Seminole Crop E News

Agricultural News for Farmers and Agribusiness in SW Georgia

Archive for December, 2014

Love – Hate relationship : Mistletoe

Posted by romeethredge on December 23, 2014

I have a love – hate relationship with Mistletoe. I love it when my wife kisses me under it, but I hate to see it growing in trees because it can hurt them.


We have a good UGA publication concerning it and other things we see growing in trees, The Truth about Slime Molds, Spanish Moss, Lichens and Mistletoe.

 “Mistletoe is an evergreen parasitic plant found on a wide plant host range. Mistletoe obtains water and minerals from the host tree, but it is not totally dependent.

 Leaves of the mistletoe contain chlorophyll and are capable of making their own food from carbon dioxide and water like other plants. Birds feed on the berries produced and excrete them to new hosts. When the seeds germinate, it grows through the bark and into the vascular system of the host where it obtains water and minerals .

 The mistletoe grows slowly at first and it may be years before seeds are produced. Healthy trees are able to tolerate small mistletoe infestations, but individual branches may be compromised and susceptible to wind or cold injuries. Heavy infestations may reduce the overall plant health or kill a tree especially if the tree is already stressed from environmental factors.

 Since mistletoe takes several years to produce seed simply removing it will provide some protection. Mistletoe may also be pruned out one foot below the point of attachment. If the mistletoe is located on a main limb or trunk, removing the top of the mistletoe and wrapping the cut with an opaque plastic to prevent sunlight may be beneficial. In addition to these mechanical controls, the growth regulator ethephon may be used when the host is dormant.”

Posted in Horticulture, Wildlife | Leave a Comment »

Question of the Week – Cotton Stalk Puller/ Chopper

Posted by romeethredge on December 23, 2014

Last week I had a close up photo of an Amadas cotton stalk puller/chopper. The rubber wheels roll and as the machine goes over the stalks, they pull them out of the ground exposing the roots and the whole plant to the chopping blades which cut them in pieces. Cotton grows a woody stalk that can be tough to deal with in subsequent crops.

There are other types of choppers and sometimes folks just mow the stalks and/or disk them.

Will Mims was hard at work chopping stalks last week when I took these photos.


This week’s question is about these insects we saw in some oats this week? What are they specifically and what damage can they do?

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Posted in Cotton | Tagged: | 2 Comments »

4-H December Classic (formerly Fall Forum)

Posted by romeethredge on December 23, 2014

I and several 4-H’ers from Seminole and Decatur Counties recently participated in the statewide High School 4-H event , December Classic aka Fall Forum. It was held at Rock Eagle Camp.

We had a good event and had many interesting workshops to learn in and exhibits to see. Also, Clovers and Company performed for us and it was a very good talent show.


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Posted in 4H | Tagged: | Leave a Comment »

Wheat Weed Control

Posted by romeethredge on December 23, 2014

Now’s the time for all good……. no that’s a different story.  I meant to say now’s the time to treat wheat for weeds; I’m talking about wild radish mostly. If you need to treat for ryegrass it’s getting late. We often wait later but we will get a better job done by spraying earlier when weeds are small, especially on early planted wheat.

We do need two tillers and a Harmony Extra and MCPA mix works very well. We want to make sure we have 2 tillers per plant before using this herbicide mix however. Later planted fields don’t have enough tillers yet to be sprayed.

Now is also when we need to be looking for aphids, and we can put something in to control them if necessary. They do direct feeding damage and can transmit Barley Yellow dwarf disease.

Here’s a new Wheat Weed Control guide.

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

Sod Based Rotation

Posted by romeethredge on December 23, 2014

With the lower commodity prices and higher cattle prices, we have thought again about the sod based rotation idea that has been explored by David Wright in Florida and others.

Here’s an excerpt from the UGA Bahiagrass publication.

“Improvements in nearly all facets of crop production have been reported when row crops are grown after bahiagrass compared to following other row crops . This includes the most important factors to producers—yield and crop quality. Yet, there are other proven improvements that result from such rotations.

In terms of soil environment, which greatly contributes to the sustainability of agricultural systems, factors such as reduced erosion, build-up of soil organic matter, root growth and depth of penetration by the succeeding crop, water infiltration, earthworm population, and soil tilth all change for the better.

