Recent Updates

EPA Herbicide Strategy Frame Work Will Impact All Pesticide Applications in Tennessee

In response to losing lawsuits on lack of action on the endangered species, the EPA proposed a draft strategy aimed at guarding federally endangered species against potential negative impacts of herbicide applications. They describe the strategy as a mix of population-level protections for over 900 listed species and designated critical habitats with a range of mitigation measures. What the EPA is proposing to do will eventually impact every pesticide application in Tennessee.

This is a very complicated topic.  I found the two WarAgainstWeeds podcasts helpful in trying to understand the “why, where and how” of EPAs strategy.

If you would like to comment to EPA on this plan (I would urge you to comment!), here is a link: Write a Comment

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Cover Crop Variety Selection for the South

As harvest progresses for our major commodities, it is time to start planning and planting cover crops. Cover crops offer many benefits to agronomic systems, including erosion control, improvement to soil health, nutrient retention and additions, and weed suppression. How do we maximize these benefits? A key component is finding the right species, and varieties within those species. Just like corn, soybean, and cotton, that “right” variety is going to depend on your region and cropping system.

To help our growers find the best cover crop varieties for their region and system, we have been running a cover crop variety trial in Tennessee since 2019. We are excited to collaborate with the Southern Cover Crops Council this year to expand this trial and cover a 10-state region in the South. If you are in AL, AR, FL, GA, KY, NC, SC, TN, TX, or VA, we’ve got you covered! In this year’s report, you will find information important to maximizing those cover crop benefits, including cover crop biomass, canopy cover, and estimated nitrogen release, along with forage quality values for those who may be using cover crops for grazing (IVTDMD, CP, ADF, NDF, Lignin).

This past year was an odd one, with a cold snap in December that burst pipes across the South and was not so kind to some of our cover crop species. This does not reflect a typical year (at least I hope that isn’t our new normal!). For information on some of those more cold-sensitive species, looking at previous year’s reports may be helpful.

Southern Cover Crop Variety Trial 2023

Cover Crop Variety Trials in Tennessee Archives 2020 – 2022

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Soybean Disease Detective: Identifying Soil Borne Diseases

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As most Tennessee soybeans are entering their mid-late reproduction growth stages, some symptoms of diseases caused by soil-borne pathogens may be beginning to show up in our fields, particularly sudden death syndrome this year. The issue with diagnosing diseases caused by soil-borne pathogens is that they often exhibit very similar symptomology to each other. However, there are certain indicators that can help you differentiate between these diseases and help you make the best management decisions moving forward. Continue reading

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A Step Back on Palmer Amaranth Control

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Picture 1. Palmer Amaranth Escapes in Xtend Soybean

Driving across West Tennessee last week it is very apparent we have taken a step backward on Palmer amaranth control.  Many fields that looked clean from the road in late July are now showing large Palmer amaranth escapes. Upon closer inspection the pigweed escapes are at least partially affected by the dicamba applications which resulted in them staying hidden from the road until the last couple of weeks. Continue reading

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Best Time to Control Perennial Vines is Now

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Burcucumber over growing corn

Practically every September some growers are dismayed at the vine infestations present at corn harvest.  Often, these weed infestations emerged after PRE applied or early POST applied herbicides had played out.  They grew very little until August and as the corn dried down and light became more available those established weeds started rapidly growing.

The vines in question are often perennial in growth habit like honeyvine milkweed, redvine, hedge bindweed and burcucumber.  There is really no in-crop option that will provide good perennial vine control.  The best one can achieve with an in-crop application is enough vine suppression to minimize harvest issues.

Perennial vines are best controlled with herbicide applications after harvest.  The most consistent tactic is to allow the vines to grow back for a week or so after harvest and then apply dicamba and/or 2,4-D. Tank mixing in glyphosate can also increase vine control. For best results go with rates at the higher end of the labels. Continue reading

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REMINDER: Cotton Tour THIS Wednesday, Sept 13th @ 8AM

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The 2023 Cotton Tour will be held next Wednesday, Sept. 13, 2023 at 8AM at the West Tennessee Research and Education Center (605 Airways Blvd, Jackson, TN 38305).  Pesticide recertification and CCA points will be available.  Tulum will be catering lunch for us.

I’m very happy to report the slate of speakers includes Dr. Jake McNeal, our new Corn and Soybean Specialist who started earlier this spring.  He will make a few comments about a few of the research trials he has established at WTREC and some preliminary results from a soybean desiccation study. The agenda for the event can be found by following this link. Look forward to seeing you there!

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