K-State Research and Extension News
June 14, 2012
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Knock Out-Type Roses Vulnerable to Rosette Disease;

Top Beef Breed Associations to Meet at K-State;

For Best Tomato Yields, Fertilize … But Not Too Much; 

Kansas Foresters a Host for July’s International Windbreak Innovation Conference

Knock Out-Type Roses Vulnerable to Rosette Disease


MANHATTAN, Kan. -- New varieties of easy-care shrub roses, resistant to fungal diseases, have brought a decade of rapidly expanding popularity for roses in parks and landscapes.


These carefree roses are now proving vulnerable, however, to a virus-caused disease called rose rosette -- which has been highly destructive among wild multiflora roses for decades, said Megan Kennelly, K-State Research and Extension plant pathologist.


“Since its discovery in the 1940s, rose rosette has spread throughout the Midwest and into other states with wild roses,” Kennelly said. “It occasionally has shown up in domestic roses, too -- hybrid teas, floribundas, climbers, miniatures, and antique roses.


“In fact, I suspect the reason we’re hearing about so many cases now is simply that we’ve planted a lot more roses.”


Typically, rose rosette symptoms appear in mid to late summer, she said. Temperatures, drought and/or plant stress may have an impact, though. K-State’s plant disease diagnostic lab has already confirmed five cases this year.


“Unfortunately, the only feasible way to control rose rosette is to dig up the infected plant – roots and all. Put it in a plastic bag and send it to the landfill,” the plant pathologist said. “The microscopic mite that vectors the disease is difficult to control. It also can travel by just drifting on the wind.”


The disease symptoms vary and can resemble herbicide damage, Kennelly warned. Common ones include: 1) rapid elongation of new shoots, often ending in a “witches’ broom” of multiple branches; 2) distorted and/or unusually small leaves that may be red or mottled yellow; 3) excessive thorn production; 4) aborted buds and/or abnormal flowers; and 5) infected canes that are noticeably thicker than their parent cane.


She advised gardeners to learn more at their local Extension office or online at Rose Rosette Disease.


Top Beef Breed Associations to Meet at K-State

MANHATTAN, Kan. -- Two of the world’s top beef breed associations are bringing together their collective expertise for the 2012 Beef Profit Alliance, July 22-24 at Kansas State University.

Combined, the Red Angus Association of America and the American Simmental Association have a multi-breed database of more than 9 million animals, including thousands of sires.

That collective knowledge will be the focus of this year’s national meeting at K-State. The program includes university and industry professionals in breeding, veterinary medicine, meat science, cow-calf production, seedstock production, animal health and more.

Registration costs $85, which includes two meals and transportation to an “Evening in the Flint Hills” on July 23.

More information is available on the breed associations’ websites at American Simmental Association and Red Angus Association of America.


For Best Tomato Yields, Fertilize … But Not Too Much


MANHATTAN, Kan. – Fertilizing tomato plants is somewhat of a balancing act.


Tomatoes need fertilizer to yield well. At the same time, too much nitrogen will lead to lush plants with little to no fruit, said Ward Upham, K-State Research and Extension horticulturist.


“Timing can be important, too,” Upham added. “You should fertilize during planting. After that, you should sidedress tomato plants three times with a nitrogen or nitrogen-rich fertilizer -- first, about one to two weeks before the first tomato ripens; second, two weeks after the first tomato ripens; and third, a month after the second sidedressing.”


He said that if applied at the correct rate and watered in, any one of the following nitrogen supplies should give tomato plants the limited boost they need for top fruit production:


* Nitrate of soda (16-0-0) - Apply 2/3 pound (1.5 cups) fertilizer per 30 feet of row. That rate is equal to about 2.5 tablespoons fertilizer per plant (which typically are spaced 3 feet apart).


* Blood meal (12-1.5-0.6) - Use 14 ounces (1.75 cups) per 30 feet of row or a scant 3 tablespoons (2.8 T.) per plant.


* Urea (46-0-0) - Apply 4 ounces (½ cup) per 30 feet of row or a scant tablespoon (0.8 T.) per plant


* Ammonium sulfate (21-0-0) - Distribute 0.5 pounds (1 cup) per 30 feet of row or 1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons per plant.


“If you can’t find any of these nitrogen sources, use a lawn fertilizer that’s about 30 percent nitrogen -- the first number in the set of three printed on the bag. Of course, it must NOT contain a lawn weed killer or preventer,” Upham said. “Apply it at 1/3 pound or ¾ cup per 30-foot row -- which is a generous tablespoon (1.2 T.) per plant.” 



Kansas Foresters a Host for July’s International Windbreak Innovation Conference

MANHATTAN, Kan. – The site for a Great Plains Windbreak Renovation and Innovation Conference, July 24-26, will be the International Peace Garden -- a 2,339-acre botanical garden, memorial, conference center and tourist destination on the border between North Dakota and the Canadian province of Manitoba.

Conference hosts are the Plains and Prairie Forestry Association and an array of North American national and provincial/state forestry agencies. The three-day event is open to anyone interested in the topic.

“To lead the discussions and field tour, we’re bringing together experts with both technical expertise and years of experience. They’ll address current and future needs, the issues involved, and windbreaks’ ability to be multifunctional. The event’s learning and sharing will also speak to innovation in windbreak design and management,” said Bob Atchison, rural forestry coordinator for the Kansas Forest Service, host partner based at Kansas State University.

Since early settlers began planting trees, windbreaks have been an integral part of Great Plains conservation and quality of life, Atchison said. They’ve helped reduce wind- and water-caused soil erosion. They’ve increased wildlife habitat and general biodiversity.  They’ve lessened the effects Plains winds can have on people, their homes, roads, livestock and crops during blizzard-prone winters and searing summer weather.

“Since then, researchers have been finding more and more ways in which windbreaks affect our well-being,” he added. “The plantings can be vital in preserving waterways and in reducing both air and water pollution. They can have a real impact on agriculture’s bottom line. They nearly always reduce our energy use. They even absorb carbon dioxide and produce the oxygen we animals need to survive.”

To register or learn more about the Great Plains Windbreak Renovation and Innovation Conference, interested persons can visit the website or contact Rich Straight at 402-437-5178, ext. 4024. For additional information, go to the International Peace Garden.


K-State Research and Extension is a short name for the Kansas State University Agricultural Experiment Station and Cooperative Extension Service, a program designed to generate and distribute useful knowledge for the well-being of Kansans. Supported by county, state, federal and private funds, the program has county Extension offices, experiment fields, area Extension offices and regional research centers statewide. Its headquarters is on the K-State campus, Manhattan.

Story by: Elaine Edwards
K-State Research & Extension News