Seminole Crop E News

Agricultural News for Farmers and Agribusiness in SW Georgia

Archive for May, 2013

It’s Dry

Posted by romeethredge on May 30, 2013

It’s dry and we need some rain. It has been nice to have clear weather for small grain harvest and the sunshine is good for grain production and plant growth, but we need some rain. I found this turtle looking for moisture in this field because it’s irrigated. Also, below see where the cattle are breaking into a corn field to get some good fodder._DSC6554_DSC6553


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Corn Tasseling and Silking

Posted by romeethredge on May 30, 2013

Corn is tasseling and silking in deep southwest Georgia. Pollen is beginning to shed.  It has that corn smell to it that one farmer said calls in the stink bugs? It looks good and is really moving now that we have warm, bright sunshine and plenty of irrigation water. This is a critical time for water. Some more stinkbugs are showing up, especially near small grains, but in some other areas now. Northern corn leaf blight is showing up in some fields that aren’t corn after corn now. I have NOT seen any Southern Rust but I’m seeing a good amount of common rust.



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Question of the Week – Rye

Posted by romeethredge on May 30, 2013

Rye, sometimes called Cereal Rye, is the answer to last question I had. They will be harvesting some next week for cover crop seed for this fall. It makes a good cover crop and also excellent cattle forage.

Here is the question of the week. Why is pigweed coming up in this peanut field that had a good residual sprayed on this field right after planting?




Posted in Forages | Tagged: | 2 Comments »

Seeing more and more Kudzu Bugs

Posted by romeethredge on May 30, 2013

Kudzu Bugs Are Here


Kudzu was introduced to the U.S. on America’s Centennial birthday.  During the Great Depression, the Soil Conservation Service promoted Kudzu as a form of erosion control and we are now fighting seven million acres of Kudzu in the Deep South.  If the Kudzu plant is not bad enough, what about the Kudzu bug?

The Kudzu Bug, Megacopta cribraria, is an exotic pest that was first detected in the US during the fall of 2009 in nine northeast Georgia counties.  Last year, the Kudzu bug was discovered in many southwest Georgia counties, including Seminole.  It is classified in the same family of insects as the stink bug, with piercing/sucking mouthparts used to suck juices from plants.  According to UGA Entomologist Dr. Phillip Roberts, “Kudzu bugs maybe observed on many plant hosts, but the primary reproductive hosts are kudzu, wisteria, and soybeans.”  Notably, our first concern is the impact on commercial crops, such as soybeans.  However, kudzu bugs may prove to be a nuisance pest also. My question was, “Will they help us control Kudzu?” And they will help curb its growth. One test showed a 33% decrease in Kudzu vine growth with these critters feeding on it. So, you could say that it’s a beneficial insect in some cases?


Kudzu bug adults are oval shaped, small, about ¼ inch diameter, and greenish brown in color. Depending on temperature, it takes 6-8 weeks for a kudzu bug to go from an egg to an adult.  Current research has found that there are two generations of kudzu bugs. Much of the kudzu bug populations develop on kudzu for their first generation and move to soybeans or bean related crops to complete its second generation.  I saw one soybean field with Kudzu bug problems last year , they don’t affect soybeans as badly as stinkbugs do, thank goodness. They can be checked for in soybeans with a sweepnet. The threshold is one immature or nymph per sweep. In other words we let the population get to the point of reproducing a new generation before control is really necessary.

Kudzu bugUGA Photo by Russ Ottens

I’ve had a few calls recently about Kudzu bugs accumulating on fences or in trees, we had some in a citrus tree near Iron City recently. They really don’t cause injury to anything but plants in the legume family.

During the fall and winter, large numbers of kudzu bugs move to sheltered areas to overwinter, such as leaf litter and tree crevices.

So, what about cracks and crevices around the home?  We have had calls concerning kudzu bugs settling around window trim, doorframes, gutters, etc.  Interestingly, research has also found they prefer these light colors around the homes.  They are doing nothing but looking for an overwintering site.

With these kudzu bug invasions, what control options do we have around the house?  There are two control options:  non-chemical and chemical.


The best start is to remove their habitat.  This requires cutting back kudzu patches or wisteria before the fall.  However, kudzu patches extremely thick may not be feasibly controlled itself.  Even if habitat removal is successful, the kudzu bugs are good fliers and may move to your house.

