Monthly Archives: September 2015

Grain Sorghum Harvest


We are almost done harvesting milo for grain in Thomas County. This is the first season all of us have dealt with sugarcane aphids from beginning to end. The majority of fields in the county have been treated 4 times for aphids. This does seem like a lot of sprays; however, in these fields, yield reports are good. In these fields, SCA was spotted early and treated at or below threshold.

There was a few fields that were treated late, according to threshold. SCA reached the top of the plant before spraying. A couple of weeks later, the lower leaves completely desiccated due to aphid pressure. These yields are much lower than average. Other reports are were volume is high, 17%-19% moisture, test weight is low. Could this be from SCA?

UGA Extension Entomologist Dr. David Buntin says, yes, this can be the result of SCA. However, test weight be also be related to wet and dry cycles. And this season will certainly be marked by wet and dry cycles. Another issue we have noticed are small heads and large heads. Dr. Buntin says when heads are in two or three different stages of growth, this is result of SCA. SCA don’t have huge phytotoxic effect of feeding, but lots of feeding over time delays heads emerging.

At this stage, we still need to check heads for aphids. Mississippi saw a 20% yield reduction when aphids persisted into the heads.

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Filed under Entomology, Grain Sorghum

Peanut PLC Payments

Here are some more slide from UGA Extension Economist Dr. Nathan Smith on PLC Payments.


Example PaymentYield

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Peanut Economic Outlook

Here are some slides by UGA Extension Economist Dr. Nathan Smith on our current peanut situation. Thanks to Seminole County Agent Rome Ethredge for organizing these slides for use.







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Commercial Pesticide Recertification

CommercialPesticideRecertificationDo you need recertification credits?

When does my license expire?

Not certain? Find out here at the Kelly Solutions website.

Don’t miss the opportunity to earn 5 hours of commercial pesticide applicator credits good in 15 categories.

Pesticide Safety and Handling Training

Friday, October 23 – St. Simons Island

Earn five hours of commercial pesticide credit in your category:

  • Category 24 – Ornamentals & Turf
  • Category 41 – Mosquito Control
  • Category 21 – Plant Agriculture
  • Category 27 – Right of Way
  • Category 23 – Forestry
  • Category 26 – Aquatic
  • Also…Categories 22, 25, 32, 35, 36, 37, 38 or 39.

Also earn five hours of International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) Credit.

Cost is $55 until Thursday, October 15 and $65 afterwards. Lunch & breaks are sponsored by FIS Outdoor, Inc.

For more information:

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Turf Insects


Sod Webworms

At the beginning of this month, I started getting lots of turf calls about caterpillars. We are still seeing them rampant now. They are sod webworms and different species of armyworms. I have mostly seen sod webworms, which are less than an inch long and have dark spots over their body. They overwinter as caterpillars in protective webbing. In the spring, they feed and molt into the pupal stae. The adults emerge, fly and mate. They have two or three generations a year.

Sod Webworm damage

Sod Webworm damage

It is recommended to treat in the young larval stage; however, its later instars that do damage to the turf. It’s easy to see the chewed grass blades. Sod webworms tend to survive better in higher-cut turf. This season, I’ve noticed them in St. Augustinegrass. I have seen them previously in centipedegrass.

We have been discussing treatment and checking behind turf that has been sprayed. You won’t find the dead worms because the organic matter is very high, unlike row crops, where dead bodies are quickly broken down by microbes and fungus is thatch. UGA Extension Enotmologist Dr. Will Hudson says they have developed an adaptation where if they are sprayed in the latest larval instar, they will go ahead and pupate. In South Georgia, caterpillars can be in issue through the month of September.

What about adult moths? We are still seeing a high amount of moths. It is not recommended to treat moths since most moths do not produce caterpillars that survive to a size that will do noticeable damage. Dr. Hudson says – as of now- it’s pretty late in the season for another generation to do much damage to a healthy lawn.

Chinch Bugs

Another pest I just saw this week is damage from chinch bugs. Chinch bugs infest during dry conditions. Our rain in Thomas County has been very spotty the last 3 weeks. We’ve been over a week in town without rain, and I saw this damage at our courthouse. There was no chewing on the grass blades, so I looked in the grass and found chinch bugs.


