Seminole Crop E News

Agricultural News for Farmers and Agribusiness in SW Georgia

Archive for December, 2015

Retirement – What’s next?

Posted by romeethredge on December 31, 2015

Retirement Time

I have been working for the University of Georgia including  part time during college and graduate work … for 34 years. I have loved every minute of it…well, just about every minute, that pig running me into the electric fence wasn’t fun.

After my masters graduate research work in Agronomy, I worked a year in the College of Ag at UGA and then I’ve been a county agent for 27 years. Five years in Decatur county and 22 here in Seminole county.  I have loved it but it’s time for me to retire on Jan 1, 2016.

Folks have asked what I’ll do now, maybe sit in the rocking chair on the front porch?

* I will continue working in agriculture here as a Crop Consultant for a few clients, concentrating on peanuts and corn.

*I will continue as a Bank Director for Commercial State Bank, here in Donalsonville and Blakely.

*I’m interested in Soil Moisture monitoring so I’ll work with Rad Yager and Brad Mitchell at Certified Ag Resources.

*I plan to do some freelance writing. I may do a little blogging. I might try to keep up the Question of the week.

*I plan to continue to serve God in my daily life and as a Sunday School Teacher and Deacon at First Baptist of Donalsonville.

*I plan to do more camping, boating and fishing, enjoying my family and God’s creation!!!

Please contact me about any of the above by emailing me at

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County Agent

Posted by romeethredge on December 31, 2015

As I finish up my career as a County Agent, I’m thinking about the fact that I have been very blessed and fortunate to have the support of a lot of good folks that made my career successful in UGA Extension.  I’d like to thank, first of all, God almighty, for providing a way for us to get the knowledge and wisdom so that we can do our jobs well and serve our fellow man. “Love God, then love others, what else really matters?” If whatever we do, we do as unto the Lord, not for the man or for the money, things will go a lot smoother and we’ll be more content.

My parents instilled good values in me and a love for agriculture and nature and were a great example of service as missionaries in Africa. I’m thankful for my wife Suzanne and children Haley and Jesse who have been a big part of my County agent career by participating in 4-H.

I’m very thankful to Cindy Meadows, Seminole 4-H agent, who is the best 4-H agent ever, and has allowed our office to be effective at reaching and educating a lot of children. Heather and Judy do a great job as well. They all keep the goals in mind, serving and educating. Thanks to these ladies for planning my retirement reception that had close to 100 in attendance and thanks to those who had a kind word or card or monetary gift for me.

We are thankful for the close relationships we have with our schools and Vocational Ag as we work together to make the best better.

The Seminole County Board of Commissioners and Administrator Paula Granger have been very supportive of Seminole Extension. Due to their hard work and foresightedness we should have my replacement in very quickly compared to what has been happening in surrounding counties.

Our bosses at UGA have been pretty good at keeping our programs funded and at letting grassroots needs dictate what we do. Our UGA specialists in Tifton, Athens, Statesboro and Griffin do a great job keeping us as agents updated as we answer questions on everything from Apples to Zinnias or Armadillos to bug Zappers. Also fellow county agents across the state are very important to each other and I thank all of you.

We are greatly blessed here in Seminole county with good farmland and the wonderful underground water source that we can irrigate from so that we can produce consistent, high quality ag products. But the greatest thing we have going for Seminole county agriculture is the people involved. We have great farmers that do a good job everyday in the fields. We also have great ag industry here in LMC and our abundance of fertilizer, chemical and equipment dealers. We have good crop consultants and scouts here that help farmers make wise decisions. We have a sort of vertical integration in that we have a mostly farmer owned, Cloverleaf Gin and other nearby locally owned gins, and strong peanut industry including several buyers and one that is totally farmer owned, American Peanut Growers Group.


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Upcoming Production Meetings

Posted by romeethredge on December 31, 2015

Here are the planned production meetings for the near future.

Peanut Production Meeting:

Feb 22 noon, Donalsonville Lions Hall


Cotton Production Meeting:

March 7th at noon , Donalsonville Lions Hall


We are also invited to participate in this meeting  in Colquitt.

