Monthly Archives: May 2014

Peanut Insecticide Burn

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Here are some peanuts in the county coming along and look good. Here are some peanuts with burn from soil insecticide, thimet, put out at planting. Thimet moves systemically through the plant to help protect from thrips. There will some yellowish burn on the outside of the leaves and spots will also be on the outside of the leaves. This burn isn’t that bad and plants will grow out of it with no problems.

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Filed under Entomology, Peanuts

Wheat Harvesting

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There’s not as much wheat planted this year. Some combines are harvesting the field edges and checking moisture. Here is some combines harvesting in the Northwest part of Thomas County. Brooks County Ag Agent, Garvie Nichols, said same thing over there. If weather allows, we’ll see more harvesting next week.

We can see quite a bit of Fusarium in the grain heads as they were running the combines. The pathogen on infected heads will produce a mycotoxin which is often rejected above 2 ppm.  Because of this, UGA Grain Agronomist, Dr. Dewey Lee, encourages blowing as much air as possible to take out the lower test weight/shriveled grain.

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Corn Growing, Hail Damage

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With good growing conditions last week, corn is really starting to grow. This corn was having some nutrient issues up until last week. We had some much needed rain over Memorial Day in the county. Much of that rain came with thunderstorms were we had between 2 and 3 inches in town. Weather was pretty rough on Sunday and we had some hail. Here is some corn damage. This corn was planted around March 25th and now is about V7 to V9 growth stage.

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Much of this field corn is tasseling and silking and producing ears. We are also seeing some herbicide drift and does look unsightly. Drift on these plants was a little pronounced, but it would not cause us any problems.

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Corn – Stink Bugs & Leafminers

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We need to be on the look out for stink bugs in corn. We saw a few stink bugs in the field yesterday. Pictured above is a southern green stink bug nymph. Corn is most sensitive to stinkbug damage during ear formation before silking. UGA Grain Entomologist, Dr. David Buntin, says treat when 25% of plants in ear zone are infested. Here is a link to the 2014 UGA Corn Production Guide which lists treatment options. Keep in mind, pyrethroids are less effective on brown stink bugs than southern and green stink bugs.

Another insect we’re seeing is leafminers.  The leafminer is the larva of a small black fly. Female flies lay eggs on the leaf surface that hatch into tiny larvae. If you look close through the transparent “window” of the leaf mine, you can sometimes find the yellowish maggots. They do not cause any economic damage and usually see them on the lower leaves.

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Filed under Corn, Entomology

Fairy Ring In Centipede

We’ve seen a number of diseases this Spring in our lawns. Large patch is the most common disease I find in Centipede and St. Augustine. Last week, Mitchell County Ag Agent, Andy Shirley, found Pythium in Bermudagrass. This week, I was asked to look at another lawn and came across another common disease we see called Fairy Rings (below).

FairyRings - Centipede

Fairy ring symptoms follow its description well, leaving large rings in the grass. Basidiomycetes of more than 40 species can cause fairy rings. All warm season grasses are susceptible, but it particularly attacks centipede and St. Augustine grass in South Georgia. Sometimes, above ground-mushrooms and puff ball basidiocarps are present. Other casual agents have rings but no fruiting bodies.

Here are some management tips:

  • Avoid using root zone mixes with high levels of undecomposed organic materials.
  • Reduce thatch by vertical cutting.
  • Aerate soil.
  • Irrigate deeply.
  • Use nitrogen fertilizer to mask symptoms on some types of fairy ring.
  • Use soil wetting agents to help penetrate hydrophobic areas.
  • No residential fungicides are available to control the disease, but some commercial fungicides can be found. Consult the current Georgia Pest Management Handbook.


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Filed under Disease, Turf

Cotton Replant Decisions

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We looked at a few fields yesterday that may need to be replanted and we still have some time. Seed was planted two weeks ago from today and had a very skippy stand. First, we tried to determine what caused the problem and  we looked at seed. There was not a problem with germination, but with emergence. Seed was planted a little deep and maybe impacted by rains and seedlings didn’t make it out of the soil. They also had to break up the crust a few times and likely some dirt further buried seedlings.

CottonReplant 002The first thing we thought about was planting date. If the field was planted just a few days back, we would give it some time. The second thing is check how many three foot skips we have (also counting 6, 9, etc foot skips). If 50% of the field has 3 foot skips, we want to replant. This determination at best is subjective, but walk as much of the field as possible checking many rows.

Sometimes, it maybe beneficial to replant spots. Since maturity in any field can be as much as two week difference, this could be okay. In the case yesterday, we’ll replant the whole field.

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Filed under Cotton, Weed Science

Mushroom Workshop

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We’re doing a workshop provided in collaboration with Florida A&M University StateWide Small Farm Programs-Cooperative Extension, University of Florida-IFAS Taylor County CE, , Artzi Gardens, and local small farmers for small farmers and urban gardeners about successfully grow gourmet shiitake AND oyster mushrooms in our region.

