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Clint Thompson

Stories by Clint

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Mitchell 4-H student chosen for Showpig all-star team

Courtney Conine only student chosen from Georgia

A student at Pelham High School, Conine was one of 18 high school students selected nationally, and is the only member of the all-star team from Georgia. The honor is bestowed on students within the swine industry who have a passion for agriculture, leadership and service learning.

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Peanut entomologist seeks help via statewide survey

Input sought from more than 3,500 peanut producers

The survey can be accessed online through a link on the Georgia Peanut Commission’s website at

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Pecan grafting clinic set for Tuesday at Tifton

Participants will learn about two different grafting type

The free clinic will take place at 10 a.m. Tuesday at the UGA Ponder Farm in Tifton. The farm is located off U.S. Highway 82 on Ty Ty/Whiddon Mill Road.

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Tifton research shows shading boosts bell pepper crop

High temperatures can lead to scalding on bell peppers, vegetables

Similar shading systems were used in Spain and Israel, places with similar climates as Georgia, and succeeded.

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UGA weed experts tell farmers not to go easy on pigweed

With cotton prices low, growers may be tempted to scale back against Palmer amaranth

Concerns over low cotton prices and high treatment costs have University of Georgia Extension weed scientist Stanley Culpepper fearing Georgia farmers might be tempted to become conservative in their fight against glyphosate-resistant Palmer amaranth. Culpepper is encouraging producers to resist that temptation.

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Tifton researchers release new muscadine grape variety

The new Hall variety is sweet and ripens eary

The new University of Georgia muscadine is golden and ripens early, making it an attractive choice for consumers and Georgia farmers. The biggest need now is to make other areas of the country aware of muscadines and create better markets for the grape.

Profits may be challenging this year for Georgia farmers

Peanut acreage expected to increase considerably

“It’s going to be one of those getting-by years,” said Rome Ethredge, Seminole County Extension agricultural agent. Ethredge serves an agricultural area that, according to the University of Georgia Center for Agribusiness and Economic Development, leads the state in row crop production, mainly cotton, peanuts and corn.

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Georgia pecan crop lacking in size

State's yield expected to be about 20 million pounds off

University of Georgia Extension pecan horticulturist Lenny Wells said the wet and cool conditions during last spring’s pollination period were unfavorable for pecan growth. As a result, pecans didn’t develop to the size Georgia farmers were expecting.

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Tifton horticulturist looks to enhance watermelon crop

Seedless watermelon trials yeild promising results

Research by the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences in Tifton could help Georgia’s watermelon growers produce sweeter results.

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Georgia tobacco farmers feel string of black shank disease

Growers impacted the most were in Coffee and Berrien counties

According to the UGA Center for Agribusiness and Economic Development, Coffee County produced 1,846 acres of tobacco in 2013, generating a $6.8 million farm gate value. Berrien was second at 1,461 acres, with a $5.3 million farm gate value.

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Nighttime spraying recommended in treating peanuts for white mold disease

Disease can devastate Georgia peanut crop

Because of its ability to produce oxalic acid and enzymes that can kill peanut crops, white mold disease is an annual concern, not only in Georgia but throughout the Southeast. The disease was not as widespread this year as in years past, said UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences professor and scientist Tim Brenneman, but the disease’s impact will continue to be felt statewide.

University of Georgia economists to educate farmers about provisions in new farm bill

Farm Bill meetings set in Tifton, Bainbridge and Dawson

Don Shurley and Nathan Smith, University of Georgia agricultural economists based on the UGA Tifton Campus, along with representatives from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Farm ServiceAgency and the USDA Risk Management Agency, will conduct the meetings throughout Georgia.

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Cotton crop survives early frost

Farmers ahead of schedule in harvesting crop

Depending on the severity of the frost, cold temperatures can cause nearly mature bolls to open, and also can lead to bolls burning and rotting in the field.

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App used in managing stink bugs in cotton

App developed at University of Georgia

Cotton farmers and scouts began using the Georgia Cotton Insect Advisor app this summer.

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Peanut producers encouraged to plant earlier

Tomato spotted wilt virus surfaces in area

In 1997, TSWV caused widespread damage to Georgia’s peanut crops. Peanut yields suffered and the value of the state’s crop was reduced by more than 10 percent.

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Tifton scientist wins Brooks research award

Timothy Grey receives D.W. Brooks Faculty Award

The award, given annually by the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, recognizes Grey’s work combatting herbicide-resistant Palmer amaranth, or pigweed, and developing weed management strategies to replace a recently banned soil fumigant — methyl bromide.

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Non-irrigated peanuts damaged by spider mites

Spider mites can suck juice from peanut leaf

The peanut leaf then turns yellow or even black and there is a drastic reduction in yield.