From a row crop standpoint, the most important benefit is usually from reduced incidence of numerous pests. Research results have shown a reduction in early and late leaf spot (Cercospora arachidicola and Cercosporidium personatum, respectively) diseases in peanut, decreased southern blight/stem rot/white mold (Sclerotium rolfsii) in peanuts and cotton, and fewer thrips (Flankliniella fusca), leading to less tomato spotted wilt virus (Tospovirus) in peanuts and tobacco.

In addition, it is reported that peanut and soybean root-knot nematode (Meloidogyne spp.), reniform nematode (Rotylenchulus reniformis), and soybean cyst nematode (Heterodera glycines Ichinohe) infestations may decline following bahiagrass since it is a non-host to these pests .

Collectively, these factors can result in savings from reduced inputs such as a less frequent need for irrigation, elimination of one or more fungicide spray events, and potentially reduced applications of expensive specialty herbicides due to bahiagrass outcompeting weeds.

Peanuts that have been sod-seeded
Figure 3. Peanuts that have been sod-seeded into a field that was formerly in bahiagrass.
(Photo Credit: Dr. David Wright, University of Florida)

In addition to the potential for improved yields and reduced inputs for the row crop enterprise, the inclusion of livestock can be a very successful capital venture that diversifies the farm operation and may serve as a profit center. This can buffer and insulate the farm operation from market fluctuations and, perhaps, catastrophic weather events. Even operations that do not wish to incorporate ownership of livestock could still benefit from similar systems (e.g., contract grazing, selling hay/seed of pasture grasses to nearby cattlemen, etc.).

Though an economic analysis should be conducted to determine if a sod-based rotation using bahiagrass is economically feasible in a specific scenario, this may be a profitable rotation system for some farms in the Southeast.

If bahiagrass is to be used in the rotation, it is recommended that it stay in stand for two years, followed immediately by peanuts or soybeans, then by a subsequent cotton crop (Do not plant cotton immediately after bahiagrass, since there are reports of excessive and rank vegetative growth in cotton that followed bahiagrass).”

Here’s a poster recently presented by Kris Balkcom and others showing some research results.

SBR poster Headland Cattle Field Day 2014_SOM2


Posted in Cattle, Forages | Tagged: , | 1 Comment »

Georgia Peanut Farm Show – Tifton , Jan 15th

Posted by romeethredge on December 23, 2014

The annual Peanut Farm show is coming up in Tifton on Jan 15, 2015.

(Gotta get used to writing and saying 2015. It’s going to soon be a new year!!)


It’s always a good place to go and learn about peanut production and see what’s new.

Go to the Georgia Peanut Commission website for more information.

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

Question of the Week- Stone Mountain

Posted by romeethredge on December 19, 2014

Last week I had a photo of us on Stone mountain. It’s an amazing place to visit. We walked up it but it seems taller than it was when I was a child. They don’t have the lazer show this time of year but in the area where you usually sit to watch the show they have put in a Snow Hill. And you can ride tubes down it, single person or the whole family together. It was fun.

Stone Mountain is granite of course and has an interesting history. It’s one of our great natural resources in Georgia.

The train ride is good and when you go around to the back of the mountain the real Christmas story is shared.

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Here’s the view of the snow hill from the sky ride.




This week I want to ask you what is going on here and why?


Posted in Agriculture | 2 Comments »

Walking Small Grains

Posted by romeethredge on December 19, 2014

Small grains growth has been slowed by the cool, dry weather. Wheat fields I’ve been in only have a couple of tillers. I’m seeing a few aphids in the growthier fields, mainly oats for forage.  It’s really dry and the soil is hard, so most forage grains need watering.

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 Jimmy Clements and the folks at Pineland seed had a good idea recently about checking planting effectiveness of your drill.

“Take time to walk your wheat fields while the wheat is still young and you can count the plants per foot of row. If you find a row that is too thin or too thick, flag that row on your drill and correct the seeding rate before you plant next year. A count of 18-20 plants per foot (7-8 inch row) is great, 25-30 is way too thick.”photo (4)

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

Merry Christmas!!!

Posted by romeethredge on December 19, 2014

Merry Christmas!!!

From the Ethredge Family!!





Posted in Agriculture | 3 Comments »

2015 Ag Forecast, Bainbridge, Jan. 16th

Posted by romeethredge on December 18, 2014

The 2015 Ag Forecast Meetings have been planned and our closest one will be in Bainbridge on Jan. 16th.

Go to this site to register. Georgia Ag Forecast.

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Posted in Economics | Tagged: | Leave a Comment »

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