Local Interest

Robert M. Harveson, Extension Plant Pathologist   Panhandle R&E Center, Scottsbluff

Rusts are plant diseases caused by highly diverse pathogenic fungi that can affect many different kinds of plants. Most crops grown in Nebraska can be affected by a rust disease, but fortunately we do not suffer disease problems every year.

Disease incidence and severity are strongly correlated with several major factors, including the severity of the previous winter and temperatures and moisture the following spring.

By Laurie Zitterkopf, Nebraska Extension Master Gardener Volunteer

Bumble bees are declining, and protecting existing habitat and creating and maintaining new habitat are some of the most immediate and productive steps that can be taken to conserve these pollinators. These habitats also support other native pollinators and beneficial insects.

Where populations of pollinators have declined, there is a parallel decline in insect-pollinated plants. Bumble bees and other native pollinators are needed to pollinate our native forbs (flowers). 

Habitat fragmentation, grazing, pesticide use (insecticides and herbicides), and pests and diseases are some of the challenges facing the bumble bees. 

Gary Stone, Jessica Groskopf, and John Thomas, Extension Educators; Dr. Xin Qiao, Extension Water & Irrigation Management Specialist; and David Ostdiek, Extension Communications

July 17 will mark the one-year anniversary of an event that many irrigators in western Nebraska will not forget – the Goshen / Gering-Ft Laramie Irrigation Districts Tunnel No. 2 collapsed, causing a breach in the main canal that dried up water deliveries for irrigators on the south side of the North Platte River under these two districts.

The farmers lost water for 42 days during the critical crop growing time, affecting over 107,000 acres in the North Platte River Valley of Nebraska and Wyoming.

Phragmites is also known as common reed, giant reed and canegrass. Its scientific name is Phragmites australis subsp. australis (non-native) and Phragmites australis subsp. Americanus (native), of the family Poaceae, the grass family.

Soil health advocates say interest is growing in nurturing the health of the vital natural resource. But there’s no standard way to measure soil health or predict its potential for improvement.

Now, a soil scientist at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln is proposing a name and a concept that could help establish the parameters for measuring baseline soil health and its potential for improvement.

The COVID-19 pandemic is putting limits on public face-to-face programs, but Nebraska Extension will sponsor a variety of events in mid-June to share updates on the wheat variety trials and crop and livestock research conducted by University of Nebraska-Lincoln in western Nebraska.

In-person field-days scheduled for June 18, 2020 at High Plains Ag Lab near Sidney and June 16, 2020 at the Henry J. Stumpf International Wheat Center at Grant have been cancelled. But growers are still encouraged to visit the research plots at these two UNL research facilities beginning June 15, 2020 and view the wheat variety trials. Self-guided tours also are being offered at a number of UNL cooperators’ on-farm wheat variety trials beginning June 15 until harvest.

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Fair organizers get creative to keep opportunities alive for 4-H, FFA youth

July 16, 2020
Over the past few months, 10-year-old Bailey Faltys has spent a lot of time with her 4-H sheep, Tucker and Bus.

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Partnership to offer free, low-cost services to Nebraska manufacturers

July 16, 2020
The Nebraska Manufacturing Extension Partnership will offer no-charge or reduced-cost consultation and employee development training to the state’s small to mid-size manufacturers.

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