Alabama Forestry Field Day – November 2

Alabama Forestry Field Day – November 2

Join Alabama Cooperative Extension for the 2018 Forestry Field Day at Geneva State Forest Lake near Kinston, Alabama on Friday, November 2nd.  The following topics will be covered:

  • Logging Equipment Cleaning
  • Streamside Management Zones
  • Wild Hog Effects on Water Quality
  • Invasive Plant Management
  • Stream Crossings & Forest Roads
  • Alabama Timber Markets

Download the printer friendly flyer:  2018 AL Forestry Field Day flyer.  Lunch will be provided, but registration is required by calling (334) 684-2484. 

Directions to Geneva State Forest Lake (GPS Coordinates: 31.141655, -86.184714)

From Samson\Geneva\Dothan: Follow AL HWY 52 west from Samson (4.4 miles). Turn left onto AL HWY 54 and travel 1.4 miles. Turn right onto Forest Area Road and follow for 2.9 miles. Then turn right onto Forest Lake Road and go 1.6 miles to reach the lake.

From Andalusia\Opp: Follow the Kinston Highway\AL HWY 52 southeast from Opp (14 miles). Turn right onto AL HWY 54 and travel 1.4 miles.  Turn right onto Forest Area Road and follow for 2.9 miles. Then turn right onto Forest Lake Road and go 1.6 miles to reach the lake.

Mature Longleaf Pine habitat. Photo by Judy Biss

Suwannee Valley Watermelon Institute – November 29

Suwannee Valley Watermelon Institute – November 29

Join UF/IFAS Extension for the 2018 Suwannee Valley Watermelon Institute to be held on Thursday, November 29th at the Straughn IFAS Extension Professional Development Center (2142 Shealy Drive Gainesville, FL 32611).  For anyone that grows watermelon or cucurbits, this day-long event will be worth the drive to Gainesville.

The optional morning session will provide an in-depth review of Florida’s watermelon diseases (bacteria and virus, etc.) with focus on detection and management of new diseases, and an update on drone research for early disease and other stress detection.

After lunch, the following topics will be covered:

  • Irrigation and nutrient management BMPs for the Suwannee Valley Region and Cost Share Programs
  • Watermelon grower experiences with soil moisture sensors
  • Weed management updates, nutsedge, and brunswick grass concerns
  • Update on the Food Safety Modernization Act and new guidance on water and update regarding On-Farm Readiness review process.
  • Watermelon cultivar and fusarium trial results, and review of pollinating plant choices.
  • Watermelon disease and fungicide program planning for the 2019 season.

For more information, contact Dan Fenneman at (850) 973-4138 or by email at

Fig. 1. Symptoms of the Pseudomonas syringae leaf spot on watermelon

Still Need the Mandatory Dicamba Resistant Crop Training?

Still Need the Mandatory Dicamba Resistant Crop Training?

Last year, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) registered new dicamba herbicide product formulations for making applications to dicamba tolerant cotton and soybean crops. As a result, many states were overwhelmed with drift complaints regarding sensitive crops. This led to the 2018 EPA announcement requiring that anyone who wishes to apply dicamba to dicamba tolerant crops MUST participate in an auxin herbicide training before making applications in 2018.

[warning]This training is required of anyone applying newer dicamba products registered for use on dicamba tolerant cotton and soybeans.[/warning]

Product examples include XtendiMax, Engenia, and FeXapan. Applicators using older dicamba formulations in other crops (corn, forages, small grains, sorghum, and turf) can still apply dicamba products without having this training but thoseproducts CANNOT be used on the dicamba tolerant crops. If you have questions regarding the use of these products or if you need the training, call your local Extension Office before making any applications.

On March 16, Extension Offices from across the state hosted an online two-hour dicamba training, which was broadcasted live from Gainesville. This training was overseen by the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS), who determined that the CEU form received from completion of this training would serve as the official documentation of attendance. If applicators desire to use the form for CEUs towards renewal of their pesticide license, they are required to keep an additional copy in their possession as proof of completing the dicamba training.

The training was recorded live and made available to all participating Extension Offices (see below). If you plan to make dicamba applications to dicamba tolerant cotton or soybean, you MUST complete this training before making any applications. The training is not required before planting dicamba genetics, but without the training dicamba cannot be sprayed on the crop. If you plan to spray the crop with dicamba, or want the weed control option later in the season, the training is mandatory.

[important]The recorded training has been made available to all participating Extension Offices. Applicators are required to watch it at the Extension Office, where it can be proctored by an agent who is a certified CEU provider and can issue/sign the CEU form. There are no exceptions, you must watch the training at an Extension Office. In the Panhandle, participating Extension Offices with access to the training include: Calhoun, Escambia, Gadsden, Holmes, Jefferson, Okaloosa, Santa Rosa, Walton, and Washington Counties. Contact information for the different offices can be found using the following link: Florida County Extension Offices.[/important]


2017 Panhandle Row Crop Short Course Presentations and Highlights

2017 Panhandle Row Crop Short Course Presentations and Highlights

The annual Panhandle Row Crop Short Course was hosted by Jackson County Extension on Thursday, March 2, 2017.  Extension Specialists from Florida, Georgia, and Alabama spoke to attendees providing production recommendations and various management tips for row crops farmers. Continuing education units (CEUs) were offered at the event for those with a restricted use pesticide license (Florida, Georgia and Alabama), as well as for Certified Crop Advisors. A total of 119 people turned our for this year’s event, that number is comprised of attendees from nine Florida counties, seven Georgia counties, and four Alabama counties. The event featured nine presentations and a trade show of 27 companies and organizations that provide products and services to the industry.

