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Growth Responses and Financial Returns from Silvicultural Treatments in Southern Pine Plantations Seminar

See the document below about a forestry continuing education program:


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Scout for Tarnished Plant Bugs (Phillip Roberts, Extension Entomologist):

Unlike cotton production areas in the Mid-South, tarnished plant bug is an uncommon and sporadic pest of Georgia cotton. However, tarnished plant bug populations must be scouted as economic infestations occur in some fields each and every year. Only treat tarnished plant bugs if threshold levels are exceeded. Tarnished plant bug sprays are disruptive to beneficial insect establishment. Our primary method for scouting plant bugs is square retention. Our goal is to retain 80 percent of all first positions as we enter bloom. The square retention technique works well in pre-bloom cotton but is not as a reliable technique in blooming cotton as physiological shed confounds counts. More scouts are using sweep nets to monitor plant bugs. Sweep nets are an excellent tool for
monitoring adult plant bug populations, but the drop cloth (especially a black drop cloth) is more effective for monitoring immature plant bugs.

Adult tarnished plant bug (left) and immature tarnished plant bug in bloom (right). Images by Russ Ottens, University of Georgia and Ron Smith, Auburn University,

Effective use of the sweep net becomes difficult after bloom due in part to plant size and more emphasis should be placed on use of a drop cloth. Also be observant for both adult and immature plant bugs when making visual plant inspections; examine terminals and inside the bracts of squares, blooms, and small bolls. Also be observant for “dirty blooms”, blooms in which many of the anthers are dried and brown. Dirty blooms are an indication that plant bug (especially nymphs) are feeding on larger squares which the plant did not shed. 

“Dirty Blooms”. Images by Ron Smith and Barry Freeman, Auburn University,

Clouded plant bug adult (left) and immature (right). Images by Ron Smith, Auburn University,

Tarnished plant bug thresholds can be used for clouded plant bugs, but clouded plant bugs should be counted 1.5 times when using a sweep net. Note that the threshold is higher during the third week squaring and bloom compared with the first two weeks of squaring.

Sweep Net and Drop Cloth Thresholds:

Third week of squaring through bloom: Drop Cloth: 3 plant bugs/6 row feet, Sweep Net: 15 plant bugs/100 sweeps

First 2 weeks of squaring: Drop Cloth: 1 plant bug/6 row feet, Sweep Net: 8 plant bugs/100 sweeps

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New Liberty 24 (c) state label to help Georgia cotton farmers (A. S. Culpepper)

As a result of great team work with the Georgia Department of Agriculture and BASF, Georgia cotton farmers have a new Liberty label allowing shortened intervals between sequential Liberty applications which can improve weed control.

Research has shown understanding the time interval between sequential post applications is one of many critical components for an effective weed management system. The figure below compares 6 inch Palmer amaranth response to sequential Liberty applications as influenced by interval between applications. Obviously, one needs to spray Liberty when the biggest pigweed in the field is 3” for complete control and in this event a follow up application can be made when the next flush of pigweed reaches 3”. With the challenging weather during 2020, spraying all weeds at 3” or less may not be practical for some fields; thus, when pigweed is too large to kill with the first application then the second application timing is important.

DO NOT MAKE MORE THAN TWO LIBERTY APPLICATIONS in a season for resistance management purposes; follow the second Liberty application 10-12 days later with a layby directed application including conventional chemistry such as Diuron + MSMA + Crop Oil or Roundup + Diuron (add Envoke with layby if morningglory or nutsedge is an issue; check carryover)!

Few critical points from the label: 1) One must have 24 (c) label in hand when making application; 2) Liberty may be applied twice over-the-top of glufosinate-tolerant cotton as long as there is at least a 5 day interval between applications; 3) Do not include tank mix partners when making two applications less than 10 days apart. 4) Do not apply more than 36 oz/A overtop of cotton per application.

