Monthly Archives: July 2014

Oysters… Fun Fact Friday

Some great information from Dr. Lindsay Chichester on oyster farming in Alabama.

Agricultural with Dr. Lindsay

This past week 1,300 agricultural focused extension folks from around the nation gathered in Mobile, Alabama for our annual conference. There are always great presentations, posters, vendors, and conversations that provide educational opportunities. But we also have a chance to go on a day tour to learn more about something in the area. This year I selected an oyster and crawfish tour. Certainly not something we have much of in Nebraska, but it was very interesting. Today I want to share with you some of the fun facts I learned about oysters.

— Oysters are animals and can be grown in off-bottom gardens. Off-bottom means the oysters are grown in baskets, bags, cages, etc. that are suspended in the water, versus on the bottom of the water source. Off-bottom gardens protect the oysters from predators and helps keep them safe from getting buried in bottom of the water sediment.

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Oyster…

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Alabama Agriculture-What I learned

At our first stop, this farming operation had fields where peanuts were strip cropped between rows of pecan trees.  He went from 1500 to 900 pecan trees after the hurricanes in the 1980s.  The pecan trees were around 80 years old.

At our first stop, this farming operation had fields where peanuts were strip cropped between rows of pecan trees (shown in background). The farming operation went from around 1500 to 900 pecan trees after the hurricanes in the 1980s. The pecan trees were around 80 years old.

Peanut plant up close.  The soils in this part of Alabama are highly acidic and peanuts like  a pH between 5.8-6.8, so the producers add quite a bit of lime.  Different maturities of peanuts are grown so they're harvested anywhere from September to October.

Peanut plant up close. The soils in this part of Alabama are highly acidic and peanuts like a pH between 5.8-6.8 and well-drained soil, so the producers add quite a bit of lime. Different maturities of peanuts are grown so they’re harvested anywhere from September to October.

Sweet potatoes!  I absolutely love to eat them :)  This farm had tried a variety of crops in the past and continues to grow cotton and peanuts as well for a rotation with the sweet potatoes.  With low commodity prices for the other crops, sweet potatoes provided another source of income.  They are planted mid-April and will be harvested early August this year.  The smaller sweet potatoes will go to a canning facility.  Potatoes have to be at least 2" in diameter to be processed for sweet potato fries.

Sweet potatoes! I absolutely love to eat them 🙂 This farm had tried a variety of crops in the past and continues to grow cotton and peanuts as well for a rotation with the sweet potatoes. With low commodity prices for the other crops, sweet potatoes provided another source of income. They are planted mid-April and will be harvested early August this year. The smaller sweet potatoes will go to a canning facility. Potatoes have to be at least 2″ in diameter to be processed for sweet potato fries.

The nephew of the sweet potato farmer was interested in value-added herbs and greens.  He put up this greenhouse 11 months ago and has been growing hydroponic greens and herbs for high end restaurants and supermarkets.

The nephew of the sweet potato farmer was interested in value-added herbs and greens. He put up this greenhouse 11 months ago and has been growing hydroponic greens and herbs for high end restaurants and supermarkets.

A cotton plant.  Cotton is actually in the hibiscus family and can get 5-7 feet tall.  Growth regulators are used to keep the cotton short so more energy goes into producing cotton instead of vegetative material like leaves and branches.  The "square" (at top,  middle of picture) is where each cotton blossom and seed will be produced.

A cotton plant. Cotton is actually in the hibiscus family and can get 5-7 feet tall. Growth regulators are used to keep the cotton short so more energy goes into producing cotton instead of vegetative material like leaves and branches.  While not easily seen on this picture, the “squares” are where each cotton blossom and seed will be produced.

Auburn specialist explaining how a cotton plant puts on a new node (where flowers and seed are produced) about every 3 days.  He was also showing the shortened internode length due to adding growth regulators to the cotton.

Auburn Extension Specialist explaining how a cotton plant puts on a new node (where flowers and seed are produced) about every 3 days. He was also showing the shortened internode length due to adding growth regulators to the cotton.  Cotton was often no-tilled into wheat.  They have similar findings as we do here regarding the improved yields of crops following wheat in dryland.  Although, interestingly, they receive on average 66″ of rain a year and Mobile, AL has surpassed Seattle as the rainiest city in the U.S.

Soybean Management Field Day

Plan to attend the soybean management field day near Shickley this year! Great information for your operation!

Views from VanDeWalle

Each year Soybean Management Field Days is held at 4 different locations across Nebraska. This year, Fillmore County is fortunate to host one of these programs. On August 13, 2014 at the Stengel farm near Shickley, with registration at 9:00 a.m. and the program running from 9:30 – 2:30 p.m. this educational event will occur. One hour presentations will occur aimed at providing important research based data to soybean producers.MussmanField 003

Specifically, topics will include:

  • Herbicide applications, water quality and resistance management (demonstrations of herbicide drift with discussion on how to mitigate drift with new herbicide-resistant traits, how weed growth affects herbicide performance, etc.)
  • Growth development and growth enhancement products (soybean growth and development, how yield is made and soybean responses to plant density and planting date)
  • Multiple soybean input study that includes row spacing, fungicides, insecticides and nutrient management (soil fertility management for soybeans, seed treatment products, risks associated…

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Corn Progression After August 2013 Storm

On August 1, 2013, a severe wind and hail storm damaged 170,000 acres of corn and 86,000 acres of soybeans in Clay County, Nebraska. Corn at the time of the storm was from brown silk-blister. While the storms in the Gibbon/Blue Hill areas occurred a little earlier in the growing season, the following photos show the progression of damage in the event it can be of help to those affected by 2014 storms.

