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A deadly disease stalks Garden impatiens

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By RUTH CORRELL
Wilson County Agricultural Extension Agent

Garden impatiens (Impatiens walleriana) is one of the most popular bedding plants grown in American gardens. It flowers and grows well in shade. However, downy mildew, a new disease of garden impatiens, has made it more difficult to grow and enjoy this colorful annual.

Downy mildew was first found on garden impatiens in U.S. landscapes in the Midwest and Northeast in 2011. To the chagrin of home gardeners and professional landscapers alike, by 2012 the disease was found on garden impatiens in all regions of Tennessee and every state east of the Mississippi River. This year the problem may be widespread.

Dr. Alan Windham, a University of Tennessee Extension plant pathologist, says that it pays to know the symptoms of downy mildew. Early symptoms include light green, curled leaves. Later, infected plants may drop all their leaves and stop flowering. Often, white fungal growth may be observed on the underside of leaves.

Dr. Windham recommends that flower consumers be cautious. When buying impatiens this year, look for healthy plants free of the fungus. If you lost your impatiens to downy mildew last year, you might consider planting an alternative bedding plant such as begonia, coleus, New Guinea impatiens or SunPatiens.

Check out the UT Extension Soil, Plant and Pest Center on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/SoilPlantPestCenter and for more information contact your local UT/TSU Extension Office.

Calculating Fertilizer Costs Made Easy

Have you ever had trouble calculating the cost of your fertilizer applications? Dont worry. You are not alone.

University of Tennessee Extension reminds producers that a fertilizer cost calculator is available online for their use. The tool was developed by the UT Agricultural and Resource Economics Department and is an Excel-based calculator. It can evaluate the cost of applying varying levels of fertilizer and using various products. The calculator should be used as a tool (along with a soil test) to evaluate estimated costs per acre for fertilizer.

The only fields in the spreadsheet which can be changed are: 1. Price per ton for Urea, Ammonium Nitrate, DAP and Muriate of Potash, 2. Application rate per acre of (N,P2O5, and K2O) - example (60-30-30 or 60-0-30), 3. Application costs per acre ($/acre) - this may be a charge/acre to be truck spread, or a buggy rental fee prorated on a per acre basis.

For traditional standard blends of fertilizer (6-12-12 or 19-19-19) application rate would be adjusted by the number of pounds planned to apply per acre. Example: 200 pounds of 19-19-19 per acre would have the application rate of 38-38-38 and 300 pounds per acre would be an application rate of 57-57-57.

A current soil test will assist you in evaluating the feasibility of applying a standard blend of fertilizer.

To download the fertilizer cost calculating tool, visit the website: http://economics.ag.utk.edu/fertilizer.html

For more information about fertilizer rates and recommendations and soil tests, please contact your local county UT/TSU Extension office.

Cattle Market Trends

Slaughter cows $1 lower, $63.00-$83.00; Slaughter bulls steady to $3 lower$82.00-$98.00; Feeder steers $4 to $10 lower; 102.00-$180.00; Feeder heifers $2 to $7 lower, $85.00-$163.00; Feeder Cattle Index - Wednesdays index $134.86. Fed Cattle 5 area live price of $125.27 is down $1.96 and the dressed price is up $0.62 at $200.00 Cattle Receipts (# sales): This week: 7,180 (11) Week ago: 9,150 (11) Year ago: 7,800 (12). (UT Market Highlights)

Cattle Market Comments

As live cattle and feeder cattle prices flounder on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, so do cash markets for live cattle, feeder cattle, stockers and cull cattle. Markets continue struggling to gain traction as we head into the latter half of April which would have been difficult to project a month ago much less six months ago. Prices were considered weak last fall and winter due to drought issues and elevated feed costs. Though the cattle market continues to be hampered by these issues, the more prevalent issue is the slow start to spring and warmer weather. Many regions that were drought stricken in 2012 have received some precipitation the past few weeks, but they have yet to feel temperatures increase to a level to promote forage growth. A secondary concern is in relation to the planting season. Weather conditions have also kept many corn growers out of the field. If the current pattern persists then some corn producers may shift acreage to soybeans. This is not a major concern just yet, but corn plantings across the nation are lagging the averages. Many producers were hoping for an early spring and for temperatures to promote forage growth since the hay harvest of 2012 was short. However, Mother Nature is rubbing salt into the wound of many producers who were banking on utilizing early forage growth to shorten the hay feeding season. Such a situation requires producers to sell a few head, purchase more feed, do both, or do nothing. Not one of these options is appealing as cattle prices struggle and feed prices remain elevated. (Dr. Andrew Griffith, UT Extension)

Grain Market Trends

Report for week ending, 4/19. Soybean prices are mixed while corn, cotton, and wheat prices are down for the week. Corn: Weekly exports were within expectations. Corn planted as of April 14 was reported at 2 percent compared to 16 percent last year and the five year average of 7 percent. Speculation is that some corn ground will be switched to soybeans. Market price at the elevator, $6.54-$ 6.95. May futures closed at $6.52 bushel, down 6 cents a bushel for the week. Soybeans: Weekly exports were within expectations. Market price at the elevator, $13.93-$14.80. May futures closed at $14.28 a bushel, up 15 cents a bushel for the week. Wheat: Weekly exports were well above expectations China was a big buyer of new crop wheat at 30.9 million bushels. Crop condition ratings for winter wheat as of April 14 were 36 percent good to excellent. There is still a lot of uncertainty in this years wheat production. Market price at the elevator, $7.08-$7.29. May futures closed at $7.09 a bushel, down 5 cents for the week. (Chuck Danehower, UT Extension)

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