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Author Archives: Katie Nichols

Crop Insurance Not a Guaranteed Payout for Farmers

hurricane-damaged cotton

AUBURN UNIVERSITY, Ala.—Insurance companies will be busy processing claims and assessing damages, as residents affected by Hurricane Michael work to recover. Crop insurance agents and adjusters, in tandem with Extension agents and other government program agencies, will work to help producers determine losses and file crop claims. Alabama Extension economist Max Runge said producers will assess and report damage in ... Read More »

Exercise Caution During Clean Up After Hurricane Michael

AUBURN, Ala.—In the aftermath of Hurricane Michael, residents across the south are surveying the damage and starting to plan clean up efforts. Henry Dorough, who leads Alabama Extension‘s severe weather response efforts, said residents should heed safety warnings when they venture out to assess damages. Fallen trees and downed power lines are the most common reasons for power outages after a ... Read More »

Produce Safety Alliance Training Workshops Continue

AUBURN, Ala.—The Alabama Cooperative Extension System will continue conducting Produce Safety Alliance training workshops in October and November. A new produce safety rule focusing on setting the first-ever federal regulatory standards for production, harvest and handling of fruits and vegetables will subject growers to inspection by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) or Alabama Department of Agriculture and Industries. The ... Read More »

Protect Backyard Bees During Tropical Storms

AUBURN, Ala.—Tropical Storm Gordon is expected to make landfall along the Gulf Coast tonight. Gordon could be a tropical storm or even a low end hurricane. In either event, backyard beekeepers may notice buzzing around the hive quiets down. Like other animals, bees sense changes in their environment. Dr. Geoffrey Williams, an assistant professor in the Auburn University College of ... Read More »

USDA Releases Farmer Trade Assistance Package Information

shutterstock.com/Alf Rebeiro. soybeans and a $100 bill.

AUBURN, Ala.—Recent changes in U.S. trade policies have sparked the need for farmer financial aid in the United States. The U. S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) released details about a financial aid package to help farmers Aug. 27. The farmer trade assistance package’s goal is to help farmers as they navigate uncharted territory in dealing with tariffs related to trade ... Read More »

Trade Tariffs Initiate Soybean Market Shift, Cause Concern

soybeans

by Justin Miller and Katie Nichols AUBURN, Ala.—As Farm Bill discussions continue in Washington, D.C., producers wait for the direction a new bill will bring to the agricultural sector. Without a completed Farm Bill, producers are operating on the previous bill’s prices and provisions. The trade tariffs imposed on many U.S. agricultural products have raised concerns about the future of ... Read More »

Interpreting the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act

Tax Cuts and Jobs Act buttons in a pile. Image by shutterstock.com/cbies.

AUBURN, Ala.—The new Tax Cuts and Jobs Act will benefit many individuals and businesses. While most of the business changes are permanent, many individual provisions will end Dec. 31, 2025. Dr. Robert Tufts, a visiting professor with the Alabama Cooperative Extension System, suggests contacting a tax professional to discuss these changes and their potential effects on individuals and businesses. Tufts ... Read More »

Kelton Selected for SARE Fellows Program

Jessica Kelton was selected for the 2019 SARE Fellows Program.

AUBURN, Ala.—Jessica Kelton, an Alabama Cooperative Extension System regional extension agent, has been selected as a member of the two-year Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) Fellows Program. Kelton Studies Conservation Kelton, who is also a member of the Extension farm and agribusiness management team, said she has been working with conservation practices since graduate school. The Auburn University graduate ... Read More »

Corn Earworms, Cotton Bollworms Build Resistance

Photo of the top of two rows of field corn with a blue sky background.

AUBURN, Ala.—The introduction of genetic engineering in cotton was game-changing for producers. Even more so was the introduction of insect-resistant genes in corn—especially for producers in the Midwest who deal with the corn rootworm. Now, entomologists and scientists are working to determine the best course of action as corn earworms and cotton bollworms develop resistance to the first, second and ... Read More »

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 »