Upcoming Events

Farming 101 Workshop Scheduled for Autuaga County

Farming 101: A Series for Small, Beginning or Transitioning Farmers

The Alabama Cooperative Extensions System’s Autauga County Office will hold a series of workshops aimed at helping area residents with their existing small farms, or the workshops will help those hoping to begin a farm.  Autauga County Extension Coordinator Darrue Sharpe said the workshop will benefit many area residents.

“I am thrilled that Extension will be offering this highly popular and very informative Farming 101 series of classes in Autauga County.  This program will provide a great opportunity for novice farmers to gain extensive knowledge from Regional Extension Agents and Extension Specialists who are highly qualified in their fields.  This program has been successfully utilized across the state, and I am excited to provide it to the residents of our community,” Darrue said.

Farmers Market

Speakers and Topics:

  • April 5 (10:00 – Noon) Livestock Management Small Scale Beef Production, Goats- Josh Elmore, Regional Extension Agent
  • April 5 (12:30 pm – 2:30 pm) Forage Management – Josh Elmore, Regional Extension Agent
  • April 12 (10:00 – Noon) Basic Vegetable Production- Dr. Joe Kemble, Extension Vegetable Specialist
  • April 12 (12:30 pm – 2:30 pm) Protected Production – (greenhouse and high tunnel) Dr. Chip East, Regional Extension Agent
  • April 19 (10:00 – Noon) Open Field Conventional and Organic (bioinsecticidal) Approaches; High Tunnel Pest Exclusion System and Beneficial Insects – Dr. Ayanava Majumdar, Extension Entomologist
  • April 19 (12:30 pm – 2:30 pm) – Fruit Production- Dr. Chip East, Regional Extension Agent

Pre- registration is required by April 2,2018 by calling 334.361.7273.  The cost per class is $10.00, or if you wish to attend each day, please pay $50.00. Lunch is included in this fee.

Make all checks payable to the Alabama Cooperative Extension System.  You may mail in the registratoin form to: Autauga County Extension Office, 2226 Highway 14 West, Suite E, Autaugaville, AL 36003.  Please click here for a printable registration form: farming 101 Autauga flyer 2018 registration

Hosted by the Alabama Cooperative Extension System

Location: Autauga County Extension Office

2226 Highway 14 West, Autaugaville, Al

April 5 – April 19, 2018

10:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m.

Pre-Registration is required: cost per class is $10 or entire course for $50 (Lunch is Included)

Mail fee to: Autauga County Extension Office

2226 Hwy 14 W, Suite E,

Autaugaville, Al. 36003

Call or e-mail Darrue Sharpe: 334-361-7273 dzs0075@aces.edu

or Chip East: 256-846-0314 eastwil@aces.edu

 Please pre-register by calling the Autauga County Extension Office at 334-361-7273 by Monday, April 2nd.


Name(s): ______________________________________________________________________

Address: _______________________________________________________________________

City: ________________________________  Zip Code: ______________ County: ____________________________ 

Phone #: ________________________   E-mail address: _________________________________________________

_________ # of Participants     X   $50 =          Total Amount Enclosed:  ________________________

 Return Pre-Registration Form and Payment by Monday, April 2 to: Autauga County Extension Office, 2226 Highway 14 West, Autaugaville, AL 36003

Make check(s) payable to:  Alabama Cooperative Extension System                                           


The Alabama Cooperative Extension System (Alabama A&M University and Auburn University) is an equal opportunity educator and employer.  Everyone is welcome!

Upcoming Animal Science and Forages Programs

Contributed by: Josh Elmore, Regional Extension Agent

2018 Animal Science and Forage Webinar Series


Mark your calendars for the 2018 Webinar Series, held the second Wednesday of the month at 10:00 am CST. Join us for timely updates on management topics from members of the Animal Science and Forage Extension Team! https://auburn.zoom.us/j/198428318

Date Speaker Title
Jan 10 Dr. Leanne Dillard Grazing Management and Maximizing Forage Utilization on Cool-Season Forages
Feb 14 Dr. Audrey Gamble Improving Soil Health in Grazing Systems
Mar14 Courteney Holland Nutritional Needs of Horses – Steps to Meeting Their Demands
April 11 Dr. Kim Mullenix Forage Management Practices and Mineral Availability for Beef Cattle
May 9 Landon Marks Native Warm-Season Grasses
June 13 Michelle Elmore Marketing Beef Cattle
July 11 Dr. Brittney Goodrich Pasture, Rangeland and Forage Insurance
Aug 8 Alex Tigue Alabama Pasture to Rail Program
Sept 12 Dr. Rishi Prasad 4 R’s in Animal Waste Nutrient Management
Oct 10 Sarah Dickinson Estrous Synchronization and Artificial Insemination
Nov 14 Kent Stanford Nutrient Management Update


For more information and registration regarding any of these upcoming programs contact your local county extension office or Josh Elmore, Regional Extension Agent Animal Science and Forages.  205-646-3610 or 334-850-7859

Farmers Marketing Workshop

The Alabama Cooperative Extension System (ACES) will hold a workshop this spring aimed at helping area farmers who are preparing to sell their products in 2018.

