Seminole Crop E News

Agricultural News for Farmers and Agribusiness in SW Georgia

Archive for September, 2015

Downy Mildew

Posted by romeethredge on September 29, 2015

We are seeing some Downy mildew in several crops. I’ve seen it in vegetables and now in soybeans. It’s not usually a real problem in soybeans but it can be bad in vegetables.


Here’s how the underside of the leaves look, with some fungal growth.


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Pecan Harvest Begins

Posted by romeethredge on September 29, 2015

With pecan harvest already started on Pawnee, pecan growers will soon be in the heat of the battle to get the crop harvested and sold. Dr Lenny Wells, UGA Extension Horticulturist, gives this report.  DSC_9425

” I wanted to offer this overview of how the crop looks to this point and our current market situation. This does appear to be the best crop we’ve had in 2 to 3 years, with an anticipated 110-120 million lbs. The wet spring weather gave way to a dry June, which really helped save most growers from scab. There are still some pockets of scab in the state, mostly in the Albany area and over into Southeast Georgia on highly scab susceptible varieties, but growers did a pretty good job of keeping the nuts clean this year. Insect problems were light until August and September but aphids and mites came on with a vengeance at that time. Most growers sprayed multiple times for both pests late in the season.

The crop appears to be at least 10 days to 2 weeks early. We are seeing shuck split beginning on most of the mid-season varieties at this time. We are probably about 2-3 weeks away from harvest really getting under way on our main varieties, at least in the western portion of the state. Growers east of I-75 have historically started a little later. Nut size is much better than we saw last year and most of the nuts I have cut into or cracked open have been well filled. I’ve been hearing of a lot of pops in the Pawnees that have been harvested. While this is not an unusual characteristic for this variety, I am hopeful that we do not find a high percentage of pops in all varieties, which would indicate a pollination issue.

Contract prices have been mostly in the range of $2.60-$2.70 for Desirable, Cape Fear and Sumner (I am told China has developed a taste for Cape Fear and Sumner) and $2.15-$2.25 for Stuart. Domestic consumption appears to be up and the over-supply of small pieces from Mexico that hurt the domestic market a few years ago has been exhausted so we should see an improvement in prices on the domestic market.  Cold storage levels are lower than they have been since 2012.”

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Peanut PLC Payments

Posted by romeethredge on September 28, 2015


Dr. Nathan Smith, UGA Ag Economist explains what we should look for in PLC payments coming up.

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Posted in Economics, Peanuts | Tagged: , | 2 Comments »

Peanut Economic Update

Posted by romeethredge on September 28, 2015

Thanks to Dr. Nathan Smith, UGA Ag Economist for these informative slides concerning Peanuts.

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Growers have been offered $400 contracts for 2015 and there has been some interest from growers at this price.   Shelled prices are in the high 40 cents range.  The large carryover stocks will keep a lid on prices.  Low corn and cotton price will influence some growers to move to more peanuts. Georgia and US acreage likely to increase due to generic base and PLC reference price of $535 per ton.

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Cotton Marketing Update

Posted by romeethredge on September 25, 2015

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Lesion Nematodes on Peanuts

Posted by romeethredge on September 25, 2015

We sometimes in the past have seen lesion nematode, Pratylenchus spp.,effects on peanut pods. It was a cosmetic deal , they just looked spotted with very small spots on the pods. Our main attention and concern was and still should be on the peanut root knot nematode, Meloidogyne  arenaria.

This year I’ve seen peanuts from at least 3 fields however that seem to be adversely affected by lesion nematode. Dr. Bob Kemerait, UGA Extension plant pathologist, visited and said it does seem that the lesion nematode feeding or the subsequent entry of decay organisms in the feeding area caused some of the pods to come off prematurely.


In the fields we saw peanuts that were coming off before they could be harvested due to the affected stems.

