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Cummings and Goings in Agriculture

Crops Benefit From Lower Temps And More Rain

By Steve Cummings

This August is right opposite of last year’s.  August of 2007 was dry and had numerous 100+ degree days.  This year the temperatures have been below average and we have had more rains than usual.  This has been a blessing, as this past July was extremely dry and hot.  Crops, pastures, timbers, lawns and gardens have benefited from this year’s August weather conditions.

There will be an open horse show this Saturday, August 23rd, at the Multipurpose Building at 2 pm.  This is a much needed practice to prepare for the State Open Horse Championships coming up the first week of September.  The last horse show was the time to sign up for the State Show, and sign up is what the Tri-Lakes Horse Show Association did.  Tri-Lakes members qualified and signed up for 269 classes at the State Show.  This is over 100 entries larger than most of the other horse show associations in the state.  Many of these exhibitors are members of the Coffeeville Saddle Club.  As usual, these shows are free and open to the public.

Horticulture Tips:

If your lawn was full of winter annual weeds this past spring then now is the time to do something about preventing this from happening again this coming spring.   Winter annual weeds, those that show up as young seedlings in the fall and become quite unsightly by mid-winter through spring, will be germinating soon.  

A pre-emergence herbicide applied prior to their germination is the most effective and efficient way of control.  Pre-emergence herbicides have little to no effect on weeds that have already germinated so it is important to get the herbicide out soon (late August north to late September along the coast). A minimum of one-half inch of water either from rain or irrigation should follow shortly after the herbicide application to ensure that the herbicide is activated and moves it into the surface soil to form a uniform weed control barrier.  

Pre-emergence herbicides may be purchased formulated as dry granules, wettable powders or water dispersible granules, liquids, and coated on fertilizers.  Choose a formulation that is best suited for you and ALWAYS READ THE LABEL for specific application instructions, weeds controlled, and safety precautions.  

Extension publications 1532 and 1322 provide information to help select the appropriate herbicides for specific weeds.  These publications can be obtained from your local extension office or downloaded from the www.msucares.com  website.

Pumpkin growers need to be particularly vigilant this next month. The rains we have been having with the slightly cooler than average temperatures are excellent for vine growth, but are also excellent for fungal growth. The young fruit are growing rapidly and the plants are devoting energy to fruit growth, not leaf maintenance.  Apply the proper protective measures to keep the vines healthy.

Now is the time to be setting out fall crops of the cabbage family. Transplants should be watered the day they are set out and kept moist for the first two weeks. Watch for white moths flying over the plants at dusk and apply control measures to combat the cabbage caterpillars when you see any evidence of eggs or insect feeding.

Thinking ahead for potato growers: it may be wise to grow a fall crop of seed potatoes if you want to try any of the new and/or out of the ordinary varieties. Most companies won’t ship seed potatoes before March 15 and the best planting dates are in February for most of us. Planting a fall crop then harvesting and storing the B sized potatoes where they won’t freeze may be the only way to get next year’s crop planted on time.

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