Timely Info

Culling strategies for beef cattle operations
on 5/22/2017 4:00 PM
Category:Animal Sciences Series

Currently, much of Alabama is either abnormally dry, in a moderate drought, or in a severe drought. As we have had to deal with drought conditions way too often in recent years, longer-term forecasts predict dry to droughty conditions will persist for much of Alabama throughout 2017. Hopefully that will not be the case, but if it is, making plans now to deal with potentially limited feed, forage, and water conditions could pay dividends down the road. In an effort to provide adequate supplies of feed, forage, and/or water, some options to consider include: 

  1. Culling unproductive animals now, thus preserving limited feed and water resources for productive cattle.
  2. Begin rationing feed and hay now, in anticipation of greater than normal use over a potentially dry summer.
  3. Transporting adequate feed to the farm.
  4. If ponds and wells that are normally used for watering cattle are at risk of running dry, consider alternative sources of water.
  5. Transporting cattle to a farm with adequate feed and water.
For more information about general culling strategies for beef cattle, please see the attached Timely Information Bulletin.

Timely Information - Culling strategies for beef cattle operations.pdf 

Weed of the Month: Verbena, Vervain
on 5/8/2017 9:10 AM
Category:Animal Sciences Series; Weed Science Series

Approximately 80 species of Verbena or Vervain occur in the world, and most species are found in the South.  Many of these species occur as weeds in Alabama pastures and hayfields.  This timely information sheet provides information on this group of weeds and explains how to control them.

Timely Information-011 - Verbena.pdf

Where can I get additional information? Contact Joyce A. Tredaway at  Tredaway@auburn.edu.

Grazing Management Strategies During Drought in Tall Fescue Systems
on 5/4/2017 4:08 PM
Category:Animal Sciences Series

​This Timely Information Sheet provides recommendations on grazing management practices for tall fescue stands that were weakened during the 2016 drought. 

Grazing Management During Drought in Tall Fescue Systems - May 2017 - TI Sheet.pdf

Pre-Conditioning Beef Calves with High-Moisture Forages and Co-Product Feeds
on 5/1/2017 10:12 AM
Category:Animal Sciences Series

​There has been an increasing interest in the use of baleage in beef operations in Alabama. This information sheet summarizes the results of a 45-day preconditioning trial evaluating the use of baleage and co-product feeds for pre-conditioning beef calves.

ACES TI Baleage.pdf

Preventing ruminal acidosis when using supplemental feeds for beef cattle
on 4/22/2017 10:46 AM
Category:Animal Sciences Series

Ruminal acidosis is a digestive disorder characterized by low rumen pH (more acidic than normal). Cattle are at greatest risk for acidosis when consuming feed that is high in rapidly fermentable carbohydrates, particularly when they have not had adequate time to adapt to a high-energy supplemental feed. Cattle that go off feed for an extended period are also at risk when they resume feed intake. Ruminal acidosis can result from errors in ration formulation and/or feeding strategies.

Ruminal acidosis can occur in beef cattle of all ages. Risk for ruminal acidosis increases when calves are weaned onto rations high in rapidly fermentable carbohydrates, especially when they have not had time to adapt to the new ration. Calves are also at risk when creep-fed supplements high in rapidly fermentable carbohydrates. Mature cows and bulls are at greatest risk of ruminal acidosis when provided new or irregular access to supplemental feeds high in rapidly fermentable carbohydrates, as may occur during drought conditions.

Timely Information - Preventing Ruminal Acidosis When Using Supplemental Feeds for Beef Cattle.pdf

Interaction of Planting Date and Seeding Rate on Seedling Populations, TSW and White Mold Incidence, Leaf Spot Defoliation, and Yield of Three Peanut Cultivars in a Dryland Production System
on 4/12/2017 2:14 PM
Category:Plant Pathology Series

​Seed account for up to 20% of the total variable production costs for peanut.  The impact of seeding rate of 3, 4, 6, and 8 seed per row foot as influenced by planting date on the incidence of TSW and white mold, leaf spot defoliation, and yield of commercial peanut varieties Georgia-06G, Georgia-09B, and Georgia-12Y in a dryland production system at the Wiregrass Research and Extension Center in 2014, 2015, and 2016.  Planting date but not seeding rate had the greatest impact on yield of peanut.  Yields were greater in two of three study years for the mid-April (1st Date of Planting [DOP]) than mid-May (2nd DOP)-planted peanuts, regardless of the variety.  Georgia-06G, Georgia-09B, and Georgia-12Y has similar yields except in 2016 for the latter variety when a sharp yield decline was noted at the 2nd DOP.  No yield gains were seen by increasing seeding rates.  The lack of a variety × seeding rate interaction showed that the absence of a seeding rate response was consistent across all varieties.  In a previous Alabama study, seeding rate had a limited impact on the yield of commercial peanut varieties in an irrigated production system.  Year (i.e. rainfall) had a sizable impact on yield.  With good rainfall through much of September, yields were averaged 5660 lb/A in 2016 as compared with drier late summer and early fall weather patterns in 2014 and 2015 when the mean yield was 2454 lb/A and 3217, respectively.

