Monthly Archives: September 2016

Irrigation & Other Considerations Before Pecan Harvest

UGA Pecan Specialist Dr. Lenny Wells has been observing varieties and irrigation as we approach harvest:

Pawnees are being harvested this week and many other varieties are experiencing shuck split. I have seen Elliott, Oconee, Caddo, Creek, and Excel opening this week as expected. This means that these varieties will likely be ready for harvest in 2-3 weeks where we are now seeing shuck split. Also, surprisingly we are seeing shuck split begin on Cape Fear and even Stuart, although Stuart is notorious for having a few nuts on which the shucks split, then they slow down and a few more open in a couple of weeks. I still think we are about a week later than last year’s harvest.

Shuck Split Cape Fear - Dr. Lenny Wells

Shuck Split Cape Fear – Dr. Lenny Wells

It appears that we probably won’t see a repeat of the problems we saw on Oconee last year, at least not as severe as it was last season. I have cut many Oconee nuts throughout the state and have not seen any of the bad, gooey kernels characteristic of last year’s Oconee crop. They seem to be well sized and filled out nicely.

Oconee Kernel Fill - Dr. Lenny Wells

Oconee Kernel Fill – Dr. Lenny Wells

Irrigation Approaching Harvest?

Continue with irrigation through shuck split until enough nuts have split to shake the trees for the first harvest. Water aids in advancing shuck-split. Its still very dry in most of the state. Cut irrigation rates to about 1/2 of full capacity until ready to shake for the first harvest or until you get a 1″-2″ rain.

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North Florida Pecan Field Day – October 4th

Each fall, a pecan field day is held in North Florida for pecan growers in our region. Pecan specialists from UF and UGA provide updates in pecan production.

Tuesday, October 4 – 8:30 AM to 2:00 PM

North Florida Research & Education Center – Quincy

155 Research Road, Quincy, FL 32351

The 2016 Florida Pecan Field Day will provide the latest research information for commercial pecan growers. This is a free, sponsored event but we do ask that you call the Jackson County Extension Office office to RSVP at (850)482-9620 or email Matt Lollar at

The Workshop Topics Will Include:

  • Enterprise Budget for Pecan Production
  • Production Potential of Other Crops In Conjunction With Pecan for Enterprise Diversification: Fundamental Biological, Ecological & Pest Management Considerations
  • Phosphorus Banding in Pecans
  • Grove Establishment & Rejuvenation
  • Pecan Research Plot Tour
  • Annual Meeting – Florida Pecan Growers Association

Visit this blog post on Panhandle Ag e-News to register.

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Peanut Harvest & Row Crop Disease Update

Boston Peanut

Boston Peanut

Golden Peanut in Meigs

Golden Peanut in Meigs

After afternoon showers and rain last week, we are really getting back to picking this week. Growers are also wide open on defoliating cotton. I saw some cotton being picked yesterday.

I visited our buying points this week and looked at grades and other issues. Thankfully, we are not having many Seg 2 burrower bug hits as last year and the year before. Between both buying points, I only know of one known burrowing bug Seg 2. In every other Seg 2 case, they’ve turned around and cleaned them and they were fine.

Grades are probably a little down this year compared to last, but are definitely not bad. Many good grades overall and low percentage of our sound splits and other kernels (pops). We could be pulling the trigger early on the some of the fields. Almost all growers are checking maturity twice in fields before digging, and many have checked more than two times. We’ve not seen maturity develop at a normal pace with our dryland peanuts which has made digging decisions tough. With more peanuts in the ground, growers are having to dig when they have help, or wagons are available, or weather permits. Vine condition is also a factor in our decision at this time. Overall, we’ve had good harvest conditions this week. Even with afternoon storms or showers, sunny days have been able to dry peanuts quickly.

