Nebraska Extension In Gage County

March 2023

In this Issue:

Water & Integrated Cropping Systems-Nathan Mueller

Local Chemigation Training in Southeast Nebraska

2023 Private Pesticide Applicator Training Options in Southeast Nebraska

Horticulture-Nicole Stoner

Planting for Pollinators


Food, Nutrition & Health-Tara Dunker

Talking about the Ticker

Fun Family Walks in 4 Easy Steps

4-H & Youth Development-Jacie Milius

Scholarship Updates

Local chemigation training in Southeast Nebraska ~ By Nathan Mueller

Chemigation is the process of applying chemicals to land/crops with water from an irrigation system. Chemical is broadly defined as any fertilizer, herbicide, fungicide, or pesticides mixed with the irrigation water during application. In southeast Nebraska, the most common chemigation process is applying liquid nitrogen fertilizer through a center pivot. Applying nitrogen fertilizer through pivots during the growing season can match corn hybrid nitrogen uptake demand and can improve nitrogen use efficiency. The Nebraska Department of Environment and Energy (NDEE) requires certified chemigation applicators. An applicator (sometimes called a chemigator) is the person actively engaged in the application of chemicals via chemigation. This may or may not be the owner of the land who is legally responsible for the use of chemigation on the land, called the chemigation permit holder, with the Natural Resources District (NRD).

Applicators are required to take a training and past an exam every 4 years. Those applicators whose certification expired on Jan. 1, 2023, have already received a letter from Nebraska Extension. Nebraska Extension is contracted by NDEE to deliver chemigation applicator trainings. Requirements for initial and recertification are the same, come to a face-to-face meeting to become certified or opt for the online version of the training and testing program. The online training program along with directions can be accessed at

If you wish to attend an in-person chemigation training, you must pre-register online at or over the phone by calling the Saline County Extension office at 402-821-2151.

2023 Private Pesticide Applicator Training Options in Southeast Nebraska

The traditional in-person 3-hour training cost is $50/person. Be sure to bring the following three items with you: (1) Driver’s license or photo ID, (2) Bar-coded recertification form in the mail in December from the Nebraska Department of Agriculture (NDA). A replacement form is available at the training, and (3) $50 cash or check made out to University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

To learn more about upcoming training dates and locations, please visit Pre-registration is required at or by calling your local Extension office in Beatrice (402-223-1384), Fairbury (402-729-3487), or Wilber (402-821-2151). Pre-registration is required due to room capacity limitations and potential inclement weather cancellations.

Planting for Pollinators~ By Nicole Stoner

It’s hard to think about gardens when the weather is as cold as it was this week. However, it is a great time to start thinking about your gardens for the spring. I will be starting my seeds indoors in the next few weeks to get my transplants growing for my vegetable garden and I have ordered seeds for a few flowers I will start as well. So, when we think about our gardens, we need to think about helping pollinators.


This is the time of year where we are really excited for spring. February 7th was Rose Day, according to the website of all fun, sometimes made-up holidays. It is a great time to talk about roses, though, as we plan our gardens for spring.

Types of Roses

There are a lot of different types of roses that you can find at your local garden center, making the decision very difficult.

Talking about the ticker~ From Tara Dunker

Lub, dub. Lub, dub. Lub, dub—the reliable sound of your heart pumping away as you read the newspaper.

My friend, Brittany Spieker, Extension Educator in northeast Nebraska, wrote a nice article for American Heart Month she said I could share with my southeast Nebraska friends. So, I owe my thanks to Brittany for the wealth of information she shares about the organ we so often take for granted.

You likely already know how to keep your heart healthy—eat a balanced diet, move your body, quit smoking, schedule regular wellness checks, drink plenty of water, get adequate sleep, and manage your stress. Setting all that aside, let’s take a look at what makes your heart such a wonder in the first place.

From the time it started, until it beats its last, your heart will likely beat more than 2.5 billion times over the course of your life. It pushes blood through 60,000 miles of vessels all day, every day. To say your heart works harder than any other muscle in your body is an understatement.

Fun family walks in 4 easy steps

Punxsutawney Phil, Pennsylvania’s most famous groundhog, did not get the memo about my article topic when he spotted his shadow last week.

The folklore is clear: if he sees his shadow, it’s 6 more weeks of winter—and sure enough, he saw his shadow. But if you dress for the weather and avoid going out when it’s slick, you should be able to put this article into practice even if spring doesn’t come early.

My friend, Hannah Guenther, Extension Educator in West Point, put together 4 easy steps to fun family walks using her experiences with her 10-year-old daughter. The steps are especially great because a reliable pair of walking shoes is all you need to get going.

As you and your family come out of hibernation this year, consider boosting the fun for everyone with the following.

4-H Scholarship Update ~ Jacie Milius

Gage County 4-H Juniors and Seniors, it's time for you to start looking at scholarships! There are numerous agricultural companies, organizations, and colleges that offer scholarships to students who have long-term career goals in agriculture. There are also a lot of local and county-wide scholarships for 4-H youth. Now is the time to put together a good resume-it helps!

At a loss for where to begin with scholarships and financial aid? We have multiple resources available for you! Check out the Scholarship Update Newsletter for resources and a list of local and statewide 4-H Scholarships.

4-H Enrollment Now OPEN!!

Enrollment is open for the 2023-2024 Gage County 4-H year. The enrollment website is All 4-H youth (ages 8-18), Clover Kids (ages 5-7), and leaders/volunteers are required to enroll online every year. Enrollment deadline is June 15. We encourage all members to enroll using a computer and not your mobile device. Call or email Jacie or Sarah at 402-223-1384 with any enrollment questions.

Please make sure to include or update your child's t-shirt size! This is the sizing guide we use to order the Exmark t-shirts for county fair! It is not a required field so can often be missed.

Updated help guides can be found on our website.

Enrollment fee is $12 for each 4-H youth to be paid online or in the office. There is no fee for Clover Kids or adults. We will not be accepting enrollments until we have received payment.

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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