Seminole Crop E News

Agricultural News for Farmers and Agribusiness in SW Georgia

Archive for November, 2012

Wheat Planting Continues

Posted by romeethredge on November 30, 2012

Rain was a real blessing this week as more wheat goes into the ground and that planted in the last 2 weeks needed a drink. Wheat looks good coming up and most stands look adequate if we can keep the birds out. Dryland planting is now possible with the good rain. Here’s a short video of wheat being drilled in.

Next on the agenda is getting a good stand up and protecting it and at about 25 to 30 days we need to scout for aphids and hessian fly. _DSC1760_DSC1762_DSC1838_DSC1828_DSC1823

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Ultra Late Corn

Posted by romeethredge on November 30, 2012

Field corn planted behind field corn, second crop, is now about done since we had some temperatures around 28 degrees F last week. Thomas County Agent, Andrew Sawyer, and I looked at some this week that was black layered, in other words, mature, so it can soon be harvested for grain and dried. That’s the goal to reach maturity before a hard freeze.  It looked good to us considering when it was planted. It was sprayed 3 times with good fungicides and twice with insecticides. I estimate he will harvest 100 to 120 Bu per acre after harvesting 250 bu from the first crop.



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Blackbirds Everywhere

Posted by romeethredge on November 30, 2012

Blackbirds are really causing some problems right now in south Georgia. They are pulling up wheat and other small grain seedlings. They are destroying some sunflower fields. and lots of late planted grain sorghum (aka milo) is being affected. Some folks planted milo after harvesting corn and it is doing well, they are harvesting it now and I’ve heard of some 75 bushel yields. Here’s a link to my post last year about this problem where I highlighted the wheat situation  I’ll deal more with Grain sorghum in this post.

Here are some possible solutions: Propane exploders, rifle or shotgun shooting, electronic noise systems, helium filled balloons tethered in the field, radio controlled model planes, distress calls for birds (can be tape recorded), and scarecrows. Here are some photos we took in a field of Grain sorghum planted after corn harvest in the same field. The blackbirds weren’t scared by my truck even when I blew the horn. They would fly and come back a little further away. Firing a gun does pretty well but has to be repeated often. You can also sacrifice some of these birds that are causing this damage according to Federal Depredation Order 50CFR21.43  There are also a few poison baits that could be used as a last resort._DSC1803_DSC1812_DSC1797_DSC1798

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Question of the Week – Crotalaria

Posted by romeethredge on November 30, 2012

Yes, I had several correct answers to my identification question last week. It was Crotalaria. It was used for a rotational crop long ago. It’s a legume and so it adds Nitrogen to the soil. You still see it from time to time. I see some every year. It is posionous if eaten due to the alkaloids in it. It sometimes goes by the name of Rattlebox and Rattleweed. Tommy Dollar says he sees it in Gadsden County, Florida and south end of Decatur more than in Seminole. It may have something to do with that being the old area where shade tobacco was grown and I believe they used  Crotalaria in rotation.  It has been called an invasive in some areas.



This week’s question is about our Donalsonville Christmas Parade that was help last night. Who is the farmer in the photo driving a tractor in the parade? It was a good parade with several farmers with decorated tractors and many depictions of parts of the Christmas story, the real Christmas story about Christ’s Birth.


Posted in Weeds | Tagged: | 1 Comment »

Question of the Week – “3 days up, 6 days out”

Posted by romeethredge on November 24, 2012

Jake Ford answered my question from last week. He simply said “3 days up and 6 days out“. It was a cotton physiology question. When coming out from the mainstem on a fruiting branch the cotton bolls are set 6 days apart as you go out towards the end. So, in the photo the boll on the left was formed, you could say that the flower bloomed and 6 days later the next one bloomed. So the 1st boll is 18 days older than the last one on the far right.

So why did Jake say 3 days up? If you go up the cotton plant to the next branch, that 1st position boll will be set 3 days after the one down below it.

As cotton guru Scott Brown recently told me a gentleman said to him after hearing such an explanation, ” Boy, you’ve spent entirely too much time in a cotton field. “

This week I want you to identify the plant this bloom was on. It was commonly as a cover crop here, I’m told in the early 1900’s I still see it on roadsides from time to time, it is poisonous to consume.

