Cummings and Goings in Agriculture

Abundant Rainfall And Cooler Temps Not The Norm

By Steve Cummings

This has definitely not been a typical August.  The abundant rainfall and the cooler temperatures are not the norm, but we obviously need an August like this to reach the averages after the last three hot and dry Augusts.  One hates not to want the rain, but a dry period would be nice for the corn and early soybeans to be harvested as well as the hay that needs to be cut and bailed.

Next week the Coffeeville Saddle Club will participate in the Mississippi Championship Horse Show in Jackson.  Tri-Lakes Western Horse Show Association has almost 275 entries in the state show, almost 100 more entries than any of the other 11 horse show associations in the state.  While the exact number of entries that the Coffeeville Saddle Club has in still unknown, it is thought that the club alone has more entries than some associations.  So, if you are in Jackson September 4 – 7, come out to the fair grounds and support our horse show exhibitors.

If you are a forest landowner, you might want to attend the Mater Tree Farmer short course offered September 9th, 16th, and 23rd.  These three Tuesday night short courses should benefit all tree farmers.  In order to have your class materials by the first course, you will need to register as soon as possible.  For more details, please contact our office at 675-2730.  

Horticulture Tips:

Fall Armyworms Are On the March

Late summer and early fall are the peak season for fall armyworm invasions of well managed turf especially Bermuda grass.  The moths migrate in large numbers and lay as many as a thousand eggs each.  During these hot days of summer the eggs hatch in only a few days with the tiny caterpillars feeding almost continuously.   

When small they may go unnoticed while consuming only a small amount of leaf tissue daily but nearing their last few days as larvae they can literally devour an entire lawn almost overnight.At least once a week during the remaining growing season randomly check several locations in the lawn by brushing the grass back and forth with your hand, then part the blades down to the soil line and look for coiled light-tan or green to nearly black caterpillars.  If you care to pick one of them up and look at it straight on you may noticed a small inverted “Y” marking on its forehead.   

Control is not too difficult if the lawn is treated with an appropriate insecticide when the caterpillars are small.  Liquid sprays or granules containing active ingredients of carbaryl, cyfluthrin, permethrin, lambda-cyhalothrin, or trichorfon are recommended.  For more details refer to extension publication 2331 “Control of Insect Pests in and around the Home Lawn” which can be obtained at your local extension office or downloaded from the extension web at www.msucares.com.

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