Most yellow field pea being grown in western Nebraska were at early vegetative stages (4th to 7th node or 1-5 leaf stages) during last week’s cold snap, but extensive damage is not expected due to the pea’s level of frost tolerance.Field pea tolerance to frost during early stages of vegetative growth is partially due to the “hypogeal” germination nature of the crop. For plant species with hypogeal germination (e.g., field pea, lentil, chickpea), shoot germination occurs belowground.
The relationship between current grain prices and forage/pasture prices in western Nebraska is creating a scenario where forage crops may provide an economically viable alternative to a cash grain crop. From an economic perspective, at current market prices, 1.5 tons per acre of annual forage is competitive with cash grain crops in terms of generating gross dollars per acre.
Minor levels of striped rust have been confirmed in winter wheat from a field in Sheridan County north of Rushville. The infections occurred on only a few leaves and pustules were very small and difficult to see. Growers are encouraged to continue scouting wheat for disease; a fungicide application is not recommended at this time.
Alexander Pavlista’s retirement at the end of March marks the end of 50 years of research, 29 of them at the University of Nebraska Panhandle Research and Extension Center at Scottsbluff. A Nebraska Extension specialist and professor in the Department of Agronomy and Horticulture, Pavlista was the university's lead potato expert.
Growers are encourage to watch for Medusahead, an invasive weed species that is now in Wyoming and moving eastward. If it reaches the Pine Ridge area or Sandhills, it could cause devastating damage to the ecology and range production. The concept of early detection and rapid response, as described here, will be important to its containment.