Posted in Agriculture, Cotton | Tagged: | 4 Comments »

Soybean Nematodes

Posted by romeethredge on November 24, 2012

These guys with UGA Plant pathology were here last week doing a nematode survey in soybean fields. This survey was done across Georgia last year, including Seminole county last year as well and I have below Dr. Kemerait’s report concerning nematodes in the 2012 Soybean production guide.

 Dr. Bob Kemerait, UGA Extension Plant Pathologist, says that now is the time to sample crop fields for nematodes.

Nematodes are an important threat to soybean production in Georgia. Soybean yields in the state are routinely compromised by root-knot, reniform, Columbia lance nematodes, and perhaps sting and cyst nematodes as well. From a survey of 107 soybean fields from across Georgia, root-knot nematodes were present in at least 36 fields, cysts nematodes in ten fields and reniform nematodes in five fields. The root-knot nematodes were found in fields across the state; cyst and reniform were found in much more localized areas. For example, cyst nematodes were found most commonly in Washington, Burke, and Screven Counties; reniform nematodes in Calhoun and Sumter Counties.

The first line of defense for protection from plant-parasitic nematodes is crop rotation; however crop rotation is difficult for management of nematodes that affect soybeans. This is because one or more of the important nematodes affecting soybeans will also affect most of our suitable rotation crops (e.g. cotton, corn, and peanuts). The second line of defense will be the use of soybean varieties with some level of nematode resistance. Though none of our soybean varieties are immune to nematodes, growers can plant varieties with improved resistance to the cyst and root-knot nematodes. This resistance, as a part of an over-all nematode management plan, will help to minimize losses in yield and also reduce nematode populations in a field compared to populations when a susceptible variety is planted. The third line of defense in management of nematodes on soybeans is the use of appropriate nematicides. Currently most growers who apply a nematicide to their soybean crop will use Temik 15G. Unfortunately the supply of Temik 15G will be severely limited in 2012 and the little that is available will be quite expensive. It appears that a new formulation of aldicarb (the active ingredient in Temik 15G) will be available to growers later in 2012 and sold as “Meymik”; however Meymik will not be available in time for planting. Growers have the opportunity to use Telone II (3 gal/A) but supplies for Telone II remain limited in 2012. The seed-treatment nematicide AVICTA Complete Beans from Syngenta is also available to soybean producers. Research continues on AVICTA Complete Beans to develop use recommendations through the University of Georgia Cooperative Extension.

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Corn Silage 2nd Crop Corn

Posted by romeethredge on November 24, 2012

Some second crop, corn after corn, was harvested for silage last week. It doesn’t yield as well as 1st crop but it looked good. They packed it into the plastic liner to let it “pickle”.  Cattle love it.  Go to this UGA site and  scroll down and choose this option for silage info : Handouts from the 2011 Corn Silage and Conserved Forage Field Day

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Good Calf Crop – Now Mangage Grazing

Posted by romeethredge on November 24, 2012

Nicholas Smith with his excellent calf crop. It looked almost like 2 calves for every cow out there. They were watching the irrigated field of rye that will soon be ready to enjoy. Nick is holding them out for a while to get some more growth on it.

Here’s excerpts from an excellent publication by Dr Dennis Hancock, UGA Extension Forages Scientist. The full article can be found here, then go to FERTILIZING AND GRAZING WINTER ANNUAL STANDS

In Georgia, our biggest competitive advantage in the beef cattle industry is our ability to grow and graze

forage during the winter months. One of the most important parts of a winter forage program is, of course, the

cool season annual grasses. However, it takes skill (and a healthy dose of common sense) to manage winter

annuals so that the forage produced matches the stocking rate. Now that your winter annuals are in the ground

for this season, this article presents seven keys to optimizing the production and management of your winter

annual forage.

