Lowndes – Echols Ag News

Alfalfa in the South – 2018 Workshops

Alfalfa in the South – 2018 Workshops


FlyerThe UGA Forage Team is proud to announce the return of the popular Alfalfa in the South workshops. UGA Extension will host a series of one-day workshops entitled “Alfalfa in the South” on May 1 (Calhoun Co.), May 8 (Bacon Co.), May 9 (Tifton, GA), and May 10 (Irwin Co.). Each workshop will focus on the management and use of Alfalfa in the South, including how to successfully interseed alfalfa into bermudagrass. Subjects covered include: site selection and establishment, management, and improving animal performance with alfalfa. Faculty and graduate students from University of Georgia and Auburn University will provide updates of the ongoing alfalfa research throughout the Southeast.  Each workshop will also include a field tour highlighting a producer who is using alfalfa in bermudagrass across Georgia (see full agenda).

Cost of the one-day workshop is $15 and includes lunch and refreshments, an ‘Alfalfa in the South’ notebook, and other publications on alfalfa production and use in the South. Registration is now available online. If you prefer to register by speaking directly to someone in our office, call Cathy Felton at 706-310-3464 or send us an email. Registration is accepted on a first-come, first-served basis.


Special DEAL!

The first 10 registrants at each location will receive a free Alfalfa in the South cap! Hurry and register today!!!

Special Thanks to Our Sponsors


Alfalfa in the South



Comparing Summer Annual Forages

By Jeremy Kichler

Colquitt County CEC

Summer annual forages can provide high yields of good quality forage during late spring and summer for both beef and dairy producers. Most of the warm season annual grasses emerge and establish quickly and are very drought tolerant. They can be used for grazing, hay or silage. Producers need to manage these species carefully in stressful conditions because they can accumulate levels of prussic acid and nitrates that can be toxic to livestock. There are many choices when it comes to summer annual forages, let’s compare a few of them.

New varieties of warm-season annual grasses are released periodically, so one should frequently evaluate yield data from UGA’s Statewide Variety Testing Program. This information can be obtained from the following link (http://www.caes.uga.edu/commodities/swvt/).

Below are seeding rates, planting dates for summer annual forages.

Pearl millet can be grazed or harvested as hay or silage. It is a medium to high yielding summer annual forage and is more productive in drought conditions.   Planting can begin when the 2 inch soil temperature reaches 65 degrees F. Seed can be broadcasted (25-30 lbs of PLS/Acre) or drilled (10-15 lbs of PLS/Acre). The seeding depth needs to be around ½ to 1 inch deep. Pearl millet can tolerate lower soil pH than sorghums and is very responsive to nitrogen.

Growers can begin to graze pearl millet once the plants reach 20 to 24 inches, but regrowth rate and animal performance is best if a 9 to 12 inch stubble height is maintained. Pearl millet tillers well, making it very suitable for grazing.

Pearl millet can make good quality hay if cut when plants reach 2 to 3 feet tall. This prevents the forage from maturing beyond the boot stage and therefore being too mature to provide high quality. The drying rate of millet hay can be sped up if a roller/crimper-style conditioner is used.

If harvested prior to advanced maturity stages, the range of total digestible nutrients (TDN) can be expected to be 52 to 58 percent, while crude protein (CP) will range from 8 to 11 percent. There is some evidence to suggest that seeding rates at the high end of the recommended ranges will promote a higher leaf:stem ratio. This may improve forage quality, but these gains may not compensate for the expense of the higher seeding rate.

Pearl millet has one major advantage over sorghum, sudangrass, and sorghum x sudangrass hybrids in that it does not produce prussic acid. This advantage allows pearl millet to be grazed or harvested at any growth stage and during droughts without the risks associated with prussic acid poisoning. However, pearl millets can have high nitrate levels similar to other warm season sorghums.   Horses may suffer from subclinical and acute prussic acid poisoning, so species in the sorghum family should not be fed to them.

Sorghum x sudan hybrids have the highest yield potential of the summer annual forages if adequate rainfall or irrigation is received. However, sorghum x sudan yields are more severely affected by drought than pearl millet and are less tolerant of poor soil conditions and soil pH values less than 5.8. Seed can be broadcasted (20-25 lbs of PLS/Acre) or drilled (15-20 lbs of PLS/Acre). Sorghum x sudans can be used for grazing or silage, but like other annual sorghums, their forage is difficult to dry to moistures suitable for hay production.

