Seminole Crop E News

Agricultural News for Farmers and Agribusiness in SW Georgia

Georgia Museum of Agriculture (aka Agrirama)

Posted by romeethredge on October 24, 2014

I really enjoyed going back to the only place I’ve ever plowed a mule, the Ga Museum of Agriculture in Tifton Georgia. It used to be called the Agrirama, but now it is a part of ABAC and it is a delight to experience as we did during ABAC Family weekend recently.

Here is the link to their website

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I really liked seeing the grist mill in action. Folks used to carry their corn to the grist mill and there was one in every community. The corn you grew was ground into corn meal and grits which were staples in every country diet, a hundred years ago. You could pay for the grinding or give the Miller an eighth of the meal, in payment.

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It was a treat to ride in the cars behind the old steam engine with my old friend Keith Rucker as the engineer. In those days  just about everything was steam powered.  A lot of good folks work at the Museum to bring the old days alive for us.



You can see a blacksmith at work as well.




The lumber sawing was very interesting too, another use for steam power.


Sometimes they have to sharpen the blades.


You can see a lot about how we used to deal with cotton while there.


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And the indoor section had many exhibits including this steam engine donated by Mayo Livingston.

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2014 Small Grain Varieties

Posted by romeethredge on October 24, 2014


Here’s a great blog post concerning Wheat for 2014.

Originally posted on Thomas County Ag:

The Small Grain Performance Tests on the statewide variety testing website have been completed, you can see here – 2014 Small Grain Performance Tests. Variety characteristics presents great information that tells us a lot about disease and insects. This can also be found through that link also.

2014 Variety Characterisitcs

Below is some variety information UGA Extension Agronomist Dr. Dewey Lee passed out at our Grain Update:

2014 Grain Varieties

View original

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Soybeans yellow and Dropping leaves

Posted by romeethredge on October 24, 2014


Here’s a pivot that has full season soybeans on the left side. On the right a crop of field corn was grown and then these Ultra late soybeans were planted and they are still green and growing strong. The beans that were planted early are turning yellow and dropping leaves as they approach maturity.

I’ve had questions lately about irrigation termination on soybeans. You are generally safe to terminate irrigation if you have good soil moisture when the seeds fill the pods and the pods start to change to the yellow color in the top 4 nodes of the plant. Mississippi State has a good blog post concerning this subject.  Soybean Irrigation Termination


Some full season soybeans will be harvested soon. These warm days will help finish out the season for the Ultra late planted soybeans.

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AgrAbility/Farm Again

Posted by romeethredge on October 24, 2014

 At the Sunbelt Expo we saw Dr. Glen Raines, UGA College of Ag, at the AgrAbility/Farm Again booth with examples of things to help folks involved with agriculture that have disabilities.

I was impressed with this “one-handed hammer”.  It has nails in the hollow handle and with a magnet on the end it can be used with one hand.

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Here’s some info about Georgia’s Farm Again

When farm families and workers become ill or injured, man hours that are crucial to the operation of the farm are lost. This is when Farm Again can help. We provide information and services that may make it possible to return to farming.

Farm Again is a free service and focuses on promoting independence for members of the agricultural community who have disabilities. The project is funded by donations and sponsorships. Farm Again is proud to be an affiliate project of the National AgrAbility network.

The program in Georgia is managed by the University of Georgia’s Cooperative Extension Service in the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences and the Institute on Human Development and Disability in the College of Family and Consumer Sciences.

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You or someone you know may benefit from:

Technical Assistance
Farm Again provides direct assistance to agricultural families with assistive technology, work site modifications, and independent living.

Information Sharing
Farm Again provides information through individual contacts, distribution of resources, agency referrals and public education.

Professional Training
Farm Again provides training opportunities on available resources and assistive technology for consumers and professionals.  Contact us for more information about presenting to your organization or group.

Who is eligible?

Those eligible for Farm Again services may be an owner or employee in a production agriculture setting with any type of disability or chronic health condition. It is a free service.  Contact us to find out more at 1-877-524-6264 / (706) 542-0304 or click here to e-mail us.

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Question of the Week – Spined Soldier Bug – beneficial

Posted by romeethredge on October 24, 2014

I had a photo of bugs on a soybean leaf last week, and they are stink bugs, but the good kind.

These are Spined Soldier Bugs and they eat caterpillars, so they help us out in the soybean field. I’ve seen them walking around with captured caterpillars. When I first glanced at this hatchout I thought, oh no, we may have a pod feeding stinkbug problem here, but on closer examination I saw the metallic color of the eggs and that and the appearance of the tiny bugs lets us know they are beneficials.

This is an instance when we can call these insects “bugs” and be scientifically right. These belong to the true bug family.


Here’s a link to a good publication from Florida about them.


 This week I have a photo of a pasture weed that was brought in to me for identification and control advice. What is it?


