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Clint Thompson

Stories by Clint

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Pecan yield projections down due to weather

Kernels did not mature fully, researchers say

University of Georgia Cooperative Extension pecan specialist Lenny Wells fears Georgia’s pecan crop will fail to meet initial production projections by as much as 20 million pounds.

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Too much water bad for peanut crop

too much irrigation can invite diseases and reduce yields

Wes Porter, UGA Cooperative Extension precision agriculture and irrigation specialist, says that, while water is essential to peanut production in Georgia, overirrigation can be just as detrimental.

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Peanut tour showcases Georgia's high-value crop

Farmers see crops, research station

The tour included visits to multiple farming operations in Decatur, Grady, Miller and Seminole counties, including John Harrell’s peanut field in Grady County on Thursday.

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Sub-surface drip irrigation a possible solution for some Georgia peanut farmers

With a drip system, efficiency rate for water is as high as 95 percen

While not suitable for all peanut fields, sub-surface drip could be used in smaller fields with irregular shapes where pivots are unable to travel and in those with dry corners.

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UGA agronomists research ultra-late-planted soybeans

University of Georgia research looks for low-yield solution

Researchers are studying the effects of growing late-planted soybeans after corn. The results present encouraging news for south Georgia farmers looking to overcome plummeting prices while maximizing resources.

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Top peanut producers lean on Cooperative Extension advice

Ten Georgia peanut farmers honored

Each of Georgia’s top 10 peanut farmers relied on University of Georgia Cooperative Extension research to produce the highest yielding crops this year. These farmers were honored by the peanut industry this month for growing the year’s record-breaking crops.

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Using rye as cover crop benefits cotton farmers

Practice could reduce irrigation expenses, scientists believe

Along with providing an added defense against glyphosate-resistant Palmer amaranth at planting, rye reduces thrips infestations significantly and could save farmers irrigation expenses.

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Official at UGA eyes expansion of Tifton operations

New admissions counselor at UGA Tifton appointed

The new face in the academic programs office at the University of Georgia Tifton Campus is eyeing an expansion of the campus’ presence in Georgia.

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Agronomist stresses PGR use for Georgia cotton farmers

Yields and profits may be at risk without plant growth regulators

A PGR is chemical compound that limits the vegetative growth of a plant — in this case, cotton. Managing the plant’s growth is often necessary because of Georgia’s environment, climate and the growth characteristics of varieties used by growers, said Jared Whitaker, a crop and soil scientist with UGA Extension.

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Mike Stewart named new district Extension director for Southwest District

Stewart is a former assistant director of the Association County Commissioners of Georgia

As Southwest District Extension director, Mike Stewart will be responsible for a 41-county region that includes metro Albany.

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Everything about pecans on blog

Tifton specialist reaching growers all over the world

Over a 30-day period, Tifton’s Lenny Wells estimates his blog receives between 5,000 and 6,000 hits, or views. The blog also draws interest from readers in several South American countries, Australia, South Africa and India.

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Entomologist: Scout your peanut fields

Majority of state’s peanut acreage not scouted

Only 25 percent of respondents reported monitoring their crop through a paid scout or consultant.

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Sumter County UGA Extension agent offers families helping hand

Profile: Mitzi Parker

Mitzi Parker, family and consumer sciences agent at Americus, assists people in dire financial straits by helping them maintain a manageable budget. She also strives to work the housing aspect into her financial classes.

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Young Scholars get ag experience at UGA Tifton campus

Program shows students career opportunities while giving them experience

The Young Scholars program brings advanced high school students to University of Georgia campuses at Tifton, Griffin and Athens for six-week summer courses that expose the students to agriculture and the sciences.

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Scorching summer heat may cut watermelon crop early

As temperatures nudge triple digits, melons are getting sunburned

Watermelons, a staple of Fourth of July festivities, are looking at a shorter-then-normal season that could end as early as Wednesday.

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China, India play key roles in future of cotton prices

China is the world's largest user and its second-largest producer of cotton

Actions and weather a half a world away directly affects the pocketbooks of Georgia cotton producers.

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Fewer Vidalia onions expected this season

Rain, winds contribute to reduced yield

Vidalia onions are harvested in only 20 state-sanctioned Georgia counties from mid-April through May.

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UGA hosting cotton scouting school in Tifton

Training begins Monday morning at UGA Conference Center

University of Georgia Extension will host a pair of cotton scouting schools in June. The programs will be held on Monday, June 8, in Tifton and Tuesday, June 16, in Midville.

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Students cool off at H20 camp in Mitchell County

“The camp is all about helping our 4-H students understand the importance of water to our region of the state, and why it’s important to protect it, conserve it and use it wisely so it will be around for future use,” said Calvin Perry, SIRP superintendent.

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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.