Monthly Archives: May 2015

Options for Stripe Rust in Wheat

Stripe rust has exploded in wheat in the past 3-7 days in South-Central Nebraska due to theIMAG5065-1 rain and cooler weather.  Nebraska Extension is receiving numerous questions regarding options to consider.  Rain has also increased our risk for Fusarium Head Blight (head scab).

Wheat is at such a variety of stages in the area; many fields are just heading and/or flowering right now while others are in soft-dough.

Stripe rust on the flag leaf, as shown in this photo, will continue to progress with cool, wet conditions, reducing yield.  If your fields are currently yellow with stripe rust, here are a few options:

1-Do nothing and see what happens regarding what yield is obtained.  If your wheat is past flowering, fungicide application is not an option as all fungicides would be off-label.


Susceptible wheat varieties to stripe rust that have not been treated with a fungicide to date have a yellow cast to them in South-Central Nebraska.

2-If your wheat is headed and beginning to flower, you could still consider a fungicide application of Caramba or Prosaro.  Both are labeled for headed and flowering wheat.  There’s a 30 day pre-harvest restriction for both.  Rainfast varies from ¼ hour to 2 hours or when dry depending on environmental conditions.  Both fungicides can help prevent scab and control rust on the plant. However, research has shown that best scab prevention occurs when wheat is headed and 30% of the plants are in the beginning flower stage.  Application within 5 days of these criteria still showed positive results.  Research showed that application before or after this time period greatly reduced effectiveness of preventing scab.  Understandably, the economics of a fungicide application are tight with current wheat prices.  The following article includes economic considerations.

3-Consider haying it.  Dr. Bruce Anderson, Nebraska Extension Forage Specialist shared the following:

“Baling hay or chopping silage are two potential options.  Rust pustules are not toxic to cattle although sometimes the spores can irritate respiration.  It can be difficult to make good silage, though.  Rusty leaves dry out rapidly so it can be hard to get the best moisture content for silage packing and fermentation.

Usually it is best to harvest rusty wheat hay just before heading to retain reasonable forage quality.  As plants mature further, quality can decline rapidly.  Digestibility of rust affected cells is much lower than that of normal cells.  Fortunately, protein doesn’t seem to be affected greatly.  Properly made hay should not deteriorate in the bale due to the rust any more than normal.

Be sure to have the forage tested before feeding.  It is likely that nutrient concentration will differ from typical wheat hay so testing will help in developing rations.  Also consider the impact of removing the wheat residue.  Adequate residue helps retain soil moisture, boosting yield of your next crop.

There never are good choices when problems like this develop.  All you can do is weigh your options and choose what is best for you.”

Also, please continue to check out UNL CropWatch for wheat disease and all our crop updates.

Research Before You Retweet: Gardening in the Age of Social Media

Elizabeth does a great job explaining why it’s important to know the source before sharing information online. Great explanations for why we should/should not use some of the household remedies we see online!

Husker Hort

Blossom end rot on tomato. Maintain consistent moisture, try mulching tomatoes first. Don't reach for the Epsom salts.  Blossom end rot on tomato. Maintain consistent moisture. Try mulching tomatoes instead of reaching for the Epsom salts.

Without a doubt the interest in gardening and landscaping has been on the rise for many years. In order to find information on how to garden in the past, you had to know who to ask or what book to look in. Today the places to find information are endless. Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter and the internet all have gardening information that is easily shared among friends and followers alike. Sometimes these ideas are tried and true while others are more “too good to be true.” I might not be the first to say it, but you can’t believe everything you read on the internet.

Through my job with Nebraska Extension, I educate people using science-based information that comes from research. This ensures the information that I give out has been researched by…

View original post 502 more words

Wheat Scab Risk Increasing

Fusarium Head Blight Risk Assessment Tool:

With wheat heading/flowering in South Central Nebraska and recent rains, risk for Fusarium Head Blight (scab) in wheat in our area of the state has increased to moderate/high.   

With wheat heading/flowering in South Central Nebraska and recent rains, risk for Fusarium Head Blight (scab) in wheat in our area of the state has increased to moderate/high.  I’m also finding stripe rust up to a leaf below flag with some just beginning to appear on the flag leaves. This year creates a harder decision for applying fungicides in non-irrigated fields with cost of production, wheat price, poor stands, and severe stripe rust. If you are considering a fungicide, your options during flowering are: Prosaro, Caramba, and Proline. Typical foliar fungicides are off-label once flowering occurs. The above-mentioned fungicides can help prevent scab and control stripe rust and some other foliar fungal diseases if the fungicide is timed correctly.  For preventing scab, research has shown that fungicides applied when approximately 30% of wheat heads reach beginning flower stage do a good job of protecting wheat plants as did the application of fungicide within 5 days of early flowering.  Application of the fungicide 7-10 days after flowering offered minimal control based on University research trials sponsored by the U.S. Wheat and Barley Scab Initiative.

