Monthly Archives: March 2015

P, K, Zn Fertilization On Young Pecan Trees

Here is information from UGA Extension Pecan Specialist Dr. Lenny Wells and fertilizing young trees:

Most soils on which new pecan orchards are established here in Georgia are old row crop fields or cleared pine land. In the case of row crop fields, soil levels of P and K may be in fairly good shape, while Zn levels and pH are low. On cutover pine land, everything tends to be low. Desired soil levels for these nutrients should be 60 lbs P, 100 lbs K, and 15 lbs Zn by the time the trees begin production. It takes a few years for surface applications of these nutrients to reach the trees. The sooner growers can get up to these levels, the better. In general, once you get P, K, and Zn levels to this desired range, they tend to remain there for quite a while because so little is removed with the crop or lost to the environment in an orchard system.

Our general recommendation for fertilization of young trees is to apply 10-10-10 + Zinc Sulfate by hand to each tree. With regard to tree growth and leaf N status, this still appears to be an effective and efficient method of fertilization. As far as the tree is concerned, there is no difference between this method and fertigation. There are a number of growers who are applying fertilizers through the irrigation system on young trees. There is nothing necessarily wrong with this. It can be done safely as long as the irrigation system is in good working order. In fact, for larger orchards, fertigation may be an easier and more efficient method of fertilizing young trees from a labor stand-point. However, the best use of fertigation is for the application of N. Our trials have shown that 25 lbs N per acre applied via fertigation is excessive for first through third year trees. A more reasonable rate would be 10 lbs N per acre (and that may be high as well). The tree will only use the N it needs and excessive N will leach from the root zone, therefore N must be applied annually in a manner suitable for optimum uptake. However, earlier P, K, and Zn are more stable in orchard soils.

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As young trees grow their roots are exploring the soil at a length twice that of the canopy width. Therefore the roots of a young pecan tree quickly outgrow the area wet by the irrigation system. In newly established orchards, this area may remain deficient of P, K, and Zn for a number of years unless dry broadcast applications are made to bring soil levels up to the desired range. With fertigation of these nutrients, the wetted zone may be sufficient but the larger area around it in which the roots are trying to explore is still low. This is especially critical for P, which plays a large role in root growth.

The tree will reach a point in which it needs sufficient P, along with K, and Zn in the entire root zone for optimal growth and production. Broadcast applications beginning with directed applications toward the herbicide strip in young trees will help get these soil levels up in a broad swath around the trees. As the trees grow and leaves are deposited in the middles, they redistribute and recycle these nutrients back into the orchard soil. A broadcast application of poultry litter is also a good way to elevate levels of these nutrients in the orchard. Begin building up soil levels early on young pecan trees in order to avoid problems down the road.

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Collards Bolting

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Here are some collards planted at the Thomas / Colquitt County line. This field was planted a few weeks ago and growers are checking for diamondback moths. We were already seeing some moths in buds. Looking for diamondback moths, we also noticed larger plants were flowering or bolting. Bolting is the term used to describe premature flowering in vegetables making them unable to use. Cold spells or changes in day length cause bolting to occur. We are not exactly sure what set off the run to seed in this field, but unfortunately, the crop cannot be used. Bolting can occur in annual and biennial crops.

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Supplementation With Low Quality Hay

We have run quite a few samples of hay to test forage quality these last few weeks and had many questions about supplementation. We were originally concerned about nitrate levels with end of season drought stress. However, we have not found any toxic nitrate levels, but have observed some low quality hay. Here is some information from Effingham County Ag Agent Sam Ingram:

Like many of us, annual and perennial grasses are anxiously awaiting warmer temperatures and more sunshine in the day. But as of now we  are still waiting, and this means our beef cattle producers are still feeding hay from last season which may be low in quality. This time of year there are calves on the ground nursing and bulls in the pasture breeding brood cows. With the demand set high for the brood cows, good nutrition is essential during this period. If a producer is feeding lower quality hay from last year, extra supplementation may be needed. Dr. Jacob Segers and Dr. Lawton Stewart developed a simple sheet to help producers decide if supplementation is needed in addition to their hay. A forage sample should be taken from your hay to determine the quality, a simple “estimation” is not enough to accurately supplement for the cattle.

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The table above shows that majority of our cows can maintain body weight and a calf on their side with average forage. But as our quality starts to drop and our total digestible nutrients (TDN) falls below 50%, we need to look at supplementation. Those disgetible nutrients can be traced back to maturity of the grass and when it was cut. The last cutting of hay tends to be the lowest quality and that last cutting is now what most producers are feeding. If a producer wants to increase their quality, fertility is a great place to start but also cutting the forage at the right time will maintain good quality.

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Time Of Day To Spray Weeds?

Over the past few years, UGA has been studying the impact of application time of day on the postemergence activity of numerous herbicides.  Dr. Stanley Culpepper, UGA Extension Weed Scientists, provides the table below. Liberty remains, by far, the most sensitive herbicide to the time of day in which it is applied.  However, research is showing most herbicides applied early, late, or early and late may not perform at their optimum.

Consistent results from numerous locations have been generated with Liberty, Roundup, Clarity, and 2,4-D.  For Reflex, Direx, and Gramoxone results provided are from a single location and the study will be repeated during 2015.