Sorghum x sudan hybrids should be rotationally grazed, allowing the forage to reach 24 inches before grazing (i.e., managed like sudangrass). This species can be harder to manage in a grazing situation due to the fact it does not tiller as well as other summer annual species. This property can impact recovery time if sorghum X sudan is grazed too hard. Sorghum x sudans will generally have TDN values in excess of 53 to 60 percent and CP concentrations of 9 to 15 percent. Brown midrib (BMR) varieties are usually preferred varieties for grazing or conserved forage since they have less lignin and higher digestibility than other varieties.

Sudangrass has finer stems, tillers profusely and is leafier than forage sorghums. They produce very few seed. When compared to other sorghums, the growth rate is better after a cutting or a grazing event. This growth characteristic makes it a great candidate for rotational grazing. They tend to have less prussic acid accumulation than forage sorghums, and these levels tend to decrease with maturity. Sudangrass seed can be broadcasted (30-40 lbs of PLS/Acre) or drilled (20-25 lbs of PLS/Acre).

Photoperiod-sensitive sorghum x sudan and forage sorghum cultivars are available. These varieties are capable of sustaining more consistent growth over a longer growing season because they remain in a vegetative stage late into September (until daylength is less than about 12 hours and 20 minutes). This trait may negate or lessen the need for staggered plantings.

Forage sorghum is a high yielding summer annual forage. They may contain 0 to 50 percent grain in the forage depending on the hybrid and stage of maturity at harvest. As plants mature, lignification can increase which results in reduction in forage quality. Forage sorghum have thick stems that make hay production difficult but makes excellent silage. Nutritive value is often times 85 to 90 percent of corn silage. Highest crude protein and digestibility will usually be obtained when harvested in a vegetative stage of growth but dry matter production can be increased as plants mature. Harvesting in the late grain dough stage will maximize TDN. Forage sorghum seed can be broadcasted (20-25 lbs of PLS/Acre) or drilled (15-20 lbs of PLS/Acre).

There are a variety of options for summer annual forages that can provide excellent grazing or harvested forages for livestock producers. If you need assistance selecting a variety or comparing options, contact your local extension office.



UGA Farm Again program tractor workshop

UGA Farm Again program to host tractors workshopBy Julie Jernigan

University of Georgia Farm Again program instructors will host a workshop to introduce potential farmers to tractors and how to safely operate them. The Tractors 101 event will be held on Thursday, April 26, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the UGA Tifton campus, beginning in the National Environmentally Sound Production Agriculture Laboratory (NESPAL) building.

UGA Cooperative Extension, within the university’s College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences (CAES), and the Institute on Human Development and Disability (IHDD), part of the university’s College of Family and Consumer Sciences, manage the Farm Again program. CAES agricultural engineer Glen Rains and IHDD Associate Director Rebecca Brightwell co-direct Farm Again.

“This workshop is designed for socially disadvantaged and veteran persons interested in starting a farm,” Rains said. “We want to teach them how to safely operate a tractor and show them the potential dangers of operating powerful machinery.”

In the morning, there will be a classroom session where the parts of a tractor will be laid out in detail. Hands-on training stations will be set up in the afternoon.

Attendees will practice driving a tractor at one station, and they will learn how to connect equipment and study the maintenance of the system at another.

“This is a really helpful workshop for those who don’t know anything about tractors,” Rains said. “We will discuss which model to buy and whether or not they need four-wheel drive.”

At the end of the day, potential farmers will navigate a driving course to determine if they can steer and back up a tractor.

“We just want to give them the basics of operation so they can incorporate these practices into their own farming,” Rains said. “Sometimes there’s a stigma around tractors because people think they are difficult to operate. This is a great opportunity to get familiar with the machine. They will find out that it is actually fairly simple to work.”

This is the fourth workshop of a spring series aimed at small, beginning farmers or veterans who want to start their own farms. Due to the hands-on training, space is limited. Teenagers over 16 years old may attend with parental permission.

To register, visit www.farmagain.com/register.

Julie Jernigan is an intern at UGA-Tifton.

tractorsUGA’s Farm Again program will host a Tractors 101 workshop on April 26 in Tifton, Georgia. 

