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Agricultural News for Farmers and Agribusiness in SW Georgia

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Archive for April, 2013

Plant Disease Update

Posted by romeethredge on April 16, 2013

 Dr. Bob Kemerait, UGA Extension Plant Pathologist Gives us this plant disease update.

Our weather may not be as cold as it was in Zac Brown’s song, but…. Our continued rains and cooler-than-usual temperatures for this time of year will have likely have a significant impact on seedling diseases and other diseases this year.


1.  COTTON:  Cooler and wetter soils will increase the risk to seedling diseases (Pythium and Rhizoctonia) as a) the fungal pathogens enjoy the moisture and will grow well and b) the cooler soils could make germination and early-season growth less vigorous allowing the pathogens to jump on the seedlings.  If current wet conditions continue, this is the kind of season when growers are most likely to see a benefit (improved stand and vigor) with use of additional fungicide seed treatments.


2. PEANUTS:  Cooler and wetter soils as planting increase the risk for seedling disease caused by Rhizoctonia but actually DECREASE the risk for Aspergillus crown rot which is most common in hot and dry soils.  OUR MOST IMPORTANT concern in peanut production with a cooler and wetter planting season is CYLINDROCLADIUM BLACK ROT (CBR).  We have not seen much of this disease in recent years because of our warm conditions at planting time, but if we stay cooler and wetter, growers should be prepared.  Counties I expect the most CBR in include Miller, Terrell, Randolph, Webster, Tift, Burke, Jefferson and Worth. CBR will occur in other counties as well and can be devastating in specific fields.  Our best tactic to manage CBR is to either fumigate with metam sodium or VAPAM or to make in in-furrow application of Proline at 5.7 fl oz/A.


3.  SOYBEANS:  We know that some kudzu successfully overwintered in lower Alabama and last week we found soybean rust on kudzu that survived in Miller County.  Current wet-weather will likely help to spread the disease to kudzu that is now rapidly emerging.  If these conditions continue, 2013 could be our biggest year yet for soybean rust…. Remember that fungicide application at late bloom-early pod set…\

Posted in Cotton, Peanuts, Plant Pathology, Soybeans | Leave a Comment »

Prospective Plantings of Crops

Posted by romeethredge on April 12, 2013

Here is a Prospective Crop Plantings update by Dr. Nathan Smith, UGA Extension Ag Economist.

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

Question of the Week – Japanese Honeysuckle

Posted by romeethredge on April 12, 2013

I had a photo of Japanese Honeysuckle last week. Here’s some info from our Georgia Invasive species task force web site.

“A native of eastern Asia, it was first introduced into America in 1806 in Long Island, New York.  Japanese honeysuckle has been planted widely throughout the United States as an ornamental, for erosion control, and for wildlife habitat.  It currently occurs in at least 38 states and is found throughout Georgia.

Japanese honeysuckle invades a variety of habitats including forest floors and canopies, roadsides, wetlands, and disturbed areas.  The long growing season, due to its evergreen tendencies, helps this plant out-compete many native species.  It can girdle small saplings by twining around them and can form dense mats in the canopies of trees, shading out everything below.”

More info at this link

I believe it is useful for deer browse however.

This week I have a photo of a bird we saw recently at St. Marks. Can you identify it?


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

Spraying Wheat for Diseases

Posted by romeethredge on April 12, 2013

Spraying wheat was a big thing this week as the heads have come out so we can get disease control on the heads and flag leaves.





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

Cold March

Posted by romeethredge on April 12, 2013

It was a cold March. Here is the info from our Donalsonville Weather station that shows we had an average low of 42.7 degrees F. and the long term normal is 47 degrees. The average daily low last March was 56.3, so 13 degrees different.  March was cooler than January this year… January average temperature was 57.6 about  3 degrees warmer than the March average temperature.

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Temperatures were 4 to 7 degrees below normal across the state during March, and snow was even seen in a few places south of Atlanta. In many parts of the state, March was colder than January, causing some problems for Georgia crops and farmers. All this according to our University of Georgia Agricultural Climatologist with UGA Department of Crop and Soil Science, Pam Knox.