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Peanut Seed Size

Seminole Crop E News

 Why does it matter what peanut seed size is?  Well, it matters to the shelling plant so they can set equipment and make plans. It matters to the candy makers.

It matters to farmers, now, as we plan on the amount of seed to plant. We know that we want 6 seed per foot of row so if we know our peanut variety then we can plan for the amount of seed that we’ll need at planting time. Here’s a good chart from the 2015 UGA Peanut Production Guide. Check with your seed provider for more details on seed size.

This chart is great because Scott Monfort, UGA Peanut Scientist, has included a column that gives us how many pounds we will need to plant per acre at each seed size. Chances are that our seed won’t be exactly that size but it should be close.

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Adventitious Roots On Muscadine

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Here are some muscadine vines around Coolidge that are growing odd-looking branches originated from the stem. We’re used to seeing suckers grow from the main trunk, but this is something producers have never seen. These little branches started growing on vines both 20 and 25 years old. Some are also growing on younger vines only 4 years old (below).

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Adventitious Roots on Muscadines

 

Adventitious Roots on Muscadines

UGA Extension Fruit Scientist Dr. Erick Smith says this is something researchers have noticed quite often. These are adventitious roots that grow when muscadines are planted in or experience cold weather. They have noticed adventitious roots are often produced under cold weather conditions. Dr. Smith says there is no known negative impact the adventitious roots have on the plants. It does not matter if you prune them out or leave them.

Now is the time grape producers are completing pruning for the season. Mr. Donnie was showing me how you want to leave to “eyes” or buds on each “spur.” Since muscadine fruit are produced on new shoots from last year’s growth, prune back the canes that grew the previous year, leaving about 3 inches (or two buds) of growth to form spurs. Prune in February or early March. Don’t be alarmed if the vines “bleed” at pruning cuts. Bleeding does not harm the vines. Here is a publication from UGA on Home Garden Muscadines.

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Two buds or “eyes” are left on each spur

 

 

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Base Update Extension

The Secretary of Agriculture announced that USDA is providing a one-time extension of the deadline to update base acres or yield history for ARC/PLC Programs.

The extension gives farm owners and producers until March 31, 2015 to make their elections.   If no changes are made to yield history or base acres by March 31, 2015, the farm’s current yield and base will be used.

A program choice of ARC or PLC coverage also must be made by March 31, 2015, or there will be no 2014 payments for the farm and the farm will default to PLC coverage through the 2018 crop year.

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“Bot Canker” In Pecans

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Photo by Dr. Lenny Wells

Photo by Dr. Lenny Wells

Here are some five year old Sumner and Elliots that have sunken, cracked areas in the bark that appear pulled away from the wood. This is the result of Botryosphaeria canker or “Bot Canker.” This is a problem that is usually not noticed until it becomes severe. UGA Extension Horticulturalist Dr. Lenny Wells says, “Bot canker” is caused by a fungus which can infect the tree through wounds like limb breakage, pruning sites, or small cracks.  The infected wood may appear black while the bark surrounding the wound site appears grey-white in color. The problem is easily taken care of when caught in time but can lead to serious problems when left un-checked.

Botryosphaeria fungi may initially colonize dead tissue and move downward on the branch or trunk into healthy bark and sapwood. Spread occurs through air movement or splash dispersal of spores, and can also occur through use of contaminated pruning tools.”

For trees that are not too far gone, it is recommended to use white latex paint on the infected area. This reflects the sunlight into the infected area which worsens the canker. Below is a photo of a tree painted.

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Mayhaws Blooming

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Our mayhaws have been blooming for probably two weeks now. Here are some in the county I pass all the time. UGA conducted research on mayhaws at the Attapulgus Research Farm near Bainbridge many years ago and found that the trees would be well adapted to the Southeast. Mayhaw prices right now are almost double what they generally are and folks are showing interest in finding trees and planting a few in the yard. I love eating mayhaw jelly, and some folks around make it.

MayhawsBlooming2015 (4)One of the biggest pest issues we have with mayhaws is a disease called Quince-Cedar Rust. Spores infect the tree at bloom each year and then overwinters on a secondary host of a cedar tree – usually Eastern Red Cedar – after this. Infection takes place one time during the growing season. The first thing to do is remove cedar trees within a quarter of a mile of any mayhaws. If many cedar trees are present, this is not practical. In this case, managing rust with a fungicide program is the best option.

UGA Extension Pathologist, Dr. Elizabeth Little, says that myclobutanil is labeled for this disease and can be applied starting at bloom if this disease has been a problem. Be aware that resistance is common with myclobutanil so the further apart your sprays the better. Spray with myclobutanil no more than two times in the growing season. Another fungicide may need to be used following these treatments. Below is a picture of Cedar-Quince Rust.

Quince-Cedar Rust on Mayhaws

Quince-Cedar Rust on Mayhaws

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Warrant Peanut Label Change

UGA Extension Peanut Weed Scientist Dr. Eric Prostko received word about the latest changes in the Warrant/Peanut label. Below are the changes noted by Dr. Prostko:

  1. Preplant soil incorporated (PPI) applications together with Prowl, Sonalan, or Strongarm are not recommended due to the increased risk for crop injury and reduced weed control.
  2. POST applications of Warrant can be made after peanut emergence up through the R1 stage (beginning bloom).  R1 ends when 50% of plants have reached the R2 stage (visible peg).
  3. The supplemental label must be in possession of user at the time of application.

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