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This profile was last updated on 1/7/15  and contains information from public web pages and contributions from the ZoomInfo community.

Regional Extension Specialist

Local Address: Spokane, Washington, United States
Washington State University
14204 NE Salmon Creek Ave.
Vancouver , Washington 98686
United States

Company Description: WSU Spokane is the urban campus of Washington State University, a land-grant research university founded in 1890. The campus features advanced studies and research...   more

Employment History


  • PhD
58 Total References
Web References
"Some growers, however, may see a ..., 17 Aug 2012 [cached]
"Some growers, however, may see a dark cloud rise above their grain combine - and it won't be from the exhaust," said Diana Roberts, a Washington State University Extension specialist. "The culprit is stem rust - a fungus that infects cereal crops late in the season and often goes unnoticed until harvest, when black clouds of spores erupt as the crop is threshed." Farmers are familiar with stripe rust, which has been a major problem in the region. Stripe and leaf rusts infect wheat leaves primarily. Stem rust is caused by a different fungus; as its name suggests, it infects the plant stems as well as leaves.
"We have a website that has photos and information on identifying and managing stem rust," Roberts said.
"WSU wants to know if farmers find stem rust in their fields so we can determine the extent of the problem," said Roberts. "There's a tab on the stem rust website where you can enter information about affected fields. You may also go there for more detailed information about stem rust and how to eradicate barberry." For more information, go to the website or contact Diana Roberts at WSU Spokane County Extension, 509-477-2167 or ----------------------------------- Contacts: Diana Roberts, Spokane Area Extension Educator, 509-477-2167,
Removing barberry bushes stops the fungus ... [cached]
Removing barberry bushes stops the fungus from developing near wheat fields, said Diana Roberts, regional extension specialist at WSU's Spokane County Extension.
Over the past year, warm, wet summer conditions have led to stem rust outbreaks in Stevens, Spokane and Whitman counties and beyond, affecting 20 to 100 percent of the plants in a field.
The Washington Noxious Weed Control Board recently listed common barberry as a Class C noxious weed, beginning in 2013. This allows researchers to educate growers about the plant, Roberts said.
Counties will decide whether to enforce the barberry eradication rule. It will become the landowner's responsibility to remove barberry bushes as they occur, she said.
"We do not want to be a nursery for new races of stem rust that are going to affect late-developing wheats in the Midwest," Roberts said.
Roberts recommended looking at the fungicide label to ensure applications are legal.
The researchers have found success cutting down the trunk of the barberry bush, applying the herbicides picloram or imazapyr onto the stumps with a crop oil or applying imazapyr to the leaves.
Picloram is not recommended for foliar application because of drift potential.
Roberts provided the update on barberry control efforts during the Spokane County Crop Improvement Association annual meeting in Airway Heights, Wash.
Diana Roberts, extension ... [cached]
Diana Roberts, extension agronomist with Washington State University's Spokane County Extension, will host a meeting of interested participants to discuss the next move for the cover crop project.
Growers are still interested in the possibilities for their operations, Roberts said, even though the cover crops planted last fall wound up taking moisture out of the soil, which wasn't the desired effect.
"It's got to be consistent with what will grow here," she said. "Basically, we tried to bring in what they were doing in the Midwest and now we've got to revamp it to work for our area."
Things that work for the Midwest with its summer rainfall do not typically tend to translate to the Pacific Northwest. But Roberts said growers wanted to include crops suited for the winter rainfall system of the region.
Cover crops are gaining momentum in the region, with another group in Wenatchee working to develop cover crops in orchards, Roberts said.
"In theory they are a wonderful addition to our crop rotation," she said.
Stem rust is not necessarily a ..., 10 Feb 2011 [cached]
Stem rust is not necessarily a huge issue in the Pacific Northwest, but the region is a potential breeding ground for new races that could travel to the Midwest, said WSU Spokane County Extension Agronomist Diana Roberts.
"We believe it's extremely unlikely USDA will have the funds it would take to mount another eradication program like they had in the previous century," said Roberts. "That means this is a community responsibility project. We need all the help we can get from the field."
There's currently no good recommendation to eradicate the bush. The previous national eradication program took place beginning in the late 1910s, before the availability of modern herbicides, Roberts said.
The researchers are currently considering brush control recommendations, although those carry their own hazards.
"Some of that says, 'Cut it off and apply herbicides to stumps,'" Roberts said. "Well, these are very unfriendly bushes."
Roberts said the researchers will hold demonstrations on some existing plants to determine the most effective method.
The researchers are establishing a website to provide information on the efforts, Roberts said. The goal is to use a smart-phone application to pinpoint the global positioning coordinates of bushes.
Report common barberry bush locations to the Stevens County Noxious Weed Control Board at 509-684-7590 or Roberts at 509-477-2167.
Ag News [cached]
From Diana Roberts, Area Extension Agronomist, WSU Extension
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