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Author Archives: Katie Nichols

Cover Crop Residue May Provide Thrips Control

AUBURN, Ala.—Cotton fields in the south are ravaged by thrips each year. While there are seed treatments available to producers for thrips control, many fields still see moderate thrips damage. Alabama Cooperative Extension researchers are beginning the second year of trials to study the use of cover crop residue as a deterrent for thrips. Retired Extension Entomologist Dr. Ron Smith ... Read More »

Successful Calving Seasons Require Planning

AUBURN, Ala.—Successful calving seasons are a direct result of detailed planning and hard work. Most producers in Alabama have spring or fall calving seasons, as the weather is better suited for young calves. Dr. Soren Rodning, Alabama Cooperative Extension System veterinarian, said observation of cows and heifers before and during calving season is necessary to ensure the health and safety ... Read More »

Controlling Fire Ants in Vegetable Gardens

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 Alabama, and common in yards, flowerbeds, playgrounds and gardens. Dr. Kathy Flanders, an Alabama Cooperative Extension Entomologist, said there are several approaches to fire ant ... Read More »

Spring: Prime Time for Kudzu Bugs

Auburn, AL—Residential and rural areas will soon be filled with kudzu bugs making a comeback from their overwintering sites. Alabama Extension Entomologist Xing Ping Hu, said there are several ways for kudzu bugs to bother homeowners. “Kudzu bugs are a nuisance that invades homes, yards and landscapes,” Hu  said. “They are more problematic in later fall when they seek protected ... Read More »

Timely Cover Crop Termination Provides Benefits

AUBURN, Ala.—Farmers have been integrating precision practices in the field for many years. Conservation methods provide benefits on many fronts—including soil productivity and effective land management.  Cover crops are just one of the conservation efforts used for erosion control, soil and water quality improvement, minimizing nutrient loss, increasing water infiltration and for nitrogen fixation from legumes. Dr. Dennis Delaney, Alabama ... Read More »

Flooded Fields May Require Additional Soil Testing

AUBURN, Ala.—Torrential downpours in late 2015 and early 2016 left many farmers with underwater fields. Cropland along rivers and other low-lying areas were submerged for several days leaving many fields drenched and unreachable. Alabama Extension agronomists say soil testing could benefit farmers who plan to plant fields that spent many hours under water.  “Soil testing is always important,” Alabama Extension ... Read More »

Farmers Wait for Warmer Soil Temperatures

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AUBURN, Ala.—Warm air, sunshine and fields ready for planting make the warmer days of winter tempting for many row crop producers throughout the state. However tempting the weather, farmers know the importance of waiting for warmer soil temperatures before planting. Brandon Dillard, an Alabama Extension agronomist, said cool soil temperatures are always difficult for farmers to deal with because as ... Read More »

It’s Not Too Late to Plant Early Spring Vegetables

AUBURN, Ala.—It may be February and frigid, but there are still early spring vegetables ready to be planted in the garden for early harvest. White potatoes, commonly called Irish potatoes because of their link to the famines in Ireland in the nineteenth century, have long since been a favorite around dinner tables. Extension Horticulturist Dani Carroll said the Irish potato ... Read More »

Precision Ag Increases Farmer Productivity, Profits

AUBURN, Ala.—Practices in the agricultural sector are evolving faster than ever before. As producers work to integrate better precision ag technology into their already complex operations, Alabama Extension and industry partners are working together to give farmers the information and technology they need to maximize profits and productivity in the field. A recent Precision Ag event in Auburn gave the ... Read More »

Crop Outlook 2016: Farmers Take on Long-term Perspectives

photo by: shutterstock.com/archerixs

AUBURN, Ala.—Droughts, heavy rainfall and a variety of other conditions plagued farmers in 2015. Now, producers heading into planting for 2016 are already researching and making decisions hoping to make this growing season better than the last. Max Runge, an Alabama Extension economist, said farmers throughout the Southeast have experienced production highs and lows in recent years due to a ... Read More »