The Farmers Marketing Workshop will be held on Thursday, March 8, 2018 at that Autauga County Extension Office, 2226 Highway 14 West, Autaugaville, AL 36003, 10:00 a.m. – 2:30 p.m., in the building’s auditorium.  Click here for printable information: Farmers Marketing Workshop, Autauga County

Representatives of ACES, the Alabama Farmers Market Authority, and USDA SNAP will speak on topics including:  developing marketing displays, business marketing, utilizing social media, food safety, and working with area Farmers Markets.

Lunch is included in this free event, so please call 334.361.7273 to register to attend and to receive more information about this workshop.  You may also email tshealey@aces.edu with questions or to register your attendance.  All are welcome.


The War Against Lawn Weeds

Contributed by: Mallory Kelley, Regional Extension Agent

Many of you have given up the battle to treat your lawn on your own, and many of you are still waging war yourself and wondering “What am I doing wrong?” Well, if you want to get ahead of the game, a pre-emergent applied in February is the way to go! This article will hopefully give you several tips from pre and post emergent products to fertilizers to help you achieve the beautiful lawn you are hoping for. 

The most popular product out there that seems to have it all, the “one stop shop” for all your lawn needs is the “weed and feed” products. I am often asked if this is the correct way to treat the lawn.  In central Alabama, there is not a large window of time during which this product would be beneficial, but it can be used in May or early June when an extra application of fertilizer would not hurt, and the application of the pre-emergent chemical in the product will help prevent weed seeds from germinating through the summer and into the fall.

The best and most effective control of weeds in the lawn may take a little more effort than the “weed & feed”, “all in one” products, but you can save money and time in the long run applying them separately.  Pre-emergent weed killers should be selected based on the type of grass you have.  These weed control products are preventative, so they should be applied before the weeds are visible in the lawn as they prevent the seeds of the weeds from germinating.  These and can be applied any time of year except during “green-up” or to newly seeded or sprigged lawns, but again February is a great month as we will soon have spring like temperatures and spring weeds will start to germinate.  Do not reseed a lawn for 4-6 months after a pre-emergent chemical is applied and remember to always read and follow all label instructions when making applications of any chemical.  I have provided information below to access our website for a list of all Pre and Post-emergent chemicals on the market so you can correctly select the chemical that is best for your lawn situation. Don’t forget, a post-emergent herbicide is only going to kill a weed that has already begun to grow in the lawn.

Fertilizers are generally applied twice throughout the year, first in early spring during green-up and then again in mid-summer.  Fertilizer type and amounts should be based on soil test results, not guess work and anytime is a good time to have a soil test.  Soil tests will provide you with the correct type of fertilizer and amounts needed for your specific lawn. A soil test will also indicate whether lime is needed, and lime can be added at anytime of year. Remember, lime raises the soil pH.  A soil test will help you become more accurate in your fertilizer application, provide your grass with the exact nutrients it needs and save you money down the road.

For information on proper care of your turfgrass visit our publications online at www.aces.edu and search for the type of grass you have.  Also, for a list of pre and post-emergent chemicals that are available and the type of lawn they can be applied to, visit our website and search for: IPM Weed Control or access this link:  http://www.aces.edu/pubs/docs/A/ANR-0500-B/VOL2-2011/home_lawns_weed.pdf

Join us in February for our lunch and learn gardening programs in Central Alabama.

All Programs are FREE and OPEN TO THE PUBLIC!

EVERY MONTH from 12:00-1:00, Bring a Sack Lunch, Drinks Provided!

February’s Topics and locations:

Montgomery: The 1st Wednesday of EVERY month, Armory Learning Arts Center, 1018 Madison Ave.              For more information: (334)270-4133

Topic: Home Gardening Facts, Mallory Kelley, Regional Extension Agent

Wetumpka: The 2nd Tuesday of EVERY month, Elmore Co. Extension Office, 340 Queen Ann Road     For more information: (334)567-6301

Topic: Backyard Birding and Wildlife, Hal Smith, Wild Birds Unlimited

Prattville: The 1st Thursday of EVERY month, Trinity United Methodist, 610 Fairview Ave., Prattville AL           For more information: (334)361-7273

Topic: Rose Gardens, Gloria Purnell, Master Rosarian

***Coosa: Monday, February 26 from 11:00-1:00 Coosa County Extension Office, 13999 AL Highway 22, Rockford, AL

For more information: (256)377-4713

Topic: Seed Starting and Grafting Techniques, Mallory Kelley, Regional Extension Agent






January 2018 Autauga County Newsletter

The Autauga County Extension Office is preparing for a busy 2018.

Review some of our programs in 2017 and get a look at some of the upcoming programs for 2018 in the latest Autauga County Extension Newsletter.

Click here: Autauga County Extension January 2018.