Collecting grading samples at Boston Peanut

Collecting grading samples at Boston Peanut

UGA Extension Pathologist Dr. Bob Kemerait has this information on current disease issues:


Harvest is well under way by this time, but disease issues still affect peanuts that won’t be harvested for another three weeks or more. I have seen some fields where harvest is approaching and where white mold (stem rot) is still active, and I have recommended growers late in the season apply a mixture of tebuconazole and chlorothalonil to finish the season (both products have a 14-day preharvest interval). Other white mold products could also be applied (check preharvest interval first), but with time running out in the season, the value of tebuconazole is certainly a consideration.

Late Leafspot

Late Leaf Spot

I have also observed where leaf spot, especially late leaf spot, is aggressive late in the season, primarily on a susceptible variety like ‘Georgia-13M’. If less than two weeks to go before digging, it is doubtful anything should be applied (or legally can be applied). If peanuts are 30 days or more away from harvest, then the grower can mix a pint of chlorothalonil with 5.5 fl oz/A of Alto. If harvest is more than 14 days away from harvest, the grower can mix 5-10 fl oz/A Topsin with a pint of chlorothalonil. Fields where defoliation from leaf spot diseases has reached 50% or more and have not yet reached the optimal digging date should be considered for an early digging.


Soybean producers in southern Georgia have experienced losses to Asian soybean rust this year; however it appears that most have successfully protected their crop with judicious fungicide applications. MORE IMPORTANTLY, I have observed a SIGNIFICANT amount of frogeye leaf spot (Cercpospora sojina) disease in a number of fields this year; something I have not seen in many years. I am not sure why this is so; however it is something we will need to watch again next season as well. Additionally, I am seeing pre-mature defoliation to Cercospora blight (Cercospora kikuchii) in a number of fields; this disease often results in purple stain of the soybean seed. Cercospora blight is diagnosed, in part, by the prominent loss of leaves in the top of the plant leaving only the petioles, reaching like bony fingers to the sky.


Bacterial blight (Xanthomonas citrii pv malvacearum) continues to cause concern to many growers in the state. From your reports, reports from our consultants, and from my own observations, it is clear that bacterial blight can be found in a number of fields across the Coastal Plain. Classic symptoms or bacterial blight on leaves, bracts, bolls, stems and petioles are fairly easy to diagnose; still symptoms of other diseases may inadvertently be diagnosed as “bacterial blight”. 

It is my belief, based upon my observations and discussions with a number of experienced individuals, that losses to this disease are likely to be small and even negligible in many fields. Finding a little bit of disease in a field is an important contribution to understanding the occurrence of bacterial blight in 2016; but incidence alone does not mean significant yield loss.

Certainly there are some fields, especially in extreme SW Georgia, were boll rots appear to be closely associated with bacterial blight and losses are likely to occur. Effective management of bacterial blight by a grower revolves around variety selection (we are composing such a list for Georgia cotton producers now) and management of crop debris/residue as the pathogen can overwinter in such. Crop rotation and burying of crop debris can help to minimize the development and spread of the disease in upcoming seasons.

Bacterial Blight

Bacterial Blight

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Pond Weeds – Baggy Knee Grass


I was talking with Alan Dennard who treats ponds in our area, and like myself, he claimed this season has been lowest calls for pond weeds in a while. We’ve had much fewer pond calls this year for some reason. But lately, I’ve been catching up. The good news is that we are moving back into a period better for treatment of pond weeds. If you treat on your own during the summer, we have to be careful not to cause an oxygen depletion which would kill fish. Treating 1/4 to 1/3 of the weed infestation at a time is recommended.

Baggy Knee Grass

Baggy Knee Grass

This week, I looked at a grass I had not seen before. It turned out to be baggy knee grass, one UGA Aquatic Specialist Dr. Gary Burtle says is showing up more and more in South GA ponds. The flower is easy to ID. To the left is a picture of that. The good news is glyphosate has activity on this weed. We pretty much start with this active ingredient for grasses nonetheless.  A 2% solution spot spray with a surfactant is the recommended rate.

Behind you’ll also notice filamentous algae. There was also a submersed weed I could not see to identify. We’d have to use copper complex herbicides for algae and diquat for underwater weeds. With temperatures in the upper 80s and low 90s, we still have to take precaution in treating that algae and submersed weeds.