The cold conditions damaged some watermelon seedlings and delayed planting in some fields. Field corn was damaged by frost in some areas, and the cold and wet conditions also delayed the harvesting of Vidalia onions. It also slowed the ripening of blueberries in southern Georgia, and there was some isolated hail damage on March 30-31, but no significant losses were reported.

It was the 10th coldest March in 66 years in Columbus, the seventh coldest in Macon in 121 years and the fifth coldest in Savannah in 143 years of record.

Athens set a record low temperature of 27 degrees Fahrenheit on March 28, breaking the old record of 28 degrees set in 1913. Macon tied their record low of 30 degrees on March 28, and Savannah tied their record low of 34 degrees on March 26.

In addition to the broken records, many cities saw average temperatures that were 4 to 5 degrees cooler than usual.

In Atlanta, the monthly average temperature was 49.1 degrees F (5.2 degrees below normal). In Athens the average was 48.9 degrees (5.4 degrees below normal). In Columbus the average was 53.7 degrees (4.1 degrees below normal). In Macon it was 50.7 degrees (6.1 degrees below normal). In Savannah it was 53.8 degrees (5.4 degrees below normal).

For the most part, the state saw less rainfall than it did in February. However, with the wet conditions in February and the normal rainfall in March, severe drought was eliminated from the state. Only 16 percent of the state was experiencing any level of drought by March 31.

In Atlanta, the chilly weather turned some of the city’s rainfall into snow. A trace of snow was reported on both March 3 and March 26, breaking the old records of no snow on those dates.

Snow flurries were reported as far south as southern Fayette County in March. Dillard, in Rabun County, received 2 inches of snow on March 2. Several stations in Fannin County reported 1 inch on the same date.

Also the Florida Climate Center reported on a cool March. “Average temperatures well below normal across the Florida in March. Average temperatures were well below normal for March across the entire state. Departures from normal ranged from -4.0˚F to -6.0˚F across Florida, and there are reports of some locations that were -8.0˚F below normal. Overall, the average temperatures for March 2013 were colder than meteorological winter (Dec 1st- Feb 28th) and were significantly different than March 2012, when some locations were more than 6.0˚F above the normal. March 2013 was the 2nd coldest at both Jacksonville and Gainesville, the 5th coldest at Tallahassee and Tampa, the 6th coldest at Fort Myers, the 7th coldest at Pensacola, Orlando and St. Petersburg and the 8th coldest in Key West.”

Posted in Agriculture | Tagged: | Leave a Comment »

Poultry Judging

Posted by romeethredge on April 12, 2013

Poultry Judgers went to Tifton this week to compete in Poultry and egg competitions. These 4-H’ers represented Seminole County well at the contest by placing 3rd with Seniors (High School) in the regional contest that usually ends up sending the state winner to nationals. Our Junior (Middle school) team did well, too with a 5th place finish.  They judged live birds(layers)and told judges why they placed them the way they did (reasons) in the order of which layers have laid the most eggs. They judged the interior quality of eggs by candling them. Exterior egg quality, Broken-out egg quality and ready to cook broiler quality. They had a written test and a Parts identification section as well.

We also heard from the UGA Poultry Science Department about careers in poultry science. We grow lots of chickens in Georgia and we grow lots of corn and soybeans to feed them.


Posted in 4H, Corn, Livestock | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

Time to Plant Peanuts?

Posted by romeethredge on April 9, 2013

Soil temps are warming but we are still too cool and too early to plant peanuts this year in Georgia.  The corn is just now looking right.

Here’s some new info from Dr. John Beasley, UGA Extension Crop Scientist, concerning planting this year.

It is April 9 and, although I strongly encouraged early planting of peanut in the county production meetings, I warned of the issues with planting too early because of four-inch soil temperature being below 65 degrees. The following is a statement from Pam Knox, UGA Agricultural Climatologist.

“Temperatures this winter have swung wildly from cold to warm and back again. This is typical of a neutral pattern with no El Niño or La Niña present in the Pacific Ocean. In a neutral year, the chance for additional cold periods and a late frost are greater than usual and so planting should be undertaken with caution.”

