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Agriculture

Fruit and Vegetable Growers Conference Set for November 2015

AUBURN, Alabama—In 2014, fresh market vegetable and melon production in Alabama was valued at more than $20 million, an increase of more than 25 percent over 2013. As Alabama growers look to improve production and their bottom line, the Alabama Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association Fall Conference will give producers the most recent information and research. The conference will be ... Read More »

The Buzz on Backyard Beekeeping

Photo by: shutterstock.com/AubordDulac

AUBURN, Ala. — Backyard beekeeping has caught the attention of homeowners and gardeners across the United States, following in the wake of the Green Revolution and Eat Local movements. With the colony collapse disasters in 2006 leaving honeybee populations at an all-time low, gardeners decided to take matters into their own hands by planting pollinator gardens and becoming backyard beekeepers. ... Read More »

High Tunnel Crop Production is Growing Potential

Producers are no longer limited by firm growing seasons or what is able to grow in greenhouses because of the possibilities that are available through high tunnel crop production. High tunnel production is a form of protected agriculture that enables producers to use their land to its full growing potential. How does high tunnel crop production benefit farmers? This growing ... Read More »

Tea Olives: A Staple for Southern Gardens

If you’re looking to add shrubs to your garden this fall, then it might be time to add tea olives to the mix. An Alabama Extension horticulture professional called tea olive shrubs (genus Osmanthus)  a classic staple of southern gardens. “Tea olives bring color and a sweet fragrance with its delicate blossoms,” said Mike McQueen, Alabama Extension Regional Horticulture Agent. ... Read More »

Farmers Fighting Pest Pressures in Crops

Fall armyworm. John C. French Sr., Retired, Universities:Auburn, GA, Clemson and U of MO, Bugwood.org

Farmers in Alabama have worked hard to protect crops from a number of pests that have caused significant damage this summer. Most crop pests are the typical invaders — fall armyworms, beet armyworms, tobacco budworms and corn earworm — while others are newer to Alabama crops, like the spotted wing drosophila and sugarcane aphid.  Pest Pressure Update Dr. Kelly Palmer, Pest ... Read More »

The Best Test for Potting Mixes

One problem that the Auburn University Soil Testing Laboratory has been having is more and more gardeners sending in potting mixes for routine soil testing. According to Dr. Charles Mitchell, an agronomy and soils specialist for the Alabama Cooperative Extension System, this is not the best choice. The problem is that potting soil is made up of mostly organic matter. ... Read More »

Alabama Farmers Growing Sesame

Growing Sesame seeds

Producers across Alabama are trying their hand growing sesame, a crop that first hit the fields in the sixties. Sesame is a non-traditional crop growers have begun incorporating into seasonal rotations. History Alabama Extension specialists experimented with a sesame variety that posed a harvest problem as a rotation in the 1960s. Because of the difficulty harvesting and keeping seed in ... Read More »

Sugarcane Aphids Feed on Alabama Grain Sorghum

Growers throughout the southern U.S. are trying to ward off a new crop pest as sugarcane aphids make their way to fields of grain sorghum in Alabama for the second year in a row. The pests were first found in the U.S. in 1977 in Florida and appeared in Louisiana in 1999. New research indicates that the aphids in Florida and ... Read More »

Alabama Needs More Transplant Growers

Each year, commercial vegetable operations around Alabama look for quality, affordable vegetable transplants. Few growers produce their own transplants. Commercially-produced transplants are available from a number of sources around the southeastern United States but those sources are looking to move large volumes of transplants– usually 5,000 or more transplants at time– of the same variety. Most vegetable producers in Alabama ... Read More »

Producers Make Strides through Small Ruminant Tour

Meat goats are small ruminant

Southeastern sheep and goat producers recently participated in an educational tour which led them through the marketing and farming practices of producers in the Northeast and equipped them to make strides in their own markets. The Marketing Small Ruminants Educational Tour, made possible in part by the Alabama Cooperative Extension System-Urban Affairs and New Nontraditional Programs, consisted of 80 sheep and ... Read More »