Local Interest

Aaron Berger, Extension Educator In many areas of Nebraska, drought conditions have resulted in reduced forage production on rangeland and pasture. This is resulting in a shortage of feed for many producers and a need for forage between now and when cornstalks are available for grazing. Windrow grazing annual forages allows producers to cut the crop at an optimum time for quality and increase harvest efficiency through strip grazing the windrows.

By Gary Stone, Extension Educator   Invasive & Resistant Pest Issue Team

Last year in another state, 14 horses died and another 100 were sickened from hay that contained blister beetles. Usually Blister beetles are not a problem, but growers should be aware of the insect and what to scout for in their fields.

The Pest:  The blister beetle (scientific name Epicauta spp., order Coleoptera, family Meloidae) includes several species: ash-gray blister beetle (Epicauta fabricii), black blister beetle (Epicauta pennsylvania), three-striped blister beetle (Epicauta vittata), and spotted blister beetle (Epicauta maculata).

In February, Dr. Pablo Loza was making plans to relocate from Argentina to Scottsbluff to assume his duties as the new feedlot management and nutrition specialist at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Panhandle Research Feedlot on May 1. Five months later he remains grounded from traveling by the COVID-19 pandemic, as are so many others. But Loza is stuck farther from his workplace than most. In his apartment in Cordoba, Argentina, he awaits the lifting of restrictions on work visas in the United States.

Anyone who receives a package in the mail with unsolicited seeds from China is encouraged not to plant them, but to contact the U.S. Department of Agriculture Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) office in Lincoln.

According to John Thomas, Nebraska Extension Educator based in Alliance, Extension has been receiving some inquiries about the seeds, and has received the following guidance from the Lincoln APHIS office:

Anyone receiving the seeds should call the Lincoln APHIS office at (402) 434-2346 for additional instruction.

Leafy spurge is a non-native perennial forb. Leafy spurge is not a single species, but an aggregation of closely related, perhaps hybridized, taxa. Leafy spurge reproduces from seed and vegetative root buds. It is an erect plant 1 to 3 feet tall with blueish-green leaves with round edges. Flowers are surrounded by heart-shaped yellow-green bracts which hold three round to oblong seeds. They are located in clusters near the top of the plant. Flowers develop in mid-June, but flowering can occur through fall. Each stem produces an average of 140 seeds.

John Thomas, Extension Educator, Box Butte County
Jeff Bradshaw, Extension Entomologist, Panhandle Research and Extension Center
Karen DeBoer, Extension Educator, Cheyenne County

As winter wheat harvest progresses in the Nebraska Panhandle, it is becoming clear that 2020 is another year of significant wheat stem sawfly infestation and cutting. Infestations are moderate in the north and heavier in the south.

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