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Author Archives: Katie Nichols

February Not the Time to Prune Hydrangeas

AUBURN, Alabama—February sunshine coaxes hints of green out of the cold ground, welcoming a cheery burst of blooming color to the winter landscape. While daffodils and camellias bloom and brighten, gardeners may find themselves spending more time readying the flowerbeds. Though it may be tempting, February is not the time to prune your hydrangea bushes. Understanding flower development for each ... Read More »

Auxin Herbicide Trainings Scheduled Throughout the State

auxin herbicide trainings

AUBURN, Alabama—Cotton and soybean varieties with resistance to several common herbicides are available to plant on farms across the country. A 2017 labeling change now requires training for all producers planning to use products containing 2,4-D or dicamba in conjunction with resistant varieties. Therefore, Alabama Cooperative Extension System crops agents and specialists will provide auxin herbicide trainings in 16 locations throughout ... Read More »

Crop Insect Pests Will Live On After Cold Weather

cotton susceptible to crop insect pests

AUBURN, Alabama—Like most pests plaguing the home, many crop insect pests will survive the frigid winter weather. Dr. Ron Smith, an Alabama Cooperative Extension System entomologist, said Alabama has experienced cold winters down through the ages—and insects are still here. “Most pests have a generation on wild host plants that will help to boost population numbers in the spring, so ... Read More »

Alabama Extension Offers Tax Bill Workshops for Farmers

tax bill workshops

AUBURN, Alabama—Alabama farmers can learn more about how the new tax law affects them individually and their farming operation at tax bill workshops from Alabama Extension’s Agribusiness Management Team. After the training, farmers will be better equipped to navigate the new tax provisions. Dr. Robert Tufts, an Alabama Extension farm management specialist and attorney, will conduct the workshops at 13 ... Read More »

Smith Recognized for Excellence in Cotton IPM

Ron Smith_Cotton IPM Award

AUBURN, Alabama—Dr. Ron Smith, an Alabama Cooperative Extension System entomologist, was recognized at the 2018 Beltwide Cotton Conference for his outstanding contributions to the cotton industry through integrated pest management (IPM). Awarded since 2012, the Recognition Award for Excellence in Cotton Integrated Pest Management recognizes an individual in research, extension or industry. Previous winners have included three individuals holding “industry” ... Read More »

Farmers Utilize Cover Crops

AUBURN, Alabama— For as many years as farmers have worked the land, they have sought ways to conserve soil and resources. Researchers and producers alike are continually searching for ways to improve soil quality, increase productivity and build erosion control. Cover crops are widely planted to benefit the upcoming crop, as well as for soil improvements. Alabama Cooperative Extension Specialist Dr. ... Read More »

Wiregrass Cotton Expo Slated for February

cotton boll

DOTHAN, Alabama—The annual Wiregrass Cotton Expo is set for Feb. 2 at the National Peanut Festival Fairgrounds in Dothan, Alabama. The cost-free expo will include an exhibitor show and various cotton management presentations from Alabama Extension specialists, seed companies, Florida’s state climatologist and the Alabama Cotton Commission. The luncheon speaker is Dr. Don Shurley, an Extension economist with the University ... Read More »

Cold Snap Won’t Faze Insect Pests

cold snap

AUBURN, Alabama—If the recent cold snap had hopes of an insect-free season springing to mind, think again. Even after a week of frigid temperatures—uncharacteristic even for Alabama winters—insects will likely survive. Dr. Xing Ping Hu, an Alabama Extension entomologist said insects are not usually susceptible to cold temperatures. “Some crops, fruit trees and even livestock animals may fall prey to ... Read More »

Alabama Producers Growing Carinata for Biofuel

carinata

AUBURN, Ala.—Alabama growers are sowing the seeds of a new biofuel oil crop this winter. Brassica carinata, informally known as carinata, is similar to canola (Brassica napus L.)—a crop many producers introduced to rotations several years ago. An oilseed crop, carinata seed is larger than millet and smaller than sorghum. Canola was grown and crushed for food-grade oils, but carinata is ... Read More »

Alabama Extension Hosts Precision Ag Workshop

precision ag planter

AUBURN, Alabama—The Alabama Cooperative Extension System will host the year’s first precision agriculture workshop Jan. 18 from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the Birmingham Botanical Gardens. While producers continue to adopt new farming technologies, Alabama Extension professionals are committed to working alongside them with industry partners to expand their practical knowledge and increase adoption. Previously held at E.V. Smith ... Read More »