Seminole Crop E News

Agricultural News for Farmers and Agribusiness in SW Georgia

Archive for February, 2013

Neutral Ocean Temperatures

Posted by romeethredge on February 18, 2013

Neutral ocean temperatures in the Eastern Pacific Ocean leave climate forecasters guessing, according to Pam Knox, University of Georgia Agricultural Climatologist.

This year’s near-average sea surface temperatures in the eastern Pacific Ocean show the persistence of the current neutral phase of ENSO (El Niño Southern Oscillation) over the last few months. While the ocean and overlying atmosphere often oscillate between warmer than usual (El Niño) and cooler than usual (the opposite phase, La Niña), this year ocean temperatures have stayed near their long-term average values.  When neutral conditions like this occur, winter temperatures in Georgia tend to swing wildly between cold and warm conditions.

That is exactly what we have seen this year.  In addition to the swings in temperature, precipitation has also varied substantially across the state.  Earlier this winter, the atmosphere was locked into a pattern which caused flooding in northwest Georgia but left the southern half of the state high and dry.  More recently, the axis of the storms has shifted to central Georgia, dumping excess rain across areas in exceptional drought.  Some areas of far southern Georgia still has not seen the heavy rains that other parts of the state have experienced.   The rain has been a mixed blessing, improving soil moisture conditions and raising the levels of farm ponds, but making it difficult to get into the fields to prepare for the coming growing season.

Neutral conditions are forecast to continue for the next few months.  One of the consequences of neutral conditions is an increased chance for killing frost late in the season as the swings in temperature continue.  Another is the increased chance for tropical storm activity and rain during the June-November period.  By next fall, we could see either an El Niño or a La Niña return, or neutral conditions could continue.  Current forecasts show us most likely to continue in neutral conditions at least into next winter, but if we switch to a different phase, La Niña is twice as likely as El Niño to occur.  If La Niña comes back, we can expect to see a return to drier and warmer than normal conditions next winter.

Climate predictions for the next few months are for an increased chance of above normal temperatures to continue through August, but no predictable pattern in precipitation.  Once we get into the tropical season, then the rainfall will depend critically on exactly where the storms go, something no climatologists can predict at this point.Fullscreen capture 2182013 42923 PM Fullscreen capture 2182013 42947 PM

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Corn Planting Time?

Posted by romeethredge on February 18, 2013

Plant corn as soon as temperature and moisture become favorable for seed germination and seedling growth. Soil temperature in the seed zone should be 55 degrees F or greater before planting. Corn seed will sprout slowly at 55 degrees F while germination is prompt at 60 degrees F. Delay planting if cold weather drops soil temperatures below 55 degrees F at the two-inch level. However, if soil temperatures are 55 degrees F and higher, and projections are for a warming trend, corn planting can proceed.

With our weather station at the Donalsonville airport, we can keep close tabs on the soil temperature. As of this writing, Monday Feb 18 at 10:15 am,(it reads every 15 minutes), the 2 inch soil temperature is 48 degrees. The last three days averaged as follows, Feb 15 – 55.5 degrees, Feb. 16 – 53.8 degrees, Feb 17 – 51.8 degrees. So we’re a little cool still. Go to to access the weather station.

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Extremely early planting introduces a risk to frost or freeze damage and subsequent loss of stands. Usually, as long as the growing point is below ground level, corn can withstand a severe frost or freezing damage without yield reduction. It is best therefore to monitor soil conditions and weather if your desire is to plant as early as possible. Generally it takes corn seed 7 to 12 days to emerge when planted in soils that are 55 degrees F.

Early planted corn out-yields late planted corn. Early March in south Georgia is usually our best time. Early planting helps avoid periods of low rainfall and excessive heat during pollination, both of which lead to internal water stress during critical periods of corn development. Early planting is essential when double cropping soybeans, grain sorghum, millet or vegetables following irrigated corn.

As planting is delayed into the summer, corn yields decline. In general, yields decline at ¾ a bushel per day rising to about 2.5 bushels per day. Studies in Tifton, under irrigation, demonstrate that yields of stress tolerant and disease resistant hybrids are about 50% of normal when planted in late May or early June. Therefore, late planting is very risky with a high degree of failure.

