Seminole Crop E News

Agricultural News for Farmers and Agribusiness in SW Georgia

Archive for the ‘vegetables’ Category

Wormy Peas

Posted by romeethredge on March 10, 2014

I love southern peas: Pink eye purple hull or Blackeyed peas or Crowder peas, they are all good, but no one likes wormy peas. We have a real problem with the cowpea curculio which causes this.

We have a new UGA publication which discusses this pest. Here’s an excerpt from the publication.

“Southern pea or cowpea is a traditional crop
in Georgia that could be one of the most important legume crops in the
southeastern U.S. if not for serious yield loss caused by the insect known as
the cowpea curculio, Chalcodermus aeneus Boheman.

Damage caused by cowpea curculio in southern pea is two-fold. First, the adults feed on and lay
eggs in the pods; those eggs hatch into larvae that feed inside the pods. This
can significantly reduce green pod and shelled pea yield per acre. Secondly,
live larvae inside the harvested pods can contaminate and drastically reduce the
marketability of peas during processing.”


Click on this link to see the full publication. C 1038 – Cowpea Curculio in Southern Pea


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

Question of the Week – Module on Fire

Posted by romeethredge on December 6, 2013

 Last week I had a photo of a cotton module that was almost completely burned. If there’s a spark during the cotton picking process we can see fires due to the large amount of air used in moving cotton through the picker fanning the flame. Also, this can be a result of moisture in the cotton.

There are lots of round modules on the gin yard now as picking progresses.


This week’s question is about Quincy, Florida. Just south of the Georgia line below Bainbridge is the beautiful town of Quincy. I went there yesterday for the Gadsden Tomato Forum. It was a really good update on tomato production for area growers.  I noticed this Coca Cola art just off the town square, you can see the Gadsden County Courthouse in the background.  Also, below that, is a photo I took of the Leaf Theater. I want to ask what these things have to do with Quincy’s history?





Posted in vegetables | Tagged: | 2 Comments »

2014 Southeast Regional Fruit and Vegetable Conference and Tradeshow

Posted by romeethredge on November 25, 2013

The Southeast Regional Fruit and Vegetable Conference is the LARGEST educational conference and trade show in the southeastern United States that unites growers, vendors and suppliers. Anyone with an interest in specialty crop agriculture is invited to be a part of this event to address food safety, specific commodity sessions on production practices and increased yields, marketing strategies, and interact with key suppliers and growers. This event will be held January 9-12, 2014 at the Savannah International Trade and Convention Center!

For more information go to: and from there you can register and find out more information about the conference.


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Tomato Forum – Quincy, Fla

Posted by romeethredge on November 22, 2013

An informational forum will be held in Quincy Florida concerning commercial tomato production.

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Fullscreen capture 11222013 91937 AM

Posted in vegetables | Tagged: | Leave a Comment »

Question of the Week – Carrots

Posted by romeethredge on November 14, 2013

Last week I had a photo of a crop just coming up in narrow rows and it was carrots. I had many correct answers. Lots of smart folks out there. Several hundred acres are grown here in most years. They are very good and sweet.

Here’s an excerpt about Georgia Carrots from the UGA Research report that can be accessed at this link.

“Soil and climatic conditions in South Georgia are ideal for the production of quality carrots. South

Georgia’s sandy soils are better for uniform carrot growth than heavy clay soils. During fall and winter,

daytime temperatures are warmer and nights are cooler. These conditions promote sugar storage in carrots,

making carrots produced in south Georgia sweeter and having better color than others grown anywhere else

in the continental United States. Carrots grown in Georgia do not have a bitter taste or strong aroma. Thus,

on the basis of quality we can compete with carrots from Arizona, Florida, Texas or California. Production

time in other leading states, such as Michigan, Colorado, Washington, and most other states will not coincide

with Georgia production.”

Here is this week’s question.

What is this and what is it good for?


Posted in vegetables | Tagged: | 1 Comment »

Geese in Peas

Posted by romeethredge on August 16, 2013

A grower called me, asking if geese will eat up his young southern pea plants.  I didn’t know, so I went to observe them and there were about 50 in the pea field. There was no damage to the plants where they were, so I guess they were just hanging out there. We’ll keep an eye on them.


Maybe they will provide pigweed control.



Posted in vegetables, Wildlife | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

Mule Train Running

Posted by romeethredge on June 7, 2013

It’s sweet corn time in Georgia. The mule trains are running slowly through the fields. Most sweet corn is hand harvested after the tassels and upper stalk is cut off with a strange looking mover with blades 4 feet high. The guys cut it off and toss handfuls of corn onto the wagon and it is packed into crates and loaded onto the truck attached to the mule train. As soon as it is loaded it goes to the nearby precooler and water close to freezing is poured through it to hold in the sweetness and goodness of the sweet corn. Then it is loaded onto trucks to go to market.