The next option is to seal cracks and crevices on structures and screen openings around window, doors, and vents.  If the kudzu bugs get inside, it is suggested to use shop vacuums rather than conventional vacuums.  A shop vacuum with soapy water (2 tablespoons of dish soap per gallon of water) in the canister will kill the bugs.  The kudzu bug odor may linger in conventional vacuums.  Discard the soapy water and bags if you use a regular vacuum.


Most insecticides available to homeowners are effective in killing kudzu bugs.  Make sure the product is labeled for the vegetation you spray and also labeled for structural use if spraying around your home.  Directly spray bugs or treat the surfaces around the house kudzu bugs are likely to land.  It is recommended to limit your spray to small-targeted areas.

Remember, kudzu bugs are good fliers.  Flying insects are difficult to manage with chemical control.  Follow the label direction on all chemical use.  If control measures remain complicated and kudzu bug numbers are high, consider using a pest management professional.  With the kudzu bug, there is no quick-fix, single spray option that will solve the problem.  Ultimately, the elimination of the kudzu bug will require habitat or source reduction.

Information from this article was taken from an article by Andrew Sawyer, Thomas County Agent and  “Kudzu Bug Management” and “Kudzu Bugs Around the Home.”

Posted in Agriculture, Entomology | Tagged: | 1 Comment »

Expo Field Day – July 11, 2013

Posted by romeethredge on May 30, 2013

The Sunbelt Expo Field Day is scheduled for Thursday, July 11, 2013, beginning at 7:15 am. This is a good chance to learn about research going on at the Moultrie site.  Attendees will not only have a chance to learn from the region’s top agricultural consultants and specialists to many of the pertinent areas of agriculture, but they will be able to participate in hands-on demonstrations.

Please pay attention to the schedule closely as we have reformatted the tour to get farmers back to their farms in a timely manner. Registration begins at 7:15 a.m., followed by a complimentary biscuit breakfast, exhibit viewing and welcome from Georgia Department of Agriculture and Georgia Farm Bureau.  You’ll have a chance to win some great door prizes as well as receive a free Expo cap. The trams will depart for the field tour at 8:00am sharp.  Field Day is free and open to those involved in agriculture and agribusiness.

Visitors can see new demonstrations, examine research trial results and speak with company representatives and university researchers to get up-to-date recommendations on topics like new seed varieties, irrigation, crop protection, precision agriculture, soil fertility and organic farming. It’s an opportunity to preview what you will see at the 36th annual show October 15-17, 2013.

Research presented at our Field Day is almost totally driven by those we serve.  Our University researchers and company representatives gather information about problems farmers are facing and work to solve those.  Research is done in collaboration with farmers, industry, government and other universities in order to determine the best approach – economically, environmentally and socially – for the challenges that confront Southeast farmers.  Anyone attending this field day – owner, operator or land steward — will take away useful information on a variety of topics and subject matter they can apply to their agriculture or agribusiness operation.

This is also a great opportunity to get a sneak preview of what you will see at the 36th annual edition of North America’s Premier Farm Show®, the Sunbelt Agricultural Exposition, on October 15-17, 2013.  We look forward to seeing you at Field Day.

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Peanut Seedling Disease

Posted by romeethredge on May 30, 2013

I am seeing some aspergillus  niger  seedling disease in peanuts. It’s usually not a big enough problem to worry too much about. It’s worse when it’s hot and dry. You can see the black sooty growth on the peanut stem when you dig it up._DSC6503

Here’s info from Dr. Bob Kemerait, UGA Extension Plant Pathologist,

“The weather has turned hot and dry over the past couple of weeks and for the young peanut crop, this usually means “Aspergillus crown rot”.  Why?  The hot soils scald the tender peanut shoot and makes it easily infected by the fungal pathogen Aspergillus niger.  Symptoms include the rapid death of RANDOM young plants in the field and the presence profuse, black, sooty fungal sporulation on the infected tissue  This problem is less severe when growers use a good fungicide seed treatment, more severe when growers save their seed or where lesser-corn-stalk borers are also a problem.  Irrigating a field and rainfall helps to reduce the severity of this problem.”


Here’s an excerpt from the 2013 UGA Peanut Update

Managing Seedling Diseases:

Seedling diseases were typically not a concern for peanut growers in Georgia prior to the arrival of the tomato spotted wilt virus. Even if  some plants were lost in a stand, the neighboring peanut plants were often able to compensate for the loss by growing into the vacated space. However, it is clear that spotted wilt can be devastating when fields have poor stands. For this reason, getting a good stand has become critical for growers. Below are some management techniques to reduce seedling diseases (primarily caused by Rhizoctonia solani and Aspergillus niger).


