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Agricultural News for Farmers and Agribusiness in SW Georgia

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2013 Georgia Peanut Achievement Club

Posted by romeethredge on April 11, 2014


2013 Georgia Peanut Achievement Club Rules and Guidelines


 It is time to prepare entries for the 2013 Georgia Peanut Achievement Club (GPAC). With the second straight year of incredible yields, we are expecting some very worthy entries.

  There will be 10 winners chosen in this manner: 

(1)    One state-wide winner that produced the highest average yield in Georgia in 2013 on 100.0 – 299.9 acres.


(2)    One state-wide winner that produced the highest average yield in Georgia in 2013 on 300 or more acres


(3)    One winner from each of the four GPAC districts for the following two acreage categories:

    1) 300-699.9

    2) 700 and up

The winners of each category receive an expense paid trip for themselves and their County Agent to the Southern Peanut Growers Conference at the Edgewater Beach Resort in Panama City Beach, FL (July 24-26, 2014), sponsored by BASF and Syngenta.  Entry forms are due in Tifton by Monday May 5, 2014 at 5:00 pm.

 Email me if you would like the complete rules and forms.

Posted in Peanuts | Tagged: | Leave a Comment »

Canola in Showy Phase

Posted by romeethredge on April 11, 2014

_DSC3887 _DSC3884 _DSC3883 _DSC3880

Canola is in the real showy phase right now in south Georgia. I’ve had airplane pilots call me before asking what that bright yellow crop is in April.  Canola is grown for the high quality oil it supplies.  Decatur County Agent Justin Ballew and I were looking at some in Stephen Houston’s field recently. All types of pollen and nectar loving insects were out there as well.

Canola gets a disease called Sclerotinia that affects growth and yields so growers protect the plants with fungicides. This scerotinia is different from the peanut disease.

Here’s a link to UGA Canola Production information.

Posted in Agriculture | Tagged: | Leave a Comment »

Peanut Inoculant Considerations

Posted by romeethredge on April 11, 2014

We are fortunate that legumes including peanuts fix nitrogen from the atmosphere in the presence of a good inoculant so we don’t have to supply this nutrient ourselves.

Here are some peanut inoculant considerations for 2014 by Dr. Scott Tubbs, UGA Cropping Systems scientist.

 It’s been a cool and wet winter, and we’re coming out of what was the wettest year on record in many locations.  This would be a good time to refresh your memories on peanut inoculant applications.   Because of the conditions mentioned above, the rate of survivability of native Bradyrhizobia present in the soil is likely to be much lower than in most years (regardless of how many years it has been since the last time peanut or a cross-inoculating species was grown in a field).


Therefore, I would highly recommend growers to strongly consider the investment in a peanut inoculant at-planting this year, especially in poor draining fields that had standing water for more than a couple days.  When soils are saturated, oxygen is depleted and several things can occur with respect to these bacteria.

First, if heavy rainfall occurred shortly after a liquid inoculant was applied the last time peanuts were grown in a field, it is possible that the concentration of the Bradyrhizobia bacteria was drawn away from seed furrow from dilution or leaching.  Saturated conditions can also kill the bacteria leaving lower native populations for infecting future peanut plantings.  When saturated conditions occur while peanuts are growing in a field, N-fixation is halted since oxygen is needed in this process, but is not readily available in the soil pore space since water occupies all of that volume.   It has been stated before by my predecessors and colleagues, and by me in previous years as well – an inoculant application is one of the most cost-effective “insurance policies” at a grower’s disposal.  Without taking the time to run the dollar values at current prices, I can still safely say that in most years it takes merely a 50-80 lb/ac increase in yield to cover the cost of the inoculant application at planting.  You will not see benefits from inoculants each and every year, but considering it only takes a 250 lb/ac yield bump once every 3-5 years to break even on an annual product application, such a decision should be an easy one for most growers to make since the chances of a profitable outcome in the long-term is much greater than not.

Also keep in mind that the product is listed on the label to be delivered at around 1.0 fl oz per 1,000 linear row feet (may differ slightly depending on which product is selected).  This is developed for single row application.  Inoculant application is not like adjusting seeding rate, where you are pulling half of the amount out and moving it over to the adjacent twin furrow.  With an inoculant, the applied amount needs to be per furrow, therefore a twin row planting inoculant application will double the amount of inoculant applied compared to a single row planting.  I have no data to support using a half-rate of inoculant per furrow to keep the total application rate per acre the same as a single row planting.

   Some additional reminders regarding inoculant formulation decisions:

  • When applied at labeled recommendations, the amount of viable cells delivered on a per acre basis does vary by formulation, with the liquid inoculants supplying the most (8.3 x 1011 cells/ac), followed by sterile peat products (5.8 x 1011 cells/ac), and granular supplying the least (2.4 x 1011 cells/ac).  However, this should not be the primary deciding factor on which formulation to select.

