University of Wyoming Extension News

UW bulletin highlights cattle, sheep, crop, weed research

Powell R&E Center director Abdel Mesbah, left, hands the microphone to extension educator Jeff Edwards of Goshen County during a prior field day session.

Beef cattle, sheep, traditional and alternative farm crops, specialty crops including vegetables, turf grass variety trials and weed control are among research projects covered in the Wyoming Agricultural Experiment Station’s (WAES) Field Days Bulletin.

This is the publication’s second year.

“The goal of the bulletin is to document and make publicly available the content of research and other activities being conducted by WAES and at the four University of Wyoming research and extension (R&E) centers,” said WAES director Bret Hess. “The bulletin provides a forum for researchers and educators affiliated with WAES to publish results of their activities and to introduce new projects.”

Those attending an R&E center field day will receive hardcopies of the bulletin. The publication is also posted on the WAES website at under Important Links on the left-hand side of the page.

Field days begin at 1:55 p.m. Tuesday, July 17, at the Powell R&E Center; 4 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 23, at the James C. Hageman Sustainable Agriculture R&E Center (SAREC) near Lingle; and 5 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 30, at the Laramie R&E Center greenhouse complex at the corner of 30th and Harney streets.

The Sheridan R&E Center is not hosting a field day this year but will resume in 2013.

“Since its beginning in 1891, WAES has conducted applied and basic research to help solve problems that affect the agricultural sector of Wyoming and beyond,” Hess said.

Hess said that he believes agricultural-related research papers in the Field Days Bulletin will be of great interest to Wyoming ranchers, farmers, scientists and others.

Among the articles on beef cattle are fetal development, growth performance and fertility of heifers, dietary energy, residual feed intake (RFI), distillers grain, calf feedlot performance, finishing cattle and carcass characteristics.

There is also a paper on a forage-based bull performance and efficiency test open to producers in Wyoming and beyond.

Sheep research includes feed efficiency, feed intake and carcass traits, RFI, maternal obesity in ewes and a ram test.

There are numerous papers highlighting crop-related research at the R&E centers. Among Wyoming’s traditional crops being studied are alfalfa, barley, corn, dry bean, oat, sugarbeet and spring and winter wheat.

The bulletin also highlights research on alternative crops such as camelina, canola, fenugreek, legumes, rye, sainfoin, soybean, sunflower and triticale.

UW scientists are also performing studies on a variety of specialty crops and turf grasses. There are articles on basil, mint, numerous vegetables, table and wine grapes and cut flowers.

Another major topic is the management of troublesome weeds including Canada thistle, cheatgrass, foxtail barley, kochia, nightshade, pigweed, Russian knapweed, volunteer corn and wild buckwheat and oat.

A variety of other research is also highlighted. Among the studies are the use of coal-bed methane discharge water for irrigating crops, impacts of bark-beetle induced forest mortality on soil water and greenhouse gas emissions, non-lethal coyote control and rangeland reclamation.

In the bulletin introduction, Hess discusses a new WAES project based on stakeholder input that will attempt to align strategic issues facing Wyoming agricultural producers with long-term national priorities outlined by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture.

Producers and other members of the public are welcome to comment on the draft Production Agriculture Research Priorities document, which is posted on the WAES website under Important Links.

Hess said members of the public have already identified a need to document research priorities for specialty crops and other agricultural products for niche markets. Based on input, he noted, “WAES is planning to develop a similar document to address these specific areas.”

Those having questions or comments can contact Hess at 307-766-3667 or or one of the four R&E centers. Telephone numbers are: Laramie, 766-3665; Powell, 754-2223; SAREC, 837-2000; and Sheridan, 737-2415.