Wheat is flowering and kernels are starting to develop pushing into the milk stage. Most of the crop has been sprayed with a fungicide to protect from rust. April sprays should hold us out until harvest.
A few things to watch for:
Decatur County Agent, Justin Ballew, located wheat stem maggot in a field there. I have not seen or heard reports here. The maggot apparently bores into the stem at the bottom of the top internode and the grain head dies and turns white. UGA Extension Entomologist, Dr. David Buntin, says he has seen it before and usually at low levels in the field such as these. Below are two pictures from Seminole County Agent, Rome Ethredge.
For now we can still check for ahpids. Our threshold from heading to early dough stage is 10 aphids per head. Once the plant has lost its green color and we hit the hard dough stage, insect and disease management is ended. Aphids were not a problem in this field here, but I did see a hatch out. Something I’ve seen all season is good beneficial population. Here is a picture of a lady bug larvae (left) and some adult, baby, and mummy aphid on leaf (right).
I am getting reports of some flies pestering livestock, particularly horses and ponies. I took a picture of these flies on the microscope and sent them to UGA Extension Entomologist, Dr. Nancy Hinkle. She identified them as black flies (Simulium spp), also called “Buffalo Gnats.” Complains were these flies were biting in horses’ ears and causing them to bleed. The flies stay outside and did not move into the barn. Below is from Dr. Hinkle:
“These are black flies. They are native to Georgia and we have several different species. This one will die out when the weather warms, but we’ll have another resurgence of a different species in the fall. They love to feed in horses’ ears and will leave them bloody and scabby. They’re being produced in flowing streams, probably half a mile away from where the horses are (or more). Area control is possible with Bti, but that’s a governmental decision, not something the individual horse owner can undertake.
During the times of year when they were worst, you can slather the inside of our horses’ ears with petroleum jelly – a physical barrier. Otherwise, you have to spray the animal almost daily. As she observed, these flies will not enter structures, so keeping animals stabled during the day really helps.”
Folks have complained about flies bothering people, which they can also. Here is some information on black flies by University of Florida with some management options: http://entnemdept.ifas.ufl.edu/creatures/livestock/bfly.htm
There is some interest in pruning pecans with a large hedging machine (hedging). The goal of hedging is to control tree size and make it easier to control scab increasing spray coverage and light in the orchard while maintaining a high tree density. UGA Extension Pecan Horticulturalist, Dr. Lenny Wells, has this to say:
This is normally done in the winter and removes all the growth on one or both sides of a tree within a certain distance from the trunk and also usually tops the tree to control tree size. This is a common practice in the U.S. West and is beginning to be used here in Georgia.
- One method of hedging is to hedge one side of both rows on every other middle in two successive years (alternating rows), skip year 3 and begin again in year 4.
- Another method is to hedge every 5th row and over the course of 5 years, you hedge the whole orchard without taking too much growth at one time.
Preliminary research results here in Georgia indicate an increasing advantage to hedging as more of the fruit are within reach of more efficacious fungicide coverage, along with no negative effect on yield and usually a positive effect.
Here is Joseph Matthews putting out fungicide. Before the trees bud out, they can spray every other row since mist will travel through limbs. Everything has come out pretty good except for Stuarts and Sumners, so they will have to go down each row. So much rain in the past few weeks is forcing everyone to get off to a good start with fungicides.
UGA Extension Pecan Horticulturalist, Dr. Lenny Wells, has an update on deciding fungicide programs:
We’re fortunate to have a wide variety of fungicide options for pecan scab management. But getting the best use out of them and doing so in a manner that prevents resistance development can be confusing. We commonly get requests for a single fungicide program, but with so many options available, there are many different fungicide programs that could be put together. Below is an example of a fungicide program that would work. Bear in mind that we are not saying this is the best fungicide schedule possible. There are other fungicides that could be substituted here, but this does provide an example of an effective fungicide program for pecan scab:
Filed under Disease, Pecans
With warm days and cool nights, we are beginning to see turfgrass diseases like this I found yesterday. I was able to look at some centipede turfgrass under the microscope and confirmed it to be Large/Brown Patch (below).
