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Ag News and Notes 6-30
Keep lookout for signs of tomato early blight
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Early Blight -- Now that we are nearing the height of gardening season, we are seeing a lot of tomato samples being brought by with early blight.
This disease is caused by the fungi Alternaria tomatophila and A. solani and is first observed on the plants as small, brown lesions mostly on the older foliage. Spots enlarge and concentric rings in a bull’s-eye pattern may be seen in the center of the diseased area. Tissue surrounding the spots may turn yellow.
If high temperature and humidity occur at this time, much of the foliage is killed. Lesions on the stems are similar to those on leaves and sometimes girdle the plant if they occur near the soil line (collar rot). On the fruits, lesions attain considerable size, usually involving nearly the entire fruit. Concentric rings are also present on the fruit. Infected fruit frequently drops.
The easiest prevention and treatment is to use resistant or tolerant tomato varieties, crop rotation, and eradicate weeds. Mulching plants and trimming infected lower branches and leaves are also good measures of prevention to keep the disease from spreading.
Additionally, the use of fungicides, such as Mancozeb, chlorothalonil, or copper fungicides, will help control disease. Please remember that fungicides act as a “coat of armor” for the plant and must be reapplied as per label instructions. As always, please remember to read the product label thoroughly before applying.

QuickBooks training coming to Warren County

UT–TSU Extension Warren County will sponsor a record keeping training session for nurseries and small businesses. The record keeping software taught at the seminar will be QuickBooks Premier 2017. This is also an opportunity for people to learn about QuickBooks Pro since these software programs are similar. 
The training session will be in McMinnville at the TSU Nursery Research Station on July 20-21.  The time will be 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on the first day and finish about noon on the second day. The cost of the training session will be $50 per company (for one representative) and an additional $25 for each additional participant.  For further information or a reservation for the local session, contact the Warren County Extension Service at 473-8484.

Beef Market Outlook

The calf and feeder cattle markets have been exceptionally strong this year, but softness in the calf market was present this week based on Tennessee weekly auction market averages.
The softer prices for freshly weaned calves should not be concerning for producers as prices have strengthened over a two-month period that generally results in softer prices. Prices will likely continue to soften through the fall months as most stocker producers already have pastures stocked for summer grazing resulting in a declining quantity demands for these calves.
There will be producers who continue to purchase a few animals along, especially if they are using feed sources other than pasture, but producers using pasture as the primary feed source are generally cautious during summer months, as drought conditions are only two weeks away at any given time. The fall market for freshly weaned calves will continue to be softer as the quantity of calves supplied seasonally increases.
The decline in prices from summer through fall will largely hinge on weather conditions, as cattle numbers are not expected to put much pressure on calf prices. The yearling cattle market appears to be favorable through the summer and likely through much of the fall. Demand by feedlots for yearling cattle is very strong. Much of the strength in the market is due to the large profits that have been accumulating during the past several months.
Cattle feeders have been pushing cattle out of pens at a rapid pace due to strong profit margins. The rapid pace has resulted in lower cattle weights at harvest and a strong demand to refill pen space. Harvesting the cattle at lighter weights has resulted in some cattle being pulled off feed a little “green,” but cattle feeders have little concern as profits remain strong. Feedlots are current in cattle markets which provides leverage over packers, but as packers continue to pull cattle forward, those feedlots will continue to pull cattle off farms resulting in a strong feeder cattle market.
The Beef Market Outlook was contributed by Dr. Andrew P. Griffith; Livestock Economist with the University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture.