Seminole Crop E News

Agricultural News for Farmers and Agribusiness in SW Georgia

Archive for December, 2012

Question of the Week – Arrow

Posted by romeethredge on December 28, 2012

Last week I had a photo of a gator with something in its back and it was part of an arrow. The guide said he had been there several years and it didn’t seem to affect him at all.  We saw plenty of gators and other types of wildlife at Wakulla Springs. The wildlife boat ride is excellent.

_DSC2506_DSC2480This week I want you to tell me what this is? They were not seen here until 2007.


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Cotton About In

Posted by romeethredge on December 28, 2012

_DSC2175This has been a very familiar sight in the past months but is finally about to recess until next fall. It has been a good cotton year and we are thankful. There’s still a good bit to be ginned.  Now it’s time for planning for next year.

Cotton Producers should plan to attend the Commission’s 6th Annual Meeting on January 30, 2013, at the UGA Tifton Campus Conference Center.

The program starts at 10:00 a.m. and adjourns at 12:15 p.m. for lunch where there will be producer drawings.  Our program speakers are Mike Tate, president of Southern Cotton  Growers, Inc; Kater Hake, VP of Agricultural and Environmental Research with Cotton Incorporated; Kevin Latner, Executive Director of Cotton Council International and Mark Lange, President and CEO of the National Cotton Council.

The UGA Cotton Production Workshop that is co-sponsored by The University of Georgia and Georgia Cotton Commission is held on the same day as the Commission’s annual meeting.  The workshop sessions are conducted by the Cotton Team Scientists who will share with producers the latest production strategies learned from research funded by the Commission using growers’ dollars.  The workshop sessions cover a wide range of topics, as reflected on the workshop schedule.  There will be early morning concurrent workshop break-out sessions and they will be repeated following the the Commission’s luncheon and the Georgia Quality Cotton Awards presentations.

There is no charge to attend this educational event and the Commission hopes all cotton growers will attend.

Pre-registration is FREE and strongly encouraged to help with meal plans. Register online or call: 229.386.3416.

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Farm Bill

Posted by romeethredge on December 28, 2012

Here is some farm bill info from Dr Don Shurley, UGA  Extension Ag Economist. Update/Status and provisions of the New Farm Bill.

To go to the full presentation click on this link.

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Posted in Agriculture, Corn, Cotton, Crops, Economics | Tagged: | Leave a Comment »

Ag Forecast

Posted by romeethredge on December 28, 2012

Georgia Ag Forecast 2013 Farm to Port: Maximizing the global impact of Georgia agriculture.
It’s time to register for the 2013 annual Ag Forecast seminar closest to you.

This year, in recognition of the growing importance of the global marketplace to Georgia farmers, Georgia Department of Economic Development Director of International Trade Kathe Falls will deliver the keynote talks at the 2013 Ag Forecast series. The Farm to Port Ag Forecast will be held in locations across the state Jan. 25 to Feb. 1.

The meeting schedule and local speakers are:
Jan. 25: Athens at the Georgia Center for Continuing Education (UGA Campus) with Jim Sumner (USA Poultry & Egg Export Council)
Jan. 28: Rome at the Rome-Floyd County ECO River Education Center with Maggie O’Quinn (Certified Angus Beef)
Jan. 29: Macon at the Georgia Farm Bureau Building with Al Pearson (Pearson Farms)
Jan. 30: Tifton at the UGA Tifton Campus Conference Center with Jimmy Webb (Harvey Jordan Farms Partnership)
Jan. 31: Bainbridge at the Cloud (Decatur County) Livestock Facility with Richard Barnhill (Mazur and Hockman, Inc. Peanut Brokers)
Feb. 1: Lyons at the Toombs County Agri-Center with Jon Schwalls (Southern Valley Fruit & Vegetable)
In each session, UGA faculty will give an overview of the upcoming season, and a regional speaker will discuss taking advantage of the growing international markets for Georgia’s exports.

Registration now open
For more information about the local speakers and to register for this year’s Ag Forecast, visit

The 2013 Georgia Ag Forecast is made possible through an endowment from Georgia Farm Bureau with support from the Georgia Department of Agriculture.

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Tifton Bull Evaluation Program

Posted by romeethredge on December 28, 2012

The 56-day weights for the 170 bulls on test in the 2012-13 Tifton Bull Evaluation Program were taken. Performance has continued to be excellent, and health has been good. The bulls gained 4.14 pounds per day this period. The weight gains for the period ranged from 60 to 185 pounds; the 28-day ADG ranged from 2.14 to 6.61 pounds; and the actual weights ranged from 776 to 1,555 pounds.

Reports are available at the following website, you should be able to print a copy:

Scroll down to Tifton Bull Evaluation Center. Click on Letter for 56-day Report (pdf). Click on Report: 56-day (pdf).

