Forage Crop Progression

Nelson Ryegrass & Crimson Clover-Forage 020

We were out looking at some forages planted for grazing and hay yesterday. Here is some Nelson ryegrass drilled with Crimson clover into a dormant bermudagrass pasture. These fields are coming along well with little to no issues. With clover, the seed depth is so shallow, you basically just set the seed on the ground since settings are not that shallow. When broadcasting clover, seed depth is usually not an issue onto dormant warm season sod. If drilling, you have to make sure the seeds are not planted more than ¼ – ½ inches deep. Much of the clover is coming up but some is coming up in more spots than others.

Nelson Ryegrass & Crimson Clover

Nelson Ryegrass & Crimson Clover

The only issue so far is weeds. We have mostly chickweed, but also carolia geranium too. We wondered about a pest emergent herbicide, but since clover is still in seedling stage, UGA Extension Weed Scientist Dr. Patrick McCullough says no herbicides are safe enough on seedling clover. With such few options of herbicides on clover, we were worried about ryegrass. Dr. McCullough says ryegrass would be tolerant, but selective weed control with clover is difficult enough with established clover.


In another field oats has been planted for grazing. This field has been typical of some issues in the county this year. Planted around October 20th, we went through such a dry spell and had a hard time getting a stand. We wondered about fertility being an issue since oats are less tolerable to pH below 6.0 then rye. Even with grid soil sampling, you can see small spots of low pH. Those spots were not evident here, just bad stand. In the very coverer of the field, the stand is much better. It was clear that low spot is much wetter and seed was able to germinate.

Oats 011

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Good Time To Control Japanese Fern & Chinese Privet

UGA Extension Forestry Specialists Dr. David Moorhead and Dr. David Dickens say now is a good time to control some invasive weeds with foliar sprays. Our main treatment options are foliar, basal, cut surface or injection. This time of the year, a foliar treatment is a good option.

Chinese Privet - UGA

Chinese Privet – UGA

Chinese privet seed soil viability is only one year, so where we see it, it is really dispersed by birds. Basal treatments of privet can be difficult because of number of branches. Dr. David Dickens says dormant-season treatments of privet with glyphosate at 3-5% solutions provide effective control with little non-target impacts. Anything over 5% is not economical. This is a foliar spray. Since glyphosate has no soil activity, it is safe for non-target plants. The greatest non-target impacts (discovered) were to sedges and winter-green species. If privet is next to woods, some grass could be damaged if it is not dormant. Direct sprays are effected for small and medium size plants with direct access. A mist blower would help with larger plants.

Japanese Climbing Fern

Japanese Climbing Fern

Japanese climbing fern is an invasive fern and does not produce flowers. It is native to eastern Asia and was introduced in the U.S. during the 1930s as an ornamental plant. A 3-5% solution of glyphosate is also good as a foliar spray. Here is some we saw as we were in the woods at our forestry program yesterday. Dr. Moorhead says we have to be careful because Japanese fern will adapt to burning, so this should not be our only method of control. With these small ferns coming up, now would be a good time to hop on a four-wheeler and use a hand-gun approach to treat these weeds.

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Filed under Forestry, Weed Science

Weed Control Timing In Wheat

Wheat 001

There is not much wheat planted in the county this year. Prices are not as good for one thing. Many folks just didn’t get around to getting it in. Here is a field of AGS 2040 planted December 3rd. It was just too wet to get it in around Thanksgiving. We should be okay though. Plants are sprouting but not yet out of the ground. Here is a blog post from Grady County Ag Agent Brian Hayes on Wheat Growth Stages.

Wheat 002One thing we need to think about now is weed control. UGA Extension Weed Scientist Dr. Stanley Culpepper says we need to get our weed control done between now and Christmas. Once we get to February, it’ll be too late to manage ryegrass and wild raddish with herbicides.

Use of Harmony for broadleafs has a large window for safe application, but do not apply 2,4-D to wheat that is not fully tillered. Also, do not apply 2,4-D beyond the first hollow stem phase.

