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Cummings and Goings in Agriculture

Hay Harvest Probably A Record, Corn Yields Good

By Steve Cummings

Cotton harvest is underway and yields have been good.  Just like corn and soybeans, where the cotton got the rain the yields are better.  Corn yields, although not what we wanted, are better than we expected and there have been some very good soybean yields.  There definitely will not be a shortage of hay this year.  The fall harvest of hay is probably a record.

There will be an AARP Driver Safety Program at the Yalobusha County Multipurpose Building on October 9th and 10th.  The class will start at 8:15 am and run four hours each day.  There is a $10 fee.  This course may allow you to save money on your insurance.  Contact our office at 675-2730 for further information.

Many of our hunting seasons are either open or fixing to start.  Hunter safety is a must for all, but one thing we must beware of is snakes.  People working in the gardens, yards, and fields also need to be on the lookout for them.  Fall is one of the two times of the year that snakes seem to increase their movement with the other being spring.  Already, Stanley Wise, the Union County Extension Director, has been bitten by a snake while cutting a corn maze.  Therefore, keep an eye out for snakes while hunting or working in the garden, lawns, or fields.

Horticulture Tips:

Gardening in the Fall!

Besides cheering for our favorite team on Saturdays in the fall, gardening is the favorite pastime.  As temperatures drop and the rains become more frequent, some of us start getting excited about working in the garden again.  Whether you are planting new shrubs and trees or dividing existing plant material, fall is a great time to work in the landscape.

If planting a new area, the most important thing to remember is to select healthy plant material at the nursery.  Garden centers usually have a wide selection of ornamentals at this time.  Remember to dig a wide hole to allow for proper root growth.  Planting in the fall will require less water and gives plants time to root during the winter before showing top-growth in the spring.  You may have to wait until late fall if you wish to plant balled & burlap (B&B) or bare-root (BR) plants.  Many large shade and fruit trees fit into these categories.  

The most popular cool season annuals are pansies, snapdragons and ornamental cabbage and kale.  There are wide ranges of colors to choose from to match any landscape.  Chrysanthemums will be booming before long and providing mass displays of color.  Spring flowering bulbs should also be planted in the fall.  Remember to plant the bulb twice as deep as the bulb’s diameter.  Some bulbs may even need to be chilled before planting, so be sure to ask your local landscape professional.

Fertilizing ornamentals should not be done in the fall.  It is usually recommended to wait and fertilize ornamentals in the early spring.  This will prevent any new growth from getting freeze damage.  Treating the turf with a weed-preventer will assist in keeping winter weeds down.  Be sure the product is labeled for your turf type.  One possible major pest to be on the lookout for this month is Fall Armyworms.  They feed day or night and can quickly destroy a small lawn.  These creatures are army green in color and have an inverted Y on the top of their head.  They can be treated using carbaryl (Sevin), acephate (Orthene) or other products.  Don’t delay if you find them in your turf.    

Fall is also a great time for general cleanup in the landscape.  

Pick up any fallen or discarded fruit from under the trees and mow the area.  Prune any dead, diseased, or unwanted limbs at this time.  Any severe pruning should be left until early spring.  Sanitation is the key to a healthy landscape.  Good luck and get growing!

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