is also to be as timely as possible.” Currently, the CropWatch website publishes a new issue of articles every week during the cropping season and shifts to every two weeks during the winter months.

2023 Private Pesticide Applicator Training Options With Nathan Mueller

A private pesticide applicator is a person who uses or supervises the use of restricted use pesticides in the production of agricultural commodities on land owned or rented by them or their employer. Applicators are not eligible to purchase or apply restricted use pesticides until both certified and licensed. I will be assisting with educator vacancies in Lancaster/Cass/Otoe and Johnson/Nemaha/Pawnee/Richardson accountability regions. The number of trainings and venues have changed across southeast Nebraska as a result. In 2023, private applicators have six training options to become certified or re-certified for another three-year span.

Tara Dunker's- A soup-er recipe for national soup month

I can’t tell you how grateful I am for national food months every time this news column rolls around.

They’re sometimes the only things that keep me from coming up empty in the creativity department, and this month is no different. With January being National Soup Month, I thought I’d celebrate by sharing the best white chicken chili recipe with the best newspaper readers.

You’re probably thinking, “What makes it the best recipe, Tara?” For starters, it’s easy.

I refuse to cook anything that a) requires too many ingredients, b) is labor-intensive, or c) dirties too many dishes. This recipe ticks all my boxes.

Fiber is your body's best friend. By Tara Dunker

Maybe it’s just me, but I like to think of fiber like little robot vacuums inside the human body—sweeping all the unwanted stuff away, while we go about our lives not giving it much of a thought.

While most people have at least a vague understanding of fiber’s role in keeping digestion regular and comfortable, its other many health benefits are sometimes overlooked. January is Fiber Focus Month, so let’s take a moment before this month is over to review fiber’s many benefits and some simple ways to boost your own fiber (accompanied by a good amount of fluids) intake for better health. According to MayoClinic.org, an eating pattern high in fiber:

4-H Youth Development By Jacie Milius

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Gage County Extension

Nicole Stoner-Horticulture, Landscape & Environmental Systems


Tara Dunker-Food, Nutrition & Health Extension Educator


Jacie Milius-4-H Youth Development Educator


Nathan Mueller-Water & Integrated Cropping Systems