Posted in vegetables | Tagged: | 1 Comment »


Posted by romeethredge on May 18, 2013

Commercial Vegetables are growing well after a slow start with our cool spring, Here’s Randolph County agent Brock Ward with some of our snap beans that are putting on beans and will soon be harvested by machine.

Below him is Jarod Fulford with some seedless watermelons.

Next is a cantaloupe that is swelling fast. It will grow its netting in future days.

And at the bottom we have some good squash. They are producing prolifically now. Can you tell that these are 2 different varieties? look at the stem.



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

Question of the Week – Male and Female

Posted by romeethredge on May 3, 2013

Last week I had a photo of a Crooked Neck Squash plant that had 2 different looking blooms on it. It was male and female blooms. Squash have separate blooms and that is why bees are necessary for pollination. Sometimes we have only male flowers early in the season for a few days. Grampa called these “false blooms”.  Once we have both male and female blooms and bees we can make squash. If bees aren’t working the squash will get a couple of inches long and then rot. Some folks in a small garden will get a small paintbrush and hand pollinate their squash , by getting pollen from the male flower part, or anther, and putting it onto the female flower part, or stigma.

See the squash at the bottom that is rotting. It didn't get pollinated.

See the squash at the bottom that is rotting. It didn’t get pollinated.

Here's the honeybee doing his job, pollinating the crop.

Here’s the honeybee doing his job, pollinating the crop.

The pollination process

I think this is a great article on pollination I found from NC State University.

Pollination becomes important when we grow vegetables for their seeds, fruit, or seed pods.
Without pollination the seeds and fruit will not develop. Most plants have male
and female flowers parts on the same flower and are easily pollinated by wind or

One cause of poor fruit set is too much nitrogen, which can result in mostly vegetative growth. This is especially true with tomatoes, peppers, and cucumbers.

Too much shade or not enough light is another cause of poor fruit set. Most fruiting vegetables do best in full sun all day — they need at least 6 to 8 hours of sunlight.

Extreme temperatures can reduce fruit set. If temperatures during flowering are below 55 degrees or above 90 degrees, the pollen grains of many warm-season vegetables are damaged and become unable to cause pollination.

Another group of plants, vine crops such as cucumbers, squash, pumpkins, cantaloupes, and watermelons have separate male and female flowers. To produce fruit, pollen from the male bloom must be transferred to the female bloom. Insects, mostly bumble bees and honey bees
transfer the pollen. Unless the plant is actively producing both male and female
bloom or if insects are not working the bloom, pollination and fruit development
will not occur.

Corn plants produce a female flower – the silks and a male flower – the tassel. Pollen falls on or is blown by wind to the silk and corn kernels begin to develop. When corn is planted in a single row, inadequate amounts of pollen may reach the silk and poor kernel development results. Its best to plant sweet corn in three or more short rows rather than a single long

Many gardeners worry about planting certain crops near one another for fear that insects or wind might deposit foreign pollen on a given vegetable and produce off-flavors or shapes. Two different cultivars of pumpkin can
cross-pollinate, but the fruit would be not affected. However, if you saved and plant seeds from these cross-pollinated pumpkins you might get fruits of many different shapes, sizes, and colors. Cucumbers and squash will not cross pollinate each other – there is no effect on flavor when they are grown next to each other.

Corn is the one major exception to the rule. When a yellow and white cultivar that flower at the same time are planted near each other the resulting kernels will be mixed yellow and white. When a supersweet type corn is planted near a traditional corn cultivar, it will not develop its sweet flavor. Pop corn will not pop if it has been pollinated by sweet corn or field corn.

Here’s a link to a UGA publication concerning pollination.

This week I have a bird question. What kind of birds are these that got mad at me a couple of weeks ago?


Posted in vegetables | Tagged: | Leave a Comment »

Question of the Week – Phosphorus and Anthocyanins

Posted by romeethredge on April 27, 2013

Last week I had a photo of purple corn beside some normal looking corn. In this field the grower did not use pop up fertilizer ( fertilizer put close to the young plants that usually contains Phosphorus). He did use a good dose of preplant Phosphorus. At this spot in the field he changed corn hybrids and that is what we see here. One row is one variety and the other one is another variety. We ran a tissue analysis and a soil test here and the nutrients in the soil, including P were at sufficient levels. However the plant tissue was deficient in Phosphorus. We know that cool temperatures like we were having makes it difficult for plants to take up phosphorus. We also know that different corn hybrids sometimes respond differently to low nutrients in the tissue.

Another kink here is that the seed company says that the corn hybrid here that is purple sometimes has a buildup of anthocyanins, causing changes in plant color, with warm weather followed by cold rain and weather.  Since the tissue came back low we can say here the color was likely caused by low P due to cool conditions and the hybrid response to it.

Here’s a photo with the purple corn in the foreground and the green corn in the background.



Posted in Corn, Fertilization, vegetables | Tagged: , , | 1 Comment »


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