The focus of the Short Course was primarily on peanut and cotton production, but did overlap other crops regarding fertility, pest management and the market outlook. The speakers provided an update from the Florida Peanut Producers Association, information regarding peanut varieties, herbicides, replant decisions, pest management, market outlook, and early season fertility. Many of the people who attended asked about copies of the presentations. The following recap provides a short summary of what was discussed, as well as direct links to download PDF (printable) versions of the presentations given at the event.

Industry Update

Ken Barton, Executive Director of the Florida Peanut Producers Association (FPPA) provided an update on the current status of the peanut industry, along with the goals of the FPPA.

Barton Florida Peanut Producers Update


Managing Your Favorite Peanut Variety

Dr. Barry Tillman, UF/IFAS Peanut Breeder provided variety data from trials across several states (Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, and South Carolina) demonstrating trends in performance. Hypothetical production situations were used to illustrate management decisions based on factors such as planting date, disease pressure, and risk.

      Tillman Managing Your Favorite Peanut Variety


Generic Herbicides

Dr. Ramon Leon, UF/IFAS Weed Specialist discussed the use of generic herbicides. It is important to always be aware of the amount of active ingredient listed for a product and its formulation, and that the success or failure of a herbicide can be attributed to several causes.

      Leon Generic Herbicides


Making Replant Decisions for Cotton and Peanut

Dr. David Wright, UF/IFAS Agronomist discussed how to determine if replanting a field is beneficial. How much of a stand is adequate and when is replanting necessary? These questions among others are outlined and answered regarding peanut and cotton.

     Wright Making Replant Decisions for Cotton and Peanut


2,4-D and Dicamba Update (as of 3/2/17)

Dr. Ramon Leon, UF/IFAS Weed Specialist discussed the new herbicide technologies available for use in 2017. Enlist Duo, Engenia, FeXapan, and XtendiMax all lack Florida registration as of March 2, 2017 (stay tuned for future updates). Therefore, growers will be required to follow both the EPA label and Florida Organ-Auxin Rule for these products. When the two have conflicting information (i.e. buffer distance between crops, wind speed, etc.), whichever is more restrictive should be used. He outlined how several labels stand as of 3/2/17, however it is IMPORTANT that this presentation not be substituted for the product labels. Always look up the most current label, as they are in a state of transition and are still changing.

     Leon 2,4-D Dicamba Crops Update 2017


Crop Disease Management

Dr. Nicholas Dufault, UF/IFAS Crop Pathologist focused his talk on the performance of peanut fungicides. It is important to know which pathogen you are treating, and confidently select an effective product for its control.

     Dufault Crop Disease Management


2017 Crop Market Outlook

Dr. Adam Rabinowitz, UGA Economist provided a detailed analysis of the crop commodity markets. He covered several commodities, their utilization within the market, inputs, and the potential use of the UGA Crop Comparison Tool. Understanding what factors drive the market and the projected revenues/costs associated with growing different crops will allow producers to make informed decisions this year.

     Rabinowitz Crop Market Outlook


Cotton Insect Management and Control for 2017

Dr. Ron Smith, Auburn Entomologist discussed the seasonal occurrence of pests that affect cotton and their control measures. With new and emerging pests each year, accurate pest identification prior to pesticide applications is key for attaining adequate insect control.

     Smith Cotton Insect Management and Control for 2017


Early Season Fertility

Dr. Michael Mulvaney, UF/IFAS Cropping Systems Specialist elaborated on early season fertility in corn, cotton, and peanut. Recognizing the nutritional need of a crop, and being able to identify symptoms of deficiency are key in maintaining a healthy field.

     Mulvaney Early Season Fertility


Sponsors and Trade Show Exhibitors


These 27 companies and organizations that provide products and services to crop farmers in the region took part in the Trade Show.

Upcoming Events

There are a number of upcoming crop educational events that are taking place largely in the Florida Panhandle. Watch the newsletter for promotional materials regarding these events, or call the Extension office for the listed county for more information.


2016 Peanut Field Day a Success in Spite of the Rain

Variety Image_Field Day

Field plots showcasing different peanut varieties. Photo by Doug Mayo.

Despite the rainy weather, the annual UF/IFAS Peanut Field Day was held on Thursday, August 11, 2016. The event took place at the North Florida Research and Education Center (NFREC), where specialists from both Florida and Georgia spoke to attendees regarding research findings and production management. Roughly 150 people turned out for the event regardless of the gathering storm clouds and weather forecast. Jackie Burns, UF/IFAS Dean for Research and Sherry Larkin, Associate Dean of Resaerch came to experience the Peanut Field Day. The event was off to a good start when showers halted the field tours.  Fortunately, the speakers were prepared for this situation and used PowerPoint presentations while indoors to convey their messages to the group.