Miller county – Noon Weed Meeting in Colquitt

Jan 29, 2016

Our Seminole Chamber Ag Appreciation Breakfast will be Jan 20 at 8 am at Jo’s Restaurant.

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Brian Cresswell – Interim Ag Agent

Posted by romeethredge on December 31, 2015

Early county Extension Coordinator, Brian Cresswell, will be the interim Ag Agent for Seminole County beginning Jan. 1 2016, due to the retirement of Rome Ethredge. Brian has many years of Agricultural experience. Contact the Seminole county extension office at 524-2326 or stop by their new location on 426 N Friendship Ave and they will get you in touch with Brian.

A permanent new Ag agent should be in Donalsonville soon, but Brian will be glad to help in the meantime.

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Other Blogs

Posted by romeethredge on December 31, 2015

There are good nearby County agent blogs. Here are links to a few of them.


Spring Creek Extension News

Thomas County Ag

Grady Ag

       Brooks County Ag Connection

       Bulloch County Ag News

          Bacon County Ag Update

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Question of the Week – Green Cuban Cockroach

Posted by romeethredge on December 31, 2015

 The word is that the Green Cuban Cockroach (Panchlora nivea) aka Green Banana Cockroach, first got to the US on shipments of fruit from the Caribbean. Like most cockroaches, it is nocturnal. It is a strong flyer and is drawn to bright lights at night. This species does not breed in houses and prefers to remain outdoors if possible. It reaches a maximum length of about 2″, usually about an inch long. The immature is dark brown.  I have not seen many here in South Georgia but this one, last week was in the bed of my truck.


This week’s question is about this structure that Daddy and I recently saw and can you tell me what it is and where is it?


Posted in Agriculture, Entomology | Tagged: | 2 Comments »

Question of the Week – Lacewing

Posted by romeethredge on December 23, 2015

Last week I had a photo of a beneficial insect, the lacewing. It comes in several varieties, this is the Green lacewing. There is the closely related Goldeneyed lacewing and a brown one, too.  One of God’s beautiful creations. The larvae looks like a little alligator and stays busy eating up bad bugs so we are always glad to see them.

Here’s a photo of the larva eating sugarcane aphids taken by Andrew Sawyer, Thomas County Agent.



This week I have another insect ID question. I found this insect in the back of my truck. What is it?


Posted in Entomology | Tagged: | 2 Comments »

12 Environmental Days of Christmas

Posted by romeethredge on December 23, 2015

Here’s a different article about 12 days of Christmas written by Escambia Florida County Agent Rick O’Connor. Here are a few of the 12 click through here to the complete post.

“Tis the season… the days are shorter, the lines at the stores are longer, and everyone is busy getting ready. This newsletter is about natural resources and nature – so I was thinking about how we could all enjoy the spirit of this holiday for the wildlife and for our own peace of mind. Maybe we could think in terms of the “12 days of Christmas” that could benefit wildlife and ourselves. Give it a try!

1st Day of Christmas: Donate to a Wildlife Sanctuary or a local Pet Shelter

This is a great way to start off. Most wildlife sanctuaries and animal shelters are need of items over the colder months. They are on tight budgets – as we all are – and giving is good for you as well. Providing a bag of pet food to our local animal shelter is another way to help our furry friends and it will make you feel better as well.

2nd Day of Christmas: Take a Walk Outside

This is one of the best times of year to live in the panhandle. The skies are beautiful day and night. The crowds are down and there are a lot of interesting things that walking our beaches and hiking in the woods. It is very calming in this season of busy and rush. Take a day (or evening) and enjoy it.


6th Day of Christmas: Go Paddle Boarding or Kayaking

It is a bit cold for most of us to enter the water this time of year but the waters are usually pretty calm and very clear. There are a lot of neat things you can see from a paddle boards or kayaks. Don’t have a paddle board or kayak? There are plenty of locations in the panhandle that rent them – it will be worth the time and money to get out outside for a while.


8th Day of Christmas: Go Fishing

Even if you do not fish – or are real bad at catching fish – fishing is a very relaxing way to spend a few hours during the busy holiday. Who knows – You might catch a big surprise! Be aware of monofilament though. This is a big issue for aquatic wildlife also. There are monofilament recycle bins at many locations in the panhandle and boxes from Berkley Fishing Line that will recycle this line into other products.


12th Day of Christmas: Enjoy a Sunset

And finally – end your day with one of the best sunsets you will see all year. We are all lucky to live in a place like this. Celebrating the sunset is a wonderful way to be thankful for it.

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Cotton Market Update 12-23-15

Posted by romeethredge on December 23, 2015

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

County Agent Stories

Posted by romeethredge on December 22, 2015

I’m getting very close to retiring as a county agent and I thought I’d share a few “county agent” stories and remembrances. I have many fond memories and some not so good.

I remember an early September day in 2002 when farmer Ray Hunter Jr.(called “Whimpy” by his Daddy), and I went to look at several cotton fields for making decisions about defoliation. We were in the last field and I was going into it ahead of Ray and about 10 feet into the field I look into the next row over and there’s one of the biggest rattlesnakes I’ve seen. I stepped backwards and  might have said a bad word and pushed Ray back away. Ray called his wife for a gun and here’s the photo of the 5 foot 8 inch snake.  It’s fair to say that seeing rattlesnakes in crop fields is pretty rare thank goodness, but they can be around edges especially.

Here’s the photo that hangs on my wall with the actual rattles at the bottom, count them, there’s 14.


But that’s not the end of the story. Farmer Travis Braswell came up and asked what about the snake? He said we hadn’t had much rain lately and maybe if we hang the snake on a fence it may bring rain. I guess that’s an old wives’ tale. So he did and I put a photo in the paper about it. Well we got rain all right, too much!! Within a short time we got 14 inches in one night and Donalsonville flooded, including my office and Travis’ house. Travis came up a week or so later and said ” You remember that snake?… and darn you, you put it in the paper that I hung it on a fence, now folks will be mad at me, claiming I caused the rain. And do you remember how many rattles were on the tail? Fourteen rattles…. the same number of inches of rain we got in the flood. Oh my gosh. I may need to hide out for a while.”

We’ve had some sad times and I remember a Corn Nematode test we put in at the Warriner farm near the lake. It was a good study and early on we could see a lot of difference in corn growth where we had used nematicide. Russ Ragan, son of Gene Ragan (Dothan TV personality), took me up in his airplane to get some good and useful aerial photos of the test plot. The sad part is that we lost 2 great men associated with this study, both Jamie Warriner and Russ Ragan, some time later. Jamie to a cotton module packer accident and Russ to a plane crash.

Another day, Sheriff Deputy, at the time, Heath Elliot, came to see me with blue lights flashing, (no lights really) and asked if I’d go look at a pond with him. A lady said someone was out to get her and killed her fish and Heath wanted us to check it out. So we went to the pond and met the lady. It was fenced in and there were several goats in the pond area. We walked in and one of the goats nudged the deputy and pushed him a little and I laughed about it. So we walked around the pond and saw the dyeing fish. I explained that no one had poisoned her fish but it was likely an oxygen depletion problem, but I needed to collect a couple of fish to look at closely for other possible problems.  So I went to the water’s edge and leaned over to pick up a catfish and BAM, a Billy goat hit me in the rump pretty hard and I just barely escaped falling into the water. Heath had the last laugh that day.

We, as agents do a lot of 4-H youth work and I usually enjoy it. Once then agent Jeff Nunnery and I were helping a young lady with her show pig. It was a good sized pig about 250 pounds and was stubborn.  We were trying to get it into a trailer. There was a wire fence and then an electric fence around the area. We tried pushing the pig, pulling it, putting boards around it, using the whip to encourage it, nothing worked. She didn’t want to leave the fenced in area to get on the trailer. I got mad and grabbed her by the ear and told Jeff to push her and I would walk beside her. Well it worked, sort of, we exited the pen and headed towards the trailer but I could see she was pushing me sideways, I probably weighed only 135 back then, so she had almost double my mass and strength. She could have pushed the other way but I swear she knew what she was doing when she pushed me right into the electric fence.  Jeff laughed and I think I let him load her, she was so tired after that and probably happy, it wasn’t as big a problem.

No one ever said being a County Agent is a dull job.




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