Chinch bugs have the piercing/sucking mouthparts like stinkbugs and feed at the base of the grass blade. This damage shows up as discoloring of the leaves and stolons. They tend to associate with St. Augustinegrass. They feed in clusters and damage first appearch as circular patches of yellowing turf that resemble drought. They are very tiny – can fit inside your pinky finger nail. Pull back the grass and look through the thatch. If they are present, you will see the bugs crawling around. They are so small, it is difficult to catch them.

Second Instar Chinch Bug

Second Instar Chinch Bug

Here is one I caught and put on the microscope. I could tell he did not have wings and is immature. They have a gradual metamorphosis where immature resemble mature except without wings. The only difference is color. I sent this to Dr. Hudson and he said this is second instar. The first instar is bright red, then this color for the next. Then they turn gray for a couple of molts, then get darker for the last stages. I was asking him about white color ones I was seeing but couldn’t catch. “The whitish looking ones are probably adults, since the wings are reflective and give a white appearance.”

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Filed under Entomology, Turf

Terminal Die-back

Pecan leaves can start to show symptoms of minor disease in the late season. Most of the time, it’s nothing to worry about. These foliar diseases won’t defoliate the trees in the next few weeks. The leaves are beginning to senesce anyway. UGA Extension Horticulturalist Dr. Lenny Wells has information on one of these issues:

Photo by Dr. Lenny Wells

Photo by Dr. Lenny Wells

One of these raising its head (now) is a relatively new disease we began seeing just 4 or 5 years ago. Symptoms are expressed initially as a dying or browning of the terminal leaflets on a compound leaf which progresses backward toward the base of the leaf. Eventually it moves into the leaf rachis (the main stem of the compound leaf) and the entire compound leaf may die. If you stand back and look at a tree infected with this disease the scattered dead compound leaves will look like dead brown patches in the tree.  UGA research pathologist Tim Brenneman has identified this as a fungal pathogen called Neofusicoccum. I will be referring to it as “terminal die-back.”

Most minor foliar disease like this infect the leaves a month or two prior to symptom expression. Dr. Brenneman suggests use of a strobilurin or a DMI/strobilurin mix like Absolute or Quadris Top when conditions favor infection (usually prolonged wet conditions). Even if a grower has used these materials, their timing may have been off enough to allow infection. Once you see the symptoms its too late to do anything about it. But, even when terminal die-back occurs earlier in the season we have not seen any long-term damage to the trees and no effect on nut quality so don’t get too alarmed when you see this problem.

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Leaf Blight & Leaf Rust In Pasture

Tift85Bermuda-Rust-Helminthosporium 002

Here is a Tift 85 pasture that has been cut twice so far and is showing symtpoms down on the leaves and lower down the stem. We are seeing both leaf blight (helminthosproium) and leaf rust. These issues we commonly see in late summer when weather is warm, usually between 75 degrees F and 90 degrees F, and with high relative humidity.

Leaf Blight

Bermudagrass leaf spot is caused by a fungus from the genus Helminthosporium, and the disease has been informally called Helminthosporium leaf spot, Helminthosporium leaf blotch, or Leaf Blight. Leaf lesions of helminthosporium are irregularly shaped and brownish green to black in color. We may see it in irregular patches. Leaf spots are more numerous near the collar of the leaf blade.

Leaf Blight

Leaf Blight


Leaf Rust postules

Leaf Rust

Leaf rust or Puccinia disease has similar impacts as Helminthosporium. We will also see red to orange lesions can on leaf and stem. Look for a raised area or blister which is the rust postules like we see in wheat and corn. Rubbing your finger over the leaf will leave a rusty color.


Management is strictly avoidance. Coastal, Tift 44, and Tift 85 have some level of resistance while Alicia is extremely susceptible. But even less susceptible varieties are infected with leaf spot when potassium is low. Most reported leaf spot cases are directly related to low soil potash. Nutrients are removed from bermuda hay fields in about a 4-1-3 ratio of N, P2O5, and K2O with harvest. We need 75 percent as much potash as nitrogen  applied each season. Split applications of K are better in sandy soils. With helminthosporium, removing the inoculant is also recommended. In addition to tying up nutrients, thatch holds water and reduces air circulation. This is a conducive environment for inoculum. The only practical way to reduce thatch is burning in spring before green-up.

Visit Leafspot Diagnosis and Management in Bermudagrass Forages for more information.

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Filed under Disease, Pasture