Specialty crop workshop helps landowners, producers diversify, add income

Picture of lavendar plant
Growing lavender in Wyoming is one of the sessions at the Specialty Crop Workshop in Wheatland.

A workshop in Wheatland Saturday-Sunday, Oct. 27-28, helps agricultural producers, small acreage owners or homeowners learn about new crops, growing methods and potential income streams.

The Specialty Crop Workshop is at the Platte Valley Bank Community Room, 200 16th St. Space is limited, and registration closes Oct. 24. Registration is $50. Refreshments are provided. Register in person at the Platte County Extension office or online at bit.ly/specialtycrop18 or by mail. The downloadable brochure, with mail registration information, is at bit.ly/wheatlandspecial.

Presenters will share their experiences growing lavender, hops, historic apple varieties, ancient grains and cut flowers. Food safety, social media marketing and other resources for those seeking to diversify their operations will be discussed. Other topics include how to use biochar as a soil amendment and what to know before transitioning to organic production.

University of Wyoming Extension, Platte County Master Gardeners, Wyoming Department of Agriculture and Rocky Mountain Farmers Union present the workshop.

For more information, contact the Platte County Extension office at 307-322-3667 or email mmckinl2@uwyo.edu.

UW Extension bulletin explores soil water basics for irrigation management

Picture of man in corn field
Vivek Sharma, UW Extension irrigation specialist

Understanding soil-water relationships for more efficient irrigation is the focus of a new bulletin from the University of Wyoming Extension.

Extension irrigation specialist Vivek Sharma explores the basics of soil water concepts and associated terms in Irrigation Management: Basics of Soil Water, B-1330

A better understanding of definitions and terms associated with soil water can aid communication between agricultural producers, irrigation practitioners, extension personnel, researchers and water management and regulatory agency personnel, said Sharma, based at the Powell Research and Extension Center and an assistant professor in the Department of Plant Sciences at UW.

Topics include soil composition, soil bulk density, soil water content, the soil moisture characteristic curve, available water capacity, total available water and the water balance, among others.

The publication is available for free viewing or downloading here. The document is available in PDF, HTML or ePub formats.

UW scientists find grass-legume mixtures provide highest net returns

Picture of man
Extension forage agroecologist Anowar Islam

University of Wyoming researchers have determined grass-legume mixtures have higher productivity and net economic returns than monoculture grass or legume stands.

UW Extension forage agroecologist Anowar Islam reports the results in Grass-Legume Mixtures Can Maximize Farm Profits in Wyoming, B-1329.

Islam conducted three years of studies at the James C. Hageman Sustainable Agriculture Research and Extension Center near Lingle. He found a 50-50 percent mixture of alfalfa and meadow bromegrass produced the highest net return. A 50-50 percent mixture of alfalfa and orchardgrass had the second highest net return in his study.

The bulletin is available for free viewing and download by going to www.uwyo.edu/uwe and clicking on the Find a Publication tab and typing in the title or bulletin number. The document is available in PDF, HTML or ePub formats.

UW Extension helps sponsor ‘Start Your Own Business’ workshop

Picture of woman
Hannah Swanbom

A nuts and bolts workshop to help those considering starting a business is Thursday, Oct. 25, at the Niobrara County Fairgrounds in Lusk.

“Start Your Own Business” is 5-8 p.m., said Hannah Swanbom, University of Wyoming Extension educator. The session is free. Registration is at www.wyomingsbdc.org, and those wanting more information can call 307-234-6683.

UW Extension and the Wyoming Small Business Development Center Network are sponsoring the workshop.

Justin Farley, regional director for the Wyoming SBDC Network, will teach the class. Farley covers Converse, Natrona, Niobrara and Platte counties.

Those attending will explore the pros and cons of having their own business and evaluate the skills and knowledge necessary for success, said Swanbom.

Areas include investigating a business idea potential, identifying a target market, financial options, and legal, tax and insurance issues.

“If you plan on joining Wyoming’s small business community, ‘Start Your Own Business’ is a good introduction to this exciting and challenging world,” Swanbom said.

Swanbom said Farley has a background in finance and real estate and has operated and sold Papa Murphy’s and Quiznos franchises.

“Justin’s business experience can help lend some insight on the road to entrepreneurship,” said Swanbom.

New publications explore ups and downs of high-altitude cooking and baking

The publication covers, showing cookie dough  and spaghetti
From Beulah to Burns to Big Piney, from Aladdin to Lander to Laramie, cooking and baking at elevations above 3,000 feet is different. These guides can help.

Ever wonder why cakes rise to the oven roof before falling and foods are undercooked when you follow the directions exactly? Two new publications from University of Wyoming Extension let you blame it on the altitude.

They help curious cooks and bakers adjust for the effects of lower air pressures, humidity and boiling temperatures at higher elevations.

 “Cooking and Baking It Up! Altitude Adjusters” covers food preparation from cookies, breads and cakes to boiling eggs, deep frying, candy-making and canning.

“Baking It Up! Tested Recipes and Tips for Baking at Altitude” is a revised and expanded remake of the classic “Baking at High Altitude,” first published more than three decades ago.

Both publications feature new, original photographs and food safety fundamentals. They’re free at bit.ly/UWEpubs.

“The U.S. Department of Agriculture defines high altitude as anything over 3,000 feet,” says Vicki Hayman, UW Extension nutrition and food safety educator in Weston County. “That means parts of most western states and ALL of Wyoming.”

Since most recipes are created for sea level, success at higher elevations may require adjustments in time, temperature or ingredients, she says.

Hayman helped prepare the new guides, which join “Friendly One-Pot Meals from Your Pressure Cooker” and “Diabetes-Healthy Recipes Everyone Will Love” in extension’s “Cooking It Up!” series.

For more information, contact Hayman at 307-746-3531 or vhayman@uwyo.edu.

“Baking It Up!” and “High Altitude Adjusters” are among the many free guides, courses and videos from UW Extension that help extend skills from soufflés and strawberry jam making to master gardening, estate planning, critter care, and more. See bit.ly/UWEpubs. YouTube video series from UW Extension include “Barnyards and Backyards,” “From the Ground Up” and “Exploring the Nature of Wyoming.”