Upcoming Events

Marketing Workshops for Farmers

Contributed by: Kevin Burkett, Regional Extension Agent

Would you like to learn how to set up an eye catching and food safe display at the farmers market? How about information on using social media and how it can help promote your farm? The Alabama Cooperative Extension System will hold marketing classes across Alabama during the month of October.

Crates of fresh vegetables

These classes are designed for farmers that grow and sell their own produce. With the season winding down it will be a workshop for the 2018 growing season but we encourage you to come and participate as you get ready for next year. There will be several speakers and a wide variety of topics which include: how to set up a market display, food safety for selling produce, marketing ideas, social media for promoting your farm, and the Farmers Market Authority of Alabama will give information on farmers markets in your area. Click here for a printable event flier Marketing Workshops for Farmers

Participants who sign up through their local office, will receive a promotional item that can be used to advertise at their local markets. Additionally, for any participants who would like to sign up to accept SNAP vouchers for 2018, if they bring a copy of their social security card and a form of ID they can start the application process. With the increased popularity of farmers markets, local items and healthy food, it’s important to be able to reach your customers and this workshop will give practical tips on selling your products.

All workshops will be from 10 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. with lunch included.

The schedule is as follows: Barbour County – October 3rd, Macon County – October 11th, Montgomery County – October 13th, Dallas County – October 24th, Wilcox County – October 26th, Hale County – November 2nd. Visit www.aces.edu to learn more about Alabama Cooperative Extension System or other educational

The 2017 Central Alabama Caregivers Conference

November  is National Family Caregivers Month, and in observance of the dedication of countless family caregivers in Autauga County, The Alabama Cooperative Extension System is holding a special conference.

Diverse group of volunteers put hands together

The 2017 Central Alabama Family Caregivers Conference will be held on Thursday, November 9, 2017 at First Baptist Church, 138 S. Washington Street, Prattville, AL. The event will be held from 8:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. Registration is required. Please call the Autauga County Extension Office at 334.361.7273 to register.

The 2017 Central Alabama Family Caregivers Conference offers a chance for caregivers to meet with service providers in the area, and it provides a forum to learn  new information about various topics impacting caregivers and those under their care. Partnering agencies are joining with he Alabama Cooperative Extension System’s Urban Affairs, New & Nontraditional Programs, and the Autauga County Extension Office are holding this event, at no cost to participants.


Cancer Risks: Do My Genes Matter?

The Autauga County Extension Office is presenting a free program focusing on the work of Auburn University Geneticist Dr. Nancy Merner regarding research on the genetics of Breast, ovarian, and prostate cancer.

Female chemist at work in laboratory

Program titled: Cancer Risks: Do My Genes Matter? will be held October 10, 2017, 11:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m. at the Prattville Area Chamber of Commerce (131 North Court Street).  Lunch will be provided during this program. Seating is limited and registration is required. Please register by calling the Autauga County Extension Office at 334.361.7273.

To read more about Dr.Nancy Merner’s study, click here Flyer Education Sessions


Crop News and Updates     

Christy Hicks, Regional Extension Agent, Agronomic Crops

Contributed by:

Upcoming Events

December 12-13 – Auburn University Row Crop Short Course

 Last Effective Bloom Date for Cotton

The last effective bloom date is the calendar date you normally expect a bloom to have time to fully mature into a boll.  The estimated date for Central AL is September 5th.  Cotton needs at least 4 weeks of bloom.  A cotton crop needs to be at first bloom no later than August 9th in our area.  As you know every growing season is different, however using the last effective bloom date can provide information on the risk and potential of a cotton crop.

Fusarium Wilt

Many fields in the area have Fusarium Wilt.  Affected plants are first darker green and stunted, followed by yellowing of the leaves and loss of foliage.  First, symptoms appear on lower leaves around the time of first flower.  The leaf margins wilt, turn yellow, then brown, moving inward.  Infected plants fruit earlier than normal with smaller bolls that open prematurely.  A diagonal cut across the stem will reveal vascular discoloration.

(Picture below from on farm variety trial)

Timing of Harvest Aid in Soybeans

When 65% of the pods are mature color, and 70% defoliation, they should be ready to desiccate.  You can also collect pods from the top third of the plant at random across the field.  Open the pods and look for separation of beans from the white membrane inside the pod.  If this is observed, the seeds have reached physiological maturity and have reached their maximun dry weight.  Yield will not be lost.

Target Spot in Soybeans

(info from Tom Allen, MSU)

Target Spot has been detected in some soybeans fields this year.  Target Spot is a soil borne fungus, moved by wind and rain.  It can overwinter on crop residue.  Target Spot starts in the lower canopy, unlike Frog Eye that is primarily in upper canopy.  Lesions on leaves are reddish brown, circular and variable in size up to ½” in diameter.  Spots may also be found on petioles, stems and pods.  Larger lesions often show distinct concentric zone of dead tissue and may have a narrow, indistinct yellow halo.  Severe infections may cause premature defoliation.