Despite low TSW, leaf spot, and white mold pressure, planting date, variety, and seeding rate alone or in combination significantly impacted disease activity.  While TSW incidence was often similar across planting dates and varieties, greater disease was seen in the April than May planting of Georgia-09B in 2016.  Previously, incidence of this disease was also greater in April than May-planted peanuts.  Elevated TSW levels recorded at the lowest seeding rate is also consistent with the results of previous studies.  Leaf spot defoliation, which was greater in two of three years the May than April planted Georgia-06G, Georgia-09B and Georgia-12Y, also intensified slightly but significantly with increasing seeding rates in the May but not the April-planted peanuts.  When noticeable white mold development was seen in 2015, disease incidence was greater in April than May-planted Georgia-06G, Georgia-09B, and to a lesser extent Georgia-12Y varieties. Otherwise, white mold damage regardless of planting date was low in 2014 and 2016.  Overall, white mold incidence was lower in Georgia-12Y than the other two varieties.

Results of this and a previous Alabama study suggest that growers have some flexibility with seeding rates in dryland and irrigated production settings.  Even under drier conditions in 2014 and 2015, yield was similar across all seeding rates for all three peanut varieties.  None of the varieties screened showed a significant yield advantage, despite differences in disease damage. 


The full report can be found in this file.Dryland Seeding Rate Summary Timely Information 2017.pdf

Cotton Planting Situation – 2017
on 4/12/2017 9:56 AM
Category:Agronomy Series

Farmers all over Alabama are filled with excitement and anticipation to get the 2017 Cotton Planting season off to a good start whereas, we are just at that time to begin the Cotton Planting season.  Farmers usually wait until the month of April to consider planting with optimal planting dates being from April 1st through May 20th.   This is the optimal planting window.  Early in this planting window, farmers look to the weather conditions and soil conditions to determine when to begin planting.  The first indicator is soil temperature.  Generally it is recommended to observe the 4 inch soil temperature and for it to be at 65 degrees Fahrenheit for 3 consecutive days with the longer range forecast to be warming and conductive to maintaining and improving these soil warmth conditions.  The reason would be to enhance seed germination and plant establishment. Diseases such as Rhizoctonia are soil borne diseases which can diminish the plant stands of cotton if cool, wet conditions prevail after cotton planting.   Seed and technology is expensive and replanting cost lots of time and money therefore, it is desirable to plant to get the optimal stand of Cotton once without having to replant.

            Below is the Alabama weather Station Data from Belle Mina, Tallassee, Prattville, Fairhope and Headland as a means of evaluating the soil conditions and the tentative 5 day forecast. The locations of Belle Mina, Headland and Prattville have all passed the 65 degree Fahrenheit rule for three consecutive days and the accompanying longer range forecast indicates that it is acceptable to begin Cotton planting.  The locations of Tallassee and Fairhope indicate that soil conditions are still a little on the cool side to begin planting Cotton seed.  However, the 5 day forecast indicates that it will continue to warm and be dry therefore it is not expected to be much longer before these areas will reach the acceptable soil conditions temperature wise.

            Once the soil Temperature reaches the acceptable level, the soil moisture must be closely monitored to evaluate if there is adequate soil moisture in the top .5 to 1.5 inch depth.   The reason being is that these depths are the recommended depths to plant cotton.  I recommend that Cotton seed be planted into at least .5 inch of moist soil at the time of planting.  The reason being is that the upper .3 to .5 inch of the soil, after being disturbed by the planter unit, will dry out and we want the seeds to germinate and peg down with the radicle before the moisture moves past the seed.  Also, remember the later in the planting season, the faster this soil will dry out due to the increasing air temperatures.  That is the reason for dryland producers to plant early when moisture is available. 

            Please review the chart to help you monitor the soil temperature conditions in conjunction with the 5 day forecast to determine when it will be appropriate for you to begin your 2017 Cotton Planting season.  If I can be of service please call 334-723-6299 or 334-693-3800 to reach me.

