Monthly Archives: June 2016

2016 Sugarcane Aphids

SugarcaneAphids 001

On Wednesday, Stephanie Holliefield in Brooks County confirmed sugarcane aphids in grain sorghum. I got calls from two growers in Thomas County today reporting SCA also. In both fields reported, no honeydew is present. Last season, we observed that once honeydew was present on the top of leaves, populations spread fast. Here is a picture of an adult and immatures under a leaf in a field today.

Sugarcane Aphids

Sugarcane Aphids


At pre-boot, we really don’t treat until 50-100 aphids are found in 20% of the field. Last season, we found ourselves pulling the trigger later than we should have. Each situation will be different. It can be difficult to asses. We need to remember that if aphids are present in one corner of the field, they may be present in another corner, and in another spot.


Here is updated information on our Section 18 in GA from UGA Entomologist Dr. David Buntin:

We have 2 products available, Sivanto Prime and Transform.  Things we should know about application and use of these products include;

  1.  Sivanto Prime – can be applied at 4-7 oz/acre.  The 4 oz rate will do a good job and last for at least 21 days.  Sivanto Prime last a little longer than Transform.  This product is full labeled on sorghum with a supplemental label for the 4-7 oz rates.
  2. Transform WG – has been approved again by a Section 18 for Georgia, at the 0.75 to 1.5 oz rate/acre.  However, one big change from last year is Transform CANNOT be used during flowering.  Also, we need to remember that there are only 2 applications per season.  Dr. David Buntin, UGA Entomologist recommends at least the 1 oz rate and the 1.5 oz rate is even more effective and will provide approximately 14 days of control.

Both of these products can be used on grain, silage,  forage type sorghums, and sorghum/sudangrasses.  But please remember that these products can not be used on sweet sorghum.

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Filed under Entomology, Grain Sorghum

Morningglory Identification

I posted this last year from UGA Weed Scientist Dr. Erick Prostko. There are many species of morninglory weeds to learn in the field. We have to make sure we have proper ID for control.

Why is this important? Not all morningglories are controlled equally by certain herbicides. Here are a few examples:

  • Gramoxone (paraquat) is generally good on most morningglory species but not smallflower. 
  • Basagran (bentazon) is generally not effective on most morningglory species but will control smallflower.
  • Staple (pyrithiobac) is generally considered to be an excellent morningglory herbicide but not on tall.
  • 2,4-DB is less effective on pitted morninglory than other species.
  • Aim (carfentrazone) is considered a good morningglory herbicide but not on smallflower.

Here are some photos of morninglory UGA Extension Weed Scientist Dr. Eric Prostko shared from LSU and Virginia Tech.

Cypressvine-MG Tall-MG Red-MG SmallFlower-MG PurpleMoonflower-MG Pitted-MG Palmleaf-MG Ivyleaf-MG Entireleaf-MG

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Cotton Ginning Assistance

USDA Provides Targeted Assistance to Cotton Producers to Share in the Cost of Ginning 

One-time Payments to Begin in July to Assist with 2016 Ginning Season 

WASHINGTON, June 6, 2016 – Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Farm Service Agency (FSA) will provide an estimated $300 million in cost-share assistance payments to cotton producers through the new Cotton Ginning Cost-Share program, in order to expand and maintain the domestic marketing of cotton.

“Today’s announcement shows USDA continues to stand with America’s cotton producers and our rural communities,” said Vilsack. “The Cotton Ginning Cost Share program will offer meaningful, timely and targeted assistance to cotton growers to help with their anticipated ginning costs and to facilitate marketing. The program will provide, on average, approximately 60 percent more assistance per farm and per producer than the 2014 program that provided cotton transition assistance.”