Environment is the main ingredient that determines severity of Target Spot.  The amount of rainfall and duration of rainfall events at specific growth stages has a lot to do with if the disease will cause a yield loss.  Defoliation during the mid  R5 growth stage would cause significant yield loss.

Christy Hicks

Regional Extension Agent

EV Smith Research Center



All Bugs Good and Bad

Tune in each month for the free webinar, “All Bugs Good and Bad”.

On September 1, 2017 at 1:00 p.m. CST  speaker, Molly Keck from Texas A&M Extension, will give a very beneficial talk on “Meet our Native Pollinators”. The webinar will be recorded, so you can watch it any time.  To watch a webinar, just log in as a guest 15 minutes before the webinar begins.

Use this link: https://learn.extension.org/events/2849

(Photograph of native pollinator contributed by Dani Caroll)

2017 All Bugs Good and Bad Webinar Series: Meet Our Native Pollinators

Event starts: Friday, September 1 at 2:00 pm EDT

Event ends: Friday, September 1 at 3:00 pm EDT

Location: TBA

Pollinators have been in the news a lot in the last couple of years.  While many of us are familiar with the European honeybee, we are not so familiar with our native pollinators.  Join Molly Keck, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension as she introduces us to some of our native pollinators, their habitats, and ways to preserve them. Moderated by Dani Carroll and Sallie Lee, Regional Extension Agents, Alabama Cooperative Extension System.   Note: on September 1, the link to the live webinar opens about 15 minutes before the webinar. If you try to log in earlier, you will get an error message.

For more webinars in this series, click here:All Bugs Good and Bad Free Webinars.

The webinars are brought to you by the following eXtension Communities of Practice: Ant Pests, and Urban IPM; and by the Alabama Cooperative Extension System, the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension ServiceClemson Cooperative Extension and University of Georgia Extension.
Dani Carroll


Estate Planning Basics Workshop

Registration is underway for the Estate Planning Basics Workshop scheduled for October 24, 2017 from 8:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.  It will be held at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church, 178 East 4th Street, Prattville, Alabama.

Family Estate planning document

Please click here for a printable announcement sheet: Estate Planning Workshop for October 2017

The Autauga County office of the Alabama Cooperative Extension System is co-sponsoring an Estate Planning Basics Workshop which is aimed at helping families understand and create basic, essential documents, including: wills, trusts, and power of attorney documents.

Co-sponsors  of this event are AARP Alabama and the Thomas Goode Jones School of Law at Faulkner University.

Register now to attend this free workshop by following this link:Estate Planning Basics Workshop


Registration for Farm City Day 2017

Preparations are underway for Farm City Day 2017 in Autauga County!

Educators are invited to participate in this year’s Farm City Day 2017, “Agriculture: Food for Life”!  It will be held on Wednesday, November 15th at the R. H. Kirkpatrick Agricultural Pavilion, 2224 Highway 14 West, in Autaugaville. This event is open to all Autauga County public schools, private, and home schooled students in the 6th grade. Click the Farm City Day 2017 Registration link below to register. Please register by September 18,2017.

Farm City Day 2017 Registration

Farm City Day is an educational field trip sponsored by Autauga County Extension and there is no cost to the students.  The Autauga County Extension Office will cover schools’ transportation costs to this event.


Free Job Readiness Course

Autauga County residents are encouraged to participate in a free Job Readiness Course offered by the Alabama Cooperative Extension Office. The three part course will be held this fall at the Autauga Prattville Public Library, 254 Doster Street, Prattville, Alabama.

resume highlights through a magnifying glass

Classes will be offered 5:30 – 7:00 p.m. on the following dates:

  • Resume Writing, Sept. 12,2017
  • Completing Job Applications, Oct. 10, 2017
  • Job Interviews, Nov. 14, 2017

Regional Extension Agent Sharlean Briggs, who serves Autagua County in the area of Family Resource Management & Workforce Development, will teach this course.

Registration is required. Please call Lindsey Milam at 334-365-3396 if you wish to prticipate. Printable information is here:Job Readiness Course

Grassroots Meeting 2017: Thank You Autauga County!


County Extension Coordinator Darrue Sharpe presents information about ACES programs and services.

The annual Grassroots Meeting held by the Autauga County office of the Alabama Cooperative Extension System (ACES) received great support on July 13,2017.

Autauga County residents learned about programs offered by Regional Extension Agents and Autauga County Extension Coordinator, Darrue Sharpe. Participants asked questions of Extension Agents, elected state and county officials, and service group leaders.

If you were unable to attend and would like to submit your thoughts about the needs of Autauga County residents, please complete this survey at this link ACES Survey.