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Choosing Tomato Varieties (4-H Tomato Sale Going on Now)

By Jake Price

The desire for fresh homegrown tomatoes is probably the main reason homeowners have gardens.  Most plants are planted in late March and April, or when they are available at the garden centers.  Each spring, many homeowners run into problems with their plants.

Two newer, good tasting, disease resistant varieties are currently being sold by the Lowndes 4-H club to support the camping program.   The two varieties are Red Bounty and Bella Rosa which both have resistance to Tomato Spotted Wilt Virus. Call 333-5185 for more information.  Plants are $1.00 each while supplies last.

Tomatoes are susceptible to a lot of diseases.  Once infected, it is too late to stop most diseases from killing or limiting the production of the plant.   Tomatoes come in all shapes, colors, and sizes.   A few cultural practices and planting varieties that are resistant to disease can make for a more productive tomato harvest.

When selecting your plants look for varieties that have a lot of letters next to the name.  This means that plants have a built in resistance to disease.   An example would be a popular variety called Celebrity VFFNTA Hybrid.  The letters stand for the following:

V = Verticillium Wilt
F = Fusarium Wilt
FF = Fusarium Wilt race 1 and 2
N = Nematode
T = Tobacco Mosaic Virus
A = Alternaria (Early Blight)
TSWV = Tomato Spotted Wilt

Tomatoes are classified as determinate which means most of the fruit ripens over a short period of time, and indeterminant, which means that fruit will continually be produced.  Determinant varieties produce a lot of tomatoes early and once the tomatoes have been harvested the plants can be removed.                                                                                                   Popular determinant varieties include:  Bush Celebrity VFFNTA Hybrid, Bush Early Girl VFFNT Hybrid, Celebrity VFFNTA Hybrid, and Mountain Spring VFF Hybrid.  Popular indeterminant varieties are:  Early Girl VFF Hybrid, Better Boy VFN Hybrid, Big Boy Hybrid, and Beefmaster VFN Hybrid.

Cherry tomato varieties are: Jolly Hybrid, Sweet Baby Girl Hybrid, and Super Sweet 100 Hybrid.  Of course there are many more to choose from.  Cultural practices will also prevent problems.

Tomatoes like a well-drained high organic matter soil and a pH between 6.2 and 6.8.  I would recommend you have a soil test done for your garden and follow any recommendations.  A soil test can correct any pH problems.                                                                                 Tomatoes frequently have a problem with a condition called “Blossom End Rot”.  This is when the bottom of the tomato turns black.  Blossom end rot is caused by a calcium deficiency in the fruit and is made worse when soil conditions fluctuate between wet and dry.                                                                                                                                                       Additions of dolomitic lime, which raises pH and contains calcium and Magnesium, can help prevent the problem.   If your soil pH is optimal, but your calcium is low, apply gypsum at 1 pound per 100 square feet.  Foliar applications of calcium can help provide a temporary fix if the problem is not excessive.                                           Mulching around your tomato plants reduces soil moisture fluctuations and keeps the weed pressure down.  Layers of newspaper can be placed around plants and mulch can be added on top to further prevent weeds.  Pine straw, bark, leaves, or most any type of mulch will be ok.

Selecting disease resistant varieties, mulching, and following your soil test results should make your tomato season more productive.  For more information on tomatoes and varieties visit this website:  https://secure.caes.uga.edu/extension/publications/files/pdf/B%201271_5.PDF

Fungicide resistance spells trouble for Georgia, Virginia vegetable farmers

Published on 03/06/19
By Clint Thompson for CAES News

Popular vegetables like broccoli and kale are among the crops that could be in danger from Alternaria leaf blight — a disease that can cause spots on some brassica crops and render them unmarketable — which has developed resistance to a once-dependable fungicide that Georgia farmers rely on, according to Bhabesh Dutta, University of Georgia Cooperative Extension plant pathologist.

