UGA Extension Office

Agriculture & Natural Resources

Latest News Article from ANR Agent

Brian Maddy, County Extension Agent

How Sweet It Is

Some of us may remember how Jackie Gleason would end some of his shows by saying “How sweet it is!” Our sweet corn can be certainly sweet this year with all the rain we’ve had.

The best time to pick is when the silk has dried and turned dark brown to black. The earlier in the morning that you pick, the sweeter the corn. As the day warms up, the sugars in the kernels start to turn to starch.

When you start to shuck the corn you may discover some unwanted visitors, namely the corn earworm. When you peal back the husk, you’ll see feeding damage and frass, caterpillar poop. It’s not a pretty picture. You can cut off the offending part of the ear.

You will rarely see more than one or two feeding on the tip end. Corn earworms tend to be cannibalistic and have good appetites. Corn earworms overwinter in the soil as diapausing pupae which translates as a dormancy stage.

The adult moths emerge in early May and mate at night. They can make a mess of your windshield if you’re not careful in corn country. The female moths will lay from 450 to 3000 eggs. They lay them singly on each strand of silk.

As the worms hatch they travel down the silk into the tip to begin feeding on the juicy kernels and each other. The larvae develop between five and six instars (the larval stages between successive molts).

They get big enough to bore a 3/16th inch diameter hole through the shuck as they exit the ear. They drop down and burrow into soil to pupate. In another two-three weeks, another generation will appear. You can have at least three generations in one year.

What is the solution? The integrated pest management strategies is to select resistant varieties which have a very tight shuck. This reduces the feeding to just the silks which may result in unfilled sections of the ear.

You can also purchase Bt sweet corn which has been genetically modified to kill certain caterpillars. This has been proven safe to beneficial insects. It’s not “bullet proof” though. Corn earworms may still feed on the ear tips.

Last but not least in an IPM strategy is to apply an insecticide, either organic or inorganic. You begin the application when the silks first appear and continue until the silks turn brown. This can be every three days up to every five days. Call the office for the exact pesticide recommendations.

Keeping corn earworms out of your sweet corn can be a challenge. If you are persistent, you may say “How sweet it is!” at suppertime.


What’s going on in Extension?

* Beekeepers Meeting: Monday, August 20th at the Extension Office at 7 PM.

* TCCA Meeting: Tuesday, August 21st. Topic: Improving Forages. Dinner begins at 7 PM. Dinner is at 7 PM, cost $6.00, call ahead and the program begins at 7:30 PM at the Ag Center.

* Market on Main: Every Saturday Morning from 8 AM to 10 PM just off the square. Come by and enjoy the pick of the day.

If you have any questions or concerns, stop by or call the office.

Brian Maddy is the ANR Agent for Troup County Extension. The Troup County Extension office is located at 144 Sam Walker Drive, LaGrange, GA. 30240 (706) 883-1675. Monday - Friday/8:00 AM – 12 noon and from 1:00 PM -


Troup County ANR Agent

• The Troup County Cattleman’s Association meets on the 3rd Tues of each month except for July at 7 PM at the Ag Center on 21 Vulcan Materials Road. Dinner is served at 7 PM.

• The Troup County Association of Beekeepers meets the 3rd Monday of each month at 7 PM at the Ag Center on 21 Vulcan Materials Road.

• The Troup County Master Gardener Extension Volunteers meet the 2nd Thursday of each month at the Ag Center on 21 Vulcan Materials Road.

Testing Services

  • Soil Samples- $9.00
  • Organic Matter Test - $13.00 
  • Boron Test - $15.00 
  • Soluble Salts Test - $15.00 
  • Nitrate Test - $15.00
  • Water Samples- $23.00 
  • Lead Test (Pb) (sensitive to 2 ppb) - $43.00
  • GA Extended Water Test (required for water treatment design)- $63 (W1-Basic, W-3 Anions, W11-Soluble Salts, & W18-Alkalinity) Need 1 pint 
  • Real Estate Test (required for new homes with existing well) - $88.00 (Lead, Nitrate ,Nitrite, Total Coliform /E.Coli) Need 1 quart
  • pH only Test - $7.00 
  • Cyanide Test - $53.00

There are no upcoming events at this time.

