This is not all we are doing this season, but these are a few of the more prominent projects that we are working on.
Cotton Variety Trials – Variety selection is one of the most important decisions a grower can make, as this decision determines the genetic yield potential for a particular field and environment. In 2013, the UGA OnFarm Cotton Variety Performance Evaluation Program demonstrated that improper variety selection could cost producers between $77 and $234 per acre!!! Therefore, this decision has a significant effect on growers’ profitability. This year, for the first time in recent history, we will have a variety trial present in Dooly County. This means that next year, we will have the statewide data, as well as LOCAL data to help you make cotton variety selections. Ronnie and I will be monitoring our local variety trial closely this season, while coordinating with Dr. Guy Collins from planting to harvest.
Sentinel plots – UGA Plant Pathologist Bob Kemerait uses soybean and corn sentinel plots throughout the state to monitor the progression of Asian Soybean Rust and various corn diseases. The sentinel plots give us the opportunity for early detection of disease and the information that Dr. Kemerait gathers from these plots will go towards developing a disease forecasting system. We will be working with Dr. Kemerait this season to install and monitor soybean and corn sentinel plots in Dooly County.
Kudzu bug traps – In cooperation with scientists at North Carolina State University and Clemson University, University of Georgia Entomologist Dr. Mike Toews is leading a study to show what conditions trigger kudzu bugs to disperse from kudzu to soybean fields. The research team will be marking kudzu bugs with fluorescent powder and then trapping them to learn about how far they disperse and when the critical times for dispersal and pest management occur. One of these tests will be installed and monitored near Lilly.
Rolled rye cover crop test plot – Everyone is familiar with the headaches that glyphosate resistant palmer amaranth have caused in recent seasons. One of the methods being tested to combat this problem is using a heavy rolled rye covercrop to suppress pigweed emergence. This method has been tested in other parts of the state over the past 2 growing seasons, but this year we will have a rolled rye test plot in Dooly County. Ronnie and I will be working with Dr. Guy Collins and Dr. Stanley Culpepper while monitoring and gathering information from this test.