Tillman_Burns_Field Day

Tour group (including Dean Burns) listening to Dr. Barry Tillman speak on the characteristics of different peanut varieties. Photo by Matt Lollar.

Continuing education units (CEUs) were available for Florida, Georgia, and Alabama pesticide license holders, as well as for Certified Crop Advisors. The event included six presentations from a combination of Extension specialists, county agents, UF graduate students, and sponsor exhibits.

The Peanut Field Day concentrated on different production strategies and management practices that help minimize costs for producers. Topics addressed included insect and disease management, herbicide use, crop production, irrigation impact on root development, and variety updates.

Mark Abney, UGA Peanut Entomologist, spoke to attendees about several insects such as tobacco thrips, spider mites, and lesser cornstalk borers to name a few. He offered insight on which products could be used to treat for different insects and how certain product applications may lead to other issues (pyrethroids kill caterpillars, but flare spider mite populations).

Mark Abney, UGA Peanut Entomologist, spoke to attendees about several insects such as tobacco thrips, spider mites, and lesser cornstalk borers. PhotoCredit: Doug Mayo

Mark Abney, UGA Peanut Entomologist, spoke to attendees about several insects that are peanut pests, such as tobacco thrips, spider mites, and lesser cornstalk borers. PhotoCredit: Doug Mayo

Ramon Leon, UF/IFAS Weed Specialist, showed pictures of and discussed chemical injury from several herbicides (Valor, Dual Magnum, etc.) and also gave examples on how to prevent damage from these products.

Leon_Field Day

Dr. Ramon Leon speaking to the crowd indoors after rain caught the tours in the field. Photo by Ethan Carter.

With all the rain from the past week or so, it was only natural to get a pathologist’s perspective on these conditions, the emergence of diseases, and how best to combat them. Attendees were lucky enough to hear from two Extension pathologists: Nick Dufault from UF/IFAS, and Bob Kemerait from UGA. Dr. Dufault explained how, based on his trials replicated across Florida (Citra, Quincy, Marianna, Jay), he can show that different pathogens and diseases have been more prevalent in certain locations than others. He also discussed the necessity of rotating chemistries and using products with multiple modes of action to increase disease control and minimize the risks associated with resistance from using a similar product repeatedly.

Dr. Nick Dufault speaking to attendees on fungicides and disease management. Photo by Bob Kemerait

Dr. Nick Dufault speaking to attendees on fungicides and disease management. Photo by Bob Kemerait

Even though it did rain during the tours, the field day was still quite a success. Producers from the region learned about some of the latest research on growing peanuts, and had the opportunity to discuss their own production questions directly with the specialists.  We certainly appreciate all of our program sponsors; an event of this magnitude would not be possible without their support.




Earn Pesticide License CEUs – Attend the Great CEU Round-Up

Earn Pesticide License CEUs – Attend the Great CEU Round-Up

A tractor spraying pesticides on rows of tomatoes. UF/IFAS Photo by Tyler Jones.

UF/IFAS Photo by Tyler Jones.

The Great CEU Round-Up
July 27, 2016 8am-4pm EDT

It’s that time of year again, the Florida Turfgrass Association (FTGA) and UF/IFAS have teamed up to present The Great CEU Round-Up. Designed to allow pesticide license holders to earn up to six CEUs, this all day program will be streamed online to participating extension offices around the state.


Category Available CEUs
487 General Standards/Core 1
482 General Standards/Core 1
Limited Urban Fertilizer 1
Limited Landscape Maintenance 5
Limited Lawn & Ornamental 5
Commercial Lawn & Ornamental 5
Private Applicator 5
Aerial Application 5
Ag Row Crop 2
Ag Tree Crop 2
Aquatic Weed Control 4
Demonstration & Research 5
Forestry 2
Natural Areas Weed Management 4
Ornamental & Turf 5
Regulatory Pest Control 5
Right-of-Way 5
Total Available 6

Extension Offices Participating, in the Panhandle, Include:

Santa Rosa


8:30    Registration
9:00    Pesticides, Pollinators & Politics in Turf & Ornamentals
10:00  Integrating Biological Controls & Herbicides
11:00   When Upland Invasive Plant Control Meets Water
12:00   Lunch
1:00    Pesticide Spill Management & Cleanup
2:00    Aquatic Weed Identification
3:00    Herbicide Injury from Off-Target Application

Registration Prices:

UF/IFAS Employees: $15 until 7/22/16, then increases to $22.50
Municipal Employees: $30 until 7/22/16, then increases to $45
Industry Professionals: $50 until 7/22/16, then increases to $75

Registration can be completed online through the FTGA website or by downloading and then mailing the form. A hard copy registration form can also be picked up at any participating extension office. Registration CANNOT be done via the phone. It is important to register early as the cost of registration increases after July 22nd to on-site pricing (see above).