Climate and Agriculture in the Southeast

Three Rivers Ag News: Storm Preparation

Jeff Cook, the Ag Extension agent in Georgia’s Taylor and Peach Counties, wrote a fantastic piece in the Three Rivers Ag News blog about the impacts of Hermine’s rainfall on a variety of crops in middle Georgia.  I am reposting it here in its entirety.  If you are interested in seeing more of this blog, you can see it at http://site.extension.uga.edu/threerivers/.  I love how it shows all the different weather and climate factors that county extension agents have to consider when discussing impacts on all the crops in their region.


Storm Preparation by Jeff Cook

We probably don’t have to be concerned about too much wind or flooding rains, but there are some things to consider with tropical storm Hermine coming through Georgia we should make some plans.

We are extremely dry in most of middle Georgia.  This has been ideal weather for vegetable producers with irrigation.  However with the incoming moisture and cooler temperatures diseases like downy mildew could become an issue.  Fungicides should be applied prior to the storm to insure the crop is protected from incoming spores and because it could take some time to get back into these fields.

Much of our cotton has begun opening and several fields are ready to be picked.  We should continue to plan to defoliate these fields.  applications of products prior to the rain should be fine and as long as they are not washed off the crop will set us up to be able to come back in 2-3 weeks and get some cotton out of the field.

The ground is so hard right now that I have had trouble on dryland peanuts pulling them to determine maturity.  What I have been able to force from the earth is all around 120-125 days old and could be dug as soon as the soils softens up.   What we are looking at in these fields is a small root crop with no hope of the limb crop ever being harvested.  We don’t need to lose any of the crop that we have made to wait for what might have been.   White mold is also showing up everywhere and will likely explode once we have a little moisture.  One more reason to get dryland peanuts out of the ground and out of the way.

This will give you an opportunity to make sure your equipment is set up correctly before you start into your irrigated peanuts that look really good at this time.  As always never mix crops in the wagon.  it does not take many bad peanuts to have a load docked or even rejected.

Finally for soybeans that have made it through the summer this storm might be the blessing that allows us to make a respectable crop.  In most areas our early beans have been extremely dry at a crucial time.  Some of our later planted beans are still blooming and need all the moisture they can up through pod fill.  If we do have any early beans (Group IV or V) this moisture could be detrimental.  Often once these early maturing varieties get mature they will sprout in the pod if not harvested.  Excessive moisture can make this situation worse.