Overly wet weather in Georgia’s major row crop regions during February 2016 has farmers worried that soggy soil may delay corn and peanut planting or cause fungal diseases to be a major issue later this spring.
Mike Doyle doesn’t eat raw bean sprouts, medium-rare hamburgers or bagged salads. He isn’t on a special diet, but as director of the University of Georgia Center for Food Safety in Griffin, Georgia, he studies the food pathogens that sicken thousands of Americans each year. For a time, foodborne illness was most often connected with undercooked meats; today, 33 percent of cases are tracked back to raw produce.
University of Georgia Cooperative Extension plant pathologist Bob Kemerait cautions Georgia corn farmers about the El Nino weather pattern that will likely interfere with planting this March. A delay would increase the likelihood of diseases too, so Kemerait advises growers to plant resistant varieties and be ready to apply fungicides earlier than normal.
Led by increases in forestry and livestock values, Georgia’s agricultural output increased by $484 million in 2014, making agriculture, once again, the largest industry in the state with a value of $14.1 billion. According to the most recent University of Georgia Farmgate Value Report, published earlier this month, the value of Georgia’s livestock and aquaculture industries increased by almost 36 percent from 2013.
In a southeast Georgia corn field, University of Georgia students helped to design a corn maze in honor of Mark Richt, UGA Bulldogs head football coach, using Global Positioning System (GPS) technology. As part of a precision agriculture class taught on the UGA Tifton Campus, students are learning the benefits of this technology while preparing for future agricultural careers.
Women own 13.6 percent of America’s active farms and their farms produce almost $13 billion worth of goods each year.
Just like male farmers, they need access to business and technical information to help make their farms successful. But while many pride themselves on not needing a “women’s only” class on how to work the land or run a business, many other women simply feel more comfortable learning around other female farmers.
Successful gardeners know that a bountiful harvest in the summer begins with proper planning in the spring. When the weather is still too cold to till the soil, seasoned gardeners are indoors ordering specialty seeds and planning what to plant and where.
A small weevil that lives inside corn kernels is costing Georgia growers millions of dollars each year. A University of Georgia scientist has teamed up with farmers and county Extension agents to put a stop to the maize weevil, the No. 1 insect pest of stored corn.
Morning glory is a long-standing nuisance weed that wraps around corn plants and chokes farm equipment. One University of Georgia weed scientist is helping corn producers find ways to contain the weed.