Seminole Crop E News

Agricultural News for Farmers and Agribusiness in SW Georgia

Archive for the ‘Water’ Category

Winterizing Irrigation Systems

Posted by romeethredge on December 14, 2015

From Gary Hawkins, Ph.D. Water Resource Management Specialist Crop and Soil Science Department, UGA.

‘Twas the night before harvest, when all through the fields not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.
 The harvesters were greased by the farmer with care,
 in hopes that good harvest soon would be there.

But before you “spring from your bed to see what’s the matter or settle in for a long winters nap”, take some time to think about your irrigation system and get it ready for a long winter’s nap as well.


Now that the harvest is over, have “irrigation geysers” been dancing in your head. Where were they? Which ones needed to be repaired and which nozzles were worn? At this time of the year, I realize you are tired, want to go to the house for a nap and dream of next years planting, but prepare your irrigation system now so it will also be ready for the spring. Water is a commodity that is needed by the plants to produce the crop you dream of and getting the water to the fields is the purpose of the irrigation system.

So before you whistle and shout them by name: “Now Case! Now Valley!
 Now, John and Deere!
 On, Reinke! On, Rainbird!
 On, Cotton and Peanut!
 To the top of the Field!
 To the top of the shed!
 Now Winter -ize! Winter -ize! Winter -ize! all!”

-Get everything winterized prior to settling in this year so next year will be a good year on many different fronts. In the Regional Water Plans (can be found at there are many activities suggested by the Water Councils to help conserve water in the specific water regions and in the State of Georgia.

In the Southern portion of Georgia some of these are: • Continue to improve agricultural water use efficiency through innovation • Implement water conservation practices • Improve implementation of nonpoint source controls • Conduct irrigation audits By winterizing your irrigation system you can improve your irrigation system efficiency, increase uniformity and better utilize water resources. Through the process of conducting an irrigation audit this time of the year when it is easy to get into the field, around the pivots and under them for repairs you are also performing the check of your irrigation systems efficiency required by the Flint River Drought Protection Act ( If you need assistance with the process of checking your irrigation system’s efficiency and uniformity, check with your local County Extension Agent (1-800-ASK-UGA1) or call the Georgia Soil and Water Conservation Commission and schedule the Mobile Irrigation Lab.

After efficiency and uniformity tests are “nestled all snug in their beds” winterize your system. Briefly, that is the process of removing water from the spots prone to freeze in the winter, cleaning the engines, and preparing the system for a new beginning in the spring. A complete checklist for both center pivot and drip systems can be found in the “Winterizing your Irrigation System” publication ( or by checking with your County Extension Agent.

So, before you exclaim “Happy Harvest, to all and to all a good winter”, get your irrigation systems ready for the winter so when you start the Deere or Case or IH for planting in the spring, the irrigation system will also be ready to provide the water needed for a good harvest next year while efficiently and uniformly applying the water resources needed for growth.

Remember to check in with the weekly Water Blog where we will put articles and links to water related issues across Georgia and the world. I hope you have a Merry Christmas and a very Happy Holiday Season!

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Peanut Field Sink Hole

Posted by romeethredge on December 11, 2015

We have the Floridan Aquifer under us and it’s got some small underground caverns or groups of holes in some spots and when we get lots of rain the water level rises and then perhaps falls and breaks some areas loose and holes can develop.

Calhoun County Farmer, Jimmy Webb  had one appear after digging peanuts but before picking them. I saw it on Twitter and I posted some photos below.  This happened in early November when we got so much rain. Jimmy said they got 9.3 inches of rain in 10 days

I believe this link will take you to Jimmy’s Twitter video of the sinkhole –

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Rainy Weather

Posted by romeethredge on November 9, 2015

Recent rains have brought cotton and peanut picking and soybean combining to a halt. October was dry as usual, but November is very wet so far with over 7 inches the first 9 days. More came  in many areas.


Here’s accumulated rainfall in the last 14 days.

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Most peanuts have been dug and picked but there are still several hundred acres left in the fields. We can get kernel damage as dug peanuts sit in the rainy weather and we lose more during the picking process after weather like this.

There’s still a whole lot of cotton in the fields that needs to be picked. Most of the cotton has been defoliated to knock the leaves off and open the later set bolls, so it needs to be picked but now it’s very wet. We need several days of sunshine to dry the cotton out and dry the fields out so that equipment doesn’t get stuck moving through the fields. Most fields have “wet spots” in them where even with a few days of sunny weather they still hold water and this will be a problem. This time of year we don’t get quick evaporation and temperatures are cooler and days are short so moisture stays around. Also trees and other vegetation don’t use near the amount of water during late fall and winter. This has more of an effect than you may think.

What has the rain benefitted? We have some small grains (rye, wheat, oats, and ryegrass) planted for cattle grazing and they are growing well. Our ground water level was getting low during the dry October so it is improving. There’s plenty of water for hydroelectricity production at our dams. The oysters at Apalachicola are getting plenty of fresh water.

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Question of the Week – Where the Flint and Chattahoochee Rivers come together

Posted by romeethredge on November 5, 2015

Last week I had several good folks that answered correctly. The photo was of where the Flint and Chattahoochee rivers come together to form the Apalachicola River at the bottom of Seminole County, and the bottom of Georgia. At one time this was the bottom of the United States and below it was Spanish territory.

The town of Chattahoochee Florida is visible at the bottom right of the 1937 photo.

