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Cummings and Goings in Agriculture

The heat is on!  While July temperatures were below normal, August temperatures have hovered around 100°, and it looks like there is no relief in sight.          

Fortunately, July was wetter and cooler than normal.  That allowed crops to recover, grass to grow, and basically saved the agriculture sector.  With the hot temperature and dry conditions this far in August, a return to the July-like weather conditions would be a welcomed relief.  

The Yalobusha County Homemaker Council will have a local sewing expert, Sandy Beyer, to hold a sewing program on making Christmas decorations.  This event will be held at the Yalobusha County Multipurpose Building on Tuesday, August 21, from 10 a.m. to noon.  Beyer is a retired pattern maker with more than 35 years in the garment industry.  She attended Traphagen School of Design in New York City, and from there, ran her own sample departments in the companies she worked for – all the way from New York City down to Mississippi.  

The Christmas patterns being offered include a soft sculptured tree, a braided soft sculptured wreath and ornament, a tree skirt, and various pillows.  For all attending, please bring your own sewing machine, scissors, pins, assorted colored thread, etc.      

Some fabrics and trim will be available or you may choose to bring your own.  These MHV members invite you to come and enjoy the class.  If there is enough participation or interest, there could be a possibility for future classes.   

Also, mark your calendars for August 24 and 25!  This is when the Ultimate Bull Riding Challenge tour comes to the Yalobusha County Multipurpose Building.  Doors will open at 6 p.m. with a kid’s rodeo from 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.  Bull riding starts at 8 p.m.  Come out and see some of the best riders and bulls in the area.

Congratulations to Andrea Stark, as she was crowned District IV Farm Bureau Queen this past Saturday on the campus of MSU.  Stark will represent District IV and Yalobusha County at the Farm Bureau State Pageant on November 30th and December 1st in Jackson.

This year seems to be the year of the second-generation 4-Hers.  Stark’s mother, Carla Stark Byford, was one of my 4-Hers when I came here in 1980.  Earlier this year, several other second-generation 4-Hers brought recognition to the Yalobusha County 4-H program.  

J.W. Pipkin, son of Myrna Clay Pipkin, qualified for the Southern Regional 4-H Horse Show and was the high point gaited exhibitor at this year’s State 4-H Horse Show.    At the Northwest District 4-H Horse Show, Casey Byford, daughter of Lisa Harbour Byford, and Casey Moss, daughter of Kim Campbell Moss, dominated the high point awards.  As proud of these second-generation 4-Hers as I am, they do make me feel old.

Horticulture Tips: Are grubs having a picnic with your lawn?

With only a few weeks of ideal growing conditions left for our lawns to recover from summer disease or insect damage, it is important that we do not ignore their presence and control them now.       White grubs are the larvae of several species of beetles such as mask chafers, May, June, and others that feed below ground, pruning the roots and weakening our lawns.  A full-sized larva is about 1 inch long, has a brownish-yellow head, grayish-black posterior, three pair of legs, and usually found curled in a C-shape.

These insects may go unnoticed until severe turf damage is done unless, however, we make an effort to scout for them by cutting several one to two foot-square samples about two inches deep into the turf then lifting or rolling the sod back to search for the grubs.  

Another tale-tale sign of grubs is the digging of skunks, raccoons, armadillos, etc. in the lawn.  Because grubs are much easier to control when small, the best time for control is mid to late summer.  

It is often difficult to determine the threshold of grubs before treatment is necessary due to the turf health from other turf pests, but generally treating is suggested if three to five grubs are found in a one-foot square sample.

The danger is that if the grubs weaken the root system just before winter, then it is not until the following spring that any recovery can take place. When applying insecticides for grub control, it is important to water the insecticide into the soil according to label directions.

The Extension web at <>  has several good publications that will help you properly identify lawn pests and give recommendations for their management.

Post-emerge Herbicides for Unsightly Summer Weeds

If the hot dry summer has allowed many unsightly broadleaf weeds and crabgrass to encroach into your lawn then now is a great time to apply post-emerge herbicides to remove them.  The combination products containing two or more herbicides such as 2,4-D, mecoprop, dicamba, carfentrazone, fluroxypyr, etc. are very effective on most broadleaf weeds. It is important to select a product that is labeled for your specific turf species.  

While bermudagrass is tolerant to all these herbicides centipede and St. Augustine can be quite sensitive and require formulations made specifically for them so read the labels carefully before applying. The most recent class of lawn herbicides is the sulfonylureas.

These are very active compounds having very favorable environmental impacts and require only grams of product per acre versus pounds of some of the older products. While they may be difficult to find in small homeowner packaging they offer excellent control of many broadleaf weeds and some selective grasses and sedges with good turf tolerance.

Products such as metsulfuron (Manor, Blade), chlorsulfuron (Corsair), halosulfuron (Manage, Sedgehammer), and sulfosulfuron (Certainty) are included in this family of herbicides. Again it is very important to read the labels.

The old stand-by for crabgrass control in bermudagrass and zoysia lawns is MSMA (monosodium-methyl-arsenate) while sethoxydim (Vantage) can be applied to centipede.

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