Posted in Agriculture, Entomology, Weeds | Tagged: | 4 Comments »

Austin French

Posted by romeethredge on October 24, 2014

We’ve enjoyed watching Ga 4-H’er, Austin French, performing for years at 4-H events, and it was great to see him do well on the TV show Rising Star. We recently heard him in concert in Tifton, while at ABAC family weekend (my son studies at ABAC) and we visited Journey Church where he is a worship leader. You could say we are “French Fries”, as some of his fans call themselves. Here’s a great article about the organization he credits for some of his success.

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Austin French credits Georgia 4-H for newfound stardom

By Clint Thompson (University of Georgia, College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences)
October 21, 2014

Cordele, Georgia, native Austin French may have gained nationwide notoriety this summer on ABC’s “Rising Star,” but it was as a member of Georgia 4-H where friends and supporters first recognized his star quality.

“4-H, in general, was a huge catalyst for my music career ? just public speaking and being personable, reaching out to people. I learned all that through 4-H. Without 4-H, I don’t know if I’d be where I am right now,” French said.

The south Georgia singing sensation and Georgia 4-H Clovers & Company alumnus became a household name when he finished as runner-up on the inaugural season of ABC’s “Rising Star,” a reality television singing competition. French, who still leads church worship services at Journey Baptist Church in Tifton, believes 4-H was the springboard for his musical career.

“Going on this competition, I did so many TV interviews, talked to different people, met different executives ? without the confidence that 4-H really equipped me with, it might have turned out a lot differently,” said French.

Joining the group when he was in fifth grade, French was a member of Clovers & Company from 2005 to 2012. French is not the first Clovers & Company alum to achieve success.

“Clovers & Company acts as a catalyst to not only get youth more involved with 4-H, but also to propel them toward a successful career in the performing arts,” said Cheryl Varnadoe, assistant show director and state coordinator for Clovers & Company.

Country music superstar and Douglas, Georgia, native Jennifer Nettles is also a past member of Clovers & Company, as is songwriter and Washington, Georgia, native Hillary Lindsey. Before launching her solo career, Nettles was a member of the CMT Music Award-winning group, Sugarland. Lindsey is known for writing chart-topping hits like “Jesus Take The Wheel” and “Two Black Cadillacs,” both recorded by Carrie Underwood.

Varnadoe is not surprised by French’s success and is confident there are many more musical talents in Georgia.

“Austin was a member of our cast for eight years, so we were fortunate enough to be able to watch him grow as a performer as well as a leader. Austin was always featured prominently in our shows, and we knew that it was only a matter of time before the rest of the world discovered what a true star he was, both on and off the stage. It makes us so proud to claim someone as successful as Austin as one of our own,” Varnadoe said. “It is an honor for me, as well as the rest of the staff, to be able to work with incredibly talented young people in Georgia 4-H Clovers & Company.”

Clovers & Company was founded in 1981 and is comprised of talented Georgia 4-H members from across the state. Tryouts for the 2015-2016 Clovers & Company group will be held June 11, 2015, at the Fortson 4-H Center in Atlanta and June 16, 2015, at the Rock Eagle 4-H Center in Eatonton.

For more information, contact your local UGA Extension office at 1-800-ASK-UGA1 or Varnadoe at (706) 542-9237 or

Clint Thompson is a news editor with the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences based in Tifton.

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Ga Clean Day – Oct. 30 – Quitman, Ga

Posted by romeethredge on October 16, 2014

There will be a Georgia Clean day in Quitman,Ga (Brooks County) on Oct 30th, 2014. This is a time that you can bring in unwanted pesticides for disposal. You must preregister to bring in chemicals. Email me or Andrea Duncan for the forms you will need to fill out and get back to her.


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Oat Planting

Posted by romeethredge on October 16, 2014

We’ve been talking about oats for grain. It’s too early to plant it now if you want to harvest the grain. Some folks want to grow some for seed for the following year. We need to wait until close to Thanksgiving for that because if we plant it too early the heads will shoot up when we will be having some hard cold and they will be damaged.

Of course lots of oats are being planted now for grazing and that is fine. We had problems with caterpillars and seedling disease in the past few weeks but we are hopefully past  the worst of that now.

Here’s a good UGA publication available on the web concerning Southern Small Grains  and it has a good section concerning Oats with the following valuable planting  chart.

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Cotton Picking Time

Posted by romeethredge on October 16, 2014

Lots of cotton being picked now, finally. It looks ok, not a tremendous crop but pretty good, it seems so far. We think it would have been better, except for the excessive rain the first 2 weeks of September. Dryland suffered due to the summer drought and then when it was opening all our cotton got too much rain.

Some areas will have good dryland yields due to the spotty rains.

Here’s some irrigated cotton that is doing well.


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Harvest Festival – Donalsonville – Oct 18, 2014

Posted by romeethredge on October 16, 2014

The harvest festival is this Saturday , Oct 18, with a lot of good stuff going on in Donalsonville. There’ll be a great parade at 10 am. Look for our 4-H’ers pulling their wagons. Then lots of festivities all day, with lots of good singing and other entertainment at the City park.



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