Avian Influenza-Nebraska Update

Dr. Sheila Purdum, Nebraska Extension Poultry Specialist asked us to share the following

Photo courtesy Nebraska Extension Poultry page:

Photo courtesy Nebraska Extension Poultry website.

information about avian influenza.  Unfortunately, Nebraska has HPAI H5N2 in a commercial flock of laying hens in Dixon County. This is the same virus that has been infecting turkeys in MN and WI and laying hens in the state of IA for the past 3 months. It is a deadly flu virus to poultry, killing as many as 90% of the flock within 3 days of the first symptoms. The major source of the virus has been migrating waterfowl, but it is believed to be airborne now traveling on numerous vectors to include people’s clothing, vehicles and other animals that may have come into contact with migrating waterfowl excrement, dust, etc.


The good news is that Biosecurity measures such as disinfecting all equipment coming into contact with your bird’s environment will help keep it out of small flocks. It is highly advised that backyard flock owners move their birds into indoor shelters and keep them away from interaction with migrating waterfowl on ponds. Simply do not share pasture or space, water with wild birds. This may be hard for some backyard folks, but they are just as susceptible to this nasty virus as the big producers.

USDA is working quickly on an Avian Influenza vaccine; it does have some problems matching strains to what the outbreak virus is (just as in human vaccine development). One other positive outcome is that this strain of AI is not harmful to humans; it is species specific to birds.  The USDA/APHIS website provides current updates about outbreaks.

Infected birds that do not perish by natural causes are euthanized when a premise is tested positive and birds are composted on site. If backyard flocks have high mortality, we urge you to call the Nebraska Department of Ag at 877-800-4080.

What if I purchased chicks from a local farm store?

All of those chicks should be clean; breeders could not sell chicks from positive flocks

Photo Courtesy Nebraska Extension Poultry website.

Photo Courtesy Nebraska Extension Poultry website.

according to State and National regulations. The virus can incubate and live in an environment for up to 3 weeks before the birds become sick. That is why Biosecurity is the best precaution. Do not visit your neighbors flock, live bird auctions or parks with migrating birds, stay in a high awareness alert to protect your birds.  If you have questions, please feel free to call Dr. Sheila Purdum, Extension Poultry Specialist, 402-472-6362;

Poultry Sales:

Dr. Dennis Hughes, Nebraska Department of Agriculture State Veterinarian has shared that swap meets, exotic sales and live bird auctions east of Highway 281 will not be permitted to sell poultry until further notice. In addition, poultry from east of Highway 281 will not be permitted to be sold at swap meets, exotic sales and live bird auctions anywhere in Nebraska until further notice. Questions on this topic may be directed to Dr. Tom Schomer at (402) 471-2351.

County Fairs and Other Shows:

Your local County Extension Office and/or FFA Advisor will keep you updated regarding the status of County Fair 4-H/FFA poultry shows.  For those coordinating additional upcoming poultry shows, they would appreciate you informing them. While they have not enacted a ban on poultry shows at present time, they would like to process the risk associated with each show on a case by case basis and help you determine the best course of action for your event.

They ask that you please report a contact name, phone number/email address, the name of your event, date and location via email to Jeanne Egger at NDA via email at or by calling (402) 471-6880.

NE Ag Water Management Network

With increasing cost of production, the Nebraska Ag Water Management Network is another way to help reduce energy costs while conserving water for the future. If you’re not already scheduling your irrigation based on soil moisture status, consider joining us by working with your local Extension Educator or Natural Resources District this growing season!

Views from VanDeWalle

Planting has been well underway and hopefully we will receive some timely rainfall with little need to irrigate. If you have irrigated ground and are looking for ways to save money, reduce nutrient loss and use less water, consider joining the Nebraska Agricultural Water Management Network, or NAWMN. I’ve been in Extension for nearly ten years and a program I’ve been involved with that has been a very rewarding program and made a positive impact for many is the Nebraska Agricultural Water Management Network, or NAWMN. Evaluation results have shown a one to two inch savings of irrigation since it’s inception. In 2005, only a few producers in the Upper Big Blue NRD, (shortly followed by the Little Blue NRD) were participating, but as of last fall, this program has reached 1,229 in 18 NRDs and 73 of 93 counties. The Network has been having significant impacts on both…

View original post 182 more words

%d bloggers like this: