Monthly Archives: September 2014

2014 Silage Trials Complete

Stephanie Hollifield, Becky Shirley

A month ago we harvested corn silage trials which are planted each year in Brooks County. Here is Cook County Intern Jordan Williams, Fort Valley Agent Josh Dawson (Lowndes), Brooks County Agent Stephanie Holliefield, Brooks County Intern Becky Shirley pictured after the trial harvest was complete on August 7th. Stephanie, Becky and Josh worked in the field as they were cutting. I was collecting tonnage weights, and Jordan was in the pit taking individual silage samples which were sent to Ithaca, NY to test the dairy production. The trial was planted May 6th this year. There were over 20 varieties tested replicated three times. Data was collected on overall tonnage and milk producing capabilities of each variety. Below are the rankings from the trial:


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Cotton – When To Cut Off Irrigation?

Cotton 008

Some spots in the county got 5 inches of rain last night after getting a few inches over Labor Day weekend. We got at least an inch in town last night. Once we make it to 7th week of bloom and beyond, we follow with an inch of irrigation per week. Since cotton is already set and its been hot and dry, we are having to continue irrigation. But when do we cut it off? It’s still a difficult decision to make – based on environmental conditions, how many bolls open, and how many bolls are mature. Below is information from 2014 UGA Cotton Production Guide from Extension Agronomist Dr. Guy Collins:

“It is generally recommended that irrigation be discontinued when a noticeable number of bolls have opened, especially when the majority of harvestable bolls are located on lower plant nodes. However, if the majority of the targeted harvestable bolls remain immature when just a few lower bolls begin to open, irrigation may still be needed for a short time.

Irrigation termination is a difficult decision. A final watering is often made when the crop begins to open. Commonly, no additional irrigation is applied once the time the crop is 10 percent open to minimize problems with boll rot, hard lock, and light spot. Common sense factors include prevailing weather patterns and predictions, available soil moisture, and time of year.”

2014 Georgia Cotton Production Guide

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Pond Weeds – Creeping Rush

CreepingRush (3)

Here is a pond weed that was showing up a few weeks ago. It seemed to appear in flushes. The day we checked it, the weed was hardly showed up in the pond. It turned out to be creeping rush. Generally, we start with herbicides to control pond weeds followed by stocking carp to further control.

Creeping Rush

Creeping Rush

UGA Extension Aquaculture Specialist Dr. Gary Burtle says creeping rush can look like a sedge, but is a flat stemmed rush in the Juncus genus. Treat with diquat to burn back, and then stock 10 grass carp per acre (triploid and 1 pound each).  Diquat is used at 1 to 2 gallons per surface acre over the infested area.

During the hot months, treat ¼ to 1.3 of the pond area per treatment to reduce the risk of oxygen depletion.  Aeration is also recommended.

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Filed under Aquatic Environments, Weed Science

Leaf Spot & Dry Pastures

Pasture (2)


Bipolaris Leaf Spot

We were looking at a pasture in Boston last week that was needing to be cut. It turned out it was just really dry in some spots and needing some rain. This pasture is predominately Bahiagrass but also plenty of bermudagrass. Both grass species were showing decline symptoms resulting from drought. On the bermudagrass I could see some leaf spots. The leaf spots on Bermuda are caused by either rust or Helminthosporium fungus. Here is what UGA Extension Pathologist Dr. Alfredo Martinez has to say:

Leaf spot caused by Bipolaris is observed on the leaves of this grass. It is a common disease this time of the year. Low potassium and high nitrogen are usually the culprit in addition to other stresses. Dry soils and wet foliage by dew can be problematic.

Information on leaf spot diagnosis and control is located at Leafspot Diagnosis and Management in Bermudagrass Forages.

Santos-Pasture (3)

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Late Fertility Decisions On Cotton


We’re seeing some fields showing some nutrient issues which have reached 6th week of bloom. The field above had the red tint similar to potash deficiency in which we decided to run a leaf tissue and petiole sample. Everything actually came out good except nitrogen. UGA Extension Fertility Specialist Dr. Glen Harris says we generally do our leaf tissue samples before bloom and petiole following bloom. When one is taken this much after bloom it can be difficult pin pointing issues, especially nitrogen.

We were not much under nitrogen uptake, but was still puzzling since a normal recommendations were applied. We are now at 8th week of bloom, and at this time no foliar applications would economically improve the situation. There is always discussion about waiting on bolls in the upper portion of the plant. Dr. Harris says, “Based on field research trials, foliar fertilization is most effective when applied during peak bloom or the first 4 weeks of bloom. Foliar feeding during the 5th – 7th week of bloom may or may not be effective depending on the particular cotton variety. Once you pass the 8th week of bloom, it is too late and no foliar feeding is recommended.”

It is difficult to determine fertility problems in fields were we rotate in and out each year. In the case where we  are in the same field for subsequent seasons, we can make changes to our fertility program.  increase our total N inputs to prevent the same issue. But even a slight increase or decrease in something like N, we still have to think about how more or less rainfall can affect outcome.

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