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Opportunity for Disease and Nematode Management in Peanuts Starts Now…

Posted by romeethredge on February 18, 2013

Dr Bob Kemerait, UGA Extension Plant Pathologist, says that despite lower contract prices for peanuts in 2013, we will not get a break in the need for effective programs for management of diseases and nematodes.  Now we have the opportunity in the winter months to make decisions that can improve and enhance disease management during the season and to protect yield at the end of the season.  Below are five points that I think you should consider now for their impact later in the season.

  1. Variety selection.  Although Georgia-06G will be the most popular variety again in 2013, growers should carefully consider other varieties, for example Georgia-07W for improved resistance to white mold and Tifguard for near immunity to the peanut root-knot nematode.  Growers should consult the 2013 version of Peanut Rx to assess the impact of tomato spotted wilt, white mold and leaf spot on any variety that they may desire to plant.

  2. Planting date.  With the reduced impact of tomato spotted wilt and research that clearly documents a reduction in yield potential as peanuts are planted into June, growers are now advised to consider planting a portion of their crop in April.  While such is likely to lead to an overall improvement in yield if done correctly, growers should note that earlier planting increases risk to tomato spotted wilt and white mold.  Growers should consult Peanut Rx 2013 to adopt measures to offset this risk due to planting date with other production practices or with an effective fungicide program for white mold.

  3. Management of nematodes.  With the loss of Temik 15G, our peanut growers now have a more difficult time protecting their crop from nematodes.  In fields where the peanut root-knot nematode is expected to be a significant problem in 2013, I strongly recommend that growers consider planting Tifguard or fumigating with Telone II (4.5-6 gal/A).  Growers planting peanuts in a field with significant populations of the peanut root-knot nematode must consider Telone II or Tifguard else they are likely to lose significant yield.  There will be no replacement for Temik in 2013.

  4. Early use of fungicides to manage white mold and CBR.  As has been discussed throughout the meeting season, in-furrow application of Proline fungicide is an effective tactic to battle CBR.  This disease has not been a problem for most growers in recent years, but it could become so again if we have a cooler and wetter spring.  Use of Proline, 5.7 fl oz/A banded at early emergence– 3 to 5 weeks after planting, offers season long benefits in the management of white mold.  Abound is now labeled for such an application as well.  Growers who do not use Proline or Abound as an early emergence banded application may still benefit from early broadcast applications of a product like tebuconazole (please consider resistance management issues with later fungicide applications) when tank-mixed with their initial leaf spot sprays.

  5. Using Peanut Rx in 2013.  In a year when contract prices for peanuts will likely be low, I strongly encourage growers to study our Peanut Rx revised for 2013 and to consider prescription fungicide programs offered by Syngenta, Bayer Crop Science, BASF, Nichino, Sipcam Agro, and Arysta LifeSciences.  In fields found to be at reduced risk, these companies will stand behind reduced-input programs that maintain top yields and reduce the cost of the fungicide programs.    peanut Rx                                                                                                                                                Peanut Rx can be found in the Peanut Production Guide available at this link.

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

UGA On-Farm Cotton Variety Performance Evaluation Program

Posted by romeethredge on February 18, 2013

Here are some of the results of the 2012 UGA On-Farm Cotton Variety Tests. For the complete results and explanations go to this link.

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UGA Cotton Variety Calculator

Posted by romeethredge on February 15, 2013

The UGA Cotton Variety Performance Calculator is a very useful tool. You have many choices from the drop down menus as to locations and varieties. Remember that multiple years of data is always better than just looking at a year or so. Here are some screen shots of what the site looks like. Here is the link to the site … capture 2152013 51721 PMFullscreen capture 2152013 51645 PM

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Question of the Week – Boll Weevil Monument

Posted by romeethredge on February 15, 2013

I had a few of you that responded with the correct answer to last week’s question.

One of our local CPA’s and former cotton scout, John Buckhalter, had the right answer and he had this to say,”The question of the week is a picture of the boll weevil monument in Enterprise Alabama.  The boll weevil caused so much damage to the cotton crops that the farmers had to learn to diversify, and they realized that they could grow different crops which brought new money to the farming community.  In appreciation for forcing them to diversify, the monument was erected in 1919.”

