Cold Temperatures Benefit Peach, Grape Producers

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By Clint Thompson Consecutive days and nights of cold temperatures were just what the doctor ordered for peach producers and grape growers in the Southeast. They allowed farmers to obtain much needed chill hours. Grape producers also received help in managing Pierce’s Disease. University of Georgia Cooperative Extension fruit disease specialist Phil Brannen highlights the benefits that this week’s 20-and …

Alabama Update: Growers Be Wary of Insect-Transmitted Diseases

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By Clint Thompson The current drought-like conditions sweeping across the Southeast should have specialty crop producers wary of insect-transmitted virus diseases. The hot and dry weather favors pests like aphids and whiteflies. Growers should be concerned about subsequent diseases, says Ed Sikora, Professor and Extension Plant Pathologist in the Department of Entomology and Plant Pathology at Auburn University. He discussed …

Hemp Production Improves in Alabama

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By Clint Thompson Hemp production continues to improve across Alabama, even as new pests emerged this year for producers. Katelyn Kesheimer, Auburn University assistant professor and Extension specialist, discussed the state of the crop in Alabama. “It’s getting better and better. I think each year we’re finding better ways to grow it. The program itself is trying to be more …

Importance of Water for Pecan Growers Amid Current Dry Conditions

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By Clint Thompson Hurricane Ian’s path around Georgia spared the state’s pecan producers from potentially devastating wind speeds. But it also failed to bring much needed moisture to a region desperately needing some rainfall. Lenny Wells, University of Georgia (UGA) Extension pecan specialist, noted in the UGA Pecan Extension Blog that the current dry period could be detrimental to the …

Drought Expanding in Southeast

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By Clint Thompson Abnormally dry conditions are expanding across the Southeast, especially in southern Alabama, northern Georgia and Florida Panhandle, according to Thursday’s release of the U.S. Drought Monitor. Alabama’s dry conditions range from abnormally dry to moderately dry and are largely concentrated to the southern half of the state, especially in southeast Alabama in counties like Covington, Geneva, Butler, …

Alabama Hemp Permits Available Oct. 11-Nov. 30

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Alabama producers interested in growing hemp in 2023 should be aware that permits are only available between Oct. 11 and Nov. 30. Any production or cultivation of hemp without a grower’s permit acquired from the Alabama Department of Agriculture and Industries (ADAI) is deemed illegal. Hemp is a large herbaceous plant that is grown industrially for seed, fiber and flower. …

Whitefly Populations on Rise in Alabama Crops

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By Clint Thompson Alabama cucurbit growers are already seeing increased whitefly populations in their fall crops. Whitefly-transmitted viruses are not far behind, says Ed Sikora, professor and Extension plant pathologist in the department of entomology and plant pathology at Auburn University. “My guess is with the number of whiteflies and with these crops we’ll start seeing symptoms with some of …

ERS Report: H-2A Certified Jobs Numbered 275,000 in 2020

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Fears of H-2A labor shortages during the onset of COVID-19 were unfounded with no widespread reports of shortages. This is according to a recent study administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Economic Research Service (ERS). There were, however, reports of lower earnings for farm workers due to fewer hours being offered as a result of reduced demand for …

Sneak Peek: October 2022 Specialty Crop Industry Magazine

Web Admin Specialty Crop Industry Magazine

The October issue of Specialty Crop Industry Magazine focuses on strawberries, one of the top fruits produced in the Southeast. Jeff Cook and Garrett Hibbs, county Extension coordinators for University of Georgia (UGA) Cooperative Extension, along with Phillip Brannen, UGA Extension fruit disease specialist, provide tips for managing different fungal diseases which pose the biggest threat to production, other than …