Dutta recommends producers stop using Quadris on brassica crops, which include cabbage, collards, kale, mustard greens and broccoli. The fungicide is the main one farmers currently use when treating for the disease. Although further research is required to confirm his hypothesis, Dutta believes a new species of Alternaria may be responsible for the outbreak of disease. The species normally associated with Alternaria leaf blight differs from the disease that has recently been observed in Georgia’s brassica fields.

Tift County, Georgia, vegetable farmer Bill Brim is among the brassica farmers concerned about the development.

“Alternaria has become resistant to Quadris, so it’s not as good as it once was,” said Brim, co-owner of Lewis Taylor Farms in Tifton, Georgia, which includes about 1,500 acres of brassica crops. “We’ve got a little bit left in our arsenal to use for Alternaria. We just need to get something back in there we can use.”

Dutta is conducting a research trial evaluating different varieties of Alternaria leaf blight, along with different fungicide programs against this disease, at the Blackshank Farm on the UGA Tifton campus.

Dutta, an assistant professor of plant pathology in UGA’s College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, emphasizes the need to develop an integrated pest management (IPM) program to fight Alternaria leaf blight, especially in broccoli and leafy brassicas.

“We do have some other groups of fungicides that we’ll need to rotate, but considering how effective Quadris has been for our vegetable farmers, this resistance is a huge hit on our growers,” Dutta said.

Alternaria leaf blight first became a problem in Georgia in 2016, but has gotten significantly worse over the past two years.

“Alternaria is a foliar pathogen. Symptoms first appear on older leaves as small, dark spots that gradually enlarge with concentric rings. As the disease progresses, younger leaves can also become infected. In severe cases, infection can occur that results in rot on heads. Infection is exacerbated by humidity and extended periods of leaf wetness from overhead irrigation or frequent rainfall,” Dutta said.

Farmers can employ alternative methods to help prevent the disease from becoming more widespread in their fields. Since the pathogen can survive in crop debris, Dutta recommends farmers bury their crop debris when their spring and fall crops are harvested.

Because the disease propagates and spreads through overhead irrigation, growers should use drip irrigation or a form of subsurface irrigation to help reduce the splashing effect of the pathogen, Dutta said.

Excessive rainfall Georgia in January and February led to outbreaks of the disease this year.

“We have to try to manage this issue with good resistance-management techniques, such as rotating different modes of action in order to preserve the chemistries that we have,” said Jeremy Kichler, Colquitt County Extension coordinator. “Hopefully, if we implement good resistance-management strategies, then we can effectively manage this disease.”

According to the UGA Center for Agribusiness and Economic Development, cabbage production in Colquitt County accounted for more than $42 million in farm gate value in 2017. Colquitt County, which produces approximately 6,500 acres of cabbage in the fall and spring, has experienced severe disease outbreaks.

The production of brassica crops is a profitable industry for Georgia farmers. According to the UGA Center for Agribusiness and Economic Development, the state farm gate value for cabbage was $53.6 million in 2017.

Georgia is not the only state experiencing problems with Alternaria leaf blight. As early as 2015, broccoli growers in Virginia’s Northern Neck region reported severe Alternaria head rot in fields where Quadris was the primary fungicide used. During 2015 and 2016, some growers experienced complete crop failures from this pathogen.

Virginia Tech researchers led by Steve Rideout, director and vegetable plant pathologist at Virginia Tech’s Eastern Shore Agricultural Research and Extension Center in Painter, Virginia, have determined isolates of Alternaria that possess resistance to Quadris.

To learn more about vegetable production in Georgia, see http://extension.uga.edu/topic-areas/lawn-garden-landscapes/fruits-vegetables.html.

Don’t skip soil testing this spring

Published on 03/08/19

Don’t skip soil testing this spring

By Jason Lessl for CAES News

This spring, gardeners planning vegetable gardens — or even a major renovation of your ornamental beds — should take the opportunity to test their soil before they put plants in the ground.

