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Extension Update by Jenny Rees

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Upcoming Events:

April 29:
 Understanding the How and Use of NASS Cattle Reports Registerhttps://farm.unl.edu/webinars
April 30: Stephen Baenziger retirement celebration via Zoom, 10-11:30 a.m., Register here
May 1: Beginning Shepherd Program, 8:30 a.m., Pierce County Fairgrounds, Register: (308) 386-8378 or ne.sheep.goat@gmail.com
May 1: Beginning Shepherd Program, 8:30 a.m., Pierce County Fairgrounds, Register: (308) 386-8378 or ne.sheep.goat@gmail.com
May 4: 
Pollinator Gardening: how to design and layout the garden, 6:30-7:30 p.m., Register: https://go.unl.edu/bmnw
May 4: 
Pollinator Gardening: how to design and layout the garden, 6:30-7:30 p.m., Register: https://go.unl.edu/bmnw
May 6: 
Agricultural Assistance Through PAP, ARP, and CFAP: What Are These and Why Should Farmers, Ranchers Care? Registerhttps://farm.unl.edu/webinars
May 7: 
Increasing Pasture Productivity for Grazing Livestock webinar, 3:30 p.m., Register: https://go.unl.edu/agrohortseminar
May 11: 
Crop Scout Training (via zoom), Register here
May 11: 
Pollinator Gardening: talking about the insects, 6:30-7:30 p.m. Register: https://go.unl.edu/bmnw
May 18: 
Pollinator Gardening: talking about the plants, 6:30-7:30 p.m., Register: https://go.unl.edu/bmnw

Warmer conditions have arrived for planting season this week! Quick reminder to check planting depths across your planter for the different fields as conditions may vary from field to field. Also a reminder to everyone to be extra aware on the roads with farm equipment moving much slower than regular traffic. Here’s wishing you a safe planting season!

Lawn Care: If your lawn is in need of fertilizer, the first round of fertilizer can go on sometime between now and May 10. Many crabgrass preventer products also contain fertilizer, so that can be used as your first application instead. A reminder to read and follow the instructions on the fertilizer package regarding rate, need to water in, and use the settings provided for lawn spreaders. Also be sure to remove granules from sidewalks and driveways as these get moved into stormwater systems and streams if one doesn’t. If you hired a lawn care company, make sure they’re removing granules from sidewalks and driveways as well.

If you have new seedings, weed control products such as crabgrass preventer, can damage new grass seedlings, depending on how much growth is present. If this is your situation, there actually is a product you can use that will prevent crabgrass without damaging your new seedlings. Scott’s Turf Builder Starter Food for New Grass contains mesotrione which provides PRE and POST control of weeds without affecting the new bluegrass or fescue seeding. Tenacity is also a product containing mesotrione that works as a POST for emerged crabgrass, foxtail, and for those dealing with nimblewill (best to apply on troublesome grassy weeds up to 1” tall).

Preventing Evergreen Tree Diseases: The wet springs the past several years have led to an increase of needle blights. Spring is the time to be spraying trees with preventive fungicides with timing depending on the disease. None of the options I list are exhaustive and not meant as endorsement. For windbreak situations of cedars and pines, some ag retailers have carried Tenn-Cop 5E or Camelot. Another professional product called 3336-F is labeled for various turf, horticultural, and tree diseases (such as tip blight and dothistroma needle blight of pines). For home-owner use for trees in landscapes, I will share what I’ve seen sold in our local stores. It’s important to read the product label to ensure it’s safe to use on the specific plant/tree you wish to treat as some copper products can harm plants. In Austrian and Ponderosa pines, tip blight (where tips die) and dothistroma needle blight (where needles turn brown and die) can be prevented with fungicide applications. Tip blight is best prevented in late April-early May with active ingredients of Propiconazole (found in Fertiloam liquid systemic fungicide), Copper Salts of Fatty & Rosin Acids (sometimes listed as copper soap such as Bonide liquid copper fungicide and other liquid copper formulations), or Bordeaux mixture. Dothistroma needle blight can be prevented in mid-May and a second application in mid-June with Copper salts of fatty and rosin acids and Bordeaux mixture. In spruces, needle cast can cause the yellow to reddish brown color of needles in the fall that remain that way in the spring. Fungicide should be applied when the new growth is half grown with a second application 3-4 weeks later. If your tree is severely infected, it may take applications like this for 2-3 years in a row. Chlorothalonil (found in Daconil and Fung-onil) is commonly recommended. Fungicides containing azoxystrobin, mancozeb, propiconazole, copper salts of fatty acids, and copper hydroxide are also effective at controlling this disease if the product is labeled for use on spruce. You can learn more about evergreen diseases, how to identify them, and more products for management at: https://go.unl.edu/rbcc.

Tip blight of pine. Now is the time to prevent it. An insect (pine tip moth) can create similar damage. You can tell if the problem is a disease or insect by removing the dead tip and see if the stem portion is hollowed out or not. If it is, it would be pine tip moth instead.
Notice all the dark spots (bands) on these pine needles. Fungal pathogens causing needle blights infect in the area of the band and proceed to kill the needles both directions. The option for control is to apply a preventive fungicide using the timings listed in this article depending on the disease and the type of tree.

Prevent Wild/Bur Cucumber in Shelterbelts: The past few years we’ve seen wild and bur cucumber overtaking windbreaks. These are fast growing, warm season annual vines. They die each fall and come back from seed which germinate and begin growth typically in May. Vines can be cut at the base or pulled if there’s only a few of them this spring. Many asked about chemical treatments last year. A pre-emergent control option for large shelterbelts is Simazine (Princep 4L) to kill weed seeds as they germinate. Don’t apply more than 4 qt. Princep 4L per acre (4 lb. a.i./A) per calendar year. Don’t apply more than twice per calendar year.

Pollinator Garden Webinar Series will be held May 4, 11 and 18th from 6:30-7:30 p.m. If interested, you can learn more and register here: https://go.unl.edu/bmnw.


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