  • Sterile peat/powder formulations are only recommended if there is no way of applying the other formulations.  To get good coverage/sticking of the product to the seed, the seed need to be moistened.  This requires drying time to prevent messy planter problems.  When applied dry, there will be inadequate seed coverage.  I have data showing reduced nodulation and yields using this formulation compared to the other formulations.

  • Do not confuse the granular inoculant formulation with the sterile peat/powder formulation, they are not the same.  The granular formulation, while also a dry product, is not applied to the seed prior to planting, it is metered through a dry metering box such as an insecticide/herbicide hopper and placed in-furrow.

  • Regardless of formulation, these are living organisms.  If you want them to remain alive/viable, then don’t leave them sitting in the cab of a hot pickup truck or tractor, nor exposed to direct sunlight.

  • Likewise, since this is a living medium, exposure to certain pesticides designed to kill living organisms (insecticides, fungicides, etc.) may adversely affect the product.  Minimize exposure to such products, and consult the labels/websites/representatives for more information about mixing of products.  There should be minimal concerns of exposure to typical peanut seed treatments, and short-term exposure to common in-furrow fungicides in the case of tank-mixes.  But a chlorine-free water source must be used as the carrier for liquid inoculants.

  • When soil conditions are relatively dry, liquid inoculants will disperse away from the intended target, thus the concentration of Bradyrhizobia near the seedling upon emergence and early season growth when infection should be occurring may be hindered.  The granular formulation will remain at the bottom of the seed furrow, where intended.  Therefore, in non-irrigated conditions with only marginal soil moisture, granular products should be considered.

Posted in Agriculture, Peanuts | Tagged: | Leave a Comment »

June Beetle Grubs

Posted by romeethredge on April 11, 2014


These are green June Beetle grubs. They were found in a pasture where white birds were abundant, indicating some sort of insect presence. The grubs were just at the soil surface causing some disturbance to the grass. Looks like good fish bait.  The adult June beetles are large green beetles.

Dr. Will Hudson, UGA Entomologist, gives us some more info on this situation.  “They are the only ones that will come to the surface, and their legs are very short for the size of the body. They also crawl with their legs up in the air. They don’t eat roots, just organic matter in the thatch layer (that’s why they come to the surface). The damage is all mechanical, from tunneling up and back down. Let the birds eat them if they will, but any labeled pyrethroid will kill them at a low rate. It’s probably not worth a treatment unless there are so many they churn the top layer and sever roots. This time of year, when the soil is still too cool for the grass to really be growing, the “damage” seems worse than it actually is in many cases.”

Posted in Agriculture, Entomology | Tagged: | Leave a Comment »

Question of the Week – Chattahoochee River 48 mile stretch

Posted by romeethredge on April 11, 2014

Last week I showed a river we visited and it was the Chattahoochee, at Suwanee, Ga, up above Atlanta. It looks a whole lot different up there than here at home. Especially now that it is very high and looks like chocolate milk here. It was clear up there and very cold. We were at Settles Bridge, not far downstream from the Buford Dam on Lake Lanier. The water from Lanier comes out from the bottom of the lake and is very cold, about 50 F.

In addition to supplying nearly 70 percent of metro Atlanta’s drinking water, the 48-mile stretch of the Chattahoochee River between Buford Dam and Peachtree Creek offers some of the best trout fishing in north Georgia, according to Georgia DNR.

The section between Buford Dam and Peachtree Creek lies within the Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area (CRNRA) and is managed by the National Park Service (NPS). The Wildlife Resources Division (WRD) and NPS work closely to manage the land, river and wildlife. For more information about the area, call 678-538-1200 or visit



This week I have a weed ID Question. This was brought into my office yesterday and at first I thought it was a late Valentine. What is it?

_DSC4065 _DSC4068



Posted in Agriculture, Water, Weeds | Tagged: , | 2 Comments »

Time To Plant Peanuts??

Posted by romeethredge on April 7, 2014


 We have broken a lot of ground in preparation for planting peanuts but is it time to start planting?

We often talk about watching the 4-inch soil temperature as a guide for triggering planting decisions.

Dr. Scott Tubbs, UGA Crop Scientist, has the following update concerning planting peanuts.

There is data showing that peanut seed germination can drop fairly drastically once temperature dips below 68 F.  It is suggested to allow the daily average soil temperature to stabilize above the 68 F mark for at least 3 consecutive days to buffer any drastic fluctuations.