We are in the midst of this type pattern. As a result we are seeing warm days and cool to cold nights.

Watch soil temperature very carefully! We have not seen any stability in the four-inch soil temperatures across the peanut belt. It is too risky to plant at this time!!

Here are the four-inch soil temperature readings for the past 4 days at five selected sites.


April 5

April 6

April 7

April 8


























Even though the four-inch soil temp has almost reached or exceeded 65 degrees as of yesterday (Monday, April 8), the forecast low temperatures over the next several days will keep soil temperatures below 65 degrees. Here are the forecast low temps at Tifton for the next six mornings: 60, 64, 60, 49, 51, 57. A cold front is scheduled to pass through on Thursday bringing rain and cooler temperatures. Soil temperatures going down instead of up will lower yield potential (data from our trials the past three years). Data from one of our current research trials (Grey, Beasley, and Harris) indicate we see a significant bump in seed germination when we go from 65 to 70 degrees so it is to the growers advantage to wait until the soil temp is closer to 70 than 65.

If anyone wants to go ahead and plant “just because it is almost April 15”,  wait!  We will be at a great risk for a very skippy and erratic plant stand we plant before April 15 with the current soil temperatures and forecast lows the next several days!!

We should wait and monitor the forecast going into the middle of next week before making any planting decisions. This year is shaping up a lot like 1993 when the four-inch soil temperature was not warm enough to plant until late April.

Don’t forget you can monitor the soil temperature on the Georgia Weather Network web site. There is a “peanut” link on the left-hand side of the home page. Click on it and a drop down link will give you the “soil temperature” link to all reporting sites in the Georgia Peanut Belt.

Posted in Agriculture | Leave a Comment »

Question of the Week – Potatoes

Posted by romeethredge on April 4, 2013

Last week I had a photo of irish potatoes being sprayed by an airplane. These are being grown for use in making potato chips so they are a special low sugar type of potato, according to my friend Mike Johnson who is in the business. If you fry a thinly cut regular baking potato, it will be dark in color but these lower sugar varieties will have a lighter, more attractive color and a good flavor for chips. You can’t eat just one.

Here’s this week’s question. What is this plant I found blooming this week in a fencerow, and where did it originate and what is it good for?




Posted in Agriculture | 1 Comment »

Rust on Non-Resistant Wheat

Posted by romeethredge on April 4, 2013

I think I may sometimes downplay the importance of varietial or genetic pest resistance in a plant variety. That was brought to light to me this week. Crop consultant Mark Mitchell contacted me about seeing some stripe rust nearby and I was surprised because I had not seen any yet. We checked on the varieties with Dr. Alfredo Martinez, UGA Extension Plant Pathologist, and they were susceptible to this disease and I realized that every field I had been in recently were where we had pretty good resistance to stripe rust. Then a day or so later I was asked to look at a field that had an older non resistant variety in it and sure enough there was a good bit of stripe rust and leaf rust in it.

 Stripe rust is a serious wheat disease and it mostly occurs in patches in the field but they may be very numerous and it needs to be taken seriously. It is usually a lighter yellow-orange than is the leaf rust we commonly have every year on most varieties at some level.

See the photo below of rust I saw this week. You can see stripe rust on the right and leaf rust on the left. Dr. Martinez has a good publication concerning stripe rust at this link.

I also saw some serious powdery mildew this week as well, I suppose the cooler temperatures are making it a worse problem than usual.


Leaf rust on the left and stripe rust on the right.

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

Hail on Corn

Posted by romeethredge on April 4, 2013

Corn was affected by the hailstorm on Easter Sunday in the southern part of Seminole County. This corn had not been up long, so the growing point was below the ground level. We are usually ok for 2.5 weeks or so. This corn should be fine in a few days despite the hail damage although it sure wasn’t good for it. These photo’s were taken almost 2 days after the storm and you can see the new growth pushing up in the center._DSC4016_DSC4017

Posted in Corn | Tagged: | Leave a Comment »

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