UGA Extension Meriwether County ANR E-Newsletter
May 26, 2017
From Susan Carol James of the Meriwether office:


GROWING EXCEPTIONAL TOMATOES


Learn About Saving Seeds, Heirloom Varieties, Tomato Culture, Diseases and Pests
Rena Abernathy, heirloom tomato aficionado, has been saving seeds for over twenty years and grows around 150 varieties of tomatoes. She will be talking about the best heirloom tomato varieties to grow and how to save seeds for next year's garden. Susan James, the ANR Agent for Meriwether County, will discuss best practices for growing healthy tomato plants and the most common diseases and pests of tomatoes. In SC she worked with both conventional and organic commercial producers of tomatoes.
Saturday June 24 9:30-1:30 AM
Thalia Farms and Apiary
3005 County Line Church Road
Warm Springs, GA 31830
Cost is $5.00 for refreshments and handouts which will include seed saving directions, tomato culture, disease and pest fact sheets, and favorite recipes.
To register please call 706-672-4235.
(Image: Tomato Bounty from Rena’s Garden includes the heirloom tomatoes.)
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WOODCHUCKS

Mike Mengak, UGA Wildlife Specialist, is asking for help in mapping the range of woodchucks in Georgia. If you have seen any on your property please let us know. The more specific you can be about their location the better. He is also interested in photos. 
If you have any information please contact me at 706-977-0882 or scj24262@uga.edu.
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PESTS OF THE WEEK
Southern Pecan Stem Phylloxera
A lot of you will remember this pest from last year. It and the southern pecan leaf phylloxera were everywhere. I probably got more calls about these insects than any other pests. This species creates large roundish galls on pecan and hickory stems that are certainly more noticeable than the leaf galls. The life cycle for the insect is complex including asexual and sexual reproduction. Sexual females that mated last summer will have found a crevice in the bark of a pecan or hickory tree to die. Within her was an egg that over-wintered in the protection of her dead body. At about the same time that the buds on pecan and hickory trees start breaking the egg will hatch and the released female nymph will began feeding on the buds. Within 24-48 hours of feeding gall tissue will start to form around the nymph. This first generation nymph, referred to as the stem mother, is the only one that forms a gall. She will mature in the gall and asexually produce eggs that become wingless or winged females. The winged females will leave the gall and lay eggs on nearby trees. These eggs will produce sexual males and females that mate. The cycle will start over again with a mated female finding a secure place in the bark of a tree to die with an egg sheltered for overwintering in her remains. In the images below are galls on a pecan branch, a sliced opened gall, a mass of eggs in a gall, a nymph from a gall and a winged adult that will migrate from the gall.

(Image: an affected pecan tree branch.)
Generally, galls that form on leaf tissue are not considered damaging. But galls that form on stems and branches will cause dieback. Dieback of new growth means no pecans the following year because they develop on the previous year’s new growth. Research has shown that some varieties are much more suscetible to phylloxera damage than others. Varieties with Stuart or Schley genetics are very susceptible. This area of Georgia has a lot of older trees (some 80-90 years old) that are certain to have Stuart or Schley gentics which may explain why we see a lot of phylloxera damage.


Wool Sower or Strawberry Gall on Oak


There are lots of organisms that produce galls on plants. Usually they are very specific as to the species that they attack. This gall is another that I found this spring on white oak trees. As you can see, galls can come in all shapes and sizes. This gall is actually quite pretty and luckily usually not damging. It is caused by a very tiny cynipid wasp, Callirhytis seminator. Callirhytis species have a life cycle that is even more complex than phylloxera because both asexual and sexual generations produce galls. The asexual stages of some species may remain in galls for two years.
(Close image above of Strawberry Gall.)
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FORESTRY
The UGA Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources Continuing Education Program is hosting a Forest Herbicide Workshop on July 18-19 in the Tift County Extension office at 1468 Carpenter Road South, Tifton GA.
Continuing Education Credits
- Continuing Forestry Education (CFE) Hours - Category 1 (applied for)
- Continuing Logger Education (CLE) Hours - Environment (applied for)
- Pesticide Applicator Certifications (applied for)
Topics to be covered:
· Forest herbicide safety and application
· Selection of forest herbicide adjuvants
· Use of herbicides for aquatic vegetation control
· Integration of herbicide use for site preparation, herbaceous weed control and woody release
· Control of invasive exotic plants in forest stands
The fee for this course is $210, which includes lunch, refreshment breaks, and instructional materials. There is a $25 discount for fees paid and postmarked by July 5, 2017. To register please visit: http://conted.warnell.uga.edu
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WEATHER
Due to the rainfall in Meriwether County this week the Drought Monitor dropped the drought status of most of county to D0: Abnormally Dry. I’ve heard of rainfall totals ranging from 2 to 3.5 inches in the county. Let’s hope it continues.
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SMALL RUMINANTS
Fecal Egg Count Workshop
Dr. Niki Whitley is giving a fecal egg count workshop on June 27, 2017 at 6:00 PM. It will take place in the Upson County UGA Extension office located at 305 S. Hightower Street Suite 170, Thomaston, GA 30286. The seating is limited due to the number of available microscopes.
Please let me know if you want to attend by emailing scj24262@uga.edu or calling 706-977-0882.
The training will focus on identifying parasites, tracking heavy worm-carriers in the herd, understanding refugia, and using these tools in genetic selection. Participants are encouraged to bring samples from their herd. Directions on how to collect a fecal sample using a latex glove are below.
· Put on a clean glove. Apply a nickel size amount of water or water-based lubricant to index and middle fingers.
· Insert index and middle fingers into the rectum of the animal, one finger at a time. No need to go very deep. Spread fingers to allow air into the rectum. The air duplicates fullness in the rectum and a wave of muscular movement will often move feces out into your hand.
· Remove ~4 grams of fecal matter. A good sized adult pellet is about 1 gram.
· Peel the glove off your hand keeping the fecal sample encased within it.
· Squeeze as much air as possible out of the glove. Twist the wrist portion of the glove and fasten with a label (farm and animal ID) making sure the label sticks to itself, as it won’t stick to the glove. You can also twist and tie off the glove and label the glove itself with an indelible marker.
· Store the sample in the refrigerator until it can be analyzed (the sooner the better, but samples can be stored in the refrigerator for a week). If you are collecting many samples at one time, have a cooler with ice on hand to keep the samples cool until you can get them into a refrigerator.