One of the most fundamental, but often overlooked, aspects to any successful vegetable garden, flower bed, landscape or lawn is good, fertile soil. Getting your soil tested by a laboratory is the best and most accurate way to assess your nutrient and pH levels, which are vital components of maintaining your soil. The University of Georgia Soil, Plant and Water Lab offers such services.

When you send a soil sample to a lab, you will receive a detailed report of soil-nutrient levels along with crop-based recommendations on how to fix any potential deficiencies. The steps required to submit a soil sample are simple and can be achieved using a few commonly found household items. You can start by contacting your local county UGA Cooperative Extension office to acquire soil bags and to get information on how to submit samples. Find your county office by visiting extension.uga.edu/county-offices.html or calling 1-800-ASK-UGA1.

When to soil test?

Soils can be tested any time during the year, although it is typically best to take samples in the fall or winter. This is the time of year when most plants are dormant and the soil is most accessible. If pH adjustments are necessary, it is also the best time to apply amendments, as it can take several months for them to take effect. Lime (to raise pH) and sulfur (to lower pH) react slowly and should be mixed with the soil at least two to three months before planting.

How often do I test my soil?

For intensely cultivated soils including vegetable gardens, an annual soil test is recommended. Otherwise, for lawns and ornamental areas, sampling should be done every two to three years after initially establishing medium to high fertility levels and the appropriate pH.

Steps in soil sampling

Recommendations on when and how to apply nutrients are only as good as the soil sample submitted for analysis. To obtain a representative soil sample, the following steps are useful:

  • Map out the entire property. This will help in record keeping and ensure that the soil sample is representative of the entire area. Divide areas so that each soil sample represents one general plant type. For example, take separate soil samples for vegetable gardens, blueberry bushes, ornamentals, fruit trees, lawns, etc. If you have specific problem spots, sample those areas separately as well.
  • Use clean sampling tools and containers to avoid contaminating the soil sample. Collect samples with any digging tool you have available (hand trowel, shovel, soil probe, etc.).
  • Slightly damp soil is the easiest to work with. Clear the ground surface of grass, thatch or mulch. Push your tool to a depth of 6 inches for cultivated areas or 4 inches for lawn areas. Push the handle forward in the soil to make an opening, then cut a thin slice of soil of uniform thickness from the side of the opening, extending from the top of the ground to the depth of the cut. Repeat this process in a zigzag pattern across your defined area, collecting eight to twelve samples to mix together. For trees, take soil samples from six to eight spots around and below the leaf canopy. Take about a pint (around 2 cups) of the mixed soil (after removing large rocks, mulch, sticks and roots) and fill the UGA soil sample bag. Be sure to label the sample clearly on the bag. If the samples are wet, spread the soil out over clean paper and let them air dry. You also can take your samples to your local Extension office for submission. Once the lab has received your soil, it will take two to three business days to get your report.

 

For more information about when or how to test your soil, visit aesl.ces.uga.edu or call 1-800-ASK-UGA1 to contact your local UGA Extension office.

UGA BEEF CATTLE SHORT COURSE

A beef cattle short course will be held on March 5 at Irwinville                    8:30-9:30 a.m. Registration and Visit with Sponsors

9:30 a.m.      Welcome & Introductions
    Dr. Jacob Segers, Extension Beef Specialist, UGA

9:45 a.m.      Georgia Cattlemen’s Update
    Ms. Katelyn Malia, Director of Public Relations and Industry Information, GCA

10:00 a.m.      Using Organic Minerals in Southeastern Cow/Calf Production
    Dr. Matt Hersom, Extension Beef Specialist, UF

10:30 a.m.    Break

10:45 a.m.    Integrating Crop and Livestock Production Systems
    Dr. Marcello Wallau, Extension Forage Specialist, UF

11:30 a.m.    Technology in the Herd: Now and Down the Road
Mr. Jason Duggin, Extension Beef Specialist, UGA

12:00 p.m.     Lunch – Provided by UGA Tifton’s FFA Club (included with registration)

1:00 p.m.      The Value of Genetic Testing
Dr. Ashby Green, Neogen

1:30 p.m.      Emerging Vaccine Technology
    Dr. Clay Reynolds, Boehringher Ingelheim.

