Tag Archives: UNL Extension

Southern rust continues to spread across eastern Nebraska. To date, southern rust has been reported in 45 Nebraska counties (Figure 1). You can follow the southern rust tracking website to view where southern rust has been confirmed. Remember that counties highlighted in red indicate that a sample from at least one corn field was confirmed with southern rust, so it doesn’t indicate that all fields are affected. Similarly, counties not shaded are not necessarily free of the disease. Use this site as a guide where and when to scout more intensively for the disease.

In southern counties the disease is becoming more widespread and severe in some fields. During the last week southern rust has been confirmed in several northern Nebraska counties where we don’t normally have southern rust development during grain fill stages.  It is important for producers, agronomists and others to continue to scout for southern rust immediately and repeatedly, especially in fields that are in grain fill stages and have southern rust nearby. Southern rust is caused by an aggressive fungal pathogen that can infect and reproduce quickly. In susceptible corn hybrids, damage can be severe causing substantial yield loss due to loss of leaf area that may also lead to reduced standability later. Scouting to identify where the disease has developed and is spreading will help to make informed decisions about whether or not a fungicide application may be needed to minimize damage that can be caused by the disease. Warm temperatures, especially around 80 F and moist conditions favor southern rust development and spread.

Look for patches of tightly clustered small orange to tan pustules, mainly on the upper leaf surface (Figure 2). Spores should rub off on your fingers and can be anywhere in the canopy, especially starting in the lower canopy where humidity may be highest.

3 corn diseases on one leaf
Figure 2. Three corn leaf diseases that are becoming increasingly common in Nebraska in recent weeks: 1. Orange, dusty spores of southern rust on upper left; 2. Gray leaf spot lesions are rectangular on the upper right; 3. Bacterial leaf streak lesion is narrow and irregular in the lower right along the midrib.

Gray Leaf Spot

Gray leaf spot has also begun to move up the plants and is increasing in severity in many areas. Disease history, cropping practices (such as continuous corn), hybrid ratings, and weather conditions (especially warm and high relative humidity) impact this disease. Foliar fungicides can manage the disease and resistant hybrids. Look for rectangular lesions (Figure 2) that began in the lower leaves and progress higher up the plants.  Because symptom development can be slow (14-21 days to develop lesions), keep in mind that infection may have already occurred 1-2 leaves above the highest leaf with visible lesions.

Bacterial Leaf Streak

Bacterial leaf streak has been confirmed across most of Nebraska and is more severe now than in several years. On some hybrids, lesions may appear similar to and be confused with those of the fungal disease, gray leaf spot (described above). Bacterial leaf streak lesions are often tan and between the leaf veins but often have wavy, irregular margins (Figure 2). Lesions may appear bright yellow when backlit. Foliar fungicides will not control the bacteria causing the disease. Some hybrids have severe bacterial leaf streak that has reached the upper leaves on corn plants (Figures 3a and 3b).

bacterial leaf streak in corn on lower leaves
bacterial leaf streak lesions appear bright yellow when backlit
Figure 3. Bacterial leaf streak is common in Nebraska corn fields this year and becoming increasingly severe, often beginning in lower leaves (a) and eventually reaching upper leaves. Lesions may appear bright yellow when backlit and are usually wavy and irregular shaped (b).

Soybean Disease

Frogeye Leaf Spot

Frogeye leaf spot has begun to develop and spread in some fields. Be sure to look for small gray to tan lesions with dark margins in upper soybean leaves (Figure 4). Foliar fungicides can effectively control the disease when applied at R3-R5, but resistance has been confirmed in some Nebraska locations to the QoI Group 11 (formerly called strobilurin) fungicides. We will continue to monitor frogeye development and test for fungicide resistance and its distribution in Nebraska. If a fungicide application is needed for frogeye leaf spot, consider products that are a mixture of active ingredients representing multiple fungicide classes for best results.

Figure 4. Frogeye leaf spot of soybean causes circular to elliptical gray to tan lesions on upper leaves (Photo courtesy of Brad Copple).