Down below I have several slides of information concerning the boll weevil from Dr Phillip Roberts, UGA Extension Entomologist.

This week I want to know which 2 small grains are in the photo with the headless person.

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The boll Weevil Iradication program worked well and now we have much fewer insecticide applications in Georgia.

The Boll Weevil Iradication program worked well and now we have much fewer insecticide applications in Georgia.


Posted in Agriculture | 1 Comment »

Rain Welcome

Posted by romeethredge on February 15, 2013


Spring Creek

Southwest Georgia and southeast Alabama got a good soaking this week in many places and it caused some problems but it was a good thing for the most part. See my photos here of the creeks rising. We also saw the groundwater levels take a pretty good jump and they are still going up.

Groundwater rising.

Groundwater rising.

Spring Creek At Whites Bridge Road is overflowing the banks.

Spring Creek At Lane Bridge Road is overflowing the banks.

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Here’s how the creek level changed.

Spring Creek

Spring Creek

Dry Creek is a misnomer this week.

Dry Creek is a misnomer this week.

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May June and July outlook looks ok. Looks like average conditions.

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Feb , Mar and April outlook shows slightly less than normal rains.

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Question of the Week – Syrphid Fly Larvae

Posted by romeethredge on February 8, 2013

Yes, last week I had a photo of a syrphid fly larvae for you to identify and no one knew what it was. It is a beneficial insect we sometimes see that scoots along the leaves eating aphids and other pests so they are welcome in our fields.  This week I have a photo I took today and I want you to tell me what is in this photo?_DSC3042

Posted in Entomology | Tagged: | 2 Comments »

Jr./Sr. Project Achievement

Posted by romeethredge on February 8, 2013

It was a good weekend at Rock Eagle where 19 Seminole County 4Her’s presented their demonstrations concerning their individual projects. We are proud of these young people who worked hard in this endeavor. _DSC2914

Posted in 4H, Agriculture | 1 Comment »

Georgia Cotton Quality Awards – Local Folks win Region

Posted by romeethredge on February 8, 2013


Cotton Quality Awards were given at the Ga Cotton Commission Annual Meeting in Tifton last Wednesday. Front  – Billy Grant was the winner of the low acreage award, Brad Thompson won the medium acreage category and Parker Heard of Heard Family Farms took the prize for the Large acreage category. Back row – Scott Mitchell  of Cloverleaf Gin got the award for Excellence in cotton quality for all three categories.  These were regional awards for our 13 county deep southwest Georgia area. County Agents Rome Ethredge and Mitchell May of Decatur county are also pictured.  George Gray of Cloverleaf Gin was also present.

Over 70% of US cotton is exported to foreign mills that demand high-quality fiber. Georgia is the second largest cotton producing state in the US. The quality of Georgia cotton is important to the US cotton industry and both fiber quality and yield are important economic factors for profitability. The Georgia Quality Cotton Awards program began in 2005. The purpose for the awards is to recognize producers and ginners of high quality fiber. The program is administered by The University of Georgia Cotton Team and co-sponsored by Bayer CropScience and the Georgia Cotton Commission.


       Recognize the farmers and gins producing the highest quality cotton in Georgia.

       Identify management practices associated with production of high-quality fiber.

       Publicize and promote the quality of Georgia cotton.

Awards Criteria
There are 12 producer awards and they are given in each of 3 cotton acreage categories within 4 regions of the state. The gin for each producer will also receive an award. The producer winner will be the nominee with the highest average Loan Value per pound of lint.

This year Cloverleaf Gin won all three categories. The three grower acreage categories and the winners are listed below. Two of them are Seminole County Growers and the large acreage category was won by Heard Family farms, who farms a lot here but their headquarters is in Decatur County.  The average loan value of their ginned cotton is what is used to determine the winners and is listed below as well.

Less Than 500 Acres:  Billy Grant – 56.8704

 500 to 1000 acres:  Thompson Family Farms  ( Brad and Amy Thompson) – 54.7495

 Greater Than 1000 acres:  Heard Family Farms (Glenn Heard and his son Parker representing them) – 55.9710


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