Good Time For Soil Sampling

Grady County Ag Agent Brian Hayes wrote a good blog post about proper Soil Sampling on the Grady County blog he manages. Soil pH is the most important component of soil fertility since pH is the basis for what nutrients are available. Below is a graph of nutrient availability.

NutrientAvailability&pH

All of our micronutrients become more available as pH decreases, but you lose most primary and secondary nutrients in this case. Somewhere between 5.5 to 6.5 a good range for all nutrients to be available. Of course some crops can withstand lower pH than others. For example, a common nutritional difficiency of pecans is “Rosette” which is zinc deficiency. On the contrary, peanuts are prone to a zinc toxicity. When pH falls, zinc becomes more available and a field of peanuts will show zinc toxicity (Below).

Low pH lead to zinc toxicity in peanuts

Low pH lead to zinc toxicity in peanuts

After harvest is also a good time to do nematode samples if there has been an issue in a field. We’re getting toward the end of our recommended sampling time for some crops. Here’s the UGA nematode recommendation chart from the 2014 UGA Pest Management Handbook:

NematodeSamples

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Date Rescheduled For Clean Day

GACleanDayThe Georgia Clean Day set for this week  in Brooks County Agriculture has been rescheduled and set by the GA Department of Agriculture to November 12th, 2014 from 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. Due to the change in collection date, they will be accepting additional product and extending the pre-registration time frame. There is no additional action required by participants that have submitted their information. If you still need to register for this event, refer to the link below for registration information and  submit application information as  soon as possible.  Please note this change on your calendars and call our office at (229) 263-4103 if you have any questions.

Georgia Clean Day 2014 Pre Registration Form

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Pecan Harvest Begins

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I was out with Jeff and Joseph Matthews on the east side of the county yesterday and they were gathering nuts from Desirable trees. Mr. Jeff is driving the sweeper with flippers to gather nuts creating the windrows. Joseph is driving the harvester right behind him. Conditions are good for harvesting now since we are dry. We are almost too dry as dust reduces vision between trees. These are the first nuts they are picking up, so they are mostly making sure equipment is set right. The harvester was digging into the ground a little and had to be adjusted and had to adjust air flow to keep harvester from loading up. They’ll go back to shaking Stuarts again next week and gathering those next.

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Below is a picture of nuts falling into the dump cart:

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It’s a little early to know yield and grade numbers. But based upon early-season projections, there are lots of nuts are on the ground and being picked up. Kernel development looked good in most we cracked. Early nuts usually have decent prices. Prices are updated each Tuesday and Thursday throughout the pecan harvest season through the USDA Fed-State Market News Service.

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Soybeans Drying Down

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Here is a picture of early planted soybeans last Monday. Leaves are turning yellow and brown and falling off. The beans in the pods are at full maturity. Below is a photo of the same field taken yesterday.

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Seminole Ag Agent Rome Ethredge posted about irrigation termination on Seminole Crop E-News saying, You are generally safe to terminate irrigation if you have good soil moisture when the seeds fill the pods and the pods start to change to the yellow color in the top 4 nodes of the plant. Mississippi State also has a good blog post concerning Soybean Irrigation Termination that goes into growth stage specifics.

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Cotton Harvest Update

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Weather is great these past couple of weeks for picking cotton in the field. We’ve been busy with trial harvest these last few weeks also. Brooks County Agents Stephanie Holliefield and Ben Shirley were picking their variety trial the week of the Expo. This is one of the statewide on-farm variety trials and was planted on the Thomas/Brooks line just east of  Barwick.

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We also planted a NexGen on-farm variety trial in the northwest part of the county that Dr. Guy Collins and Seth Williams helped us with. Grower Mat Thompson, Mitchell County Agent Andy Shirley and I planted it May 14th. We picked this trial yesterday. We had three Nex Gen varieties with PHY 499 in the trial. Here are some photos from yesterday:

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Nex Gen Variety On-Farm Trial

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Research Technician Seth Williams and UGA Extension Cotton Agronomist Dr. Guy Collins

We’re in the driest part of the county here. Overall, irrigated cotton is okay. Some reports range 2 and up to 2.5 bales. Some growers are saying in spots were it looks like it would be 2 bales, they will pick a bale and a half instead. In this part of the county were we received much less rain, the ground was so dry and even under irrigation, plants were still stressed. Non-irrigated yields here are not as well. Where rained moved through and irrigated fields were planted, yields are pretty good, however.

 

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2014 Small Grain Varieties

The Small Grain Performance Tests on the statewide variety testing website have been completed, you can see here – 2014 Small Grain Performance Tests. Variety characteristics presents great information that tells us a lot about disease and insects. This can also be found through that link also.

2014 Variety Characterisitcs

Below is some variety information UGA Extension Agronomist Dr. Dewey Lee passed out at our Grain Update:

2014 Grain Varieties

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Grain Mold In Sorghum

HeadMold (2)

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.”

HeadMold

“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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