Marshall County Extension e-News

July 2022

424 Blount Ave. Ste. G21
Guntersville, AL  35976

Phone: (256) 582-2009
My, oh MY this HEAT! With the exception of ONE day (June 27th) we have had above 90 degree weather every single day since June 12th. Most of those days the heat index has been above 100, and the rain index shows 0.04 inches of rain in Guntersville during that same amount of time..

I have witnessed two instances of spraying via airplane or helicopter in the past week--while it's a neat sight to see--I also recognize that this means people are hurting for water. We have a few resources here in our newsletter to combat current and upcoming situations.
As always, we have several educational opportunities embedded right here into this newsletter- click on anything you may be interested in for more information.

Thank you for your continued support and participation in activities from your County Extension Office!

-Kristen Roberson
County Extension Coordinator

Visit our Webpage at:
or on Facebook at:
   Agriculture Jared Daniel (256) 557-4889
Dr. Landon Marks (256) 706-0032
Eddie McGriff (256) 557-2375


Irrigating at the Right Time & Right Rate

The current heat wave along with the dry spell occurring this week—which may extend through the next couple of weeks—might put corn fields at risk for yield losses if irrigation is not managed properly. Corn fields planted in mid-April across Alabama are now at tasseling (flowering period). This is one of the most critical growth stages in crop production, so days with temperatures above 95oF might impact pollination, and even grain filling. Figure 1 shows the current weather alerts set by the national weather service. Most counties in Georgia, Alabama, and Mississippi (colored with orange on the map) are under a heat advisory.


Alabama Extension entomologist Dr. Katelyn Kesheimer and REA Eddie McGriff discuss her novel approach to preventing fall armyworm resistance in Bt crops by flooding the fields with pheromones to confuse the male moths and making it difficult to find the female moths on the latest edition of On The Farm in Alabama

Equine Management Tool: Body Conditioning Scoring

The body condition scoring (BCS) system was developed by Don Henneke in 1983 during his Ph.D. program at Texas A&M University. Although this system originated via a project featuring non-pregnant mares, this is a universal system for all classes of horses. This scoring system is based on the amount of fat deposition or cover on an individual animal. Evaluating a horse’s current BCS is a valuable tool that allows  insight into the horse’s general health. It also helps assess if the nutrition program that is being implemented is working. This is an important topic of understanding for any equine owner, breeder, manager, or competitor.


Bermudagrass in Alabama

Forage bermudagrasses are warm-season perennial grasses that grow throughout Alabama. They are used primarily for grazing or hay production but can also be fall stockpiled.

Bermudagrass (Cynodon dactylon) is adapted to a variety of soils and grows from approximately May through October each year. With proper fertilization, hybrid bermudagrasses, such as Tifton 44, are high- quality warm-season grasses that can produce more than 5 tons of hay per acre. Seeded bermudagrass varieties, such as Cheyenne, can have a 20 to 25 percent yield reduction compared to hybrid varieties. Bermudagrass is relatively easy to manage as it responds well to fertilization and weed-control programs. While common bermudagrass requires little management, hybrid bermudagrasses will not persist with limited to no management.


Alabama Grazing Academy

The Alabama Grazing Academy is an advanced grazing school that works with producers to increase the efficiency of grazing management on their farm, taking it to the next level.

Topics include soil health and fertility, year-round grazing, pasture economics, and fencing options. The academy will also feature hands-on demonstrations that include sprayer calibration, weed identification, temporary electric fencing, and many more.

  • When: September 15 starting at 9 a.m.
  • Where: North Alabama Agriplex, 1714 Talley Ho Street SW, Cullman, AL 35055


Alabama Crops Report Podcast

Season 2, Episode 7: Crops Roundtable

For this episode of the Alabama Crops Report, the team is shaking things up a bit. Instead of an individual topic, members of the Alabama Cooperative Extension System entomology and plant pathology team are having a roundtable discussion. The team talks about some of the things they are seeing throughout the state including insect pests….

Season 2, Episode 6: Peanut Update
On this episode of the Alabama Crops Report, the topic is peanuts. Hosts Scott Graham and Adam Rabinowitz sit down with Kris Balkcom, an Alabama Cooperative Extension System assistant professor of crop, soil, and environmental sciences. Balkcom talks about some of the weather conditions that peanut producers are facing, as well as other topics related….



Down to Earth: Forages & Grazing
In this segment of the Down to Earth series, Leanne Dillard talks about the importance of efficient forage and livestock systems, both environmentally and economically.
  4-H Clubs Audrey Jones (256) 572-2156
Kristen Roberson (256) 558-2198
  Human Nutrition, Diet & Health and Food Safety & Quality Juana Macias-Christian (256) 572-0241
Shonda Miller (256) 426-8444
Christy Mendoza (205) 217-6495

Alabama Cottage Food Law: Basic Rules & Regulations

The Alabama Cottage Food Law went into effect in 2014 and was revised in 2021. The law states that individuals can produce certain nonhazardous foods in their homes. The new law defines a cottage food as a non-potentially hazardous food that has been prepared in a person’s home that does not require time and temperature control for safety. The law excludes products that use meat, poultry, or fish.

