Browse Field Crops, Forage and Turfgrass Production Stories

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Researchers in the US and Senegal are studying why young people leave peanut farming behind and move to the city, an important question for the future of farming in Senegal’s Groundnut Basin. University of Georgia PhD student Pierre Diatta and Virginia Tech’s Brad Mills (far left and left), will present early findings of the study, along with UGA agricultural economist Genti Kostandini (far right), in a webinar next week. The team is working with Katim Toure, a collaborator at ENSA (École Nationale Supérieure d'Agriculture) in Senegal. CAES News
Young Senegalese Farmers
All over the world, farmers are aging and young people are moving to more urban areas for economic opportunities. Leaders wonder what factors push young people to abandon agriculture and whether technology or other tools can make farming a more attractive option for the next generation. Next week, researchers from the University of Georgia and Virginia Tech will present early findings from research exploring those questions in Senegal, where a team surveyed more than 1,000 peanut-growing households to explore challenges among peanut producers and learn the main reasons why young people turn away from agriculture.
Professor David Bertioli and his wife, Soraya Leal-Bertioli, senior research scientist, work together with peanut plants in their greenhouses at the Center for Applied Genetic Technologies. (Photo by Andrew Davis Tucker/UGA) CAES News
Wild Peanut Genes
A decade ago, University of Georgia plant scientists David and Soraya Bertioli were living and working in Brazil when they began to wonder about peanut plants they encountered in different corners of the world with an astounding ability to withstand fungal diseases without the use of fungicides. The Bertiolis wondered if these different plants might all have something in common. Did they owe their natural resistance to a single genetic source?
Wayne Hanna, best known for developing TifTuf, the strongest turfgrass ever produced at UGA, has established several endowments supporting research at the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences. CAES News
Georgia Mountain Endowment
For nearly 50 years, turfgrass researcher Wayne Hanna pursued his professional goals at the University of Georgia, first with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Research Service (USDA-ARS), then as a full professor in the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.
The UGA cotton research team identified 24 Georgia counties where the presence of cotton leafroll dwarf virus (CLRDV) has been confirmed from commercial fields and UGA research farms during 2018-2019. CAES News
Cotton Leaf Roll Dwarf Virus
While aphids aren’t a direct threat to cotton plants, they can carry a persistent virus that is difficult to control and can cause significant losses in one of Georgia’s most important crops.
An official walks across the infield of the National Stadium in Tokyo, home of the 2020 Olympic Games. A UGA-bred grass will be used on the field. (Photo by PHILIP FONG/AFP via Getty Images) CAES News
TifSport and TifGrand
The Summer Olympics may be in Japan this year, but Team USA was on home turf when they took the field for today’s Opening Ceremony. The Japan National Stadium’s field is currently sodded with TifSport bermudagrass, developed in south Georgia. One of many grass varieties created and tested at the University of Georgia’s Tifton Campus, TifSport is a dense, medium- to fine-textured grass bred to withstand the high traffic sports fields see while tolerating herbicides.
Alfredo Espinoza-Martinez received the 2021 Excellence in Extension award from the American Phytopathological Society for his work in Extension focusing on disease management in turfgrass, as well as working with small grains and non-legume forages. CAES News
Excellence in Extension
It is said that if you find a job you love, you will never work a day in your life. For Alfredo Martinez-Espinoza, this has come true through his work as a plant pathologist with University of Georgia Cooperative Extension. His passion and hard work have been recognized with the American Phytopathological Society’s (APS) 2021 Excellence in Extension award.
At UGA’s College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, 2021 Borlaug Undergraduate Scholar Samantha Wegener discovered precision plant breeding — the combination of gene editing and engineering — which showed her a path to solving complicated issues to improve plant varieties. CAES News
2021 Borlaug Undergraduate Scholar
Samantha Wegener enrolled at the University of Georgia’s Tifton campus after earning her associate’s degree in biology from the Technical College of the Lowcountry in Beaufort, South Carolina. It was during her last semester in Beaufort that Wegener was introduced to the world of plant breeding.
Although there is no one-size-fits-all rule to rotational grazing management, to provide forage rest and recovery and improve grazing efficiency, the first step is to get cattle moving. CAES News
Managed Grazing
As the face of the American farmer changes, so do some of the methodologies, technologies and results. This is no different for the young ranchers trying to get started in the business or starting new roots away from the family farm. The reality is that many of us have jobs and homes away from the farm and run cattle on land that we don’t see every day, sometimes only once a week if we’re lucky. Considering this situation I understand why, after talking about the benefits of managed grazing, I often get the long looks that say, “That sounds good but it won’t work for me.”
Professor David Bertioli and senior research scientist Soraya Leal-Bertioli work together with peanut plants in their greenhouses at the Center for Applied Genetic Technologies. CAES News
Best of Both Worlds
The wild relatives of modern peanut plants have the ability to withstand disease in ways that modern peanut plants can’t. The genetic diversity of these wild relatives means that they can shrug off the diseases that kill farmers’ peanut crops, but they also produce tiny nuts that are difficult to harvest because they burrow deep in the soil.
Sean Posey CAES News
Student Profile: Sean Posey
Sean Posey didn’t see how agricultural economics would feed his love of math, but a decade into his grad school journey, he’s using those skills and interests to help improve farming practices in Africa. From information communication technologies to gender roles in information-sharing and incentivization programs that will improve groundnut health, Posey has been focused on improving agricultural practices and public safety for the past four years. At the University of Georgia completing his PhD, Posey is working on a research project led by professor Nick Magnan through the Peanut Innovation Lab