08-27-20 *CSU Ext News* Ron Meyer: Do Plants Get a Virus?

*CSU Ext News* Ron Meyer: Do Plants Get a Virus?

Virus infections can not only occur in people, but plants as well.  However, people and plant viruses are not the same nor do they cross infect.  In other words, viruses that infect plants will not infect people.  Additionally, most virus diseases need a vector, which is the way they are transported.  Thus, stopping the spread (stopping the vector) of a virus will control it.

In plants, there are common virus diseases that can attack, particularly wheat.  The most common viral diseases in wheat include: wheat streak mosaic virus (WSMV), triticum mosaic virus (TriMV), and high plains wheat mosaic virus.  Barley Yellow Dwarf Virus is another common wheat disease. All cause yield losses if not controlled.

Plant leaf testing from symptomatic plants is the only way to know which virus is attacking a wheat field, as symptoms are nearly identical between viruses.  These symptoms include yellow leaves and stunted plants.  Any of the above-mentioned virus types can reduce wheat yields tremendously.  Once a plant has a virus, no remedy exists.  Virus inoculated plants cannot be cured with known pesticides.

As a result, the single most effective way to prevent virus spread in plants is to prevent virus infection.  One strategy is extremely successful, control or eliminate all volunteer wheat prior to newly planted wheat emergence.  The vector for plant virus is the Wheat Curl Mite, a microscopic insect that feeds on grasses (it prefers wheat).  When the mite feeds on volunteer wheat infected with a virus and moves to newly planted wheat in the fall, the mite is the disease vector and spreads it to all wheat it feeds on.

Strategies for viral disease control includes eliminating volunteer wheat at least 10 days prior to new wheat emerging.  Breaking this “green bridge” has proven to be a successful virus management strategy and provides newly emerged wheat “isolation protection”.  When volunteer wheat is controlled, mites die and cannot spread the virus.  Wheat Curl Mites can also live on corn plants, although corn does not show virus symptoms (asymptomatic).  Mites can travel from corn fields to newly emerged wheat and infect the field. Dryland corn that dies premature from drought will not harbor mites.  Wheat fields next to green corn should be planted later in the season if possible to obtain the “green bridge” break.

Planting wheat varieties with known genetic tolerance to WSMV can also be effective.  Colorado State University wheat varieties such as:  Canvas, Guardian, and Whistler are very tolerant to WSMV.  There are other varieties in addition to the ones mentioned that also can perform well with virus in the area.  These varieties would be effective choices when planting fields with known plant virus issues.

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07-09-20 *CSU Ext News* Ron Meyer: CSU Wheat Test Harvest

*CSU Ext News* Ron Meyer: Colorado State University Wheat Test Harvest

BURLINGTON, CO –Colorado State University (CSU)  wheat testing trials are currently being harvested with specialized combines made for small experiment harvests.  Pictured above are a few of the testing combines used for trials.  The top photo shows a CSU wheat breeding team combine.  This trial was located on the Michael Hinkhouse farm north of Burlington along hwy 385.  The bottom photo show Ron Meyer, Area Extension Agronomist, harvesting a wheat experiment aboard a refurbished 1975 Hege combine. The CSU Agronomy team is testing approximately 1000 wheat varieties locally, most being experimental.  The goal is to find the top producing varieties and release those to area producers.

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03-11-20 CSU Golden Plains Extension: Certified Crop Advisor

CSU Golden Plains Extension: Certified Crop Advisor

BURLINGTON, CO – Many professions require a license to practice including medicine, engineering, and accounting along with others. Agronomists are no different except that their licensing is voluntary. The Certified Crop Advisor (CCA) program is a professional agricultural certification that requires agronomists to pass two comprehensive exams. The CCA program is administered by the American Society of Agronomy and local state CCA boards. These exams test for expertise in nutrient management, integrated pest management, soil and water management, and crop management. In addition, once licensed, Certified Crop Advisors are required to earn 40 or more hours of continuing education credits ever two years. As a result, while earning those 40 continuing education credits, Certified Crop Advisors are actively updated with the latest new agricultural technologies and developments. Should a licensed CCA not obtain the 40 continuous education credits over a two year period, then retesting is necessary to keep an active CCA license. Continue reading

01-06-20 *CSU Ext News* Ron Meyer: Dicamba Use Requirements

*CSU Ext News* Ron Meyer: Dicamba Use Requirements

BURLINGTON, CO – Dicamba herbicides continue to be categorized as restricted use when used on tolerant soybeans and requiresextra steps for producers to purchase and use Dicamba. As a result, requirements must be met when applying Dicamba products to crops such as tolerant soybeans. First, as with any restricted-use pesticide, an applicator license (private or commercial) is required to purchase dicamba herbicides. Private or commercial licenses can be obtained by passing the appropriate exams and are administered by the Colorado Department of Agriculture.

In addition, extra training is also required to apply specific Dicamba products such as FeXapan®, Engenia®, XtendiMax®, or Tavium®. The training options are accomplished via on-line video classes and are required training when applying Dicamba herbicides to crops such as tolerant soybeans. Following are sites where training can be found: Continue reading

12-20-19 *CSU Ext News* Ron Meyer: Top Sorghum Producers Are From Kit Carson County!

Top Sorghum Producers Are From Kit Carson County!