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Stressed Peanuts

Posted by romeethredge on September 25, 2015

When maturity testing peanuts, usually the scraped, interior hull color changes first in the saddle area, on top of the pod and then darkens with time, evenly around the pod. It usually does this evenly cream color to orangish to brown to black.   I and others have noticed over the years that we can get a very uneven change or mottling in some cases.  This is usually where the peanuts were perhaps growing well and had a sudden stress. Often I have asked farmers about it and if we see it they will often say something like, “Yes we had a problem with the irrigation system and couldn’t provide water to them when they really needed it”.

This year I’m seeing it in many more fields and growers aren’t reporting problems in many of the fields. This may be a clue to why we are seeing somewhat reduced yields in many fields so far this year.  Growers are reporting that yields are good but not as good as we have often seen in recent years.

We did have very high temperatures that may have stressed peanuts more than we realized.


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Question of the Week – Silage Pit

Posted by romeethredge on September 25, 2015

Last week I had a photo of two ole timey silage pits. They were loaded by hand and packed by feet and then silage was removed later for feeding livestock by pulling it up with buckets and a pulley (aka tickle).


Here’s the view down into the pit. I’d hate to be thrown down there .  It reminds me of the story of Daniel in the lion’s den.


This week I have a question for you. What is this insect and what is it good for? It’s almost a half inch in length.




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Peanut Harvest TV Spot

Posted by romeethredge on September 25, 2015

Here’s a good TV story recorded here by Lauren Linahan of WTVY.  Seminole County farmer, Clent Mims and I told her all about it.

Click here to see video.  I like this for several reasons, one of which is that the general public will be educated a little about what’s happening on the farm.  I love it when Clent says,”Eat More Peanuts.”

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Here’s the story if you can’t watch the video:

With summer coming to a close, Wiregrass peanut farmers are busy preparing for harvest after a week and a half of little rainfall.

Rome Ethredge of the UGA Seminole County, Georgia extension officesays it’s been a “pretty good year” so far, but not as good as 2014. The current yield has taken a beating from the surplus of rain in the spring coupled with high heat over the summer.

85 percent of Seminole County’s farmland is irrigated, making it one of the highest irrigated counties in the Southeast. But the other 15 percent of dry land, still benefits from intermittent rainfall.

“We have some dry land fields that aren’t going to do as well because we have so much dryness and heat.”

But with harvest underway, the present dry spell is actually seen as a good thing.

“At harvest time, we like for it to be dry, but if we don’t have the capability to irrigate a field, we need a few rains,” says Ethredge. “In a dry land situation, where the soil gets dry and hard, it can be difficult to dig them.”

Weather extremes bring other nuisances as well. Farmers have had their hands full trying to combat molds and fungus in the crops.

“It’s bad in peanuts when it’s really hot. And when we have cloudy, rainy weather, it makes it worse.” Says Ethredge. “Farmers had to spend more money this year with fungicides to fight that disease.”

So in an ideal world, what is a farmer’s perfect forecast?

“We would like to see sunshine with a shower of rain every now and then just to keep the ground moist,” says farmer Clent Mims of Donalsonville.

But it’s a delicate balance.

“You don’t want to be too wet, but you don’t want to be too dry,” explains Ethredge. “We’re very picky!”

Though no one has control over the weather, Mims insists there is a way the Wiregrass can help out:

“Eat more peanuts!”



Posted in Peanuts | Tagged: | 2 Comments »

Grow the Market

Posted by romeethredge on September 24, 2015

Florida County Agent, Mace Bauer had a report from Tyrone Spearman of the Peanut Buying Points association.


Photo : Peanuts going into the picker to be separated from the vines and blown up into the basket.


He said he was optimistic about the expansion in peanut markets. “We all need to buy an extra jar of peanut butter, eat another candy bar. Extra production will cause lower prices for a while, but that means more new peanut products on the shelves. Let’s grow this peanut market.”

Click Florida Crops to see the full article.

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