Avoid Grazing Too Early

There is a big difference between “can” and “should”. Grazing of winter annuals can begin as soon as

the plants are wellestablished and have accumulated 34 in. of growth. However, grazing should begin only

after the plants accumulate 68 in. of growth. The plants will survive if they are grazed too early, but they will

never fully recover. Some recent research that Dr. Gary Hill and I have been doing in Athens and Tifton suggests

that starting to graze too early (i.e., at ~4 in.) reduces the total forage yield in the season by at least one third.

Start Light, End Heavy

Along those same lines, it is best to begin with a light stocking rate and gradually increase it as the

growing conditions improve and forage growth rate increases. A good way to do this is by restricting the

animal’s time on the paddock, rotating animals between paddocks, or using strip grazing techniques. But, later

in the season, the growth rate of the winter annuals will be much more rapid. If a light stocking rate is

maintained, much of the forage will get rank and overly mature. Ideally, more animals would be added to

increase the stocking rate. Of course, that usually is impractical. So, increase the stocking rate by reducing the

number of acres grazed. In practice, this means shutting animals out of some pastures or paddocks and letting

those areas grow up for hay or baleage. Be sure that you select those areas in advance, so that you don’t put N

fertilizer out if you don’t need the extra forage.

Know Your Forage

Our winter annual species differ a lot in their tolerance of grazing. Ryegrass and rye are generally very

tolerant of repeated grazing and generally regrow rapidly. On the other end of the spectrum, barley and triticale

do not regrow well after grazing. Wheat and oats are more intermediate, as they are quite a bit slower to

regrow than rye or ryegrass and have poor tolerance to heavy continuous grazing.


Posted in Cattle, Fertilization, Forages | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

Question of the Week – Sunflower

Posted by romeethredge on November 17, 2012

Last week’s photo was a very close up shot of a sunflower and it’s small flowers on each kernel. Dove season starts back on Thanksgiving and they love Sunflower seeds.

This week I have a cotton physiology question. I took this photo yesterday of a beautiful cotton limb with 4 bolls on it. My question is…what was the difference in maturity of the bolls pictured? Did they all mature at the same time?



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Posted by romeethredge on November 17, 2012

Sugarcane is ready at Harry Hutchin’s place. Here he is, this week with some sweet cane. He will likely have it made into syrup. I think Cane syrup is the best thing on a biscuit or waffle. The University of Florida has a good publication on home garden sugarcane at this link.

Sugarcane is a tropical perennial grass, belonging to the genus Saccharum. Although sugarcane thrives in humid temperatures, between 70 and 95°F, sugarcane can be grown in many areas of the southern United States

Sugarcane is vegetatively propagated by means of “seed-cane,” a section of a mature cane stalk with one or more buds (or “bud-eyes”). Following harvest, sugarcane re-sprouts from underground buds located on basal (bottom or lower) portions of old stalks. This process is called ”ratooning”. Depending on variety and growing conditions, a stalk weighing 2 – 4 pounds with 11 – 12 percent sugar will be produced in about 12 – 14 months from an original planting or in 11 – 12 months from a ratoon re-growth.

If soil temperatures are cold, initial shoots from the ratoon may not sprout above ground before March. In these colder growing environments, ratoon crops will likely have shorter growing seasons, 8 – 9 months.

Sugarcane varieties can be placed into one of three categories according to their physical and chemical characteristics – chewing canes, crystal canes or syrup canes.

Chewing canes are generally softer and contain fibers that stick together when chewed, making it easier to spit out the pulp once the sugary juice has been consumed. Many chewing canes are also used for syrup production.

Crystal canes (typically commercial varieties) must contain a high percentage of sucrose since this is the sugar molecule that easily forms into crystals when concentrated during a heating and evaporation process.

Syrup canes contain less sucrose than crystal canes, but have additional kinds of sugar molecules that are not as readily crystallized, so when the juice is concentrated into syrup, there is a lower likelihood of crystallization as compared with a crystal or commercial cane.

“Backyard sugarcane” for hobby production is grown on farms ranging from a fraction of an acre to 1 or 2 acres and usually consists of either chewing varieties or syrup varieties. Most sugarcane for syrup production is grown in Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, and North Florida, a region that is known as the “Sugarcane Syrup Belt”.

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