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Tift County farmer wins Sunbelt Expo's top honor

Winner Philip Grimes receives $15,000 and use of tractor for a year

Philip Grimes has farmed for 37 years and operates 2,210 acres with peanuts, cotton, cantaloupes, broccoli, snap beans and corn. The Grimes family’s farming business has grown from 200 acres of rented farmland in the mid-70s. The biggest portion of his land — with 850 acres — is planted in cotton, but he also operates Docia Farms and a state-of-the-art cantaloupe packing shed.

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Georgia in the spotlight at this month's Sunbelt Expo

In its 37th year, the Sunbelt Ag Expo is expected to draw 90,000

Not only is Georgia the host state for the 37th annual Sunbelt Expo in Moultrie, it’s also the 2014 Spotlight State.

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Yields diminishing for dryland peanuts

Recent rainfall overshadowed by month-long drought

An estimated 40 to 50 percent of Georgia’s peanuts are non-irrigated. Half of the state’s crop could have a drastic reduction in yield potential when peanuts are harvested.

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Cotton prices wilting

Production this year considerably higher than in 2013

Since early May, when 2014 cotton was selling for more than 80 cents per pound, the price of cotton has dropped 18 cents, or about 20 percent. It is now well below the 80-cent barometer that UGA Extension agricultural economist Don Shurley believes all farmers strive for to cover their production costs.

Outlook for corn prices dismal

Covering expenses will be a challenge for farmers

Georgia corn prices are projected between $3.75-$4.25 per bushel depending on the region of the state. The prices are well below the $6 and $7 contracts that some Georgia farmers signed last year.

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New peanut agronomist says crop outlook promising

Monfort replaces longtime peanut expert Beasley

University of Georgia Extension’s new peanut agronomist says Georgia’s crop shows potential despite a prolonged drought.

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Childhood love of 4-H leads to rewarding career

Jennifer Grogan leads 4-H program in Mitchell County

Jennifer Grogan was an active 4-H member as a child and has worked as a 4-H leader for more than 30 years with University of Georgia Extension. Considering her love for the organization as a child, Grogan was destined for her current career.

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Scientist uses peanut digger to control weeds

Harvesting equipment organically controls weeds

While mulch can be used to suppress nutsledge and other weeds in organic crops, it’s not encouraged, and hand-weeding is an unsustainable pratcice. Tifton scientists are examining the use of a peanut digger to control the weed.

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Seminole County Extension agent has missionary spirit

Rome Ethredge combines love for outdoors and missionary work

Rome Ethredge has been an agricultural and natural resources agent for 26 years: five and a half years in nearby Decatur County followed by 20 and a half years in Seminole County.

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South Georgia farmers hope Satsuma oranges produce sweet results

Satsumas similar to Cutie and Halo oranges

A popular citrus crop commonly grown by homeowners has become a highly sought after commodity for some south Georgia farmers. And one University of Georgia Extension agent believes Satsuma oranges will soon be a valuable crop.

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Good yields, reasonable prices on Georgia watermelons

Tift County leads the state in watermelon production

According to UGA’s Center for Agribusiness and Economic Development, watermelons generated $159.5 million in farm gate value in 2012 on 18,137 acres. Watermelons account for 17.05 percent of the state’s vegetable crop. Tift County leads the state with $20 million from watermelon production, followed by Crisp County at $17.4 million and Wilcox County at $15.6 million.

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Cotton growers face tough irrigation choices

Sensors require added expense, management

With rain being sparse in some areas of Georgia this summer, irrigation is a necessary expense all farmers have to consider. Whether it’s with the checkbook method, soil moisture sensors or software programs, cotton farmers have a plethora of options to choose from, says a University of Georgia Extension expert.

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Feral hogs destroying farmland in Southwest Georgia

Peak times for hog damage are during planting and harvest seasons.

Feral hogs are a major problem in large part because of their reproductive capacities. Charlie Killmaster, a deer and feral hog biologist with the Georgia Department of Natural Resources, says unlike deer, which breed in the fall and have their young in the spring, feral hogs breed whenthey’re ready and don’t stop.

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Students attend irrigation camp in Camilla

Georgia 4-H students learn about water

TIFTON — Southwest Georgia 4-Hers were soaked with information this week as they learned about one of the world’s most prized resources — water.

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Tift scientist Csinos seeks to control nematodes

Farmers losing battle against nematodes, researcher contends

Alex Csinos encourages producers to check for nematodes during harvest time by pulling the stalks out of the ground and examining the root systems.

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Tifton scientists developing coneless pine trees

Wayne Hanna conducts research on almost 4,000 trees

If successful, Hanna would have the admiration of homeowners and landscapers across the Southeast who would no longer have to pick up pinecones. Hanna came up with the idea after spending a Saturday doing just that.