Sample Submission

Submit samples in plastic bags to the UNL Plant and Pest Diagnostic Clinic (PPDC) for help identifying these and other diseases if you are unsure of the diagnosis. Information on how to submit a sample and the sample submission form are available on the PPDC site.

A Nebraska Extension webinar scheduled for later this week is set to cover custom rates.

The 2020 Nebraska Farm Custom Rates Report reflects the current rates charged by custom operators in Nebraska for machine hire services and other work they provide.

It is compiled from a survey of over 200 individuals across the state who are identified by Nebraska Extension personnel or self-identify as custom operators.

The webinar will cover what is included in the report, how it is compiled and offer suggestions on how to use it as a guide when determining what to charge or pay for custom operations.

The webinar will be held live on Thursday at noon for approximately one hour, including time for questions from participants.

The 2020 Nebraska Farm Custom Rates Report and webinar registration can be found at farm.unl.edu/customrates.

When: Thursday, July 30, 2020, noon CDT
Where: Via Zoom (register at farm.unl.edu)

Lincoln, Nebraska, June 29, 2020 — Bruce Anderson has been making hay with the Hay and Forage Minute radio program, which airs on stations across Nebraska, since February 1991. Over nearly 30 years, Anderson, a Nebraska Extension forage specialist, has written and recorded more than 3,000 radio shows on warm-season grasses, forage quality for hay and pasture systems, and forage-livestock systems.  

 Anderson, who grew up on a small dairy farm in south-central Minnesota, started his first job out of college at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln on Sept. 7, 1979. He never left.

 “I never saw any opportunities that would provide me something that I could accomplish more there than I could here,” Anderson said.

 When the Hay and Forage Minute first started, it aired only on KRVN, which soon found a sponsor for the program. 

 “It became a no-brainer after a while,” Anderson said. “I knew it was something that could really fit and nobody else was doing it.”

 In its second year, the program expanded from the KRVN station in Lexington to stations in West Point and Grand Island. Since then, as many as 50 Nebraska radio stations pick up the program weekly.

 Anderson is set to retire on June 30, during National Forage Week.

 He said his work on the program has been rewarding.   

 “I think that it’s easy to discuss challenges that producers have — Nebraskans are good at asking questions,” Anderson said. “They recognize that there’s nothing to be ashamed of about talking about things that aren’t going well or that they want to try. I think I’ve been able to effectively encourage them to do so and be comfortable in the discussions. That has been the rewarding thing about the whole business.”

 The foundation and following Anderson has built will continue in a slightly modified program called the Pasture and Forage Minute, a Nebraska Extension production.

 Daren Redfearn, Nebraska Extension forage systems specialist, who began his graduate program at Nebraska in the early ’90s when Anderson first kicked off the Hay and Forage Minute, is one of four extension professionals who will succeed Anderson.

 “We wanted this to continue with the primary forage flavor, if you will,” Redfearn said. “When we need to step across the discipline lines, we are able to do that, as well. We hope to not leave anybody out, and we hope to draw some new folks in.”

 The other voices of the Pasture and Forage Minute will be Ben Beckman, beef systems educator; Megan Taylor, cropping systems specialist; and Brad Schick, beef systems educator. Along with Redfearn, they will produce three Pasture and Forage Minute programs per week.

 In Nebraska, the forage, pasture and grassland industry is worth $2 billion annually.

 The Pasture and Forage Minute will continue with its well-known radio spots but will expand to include an in-depth podcast to reach agricultural businesses, producers who are livestock-based with some forages, and crop producers who raise forages without livestock.

 “The thing that makes Nebraska unique is that we’ve got an awful lot of grassland in the state, in addition to alfalfa and grass hay production,” Redfearn said. “I think that’s going to open up our audience quite a bit just because of the diversity of forage management systems that we have in Nebraska.”

As for Anderson, he will custom graze cow-calf pairs on the farm this summer and garden.