2:00 p.m.      Advantages of a Modern Breeding Soundness Exam
    Dr. Lee Jones, Food Animal Health Field Investigator, UGA

2:30 p.m.    Wrap up, Evaluations and Door Prizes

UGA Pecan Extension | Pecan Beginners Course

UGA Pecan Extension | Pecan Beginners Course

The Pecan Beginners Course will be held on April 16, 2019 from 8:30am-4:30pm at the UGA Tifton Campus Conference Center. See agenda below.

Pre-Registration = $10. Day-of Registration at door = $15

Register here

Beginner’s Pecan Production Course

9:00       Welcome                                                                                      

9:10       Cost of Pecan Production                                                                       

Lenny Wells, UGA Horticulture

9:30       Pecan Varieties                                                                                                                        

Patrick Conner, UGA Horticulture

10:15     Break

10:45     Pecan Irrigation                                                                          

Lenny Wells, UGA Horticulture

11:15     Pecan Tree Planting & Establishment                                   

Lenny Wells, UGA Horticulture

12:00     Break for Lunch

Meal Sponsored by Savage Equipment    

1:00       Pecan Insect Management                                                                                                   

Angel Acebes and Will Hudson, UGA Entomology

1:45       Pecan Fertilization

Lenny Wells, UGA Horticulture

2:30       Break

2:50       Pecan Disease Management

Jason Brock, UGA Plant Pathology

3:20       Pecan Weed Control

Timothy Grey, UGA Crop & Soil Science

4:00       Pecan Equipment

Lenny Wells, UGA Horticulture

Refreshments & Lunch Provided

Wildlife/Pond Management meeting

The Wildlife/Pond Management meeting is next Thursday, February 21, 6:00 pm at the Lowndes County Extension office address: 2102 East Hill Ave Valdosta Georgia. 

Below are the speakers/presenters and topics:

Stephen Spradley- Georgia Forestry Commission-

Hurricane damage to timber, Effects/benefits of Prescribed Fire with Wildlife Management


Dallas Ingram-GA DNR

Quail management and funding options


Dr. Gary Burtle -UGA

Aquatic weed control, Pond liming and fertilizing program, When and how to use chemical treatments, Grass carp stocking, Effects of shallow water on weed growth, And long term aquatic plant management.

Please call the office at (229) 333-5185 or email me a few days ahead if you plan to attend to register. Pesticide credit will be given for those who attend the class (Category: 21, 23, 26&10). Please let me know if you have any questions.

Joshua Dawson,

Joshua Dawson

Fort Valley State University 

Ag and Natural Resources agent

Lowndes County Extension

Email: dawsonj01@fvsu.edu

Office: (229) 333-5185

Training for Farmers and Growers on Produce Safety Rule

Training for Farmers and Growers on Produce Safety Rule
March 15, 2019

WHAT: This one-day workshop is being offered to produce growers. The training will cover the
standardized curriculum designed by the Produce Safety Alliance, which meets the regulatory
requirements of the Produce Safety Rule under FSMA (Food Safety Modernization Act). The course
will provide a foundation of Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs) and co-management information, FSMA
Produce Safety Rule requirements, and details on how to develop a farm food safety plan.
Individuals who participate in this course are expected to gain a basic understanding of:

• Requirements in the FSMA Produce Safety Rule and how to meet them successfully;
• Microorganisms relevant to produce safety and where they may be found on the farm;
• How to identify microbial risks, practices that reduce risks, and how to begin implementing
produce safety practices on the farm; and
• Parts of a farm food safety plan and how to begin writing one.