Training for cotton scouts offered in Tifton

The annual training in Tifton usually attracts about 100 students

UGA entomologists Phillip Roberts and Michael Toews will lead a pair of trainings, one in Tifton on June 9 and another in Midville on June 17. The cotton scout schools are designed to teach individuals about cotton growth and development, the structures of a cotton plant, pest insects, beneficial insects and how to report information to a grower.

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Key to controlling kudzu bug may be wasps

Study under way by Department of Agriculture and UGA entomologists

A parasitoid wasp controls kudzu bug populations in its native Asia. University of Georgia entomologist Michael Toews hopes those wasps will one day reduce the kudzu bug’s presence in the United States.

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Excessive rainfall has cotton planting behind schedule

Soil moisture may benefit growers in the long run, agronomist says

The typical timeframe for cotton planting begins during the last week in April and lasts through May, with cotton that’s double cropped behind wheat, which is usual planted during the first two weeks in June. However, cotton farmers are now a week behind schedule thanks to this spring’s rain showers.

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Weather issues concern watermelon growers

If plantings overlap at harvest time, prices likely will fall

The UGA 2012 Georgia Farm Gate Value Report lists watermelons’ farm gate value at $159.5 million. More than 18,100 acres in Georgia were devoted to watermelons in 2012 with Tift County ranking first in acreage (1,950) with a farm gate value at $20 million.

Classes conducted for Worth cattle producers

More classes are planned later this year

By surveying livestock producers, Larry Varnadoe found a need for livestock educational meetings and also an interest in reviving the Worth County Livestock Association. Varnadoe has been successful in fulfilling both requests for Worth County, home to more than 14,000 brood cows.

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Worth agent middleman for agricultural information

County agents get involved in all types of agriculture

One day Scott Carlson may be in a cornfield listening to a farmer’s questions about insect control. The next, Carlson is on the UGA Tifton Campus searching for answers from researchers in the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.

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Pest harms roots of pecan trees

Research in Tifton may lead to control methods

Prionous root borers, the larval stage of the beetle, damages pecan tree roots by depriving trees of essential water nutrients. This makes them vulnerable to heavy winds. The larvae can also move through the soil and feed on an irrigation system if they encounter a pipe between pecan roots.

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Farmers to get farm bill education

Series of meetings planned in South Georgia

Don Shurley and Nathan Smith will lead a series of six regional meetings designed to educate Georgia row crop producers and landowners about the new farm bill. Shurley and Smith are faculty with the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.

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Tift County man named Georgia’s top farmer

Philip Grimes honored for his innovative approach to maximizing production

Grimes will represent Georgia at the Sunbelt Ag Expo in October, where he will vie against eight other state winners for the title of Southeastern Farmer of the Year.

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Pecan growers worried about 2014 production

This year’s yield could be worse than last year’s dismal crop

Georgia farmers can be encouraged by the state yield numbers that indicate more than 60 million pounds of pecans will be produced in 2014. This is a little more than first predicted. Many growers are holding off on selling their pecans because of low prices.

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Selling cattle may be best option

Short supply makes cattle prices tempting

Cattlemen are also taking land out of pasture production and putting it into other crops, so fewer small calves are available to be bought. The supply is the lowest since 1951.

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Irrigation specialist focuses on water management

Most research handled at Camilla facility

Wesley Porter primarily works on row crops but he also has responsibilities in horticulture, turf, trees and orchards, in both Georgia and Alabama.

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Selling cattle may be best option

Short supply makes cattle prices tempting

Cattlemen are also taking land out of pasture production and putting it into other crops, so fewer small calves are available to be bought. The supply is the lowest since 1951.

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Less acreage, high yields highlight 2013 peanut season

Despite high yields being produced, peanut prices are still hovering around the $425 per ton mark, far below the $500 per ton level farmers crave and were able to achieve a couple of years ago.

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Peanut producers worry about thrips

Advice given on how to protect against the tiny inspect

There are more than 7,000 species of thrips, but only two cause problems for Georgia farmers and UGA researchers — tobacco thrips and western flower thrips.

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Tifton researcher attempts to breed scab-resistant pecan variety

Rain, pecan scab reduces pecan crop this season

The disease affected two of Georgia’s most common pecan cultivars — Desirable and Stuart trees — but the disease is not uniform across tree varieties.

Pecan crop worse than originally feared

Pecan scab, a fungal disease, cuts expected yields considerably

Due in large part to pecan scab, a fungal disease that thrives in wet conditions, Georgia’s pecan crop is expected to total between 50 million and 60 million pounds, instead of the normal 90 million.