We are now seeing budbreak on our older trees. UGA Extension Pecan Horticulturalist notes that our budbreak timing is pretty close to last year – thanks to the cooler weather of a couple of weeks ago. Pecans across the state narrowly missed serious damage from the freeze. We won’t know about young trees until May or June. In Thomas County, it doesn’t look like the duration was long enough to have a major effect.
Dr. Wells points out though budbreak has begun, he is concerned that it may be somewhat uneven as a result of the warm winter. This could affect pollination. With the arrival of budbreak, there are other things to keep in mind.
It has been abnormally dry in south Georgia for weeks, and the trees will need water as they wake up. Mature trees should be irrigated at 17-18% of full capacity at this time. Young trees in the 1-3 year old range need about 4 hrs every other day throughout the season beginning now. Rain is in the forecast for Friday so if you receive a 1″ rain or more, turn the irrigation off for 3 days.
Pecan Budmoth Damage- Photo by Dr. Lenny Wells
Be on the lookout for budmoths in young trees. They begin feeding soon after budbreak and can destroy the buds making it difficult to establish a good central leader. Treat with chlorpyrifos, a pyrethroid, Intrepid, or Dimilin as needed.
Phylloxerra damage was particularly severe last year. If you plan to treat for Phylloxerra, do so now for those varieties that have started to break bud. These treatments must be made when budbreak begins or you will miss the window for treating them. Chlorpyrifos or imidacloprid are the materials of choice.
You can read more about Pecan Leaf Phylloxera on this blog post from last year.
Galls from Pecan Leaf Phylloxera
Lots of woods are on fire across Thomas County. The sap is rising in the hardwood trees, and it’s time to get these under control. At the same time, it has been getting warmer and drier. We’ve been about 4 weeks without rain now. The temperature in the 80s has essentially put us ahead of our growing schedule. This can get hot on some of our pine trees. I talked with UGA Extension Forester Dr. David Moorhead yesterday, and he went over some good points to consider when burning at this time:
- Fuel on the Ground – We really need to consider how dry we are, especially if you haven’t burned in a few years. If your managing timber alone and haven’t burned in a few years, you may have lots of rough build up on site. This can burn hot and scorcth trees. For these sites, it’ll be better to wait for a rain. Dr. Moorhead looked at a stand in one county where 100% of the trees were scorched. If you’re managing for quail, and burn every year, you won’t have as much litter on the ground. We’re safer in this scenario.
- Natural Firebreaks – Check your natural firebreaks, like wetlands. Even these could be dry. I was with a farmer yesterday looking at corn, and he mentioned how many fields they’ve planted this year that normally would be too wet to plant right now.
- Ips Beetles – Our beetle attacks have been worse this season because of the drought last year. These trees are under stress already. If you have a CURRENT beetle attack, Dr. Moorhead recommends to not burn. This will further stress those trees. This can affect our larger stands on plantations where thousands of acres are involved. How do you know if the beetle attack is current? If you see a group of dead tress (3-10) with pitch tubes on the bark, you need to think hard about burning. It is true that once symptoms of the attack show up, the Ips beetles are gone. But, if you are on a large track of land, the beetles maybe right around the corner. For more on Ips Engraver Beetles, look at this former blog post.
- Worker Safety – When it is this hot and dry, worker safety is very important. Be careful not to get dehydrated. Working conditions will be hotter, and fires too may move fast.
- Burn Permits – Mostly certainly get your burn permit. Also, talk with the Georgia Forestry Commission. They can help with analyzing current conditions and determining if burning is safe now.
We are getting closer to water temperatures being 70 degrees which is when we start treating for pond weeds. We had a huge turnout at this year’s pond meeting in which UGA Aquatic Specialist Dr. Burtle provided us an update on fertilizing, liming, and treating weeds. A big thanks to Alan Dennard and Ken McKinnis sponsoring the meal for us as well.
Last week, I looked at my first pond of the season. This pond is completely covered with naiad, which is a submerged weed. There is not much algae and some alligator weed. We have to get weed control started soon before it becomes impossible. Diquat is commonly used for submerged weeds and is a contact herbicide. Dr. Burtle talked about different herbicides and how they behave different in the water. Sonar, which is more expensive, provides longer weed control since it stays active through the year. So there are benefits to using different compounds.
In either case, we have to ID the weed and select the correct herbicide for control. Here is a slide Dr. Burtle shared of relative cost of aquatic herbicides that may be helpful as we begin our season.
UGA Extension Scientist Dr. Gary Burtle talks about water sampling
Allen and Andrea Poppell cooked a great catfish dinner. Loved seeing the fish in the boat.
Come by our new Extension office at 442 Smith Avenue, and pick up some Amelia tomatoes that 4-H has in already.
$1 / plant. We got plenty. The new office is directly across from Henderson’s, located where Hawaiian Snow used to be.
We looked at a good bit of corn this week that is now coming up in a few different stages. This field was actually planted before our freeze two week back. It slowed germination but would not have any injury. Any corn with just a few leaves – in the V1 growth stage – still has the groing point below the soil surface, which protects the plants from freeze.
We’re just now getting our first herbicide shot, so we’re able to mix Prowl in for grass control. Buffalo grass is all througought this field. Since some grass has already emerged, UGA Weed Scientist Dr. Eric Prostko says it’s okay to add Round Up in with Atrazine + Prowl. It’s one of the best one-shots we have in corn. We had just enough rain last night to help activiate some pre-emergent herbicides.
V1 Growth Stage – The collar (white line) is present on the 1st leaf.
V2 Growth Stage – The collar is present on 1st and 2nd leaf.
At the V1 growth stage, the growing point is still below the surface of the soil. At this stage, three leaves are visible. The leaf collar is only on the lowest leaf. At V2, four leaves are visible, but the collar is only on the 1st and 2nd leaf. At this growth stage, corn water demand is close to 1/10″ a day.
Professor Jeff Dorfman has helped develop a cotton survey from a research project funded by the Georgia Cotton Commission designed to help Georgia cotton farmers improve their production efficiency. Producer involvement in this research project only involves filling out a questionnaire on various cotton inputs, farm qualities, and personal experience.
You can find the survey at http://www.georgiacottonfarmers.com/.
Thanks to UGA Extension Weed Scientist Dr. Eric Prostko for this update on sprayer cleanout. There is obvious concern about sprayer cleanout after application of Enlist Duo, Engenia, Fexapan, and Xtendimax. Dr. Prostko encourages all applicators to read and follow the specific sprayer clean-out instructions listed on the herbicide labels. Here are some useful links:
2017 Enlist Duo Product Use Guide (automatic download of document – sprayer clean-out procedures listed on pages 20-21)
Engenia Clean-Out Recomendations:
Fexapan Sprayer Cleanout
Xtendimax Cleanout (video presentation)
I called a few local chemical dealers and the following are some commercial tank-cleaners that are currently being sold in Georgia (listed in no particular order):
1) WipeOut XS
2) Valent Tank Cleaner
3) Nutra-Sol Tank-Cleaner
4) All Clear
5) ProTank Cleaner