UGA Extension Meriwether County ANR E-Newsletter
March 12, 2018


Meriwether County Ag Fair

Next week, March 18-24 is National Agricultural Awareness Week and Tuesday, March 20th is National Ag Day. The MC UGA ANR Extension Team will be celebrating this day with Meriwether County farmers and first and second graders by hosting an agricultural fair along with Georgia Forestry Commission and Georgia Farm Bureau. Although Meriwether County is still predominantly rural many local students have never visited a farm and are unfamiliar with the activities of a farm. We hope that the fair will serve as an educational opportunity to help children better understand where their food really comes from (not the grocery store) and to know what agricultural products are important to Meriwether County’s economy. Children will have the opportunity to meet farmers and hear firsthand about their work, see the animals and crops that they raise and the equipment that they use.

Georgia Grown also celebrates National Agricultural Awareness Week

Visit their website below to learn other ways to celebrate this important week:



I’m sure most of you are aware of the frosty temperatures that we experienced last Friday morning. For most flowering crops in full bloom 27-28º F is the lowest that they can tolerate before damage occurs and we hit at least 26º F that morning in many areas. Fortunately not all peaches in Meriwether County were in full bloom last week. Peach orchards throughout the county also vary on how cold they get due to location and topography. The bad news is that some peach flowers/fruits were lost. The good news is that some weren’t so hopefully we will still have a good crop this year. As for strawberry production, if plants were covered with row covers they made it through the freeze just fine; if not flowers and fruits were burned badly. We are praying that temperatures won’t get that low again.

For the latest water and climate update from the National Water and Climate Center visit:…/…/drought/dmrpt-20180308.pdf



Mounds of imported fire ants (Solenopsis spp.) can be seen in pastures and hayfields throughout the county. As rains soak the soil and soil temperatures fluctuate workers will move eggs, immatures and the queen up and down in the soil profile and even above the soil line creating rather large mounds. Mounds in pastures are not as problematic as those in hayfields but imported fire ants can potentially harm young livestock. In hayfields mounds can damage equipment, limit movement of hay bales to quarantined areas, and adult ants may sting workers handling square bales. The cost ($15+ per acre) of broadcasting a bait product may be well worth it. Using a bait once or twice a year should reduce populations by 80-90%. It’s also the most cost-effective and environmentally sound approach to treating large acreage.

The Georgia Pest Management Handbook lists two bait products for perennial grass forages: Amdro (hydramethylnon) and Extinguish Plus (hydramethylnon and methoprene). There is also a new bait product, Advion (indoxacarb), which is labeled for use in fenced pastures grazed by horses. All of these products should be broadcast at the rate of 1 or 1.5 pounds per acre. The key to using these baits effectively is to be sure the bait is fresh and apply it when ants are actively foraging. I recommend applying a small amount of bait near a mound (not on top) and check back in an hour. If ants are active the bait should be gone. You can also try potato chips in place of the bait as a test. Temperatures are probably still too cool right now (and wet) for foraging but be prepared once daytime temperatures reach 65º-70º F on a regular basis. For large areas a spreader such as the Herd seeder/spreader Model GT-77-ATV will be needed to calibrate the very small amount of bait that is applied per acre. It can be mounted on ATV’s and some mowers. For smaller areas a hand-held spreader can be used.

It’s important to understand that baits must make it back to the colony to be effective. Adult ants do not eat the baits (or any solids). Workers carry the bait to the fourth instar larvae. This stage of development is the only one able to ingest solid foods. Once the larvae digest the baits they will regurgitate it as a liquid that the workers can then feed to the rest of the colony including the queen. There are other bait products besides the ones above that are labeled for use in other areas such as lawns, landscapes, orchards, and other crops. Be sure the product that you purchase is labeled for the site on which you plan to apply it and follow all application directions.

For more information on managing imported fire ants please visit:…/fire-ant-control:-the-two-s…




UGA Extension Forage Team Newsletter

Attached is the March 2018 issue of the Forage Team Newsletter. In it are articles on warm season native grass forages, summer annual forages, managing internal parasites through grazing and the amazing ruminant.

Cover Crop Workshop for Forage Producers

March 21 from 10:00 am-4:00 pm at the Northwest Georgia Research and Education Center Floyd County Farm 300 Battey Farm Road, Rome GA.

The workshop will cover integrating cover crops into forage systems and row crop production, variety and planting date demonstrations, seed drill and sprayer calibration. Pesticide applicator recertification credits are available.

For more information and to register please call the Gordon County Extension office at 706-629-8685 or visit:…/b…/homepage/CoverCropFieldDay.pdf

ACES Animal Science and Forage Webinar Series

The next webinar is this Wednesday on the nutritional needs of horses. Other webinars will cover forage management practices and mineral availability for beef cattle; marketing beef cattle; pasture, rangeland and forage insurance as well as many other topics. For a full list and the connection link please visit:…/AnimalScienceandForageWebinarSeries.p…



GVMA Food Animal Conference Friday, May 4 2018 from 8 am-3 pm

The Georgia Veterinary Medical Association is inviting cattle producers to join them at the GVMA Food Animal Conference on Friday, May 4 2018. The conference is being held at the nearby Callaway Resort and Gardens in Pine Mountain.