Click the following link to view the Liberty 280 SL FIFRA Sec. 24(c) Special Local Need Label:  Liberty 280 SL NVA 2020-04-594-0079 shortened seq interval 04-14-2020b_24c GA-20003


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Dicamba Use Update (Dr. Culpepper)

Dicamba (A. S. Culpepper).  On June 8, 2020 the U.S. EPA released critical information on Engenia, Fexapan, and XtendiMax. The entire release can be found at

Please visit the website for details; however, below are the details of the order:

“Details of the Order

EPA’s order addresses sale, distribution, and use of existing stocks of the three affected dicamba products – XtendiMax with vapor grip technology, Engenia, and FeXapan.

  1. Distribution or sale by any person is generally prohibited except for ensuring proper disposal or return to the registrant.
  2. Growers and commercial applicators may use existing stocks that were in their possession on June 3, 2020, the effective date of the Court decision. Such use must be consistent with the product’s previously-approved label, and may not continue after July 31, 2020.”

Weed Control Thoughts (Use only labeled products and follow all labeled directions and restrictions):

Scenario One:  Large pigweed with enough in-crop dicamba for two applications:  Spray labeled Roundup + dicamba immediately, wait 7 to 10 days and then make a second application; 12 days later run the layby rig with either 1) Direx + MSMA + Crop Oil if grasses are not up or 2) Roundup + Direx if grasses are up (add Envoke with layby if morningglory or nutsedge is a problem).

Scenario Two:  Large pigweed with enough in-crop dicamba for one application:  Spray labeled Roundup + dicamba immediately, wait 7 to 10 days and then make a Liberty tank mix application; 12 days later run the layby rig with either 1) Direx + MSMA + Crop Oil if grasses are not up or 2) Roundup + Direx if grasses are up (add Envoke with layby if morningglory or nutsedge is a problem).

Scenario Three: Large pigweed with no dicamba available. Sequential Liberty applications will be best approach although less effective than either dicamba system above. We were able to obtain a new state label for Liberty shortening intervals between sequential applications which will improve control (sending information in blog tomorrow).

Other Thoughts:

  1. Tavium registration was not revoked and therefore the herbicide is not impacted as of now.
  2. The Enlist program of herbicides are following a similar path to that of Engenia, Fexapan, and XtendiMax in the court system. No one can predict the future.
  3. In Georgia, we have all worked so hard to steward every pesticide and we should collectively be proud! However, this is a wake-up call in several ways. First, we must work together even harder generating sound science to preempt this type of situation in the future. Second, for those few growers who have down played the importance of using all pesticides wisely, what a wake-up call!!!!

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Dicamba Use Update

Yesterday UGA ANR agents received this news yesterday from Dr. McCann:

Below is a link to an article which recaps what occurred in U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit the 9th District yesterday. The Federal Court overturned EPA’s approval of dicamba-based herbicides made by Bayer, BASF and Corteva Agrisciences. The ruling effectively makes it illegal for farmers to continue to use the product.

The Georgia Department of Agriculture will explore what options are available to growers in this growing season. The registration for the products were going to end in December 2020.

Given the timing and our collective investment in the safe use of these products, this is a disappointing turn of events. More will be forthcoming in the near future from the companies and GDA.

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Covid-19 Assistance for Farmers


Commodity Purchase

USDA will provide $ 3 billion for commodity purchase (including meat, dairy and produce to support producers and provide food to those in need. USDA will work with local food and regional distributors to deliver food to food banks, as well as community and faith-based organizations to provide food to those in need.) Food Box Program.

 Direct Assistance for Farmers and Ranchers 

USDA will provide $16 billion in direct payments to farmers and ranchers including:

  • $9.6 billion for the livestock industry
    • $5.1 billion for cattle
    • $2.9 billion for dairy
    • $1.6 billion for hogs
  • $3.9 billion for row crop producers
  • $2.1 billion for specialty crops producers
  • $500 million for others crops (horticulture, aquaculture, sheep, goats, etc.)

Producers will receive a single payment determined using two calculations:

  • Price losses that occurred January 1-April 15, 2020. Producers will be compensated for 85% of price loss during that period.
  • Second part of the payment will be expected losses from April 15 through the next two quarters, and will cover 30% of expected losses.

