Grain Mold In Sorghum

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We’ve seen many different pest and environmental issues play out with during this season. A new insect pest has come in the state affecting sorghum (white sugarcane aphids). We confirmed charcoal rot which correlates with hot, dry weather especially post-flowering. Now we are seeing “grain mold” aka “head mold.” The symptoms are the pink, orange or white seeds on the heads infected by Fusarium and black seeds on heads infected by Curvularia, Alternaria or Helminthosporium.

UGA Extension Grain Pathologist Dr. Alfredo Martinez says, “Grain mold is caused by a complex of several fungi including Fusarium, Phoma, Curvularia and some others. High humidity/ rains which coincides with grain maturing can be the main effector of this disease. Nothing can be done at this point in terms of fungicides. Next season, planting date might be an option (trying not to coincide grain maturity with rains), genetic resistance.”


“Head blights and molds can be partially avoided by adjusting planting dates so that plants mature during a period without frequent rains. Some sorghum genotypes are more resistant than others but none are considered to be completely resistant. Although the fungi infect seeds, there is no clear evidence that seed-borne infections greatly influence the occurrence of these fungi on seeds in subsequent crops.” – Common and Important Disease of Grain Sorghum (Dave TeBeest, Terry Kirkpatrick and Rick Cartwright)

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When Do Peanuts Shut Down?

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Here is a picture of the buying point in Boston. Most peanuts in the county are harvested. Yields have been fairly well in many parts of the county considering the season. Much of the rain we had has come through Thomasville then on to Pavo. Dryland acres through this section have faired okay. There are some good grade reports so far, many in the upper 70s. Lower grades have been reported on fields where rain came after digging and couldn’t get dry.

Many fields in the northwest part of the county did not receive adequate rain or rain didn’t start until a month after planting. These fields need time, but we have to watch vine condition. Based on peanuts we’ve checked this week, we can see they are still moving, but at a slow rate we can see. This is due to night time temps being in the 50’s. When do they shut down completely? UGA Extension Agronomist Dr. Scott Monfort says it takes several days with nighttime temperatures in the 40’s before they shut down. Fortunately, we have only seen one to two days of this. As far as the risk of freezing and digging peanuts, Dr. Monfort says we typically need to be a couple of days ahead of a freeze or a frost with digging or leave them in the ground until frost happens to reduce the risk of frost damage. Frost damage is going to be greater risk the day peanuts are dug since kernel moisture content is high.



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Forage Seeding & Inoculant Considerations

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We are now planting oats, rye, clover and other forages now. These are generally planted during the month of October for grazing.We are a little early to plan for grain since heads can be damaged by cold later on. This field has been broadcasted with rye after peanuts were harvested which will be used for grazing here soon. We need to be aware of our seeing rates and planting depths. Below is a chart of seeding rates of grasses and legumes:



For legumes, it is important to have innoculants put out with them for nitrogen fixation. Inoculants are live bacteria so they need to be kept cool and moist until planting to get good root nodulation. In some situations were a legume like Crimson Clover is planted in a field which has had clover many seasons, we may not need the inoculant if there is plenty of organic matter. Below is a list of inoculants from the Georgia Forages website.


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Georgia Clean Day Announced


A 2014 pesticide clean day has been announced for our area. This program is organized and administered by The Georgia Department of Agriculture, through funding provided by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). This program gives everyone an opportunity to properly dispose of old, unusable pesticides that are no longer needed or that are no longer labeled. The collected materials are turned over to a hazardous waste contractor for disposal. There is no fee charged to participate in this program but you must pre-register by October 27, 2014.

Take advantage of this opportunity to eliminate and minimize liabilities associated with continued storage of unwanted/unlabeled wastes on your property and/or farm.

Call the Brooks County Extension office if you need additional information at 263-4103. In order to participate, you must register materials. Here is a 2014 Georgia Clean Day Registration Form.

Here is a snap shot of acceptable and excluded materials:


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Harvest-Aid Applications In Soybeans

UGA Extension Weed Scientist Dr. Eric Prostko warns us to avoid early-harvest-aid applications in soybeans.

“Early applications (>40% seed moisture) will likely result in significant soybean yield loss as a result of reduced seed weights (Below).  The 40% seed moisture contest roughly coincides with the R6.5 to R7 stages of growth.  R6.5 = Full Seed = all normal pods on 4 uppermost nodes have pod cavities filled.  R7 = Beginning Maturity = one normal pod on main stem of all plants has reached mature color (Below). Official UGA soybean harvest aid recommendations can be found on page 517 of the 2014 UGA Pest Management Handbook. “




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Mid-Atlantic Grazing Conference

Mid-Atlantic Grazing Conference set for November 12-13 in Moultrie, GA.  The program is packed with information to improve management on pasture-based dairying in the Southeast. The program includes in classroom material, on farm discussions, and demonstrations with simulators and equipment.

  • Grazing management
  • Genetic selection
  • Branding and marketing
  • Herd management
  • Building soil organic matter
  • Rainfall/runoff simulator
  • Equipment demonstrations
  • Incorporation of Corn Silage

The conference is also offering an optional tour for November 14th.

The attached flyer has the event’s website.  The website has up to date information regarding the agenda as well as how to register and where to stay.  If you register by November 1 and use the promotional code “EARLY2014″, you’ll receive a 10% discount.


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Pecans Nearing Harvest


We are sitting on go with pecan harvest. This orchard is still seeing shuck split of Desirables and Stuarts and not yet started shaking trees. We are a few weeks away. We’ve seen some beat up leaves this year with scab, aphids, spider mites, and nutritional issues related to a wet spring. UGA Extension Pecan Horticulturalist Dr. Lenny Wells says this season’s foliage condition is the worst he has seen. Although we hate to see any defoliation, since we are in October, Dr. Wells says pecans can tolerate leaf loss at this point where it is not detreminental. Here is more from Dr. Wells:

“As the season wears on and the nuts mature, leaf efficiency changes to reflect the needs of the tree. In the presence of fruit, the photosynthetic rate of both sun and shade leaves is increased and the rate of leaf senescence is slowed down so that trees are able to recover as much as possible from the energy-draining process of nut production. As the nuts reach maturation there is a reduction in the efficiency of the leaves because the tree’s physiology is changing. Its job for the year is done and it begins to shift from supplying energy for nut development to storing energy for future use.

Pecans-JeffWillis 003The common thread in all of these studies is that complete defoliation of pecan in September virtually guarantees no return crop. But do you have to maintain every leaf on the tree prior to frost? No. Depending upon crop load, pecan trees can likely tolerate up to 10% loss of foliage prior to October. If much of this is from the lower interior canopy, it probably does not affect too much because of the low efficiency of these leaves. Those trees with a very light to no pecan crop can probably tolerate a little more leaf loss prior to October and still maintain a return crop. Trees with a heavy nut crop need to maintain as much foliage as possible at least into October, which is where we are now.

So, don’t worry too much about a little leaf loss going forward. I would not advise spraying the trees anymore this season for disease or foliage pests like aphids and mites. Lower temperature are forecasted for next week and shuck split is occurring rapidly. Shuck split began on Pawnee 2-3weeks ago and I have seen shuck-split on Elliott,  Desirable, Cape Fear, Stuart, Schley, Creek, and Oconee as well. The main harvest season should kick off in about 2 weeks so the sprayers can be put away.”

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