The full article and table can be viewed by clicking the link below.

cotton planting date 2017.pdf

Target spot-incited defoliation and yields of selected cotton varieties over a three-year period in Southwest Alabama
on 4/11/2017 2:00 PM
Category:Plant Pathology Series

​The yield response and reaction of selected mid- and full-season commercial cotton varieties to target spot, incited by Corynespora cassiicola, as influenced by fungicide inputs was conducted at the Brewton Agriculture Research Unit (BARU) in 2014, 2015, and 2016.  The experimental design was a factorial set of treatments arranged in a split plot, with the varieties Phytogen 499 WRF, Phytogen 575 WRF, Deltapine 1137 B2RF, Deltapine 1252 B2RF, Fibermax 1944 GLB2, and Stoneville 6448 GLB2 as whole plots and an umbrella fungicide program consisting of four or five applications of Headline SC at 9 fl oz/A + Bravo Ultrex at 1.5 pt/A to minimize disease activity and yield loss.  The site was irrigated as needed and managed for maximum yield.  Final % defoliation and relative area under the disease progress curve (rAUC) for defoliation differed by variety and fungicide program.  While final % defoliation and rAUC for all the above varieties were lower for the fungicide- than non-fungicide treated controls, lower values for the above variables were obtained for the fungicide-treated Phytogen 575 WRF, Deltapine 1252 B2RF, Stoneville 6448 GLB2, and Fibermax 1944 GLB2 than Phytogen 499 WRF, which suffered the greatest disease-related defoliation.  For the non-fungicide treated controls, higher defoliation and rAUC values were obtained for the latter than for the other five remaining varieties, which had similarly lower values for both target spot variables.  Over the study period, equally higher yields were noted in 2014 and 2015 than 2016, when elevated hard lock counts were linked with sharply lower yields.  In addition, Fibermax 1944 GLB2 and Deltapine 1252 B2RF had higher lint yields than Phytogen 575 WRF, Deltapine 1137 B2RF, and Stoneville 6448 GLB2 but not Phytogen 499 WRF with all of the latter varieties having similar yields.  Finally, greater lint yields were noted for the fungicide- than non-fungicide treated controls.  While higher open boll counts were recorded in 2014 than either of the following two study years, hardlock boll counts progressively increased each study year from a low of 2.4 in 2014 to 11.7 in 2016.  Rotted boll counts were higher in 2015 and 2016 than in 2014.  For 2015, counts of rotted bolls was higher for the fungicide-treated than non-fungicide treated control with the latter treatment having similar rotted boll counts as the fungicide-treated and non-fungicide treated control in 2016. 


The full report summarizing this study is attached.

2017 Cotton Target Spot Varieties Timely Information.rev.pdf 





Impact of Seeding Rate and Planting Date on the Severity of Target Spot and Hardlock in Cotton
on 4/11/2017 10:26 AM
Category:Plant Pathology Series

2017 Cotton Target Spot Timely Information.pdf

Seeding rate and planting date studies were conducted at the Gulf Coast Research and Extension Center and Field Crops Research Unit, respectively.  A factorial arranged as a split-split plot with variety (Phytogen 499 WRF and Deltapine 1555 B2RF) as the whole plot, seeding rate of 2, 3, and 4 seed/ ft of row as the split plot, and fungicide program as the split-split plot for the former study; and a 12 May and 27 May planting date as the whole plot, variety (Phytogen 499 WRF, Phytogen 444 WRF, and Deltapine 1538 B2XF) as the split plot, and fungicide program as the split-split plot for the latter study.  The fungicide program consisted of four applications of Headline SC at 9 fl oz/A or three applications of Priaxor at 6 fl oz/A beginning at first bloom on a 14 day schedule and a non-fungicide treated control. Both studies were irrigated.  Overall, rainfall totals were higher at the former than latter study site.  In the seeding rate study, final defoliation differed by variety and fungicide program but not seeding rate, while yields rose with increasing seeding rates.  Defoliation was greater regardless of fungicide program on Phytogen 499 WRF than Deltapine 1555 B2RF.  Drier weather suppressed target spot at the Field Crops Research Unit.  Significant planting date × cotton variety, planting date × fungicide program, and variety × fungicide program interactions for defoliation were noted.  For the non-fungicide treated control and Priaxor program, defoliation was higher in the 27 May than 12 May-planted cotton.  While no differences in defoliation were noted between varieties planted on 12 May, 27 May-planted Phytogen 499 WRF suffered greater defoliation than Phytogen 444 WFR and Deltapine 1538 B2XF, which had similarly lower defoliation ratings.  Greater yields were reported for the latter than the former variety.  For all varieties, reduced defoliation and higher yields were obtained with the Priaxor program than the non-fungicide treated control.  

USDA Announces Eradication of New World Screwworm in Florida
on 4/10/2017 9:00 PM
Category:Animal Sciences Series

USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) recently announced the successful eradication of the New World screwworm from Florida, following an outbreak that began last October in the Florida Keys. Screwworms are destructive parasites in livestock and other animals, and had previously been eradicated from the United States in the 1960s. Thanks to all the efforts of APHIS, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, and local partners, the United States has once again eliminated New World screwworms from our country.

APHIS and the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services will continue passive surveillance to ensure any new findings are quickly identified. This surveillance includes veterinarians reporting any suspicious cases, wildlife surveillance, concerned citizens that see suspicious wounds on animals or even on a person, and continued communication with the parks and the National Key Deer Refuge.

Timely Information - USDA Announces Eradication of New World Screwworm in Florida.pdf