Lowndes – Echols Ag News

Pecan Update on Stuart Nuts

Below is an update from UGA Extension Pecan Specialist, Dr. Lenny Wells about Stuarts concerning delayed nut opening.

The biggest concern right now for most pecan growers is the delay in ‘Stuart’ shuck split. I have had many calls asking “Will these nuts ever open”? For the most part, yes they will. The delay in Stuart shuck split should not really come as a surprise. Stuart always has a prolonged shuck split. They never all open at once as they do for some varieties. I warned growers about this in my post on September 29 of this year. This characteristic of Stuart is well documented. Dr. Darrell Sparks’ 1992 book, Pecan Cultivars has this to say regarding Stuart shuck split: “However an undesirable trait (of Stuart) is that shuck dehiscence is staggered over a long period and the tree normally has to be shaken multiple times during the harvest season”.

So, it should be no surprise that not all Stuart nuts are still not open. A couple of things have made this seem like a greater problem than normal:
1. This year’s nut maturity has been running behind last year’s all season and many growers have been anxious and under the gun to fill mid-November contract orders due to the early Chinese New Year. This has led to many growers shaking Stuarts before they were really ready. Obviously in that situation you only get a few nuts down and especially on the first early shake you get a lot of green nuts out. Many growers have shaken Stuarts twice already and because the shuck split is so drawn out they get the same results on the second shake and this generates alarm but I believe the rest of these nuts will open, although obviously not for mid November contracts.

2. We are in a severe drought. Many areas of Georgia’s pecan belt have had no rain since early September. Even with irrigation this has delayed shuck split on Stuart even more. Also, many growers turned their irrigation systems off too early or never turned them back on after harvesting individual orchards for the first time. With a heavy crop load, this will create additional stress and you will see a further delay in shuck split, sprouting, and shuck decline or stick-tights. Trees at the extreme of this situation will likely have nuts that may not open but the only real chance to get them open (outside of a good rain) is to turn the irrigation back on. It sounds crazy for us in the SE to irrigate pecans into November but when it is this dry it becomes necessary. You don’t have to water much but irrigate for 4-6 hours a couple of times a week—or every other day if you have trees in the situation described above.

Don’t expect to get all of your Stuart crop in until at least December or until we have a good rain and/or some cold weather.

Cucurbit Yellow Stunt Disorder Virus

Disease alert from Dr. Dutta, vegetable pathologist.

Cucurbit yellow stunt disorder virus (CYSDV) has recently been confirmed on cucumber and cantaloupe samples in GA. 

 Symptoms: Initial symptom starts with chlorotic (yellow) spotting, which gradually develops into a distinct interveinal chlorosis (yellowing). The veins of the leaf remain green but the rest of the leaf turns bright yellow giving an appearance as that of a nutrient deficient leaf.  As disease progresses, the leaves may roll upward and become brittle. Entire plant remain stunted. Fruit set can be severely affected. 

 Transmission: The virus is transmitted by Whitefly vector, Bemisia tabaci in a semi-persistent manner.

cysdv_cantaloupe cysdv_cucumber

39th Sunbelt Ag Expo

39th Annual Sunbelt Ag Expo will be held in Moultrie, GA next week (October 18th-20th) at Spence Field. Tuesday and Wednesday show hours are 8:30 am to 5:00 pm and Thursday 8:30 am to 4:00 pm. Admission is $10 per person / per day. Children 10 and under are free with a parent. Multi-day admission tickets can be purchased for $20.  Come check out the exhibits and demonstrations. You may just see your local county extension agent working the UGA CAES Extension booth or the Georgia County Agents food booth.

Whitefly Transmitted Diseases

This fall farmers have been experiencing higher than normal populations of whiteflies. Because of the high populations, it is important to scout your crops for diseases that are transmitted by this insect.  Below are some insecticide options from our extension vegetable entomologist, Dr. Sparks.

Soil insecticides:

I would hope for 2 to 3 weeks of control with these products. Adult counts will not tell you if they are working. You will get some adult mortality, but given the pest pressure in most areas you will be hard pressed to tell. To know if the products are working, you must monitor for establishment of nymphs. Adults will lay eggs, the eggs will hatch, and the nymphs must feed in order to get a lethal dose of insecticide.

While Sivanto is a different sub-group (within Group 4), I would still try and rotate main groups for resistance management. If applying two soil applications, I would use one Group 28 product and one Group 4 product>

Options include:

Group 28: Coragen, Verimark

Group 4 (A and D): Admire Pro (and generics), Venom, Platinum, Sivanto

Foliar insecticides:

While we have more options for foliar insecticides for vegetables, I believe the Group 28 and Group 4 products are still the basis of our control programs. Other products do have fits for both efficacy and resistance management, but they are less likely to provide “stand alone” type activity. They are very good, and recommended, options within a control program.

Options include:

Group 28: (Coragen, Exirel). Good activity on nymphs. Include a penetrating surfactant with Coragen.

Group 4 (A and D): Assail, Actara, Venom, Sivanto. All have good activity on nymphs and some activity on adults. Sivanto has shown good activity on adults. While Sivanto is a different sub-group, I still suggest treating these as the same for rotation purposes (this may change if resistance becomes an obvious issue). Note that imidacloprid is not suggested for foliar use. While an excellent product for soil use, it does not penetrate the leaf as well as the other products and breaks down in sunlight.

Group 7 (Knack): Knack is a growth regulator with primary activity against eggs (they don’t hatch) and last instar nymphs (they don’t develop into adults).

Group 16 (Courier): Courier is also a growth regulator, but is most efficacious against early instar nymphs.