Rhizoctonia produces distinct mycelia with three characteristics for diagnostics: 1) septate hyphae that branch at 90 degree angles, 2) constrictions at the base of the branching, and is 3) tan to light brown color. Large/Brown Patch will infect in the Fall and Spring when temperatures reach over 80 degrees during the day and stay above 60 degrees at night. During the summer, I commonly find Take-All Patch which can really cause problems.
If this disease persists, UGA Extension Pathologist, Dr. Alfredo Martinez, recommends a fungicide application in the Fall followed by one in the Spring. As with most turf diseases, long-term cultural management is best. Here are some management for Brown Patch:
- Use low to moderate amounts of nitrogen, moderate amounts of phosphorous and moderate to high amounts of potash.
- Avoid nitrogen applications when the disease is active.
- Increase the height of cut.
- Increase the air circulation.
- Minimize the amount of shade.
- Irrigate turf early in the day.
- Improve the drainage of the turf.
- Reduce thatch.
- Apply lime if soil pH is less than 6.5
- Remove dew from turf early in the day.
- Fungicides are available to control the disease. Consult the 2014 UGA Georgia Pest Management Handbook.
Centipedegrass also succumbs to an environmental disordered termed “Centipede Decline.” Dead patches can be caused by this where centipede has been stressed and over-fertilized/managed. It is good to avoid weed control during green up. Make sure not to fertilize too early – generally late April/Early May is good fertilizing timing. Centipede does not like more than 1 lb of nitrogen/1000 sq ft in a season, so do not over-fertilize.
Here is a link to the Turfgrass Diseases in Georgia: Identification and Control.
Filed under Disease, Turf
UGA Extension Peanut Weed Scientist, Dr. Eric Prostko has a few thoughts to consider about preplant burndown options for peanuts:
A) Primary burndown herbicides will either be glyphosate or paraquat. As we get closer to planting, paraquat might be preferred if a quicker burndown is needed.
B) Potential tank-mix partners with either of the above herbicides include the following:
- 2,4-D (16 oz/A) – will help improve the control of wild radish and primrose. Plant-back restriction for peanut based upon UGA research is 7 days.
- FirstShot (0.5-0.8 oz/A) – will also help improve the control of radish and primrose. May also be useful in fields were off-target movement of 2,4-D is a concern. Peanut plant-back restriction for FirstShot is 30 days.
- Aim or ET (1-2 oz/A) – either one of these herbicides can be useful in preplant burndown situations where annual morningglory plants (except smallflower) have already emerged. Aim can be applied anytime preplant up until 24 hours after planting. ET can be applied anytime preplant but before peanut emergence.
C) Growers who want to get early residual control of pigweed, especially when there is a potential long delay between application and planting, may want to include Dual Magnum (16 oz/A), Warrant (48 oz/A) or Valor (2 oz/A) in the burndown. If Valor is used in the preplant burndown at least 30 DBP, an additional 2 oz/A can be used PRE after planting. Valor will also help improve the POST control of radish and primrose (+10-15%). I must admit that I would prefer either Dual or Warrant for residual control in this situation to help protect Valor from potential resistance issues. There are no peanut plant-back restrictions for Dual or Warrant.
Many pecan orchards have received their first fungicide spray of the season. Many are starting with a spray of Absolute and sometimes mixing that with another. Weed control and some fertilizing is still going on. Mowing has also started up, although the rain has slowed it all down. I looked at this orchard today before the storm came in. Most Desirables here are popping out. They will be a few days ahead of the Stuarts. Above is a picture of catkins coming out. They bear the male flowers.
UGA Extension Pecan Horticulturalist, Dr. Lenny Wells says the catkins coming out is a good sign. “Although catkins don’t guarantee a good crop of female flowers, a good catkin crop is usually associated with a good female flower crop.” We should see our Female flowers in another couple of weeks. Dr. Wells says female flowers (pistillate flowers) are actually induced in August but not detectable until the next spring. This means the current year’s crops was largely determined during the previous growing season. Female flowers will form on the spikes at the tips of new branches.
This orchard did pretty well last year managing scab disease. Still, the disease hurt Thomas County and the rest of the state last season with the rain. Here is a link to the 2014 UGA Pecan Spray Guide.
Filed under Disease, Pecans