The payment limit is $125,000 per commodity with an overall limit of $250,000 per individual or entity. Qualified commodities must have experienced a 5% price decrease between January and April.

Farmers who have received PPP or EIDL program funding are still eligible for Direct Assistance program funding.

Apply through your local USDA Service Center.  Many remain closed so call to schedule an appointment.

Program is open to all producers regardless of size.

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How to Deal with a Potential Gypsum Shortage This Year (Glen Harris)


(Above picture is from the Peanut Fertility Checklist – UGA Peanut Quick Reference Guide 2020)

Gypsum (or landplaster, i.e. calcium sulfate) may be in short supply this year. There is no need to panic but it doesn’t hurt to review your options for dealing with this potential problem.

Why the Shortage? Coal burning powerplants that produce a lot of the “smokestack” gypsum we use on peanuts in Georgia have either switched to natural gas as a cheaper fuel source… or it has something to do with COVID-19 . Either way, or both, there has been a disruption in supply.

Are there other gypsum sources? Yes, there is USG 500, the naturally mined product, that should be available, especially in East Georgia and there may be some old ‘wet bulk” or “phosphogyp” available from Florida and maybe even some recycled wallboard. Freight/trucking cost may be a factor
depending where you are located though.

Can I use lime instead of gypsum? Yes, but lime needs to be applied before planting since the calcium in lime is not as soluble as the calcium in gypsum. So timing is important. Also if you deep turn you need to deep turn before applying lime so you don’t bury it. So placement is important. The calcium need to be in the “pegging zone” (top 4 inches). And technically, lime should only be used when you either need a pH adjustment (below 6.0) or start around 6.0 so the lime will not raise the soil pH too high.

What about “liquid lime”? There is a product currently available called “Topflow” that has been field tested at a 10 gal per acre rate, surface applied at planting. This may not provide as much calcium to the pegging zone as 1000 pound per acre of gypsum and won’t raise the soil test calcium as much but can be considered an alternative if you cannot get gypsum. Even though it is a liquid, it is still lime so it needs to be applied before or at planting.

What if I get delayed getting gypsum? Or how late is too late to put out gypsum? Gypsum should be applied at “early bloom” or approximately 30-45 days after planting. Since “peak pod fill” is around 60-90 days after planting you can still see benefit from gypsum applications made any time before 60 days after planting. It can also depend on water or irrigation since you need water to dissolve the calcium and get it through the hull into the developing kernels.

Can I put calcium out through a center pivot? Actually yes. Recent research has been conducted showing 10 gallons per acre of calcium chloride (or 20 gallons of calcium thiosulfate) through the pivot during peak pod fill (around 75 days after planting) can have some benefit. Again, this is not as good as a timely gypsum application but can be viewed as an ‘emergency” or “insurance” application. The calcium in both of these products is basically 100 % soluble and therefore can be applied during peak pod fill.
Also, calcium chloride should be the more affordable option but check on price and availability.

Does every field of peanuts in Georgia need gypsum? Probably not, so if supply is short how do you decide which fields get gypsum? First, any peanut being saved for seed should automatically receive 1000 pound per acre of gypsum, regardless of soil test calcium levels. Calcium is extremely important for germination of peanut seeds. Technically other fields should be “pegging zone” tested, i.e. soil sample 4 inches deep taken soon after peanuts emerge. If the soil test calcium (Mehlich 1 Extractant) is
500 or higher and the calcium to potassium ratio is 3:1 or higher – then the soil test calcium will be considered adequate and no gypsum will be recommended. This is based on research field trials looking  at yield and grade. Research also shows that gypsum is even more important in dryland compared to under irrigation since water will be more limiting in dryland and less soil test calcium will be available.

How important is gypsum for peanut production? This probably should have been the first question answered. And the answer …. is very or extremely important! Since peanuts as a deep tap-rooted legume can fix nitrogen and scavenge residual soil phosphorous and potassium, calcium is the most critical element. Lack of calcium in the pegging zone to be absorbed through the hull can result in “pops” or no kernels which obviously reduces yield. Calcium deficiency on peanut can also lead to pod rot. And again, calcium is critical to germination for peanuts saved for seed for next year.