Group 23 (Movento and Oberon): both of these products also are efficacious primarily against nymphs.

Oils and soaps: both oils and soaps will kill whiteflies if you cover them. Neither gives any residual control. Addition of oils and soaps will stick adult whiteflies to leaves and give some immediate visual satisfaction, but I suspect it is like trying to mass trap insects – it is not how many you catch that matters, it is how many are left behind. Similar to the mortality from the hurricane, the rain undoubtedly killed a tremendous number of adults, but it also left a tremendous number of adults. When using oils and soaps, coverage is essential. You can kill 100% of the insects you cover. This is obviously difficult on most of our crops. I am not saying the oils and soaps are not helping, I just suspect they are not helping as much as some might think.

Q biotype: Some of you may have heard of the Q biotype that has been found in Florida. It actually has been in Florida and Georgia for some time. The NEW occurrence is that it has been found outside of greenhouse environments. It is of concern as it is resistant to some of the insecticides we use against our “normal” whitefly. I do not think we are dealing with anything new, but we did collect adults last week and sent them off for identification.

Fall Satsuma Meeting

There will be a Satsuma Grower’s Fall Update at Lowndes County Extension Office on October 5, 2016 from 11:30 to 3:00. The meeting with cover information on testing fruit quality, an update on HLB and the GA Citrus Association. Registration is $15 and will cover lunch. Please RSVP by October 3rd by calling the office at 229-333-5185.


Irrigation Training For Landscapers & Professionals

Come and learn the basics like irrigation components, watering principles, proper scheduling and common repairs at the Lowndes County Extension Office on October 4 from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Registration cost is $20 a person and includes a meal. Category 24 Pesticide Credits and IA Association Credits will be available. Space is limited and deadline to register is Friday, September 30th. Registration can be done at https://estore.uga.edu/C27063_ustores/web/store_cat.jsp?CATID=962&STOREID=127


Research In County

In the county, numerous research trials are being conducted. Some of the crops that we have worked with are satsuma, pepper, sweet potato and tobacco. I am currently working on a specialty pepper trial looking at bacterial spot control options. Recently we harvested a sweet potato trial that Fort Valley Agent, Josh Dawson, is working on for his graduate work. He was testing different pre-plant insecticide options.  If you are interesting or have any ideas on research you would like to see conducted, feel free to mention it to me. Below are some pictures of the pepper trial and sweet potato harvesting.IMG_0204


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GA Clean Day – Pesticide Waste Collection Day

There will be a pesticide waste collection day held at the Cordele State Farmers Market at 1901 State Rt. 41 N  on September 30th from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm. You must pre-register for the waste to be collected. If interested, fill out and turn in the form as soon as possible. They are only allowed to collect 50,000 lbs. Below you will find more information and also the link for the form.

Georgia Clean Day 2016 pre registration form

Clean Day Flyer

Important Time to Check Peanuts

I attended a Peanut Maturity Clinic yesterday in Tifton. Our peanut agronomist stressed that checking fields this year will be important. Some fields, especially dryland, are running early while others are on time or running late. We had our first sample come into the office Wednesday. The peanuts are around 120 days old and they could dig starting next week. Things to consider when starting to dig are looking at how the peanuts are doing inside the shell, are the vines healthy and what does the weather looks like in the future.

maturity board

The picture above is the sample that was brought in. Judging by this sample there are not many peanuts on the back end so it is important not to miss any on the front end. After cracking some open, the peanuts are developing oil spots and look good.

Below are some tips on taking a sample and talking about maturity for different varieties shared by another county agent.


Carefully lift at least 5 plants from a minimum of three representative areas in a field.  DIG IN THE AREA WHERE THE PLANTS WERE LIFTED AND CHECK FOR ANY PEANUTS THAT COME OFF.  If you find some older mature pods in the soil bring these with the sample.  The pro­jected digging date is only as accurate as the sample used to represent the field.  Once the plants are collected in the field, approximately 200 to 220 nuts should be picked off individual plants for the actual hull scrape sample.  This sample will be pressure blasted and checked on the peanut maturity profile board.Each field should be sampled at approximately 115-120 days after planting.  A second sample should be run approximately 10 days before the date predicted by the first check to determine if the peanuts are maturing normally.  This process has proven to be an effective and reliable meth­od to project up to two weeks in advance the optimum digging date for peanuts.


In general, the most reliable profiles for projecting the optimum harvest interval are those profiles taken 2-3 weeks before harvest and before the leading pods have reached the final stages of the black maturity class.  For medium maturity runner varieties (Georgia-06G and others), this may be achieved by taking an initial profile between 115-120 days after planting.  These profiles should prove best for ranking fields, and follow-up should be used to verify that maturation is proceeding normally.  Twin-row peanuts will frequently yield a greater percentage of early-set pods. These pods will be reflected in the profile, and may give a slightly premature indication of optimum maturity in some instances.  Pay particular attention to health of the pod stems on those reproductive sites having the earliest set pods, as well as days of age.  Rarely have we seen a medium maturity runner crop at risk from maturity loss in less than 125 days after planting.


Peanut Maturity Range**

Medium Medium-Late
Georgia-06G               TUFRunner ‘297’ Georgia-12Y
Georgia Greener              TUFRunner ‘511’ Georgia-13M
Georgia-098                TUFRunner ‘727’ Georgia -14N
FloRun ‘107’                        Tifguard Florida-07
FloRun ‘157’

**Range  may vary depending on planting date, rainfall, soil temperature, and other factors even for the same variety in a



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