April 14, 2017
After field trials in Headland, Fairhope and Georgia, Auburn University has released a runner-type peanut cultivar — AU-NPL 17 — thanks in part to checkoff dollars. The peanut has been praised for high yields and disease resistance. This variety is well adapted for the Southeastern climate.
-Caleb Bristow, division director
In March, the USDA confirmed two highly pathogenic avian influenza cases in Tennessee. Subsequent cases were low pathogenic, including three Alabama commercial breeder flocks and three backyard flocks. Warm weather and increased biosecurity should decrease chances of further outbreaks. To ensure food safety, all flocks are tested before processing. For more information, visit AlabamaAvianInfluenza.com.
-Guy Hall, division director
If you love eating farm-fresh strawberries, look no further than the nearest roadside stand, farmers market or U-pick patch. Visit fma.alabama.gov for a full list of Alabama markets, or find a local strawberry grower near you at tinyurl.com/ALstrawberries17.
Mac Higginbotham, division director
Forest owners are encouraged to watch “Alabama Private Forests” on Alabama Public Television. This program is directed at non-industrial private forest landowners and airs April 17 and 21 at 9 p.m. and April 30 at 6 p.m.
-William Green, interim division director
According to the USDA Jan. 1 cattle inventory report, beef cow numbers for Alabama were up 3 percent versus 2016, an indication that cow herd expansion will continue in 2017. This is supported by a 12.5 percent increase in replacement heifers, a relatively large figure when compared to other Southeastern states. Increased supply means farmers will need to protect themselves from downside risk and begin planning now to determine which value-added practices, like preconditioning, will benefit their bottom line the most.
-Nate Jaeger, division director
Cotton, Soybeans, Wheat & Feed Grains
U.S. EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt recently signed an order denying a petition to ban chlorpyrifos, a pesticide crucial to agriculture. This vital pest-management tool remains available to help ensure an affordable food supply.
-Carla Hornady, divisions director