University of Wyoming issues stripe rust alert for southeast Wyoming wheat crop

Extension plant pathologist Bill Stump
Extension plant pathologist Bill Stump

A University of Wyoming spring survey of the winter wheat crop in southeastern Wyoming revealed signs of stripe rust, a disease that caused yield losses in 2015.

“For the most part, Wyoming’s wheat crop looks to be in good shape, but stripe rust is beginning to show up,” said William Stump, University of Wyoming Extension plant pathologist and assistant professor in the plant sciences department, which conducted the survey.

Stump and research associate Wendy Cecil surveyed 87 field sites, representing 21 growers, in Laramie, Goshen and Platte counties in late April and again May 13-23. Stripe rust was present in 18 of the sites, with varying severity depending on location and cultivar used.

Wheat stripe rust
Wheat stripe rust

“The heaviest pressures were along the Nebraska border in southeastern Goshen County and northern Laramie County,” said Stump. “Several growers had already sprayed, and their fields were relatively disease-free.”

Cool night temperatures and isolated rains can increase potential for disease development, he said. He advised growers to monitor their wheat for signs of the disease, which include stripes of yellow-to-orange blister-like pustules primarily on leaves. The spores can be easily wiped off, he said.

The fields in the survey varied from dryland to irrigated and from freshly tilled to producing plants with the flag leaf visible. 

Stripe rust can be managed with fungicides, and protecting the flag leaf from infection is crucial, Stump said. He noted with current wheat prices, it is not known if spraying for stripe rust in Wyoming dryland wheat would be economically advisable but potentially could pay off for irrigated wheat.

For more information, contact Stump at 307-766-2062 or

Farm manager joins UW Sustainable Agriculture Research and Extension Center

Kevin Madden
Kevin Madden

Kevin Madden began April 30 as farm manager at the James C. Hageman Sustainable Agriculture Research and Extension Center (SAREC) near Lingle. 

Madden brings experience as an owner, operator and manager of a family production farm and ranch in Potter, Nebraska, said SAREC director John Tanaka.  

Madden will manage irrigated and dryland crops, rangelands, and livestock at SAREC. He will also help coordinate off-site research and extension activities on the center.

“He is a good fit,” Tanaka said. 

SAREC is now growing corn, sugar beets, wheat, dry beans, alfalfa, millet and barley, as well as pollinator flowers, cool season grasses, quinoa, fenugreek and cover crops.

A small cow-calf herd and feed cattle are maintained at SAREC for livestock research, including blue tongue disease in cattle and several feed efficiency trials.

“In Nebraska, Madden produced similar crops on dryland and center pivot irrigated acres similar in size to SAREC,” said Tanaka.  “He raised livestock as a commercial cow calf producer, small feeder, and breeder of American Quarter Horses for ranch work and pleasure,” he said.

Madden earned a diploma in center pivot sprinkler irrigation service/installation from Western Nebraska Technical College in Sidney and holds a Nebraska special electrician irrigation equipment license. He has also worked as a federal crop insurance adjuster. 

Madden’s involvement with youth programs includes 4-H, Odyssey of the Mind and Destination Imagination programs to promote creative and critical thinking, and the Cheyenne County, Neb., fair and rodeo royalty program. 

For more information, contact Madden at 307-837-2000 or

State forage field day June 14 at Sheridan research center

Extension forage specialist Anowar Islam
Extension forage specialist Anowar Islam

Forage production and management and tools to help alfalfa and forage growers produce the best possible yield and quality are part of the Wyoming Forage Field Day Tuesday, June 14, at Sheridan.

The fifth-annual event is 8 a.m.-4 p.m. at the Sheridan Research and Extension Center (ShREC) at Sheridan College. Registration, encouraged by June 3 to ensure a free lunch, is free, and the event is open to the public.

University of Wyoming Extension forage specialist Anowar Islam said the event is farmer-focused, “especially for those who want alfalfa and improved forages in their cropping/animal production systems and improve yield, quality and profitability.”

Full program details are at

There are more than 13 presentations, ranging from 10 to 40 minutes. A panel of producers is in the afternoon and machinery and equipment demonstrations end the day.

Register by calling ShREC at 307-673-2856 or at, or contact Islam at 307-766-4151 or

UW Extension offers resources for staying safe before, during, after flooding

Resources to help prepare for flooding and its aftermath are available from University of Wyoming Extension.

Experts say what people do before, during and after flooding can make a difference in health, safety and recovery.

The following offer resources to help residents weather flooding events in 2016:

·         Extension Disaster Education Network (UW Extension site at

·         Guide to post-disaster restoration for a safe and healthy home (Department of Housing and Urban Development site at

·         Recovering from Natural Disasters (UW Extension at

·         Agriculture-related post-flooding resources (Extension Disaster Education Network at

Among guidelines the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) offers those working in flooded areas are:

  • Do not walk through flowing or standing water.
  • Do not drive through a flooded area.
  • Seek immediate first aid treatment or medical evaluation for any injuries or illnesses.
  • Get immunizations or be sure they are current, e.g., tetanus.
  • Wash hands often, using hand sanitizer or soap and clean water.
  • Keep safe, potable water on hand for drinking and washing. Consider all water unsafe until the public water supply is officially declared safe.
  • Use insect repellant and sunscreen.
  • Wear watertight, slip-resistant boots with steel toe and insole (not just steel shank).

FEMA warns of dangers from slippery and unstable surfaces; sharp or jagged debris; electrical hazards and chemical exposures; and contact with airborne microorganisms and microbial growth (bacteria and fungi) and animal remains. Continue reading UW Extension offers resources for staying safe before, during, after flooding

Hundreds of weeds identified in free ‘Weeds of the West’ e-pub

Weeds of the West
Weeds of the West

Pigweed, dogbane and horsetail are among plants featured in the free downloadable “Weeds of the West,” a guide to more than 350 species found around the home, farm and ranch.

The guide, available as a pdf or ePub at, aids in identifying species that compete with native plants, horticultural and agricultural crops or are toxic to livestock and people.

Entries include descriptions, habitats and characteristics for weeds growing in all western states, including Hawaii. More than 1,000 photographs show early growth stages and mature plants, plus important features for identification.

Abundance and ability to reproduce, compete and spread rapidly often characterize weeds. According to the editors, the “weed” label does not mean a plant is always undesirable or cannot be beneficial under certain circumstances.

They give as examples species undesirable on grasslands for livestock as being valuable wildlife forage or habitat elsewhere. Some species poisonous to livestock are valued as ornamentals, and some nearly universally unappreciated weeds may help reduce soil erosion on disturbed sites. Continue reading Hundreds of weeds identified in free ‘Weeds of the West’ e-pub