1. Rotate peanuts with grass crops to reduce the populations of Rhizoctonia solani.

2. Plant the peanut crop when soil temperatures are warm enough to produce rapid, vigorous germination and growth. This can help protect the plants from disease. Excessive moisture at planting will also increase the risk of seedling diseases.

3. Use quality seed that has a good germination rating and will grow vigorously.

4. Choose varieties that are known to germinate and emerge uniformly and with vigor.

5. Use only seed treated with a commercial fungicide seed treatment. The seed treatments that are put on commercial seed prior to purchase are outstanding and provide protection for the seed and seedling. Seed treatments include:

a. Vitavax PC

b. Dynasty PD (azoxystrobin + mefenoxam + fludioxonil)

6. Use an in-furrow fungicide where the risk of seedling disease is great or where the grower wants increased insurance of a good stand.

a. Abound at 6.0 fl oz/A in the furrow at planting can provide increased control of seedling diseases, including Aspergillus crown rot.

b. Terraclor (64 fl oz/A) also provides additional control of seedling diseases when applied in-furrow.

c. Growers who are most likely to yield benefits from these in-furrow fungicides are those that have poor crop rotation and a history of seedling disease in the field.


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

Thrips on Cotton

Posted by romeethredge on May 29, 2013

Did you know that even one thrips is still a thrips not a thrip? It keeps an S on it even in the singular. Did you also know that thrips like the weather conditions we’ve been having? They are as bad as I’ve seen them. Cotton is really getting hammered by them now. It’s not a problem to find numerous thrips on any plant in lots of our fields. The cooler weather we had earlier contributed to slow plant growth and good thrips development.

They cause damage to the growing point of the cotton plant and need to be controlled if an average of 2 or more are found per plant and you are seeing immatures. Sometimes if only the dark adults with wings are found then you could be just having a tremendous influx, flying in. Our at-plant or seed treatments work through the plant so the thrips must feed on the plant to be controlled.  If they are reproducing in the field we know we have a problem. The young thrips are lighter colored and don’t have wings. You have to look very closely  as they are very small and feed in the folded up very new plant growth. I usually slap the plant onto my hand or a folded sheet of paper or an ice tray. Thrips can kill cotton if left unattended. Irrigation will sometimes help the situation. If we can get cotton to the 4th true leaf stage we rarely have to treat it.

Page 28 of the UGA Cotton production Guide has lots of good thrips info from Dr. Phillip Roberts, UGA Extension Entomologist.



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Thrips in Corn

Posted by romeethredge on May 24, 2013

Why do I even bring it up? Thrips don’t usually cause any real damage to corn.

Well, I have been asked about the funny streaks on corn leaves and sometimes it looks kind of bad. The weather now is perfect for thrips, dry and somewhat cool, or at least it was cool a few days ago.  Also, I don’t want folks to mistake it for a disease. Here’s a link to more thrips info.

They feed along the leaf as it is unfurling from the whorl and cause the light colored streaks that sometimes become necrotic. Here are some photos I took this week.


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Start Clean – Kill the Pigweed

Posted by romeethredge on May 24, 2013

We still have a good many acres of cotton to get into the ground and I don’t think I can overemphasize the importance of starting clean of pigweed.

I had a grower the other day say, “I think I can just plant this field (It had been disked a week or so earlier), there’s no pigweed up.”  Well we looked a little closer and see below what we found. Those are the ones we may be paying someone to hand pull later.  So he ended up making a paraquat spray before planting to kill them.

They go from this size to too big to control in a few days.

Check fields carefully before declaring them weed free.


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Peanuts Looking Good

Posted by romeethredge on May 24, 2013

Peanuts are coming up and are looking good. These last ones planted are coming up quicker. For a while we had slow emergence and a few fields that we didn’t get a stand in that had to be replanted maybe due to poor cold vigor and the erratic soil temperatures. We had 6 degree soil temperature drops in just a few days in early May.  Folks are watering peanuts to activate herbicides and thrips materials, and to ensure good stands.



Payson Trawick took a break from planting cotton to check on the irrigation in the peanut field of theirs.

Payson Trawick took a break from planting cotton to check on the irrigation in this peanut field of theirs.

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