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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 »

Managing Herbicide Resistant Weeds

AUBURN, Ala. – Herbicide resistant weeds are a growing problem for row crop farmers. Dr. Joyce Tredaway Ducar, an Alabama Extension weed scientist, said scouting fields is critical. “Scouting is the only way to know which weeds are present, and their patterns in the field can help to understand why they are present,” said Tredaway Ducar. Adding scouting to your ... Read More »

Alabama Strawberry Production: A Sweet Business

AUBURN, Ala. – Strawberries may not be big business in Alabama, but it is a sweet one. According to Doug Chapman, an Alabama Extension regional commercial horticulture agent, compared to larger producing states such as Florida, Alabama’s production size is minuscule. “If you looked at the land allotted to strawberry production, strawberry acreage in Alabama would not exceed 200 acres ... 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 »

Kudzu: Invasive Vine of the Southeast

AUBURN, AL—In the southeastern region of the United States, kudzu is one of the most well-known plants. The invasive vine is known for its rapid growth and its ability to kill or suppress surrounding vegetation through heavy shading. Invasive species are introduced into a region either intentionally or unintentionally. The growth of these species can harm the environment, economy and even ... Read More »

Pollen…but why?

Auburn, Ala.—When spring rolls around, people’s allergies flare up and pollen is usually to blame. However, pollen is a necessity in nature that people cannot live without.  The sole purpose of pollen is to reproduce the plant. “If we don’t have pollen floating through the air, then the ovules in the female part of the flower are not fertilized, so they do not ... 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 »

Alabama Extension Conducting Grant Workshop to Support Local Foods

farmers market grant workshop

AUBURN, Ala. – A free workshop designed to help Alabama farmers and others develop grant applications will be held Friday, April 1, in Selma. Sponsored by the Alabama Cooperative Extension System, the workshop will focus on effective grant writing strategies for USDA Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) programs such as the Farmers’ Market Promotion Program and the Local Food Promotion Program. ... 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 »