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Digging & Picking Peanuts


If there was anything done in the field this week, it has been digging and picking. We really got heavy digging last week, and many of those peanuts have already been picked. Our conditions have overall been good. If anything, we are worried about it getting a little dry for digging. Some irrigated peanuts have been watered to soften up dirt.

We had lots of rain in forecast this week, but we really didn’t get any. Early in the week, we were cloudy and this stalled picking a day or so as it took longer for peanuts to dry. We have been sunny for the past 3 days however, and growers are super busy now.




Peanut Maturity

So many of our o6G’s – especially irrigated – are coming out of the ground between 130 and 140 days. I’ve talked with other agents around us who are seeing the same thing. UGA Peanut Agronomist Dr. Scott Monfort has also reported peanuts ready at this time also. He says GA 09B may be a little earlier than 06G with many of the other High Oleic varieties running near 140-150 days. GA 14N may be 145 to 150 days.

For our dryland crop, we are seeing results from extreme drought and heat on the peanut boards. We will see peanuts with varying color, peanuts turning loose in the hull, and insect damage. In dryland situations, the Tropical Storm made plants look better, but no necessarily pods. Dr. Monfort says some fields will be on the early due to lack of blooming in latter part of growing season. With moisture running low for advance, we are starting to look at vine condition in the field.

Split Crop

When we see a “split crop” it is not easy to determine when to dig. Dr. Monfort says that typically, a profile that is split evenly, we make the decision to dig on the leading edge. But, if the leading edge is minimal compared to the fruit load behind the “split”, then the decision is more difficult.


**And last, do not take risk in contaminating good quality peanuts with non-irrigated peanuts that might have aflatoxin (dryland corners.) A few bad pods can cause a trailer load to move to SEG 2 or SEG 3.


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Pond Weeds – Pithophora & Rhizoclonium


Most filamentous algae control methods are similar, except for a few species. And these are one of them. This is a group of wide-spread algae that are difficult to control. Pithophora and Rhizoclonium are in the filamentous algae category. They resemble a mass of wet-green wool. Control with these types of algae is more complicated than other species.

If you ever see an algae that feels like wool when you pull it from the water, it one of these species. Pithophora may be more common. This is the first time I’ve seen Rhizoclonium. The only difference between the two is microscopic. In the water, we still need to pull samples to determine if it’s pithiphora or rhizoclonium.

Wool-like appearance

Wool-like appearance


Essentially, we can treat these “wool-like algae” the same. Use a tank mix of cutrine plus with diquat at ½ gallon each per surface cre. This pond is very, very small – probably 1/10 of an acre, if that. Weedtrine D is another choice for small ponds. It is a dilute formula of diquat that is about 1/10 the concentration of Reward or generic Diquat which are 2.0 pounds AI per gallon.

Could we use copper sulfate instead of Cutrine Plus?

Yes. This difference is that Copper sulfate is more toxic to fish in soft water. UGA Aquatic Scientist Dr. Gary Burtle says copper sulfate is okay as long as the crystals are dissolved. Add about an ounce of copper sulfate per gallon of water, and get most of it dissolved. We need to avoid using more than 4 ounces of copper sulfate per acre foot of water in a pond like this – which probably has hardness less than 10 parts per million.

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Satsuma Grower’s Fall Update – October 5th


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September 16, 2016 · 6:43 PM

UGA Cotton Market Update

Here is the most recent cotton marketing news from UGA Economist Dr. Don Shurley:

cmn-9-15-16-a cmn-9-15-16-b

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Cotton Defoliation


We have defoliated some cotton in the county already. UGA Extension Cotton Agronomist Dr. Jared Whitaker discussed some points on defoliation at our field day a few weeks ago. Here is a summary of what we need to think about as we start defoliating.


Cotton defoliation is a sensitive process. For a successful harvest, defoliation must be carefully timed and carried out. Poor defoliation can lower fiber quality, while defoliating too early lowers yield and micronaire. Late defoliation increases the likelihood of boll rot and lint damage or loss due to weathering.

Late defoliating also increases the possibility that defoliant activity will be inhibited by lower temperatures.