Topics include:

  • Production methods
  • Ordering strains
  • Select good quality culture for our area
  • Inoculation methods
  • Colonization and irrigation
  • Yield/harvesting and storing
  • Post harvest management
  • Successful marketing

Registration on-site:  $15.00/person, payable to Artzi Gardens.  Includes lunch.  Pre-register

Facilitator, Clay Olsen, CED/Taylor County Florida, is experienced in mushroom production and management.

For additional information about this and other sustainable development efforts, contact: Jennifer Taylor, Coordinator Small Farm Programs, FAMU StateWide Small Farm Programs. (850)599-3546.

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Corn Disease Update

I was looking at some corn Monday and it is progressing well. Most is waste high or as tall as me, up to vegetative growth stage – V10. One thing we are watching for is disease. There is no known southern rust yet. However, Northern corn leaf blight and Northern corn leaf spot are two diseases being reported. Seminole Ag Agent, Rome Ethredge has seen both of these diseases and has some pictures. Here is a photo of Northern corn leaf blight:


NCLB is more likely to be found in corn behind corn and with susceptible varieties. Its presence in the field does not automatically warrant a spray. Here are some thoughts from UGA Extension Pathologist, Dr. Bob Kemerait:

  1. All growers should scout for NCLB.
  2. All growers should recognize that conditions are generally favorable for NCLB.
  3. If after scouting, no lesions, or only a very few are found, delay applying fungicides.
  4. If more lesions are found or a susceptible hybrid is planted, grower should way options for protecting crop BEFORE tassel.

Another disease that showed up last year was Northern corn leaf spot. The spots look similar but has this barky, tree bark appearance. Here is a photo by Seminole Ag Agent, Rome Ethredge:


Northern corn leaf spot is DIFFERENT than Northern corn leaf blight. Here are some comments from Dr. Kemerait:

I do not have any data on the use of (or need for) fungicides in the management of northern corn leaf spot.  In discussions with Dr. Dewey Lee, we are both uncomfortable with reports of this disease this early.  Although I do not have recommendations for use of fungicides on this disease, growers need to be aware that it is active in the state.  Also, I believe that growers should assess the development of this disease and may consider us of fungicides IF development and spread seems to occur in the field. Again, at this time, we do not have recommendations for Northern corn leaf spot.

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Filed under Corn, Disease, Entomology

Wheat Condition

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Wheat is moving into the soft dough stage and starting to turn brown. Once the water content of the kernels drops to around 30%, the plant loses most of the green color but the kernels can still be cut by pressing with a thumbnail. This is at hard dough stage and marks the end of all insect and disease management.

Fusarium Head Blight 017In terms of Fusarium head blight, according to Extension Pathologist, Dr. Alfredo Martinez, the damage was done during flowering and fungicide sprays after the fact will not help. I am still seeing it in fields. There is nothing we can do now except harvest early, turn up the air during harvest and separate bad fields.

UGA Extension Grain Agronomist, Dr. Dewey Lee, says this concerning Fusarium head blight. “I believe yield loss will be severe in some fields depending on many things.  The infection process of FHB begins when the anthers extrude beyond the glumes and are infected by Fusarium.  It requires the type of weather we had this year, lots of rain, wet conditions during flowering with moderate temperatures.  Infected flowers either abort or develop kernels that are typically shriveled and may demonstrate a pink discoloration (from the mycelium).  The pathogen will produce a mycotoxin, DON (deoxynivalenol).  This fumonisin is often rejected in the market at level above 2 ppm.  Because of this, I encourage growers to blow as much air as possible to take out the lower test weight/shriveled grain.

My suggestions is to harvest as early as possible and make sure to separate bad fields from your good fields.”

Terrell County Ag Agent Nick McGhee has a good article on the Nochaway Ag Blog that can be viewed here:

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Cotton Up, Thrips Present

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Cotton is coming up now and we are seeing first true leaves. I did a count for thrips yesterday and found them to be over threshold. This is an area in the county which is notorious for having high thrips populations. I was finding both mature and immature thrips which warrant a spray, and also thrip numbers of 3-4 per plant also warrants a spray.

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We were also noting some herbicide damage with rain at germination. One thing we are finding is cotyledons cupping. Cupping of the leaves is evident of thrips damage – we are seeing this with true leaves and cotyledons. However, UGA Extension Entomologist, Dr. Phillip Roberts, says cupping on the cotyledons is NOT from thrips injury. The only thrips injury we would observe on cotyledons is silvering on the underside of cotyledons where the thrips were feeding, not mishapen cotyledons.  That would differentiate some herbicide injury. Nonetheless, a thrip spray would lessen some stress on the plant.

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Filed under Cotton, Entomology, Weed Science