· The conference is open to anyone interested in better outcomes, better profits, better beef

· Nationally renowned speakers on the team approach to production

· Special Georgia Cattlemen’s Association rate of $50.00

· Lunch included with registration

For more information and to register please visit:

If a member of the GCA please use the special code: GCAMEMBER to receive the discounted rate.

57th Annual Georgia Cattlemen's Association Convention & Trade Show and the 21st Annual Georgia Beef Expo

April 5-7, 2018 at the Georgia National Fairgrounds in Perry, GA

The theme of this year's Convention is "Georgia Grown". The tentative agenda is below.

To register please visit:

For more information please contact call the GCA office at 478-474-6560.



For information on changing policy regarding livestock emissions reporting, dairy margin protection, seed cotton as a covered commodity and for reports on beef demand and cattle inventory check out the FARE blog at



The March edition of the Integrated Pest Management Newsletter is also attached. In it are articles about managing thrips in blueberries, the Getting the Best of Pests webinars, ambrosia beetle damage to pecans, cowpea curculio in Southern peas, organic transitioning and more.



Natural Resources Conservation Workshop

June 10-14, 2018

This workshop focuses on the value, protection, and conservation of Georgia’s wildlife, forestry, soil, and water resources, including conservation in Georgia’s mining industry. It is available to Georgia’s rising 10th, 11th, and 12th graders. (Students who have previously attended the workshop are not eligible).

· Camp takes place at Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College in Tifton, GA

· More than $17,000 in college scholarships will be awarded during the workshop.

· Features field trips, classroom instruction, and recreational activities.

For more information and to register please visit:…/sc…/ag-natural-resources/outreach/nrcw



Organic Certification Cost Share Program

The Organic Certification Cost Share Program (OCCSP) provides cost share assistance to producers and handlers of agricultural products who are obtaining or renewing their certification under the National Organic Program (NOP). Certified operations may receive up to 75 percent of their certification costs paid from Oct. 1, 2017, through Sept. 30, 2018, not to exceed $750 per certification scope.

Eligible costs include application fees, inspection costs, fees related to equivalency agreement/arrangement requirements, travel/per diem for inspectors, user fees, sales assessments and postage.

Ineligible costs include equipment, materials, supplies, transitional certification fees, late fees and inspections necessary to address National Organic Program regulatory violations.

Producers and handlers may submit OCCSP applications to FSA county offices or they may apply through participating State Agencies, which will be listed at

 as their agreements to administer the program are finalized.

The FSA OCCSP application form is available at USDA's eForms site, by selecting "Browse forms" and entering "OCCSP" in the "title or keywords" field on the search page.

To learn more about organic certification cost share, visit

 or contact a local FSA office by visiting



The Georgia Department of Public Health will be hosting three training sessions for farmers interested in participating in their WIC and Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program. The purpose of the program is to provide fresh, locally grown fruits and vegetables to eligible participants and to support Georgia farmers. The one-day training will inform farmers about program policies, procedures and civil rights. A farmer can qualify for the program if she/he meets the following criteria:

· Is a farmer who owns her/his farm operation

· Grows produce in the state of Georgia or on land 25 miles beyond the Georgia border

· Grows a minimum of 6 types of fruits and vegetables

For more information, dates for the trainings and registration, please visit:…

If you have questions regarding the training that the website does not answer please contact Candace Tucker at 404-657-2902 or



Keep Meriwether Beautiful

Spring Great American Clean Up Day in Meriwether

April 21 8:00 am – 4:00 pm

Folks are encouraged to team up to pick up trash in their towns and neighborhoods. KMB will supply litter bags, gloves and t-shirts. Containers for collected trash will be placed in different areas of the county. Volunteers are also needed to help Public Works Department employees manage the container sites.

Registration forms are available at the Meriwether County Administration Building. They are also attached here. I will be working that day at my usual drop off location at the Durand Fire Station. For more information please contact Jane Fryer at 706-672-3463 or

Loco Daze Arts & Crafts Festival:

March 24, 2018 9 am-4 pm

Springtime Arts and Crafts Festival featuring local crafters. Held in the old Mill Building, inside and outside vendors, food, demonstrations, handcrafted items, entertainment through the day, kids' activities. FREE admission

Annual Warm Springs Spring Fling

April 14-15 10 am-5 pm

A day of fun for everyone! Arts, Crafts, Food Vendors, Entertainment throughout the day, kids' activities, fruit and vegetable stand, hands-on crafts booth, and MORE! Admission to Festival is FREE - some activities will have a charge. For additional information contact the Visitor Information Center at 706-655-3322.

Second Annual Open Plein Air Event

April 12-15

Paint on location for three days at various locations around Meriwether County. On Sunday enter your work for the "wet paint" artist sale. Headquartered at Artisans on the Square in Greenville, GA. For additional information and an application, contact Linda Wilburn at 404-386-1328.


Have a great week,


Susan C James

Agriculture and Natural Resources Agent

UGA Extension-Meriwether County

706-672-4235 Office

706-977-0882 Mobile


Susan C James
Agriculture and Natural Resources Agent
UGA Extension-Meriwether County
706-672-4235 Office
706-977-0882 Mobile

UGA Extension Meriwether County ANR E-Newsletter

March 12, 2018