An earlier CropWatch article by Loren Giesler and John Wilson, UNL Extension faculty focused on soybean cyst nematodes which I want to highlight this week:
Soybean producers and farm managers have several great resources available to help with variety selection for fields infested with soybean cyst nematode (SCN). In 2010, the Nebraska Soybean Board funded a project to provide a standard evaluation platform for the most common soybean varieties grown in Nebraska in SCN infested fields. The goal of this project is to help producers identify soybean varieties that yield well, yet do not allow significant reproduction of SCN. That’s right — even though soybean varieties are marketed as resistant; they can vary in their effects on SCN populations by influencing reproduction differently. The 2010 results from this Nebraska program are available and the 2011 data will be available by the end of the year.
If you’re not sure whether you have SCN and your soybean yields were lower than expected, please take advantage of the free soil testing service that is being funded through the Nebraska Soybean Board. Soil bags for this program can be picked up at your local UNL extension office. SCN continues to be the most yield robbing disease of soybean in Nebraska, costing producers an average of 5-6 bu/ac when susceptible soybeans are grown on infested fields.
Now is the time of year that UNL Extension’s Horticultural update reminds us of the following winter questions I often receive.
Mulching and cutting back roses– Pruning is not needed during fall for shrub and hybrid tea roses unless some pruning is needed for a rose to fit beneath a winter protection method, such as a rose cone. Wait until April and then prune to remove winter killed wood. Do not add winter protection to roses until the soil begins to freeze or night temperatures are consistently dropping into the 20s at night. A good mulching method is the encircle the rose with a chicken wire cage staked to hold it in place, then fill the cage with coarse leaves.
Pruning deciduous trees and shrubs is best done once plants are dormant. Use sharp, clean pruners. Make well-placed cuts being sure to leave the branch collar and branch bark ridge on trees. Avoid leaving branch stubs and do not make pruning cuts flush with tree trunks or large branches. Do not treat pruning wounds with a wound dressing or pruning paint. When pruning shrubs, use a combination of heading back cuts and thinning cuts that remove entire stems near the ground or back to another stem. Most multi-stemmed shrubs can also be pruned by cutting the entire plant near the ground. This severe of pruning is typically done with overgrown shrubs.