BURLINGTON, CO – Kit Carson County is the home of two state sorghum yield contest winners, with one of them placing nationally.  Justin Livingston (Livingston Farms LLC) placed 3rd in the United States with a dryland sorghum yield of 137.21 bushels per acre.  This entry also placed first in Colorado’s yield contest.  Tim Stahlecker (Triple S Farms) placed 3rd in Colorado’s contest with a dryland sorghum yield of 108.54 bushels per acre.  National placings stop at the top 3.

To view all the winners in the 2019 National Sorghum Producers Yield Contest – CLICK HERE

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12-20-19 *CSU Ext News* Ron Meyer: Kit Carson County State Corn Yield Champions!

Kit Carson County State Corn Yield Champions!

BURLINGTON, CO – Three Kit Carson County corn producers placed in the 2019 Colorado corn yield contest.  Placing first in Colorado’s no-till dryland division was Jason Kramer with a dryland yield of 163.9 bushels per acre.  Byron Kramer placed second in the state with a dryland yield of 160.4 bushels per acre.

Placing first in Colorado’s strip-till irrigated division was Brian Hornung with a measured yield of 217.9 bushels per acre.

To view a list of all of the 2019 Winners in the NCGA’s National Corn Yield Contest – CLICK HERE

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12-18-19 *CSU Ext News* Ron Meyer: Commercial Applicator Credit

Commercial Applicator Credit

Colorado State University is offering 1 commercial pesticide applicator credit in Right of Way Weed Control.  Weed control strategies regarding both broadleaf and grass issues will be taught at this session.  Typical broadleaf issues include kochia, goathead, pigweed, and field bindweed as well as various thistles which include Musk, Canada, and others.  In addition, grass weed control will be addressed with not only sandbur but other grass invaders, as well. Continue reading

12-03-19 CSU Extension Hosting Sunflower Production Meeting in Springfield, CO on Dec 9th

CSU Extension Hosting Sunflower Production Meeting in Springfield, CO on Dec 9th

Colorado State University Extension is hosting its final sunflower production meeting on Monday December 9th at the Minnick Building in Springfield, Colorado. This meeting will begin with a noon lunch. The event will feature Kevin Larson, Colorado State University Plainsman Research Center Agronomist discussing local sunflower agronomic practices and results. Continue reading

11-20-19 *CSU Ext News* Ron Meyer: Private Pesticide Re-certification Meetings

Private Pesticide Re-certification Meetings

Colorado State University Extension is hosting Private Pesticide Recertification sessions at various locations in Northeast Colorado.  Anyone who purchases restricted-use pesticides must have a Private Pesticide Applicator license which is issued by the Colorado Department of Agriculture.  Private Applicator license study guides and exams can be obtained either from the Colorado Department of Agriculture or some Extension offices.  This test is also available on-line.  Once a license is received, it is active for 3 years before renewal is needed.  Renewal can be achieved by either retaking the exam or attending a recertification meeting.  These recertification meetings offer credits which can be substituted for retaking the exam.  Licenses that expire prior to obtaining recertification credits will require re-taking the private pesticide exam.

Locations and times are as follows: Continue reading

11-20-19 *CSU Ext News* Ron Meyer: New Commercial Application Pesticide Testing Center

New Commercial Application Pesticide Testing Center

Colorado State University Extension and the Colorado Department of Agriculture are announcing a new testing center for commercial pesticide applicator licensing.  The new location will be the Kit Carson County Extension office located at 817 15th St., Burlington, CO 80807.  This new center will join other Colorado testing sites that individuals can access to take Colorado’s commercial pesticide applicator tests.

Who needs a commercial pesticide applicator license?  Commercial applicator means any person, other than a private applicator, who engages in the business of applying pesticides for hire or operating a device for hire.  In other words, if you apply pesticides for a fee, you are a commercial applicator.  If you apply pesticides on your own farm only, then a private applicators pesticide license is all that is required.

In order to take a commercial pesticide applicator exam, you must follow these steps: Continue reading

06-19-19 *CSU Ext News* Ron Meyer: Saving Wheat Seed

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Throughout the ages, farmers have planted wheat seed saved from their previous crop.  When making seed wheat decisions, they selected the best quality seed from the highest yielding varieties.

With the advent of hybrid crops like corn, farmers discovered that they did not get the advantage of hybrid vigor when they saved their corn seed, the ensuing crop was not uniform, and yields were poor.  It was quickly learned they needed to buy new seed each year of these hybrid crops to maximize yields.  This annual purchase of hybrid seed commercialized the corn seed business and resulted in enormous investment into research and development for improved corn hybrids.  Consequently, technology in corn has benefitted farmers with increased yield potentials.  But what about a non-hybrid crop like wheat? Continue reading



BURLINGTON, CO – Can we influence protein contents with wheat production management strategies?  Many of our wheat fields test low for protein and consequently, price discounts are assessed to wheat loads delivered to elevators.  In the last few years, these discounts have been somewhat large, resulting in significant economic losses.  Some seasons, fields that have acceptable protein levels are paid a premium and as a result, growers are interested in managing wheat fields for better protein levels. Continue reading

03-07-19 *CSU Ext News* Ron Meyer: AgDrip Program Seeking Participants for 2019

AgDrip Program Seeking Participants for 2019

BURLINGTON, CO – March 7, 2019 – Groundwater use and availability remain key issues for the vitality of our region. In an effort to gather information about how groundwater is used over the course of the growing season and as a result of last year’s successful project, researchers at Colorado State University are once again recruiting paid participants for the Agricultural Data Reporting and Incentives Program (AgDRIP). Continue reading