Tank-Mixing Chemicals

Dr. Eric Prostko with University of Georgia shared some information on tank-mixing pesticides:

Tank-mixing pesticides can be rather complicated especially when numerous products will be mixed.  Here are a few questions and answers based upon some recent inquiries that I have received:

1) Can I tank-mix Prowl EC and Prowl H20?

I have never have done this in my research plots but I recently conducted a small tank-mix test (Figure 1).  With good agitation, I did not observe any problems.  Do not mix these two herbicides together before putting in water.  They should be put in spray tank (already filled with water) separately.

Figure 1.  Prowl H20 3.8ASC + Prowl 3.33EC Tank-Mix (32 oz/A of each in 15 GPA, Prowl H20 was put in 1st)

2) Can I tank-mix dry and liquid Valor formulations together in a spray tank?

I have never done this either in my research plots but I conducted another small tank-mix test (Figure 2).  With good agitation, I did not observe any problems.  Remember, it is always a good idea to pre-slurry dry formulations in water before dumping into a large spray tank.

Figure 2.  Valor SX 51WG + Valor EZ 4L Tank-Mix (3 oz/A of each in 15 GPA)

3)  When tank-mixing various pesticides, what is the correct mixing order?  

The general formulation science mixing order is as follows:

a) water soluble bags (WSB)
b) water soluble granules (WSG)
c) water dispersible granules (WG, XP, DF)
d) wettable powders (WP)
e) water based suspension concentrates/aqueous flowables (SC, F)
f) water soluble concentrates (SL)
g) suspoemulsions (SE)
h) oil-based suspension concentrates (OD)
i) emulsifiable concentrates (EC)
j) surfactants, oils, adjuvants
k) soluble fertilizers
l) drift retardants

For those Millennials out there that sleep with their cell phones taped to their head or hands, there is an app called Mix-Tank (Precision Laboratories) that you might find useful (http://www.mixtankapp.com/). There might be some other apps out there that I am not yet aware of?

4) How do I mix Reflex and Gramoxone?

a) add 1/2 of the required amount of clean water into the spray tank
b) start up and maintain tank agitation
c) add NIS
d) add Reflex
e) add Gramoxone
f) add remaining amount of clean water

5) How do I mix Atrazine and Halex GT?

a) add 1/2 of the required amount of clean water into the spray tank and start/maintain agitation
b) add AMS (**only if water quality sample indicates need)
c) add NIS
d) add atrazine (make sure atrazine is fully dispersed before adding other products)
e) add Halex GT
f) add remaining amount of clean water

Seedcorn Maggots in Transplanted Crops

Problems with seedcorn maggots in transplanted crops are popping up all over south Georgia this Spring. While this is a rare occasion (use of transplants avoids many soil borne insect problems), that makes it no less severe when it occurs. Maggots can kill tender young transplants, but cause minimal injury once the plants become established and harden off.

The adult files look like small house flies and are attracted to decaying organic matter. For this reason, they tend to be worse in fields where manure, weeds or a cover crop were plowed in just before planting. For future reference, it is generally recommended that this plowing occur at least three weeks before planting/transplanting. They still can occur in “clean” fields as the transplant media, which is high in organic matter, can attract flies once it is planted into the field.

Seedcorn maggots are worse under cool, moist conditions. This both slows the growth of the plant so that it is susceptible to damage for a longer period and is favorable to the maggots. One research report from Purdue indicated that damage to transplants dropped dramatically (from 60 to 80 percent down to 10 to 0 percent) as soil temperature increased above 70 degrees.

There are no effective rescue treatments for seedcorn maggot infestations. A pre-plant treatment with diazinon should avoid this problem, but is rarely done as the problem is rare. A foliar application with a broad spectrum insecticide after setting/resetting the plants should help suppress fly activity in the field and buy some time for plants to become established.

Fungicide Schedule and Pecan Tariffs

I have had many requests to provide a pecan fungicide schedule example for 2018. Not much has changed from previous years with the exception of the use of phosphite alone in one of the early sprays. I list it here for spray number 2 but it should work for spray 3 or possibly number 4 as well, depending on how soon you get to spray 4. Basically use it on one of the pre-pollination sprays.

