Thursday, July 24, 2008

SouthEast BioEnergy Conference 2008

Just in case you have not heard about the Southeast Bioenergy Conference 2008 in Tifton, GA, here is some info:

In our third Southeast Bioenergy Conference, experts will be on hand to deliver the latest information and answer your questions on the changing face of this market. Ron Fagen, President and CEO, Fagen Inc., will keynote the conference. The man and his company has the best handle on the pulse of the industry and will share his insights for the future. Joining him in the headlines will be Gale Buchanan, USDA’s Under Secretary for Research, Education, & Economics, relaying why the U.S. will need more than bioenergy to meet the energy needs of the future. Jose Luis Oliverio, Senior Technology and Development Vice President, Dedini Industrias de Base, will share his perspectives on how the Brazilian biofuels market developed and why it will be successful in the U.S. Guest Speakers from throughout the Southeast and beyond (led by Dr. David Bransby, Auburn University) will share their experiences and vision for the Southeast. Attendees will :

  • Discover the energy contained in forest products and how you can add value to your bottom line.
  • Explore new and emerging technologies with companies on the cutting edge.
  • Learn the role of water and other environmental issues play in the development of bioenergy.
  • Acquire valuable insight to ably evaluate bioenergy project investment--expectations, market potentials and pitfalls.
  • Hear what aspects of crops grown for bioenergy are important for conversion to biofuels/bioenergy.
  • Examine the importance of a quality product, ample supply, and marketing.
  • Find ways to incorporate energy conservation and renewable energy production into your business, your community and your home.
  • Gain insight from our group of financial experts in the art of the deal.
  • See new and innovative tools that are making the business of bioenergy more efficient and effective.
  • Uncover ways to “waste not; want not”.
  • Build invaluable contacts for your current or future project.
    Join us for Southeast Bioenergy Conference 2008.
    The dialogue begins August 12th at 8:30 a.m.!

Click on this link to register...

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

4-H Shotgun Team Shoots Down State Title!!

On May 31, 2008 Thomas County Jr. and Sr. Trap and Skeet teams, a part of the 4-H Shooting Awareness, Fundamentals and Education (S.A.F.E.) program, traveled to Atlanta, GA. to compete in the State 4-H Trap and Skeet competition. The one day event was held at the prestigious Tom Lowe shooting range.

Competing against eight other teams (46 shooters total) from around the state, Thomas County’s Jr. (7th and 8th grade) Team walked away with first place honors and the State Championship trophy.

The four member team included Brandon Barnes, Brice Evans, Trey Lanier, and Nick Murphy.

Thomas County’s two Sr. teams competed against 28 teams, a total of 104 shooters. Sr. Team members included Gordon MacQuirter, Josh Smith, Brittany Vinson, Chelsea Vinson, Blake Williams, and Jon Wynn.

Individual honors were as follows: Brandon Barnes – 5th overall in Trap and 5th overall in Trap & Skeet combined; Brice Evans – 2nd overall in Trap and 8th overall in Trap & Skeet combined; Trey Lanier – 5th overall in Skeet and 11th overall in Trap & Skeet combined; Gordon MacQuirter – 5th overall in Trap and 10th overall in Trap & Skeet combined.

"We are proud of all Thomas Co. 4-H competitors. They did an awesome job representing Thomas County and the 4-H S.A.F.E program" said Amanda Carter.

Anyone interested in the 4-H S.A.F.E. program, please contact Amanda Carter or Cindy Wynn at the Thomas County Cooperative Extenstion (4-H) office at (229) 225-4130.

Friday, July 11, 2008

8th Conservation Production Systems Training Conference and 30th Southern Conservation Agricultural Systems Conference

The three day conference is designed to educate/share information about conservation tillage systems topics between farmers, researchers, extension agents, and NRCS personnel in an interactive setting.

Topics to be covered include: · Precision Ag Management Tools, · Water/Irrigation, · Organic Production, · Pest Management, · Bioenergy Shifts, · Technology in Conservation Tillage and much more!

Please see the brochure here.

Tobacco Budworms Attacking Peanut Blooms

The budworm moth flight is currently heavy in the southwestern peanut production area. Larval populations are being reported at 6 to 8 per foot of row in some fields. They may be higher in other fields. It has been confirmed that there is heavy feeding on blooms by small worms and the absence of blooms where large larvae are present. It is critical that farmers and scouts check all fields for this behavior regardless of the lack of foliage loss as often observed through the open window of a truck. In fact, low amounts of foliage loss have been reported in fields with heavy bloom loss. This means the larger worms are eating the flower buds before they open. For other areas of the peanut belt the moth flight should follow soon so this should give ample time to confirm this budworm feeding behavior.

