Colorado horses test positive for vesicular stomatitis

Recently it was announced in Colorado that two horses, on two separate premises, tested positive for vesicular stomatitis.

The Nebraska Department of Agriculture is encouraging horse and cattle owners to be aware and take precautions, particularly with animals that may be co-mingling with other animals at events over the next several months.

VS is a viral disease which primarily affects horses and cattle, but can also affect sheep, goats, swine, llamas and alpacas. The disease is characterized by fever and the formation of blister-like lesions in the mouth and on the dental pad, tongue, lips, nostrils, hooves and teats. When the blisters break, there is usually salivation and nasal discharge. And, as a result of these painful lesions, infected animals may refuse to eat and drink, which can lead to weight loss. There are no USDA-approved vaccines for VS.

The primary way the virus is transmitted is from biting insects like black flies, sand flies and midges, so animal owners should consider treatments to reduce insects where animals are housed. VS can also be spread by nose-to-nose contact between animals. The virus itself usually runs its course in five to seven days, and it can take up to an additional seven days for the infected animal to recover from the symptoms. Colorado, New Mexico and Texas all have confirmed VS cases at this time.

NDA has importation orders in place to help prevent the spread of VS into Nebraska. If you are considering moving an animal into Nebraska from an affected state, call (402) 471-2351 to learn more about the importation order.

“Protecting the health and safety of Nebraska’s animals is of the utmost importance in the state,” said State Veterinarian Dr. Dennis Hughes. “Vesicular stomatitis resembles foot-and-mouth disease in the early stages, and I ask that all producers continue to be vigilant in importing animals into Nebraska.”

The horses in Colorado that tested positive for VS have been placed under quarantine and will remain under quarantine until at least 14 days after the onset of lesions in the last affected animal on the premises.

Although humans can become infected when handling the affected animals, it rarely occurs. To avoid human exposure, people should use personal protective measures when handling affected animals.

For more information on VS, visit

Crane Trust to host prescribed fire seminar

The Crane Trust Nature and Visitor Center will host a prescribed fair seminar at 6 p.m. Tuesday, July 16.

At the seminar, the benefits of prescribed fire range from reducing the risk of wildfires to restoring nutrients in the area while also managing weeds and other unwanted plants, such as invasive species will be discussed.

Conservation Nebraska and the Crane Trust will be hosting a free informational presentation and discussion lead by Ben Wheeler, a wildlife biologist with Pheasants Forever.

Crane Trust Nature & Visitor Center is located at 9325 South Alda Road. The potluck event is open the public at no charge.

Extension offers landlord-tenant cash rent workshops

Current and future landowners and tenants should make plans to attend one of six Landlord-Tenant Cash Rent Workshops hosted by Nebraska Extension throughout July and August. This workshop will cover current trends in cash rental rates and land values, lease provisions, crop and grazing land considerations, and current university crop budget information.

One of those workshops is planned for 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Aug. 19, in the St. Paul Community Library, 1301 Howard Ave. in St. Paul. Lunch will be provided. Contact Troy Ingram at (308) 754-5422 for more information.

Nebraska Extension land specialists Allan Vyhnalek, Austin Duerfeldt, Glennis McClure and Jim Jansen conduct research and outreach in land management, crop budgets, communications and negotiations. They will address common agricultural landlord and tenant questions: What does an equitable rental rate look like for my land? How do I manage a farmland lease? How could the lease be adjusted for recent flood damage? What should I expect for communications between the landlord and tenant? What are key pasture leasing considerations including stocking rates? Who is responsible for cedar tree removal from grazing land? What does it cost to raise crops on my ground?

“Landlords and tenants often face land management questions and decisions.” Vyhnalek said. “Both may be concerned with equitable treatment and it can be difficult to keep up with the current trends. This workshop will provide participants with up-to-date information and discuss current issues to assist with decision making.”

Registration is 15 minutes prior to start time. Registration is $15 per person or $25 per couple. Please register with the local county extension office at least three business days prior to the event. Registration will include refreshments and handouts.

For more information or to register, please contact your local county extension office; Allan Vyhnalek, extension educator, farm succession, at (402) 472-1771 or; or contact Jim Jansen, extension economist for eastern Nebraska at (402) 261-7572 or

For more workshop information and cash rent resources, visit:

Ricketts reappoints two to Nebraska Wheat Board

Gov. Pete Ricketts reappointed Bob Delsing of Hemingford, and Mark Knobel of Fairbury as directors for Districts 1 and 6 respectively on the Nebraska Wheat Board. This will be the second term for both Delsing and Knobel.

Delsing is a fourth generation farmer. He and his son Scott raise dry-land wheat, corn and cattle on their farm and ranch operation in Dawes and Box Butte counties. They still work the land originally homesteaded by their family in the 1890s. He is also a member of the Nebraska Wheat Growers Association, the United Methodist Church of Hemingford, the American Legion, the Nebraska Farm Bureau, the Nebraska Rural Radio and National Farmers Union. He is a past board member of the Hemingford Coop Telephone Company, Hemingford Rural Fire Protection and the Dawes County Rural School District #47.

Knobel is a fifth generation farmer. He and his family currently operate Knobel Farms Inc., a diversified wheat, corn and soybean farm. They also operated Knobel Seeds, a certified seed business dealing in wheat and soybean seed. Knobel has hosted multiple trade teams for NWB at his seed operation. He’s also served on multiple other agriculture-related organizations and boards including the Nebraska Crop Improvement Association, Nebraska Farm Bureau and the Nebraska FFA Foundation.

Members of the Board of Directors are appointed by the governor to serve a five-year term.

The Nebraska Wheat Board administers the check-off of 0.4% of net value of wheat marketed in Nebraska at the point of first sale. The board invests the funds in programs of international and domestic market development and improvement, policy development, research, promotion, and education.

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I cover business, ag and general reporting for the GI Independent.

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