WHEN: Friday, March 15th, 2019
8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
**Please bring $20 in exact change or check**

WHERE: Lowndes County Extension Office
2102 East Hill Avenue
Valdosta, Georgia 31601

WHO SHOULD ATTEND: Any produce grower who grows, packs, harvests, and/or holds covered produce,
makes over $25,000 in annual produce sales (on average, based on the past three years of sales),
and does not qualify for a Produce Safety Rule exemption is required to attend this training under
new federal regulations. As of January 2018, larger grower operations (with more than
$500,000 in annual sales) must comply with the Produce Safety Rule.

WHY: This PSA Grower Training Course satisfies the FSMA Produce Safety Rule requirement outlined
in §112.22(c), which requires ‘At least one supervisor or responsible party for your farm must have
successfully completed food safety training at least equivalent to that received under standardized
curriculum recognized as adequate by the Food and Drug Administration.’

REGISTRATION: To register, please follow the link: http://bit.ly/Lowndespsagt

Registration deadline: March 12th

Farm Business Education Conference

UGA CAES, Extension partner with SBDC to host Farm Business Education Conference

By Clint Thompson for CAES News

The University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences and UGA Cooperative Extension are partnering with the UGA Small Business Development Center to host a Farm Business Education Conference on Wednesday, Feb. 27 at the UGA Tifton Campus Conference Center.

The purpose of the conference is to help farmers learn more about the business aspect of farming. Industry experts will conduct sessions on value-added agricultural ventures and other topics relevant to growers.

“UGA Cooperative Extension is excited to once again be partnering with the UGA Small Business Development Center (SBDC). Each of us brings unique expertise and advice that together will result in better information for our clientele,” said Laura Perry Johnson, associate dean for UGA Extension.

Attendees will learn how to develop a business plan for their farming operation, including plans for effectively passing the business over to the next generation. Agricultural lenders will be on hand to offer tips on how to successfully obtain operating lines, real estate and farm loans and working capital funding. Certified human resource professionals will discuss how to manage employees of farms.

“When you think about farming, people understand there’s a product that’s being produced, but there’s a business side to farming too. Our goal is to assist new and existing farmers in understanding what is required to have a profitable season or assist with understanding new requirements that are coming down. The goal is to help educate on the business side of farming,” said Rob Martin, a business consultant with the UGA SBDC.

Martin, along with Sarah Cook from the Georgia Department of Agriculture, will conduct a session, “From Seed to Shelf,” where they will offer strategies for selling products in local, regional and national markets. Attendees also will have the opportunity to learn about food and production safety with different commodities.

“Each of these partners are part of Public Service and Outreach for the University of Georgia. We come together, pooling our resources; the UGA SBDC as the business side, Extension with their extensive knowledge of the industry and specific products, as well as the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences. We will bring that information together to provide opportunities for people to learn,” Martin said.

Conference attendance cost is $49 and includes lunch. The conference will begin at 7:30 a.m. and conclude at 4 p.m. Those interested in attending should preregister at www.georgiasbdc.org/georgia-farm-business-education-conference.

For more information about UGA Extension, see extension.uga.edu.

Yellow Nutsedge/Cadre Resistance

By Eric Prostko: In September 2017, after doing some preliminary screening (Figure 1), we collected yellow nutsedge tubers from a peanut field that were a strong suspect for resistance to Cadre (imazapic).  We sent the tubers to BASF for further greenhouse testing and just got back the results.  Unfortunately, it looks like this population of nutsedge has developed resistance to Cadre (Figures 2 and 3).  On the positive side, it does not appear to have developed cross-resistance to Sandea/Permit (halosulfuron).  In order to protect the grower’s privacy, I would prefer not to reveal the exact location of this field at this time.