Three ways to determine crop maturity and defoliation timing:

  1. 60 to 75% open bolls (only 60 for uniform crop)
  2. Sharp Knife – cotton strings when boll is cut – Seed are fully developed (brown coat & cotyledons)
  3. NACB – 4 or less (around 3 days per node)

There is often a relationship between percent open bolls in the canopy and the number of nodes between the uppermost first position cracked boll and uppermost first position harvestable boll (NACB).

Water Volume

Most harvest aid materials do not translocate or move very far within the plant. Therefore, application coverage is important. To ensure adequate foliar coverage use the proper spray pressure, ground speed and nozzle size in order to apply the desired spray volume in accordance of label instructions.

WATER VOLUME CAN SIGNIFICANTLY IMPACT OVERALL PERFORMANCE, THE MORE WATER THE BETTER (SHOOT FOR 15 GPA).  The wind damage from tropical system last week may make defoliation with ground sprayers a challenge for area cotton growers.

Rainfall occurring after applications can affect defoliant activity. Be sure to consider weather forecasts when making applications and pay attention to rain-free periods of particular products.

Thidiazuron is of particular concern, since it requires a 24 hour rain-free period.  Below is a chart of rainfast periods of cotton defoliants.

rainfast of cotton defoliatants

Three way mixtures:

Below is a chart to help with defoliation rates for the “Three Way” program:


Additional Weed Control

If weeds are present at harvest, some defoliants have herbicidal activity on plants. The table below is from the UGA Pest Management Handbook as a guide to weed control.


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Post Hermine

Things could have been much worse for us in the path of the hurricane/tropical storm last week. We seemed to be above the eye and did not have terribly damaging winds that counties in Southeast GA experienced. Friday morning I rode around and assessed some damage, looking at cotton and pecans. Damage is enough to rate, but could’ve been much worse.



Our pecan crop has more obvious damage with broken limbs and fallen trees. Trees fallen over are mostly between 10 and 15 years old, since their root systems have not completely established. In every orchard, you will see some trees down. We also have many limbs broken and nuts on the ground. Some growers will leave trees on the ground until harvest. UGA Pecan Horticulturalist Dr. Lenny Wells has this advice for pecan growers:

Attempts to save uprooted trees are generally unsuccessful. Trees completely uprooted or blown to the ground should probably not be righted, because of poor survival. If trees are 10–12 years old or younger, or have trunks less than ≈12 inches in diameter, survival rate is usually much better. There is also greater likelihood of recovery from uprooting if the soil is extremely wet when the trees blow down and major roots are unbroken. If major roots are broken, these trees sometimes survive, but they are usually not thrifty and easily uprooted again. Pruning such trees back could aid in their survival.

Experience with these storms indicates that small trees should be righted quickly, before roots exposed to the air are killed. Righting of trees should be done when the soil is wet to prevent further root injury. Such trees will usually remain productive, especially if the canopy is pruned back to balance the loss of roots. Hurricanes and tropical storms often cause trees to lean at various angles. The roots of leaning trees may or may not be pulled out of the ground, but often have sustained some injury. Long-term survival of leaning trees is unpredictable. Some Trees blown over to ≈45° angles have remained productive for at least 20 years without straightening. Still, other trees leaning at small angles died a few years later. Straightening of leaning trees after the tree is dormant tends to be effective only with small trees (i.e., trunks less than ≈12″ diameter). Again, wet soil conditions facilitate survival. Straightened trees usually require support from frames or wires. Subsequent nut yields from such trees are usually good if tree vigor is not noticeably diminished.




Most of our cotton has been blown over and laying close to the ground. Some of the questions have been about will cotton stand back up. While blasting peanuts, some growers who have experienced this before say that it will. UGA Cotton Agronomist Dr. Jared Whitaker talks about how the plants are the heaviest they will be as bolls are still closed. As bolls open, we will lose about half of our weight. This will allow plants to stand back up some. If, however, plants are tangled they won’t have the chance to stand back up. Much of what I saw in our trial is plants fallen over and tangled.

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