Steward and Tracer gives good to excellent control of budworms. Lannate gives good to excellent quick-kill control with short residual but, Lannate can be harsh on beneficials. Orthene gives fair to good control but, there is the potential for flaring mites. I have been informed that there should be an adequate supply of these insecticides warehoused in SW GA. NOTE: The pyrethroids are NOT appropriate insecticides for controlling tobacco budworms.

To avoid any confusion as we move through this moth flight, it would be wise to confirm the presence of budworms vs. corn earworms in a representative number of fields. Through time we may shift to an earworm moth flight. This would allow us to use some less expensive insecticides, such as the pyrethroids, when and if this occurs.

There are other worms in the mix. Some beet and fall armyworms are present in some fields. Even though no cutworms have been reported, they will be found in some fields. The tobacco budworm should be the main target in most cases.

If you need help ID'ing these pest, give us a call at 229.225.4130.

Protect Landscape Trees Now from Drought Injury

Adapted from an article by Dr. Kim Coder
Professor of Tree Health Care, Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources, UGA

Trees across Georgia are declining due to drought. Drought stressed trees may have fewer or smaller leaves. Small or large limbs or the entire tree may die. Although trees can withstand some drought injury, some trees may require months to years to recover from drought injury. Trees also may not show damage immediately. When they do, it may be too late to save them. Protect trees now from drought with proper care.

How to Water
The best ways to water trees are by soaker hose or drip irrigation. Automated lawn sprinklers are less efficient for applying water to trees. Even a garden hose, moved often, can provide a good soil soaking. Use a light organic mulch to conserve moisture and apply water over the top of the mulch. Do not pile mulch against the base of the tree or allow water to concentrate at the base of the trunk as this can lead to pest problems.

Where to Water
Most of the tree's absorbing roots are in the top foot of soil. Applying water deeper than this misses the active roots and wastes water.

Lay-out water hoses or applicators out to the tree crown edge (drip-line). Water the soil areas directly beneath the foliage and shaded by the tree. Do not water beyond the drip-line and do not water closer than 4 feet to the trunk base on established trees.

Use mulch and slow application rates on slopes, heavy soils (clays), and compacted soils to assure water is soaking-in and not running-off. Do not spray tree foliage when applying water. Water droplets on tree leaves can lead to pest problems. Try not to wet the tree’s trunk.

Young, newly planted trees need additional watering care. Water has limited horizontal movement in soil. You must apply water directly over where you need it in the soil. For new trees, concentrate water over the root ball, as well as the planting area.

Old, large trees can be watered over the entire area under their foliage. Another method in watering large trees is to water roughly 1/3 of the area within the drip-line.

When to Water
The best time to water is at night from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. Trees refill with water during the night. Watering at night reduces losses to evaporation and assures that more water moves into the soil and tree.

For every 18°F increase in temperature, the amount of water lost by a tree and the site around it almost doubles. Consider this when watering trees. Trees surrounded by pavement and other hot, hard surfaces can be 20-30°F warmer than a tree in a protected, landscaped backyard. Water use rapidly climbs with increasing temperatures, and so should water application volumes.

How Much To Water
Depending upon soil texture 1 to 2 inches of water per week should sustain a tree. Trees in limited rooting areas, in containers or pots, or on major slopes, need additional care to assure water is reaching the root system in adequate amounts and not suffocating roots from lack of drainage. Five gallons per square yard is about 1 inch of water.

Fine soils (clays) require careful attention to prevent over-watering and root death. Sandy soils can dry out rapidly since water runs out of the rooting zone quickly. Composted organic mulch on the soil surface can help prevent rapid loss of applied water.

How Often To Water
Water trees once or twice a week (minimum of 1 inch per watering) in the growing season if there is no rainfall in that particular week. A few heavy waterings are much better than many light, shallow waterings. A greater proportion of the applied water is used by the tree with heavy, infrequent watering. Once you begin watering, continue to water until rain comes.

Drought is the main cause of tree decline but beware of other factors that damage roots and lead to long-term tree decline and death.
Do not fertilize or use pesticides on severely drought stressed trees.
Do not dig or drive under the canopy of trees or do other things that kill or crush roots.
Do not pile soil under tree canopies. When adding soil to cover roots etc., add no more than 1 inch per growing season.
Protect the critical root zone of the tree. Measure the trunk diameter at chest height in inches. Multiply this by one and a half. This will be the size in feet of the radius of the circle that you must protect around the tree. For instance, a 20 inch diameter tree would have a critical root zone with a radius of 30 feet. Avoid digging, piling soil, trenching or driving through this area.

For more information:

Shade Tree Decline -

What's Wrong With My Tree? -

Call your local Extension Agent at (800) ASK-UGA1 or locate your local Extension Office at