Of course it looks differently now as the Woodruff Dam to form Lake Seminole went in about 1955. The bridge visible near the bottom is still there in pieces. There’s a new bridge of course.

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I have a photo here of the new and old bridges and the dam in the distance from a boat trip a few years ago. _DSC4555 _DSC4570


This week I have a bird question for you. What is this bird I took  photos of in my yard last week?

Bonus question: Is it a male or female?

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Posted in Water, Wildlife | 4 Comments »

Weather Outlook

Posted by romeethredge on November 5, 2015

The November outlook for climate across the United States shows that the Southeast has a high probability of having above normal temperatures and precipitation for the month as a whole.


Here’s the precipitation forecast for November…rainy.

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Here’s the temperature forecast for November…warm.


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Here’s the 3 month forecast for temperatures……normal.

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Here’s the 3 month precipitation forecast….wet.


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 You can view these maps and much more at the Climate Prediction Center website


Also here’s the link for the UGA Climate and Agriculture in the Southeast Blog



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South Carolina Flooding

Posted by romeethredge on October 23, 2015

The USGS has released a preliminary report on South Carolina flooding and here’s a link to it.

Here is an excerpt and some screenshots from the report.

“This event resulted in at least 17 fatalities. In rural counties, conservative estimates of agricultural loses are expected to be at least $300 million, and total damages across the State will likely exceed $1 billion.

U.S. Geological Survey streamgages recorded peaks of record at 17 locations, and 15 other locations had peaks that ranked in the top 5 for the period of record.”

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Notchaway Dam

Posted by romeethredge on October 16, 2015

I have had several folks ask about the dam on Notchaway creek that I posted about earlier and so I’ve included more photos.

Someone said they don’t think it was used long for power generation, it cracked or something. Does anyone know when it was built or have other information?

I also was given an aerial photo taken by cropduster, Scott Tennant.


Here’s what must have been the power generating area.


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These photos below are from the north or upstream side of the dam.

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Power generating area. _DSC3126 _DSC3121 _DSC3120 _DSC3118


This was beside the dam. Maybe old bags of cement?



Here are some comments sent to me by Mr. Bob McLendon. “The Baker County Power Company was organized in 1920 to build a hydro-electric plant on Notchaway Creek at a cost of $500,000.00.  Many people in Baker County invested in this but I don’t know where all the money came from.  The plant became operational in 1923 and supplied electricity to Newton, Camilla, Moultrie, and Sale City.  They build power lines to supply these cities.  The dam collapsed or needed repair in 1927 and the Hartaway Company from Columbus did the repair work for $370,000.00 and new transportation lines were built to Leary, Morgan, Edison and maybe Colquitt while the dam was being repaired.  I am not sure but I think the dam collapsed again in 1930 and it was determined the foundation of soft limestone would not support a dam.  The company sold the transportation lines to Georgia Power Company.

I got this information from a book on the history of Baker County.  I moved to Leary in 1969 and someone carried me to the dam.  Have not seen it since then.”

Roebie Burris also sent me a link to a great blog by Jessica McDaniel that has more photos and information. Here’s a link.:

Posted in Water, Wildlife | 4 Comments »

Question of the Week – Notchaway Dam

Posted by romeethredge on October 9, 2015

Last week I had a photo of a dam and It’s Notchaway dam on the Ichawaynochaway creek in Baker county. Daddy got permission for us to put in  a boat north of the dam and we enjoyed walking around it. It was apparently a hydroelectric dam but hasn’t been used for that purpose for a long time. If anyone has additional information on it I would like to know more about it.

 Ichawaynochaway Creek  rises near Weston in two forks and flows south-southeasterly for 83.8 miles , joining the Flint River 13 miles southwest of Newton.

Ichawaynochaway was a Muskogee word that may have referred to either beavers or deer. Some authorities believe it means “the place where deer sleep.”

The creek rises in Webster County. The west fork of the creek enters Stewart County briefly; the forks combine in Randolph County and the creek flows through Randolph and Terrell counties, forming the southern part of their boundary. It flows through Calhoun County and  Baker County where it flows into the Flint.

It flows through Milford and we have some friends there who let us fish on it, beautiful creek with many rocks however.  There’s some neat rapids just below the Milford bridge.


While we were in the creek Daddy said , “we used to turn over rocks to get fish bait” and the first rock he overturned had this under it and he said, “there it is”. The question of the week is , what is it?


Posted in Agriculture, Water, Wildlife | Tagged: , | 7 Comments »

Irrigation Field Day and Workshop in Donalsonville

Posted by romeethredge on September 17, 2015

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Question of the Week – Potamogeton

Posted by romeethredge on September 4, 2015

Last week I had a photo of a weed in a pond that some folks describe to me as oak leaves lying on the pond. This is Potamogeton or Pondweed. It has several different varieties including a very slender kind.

If you need control information on a weed in a pond, call your Extension agent or put some in a bucket and take it by the Extension office for identification. I’ve had folks want control information over the phone without me knowing which weed we are talking about. There are a lot of different ones out there and we can reccomend control measures a lot better if we have a proper  identification.

According to UGA Aquaculture Scientist, Gary Burtle, this is American pond weed, Potamogeton nodosus.  It is also called Illinois pondweed, Potamogeton illinoiensis.

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This week I have an insect that was brought in to me for identification and I want you to identify it. They are tiny so I have magnified photos, below.

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

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