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 -
• 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.
- 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 email@example.com 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.
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.