Watermelon Growers Scout for Powdery Mildew

North Florida continues to have a large acreage of watermelons and the crop has started under good conditions. Thanks to Gene McAvoy, Regional Vegetable Extension Agent in Hendry County, Florida for the following update of powdery mildew on watermelons in South Florida. Mr. McAvoy  cautioned that dry conditions are ideal for the development of powdery mildew …

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Peanut Cultivar Decisions

As the economics get tighter, farmers are contemplating how far to stray from Georgia 06-G which has been a reliable cultivar for several years. Several farmers have mentioned looking at high oleic peanuts for a small premium, and we often wonder if one of the new cultivars offers higher yield potential or better disease tolerance. The broad recommendation is …

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The Peanut Season that Wouldn’t Begin

We have become accustomed to warm dry weather in April the last several years. That warmer weather allowed early planting of peanuts and good conditions for germination. University of Georgia has conducted trials for several years studying the relationship between soil temperature at planting and peanut yield. Results have been consistent and led to the recommendation of 68 F average …

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Transplanting Tobacco (Video)

There is a rich history of tobacco production in Columbia County. In the 1950s, there was over 20,000 acres of tobacco grown in the state of Florida. That is reduced to just a handful of growers on a small number of acres today. However, several local growers are optimistic that organic tobacco production will offer an opportunity …

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Blue Mold in Tobacco

Tobacco has been transplanted in Columbia County and  has started growing in good conditions. Although we are not seeing any issues locally, Dr. J. Michael Moore, UGA Extension Agronomist, wanted to get the word out about possible blue mold moving from greenhouses to fields on transplants. Blue mold was identified in 6 greenhouses in Georgia over …

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Let ‘er Rip (Corn Planting Video)

Visiting with farmers this spring, I am hearing more emphasis placed on cover crop residue and in-row subsoiling. We know each of these can be important management practices for corn planting on the coastal plain soils. Locally, farmers continue to develop the tools which will build their confidence in leaving larger amounts of crop residue …

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Corn Planted in Good Conditions

20160407_175924 The local corn crop is mostly planted and conditions have been favorable for plant development. There are a few irrigated fields where cattle need to be moved or last minute cropping decisions made. Non-irrigated land may be planted to corn over the next two weeks, hoping to receive more abundant rainfall during pollination and grain fill in June and July. Below is more information from the UF/IFAS Field Corn Production Guide related to planting date recommendations for North Florida.

Planting Date

Corn growth and development are primarily dependent on temperature rather than day length. Successful germination requires a morning soil temperature of 55°F at a 2-inch depth for three consecutive days. This can range from early February in light sandy soils to mid-March on cold, wet, heavy soils. Frost may still occur after these planting dates, but corn normally withstands frost damage to above ground tissue, since the growing point is still below the soil surface until corn reaches about 12 inches tall.

In Florida, planting dates for corn begin in late February and proceed to late April.

Advantages to early planting include the following:

  • More stored soil moisture
  • Higher yield potential
  • Lower temperatures during pollination
  • Longer day lengths at pollination
  • Early harvest before cotton and peanuts
  • Less insect and disease pressure


Moving Irrigation Systems (down the road)

When farmers in the area gain or lose cropland from year to year, sometimes a center pivot irrigation system needs to be relocated to another farm. In one recent case, the property was sold, and the farmer owned irrigation system was moved to a nearby property. It is usually mid-winter when I see one of these …

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Early Soybean Production System

With reduced seed availability to plant our 2016 soybean crop, farmers will be considering alternative strategies. One of those that might be considered is the Early Soybean Production System. This system is typically a challenge due to conflicting harvest timing with both peanuts and cotton harvest as well as rainfall in the month of September. …

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Where’s the Beans?

Jay Florida Evaluation of Soybean Varieties 2015 Georgia Statewide Variety Testing 2015 There is also an Early Soybean Production System which might be considered.  This is not typically recommended because of harvesting challenges including weather, and conflict with the harvesting season of other crops. However, if a farmer is prepared for timely harvest, it might be …

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