A Time To Reflect On 2015

Amanda-HuberWith few exceptions, I have been on the Georgia Peanut Tour every year since the early 90s. ­ is year stood out as particularly good for the opportunities to gather new information and be reminded of information known, but perhaps forgotten.

At a visit to the Attapulgus Research and Education Center, located in the southwest corner of Georgia close to the Florida line, Abraham Fulmer, a University of Georgia plant pathology graduate student, talked about his research on early and late leafspot and, specifically, understanding how these diseases progress under various field conditions.

In introducing his topic, Abraham, who one would think looks like what Abraham might would look like at an early age, said “in quoting the Great Book of Wisdom, ‘To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven.’” He went on to say that much of managing peanuts is based on timing, and he’s certainly right about that, but his introduction sent me looking up and being reminded of all the things there is a “a time to.” You can look those up as well, unless you have them all memorized, but there were a few that correlated to the peanut industry in 2015.

A time to plant and a time to pluck up that which is planted is specific enough to peanuts. With this late crop, producers are having a time trying to get their crop harvested between rain showers and before the first frost.

A time to die makes me think of the severity of white mold in 2015 because of the extremely warm weather and abundance of rain. Bob Kemerait, UGA Extension plant pathologist, talked about his research on this disease and some new and exciting products that have been labeled recently, which we hope to hear more about in the near future.

A time to search is what Mark Abney, UGA Extension entomologist, is telling producers they need to do in their fields. Scouting is vastly underused and blanket sprays are made when not needed, says Abney. He’s working on economic thresholds that will help producers make decisions on when to spray, but that is all dependent on the producer knowing how many insect pests are present per row foot.

A time to heal makes me think of the final judgement of the Peanut Corporation of America case, and although I am hesitant to mention it, this does represent a closing of that chapter and a time to move forward.

Just as I was wrapping this up, I received by email an invitation to Rome Ethredge’s retirement celebration. Is that fitting or what? Rome has been a county agent in Georgia for 27 years, with 22 years in Seminole County. He has been a valuable source of information to me and so many other people. Although I am truly going to miss his work as a county agent, I, along with many others, wish him the very best in the future.