The soil temps can rise or fall very rapidly in the late winter/early spring as the daily max/min temperatures vary, and rain can likewise rapidly influence these temperatures.  For example – in Tifton, on Feb. 1 the daily high temp was 53 F and the 4-inch soil temp was 48 F.  By Feb. 5 after 4 consecutive days of highs in the 70’s, the 4-inch soil temp had increased 14 degrees to about 62 F.  But the very next day, a cold snap hit with a high of 47 F and low of 34 F, and the 4-inch soil temp dropped over 10 degrees in 1 day to 51 F.  This is why it is important to not only monitor the 4-inch soil temperature, but to also keep an eye on the weather forecast for the following 5-days or so.  If there is a cold front predicted to hit before the seed can get planted and germinated, then there is the potential for seed to be shocked by decreasing temperatures, and end up with a poor plant stand

There is always a concern of a mid-April cold spell which could cause the soil temperatures to plummet once again.  I do not recommend planting earlier than around April 20, even then monitoring the combination of soil temperature and the 5-day forecast to give the peanut seed optimum germinating conditions so the full plant stand potential can be achieved.  In the last 5 growing seasons, there was at least one instance each year where the 4-inch soil temperature dropped below 67 F after April 17.  This was usually because of a cold front that brought cool rain and/or overnight lows in the upper 40’s.

Keep in mind that the Georgia Automated Environmental Monitoring Network ( has a Quick Reference for monitoring soil temperature at the 4-inch depth near most towns in South Georgia, including Donalsonville.  At the website, just click on the “Peanut” link on the left side of the page, and you will get a drop-down menu that includes “Soil Temperature”, with an alphabetical listing of many locations that monitors the daily averages over the last 7 days, and the weekly average of those dates.

I received a message from Scott Hobby, the Seed Regulatory Program Manager at the GA Dept. of Ag. Seed Lab in Tifton.  Mr. Hobby stated that GA-06G has been struggling with germination this year in the laboratory’s cold tests.  Overall seed germination results are good, but the drastically reduced germination in the cold test is further evidence that growers need to be cautioned about planting their peanut seed too early when there are still strong possibilities for a cold front to drop soil temperatures rapidly, which could lead to poor, erratic plant stands.

There has not been a single location in South Georgia this season that has reached 68 F at the 4-inch soil depth, much less sustain that as a daily average temperature for at least 3 consecutive days. The rain we just got, followed by low temperatures in the upper 40s through at least April 10 according to the extended forecast.  Thus, the 80+ F temps over the last few days (through April 2) are enough to be dangerous, causing some growers to be “itching” to put some seed in the ground, but I don’t believe this would be a good idea based on the forecast.

This forecast through April 10 leads me to believe we are still on target for initiating peanut planting no earlier than around April 20, depending on the weather forecast beyond April 10.  It will take several days with highs in the 80s and lows in the mid-50s or higher to drive the soil temperatures back up toward 68 F and keep them there for 3 consecutive days, so let’s be patient and not pull the planting trigger too early so we are not having to face less than optimal plant stands or be faced with the decision of possibly having to replant

Posted in Agriculture, Peanuts | Tagged: | 1 Comment »

Question of the Week – Coontie

Posted by romeethredge on April 4, 2014

Last week was a plant ID question. I had a photo of the fruit of a plant. I had no correct answers. It is a native Florida Coontie. The fruit was given to me by Mark Braxton of Marianna Florida, where it grows in his yard..



Here is some information from a UF publication that can be accessed here.

They are the food source for Atala butterflies.

Spanish writings from the sixteenth century report that the original native Timucuan and Calusa people and later Seminoles, removed the toxic chemical, cycasin, from the coontie stem  by maceration and washing. They then used the starchy residue to produce a bread. This was an important food source that sustained them throughout most of the year.

The common name, “coontie,” is derived from the Seminole phrase “conti hateka,” which means white root or white bread. Another name for the coontie is “Seminole bread.” The Seminoles also used the starchy stem to make another dish called “sofkee stew.”

Starch Industry. Around 1825, early settlers in the Fort Lauderdale area learned the Seminole’s technique of removing the toxin cycasin from the coontie to produce starch. By the 1880s, several mills were in business in Miami. During WWI, one mill was processing as much as 18 tons of coontie daily for military purchase. The starch content was said to range from 20% in winter to a low of 8% in summer. By 1911, the starch was known as “Florida Arrowroot.”


The coontie’s underground stem is more properly called a caudex. It contains both starch and a water soluble toxin. (Photo: Stephen Brown, UF/IFAS Lee County)


Here is this week’s question. Where was I last Saturday when I took this photo? And what was the water temperature?



