Fusarium wilt reduces watermelon yields in Georgia fields. A University of Georgia Extension agent in one of the state’s most prolific watermelon-producing counties is searching for a way to help save the melons and the farmers’ profits.
Southerners love crowder, purple hull and black-eyed peas; so do cowpea curculios, a weevil that feeds on Southern peas. University of Georgia researchers in Tifton are working to eliminate this pest, which causes substantial yield losses to Southern peas grown in south Georgia.
Starting in October, a new training program will offer beginning and young farmers crash courses in business planning, vegetable and fruit production and goat husbandry to provide them with a strong foundation to help grow their new businesses.
Tropical storms may cause havoc for coastal homeowners, but the rainfall they bring recharges the water balance and keeps soil moist in the summer, according to University of Georgia climatologist Pam Knox. Lack of tropical storm activity in 2014 contributed to Georgia’s prolonged drought, she said.
Organic vegetable farmers in the Southeast now have a successful model for planting summer cover crops with high-value, cool-season crops, thanks to a University of Georgia study. The two models use a series of crop rotations to increase yields, control insects and diseases, improve crop quality and build soil biomass.