A team of agricultural scientists across the Southeast are using a $1.8 million U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Agricultural Research Service (ARS) grant to study the impact of aphids in sorghum crops.
Georgia farmers are never surprised to see fall armyworms munching on their precious corn, sorghum and forage hay crops. They just hope for a low number of armyworms. This year’s population of the tiny destroyers, described as an “Armageddon-type outbreak” by University of Georgia entomologist David Buntin, is far from low.
Genetically modified foods are tested for safety testing before they reach the marketplace. It can take over a decade and cost tens of millions of dollars, and as a result, GMOs are the most safety-tested foods in history, says University of Georgia plant breeding and plant genetics expert Wayne Parrott.
An upcoming field day on Wednesday, Aug. 10, at the University of Georgia Southwest Georgia Research and Education Center (SWERC) in Plains, Georgia, will showcase cutting-edge agriculture research to farmers, UGA Cooperative Extension county agents and industry personnel.
With water use and rising expenses a concern, forage sorghum is a cheaper, more effective alternative for Georgia cattlemen feeding dairy cows, according to University of Georgia animal and dairy scientist John Bernard.
Sugarcane aphids have turned their back on their namesake and become a major pest for Georgia’s grain sorghum growers. The pest began infesting fields in the state two years ago and, last year, devastated farmers who chose not to apply spray controls, said University of Georgia small grains entomologist David Buntin.
Georgia’s economy will be on the rise in 2016, fueled by population growth, resurgence of the housing market and major projects across the state, including two new professional sports stadiums planned for metro Atlanta. Georgians can also expect to continue to pay less for a gallon of milk, and for meat producers, exports look encouraging for beef and pork.
Led by increases in forestry and livestock values, Georgia’s agricultural output increased by $484 million in 2014, making agriculture, once again, the largest industry in the state with a value of $14.1 billion. According to the most recent University of Georgia Farmgate Value Report, published earlier this month, the value of Georgia’s livestock and aquaculture industries increased by almost 36 percent from 2013.
Corn, wheat, rice and other modern cereals have been bred over the past centuries to produce as much grain as possible. However, to feed a growing population, plant breeders may have to coax out the raw survival traits of older and locally adapted plant varieties.