Grassroots Meeting of 2017


June 2017 Pressure Cooking Class


Friends of the Forest 2017


Autauga County Master Gardeners serve during Arbor Day 2017 in Autaugaville


Farm City Day 2017

Residents Learn Gardening Tips During 1st Lunch & Learn of 2018

An impressive number of local residents learned gardening tips during the first Lunch & Learn of 2018!  The Autauga County Master Gardeners Association offers free “Lunch & Learn” meetings on the first Thursday of each month.

               January 4, 2018 Lunch & Learn Meeting in Autauga County

On January 4, 2018, Amanda Borden discussed gardening tips that  are specificic to central Alabama gardeners. Amanda is an Advanced Master Gardener, and her presentation was well received by beginner and advanced gardeners.

This year, ACMGA membars and local residents are meeting in a new location to accommodate increased participation in the fun classes that are offered during a lunch hour, 12:00 – 1:00 PM. The ACMGA Lunch & Learn meetings are being held at Trinity United Methodist Church, 610 Fairview Avenue, Prattville, AL 36066. Expect to learn about a different topic on each first Thursday of each month! Click here to review the schedule for 2018: 2018 ACMGALL Full Page Flyer


Remember to bring your sack lunch; water or tea will be provided. This program is free and open to the public.

For more information, please contact the Autauga County Extension Office (334) 361-7273.




New Lunch and Learn Location for 2018!

To accommodate growing attendance numbers, the Autauga County Master Gardeners Association Lunch & Learn program is being moved to a new location!

Portrait of mid-adult woman proudly showing her plants

On the first Thursday of every month, the 2018 Lunch & Learn programs will be held at Trinity United Methodist Church, 610 Fairview Avenue, Prattville, AL 36066, 12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m. These free programs  are open to the public. Registration is not required.  Click here for a printable version of the 2018 Lunch & Learn Schedule2018 ACMGALL Full Page Flyer

Participants are encouraged to bring a sack lunch to enjoy as they learn about such topics as: shade loving plants, growing citrus trees in containers, drought tolerant plants for the South, and much more. The first meeting of 2018 will be held on January 4th, and the topic is “Gardening 101”.

Please view the attached schedule for meeting topics and speakers, or you may contact the Autauga County Extension Office at 334.361.7273 for more information.

Private Pesticide Applicator Training Classes

Contributed by: Chip East, Regional Extension Agent

The Alabama Cooperative Extension System will be offering several private pesticide applicator training classes statewide in 2018.

Regional Extension Agent, Chip East said,”These classes are designed for  farmers who need to take the private pesticide applicator test in order to purchase restricted use products. However, we will be discussing chemical safety and sprayer calibration at this class, so anyone who sprays pesticides on a large scale will benefit from this training, even if a restricted pesticide license is not needed.”

On January 18th the class will be taught at the Coosa County Extension Office [(256) 377-4713], January 24th at the Randolph County Ag Center in Wedowee [(256) 357-2841], January 26th at the Macon County Extension Office [(334) 727-0340], January 31st at the Russell County Extension Office [(334) 298-6845], February 2nd at the Cleburne County Extension Office [(256) 463-2620], February 6th at the Elmore County Extension Office [(334) 567-6301], February 8th at the Talladega County Extension Office [(256) 362-6187], February 16th at the Autauga County Extension Office[(334) 361-7273], February 20th at the Lee County Extension Office [(334) 749-3353], February 22nd at the Clay County Extension Office [(256) 354-5976], February 28th at the Chambers County EMA Office [(334) 864-9373], and September 11th at the Tallapoosa County Extension Office [(256) 825-1050]. Click here for a printable schedule:Private Pesticide Applicator Training Class Flyer 2018 (002)

The Chambers and Russell County meetings begin at 8:00 a.m. and will end around 12 noon (EST). All of the other classes begin at 8:00 a.m. and will end around 12 noon (CST). If you would like to attend any of these classes, please call the Extension office in the county you would like to attend to make a reservation.

A fee of $20 will be charged for this training and testing. An additional licensing fee of $25 will be sent to the Department of Agriculture and Industries by the applicant. The licensing fee is not included in the training and testing fee. Please plan to pay with a check (checks are preferred) made out the Alabama Cooperative Extension System (ACES) in the amount of $20 or with the correct cash amount.

East cautions, “Remember to read and follow the label directions before applying pesticides. On our web site, we have information on pesticides that are labeled for certain crops, such as insects, disease, and weed control in turf, ornamentals, vegetables, fruit, forages, and other areas such as insects in wood structures. For people who spray large areas, remember that sprayer calibration is extremely important.”

Sprayer calibration is the process of figuring out how many gallons of water is being applied to a known area and making needed adjustments so that the correct volume of water is applied. The particular pesticide label will give a range of desired gallons of water per acre that is needed to be applied along with the recommended rate of pesticide. Simple math calculations and a little time are needed to properly calibrate a sprayer.

If you need more information on sprayer calibration, just contact your local County Extension Office, or visit our web site at www.aces.edu and type sprayer calibration in the “Search Our Site” box.



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