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Author Archives: Katie Nichols

Grasshoppers Cause Issues in Seedling Cotton

Photo of differential grasshoppers feeding on a stem. Photo by Mike Zapata, Frisco Urban Forestry Board, bugwood.org.

AUBURN, Ala.—There are beneficial insects who take up residence in cotton fields, and then there are damaging pests, like the grasshopper, who create problems for cotton producers. Alabama Cooperative Extension System entomologist, Dr. Ron Smith, said grasshoppers have been sporadic seedling cotton pests for more than 10 years. A well-known fable about an ant and a grasshopper depicts the ant ... Read More »

Alabama Farmers Utilizing Pattern Tile Drainage

pattern tile drainage

AUBURN, Ala.—Pattern tile drainage is a practice Midwestern producers have long employed on farm operations. Now, some Alabama producers with soggy soils are laying pattern tile in hopes of more manageable land. Alabama Farmers Installing Drainage Several farmers in western and central Alabama have made pattern tile installations on-farm. Drew Wendland, of Autauga Farming Company in Autaugaville, Alabama is hopeful ... Read More »

Controlling Fire Ants in Vegetable Gardens

AUBURN, Ala.—Homeowners breaking ground in gardens this spring may find the plot is teeming with life coming out of the winter season—a different kind of life than they would like to see. Fire ants are common in yards, flowerbeds, playgrounds and gardens throughout Alabama. Dr. Fudd Graham, an Alabama Cooperative Extension System entomologist, said the following are three approaches that are ... Read More »

Protect Pastures from Fire Ants

AUBURN, Ala.—From the field to the pasture, fire ants cause issues for producers on many levels. Surprisingly, the biggest issue they cause is damage to equipment. This not only cost farmers time but there is also the cost of the labor and repair. Dr. Fudd Graham, an Alabama Extension entomologist, said the first step to treatment is determining the level ... Read More »

Alabama Extension Hosts Cotton and Soybean Scouting School

scouting school

AUBURN, Ala.—Producers will have an opportunity to brush up on insect scouting techniques at the annual cotton and soybean “scouting school” workshops. The Alabama Cooperative Extension crops team is hosting the scouting school series in three locations throughout the state. Scouting School Producers have attended scouting school since the arrival of the boll weevil. The first cotton scout scoured the ... Read More »

Corn Producers Experience Setbacks from Stubby Root Nematodes

AUBURN, Ala.—Gardeners say ‘April showers bring May flowers.’ While these showers may bring flowers for gardeners, it can cause problems for corn producers. In corn fields, wet weather in April is a recipe for nematode problems—specifically cotton root knot and stubby root nematodes. The root knot nematode is a pest that affects both cotton and corn. Dr. Austin Hagan, an ... Read More »

Weather: Ever an Obstacle for Farmers

Tractor planting cotton.

AUBURN, Ala.—Alabama farmers faced cool, wet weather at the beginning of spring. This kept many farmers out of their fields for several weeks. In a twist, manageable only by Mother Nature, many producers are now hoping for rain as they begin planting cotton and soybeans. William Birdsong, an Alabama Cooperative Extension System specialist of agronomic crops, said 2018 has been ... Read More »

Crop Budgets Released for 2018 Growing Season

AUBURN, Ala.—Successful farming requires careful planning, and the Alabama Cooperative Extension System has tools to make that job easier for producers.  Extension’s annual enterprise budgets help producers make the best decisions possible for the upcoming growing season. Enterprise budgets are reasonable estimates of the costs and returns for a particular enterprise. Available worksheets include row crops, fall and winter forage crops, fruits, ... Read More »

Burndown Herbicides Affected by Low Temperatures

AUBURN, Ala.— Low temperatures stretching into March and April, with more potentially on the way, may cause issues for producers during burndown. During March and April, producers normally apply burndown herbicides to prepare to plant corn, soybeans and cotton. Dr. Joyce Tredaway, an Alabama Extension weed specialist, said this is not new for Alabama producers, as temperatures are often in ... Read More »

Give the Master Gardener Helpline a Ring

AUBURN, Alabama—Does your spring garden have you stumped? Is a question about mulch or daffodils setting you back? The Alabama Master Gardeners (MG) are standing by ready to answer questions on the Master Gardener Helpline. Call 1-877-ALA-GROW The toll-free helpline connects callers with a knowledgeable team of MG who can help answer questions. Armed with research and Alabama Cooperative Extension ... Read More »