Monthly Archives: June 2017

Pawnee Nut Drop

UGA Extension Pecan Specialist Dr. Lenny Wells has this to say about Pawnee nut drop:

We have seen a fairly large Pawnee drop over the last week. It is not uncommon for Pawnee to shed a few nuts this time of year but this year’s drop looks a little heavier in places. Still, I don’t think its anything much to worry about in most cases. Most of the Pawnee trees I have seen with a heavy drop under them still have a heavy crop on them. The drop probably helped them more than hurt them. The trees should be able to produce better quality and have a better chance of a return crop.

Aborted Pawnee nuts prior to drop. Photo by Dr. Lenny Wells

 

Stages of Pecan Nut Drop (Sparks and Madden, 1985)

As the graph above shows, pecans undergo 4 separate fruit drops during the growing season, most of which are related to pollination problems. Pawnee is about a month ahead of most of our other varieties, so this drop would coincide with the 3rd drop in the graph above (which is based on Desirable). This drop occurs just before rapid fruit expansion and is due to the failure of the endosperm to develop properly. This drop is known to be accentuated by self-pollination. The low chill hours of this past winter and the resulting effect on budbreak (see Warm Winter and Pecans) could have affected cross pollination, leading to more self-pollination. If so, we may see a similar drop on other varieties in a few weeks.

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Weather & Disease Update

It’s hard to say we don’t want more rain, but more and more we’re saying just that. We’re having showers nearly every day or every other day, sometimes as much as an inch and a half. It’s starting to show up in the field where cotton is getting ‘wet feet.’ Some of our rain has come with strong winds. Our largest field of tobacco took a hit from these winds knocking plants to the ground in some places. The only hope is to stand it back up as best as possible. It is still causing issues with topping since the flowers on the ground began growing straight up.

We have a good crop of tobacco this year, but it was hit hard from strong winds and rain. Some areas completely blown to the ground.

Flowers turned from wind affects topping

From UGA weather station in Cairo, here are the rain numbers since the beginning of May.

Disease Update

Here is our latest disease update from UGA Extension Pathologist Dr. Bob Kemerait:

Southern Corn Rust: I was stunned when agents in our disease diagnosis class visiting a field in Morgan County found a very active spot of southern rust. Unbelievable because until yesterday, it had ONLY been found lightly in Seminole and Marion Counties. Obviously, as we expected, southern rust could be present anywhere in Georgia now.  Why it has not “exploded” yet is a mystery to me given the conditions we have had, but CLEARLY the spores have spread across the state.

The corn in that field as at hard-dough/early dent, so it does not need to be treated; however growers with later planted corn not yet at R6/dough stages should be aware there is at least some threat.

Target spot of Cotton: Perfect weather but I am NOT calling for an automatic fungicide application at first or at third bloom.  BUT I am saying that every cotton grower SHOULD be aware that these can be important and critical timings. As cotton approaches bloom, I hope growers can put some eyes and boots in the field and begin looking for it, lower leaves first. Weather is very favorable- growers with a history of disease in the field and those with high-input, strong yield potential should be the growers with the greatest chance for benefit. Target spot will not steal the entire crop, but it will take away a valuable portion of the crop.

Consider:  Growth stage (blooming yet?)  history of disease, reports from scouting, (have early symptoms been found?), what’s the weather like now and what is the forecast?  What is the value to the growing in a preemptive application “to be done with it”?

White mold and leaf spot in Peanut: We are seeing some of both.  Growers, don’t get behind!

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Filed under Corn, Cotton, Disease, Peanuts, Tobacco, Weather

PGR Rainfast

We are 2nd and 3rd week into squaring now, and we’re starting to put out our plant growth regulators. I had an unexpected 1 inch rain at the house yesterday afternoon.With all the rain we are having, we need to keep in mind the ‘rainfast’ of our PGRs. Below has written out each of our mepiquat and mixed products. Generally, when a surfactant is used, we can cut the rainfast in half. Pentia is more expensive, but with a 2 hour rainfast (1 hr with surfactant), we may find it beneficial our current conditions.

 

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Aphid Fungus

For the first time, I am getting to see what ‘consistent aphids’ looks like in the field. Normally, aphid populations are sporadic, seen only in ‘hot spots.’ This season, they are prevalent in our oldest and youngest cotton. We looked at a field this week where every single plant was affected by aphids in the top 3 – 4 leaves (below). The only reason we don’t talk much about it is UGA research on treating aphids has never found a consistent yield response. The best thing is to limit stress on the plant, and our rainfall is helping us here.

