High Plains Ag Lab meeting to focus on research updates

by Chabella Guzman

Sawfly traps
Sawfly traps without the nets stand in wheat fields at the High Plains Ag Lab near Sidney. The traps are part of ongoing research on the wheat stem sawfly. Photo by Chabella Guzman
February 9, 2024

Lincoln, Neb. —The Nebraska Extension will host its annual Dryland Crop Production on the High Plains meeting on Feb. 15 at the Western Nebraska Community College in Sidney.

The morning will begin with registration at 8:30 a.m., and a welcome from John Westra, Director of the Panhandle Research and Extension Center, will follow at 9 a.m. He will also give an update on PREEC to the audience. The majority of the morning will be devoted to research updates.

“We will be looking at our four sites across Nebraska and giving an update on our winter wheat fertility research,” said Bijesh Maharjan, Nebraska Extension soil and nutrient management specialist. 

The morning will also feature an alternative crops breeding update, commodity marketing and grain quality, building a sawfly research team, and strategic supplementation strategies for yearling cattle grazing cool-season pastures in the summer. The meeting will also include the Testing Ag Performance Solutions, TAPS, wheat contest results from Jessica Groskopf, Nebraska Extension educator, and Cody Creech, dryland cropping systems specialist.

The meeting will begin at 8:30 on Thursday, Feb. 15, at the Western Nebraska Community College in Sidney. Following is the agenda for the day. 


8:30 a.m.         Coffee, Donuts, and Registration

9 a.m.              Welcome and PREEC Update – John Westra, Director, Panhandle Research and Extension Center

9:10 a.m.         Alternative Crops Breeding Research Update – Dipak Santra, Alternative Crops Breeder

9:30 a.m.         Commodity Marketing and Grain Quality – Cory Walters – Extension Grain Economist

10 a.m.            Building a Sawfly Research Team – Jeff Bradshaw, Director of DPH Program and Amanda Easterly, Research Assistant Professor

10:30 a.m.       Strategic Supplementation Strategies for Yearling Cattle Grazing Cool Season Pastures in the Summer – Karla Wilke, Range Management Cow/Calf Specialist

10:45 a.m.       Break

11 a.m.            Update on Nebraska Winter Wheat Fertility Research – Bijesh Maharjan, Soil and Nutrient Management Specialist

11:20 a.m.       TAPS Wheat Contest Results 

12 p.m.            Lunch

12:30 p.m.       HPAL 2022 Crop Production Review – Jake Hansen, HPAL Farm Manager

1 p.m.              HPAL Advisory Board Meeting:

  • Changes in Personnel, Facilities, Equipment, and Production
  • What’s Up With Research – Around the Horn with UNL Specialists
  • HPAL Field Days
  • HPAL Short-term Plan
  • Production Challenges and Research Ideas

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Agricultural Research Division