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Special Features Section, Superior Express

Straight From The Horse's Mouth

Jenny's REESources


Straight From The Horse's Mouth, by Duane Lienamann, UNL Extension
We have gone from way too dry and dying wheat to some promise and rainfalls that completely change our attitude and prospects for our crops and grass. It shows how dependent we are on Mother Nature.
But getting moisture can also mean that we should be expecting some fungus and disease to pop up. I have looked at wheat all across the South Central tier of counties and have found varying degrees of infection. In some it is obvious, and just walking through the field will leave your boots or pants "painted" with an orangish-yellowish or powdery cast. That of course is not a good sign.
Now the question is: "What do we do?"
That of course will depend on circumstances. One is the early status of the wheat and how it has developed, or perhaps - not developed.
Some fields were hit hard with drought, winter-kill and both in some cases. We have some fields that were tore up and planted to something else, but we also have fields that were left to see what they would do. Some of those look pretty good, while others most likely will not have great yields. I am concurrence with those who suggest farmers take a good look at their stand and total field to make a decision on treating these diseases or not.
I agree with Jenny Reese, an extension educator in a neighboring county, who said "For most dryland I'm not recommending to spray because it doesn't pay with the current wheat price, the cost of fungicide and original thin stands...It would have been better used as cattle feed prior to heading."
With the heading stage we're aiming for a double whammy right now with increased scab risk with all this rain. With wheat just heading and still beginning to flower we will probably see a lot of scab too this year. If headed, you need to use something like Prosaro, Caramba or Proline.î
I have sent pictures and visited with Stephen Wegulo, UNL plant pathologist, who recommends: "If the grower wants to spray, then the field should be sprayed right away when weather permits or as soon as possible to protect the flag leaf. Prosaro or Caramba would be my recommendation mainly because I suspect we may have Fusarium head blight (FHB) given recent, current and forecast weather conditions. Either of these products will achieve excellent control of stripe rust and provide some protection against FHB on those plants that are already headed. A cheaper alternative is the generic form of Folicur 3.6F (tebuconazole), known as Orius 3.6F (there may be other tebuconazole generics in addition to Orius, but Orius is the only one I know). It is excellent on stripe rust but not as effective on FHB as Prosaro or Caramba. Because it is a generic, it is at least three times cheaper than Prosaro or Caramba.
Each farmer will have to decide if it is worth the expense or not, depending on crop potential.

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Jenny's REESources, by Jenny Rees, UNL Extension

Sheila Purdum, Nebraska Extension Poultry specialist, has confirmed 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 Minnesota and Wisconsin and laying hens in Iowa for the past three months. It is a deadly flu virus to poultry, killing as many as 90 percent of the flock within three 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. The good news is that biosecurity measures such as disinfecting all equipment coming into contact with a 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 a vaccine. There are 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.
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, call the Nebraska Department of Ag at 877-800-4080.
Extension has been receiving inquiries from backyard producers who just got their chicks from local farm stores. All of those chicks should be clean; breeders could not sell chicks from positive flocks according to state and national regulations.
The virus can incubate and live in an environment for up to three weeks before the birds become sick. That is why biosecurity is the best precaution.
Purdum has told poultury producers "Do not visit neighbor's flock, live bird auctions or parks with migrating birds. Stay in a high awareness alert to protect your birds."
If you have questions, you may contact Sheila Purdum, extension poultry specialist, 402-472-6362; or email her at

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