UW livestock judging team achieves major success at American Royal

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Laurel Rigby

A University of Wyoming livestock judging team member won the individual competition among 136 contestants, and the team placed fourth among 29 universities at the American Royal Livestock Show in Kansas City Friday, Oct. 26.

Laurel Rigby of Ronan, Mont., won the individual competition by nine points. She placed first in swine, third in beef and in reasons and seventh in sheep/goats judging. Her individual reasons score of 379, which is over a 47 average on eight sets, is an all-time UW record at any contest.

“Laurel had an outstanding day,” said coach Caleb Boardman. “Typically, the top individual spots are decided by as little as one point, and to win by nine over second place and 18 over third place is almost unheard of at a national contest.”

Tyler Shaw of Kimball, Neb., was 12th overall individual, and 10th in swine and 13th in sheep/goats. Juan Gavette of Everson, Wash., was 12th in sheep/goats.

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Tyler Shaw

The team was first in sheep/goats, sixth in swine, seventh in reasons and eighth in cattle.

The team also competed in three contests in four days earlier in October.

Juan Gavette

Rigby again led the team to a sixth-place finish at the Mid-American Classic in Hutchinson, Kan., by finishing fourth overall, fifth in swine, sixth in reasons and seventh in beef. Gavette was second in sheep/goats. The team competed the following day at the Tulsa State Fair in Tulsa, Okla., with the highlight being sixth in beef cattle. The team completed the weekend at the Texas State Fair in Dallas. Highlights included placing second in swine and fifth overall.

The team’s final competition for the national championship is at the North American International Livestock Expo Show in Louisville, Ky., Nov. 12.

Alfalfa weevil, black grass bug strategies focus of Powell, Sheridan workshops

Jeremiah Vardiman
Jeremiah Vardiman
Scott Schell

Alfalfa weevil and black grass bug integrated pest management (IPM) strategies and research are topics of free workshops in Powell and Sheridan in November.

The Powell workshop is 2-4 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 13, at the Powell Research and Extension Center,747 Road 9.  The Sheridan workshop is 2-4 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 14, at the Sheridan Research and Extension Center, 3401 Coffeen Ave.

Alfalfa weevil is the most economically damaging insect to alfalfa grown for hay in the Intermountain region, said Blake Hauptman, University of Wyoming Extension educator based in Crook County.

Knowing how to monitor them and when to start a management strategy before populations reach an economic threshold is critical, he said. Improper management can lead to ineffective pesticide applications and waste dollars.

Extension educator Jeremiah Vardiman, based in Park County, will present research and information on alfalfa weevil development and control.

Black grass bugs can cause significant damage to western range grasses, primarily to pastures reseeded to introduced wheatgrasses, said Hauptman.

UW Extension entomologist Scott Schell will discuss impacts and IPM strategies for the pest.

“Pastures with wheatgrass varieties are common in Wyoming and provide substantial amounts of forage for livestock, so it is critical to recognize if black grass bugs are causing considerable damage to your forage resource,” said Hauptman.

Contact Vardiman at 307-754-8836 or jvardima@uwyo.edu for information for the Powell workshop, and Hauptman at 307-283-1192 or bhauptma@uwyo.edu for the Sheridan workshop.

Specialty crop workshop helps landowners, producers diversify, add income

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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

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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

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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.