Notes: March 5, 2013 – Tifton Beef Cattle Short Course
March 6, 2013 – Tifton Bull Evaluation Sale
April 23, 2013 – Tifton HERD Sale
May 28, 2013 – Calhoun Beef Cattle Reproductive Management Workshop
May 29, 2013 – Calhoun HERD Sale

Thanks for your continued support of the program. As always, if you should have questions or comments, please email or give us a call.

Patsie T. Cannon
Program Coordinator III
Extension Animal Science
The University of Georgia
2360 Rainwater Road
Bldg. 4607, Rm. 143
Tifton, GA 31793-5766

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Winter Grain Mite

Posted by romeethredge on December 21, 2012

Dr. Dennis Hancock, UGA Extension Forages Scientist, reports seeing some damage to our winter annual forages by the Winter Grain Mite. I have not seen this in Seminole County but we need to be on the lookout for it especially if we see suspect areas in fields.

I want to bring to your attention the symptoms and scouting information about this insect.

If you suspect WGM damage, use a shovel to collect surface residue and litter/thatch and place it in a white bucket or white trash bag. Place the bucket/bag in a dark and perhaps slightly cool (~50-60 F, if possible) area. In the dark, the mites will come out and be noticeable against the white background of the bucket/bag.

Grain mite

The adult winter grain mites are small (1 mm) bugs that are dark brown to almost black with redlegs. Small grains, including wheat, barley, and oats, are susceptible along with grasses, especially bluegrass, bentgrass, ryegrass, and fescue. The mite also infests and damages legumes, vegetables, ornamental flowers and various weeds.

Winter grain mites are active during cooler periods of the year (mid-fall to late spring) with peak populations in winter months. Infestations usually occur in January or February and appear to be more common in fields that have lots of thatch at the soil surface or have historically received poultry litter,other animal manures, or biosolids.

Heavily infested fields appear grayish or silvery, a result of the removal of plant chlorophyll by mite feeding. When high infestations occur and feed on the leaves of plants for several days, the tips of the leaves exhibit a scorched appearance and then turn brown, and the entire plant may die. The mites do not cause the yellowing of leaves characteristic of spider mite infestations. Many infected plants do not die, but are stunted and produce little forage or grain. Damage on young plants is more severe than on older more established plants. Damage also may be greater in plants stressed by nutrient deficiencies or drought conditions. The result of this damage is reduced forage yield and reduced grain yield.

Foliar applications of pyrethroids such as Warrior on small grains or Mustang Max on forage grasses are the best chemical controls available for winter grain mites. Be sure and follow the rate and usage restrictions on all chemical labels. Winter grain mites are another reason for good cropping practices, like crop rotations. For more information on this and other current local issues, the GeorgiaForages website ( or contact your local County Cooperative Extension officeat 1-800-ASK-UGA1.

More details about this insect are available here:



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

Reflowering Poinsettias?

Posted by romeethredge on December 21, 2012

More than 70,000 poinsettias (Euphorbia pulcherrima) are sold each year making this the most popular flowering plant in the United States.

The poinsettia is a native of Mexico.  It was named for Joel Roberts Poinsett, U.S. ambassador to Mexico, who introduced it to the states in 1828.

With care, you can brighten your home with the colorful bracts (the true flowers are tiny and yellow) through the holiday season.

 Needs bright, indirect light. Cool conditions with medium to high humidity. Keep away from doors and drafts where they may get gusts of cold air. Keep away from windows that can cause temperature changes and chills. Keep away from heating vents and fireplaces. Check daily and water whenever the soil is dry. Do not let the plant wilt, but do not water if the soil is wet. Water with room-temperature water. Water thoroughly until the water drains out, and then empty the catch tray. Do not allow the pot to sit in standing water. For foil-wrapped pots, make a hole in the bottom of the foil to allow water to drain into a catch tray.

Reflowering for Next Year:

It is probably easier to discard your poinsettias when the bloom fades than to attempt to keep your plant for next year. However, many folks will want the challenge so here are some helpful hints.

 Follow the directions above until all danger of frost is past in late March.  Cut the stems to within 4 to 6 inches of the soil. Move the plant to a container that is 2 to 4 inches larger than the original pot. Move your plant outdoors to a bright, partially-shaded area or area that gets morning sun and afternoon shade. The location should be protected from drying winds and high reflected light. Sink the pot to the rim. Water often but reasonably. Avoid extremes of wet or dry.  Fertilize with a complete houseplant fertilizer (20-20-20) according to directions. Shape as desired by pruning and/or pinching. Pinching encourages more blooms. Do not shape after Sept. 1. Turn the pot regularly to prevent rooting and ensure even growth. A quarter turn each week is desirable, but the plant will do fine with less.  When night temperatures begin to fall below 60 degrees, bring your plant inside. Continue to water and fertilize.