We have had some rain this week but there is till very little tissue out and temperatures remain relatively cool. I have heard of a number of folks spraying already. I still feel its a little early but growers with Desirable or Pawnee in high pressure areas should consider spraying soon. Bear in mind that scab grows within a range of 50-95 degrees but 59-77 is the optimum range.

Fungicide Schedule Example follows:

Moderately susceptible cultivars or those under less scab pressure

1. Absolute

2. Phosphite–2 qt/acre rate*

3. Absolute

4. Elast/Tin

5. Absolute

6. Elast/Tin

7. Elast/Tin

8. Elast/Tin

*Check mixing compatibility of your phosphite and foliar zinc (or other foliar nutrient) choices prior to application. Some phosphite and zinc products do not mix well.

Heavy Scab Pressure (Desirable, Pawnee)

1. Absolute

2. Phosphite–-2 qts/acre

3. DMI Fungicide (Tebuconazole or Propiconaole, etc.) + Tin

4. Absolute+Phosphite @1 qt/acre

5. Elast/Tin

5. Absolute

6. Elast/Tin

7. Elast/Tin

8. Quadris Top

9. Elast/Tin

10. Elast/Tin

11. Absolute

12. Elast/Tin

Do what is necessary to protect  your crop from scab this year but don’t do more than you have to do. Everyone has likely heard by now of the increased tariff applied to U.S. pecans going to China (up an additional 15% now  to 22%). I have long said that the China market looked to be good for us barring any political problems and it looks like we now have one. However, its too early yet to tell if or how much this will affect our market. We have a long way to go until harvest and hopefully the trade issues between the U.S. and China can be resolved by then. Even if they are not, the tariff for pecans going to China was 24% as recently as 2014/2015 and the market remained strong. The other tree nuts have been hit with their additional 15% as well.

So, what does this mean for your management? I think its wise to watch profit margins closely regardless of the price of pecans but since we don’t yet know the impact the trade issues will have on the pecan market, I feel its even more important to spray as you need to but spray only when necessary. The same goes for all aspects of management. Give the trees what they need but don’t engage in luxury spending for practices, products, or applications you may not necessarily need.

Lorsban in Sweet Potatoes

Lorsban 24C Label for 60 Day PHI in Sweet Potato


While it has taken several years, Georgia does now have a 24C registration to allow for the use of Lorsban in Sweet Potato with a 60 day pre-harvest interval (PHI).

Lorsban is still labeled for pre-plant incorporated application only.

Do Pepper Weevil Overwinter in South Georgia

Do Pepper Weevil Overwinter in South Georgia?  Dr.  Sparks answers the question.

The answer to this has always assumed to be no, but that has apparently changed. Will they survive long enough to infest the spring plantings at an economical level remains to be seen, but I would not bet against them at this point.

In the past two months we have surveyed some fields old pepper fields and continue to find live pepper weevil adults. We started by collecting old pods (but still solid) in a couple of fields that had jalapeno pepper in the fall. These had been mowed, but pods which had not disintegrated were scattered throughout the field. We dissected pods and never found any grubs, but we did collect adults on the outside of these pods. I believe that these old pods are providing a food source for adults, thus allowing them to live for several months (instead of a few weeks without food).

We then placed pheromone traps in a couple of fields. These are baited with both the weevil pheromone and a plant extract. These baits have not performed well historically (when tested in standing pepper fields), but we have caught adult weevils consistently with these traps in the last few weeks.

Bottom line is that we did appear to overwinter adult pepper weevil in South Georgia. With this fact, I would suggest treating early pepper fields for weevils at the first sign of any buds in the field. Weevils will feed on foliage, but this damage is insignificant. They require a fruiting structure to reproduce. Thus, let the plants attract the weevils into the field until the plants are getting ready to set fruit and then eliminate the weevils prior to reproduction. Hopefully this will start us off clean and prevent the problems we saw last fall.

A final reminder – last year the pyrethroid insecticides were not controlling pepper weevil in Georgia. Products which have shown good efficacy include oxamyl (Vydate and others), Assail and to a lesser extent, Exirel.



The UGA Heifer Evaluation and Reproductive Development  (HERD)  Sale will be on Tuesday April 17 at 12:30 p.m. at the Tifton Bull Evaluation center  near Irwinville.  This is and excellent excellent opportunity to purchase quality replacement females.

Page 3 of 912345...Last »