Market on Main, LaGrange - Market on Main is a joint venture with the Downtown Development Commission and the Troup County Extension Service. It’s comprised of two local markets that came together to form one larger market and is currently located in the Carmike Cinema Parking lot just south of the theater. The market opens at 8:00 PM and closes at 10:00 AM. Fresh vegetables, homemade items such as cakes, canned goods, jellies, bread, soap and plants can be purchased. We do not sell flea market items. Contact Barbie Watts of the Downtown Development Commission at or 706.881.2772 for further information.

Harvest Sale - The Annual Ruban Harvest Street Sale began in 1956 by local county organizers. The main purpose of the harvest sale is to attract customers to buy merchandise from local merchants. The items must be grown or processed or made by the sellers. Usually, merchandise is available on the date that it normally could not be found any other time of the year. Items such as fresh vegetables, fruits, pumpkins, jams and jellies, baked goods, apple cider, sorghum syrup, honey, canned products, live chickens and crafts of all kinds are on hand for sale. In the beginning several ladies frequently attended the sale dressed in quaint costumes in style from their parents and grandparents era. This was often interesting to younger children to see the fads and fashions of yesteryear. Since, the costumes have all vanished with the changing of time, but the harvest sale is continuing to remain a viable and most enjoyable event of the extension service. The Annual Ruban Harvest Street Sale is now called the October Harvest Fest held every year in October from 8:00am until 12:00 noon.

Email Troup County ANR
Extension Publications
Your Household Water Quality: Odors in Your Water (C 1016) Homeowners sometimes experience unpleasant odors in their household water. In many cases, the exact cause of the odor is difficult to determine by water testing; however, this publication provides a few general recommendations for treating some common causes of household water odors.
Native Plants for Georgia Part I: Trees, Shrubs and Woody Vines (B 987) This publication focuses on native trees, shrubs and woody vines for Georgia. It is not our intent to describe all native species — just those available in the nursery trade and those that the authors feel have potential for nursery production and landscape use. Rare or endangered species are not described. Information on each plant is provided according to the following categories: Common Name(s)/Botanical Name/Family, Characteristics, Landscape Uses, Size, Zones and Habitat.
Conversion Tables, Formulas and Suggested Guidelines for Horticultural Use (B 931) Pesticide and fertilizer recommendations are often made on a pounds per acre and tons per acre basis. While these may be applicable to field production of many crops, orchardists, nurserymen and greenhouse operators often must convert these recommendations to smaller areas, such as row feet, square feet, or even per tree or per pot. Thus pints, cups, ounces, tablespoons and teaspoons are the common units of measure. The conversion is frequently complicated by metric units of measure. This publication is designed to aid growers in making these calculations and conversions, and also provides other data useful in the management, planning and operation of horticultural enterprises.
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Below are some of UGA Extension's most broadly useful resources for those involved in agriculture on the farm, in schools, and around the home.

Production Agriculture:
Statewide Variety Testing Which varieties should you plant? The variety testing team does the work and research for farmers.
UGA Weather Network Reliable weather information for agricultural and environmental applications, including soil temperature, rainfall, wind speed, and more.
Pesticide Safety Education Everything you need to achieve certification and maintain the knowledge to safely and effectively make use of restricted-use and all other types of pesticides.
Sustainable Agriculture A collection of resources for those interested in production and marketing practices that are profitable, environmentally sound, and that improve the quality of life for farmers, farm workers, and the community.
Ag Budgets and Economics Resources for production economics, farm management, marketing, situation and outlook, risk management, financial management, farm policy, labor, and taxation.
Farmgate Value Report Annual county-level reports documenting the value of all food and fiber commodities grown in the state.
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Home & Garden:
Soil Testing Ensure that your soil is productive! Get your soil tested to determine the amount and kind of nutrients that should be added for the best growth.
Pest Management Recommendations for pest control around homes, on pets, in the home garden, and more.
Household Water Quality Water quality has an immediate and a prolonged effect on the health of your household. This publication series contains basic information about home water quality and treatment.
Home Garden Publication Series Topics include garden planning, soil preparation, weed control, pollination, disease and insect control, harvesting, and preserving.
Georgia Green Industry Professional Development The UGA Center for Urban Agriculture offers professional training and certifications for the Georgia Certified Landscape Professional, Georgia Certified Plant Professional exam and Super Crew employee training series.
Community and School Gardens This Community and School Gardens blog is designed to help community and school gardeners succeed by connecting them to UGA Extension and other research-based resources.
Lesson Plans and Teacher Resources Whether you'd like to help protect the environment, teach your students how to avoid chronic diseases with healthy food and physical activity, or train food handlers in your cafeteria, University of Georgia Extension can help.