Field on August 2nd that was totaled out and planted to cover crops.

Field on August 2nd that was totaled out and planted to cover crops.  Where crop insurance allowed, producers considered various forage options.

Some producers chose to spray fungicides on fields with more foliar leaf tissue such as this one.

Some producers chose to spray fungicides on fields with more foliar leaf tissue such as this one.

Hail damage to stalks shown 4 days after the storm.

Hail damage to stalks shown 4 days after the storm.

Splitting the stalks open 4 days after the storm resulted in seeing stalk rot already beginning to set in.

Splitting the stalks open 4 days after the storm resulted in seeing stalk rot already beginning to set in.

Corn on August 2nd in blister stage in which hail stones made kernels all mushy on one side of the ears.

Corn on August 2nd in blister stage in which hail stones made kernels all mushy on one side of the ears.

Corn ear on August 6th.  Notice moldy kernels appearing on side where hail damaged ear.

Corn ear on August 6th. Notice moldy kernels appearing on side where hail damaged ear.

 

Six days after the storm, the good side of the ear that didn't receive hail damage.

Six days after the storm, the good side of the ear that didn’t receive hail damage.

Six days after the storm, the side of the ear that received hail damage.

Six days after the storm, the side of the ear that received hail damage.

33 days after the storm, kernels on the "good" side of ears were beginning to sprout.

33 days after the storm, kernels on the “good” side of ears were beginning to sprout.

33 days after the storm:  Diplodia set in creating light-weight ears and brittle kernels.  Sprouting occurring on damaged kernels on sides of ears.

33 days after the storm: Diplodia set in creating light-weight ears and brittle kernels. Sprouting occurring on damaged kernels on sides of ears.  The presence of mold does not automatically mean a mycotoxin is present. Producers also wondered about the safety of feeding moldy grain to livestock.

Corn Disease Look-Alikes

Physoderma brown spot

Physoderma brown spot on corn. While the small, speckled lesions may look like southern rust, under hand lens or microscopic observation, there are no raised pustules as would be the case with southern rust. Also notice the brown/purple discoloration on the midrib which is also noticed on the stalk as well where the leaf color meets the stalk.

Fair week tends to be time for tasseling in corn and considerations for watering and fungicide application are being made.  Regarding diseases in corn, there has been confusion about a few diseases, particularly about a disease called physoderma brown spot which some have confused for southern rust.  The fungus causing physoderma brown spot feeds on pollen and debris on leaves and does not cause harm to the corn plants themselves.  Because the spores of this fungus move via water (it’s closely related to oomycetes), numerous lesions can appear on leaves in bands or areas where water collects.  While the lesions may look like early southern rust, there will be no pustules present and often purple colored lesions will also be observed in the midrib, leaf sheath, stalk, and outer husks.

Differentiating Rusts:

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Southern rust in corn. We currently have not seen southern rust in Nebraska in 2014. Notice how you can see raised pustules in this picture compared to the photo of physoderma brown spot above.

When differentiating between southern rust vs. common rust, there are several criteria to consider and this NebGuide is a great resource.  Typically common rust will have brick-red pustules randomly scattered on the upper and lower leaf surfaces that are larger in size.  It is common rust that we are currently seeing in our fields.

Bacterial leaf blight showing up heavily in some hybrids.  The UNL Plant and Pest Diagnostic Lab is determining species and we will share more information in the future.  There is no control for this disease at this point.

Bacterial leaf blight showing up heavily in some hybrids. The lesions are red-brown in color, long and skinny and mostly vein-limited.  Older lesions spread outside the veins and are buff in color-sometimes they are being confused as gray leaf spot.  The UNL Plant and Pest Diagnostic Lab is determining species and we will share more information in the future. There is no control for this disease at this time of the season.

Southern rust in our area tends to have very small, raised, tan-orange pustules on the upper leaf surface of leaves in localized areas on mid-upper leaves.  These pustules are tightly clustered on the leaves. However, color and size are relative as sometimes the two diseases can look alike.  Microscopic observation is the best way to differentiate the two diseases.  Fungal spores from Puccinia sorghi causing common rust will be near perfect round circles whereas fungal spores fromPuccinia polysora will be oblong in shape.

We do have some gray leaf spot in the lower canopies and I haven’t seen much northern corn leaf blight in the fields.  But we do

have a bacterial leaf blight that is affecting quite a bit of leaf tissue on some hybrids.  These lesions are long and skinny appearing at first to be limited to the veins.  There’s been concern about these lesions being severe gray leaf spot but it’s not and there’s nothing you can do about the bacterial disease.  Please don’t mistake this bacterial disease as a fungal one and trigger a fungicide application too early.

Fungicide Application Timing

We tend to see southern rust in our part of the State each year; it’s a matter of time.  Triggering a fungicide application too early may result in no residual for when you need it if/when southern rust occurs.  Every year some producers make more than one fungicide application due to blanket applications at tassel or shortly after followed by another fungicide application when southern rust occurs later in the year.  Consider good fungal resistance management and apply fungicides when disease pressure warrants them in your fields and also consider economics for your situation for proper fungicide application timing.

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