Assuming adequate funding is obtained , I will be working very closely with our new teaching/research weed scientist on the main campus in Athens, Dr. Nick Basinger, to further investigate this issue.  Dr. Basinger recently replaced Dr. Bill Vencill.  If you are already aware of or become aware of peanut fields where Cadre has been used for yellow nutsedge control with less than optimum results, please let us know so that tubers can be collected from the field.   At this point in time though, I believe that this discovery of resistance is most likely an isolated case.

Here are a few things to consider in regards to this issue, especially how it compares to the herbicide-resistant Palmer amaranth problems that we have been dealing with since 2004:

1) At this point in time, only 1 case of herbicide-resistance in yellow nutsedge has been officially confirmed world-wide.   In 2013-2014, researchers from Arkansas confirmed halosulfuron resistance in a yellow nutsedge population collected from a rice field.  For comparison, 61 cases of herbicide resistance in Palmer amaranth have been confirmed.

2) In Georgia, Cadre was first commercialized for use in peanut in 1996 so it took more than 20 years for this resistance to occur in yellow nutsedge.  It took roughly 3-4 years for glyphosate resistance to evolve in Palmer amaranth after the introduction of RR soybeans (1996) and RR cotton (1997).

3) The GA problem site is a dryland field where peanuts were grown for 5 continuous years and Cadre was used every year (for economic reasons).  This is atypical of the normal crop rotation sequences used by most Georgia peanut growers.  Unlike glyphosate, Liberty and PPO herbicides, Cadre is not applied to fields on a yearly basis.

4) Yellow nutsedge can produce a large amount of seed but seed is not the primary propagation mechanism.  Some research has shown that <1% of yellow nutsedge seeds can develop into viable seedlings.  Seed is the only propagation mechanism for Palmer amaranth.

5) The primary mechanism of  yellow nutsedge propagation is through tubers.  In Georgia, a single yellow nutsedge plant, growing without competition in a bareground area, produced 700 tubers after 6 months of growth.

6) The primary mechanism of yellow nutsedge tuber dispersion in fields is through normal field operations such as tillage/disking and equipment movement (i.e. human action).

7) Foraging and soil disturbance from feral hogs has been reported to promote the long-term population maintenance of yellow nutsedge.

8) There could be also be some slight dispersion from waterfowl that prefer yellow nutsedge tubers as a food source (i.e. ducks, geese).  However, a recently published study from Missouri reported that no intact nutsedge tubers were recovered from mallard ducks in 8 feeding trials.  In these same feeding trials, 26% of Palmer amaranth seeds were viable after feeding.

Figure 1.  Cadre and Sandea field screen on suspect resistant yellow nutsedge population in Georgia, 2017.
Figure 2.  Suspect resistant yellow nutsedge population treated with Cadre 2AS @ 32 oz/A (8X rate), 21 DAT.
Figure 3.  Susceptible yellow nutsedge population (left) and suspect resistant population (right) treated with various rates of Cadre 2AS – 28 DAT

XtendiMax, Engenia, and FeXapan New Regulations for 2019

1) A pesticide license is required to purchase or apply these products.

2) All applicators must be trained through UGA’s Using Pesticides Wisely (UPW).

3) Can only apply through 60 days after planting cotton or 45 days after planting soybeans.

4) Can only make up to 2 POST applications in cotton and soybeans.

5) Can only apply between 1 hour after sunrise and 2 hours before sunset (wind still has to be between 3 and 10 mph).

6) Updated record keeping within 72 hours and add planting date.

7) Labels suggest to test for spray solution pH and add a buffering agent if solution pH is less than 5.

8) Do not apply when wind is blowing in direction of sensitive crops and/or residential areas.

9) If there are no sensitive crops or residential areas downwind, then downwind buffers remain. 110 ft but there is a new 57 ft omni-directional (all sides) buffer required in certain counties where endangered terrestrial dicot plants grow (visit www.epa.gov/espp/ to understand if you have endangered species near you.

10) Do not apply if expected rainfall within 24 hours of application could exceed soil field capacity.

Enlist One and Enlist Duo

1) All persons in charge of application must be trained.