NEXT UP FOR SMALL RUMNINANT PRODUCERS
I have asked Kathey Rice with L & K Farmers Livestock Market in Thomaston, GA to speak to our group. We are looking at the date July 11. The meeting will give you a chance to exchange needs/wants about marketing with an operation that is fairly close. They would like to have the meeting at their place which is located at 2626 Yatesville Hwy, Thomaston, GA 30286. They can offer a meal of rib eye steak sandwiches, cole slaw, desert and iced tea for $5.00. Please let me know if you are interested.
Mr. Terrell Hollis of the Fort Valley State University Meat Technology Center will be speaking on the evening of July 20 at a small ruminant meeting. We will meet again at The Magic City Grill at 6:00 PM. You will be able to order dinner before the meeting. After his visit here we will plan a trip to visit their facility in Fort Valley. You can go ahead and start letting me know if you plan to attend by emailing me at scj24262@uga.edu.
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FORAGES
GrassMasters
We have not set up registration yet but the dates for the classes for the GrassMasters program are finalized so you can get them on your calendar. Classes will be held from 6:30 to 8:30 on the following Thursday evenings: August 31, September 7, 21, 28 and October 5, 19, 26. We will skip a Thursday in September and in October because the Troup County Agricultural Center was already reserved for those dates. That is where the classes will be held and it is located at 21 Vulcan Materials Rd in LaGrange.
The course focuses on the forages proven best for northeast Georgia and strategies for grazing, maintaining soil fertility and health, and managing pests. Members of the UGA Forage Team and U.S. Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service staff members teach the classes. The cost for all seven weeks is $25, and the course is open to anyone interested in improving his or her knowledge of pastureland health or forage and hay production.
If you would be interested in attending the program please let me know by emailing me at scj24262@uga.edu. 
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CATTLE
Lemmon Cattle Enterprises will be auctioning all of its registered Angus during a sale on May 27, 2017 at the farm at 16810 Woodbury Hwy, Woodbury, GA 30293. The sale begins at 10:00 AM. For videos of cattle being offered please visit:
http://www.lemmoncattleenterprises.com/sale.html
UGA Calhoun HERD Sale is on Wednesday, May 31 at 12:30 PM at the NW GA Livestock Pavilion at 1282 Hwy 53 Spur, Calhoun. Offered will be approximately 100 heifers-Angus, Hereford, Simmental, SimAngus and Commercial. Videos are available now at: https://vimeo.com/album/4584504
Meriwether County Cattlemen’s Association
We will be serving barbecue brisket at the Peaches in the Pines Festival on June 10 and 11 as part of the Barbecue Competition. If anyone is interested in helping serve either of those days at our booth please let Susan know: 706-977-0882 or scj24262@uga.edu.
7th Annual Georgia Cattlemen’s Association Summer Conference
The 7th annual GCA Summer Conference will be held in beautiful Hiawassee, Georgia on July 28-29 at the Ridges Resort & Marina. Special speakers for the event will be Lieutenant Governor Casey Cagle who will talk about his time serving as Lieutenant Governor and his vision for Georgia and its largest industry, agriculture and Bo Ryles, Sr. Director of the National 4-H Council who will speak on being a leader in agriculture and how we can take our experiences and impact others in a positive way.
For more information, schedule of events and to register please visit: https://www.georgiacattlemen.org/summerconferenceregistrati…
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GRAPES
Bunch Grapes (and some Muscadine)
The 2017 Southern Winegrape Symposium will take place on June 10 from 8:30 AM- 3:00 PM at the Carroll County Ag Center located at 900 Newnan Road in Carrollton. The program is sponsored by the Vineyard and Winery Association of West Georgia. A pre-registration cost of $50.00 is due by May 30.
For the symposium agenda and to register please visit:
http://www.vinewinewga.com/symposium-2017.html
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LOCAL MARKET
Local peaches, strawberries, onions and other vegetables are available


Fitzgerald Fruit Farms (Greenville and Woodbury area)
The retail shed at 3355 Imlac Road is open and strawberry ice cream is available as well as locally grown strawberries, peaches, squash, tomatoes and onions. https://www.fitzgeraldfruitfarms.com/
https://www.facebook.com/thepeachshed/
Strickland Brothers Farm (Durand and Pine Mountain area)
The strawberry and vegetable field is at the crossroad of Chipley Hwy and John Wallace Road. They are open Mon-Sat. Terry has locally grown green beans, strawberries, yellow squash, Yukon Gold and Red Pontiac potatoes and onions. You can contact Terry at 706-881-2414 or you can visit: https://www.facebook.com/Stricklands-Garden-233167170487274/
Sweet Berry Orchard (Lone Oak and Luthersville area)
Leighanne and Tom Hagan have Festival strawberries for sale. They are located at 6659 Lone Oak Road. You can visit them on Facebook to see when they are ready for u-pick: https://www.facebook.com/TOMandLEIGHANNE/