Upcoming Events



Farm City 2017 Was a Huge Success!

Almost 800 Autauga County students and over 100 adult teachers,volunteers, and parents participated in the  2017 Farm City Day hosted by the Autauga County Extension Office. The event was held in the RH Kirkpatrick Agricultural Arena off Highway 14 West in Autaugaville.

Farm City Day 2017 kicked off with an hour long presentation by the Southeastern Raptor Center of Auburn University- including the finale, a presentation of “Spirit” who decided to talk to the group as he was walked around the arena.

Autauga County Extension Coordinator, Darrue Sharpe, praised the effort as a wonderful way to share research based information with youth, especially those considering careers in Agriculture.

Youth learned about: Honey Bee farming, dairy farming, show calves, horses, goats, hogs, preserving wildlife habitats and forests, cotton farming, use of tractors and farming equipment, and careers in agriculture.  Youth presenters with the Autauga Young Farmers and a 12 year old resident who raises hogs impressed 6th graders with the hard work and dedication they exemplified when talking about their passions: animals and farming.

 

   

 

Future Farmers of America students who volunteered for Farm City Day 2017.

The day-long event was made possible through the support of local farmers and volunteers and sponsors including the Autauga County Commission; the Autauga Forestry Commission, the Autauga Wildlife, Forestry and Stewardship Council,the Autauga County Board of Education, Autauga Cattleman’s Association, Coca-Cola Bottling Company of Montgomery, the Autauga County Master Gardeners Association, members of the Future Farmers of America from Billingsley School, the Future Farmers of America from the Prattville Technology Center, and the Alabama Cooperative Extension System.

 

October Crop Report

Contributed by: Christy Hicks, Regional Extension Agent, Agronomic Crops

Upcoming Events

October 17-19 Farm Expo Moultrie, GA

November 3-12 National Peanut Festival, Dothan

November 30 Precision Planter Clinic, EV Smith REC

December 3-4 AL Farmers Federation Annual Meeting, Montgomery

December 12-13 – Auburn University Row Crop Short Course

 

East Central Alabama Corn Trial Results

Trial was planted March 30th and harvested September 9th.  Plant pop was 30K planted on 38” rows.  Field was irrrigated, Wickham silt loam soil.  250 lbs/ac of N, 120 lbs/ac P and 110 lbs/ac K.  No till.

 

Variety Yield (bu/ac)
D57VC51 (DynaGro) 255.58
DKC 70-27 (DeKalb) 253.97
P 1197 (Pioneer) 249.89
P 1870 (Pioneer) 246.54
DKC 68-26 (DeKalb) 244.94
A6711 (AgriGold) 244.07
A6572 (AgriGold) 230.26
D54DC94 (DynaGro) 222.76

 Cotton Defoliation

I wallked several cotton fields recentlyh where a decision will need to be made on whether or not to wait on the top bolls to mature.  After the wind and rain, the botton and middle crop will  not hold as long as we hoped in some fields.  Here are a few thoughts to consider:

According to the 10 day forcast this morning, we have 6 more days with highs in the 80’s.  After that we can expect highs in the 70’s and lows in the mid to upper 50’s.  Keep in mind the minimum temperature at which a cotton plant will grow is 600F.  Once the temperatures drop, the plant will not accumulate many Heat Units, for example if we have a high of 73 and a low of 58, the cotton plant will accumulate ((73 + 53)/2) – 60 = 3 heat units.  If the plant does not accumulate heat units, all physiological processes associated with boll maturity occur at an extremely slow pace.

Fruit set during the first 4 weeks of bloom normally contribute to 90-95% of the total yield of the cotton crop.  Under good growing conditions, ten mature bolls per foot of row produce a bale of cotton per acre.  More bolls are needed if they are higher on the plant; fewer if they are lower on the plant.  Counts should include (1) open bolls, including cracked (2) green bolls that are mature and string out when cut with a knife (3) immature bolls that are harvestable.  Bolls maturing late in the season when temps are lower usually produce less lint often of lower quality.

Cotton quality is determined by the genetic makeup of specific varieties, environmental conditions and management of the crop.  The table below gives us an idea of what is controlled by genetics verses environmental conditions.

 

Genetic % Environment %
Staple 82 18
Micronaire 41 59
Color 21 79
Strength 90 10

 

Christy Hicks

Regional Extension Agent

EV Smith Research Center

334-704-3370

agnewcd@auburn.edu

Insects of the Fall Months

Contributed by:  Mallory Kelley, Regional Extension Agent

Fall Webworms and Asian Wooly Hackberry Aphids

Many calls and questions have come in about two insects in particular this month.  First, the webbing that many people see in trees this time of year indicate the presence of fall webworms.  These worms have been known to web in over 85 species of trees in the United States and in our area are most commonly seen in, but not limited to; oaks, pecans, cherry, willow, and river birch.

 Fall webworms become very visible in late summer and fall and create silken nests around leaves at the ends of branches.  All of the feeding from the webworms occurs within the silken nests and last approximately six weeks and if food runs out new foliage will be encased.                                  

Though the webs are very unsightly, damage to most trees is considered to be insignificant and especially if it is occurring close to fall when the trees will naturally be losing their leaves with the change of the season. One of your best measures of defense is sanitation.  As limbs, nuts and leaf debris drop from the tree, clean this up to reduce sites for the insects to overwinter on the ground and come right back next year. As always, less stress to the trees throughout the year will make them less susceptible to the attack of insects and disease issues.

The second insect that has caused a great concern this month has been the Asian Wooly Hackberry Aphid.  We as southerners are very familiar with the aphid, but this aphid has a little different appearance than what we are used to. Not seen in these great numbers every year, this insect has been described in central Alabama as hot dry “snow” but even if you have not seen them you might still be asking yourself,  “Why is this sticky stuff getting on my car?” and “What’s making my trees turn black?”

The Asian wooly hackberry aphid is one of the many relatively new pests that have been accidentally introduced to the state.  Adults are about 1/16 inch long and are covered with a white, cotton-like waxy material that makes them relatively easy to identify. Adults may be winged or wingless. During the past few weeks large numbers of winged adults have been seen in areas where there are a lot of hackberry trees.

Both adults and nymphs produce large amounts of honeydew, which accounts for the sticky accumulations on vehicles parked beneath hackberry trees. Heavy infestations of this pest can cause trees to defoliate prematurely. There is little risk of this pest attacking other plants.

While this insect can be controlled with sprays, few homeowners have the equipment needed to apply treatments to mature trees. Even when equipment is available, foliar sprays are often not an option because of the drift onto adjacent property. For now, the best approach is to live with the situation. They will go away in a few weeks.

 

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. You may also mail in this printable registration form2017 Caregiver Registration Brochure  

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.Exhibitors and sponsors of this event include: Oxford Health Care, Synergy Homecare , Alabama Family Trust,Davis & Associates Attorneys , and New Day Senior Care of Community Hospital, and Southern Care Hospice.

 

This event is free and open to the public, but attendees are encouraged to bring a canned good for donation to the Montgomery Area Food Bank.  Also, anyone with expired medical prescriptions or medicine that needs to be destroyed may bring them to the Caregivers Conference. Members of local law enforcement will destroy the unwanted and unused medications.

 

Crop News and Updates     

Contributed by: Christy Hicks, Regional Extension Agent, Agronomic Crops

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 the 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 maximum 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 the 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 a distinct concentric zone of dead tissue and may have a narrow, indistinct yellow halo.  Severe infections may cause premature defoliation.

The environment is the main ingredient that determines the 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
334-704-3370
agnewcd@auburn.edu

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

 

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.