Planting season advice
University of Wyoming (UW) Agriculture and Horticulture Extension Educator Brian Sebade works to inform the public on agricultural topics in a time where false information is easily accessible. As planting season rolls around, Sebade offers advice and suggestions to producers based on the research and data provided to him.
Extension educator role
Sebade says one role of Extension educators is to provide research-based information to the public, whether this is someone on a ranch or someone in a more urban setting. Extension educators provide information to all ages of people in all sorts of different locations.
“There are a lot of questions about agriculture out there,” he says. “People can search Google for answers but they won’t always be finding correct, research-backed information.”
Sebade finds answering questions and seeing the impact or change he’s able to have is a rewarding aspect of his job. He mentions there are always new, emerging topics needing to be addressed in the world of ag and horticulture.
“Things are always changing,” he says. “There’s always a new forage crop becoming available, a new invasive plant or a new disease being introduced. Being able to be timely with what those new things are and share this information with the public is increasingly important.”
Another aspect of his role as Extension educator includes promoting ag and horticulture.
“A lot of times we put out different types of publications, host workshops or classes around the state and do research,” he says. “Research might take place at an experiment station owned by UW or on a farm or ranch.”
Sebade mostly assists with pasture seeding and native rangeland seeding during planting season. He’s urging farmers to keep the price of fertilizers and seeds in mind while looking ahead at this year’s planting season.
“Fertilizer has gone way up in price, as well as a lot of our native seeds,” he says. “Some of this is due to trying to re-seed a lot of the wildfire areas. The demand has gone up for certain seeds.”
This high demand has led to products being out of stock or difficult for growers to find and utilize.
“There’s only so much native seed bred each year, so we can’t find what we are looking for when the demand is high,” he says. “A lot of the irrigated pasture mixes which aren’t necessarily used for wildfire mixes are in fairly high demand, so some folks are seeing double or triple prices depending on what they’re purchasing.”
Another concern Sebade has for this planting season revolves around the continued drought Wyomingites are facing.
“For a lot of native or pasture seeding where we don’t have good access to irrigation water and we rely on Mother Nature’s water supply, some years the growing is perfect and other years it’s not,” he says.
Sebade mentions the predicted spring weather may be an issue for growers.
“Looking ahead, it looks like we are supposed to stay in a La Niña weather pattern, so making sure people are aware they may not have a lot of spring moisture compared to what they’d prefer is important,” he adds.
Sebade recommends growers begin applying preemptive herbicide applications now to get rid of nuisance weeds they may need to deal with later on in the season.
“Right now is a good time to start thinking ahead,” he says. “When the little grass seedlings start to grow, we have to wait a little bit before we can actually spray them so we don’t kill the plants.”
Kaitlyn Root is an editor for the Wyoming Livestock Roundup. Send comments on this article to firstname.lastname@example.org.