My name is Nathan Donoghue, and this summer I am an agronomy intern at the David City location. I just finished my sophomore year of college at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. I am an agronomy major with a minor in horticulture. I have been doing a wide variety of things to start off the summer with Aurora Coop. A few of my main responsibilities include collecting tissue samples once a week, scouting fields, and going on runs for chemicals and delivering them to growers.
I’ve been scouting fields throughout the Butler, Seward, and Saunders county areas. I really enjoy passing through some of the smaller towns that I have never been to before and seeing new places. When I scout a field, I determine the plant’s growth stage, look for any weeds present, and inspect the plant for anything that could be a problem. I have been seeing some velvetleaf, marestail, pigweed, and water hemp sporadically at the fields I’ve scouted. It is interesting to see how much better the weed management can be in fields that utilize different tillage practices. However, I have also seen some spots where the leftover residue piles up and hurts the stand count in that area. I enjoy scouting fields, and I have usually learned something new every day. A couple of other things I have done throughout the summer are soil sampling, hauling double cone trailers, backpack spraying, and helping clean the shop/warehouse.
My time so far at David City has been great. I enjoy working with everybody there, and they create a good work environment. The shop guys there have been teaching me a lot outside of the field work as well. For example, they have shown me how to calibrate pumps, use a couple tools I was unfamiliar with, and even a good way to store the excess part of a ratchet strap when we are tying down shuttles or seed boxes.
I’m only about a month into my internship, and I have learned plenty of information that I can take with me for the rest of my life. I know I still have a lot to learn, but I hope I can continue to learn a couple of new things every week that will help me in my future career.