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Author Archives: Katie Nichols

Diseases Still Prevalent in Alabama Corn Crop

AUBURN, Ala.—Several weeks ago, Alabama Cooperative Extension System plant pathologists confirmed the presence of Southern corn rust in corn at the Gulf Coast Research and Extension Center. With continued rains and several weeks of intense moisture, Alabama Extension plant pathologist Dr. Austin Hagan said producers should be scouting fields weekly in search of corn diseases. “In the past few weeks, ... Read More »

Excessive Rainfall May Cause Field Issues for Farmers

AUBURN, Ala.— Producers from all areas of Alabama have had planting or harvesting delays and are now making management decisions based on excessive rainfall. The summer months of 2016 ended in a late-season drought that devastated some row crops and forced cattle producers to make difficult management decisions. The onset of 2017 with continued droughty conditions seemed imminent until rain ... Read More »

Southern Rust Detected in South Alabama Corn

rain corn field

AUBURN, Ala.— Alabama Cooperative Extension System plant pathologists have confirmed the presence of southern corn rust in a corn variety trial at the Gulf Coast Research and Extension Center. Alabama Extension plant pathologist Dr. Austin Hagan, said the weather patterns over the past week have been favorable for rust intensification. “The forecast calls for rain showers for the next week, ... Read More »

Slime Molds, Nostoc Appear in Yards after Heavy Rains

slime molds nostoc

 AUBURN, Ala.—Many Alabama homeowners felt the effects of torrential downpours in the garden and in their yards. Dr. Dave Han, an Alabama Extension turfgrass management specialist, said homeowners may see a plethora of strange-looking organisms popping up in the yard. “Besides the usual mushrooms, moss and algae, two strange-looking things are popping up: slime molds and Nostoc,” Han said. Slime ... Read More »

Ready, Set, Grow: Heirloom Tomatoes

heirloom tomatoes

AUBURN, Ala.— Whether consumers choose to purchase their food or grow it themselves, many are interested in moving away from mass-produced items—including commercial tomato varieties. Alabama Extension Regional Agent, Hunter McBrayer said the trend brings consumers looking for more natural and sustainable foods. “Many believe heirloom tomatoes are more ‘natural’ and sustainable,” McBrayer said. “While you can save seed from ... Read More »

Recent Rain Will Likely Affect Cotton, Corn

rain corn field

AUBURN, Ala.—There is no such thing as “typical” Alabama weather. From temperature dips and late frosts, to droughty conditions or more than seven inches of rain, producers in Alabama regularly deal with a wide variety of weather conditions. The end of the month of May has proven to be no different. Areas throughout the state received as much as eight inches ... Read More »

Alabama Fruit Crop Braves Cold Temperatures

AUBURN, Ala.—Exceptionally low temperatures in mid-March were worrisome for peach, blueberry and strawberry producers. With portions of North Alabama sinking into the low 20s and Central and South Alabama slipping below 30 degrees, producers and Alabama Extension agents feared for the future of spring berry and fruit crops. Temperatures Did Not Ruin Peach Crop Gary Gray, a commercial horticulture agent with ... Read More »

Hybrid Sorghum Varieties Available for Growers

sugarcane aphid resistant hybrid varieties

AUBURN, Ala.—The battle between Alabama sorghum growers and sugarcane aphid infestations has raged for several years. Auburn University and Alabama Cooperative Extension System professionals working with industry partners have worked diligently to determine the best courses of action for southern sorghum growers. The Sorghum Checkoff program recently released a list of hybrid sorghum varieties known to be resistant to sugarcane aphids. Alabama Extension ... Read More »

Freezing Temperatures Threaten Strawberry, Peach Crops

peach orchard

AUBURN, Ala.—The threat of freezing temperatures in Alabama quickly shifted strawberry and peach growers from production mode into protection mode. Producers of both fruits are making preparations to protect their crops from frost and freezing temperatures. Alabama Cooperative Extension System Commercial Horticulturist, Dr. Elina Coneva, specializes in commercial fruit crops production. Coneva said growers throughout the state are implementing protective measures ... Read More »

Corn Nematodes: Silent Yield Thieves

AUBURN, Ala.—Corn nematodes in Alabama are a problem many growers are not aware of. The nematodes feed on roots, and cause symptoms similar to those of soil fertility disorders. Alabama Cooperative Extension System Entomologist and Plant Pathologist, Dr. Austin Hagan, said nematodes can cause slow corn seedling growth and plant discoloration. “We have problems with nematodes in corn each year,” ... Read More »