Read More Here...


  Home Grounds, Gardens & Pests & Commercial Horticulture Dr. Brian Brown (256) 558-8129
Marcus Garner (256) 541-0291
Eric Schavey (256) 504-0351

July Gardening Calendar

Learn—month by month—the necessary gardening activities for lawns and shrubs, annuals and perennials, fruit and nut trees, and bulbs, roots, and tubers. Included is a timeline for activities such as soil testing, planting, pruning, fertilizing, pruning, mulching, indoor plantings—from cauliflower to okra, from camellias to dahlias to heirloom roses...

Click here for your July Guide

Taking Care of Tomatoes

Tomatoes are by far the most popular plant in the vegetable garden, but can also be the most problematic. Eliminate the questions and begin the official summer season with proper tomato care.

Weather, garden insects and environmental disorders–as well as viral, fungal and bacterial problems–are all challenges every gardener faces when growing backyard tomatoes. An awareness of potential problems before they arise is one way to make sure the backyard tomatoes thrive.

Alabama Cooperative Extension System Regional Home Grounds Agent Mallory Kelley said there are many things to watch for when growing tomatoes to ensure a healthy crop. As the hot and humid summer starts up, Kelley provides the following tips to keep plants healthy.


Hornworm: A Wolf in Sheep's Clothing

Some of the most intriguing insects are caterpillars. They come in many shapes, sizes and species and appear harmless to the unfamiliar eye. However, one particular species is a wolf in sheep’s clothing for gardeners and farmers: the hornworm.


Photo Submission for Plant & Pest ID

Your county Extension office can help you identify plants and pests located in the landscape. All that may be needed is a good-quality photo that meets the following criteria.

   Natural Resources Norm Haley (256) 630-4248

Management of Recreational Fish Ponds

Learn the keys to successful pond management with these guidelines on construction, species selection, removal of unwanted and overpopulated fish species, liming and fertilization, harvesting and record keeping, pond enhancements, wildlife management, and weed control.

Alabama has over 200,000 small ponds covering more than 600,000 acres. Ponds often are built for several purposes. In Alabama, recreational fishing is the most common use. Among other uses are livestock watering, irrigation, wildlife attraction, and even geothermal heating and cooling. While a pond might support one or more of these uses, good aesthetics is important for almost all pond owners.

The first step in recreational pond management is to determine goals. Ponds can be managed for general fishing, trophy bass, trophy bream, or even just habitat that supports and attracts wildlife. The primary focus of this article is to help pond owners and managers create and maintain ponds that support high-quality recreational fishing.

The process of managing a recreational fish pond is similar in many ways to preparing and maintaining a vegetable garden. The pond must be built correctly, stocked with what the owner wants to produce, limed if needed, and fertilized correctly, depending on desired goals. Weeds must be controlled, and the fish must be harvested in the correct numbers and on an appropriate timetable to meet the goals of the pond owner or manager.

Read More Here

Natural Resources Webinar Series

July 20th (12:00-1:00 pm): Burning Hardwoods: Why Fire is Necessary for Upland Oaks Register Here

August 3rd (12:00-1:00 pm): Owning a Private Well in Alabama: Is Your Water Well? Register Here

  Financial Management & Workforce Development Dr. Theresa Jones (256) 509-5908

Best Buys

For those that like to find the best deals and are always looking to save money, the Best Buys webinar series is a great opportunity. These webinars will help people discover the items that will offer great discounts during each month.

1st Monday of every Month 11:30 am-12:00 Noon

To Register:

Read More Here

Money Talks! Live

The Money Talks Live webinar series will cover a variety of topics. These 30-minute sessions will provide participants with a wealth of knowledge to help them with their finances.

July 19-Student Loans

August 16-Money Values & Influences

To Register:

Read More Here

  SNAP-Ed & Urban Expanded Food & Nutrition Program Alicia Heathington (256) 293-2537
Della Bramley (256) 737-9386
Picnic Pasta Salad

Cool off with this easy take on pasta salad. Pro tip: kids love to dip. Slice the tomatoes, cucumbers, and bell peppers and dip in ranch dressing for a crunchy snack option. Serves 8.


½ cup fat free Italian dressing
¼ cup onion, diced
2 tomatoes, diced
1 cucumber, diced
1 bell pepper, diced
1 8-ounce package noodles, cooked


Mix ingredients in a large bowl.
Chill and serve.

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Alabama Extension · Suite G21, 424 Blount Avenue · Guntersville, AL 35976 · USA

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