Posted in Agriculture, Water, Wildlife | Tagged: | Leave a Comment »

Wheat Update

Posted by romeethredge on April 4, 2014

Wheat is at flag leaf , boot or heading stage in most fields, now.  The top leaf or flag leaf is next to the grain head and supplies most of the photosynthate to produce grain. So we want to protect this leaf and the head from plant disease.

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Some varieties have genetic resistance to plant diseases at some level ,but we find that our diseases shift races and we can loose resistance pretty easily at times. Most growers seeking high wheat yields apply a fungicide to wheat just after the heads emerge, to protect the flag leaf from leaf rust and other diseases, and also protect the head.

I just heard that they found leaf rust in some plots in Plains. See below for more info.


Dr. Alfredo Martinez-Espinoza, UGA Extension Plant Pathologist, gives us the following report concerning wheat.

Wheat Foliar Disease Update-4/4

Wheat Leaf Rust. Just a quick update on wheat leaf rust: leaf rust was observed on an early-planted, highly susceptible variety in the UGA CAES Southwest Georgia Research and Education Center in Plains GA on April 2. There are no indications or reports of wheat leaf rust in other areas of GA. However, environmental conditions are becoming conducive for leaf rust epidemics to develop. Therefore, field monitoring for leaf rust and/or Stagonospora (leaf-glume blotch) in your area is advised.

If leaf rust is present in your field this warrants a fungicide application, the options are:




metconazole (Caramba)

propiconazole (Tilt, Propimax)

prothioconazole (Proline)

prothioconazole + tebuconazole (Prosaro)

tebuconazole-containing products (Folicur, others)



azoxystrobin (Quadris)

fluxastrobin (Evito)

picoxystrobin (Aproach)

pyraclostrobin (Headline)

Mixed mode of action


fluoxapyroxad + pyraclostrobin (Priaxor)

propiconazole + azoxystrobin (Quilt, QuiltXcel)

propiconazole + trifloxystrobin (Stratego)

prothioconazole + trifloxystrobin (Stratego YLD)

pyraclostrobin + metconazole (Twinline)

tebuconazole + trifloxystrobin (Absolute)

A complete list of wheat fungicides, rates and specific remarks and precautions can be found on page 58 of the 2013-14 Wheat Production Guide or on page 484 of the 2014 Georgia Pest Management Handbook. Always read product label for fungicide applications restrictions. Take a look at pages 9 to 11 of the 2013-14 Wheat Production Guide for wheat variety responses against leaf rust.

For more information on wheat leaf rust go to

Posted in Plant Pathology, Wheat | Tagged: , | 2 Comments »

Farm Family of the Year – Millers

Posted by romeethredge on April 3, 2014

The Miller Family was named to be the Farm Family of the year for 2013 by the Donalsonville/Seminole County Chamber of Commerce and the Seminole County Young Farmers Group.


Wes Pace, W. H. Miller, Patricia Miller, Laura Miller, Malory Miller, Jeb Miller, Donnie Ray Miller, Cecelia Miller, Will Miller, and State Young Farmer President Greg Mims

The Miller family, who farm 2,600 acres in Seminole and Decatur County, form a multigenerational business. Their main crops include cotton, peanuts, corn, and hay. Additionally, the Millers have a cattle herd consisting of 275 brood cows with calves. As of now, over four generations of Millers have worked as a part of this farming enterprise. Today, the Miller Family Farm operation consists of three generations; brothers J. D. Miller and W. H. and Patricia Miller, Donnie Ray and Cecelia Miller, and Malory and Laura Miller, with their two sons Will and Jeb. “We are honored to represent the farm community, an honor that most farmers deserve for their hard work and dedication,” said Malory Miller.


Thanks to the Donalsonville News.



Posted in Agriculture | Leave a Comment »

Apps For Sprayer Calibration

Posted by romeethredge on April 3, 2014

Dr. Michael Toews, UGA Entomologist, gives us an update about some calibration apps for smartphones.

“Jeremy Greene (cotton Entomologist at Clemson) developed a couple of very handy smartphone apps for calibrating and mixing sprayers.

Look up “Calibrate My Sprayer” on the Apple app store (or Google Play).  The user simply selects broadcast or banded, nozzle spacing, number of nozzles, speed, time caught,  and catch per nozzle and the app calculates the number of gallons per acre.

Alternatively, you can tell it you want to put out a certain number of gallons per acre and the app spits out what your catch per nozzle should be.  Results can be saved and named for each of your sprayers.

After your growers are correctly calibrated, “MIX MY SPRAYER” (mobile app for iOS and Android) enables the user to quickly calculate the amount of product to include in a user-defined mix size. “

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Posted in Entomology | Tagged: | Leave a Comment »


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