 Beginning October 1, give the poinsettia 14 hours of complete continuous darkness daily. This can be done by placing the plant in a closet or covering it with a cardboard box. Any light will delay or prevent flowering. Give your plant bright light for the remaining 10 hours. When your poinsettia is in full bloom, you can discontinue the forced darkness and proceed with the maintenance instructions above.

Here’s a beautiful “tree” made of poinsettias. My parents, Jerome and Joann Ethredge are in front of it at Callaway Gardens. When they lived in the tropics, in Togo, West Africa, they had large poinsettia plants growing outside that were very nice.



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Christmas Tree… Not Holiday Tree

Posted by romeethredge on December 21, 2012

Many families select and decorate their Christmas tree on the weekend after Thanksgiving, some wait until Christmas Eve. Live Christmas trees have been brought into homes and decorated during the holiday season for more than 500 years. The attractiveness, fragrance and tradition of a live tree cannot be matched with artificial substitutes. Christmas trees have been outlawed in certain countries over time because of what they represent. The evergreens used represent eternal life that the birth of Jesus brought, the triangle shape represents the Trinity, the tree points upward, pointing to God, and the lights on the tree represent Heaven._DSC2200

There are several key factors to keep in mind when selecting a live tree. Measure the height of the ceiling in the room where the tree will be displayed and select a tree at least one foot shorter than the ceiling height. Shake the tree to be sure the needles are firmly attached. Inspect the tree for insects by bouncing the tree on pavement to dislodge any insects. If you find insects, spray the tree with an indoor aerosol containing pyrethrins before bringing the tree indoors.

Make sure the handle or trunk of the tree is straight and at least 6 to 8 inches long to allow proper placement in the tree stand. When you bring the tree indoors, cut one inch off the base of trunk if it hasn’t been recently cut, and place it in a stand that holds at least one gallon of water.

Do not place live trees near a fireplace, heater vent or other heat sources. Keep water in the tree stand and never let the water level fall below the base of the tree. Without water, the base of the tree will seal over and prevent the tree from taking up additional water. The tree would then have to be taken down and a fresh cut made to allow for water uptake. A dehydrated live tree will begin to dry out and become a fire hazard.

The best way to keep a tree fresh and fire resistant is to always keep it supplied with water. Never leave home or go to sleep with the Christmas tree lights on and use only UL-approved lights and nonflammable decorations.

When the holiday season comes to an end, recycle your tree. Recycling options include taking the tree to a location that grinds trees into mulch or creating a fish attractor by weighting the base of the tree and sinking it in a pond or lake.

Some of this information came from an article by Bill Tyson, County Agent in Effingham County.

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Dolomitic Lime has Magnesium

Posted by romeethredge on December 21, 2012

We’ve had some discussions lately about liming and liming materials. Sometimes Hi Cal (Calcitic ) Lime has been used at times as a calcium source for peanuts before planting and it works pretty well and it also raises pH. We don’t want pH too high however, we start getting over 6.7 and we begin seeing some induced problems with things like Manganese (Mn) deficiency.

Dr. Glen Harris, UGA Extension Soil Fertility Scientist, has the following to say about liming and changing soil pH.

Dolomitic lime (that has 6 % or more Mg) is still the most common liming material used in

Georgia and provides magnesium (Mg) as well as calcium (Ca) and a pH adjustment.

Calcitic lime (less than 6% Mg) is becoming more popular and may be used in cases where high

soil Mg levels occur, it has been used as a calcium source in peanuts preplant.

If calcitic Lime is used for consecutive years, soil test Mg levels should be tracked closely with soil testing.

As soon as soil test Mg levels start to drop out of the high range into the medium range, the use of dolomitic lime should be resumed. The reason for this is that dolomitic lime is the most economical source of Mg (7)

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Question of the Week – Grinch Brain, jk

Posted by romeethredge on December 20, 2012

Last week’s question was about a photo of a green circular object about the size of a softball.

It’s a Grinch brain. Well, it’s green like the Grinch. No, it’s really an Osage Orange fruit.  I had correct responses from Bob Dutton and Hal Earnest and Jennifer Whittaker. Here’s what Jennifer said, ” The“mystery” lime green ball is an Osage-orange. The shrubs are often planted as windbreaks to prevent erosion. Fruit isn’t edible for people but some animals like them. They’re great for decorating!! Pier One Imports & Kirkland’s charge mega bucks for decorator balls like these that Mother Nature provides for free!”

I still think it looks like a Grinch brain.


















For this week’s question I have a photo I took at Wakulla Springs this week. It was an alligator that had something unusual about it. The Ranger said it had been that way for several years. What is it and what caused it?_DSC2514

Posted in Wildlife | Tagged: | Leave a Comment »

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