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Planting Concerns

Below are some recommendations from Scott Monfort (UGA Peanut Agronomist):

Soil temps around the state are in the high 60’s to high 70’s. The soil should be buffered from a few hours of cold temperatures during the night time as long as we are warming back in the high 70’s to mid-80’s during the day. The low 70’s daytime and 50’s night time temperatures for more than 1 to 2 days will drive the soil temps down. With this in mind, I would consider not planting until this cold front has passed.

However, I know some growers need to continue planting so please consider the following:

  1. If you are dryland and you are afraid of losing needed moisture then I would go ahead and plant.
  2. If you are irrigated, you could hold off until cold front moves out.
  3. If you have questionable seed quality, I would wait to plant until it warms up.
  4. Soil temperatures can be different across the state. (check your county weather stations)
    1. The eastern part of the state will be at more risk than the Southwest part of state.
    2. Freshly turned soil will be colder than normal – let field sit for a day or so to warm up
    3. For strip tillage fields with cover, soils are typically colder than conventional tillage fields so you may want to allow extra time for soils to warm up.
  5. What if I have a lot of acres and need to keep planting or I just want to keep planting?
    1. Make sure you are planting with good quality seed
    2. Add appropriate in furrow fungicide to help with seedling disease
    3. Do not plant more than 2.5 inches deep
    4. Try not to add irrigation during the coldest days where night time temperatures are in the 40’s and 50’s and the day time temperatures are below 70-75. If you need to go ahead and add irrigation do not apply more than is needed to activate herbicides.

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Snails in Peanut


After several inches of rain last week an interesting observation was made where peanuts were recently planted.  Snails were present in high numbers in this conventionally tilled field.  Normally, we would expect to find them in fields with more plant residue.  Recent tillage and rain likely made the snails more noticeable.  Dr. Abney says that the snails do not usually feed on live plants, just decomposing plant material, so they don’t pose a threat to the crop until harvest (if they make it into the combine).

There is little information available on snail control in peanuts, but some recommend tilling to disturb the soil and prevent populations from increasing.  However, this may not be an option for growers implementing conservation tillage practices.

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Be smart now or figure out how to kill Palmer amaranth without herbicides soon (Stanley Culpepper and Larry Steckel)

For essentially two decades, Georgia farmers have battled glyphosate-resistant
Palmer amaranth. Its impact on Georgia agriculture is so high it is simply immeasurable. As many lessons have been learned from our past, weed management decision making has vastly improved at all levels across Georgia. However there are great concerns with overuse of many herbicide chemistries especially dicamba and the PPO herbicides (examples such as Reflex, Cobra, Ultra Blazer, Valor, etc). With Georgia research, observations of pigweeds responding to dicamba applied by researchers has noted some plants dying while others show few symptoms (all plants of the same size and coverage). There is no question that this is a sign of trouble. Dr. Larry Steckle recently published an article addressing a similar concern with dicamba.


The picture above shows “Response of Palmer amaranth to 0.5 lbs/A of Dicamba: 2001 collected seed Left and 2019 collected seed Right. 11 days after application”.

What about the PPO herbicides? Although it is complex for a scientist to be able to say a weed is resistant to a specific herbicide, we now have the data required to make that statement. Palmer amaranth resistant to topical applications of PPO herbicides are in Georgia.


The photo (above) of plants dead (left) are from a known sensitive population treated with Reflex at 24 oz/A plus surfactant in the greenhouse. The plants surviving (right) were treated at the same time with 240, yes 240, oz/A of Reflex plus surfactant; plants were also not controlled with Cobra or Ultra Blazer at enormous rates. It is important to note, the world of weed control in Georgia is not ending as most growers are making and implementing sound management programs. However, there are a few that need a wakeup call………..hopefully this information will fulfill that need!!! Make good decisions, use cover crops or tillage, start clean, two residual at-plant herbicides, make sure your program includes at least 5 different classes of herbicide chemistry AND PULL OUT ESCAPES! Also stay in touch with your local extension for the best management programs.

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