Through the Cotton Ginning Cost Shareprogram, eligible producers can receive a one-time cost share payment, which is based on a producer’s 2015 cotton acres reported to FSA, multiplied by 40 percent of the average ginning cost for each production region. With the pressing need to provide assistance ahead of the 2016 ginning season this fall, USDA will ensure the application process is straight-forward and efficient. The program estimates the costs based on planting of cotton in 2015, and therefore the local FSA offices already have this information for the vast majority of eligible producers and the applications will be pre-populated with existing data. Sign-up for the program will begin June 20 and run through Aug. 5, 2016 at the producer’s local FSA office. Payments will be processed as applications are received, and are expected to begin in July.

Since 2011, cotton fiber markets have experienced dramatic changes. As a result of low cotton prices and global oversupply, cotton producers are facing economic uncertainty that has led to many producers having lost equity and having been forced to liquidate equipment and land to satisfy loans. The ginning of cotton is necessary prior to marketing the lint for fiber, or the seed for oil or feed. While the Cotton Ginning Cost-Share program makes payments to cotton producers for cotton ginning costs, the benefits of the program will be felt by the broader marketing chain associated with cotton and cottonseed, including cotton gins, cooperatives, marketers and cottonseed crushers and the rural communities that depend on them.

The program has the same eligibility requirements as were used for the 2014 Cotton Transition Assistance Program, including a $40,000 per producer payment limit, requirement to be actively engaged in farming, meet conservation compliance and a $900,000 adjusted gross income limit.

To learn more about the Cotton Ginning Cost-Share program, or contact a local FSA county office.

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Cotton, Peanut, Soybean Insect Scout School – June 13th

June 13, 2016

Tifton Campus Conference Center

Tifton, Georgia




9:05  COTTON

9:15  PEANUT





10:10 – 10:20 BREAK



11:00  SAFETY









12:30ADJOURN – Have a safe trip home

Program Participants

Mark Abney – Research/Extension Entomologist

Phillip Roberts – Extension Entomologist

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Peanuts: Time For Calcium

Former UGA Peanut Agronomist Dr. John Baldwin always said, “If it don’t rain, it don’t matter.” We are putting out landplaster in peanuts now to supplement calcium. If we don’t have enough calcium, we get “pops”. This usually happens more in dryland fields as we also need water to move the Ca through the roots. Peanut plants absorb calcium through the roots (and transported upward in xylem) and not translocated through the leaves. Once peanuts begin to peg, the peg and developing pod passively absorb Ca directly from the soil. This is why we need high levels of Ca in the pegging zone. Ca must be available in a water soluble form and is why gypsum or landplaster is recommended to apply at early flowering. We also need rain very bad. Thankfully, we are getting some today.


UGA Fertility Specialist Dr. Glen Harris has more to say about different types of Ca:

“The more they stay the same! When we switched from growing small-seeded Georgia Green to large-seeded Georgia 06G we really thought we would need to increase our gypsum or calcium recommendations. But after years of research we concluded that the recommendations didn’t need to change. You can still use a pegging soil sample (3 inches deep, next to the peanut row soon after emergence) if you have at least

  1. 500 lb/a of soil test calcium AND
  2. Calcium to potassium ratio is 3:1 or better

In this case, you don’t need to apply gypsum. If you do not meet EITHER of these requirements then you need to apply 1000 lb/a gypsum at early bloom.  Also, all peanuts grown for seed should automatically receive this gypsum application regardless of soil test calcium levels.

There are a number  of different gypsum or landplaster fertilizers currently available. Chemically they are all calcium sulfate, and the good news is that we have tested these too. They are all comparable as far as providing calcium to the pegging zone of a peanut. Probably the most commonly used is technically called Flue Gas Desulfurized or FGD gypsum and is a byproduct of scrbbing sulfur gas out of smokestacks at coal burning power plants. I call this “smokestack” gypsum although a lot of growers refer to it as “synethetic” gypsum. There is also the old ‘wet bulk” phosphogypsum (a by-product of the phosphorous fertilizer production), and the naturally mined USG 500 among others.