In terms of genetic stability, ryegrass is worse than pigweed. For control of ryegrass, it is important that each field is treated only once every two years with the respected chemistry. For instance, if we use Axial this year, we do not spray Axial or Hoelon on that piece of ground next year at all. The same applies to Powerflex and Osprey. If we do not rotate, we will lose the chemistry. Below is a graph of these chemical classes:


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Identifying Cogongrass

Cogongrass 009

I was out with Wallace Reed on Seminole Plantation Friday where some cogongrass has been spotted. Today Mark McClure with the Georgia Forestry Commission came by to inspect for treatment. We’re looking a little over an acre of congongrass. As a highly invasive species, Cogongrass will outcompete native grasses and eliminate wildlife habitats. It is very dense and hardly anything grows within it. It spreads by rhizomes, and usually shows up in a circular infestation. On this plantation, it is easy to see where it started and was spread by equipment. You could also notice the grass stopping along the edges where firebreaks were plowed.

There are actually two varieties. This is the taller variety that is less common. The shorter variety tends to fall over at the end of the season. This one is still standing. Mark has seen this variety grow as tall six feet tall.


Midrib not centered on cogongrass.

Midrib not centered on cogongrass.

You can identify it a few different ways. First, the midrib on the upper part of the leaf is off-center. Leaves edges are also very rough and tips pointed. The rhizomes are white, segmented and have a scaly appearance – like peeling an onion. The rhizomes are also very pointed. In a dense stand like this, you can place your hand on the ground and feel the sharp points. One of its biggest characteristics is the white, fluffy plume-like seed head it usually initiates in late spring. Occasionally, congongrass will initiate flowering once it is stressed (mowing, burning, freeze, etc.) Mark has seen its plumes in lower Thomas County as early as January, if temperatures are warm enough.

Rhizomes are whitish, branched, scaly and sharp at the tips.

Rhizomes are whitish, branched, scaly and sharp at the tips.

Thomas County has probably had between 8 and 10 reports of cogongrass this year. Overall, there has been less reports sites in 2014 than in many years. The GA Forestry Commission has been doing a good job with control. Most of their treatments will include imazapyr, which has soil activity. When you get around hardwood trees, like the live oaks here, they will use glyphosate – no soil activity. Burning normally causes cogongrass to initiate flowers. Mark says its good if you can do the burn much later than normal, like (Mid-spring). There is no way to know how long its infested this area, but it’ll take a few years to clear it up completely.

A few good cogongrass resources are Cogongrass from NRCS and also information off the Invasive Plant Atlas – Cogongrass.

Cogongrass 010

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Phylloxera Insecticide Timing Study

Last week, Ginger Grier and I started an insecticide drench timing for phylloxera. This is an insect pest that invades pecan trees at bud break. The insect is very small and must be treated before the distinguishing wart symptoms appear on the leaves. This site has stuggled with the control of phylloxera for a long time which makes it a valuable site to test.

PhylloxeraTrialOne way to treat phylloxera is to include an insecticide with your first spray. However, the timing is difficult. Another route is to drench insecticide in the ground to be taken up by the tree. This can be done through irrigation, a sprayer tank, or mixing in a bucket.

We know the insecticide will translocate through the trees and be present in the stems at bud break; however, we do not know optimal timing of drench applications. In this study, we are applying imidacloprid as a soil drench in December, January, February and March. Thanks so Jake Ford and Keith Rucker who were very helpful getting us product on short notice. We will also test another insecticide that is waiting on label also for phylloxera.

UGA Extension Entomologist Dr. Will Hudson is attempting this study in Athens, so we will have information for both areas of the state. Phylloxera do not cause as much economical damage on the leaves as they do on the stems. Stem phylloxera is more of an issue if it is present. To see more on phylloxera, visit my post on Pecan Leaf Phylloxera.

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Filed under Entomology, Pecans

Forestry Management Program For Landowners

Thomas County is hosting a landowner meeting on Dec 16th. We’ve already had some folks come by and pay or mail in checks. We ask if you can pay in advance since the program will run almost all day, that would help us with time. Thomas County Extension office number is 225-4130. If you have any questions, you can also call me at 225-8952 or e-mail at


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UGA Crop Budgets Link

Originally posted on Seminole Crop E News:

UGA Crop budgets are useful and here’s an updated link to get to them and to get to the Crop Comparison table as well.

I also updated my blogroll link that you can always easily click on on the left side of my blog homepage.

It will look like this, and once you get there the links are live to go where you want to.

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