Northern Wyoming Daily News - Serving the Big Horn Basin for over 100 years

By Marcus Huff
Staff Writer 

WESTI Ag Days highlights include crop disease, leasing and drought preparation

WORAND – Local agriculture producers and educators met Wednesday and Thursday for workshops on a variety of topics at the annual WESTI (Wyoming Extension’s Strategically and Technologically Informative) Ag days at the Worland Community Center Complex.

 

February 16, 2018



WORAND – Local agriculture producers and educators met Wednesday and Thursday for workshops on a variety of topics at the annual WESTI (Wyoming Extension’s Strategically and Technologically Informative) Ag days at the Worland Community Center Complex. For the new or veteran agriculture producer, the topics provided a broad range of information and learning opportunities.

Corn Disease

On Thursday, Bill Stump with the University of Wyoming, Department of Plant Sciences, informed local growers of the emergence of Bacterial Leaf Streak (BLS) in U.S. corn crops, not yet found in Wyoming.

According to the presentation, the bacterium originated outside the U.S. (possibly South Africa) and has been found in crops in Nebraska, Kansas, Colorado, Illinois, Texas, Minnesota, South Dakota and Oklahoma, and was probably introduced by contaminated seeds.

The bacteria, causing yellow streaking lesions in the plant’s leaves, affects all corn types and sorghum crops. So far, there is no indication that the bacteria can be controlled by fungicide.

Stump noted that the bacteria are found most often in hybrid crops, and BLS has been found in all major brands of seeds. Stump also noted that oats and rice could be hosts for the disease.

While Stump noted that BLS was first noticed in 2016, and a major cause of “gumming” in the world’s sugarcane market, the bacteria has cause no economic concerns so far in the U.S. and has no known human or livestock health impacts.

Stump recommended

sending any unusual samples of any and all crops to the Plant Sciences department for analysis, at wyoextension.org/plantclinic.

LEASING CONCERNS

On Wednesday, ranch specialist John Hewlett examined the leasing process, noting that “Here in the West we like to believe a handshake deal is good enough, but a written contract is really the best solution.”

Hewlett defined leasing as sometimes intangible, such as wind, minerals or hunting, but pointed out that most leases available to livestock producers involve grazing or crop development.

Of the 24 cattle and sheep producers in attendance, 75 percent surveyed hold grazing leases, while 21 percent lease land to grow crops.

Hewlett pointed out that legal leases should contain event times and boundaries of property usage, terms of the lease, rate of the lease and any special requests by either party.

Hewlett said that legally, leases can be terminated at the end of term, if the person leasing goes over term without notification or if there is a breach of contract by either party.

The most common types of leases were defined as cash leases, crop share leases, livestock share leases, labor share leases and flexible rent leases.

Of those in attendance, 50 percent use cash leases, while 33 percent used a combination of lease arrangements.

“The ultimate goal of any lease,” said Hewlett, “is for both parties to get a rate of return that equals their contribution.”

DROUGHT MEASURES

Ashley Garrelts, rangeland educator, Carbon County Extension, held a class on drought preparation, noting that drought can affect agriculture in three ways: directly to crops, to sources of hydrology (canals and rivers) and to the economy.

With proper planning through soil and weather analysis, Garrelts stated that agriculture producers can plan for “trigger” dates, when they should consider alternatives for water mitigation (irrigation, imported water sources, well use).

Garrelts discussed the need to give plants, especially range grasses, time to recover after a drought period.

For more information on drought planning, Garrelts recommended droughtmonitor.unl.edu, and vegidri.unl.edu.

 
 

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