The lime method can also be used to provide calcium to the pegging zone of peanut but a few things:

  1. This method should only be used when you also need a soil pH adjustment, otherwise use gypsum if you need calcium.
  2. Both dolomitic or calcitic lime can be used. Some people think you HAVE to use calcitic but this is not true.
  3. The lime method does not work as well as gypsum under dryland conditions during years of normal rainfall. We have good replicated field data to support this too.

We have also been testing putting calcium chloride though the pivot at peak pod fill (60-90 days after planting). This method has a fit when you are on the borderline of needing some calcium. The benefits are you can apply this yourself and you do not have to run over the vines. One disadvantage compared to gypsum or lime is that this method with not build your soil test calcium levels basically at all.”

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Filed under Fertility, Peanuts

Thrips Foliar Sprays

Thrips flights were down last week for the first time since planting. Many of us agents are involved in a 1 leaf spray efficacy trial UGA Extension Entomologist Dr. Phillip Roberts and Miller County Agent Brock Ward designed to help get data across the state. We have to rate it exactly 14 days after spraying, and this week I rated two of mine. The difference between a 1 leaf spray and no spray or later spray is very obvious. We’ve also been discussing foliar sprays this week. Here are some questions we’ve discussed.

  1. Should we follow with a second acephate spray? Dr. Roberts has conducted trials with 1 +3 leaf sprays, and they showed no difference from a 1 leaf ONLY spray. Something I noticed rating our thrips trials is not only the effectiveness of 1 leaf sprays, but also how fast the plants grow in 14 days. If we have a timely insecticide spray, AND growing conditions are good, cotton will outgrow potential thrips issues. The only reason to consider a second foliar application is if 1) cotton is not growing fast 2) thrips are still highly active. It would be a judgment call at best.
  2. How long does this foliar spray of orthene last? Research entomologist Dr. Michael Toews, and Dr. Roberts have data on this that hasn’t been totally put together, but the best analysis is maybe 3 -4 days. Pyrethroids, on the other hand, photodegrade fast. Dr. Roberts says pyrethroids will kill thrips, but the reason we do not recommend them is 7 days after treatment, thrips populations are higher where pyrethroids were sprayed than where orthene was sprayed.
No orthene spray at 1 leaf

No acephate spray at 1 leaf – 14 days later

Orthene spray at one leaf

Acephate spray at one leaf – 14 days later

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Filed under Cotton, Entomology

Weed Control Following Forage Establishment

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We have been looking at recently sprigged pastures this past month to determine weed control needs. We can use Diuron immediately after sprigging, but for most everything else, the pasture needs to be established. So, when is it established?

Sprigging Bermuda

There are a few ways to look at this. One way to look at it is, if you can pull on the plant and it snaps off – rather than pulling up roots and all – then it is “established.” There are other definitions of establishment based on runner length. Many of our herbicide labels answer this question. The label may say it is considered established when runners reach 8 – 10 inches. Sometimes labels describe establishment with days after sprigging and say, “use only on bermudagrass established for 60 days.”

The pasture pictured above has 8-10 inch runners in 40% of the pasture and the rest was 3 – 4 inch runners. In terms of safest postemergent application, UGA Extension Weed Scientist Dr. Patrick McCullough says, the 2,4-D and Weedmaster products will be the safest to use on immature bermudagrass during establishment. However, we are too risky to apply these products now, so mowing will be our only option here until we can buy some time on establishment.

PastureSprig (5)

Seeding Bahia

Here is some TifQuik Bahia that was drilled in mid April. It’s only at 3/10 of an inch of rain since then, but coming up good. We have a more variety of weeds here, and automatically lose any option with mesulfuron since it’s Bahia. Some seedlings are still emerging, but most of it is 3 -4 inches. The rule of thumb here is when grass is 8 – 10 inches tall, it is considered established and safer to apply herbicides. In this situation, we would mow throughout the growing season, then come in the fall with a phenoxy herbicide to start control.

TifQuikBahia 010 TifQuikBahia 012


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Filed under Pasture, Weed Science