Leaves of 8-leaf cotton curl due to stress of aphids

Classic symptoms of aphids in our cotton variety trial.

Aphid Fungus

But the real new is that yesterday, we confirmed the ‘aphid fungus’ in Thomas County. UGA Extension Entomologist Dr. Phillip Roberts already reported the ‘aphid fungus’ being spotted in Tifton this week. This means, aphids will soon crash.

We observed the aphid fungus, (Neozygites fresenii), which causes aphid populations to crash on the Tifton Campus on June 26, 2017.  We have also received some early observations from both north and south of Tifton.  The presence of grey, fuzzy aphid cadavers is indicative of the naturally occuring fungus (below).  Once observed in the field we would expect aphids to crash within a week.  We typically first observe the fungus in fields with high aphid infestations; and more specifically areas of those fields which were initially infested.  All scouts should be on the lookout for the fungus and be sure to report to growers.

Aphid fungus – Photo by Dr. Phillip Roberts

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Cotton Irrigation At Squaring

Some of our pivots have not been running these past few weeks thanks to steady rainy days. For being so dry at planting, this is hopefully going to get us off to a good start in the field. Below is a photo of rep 2 from our variety trial. We have some plants squaring already.

Remember, stressing cotton during squaring has more negative effects than we realize. Cotton does not rebound if stressed from no irrigation through squaring. Last year, we lost so many squares from drought stress. This is something UGA Extension Irrigation Specialist Dr. Wes Porter says we have to be careful about.

Data on this using the UGA Checkbook Method where pre-bloom irrigation was eliminated found no difference in non-irrigated cotton. The reason for this is that cotton grows vegetatively and reproductively at the same time. During its vegetative growth, cotton is setting nodes. If it is stressed during this time, less nodes are set.

ImpactofPre-BloomIrrigation-J.Whitaker-2012

Dr. Porter has been looking at soil moisture sensors and the irrigation apps we can download on our phone. Research does show that the Smart Irrigation App is keeping us from putting out more water than is needed during both drought and rainfall situations. This is interesting because these apps do not monitor soil moisture, and the Smart Irrigation App is no charge to download. We go one step further when we use soil moisture sensors.

UGACheckbookMethod

Aphids???

I saw some ants crawling up some plants. I then checked for aphids. The ants eat the ‘honeydew’ produced by the aphids, called ‘farming aphids.’ UGA Extension Entomologist Dr. Phillip Roberts says there are some aphid hot spots that may develop in fields now. We just need to watch.

Aphids under leaf of squaring cotton

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Filed under Cotton, Entomology, Irrigation

Pecan Fungicide ‘Rainfast’

 

With rain and humidity, we are having ideal conditions for scab. Some growers essentially continue to spray around the clock. A common question is, “How long does my fungicide need to dry before rain?” This is a question pathologists have worked on for some time, but there are many variables involved making it difficult to generate data. UGA Plant Pathologist Dr. Tim Brenneman recently offered the following suggestions based on his studies with pecan and also on similar studies he has conducted in peanut:

Highly systemic materials like phosphite must be absorbed into the plant. It may require as much as 1/2 a day for this process to take place so that the material can be highly effective. While DMIs and strobilurins or combination products like Absolute, Top Gard, Quadris Top, and Quilt have some systemic activity they are not as systemic as the phosphites. Still, they would need a little time to be effective, so several hours to half a day would be ideal. A surfactant (80/20 or other) would increase the uptake speed of these materials and would likely provide some benefit in the conditions we’ve had over the last week or so. However, do not include a surfactant with Phosphite.

While the DMIs and Strobis have some systemic activity they still function largely as protectants. Other materials like Dodine (ELast) or Tin are pure protectants. These materials (Dodine and Tin) would be the most prone to wash off when rain arrives shortly after spraying. Dodine does adhere tightly to the plant cuticle, which likely helps it. Rainfall that occurs less than one hour after spraying makes the fungicide pretty well ineffective. Any rainfall within 24 hrs after spraying with a pure protectant will likely reduce the effectiveness of control to some extent. For each additional hour between the spraying and rainfall you gain additional control.

Ideally, all fungicides should be applied prior to rain events. If circumstances prevent you from getting a spray on in time and you have to spray after a rain event, the DMI/Strobi combinations would be the best choice.

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Filed under Disease, Pecans

Cotton Market Update

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June 16, 2017 · 6:56 PM