Panhandle Agriculture

Friday Feature: The Riding Cow

For the past 18 months we have shared old farm jokes each week on Panhandle Ag e-news, but the well has about run dry.  Starting in 2017 we will be sharing interesting videos and stories related to agriculture.  If you come across a neat video or story, please send it in so we can share it with our readers.  Send a link to a video or article to:  Friday Features

The Riding Cow

Source – Good News Network

Hannah Simpson riding her family’s dairy cow. Source: Good News Network

When Hannah Simpson was 11-years-old, all she wanted was a horse of her own to ride and train. Her parents, however, insisted that ponies were too expensive, leaving Hannah’s dream unfulfilled.  Her creative solution? She trained one of the cows on their dairy farm to ride instead.  For the last seven years, Hannah has ridden her heifer Lilac through the meadows of the South Island town of Invercargill, in New Zealand.  Lilac has the capacity to jump up to 4.5 feet, but she prefers lazier activities like long bush walks and leisurely swims.

Hannah first climbed onto Lilac’s back on a dare from her brother, although the rider advises against most people attempting to mount a cow – Lilac has apparently bucked her off many times. But because of the duo’s rare bond, the two have defied the rules and become an unusual team.  Hannah now has a horse named Sammy, but she still takes her original steed out to pasture once a week for a ride.

Check out the video to see this amazing cow trainer:

 

 

PG

Author: Doug Mayo – demayo@ufl.edu

Lead Editor for Panhandle Ag e-news – Jackson County Extension Director – Livestock & Forages Agent. My true expertise is with beef cattle and pasture management, but I can assist with information on other livestock species, as well as recreational fish ponds.
http://jackson.ifas.ufl.edu

Doug Mayo

Permanent link to this article: http://franklin.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2017/01/14/friday-feature-the-riding-cow/

Financial and Succession Planning Workshop – January 26

January 26, 2017

10 a.m. – 2 p.m. (lunch provided)

Jackson County Extension
2741 Penn Avenue, Marianna, Florida 32448

Join us for a Financial and Succession Planning Workshop!

Strategic Wealth Group from Tallahassee will be leading the workshop. They have an expertise in business and estate planning and specialize in working with farmers.The program will address some key questions:

  • Are you operating under the most efficient form of ownership (LLC, S-Corp, Partnership, Sole Proprietorship)?

  • Are you planning an ownership transition to the next generation in the future?

  • Do you have a buy/sell agreement to protect your business and family? If so, does the agreement accomplish exactly what you want?

  • Do you have key employees and are you worried they may leave you?

  • Have you taken steps to protect your assets from liability arising from farm or personal accidents?

  • Are you paying more taxes than you have to? 

Workshop Flyer:  NWFL Financial and Succession Planning Workshop Flyer

 

Make plans to attend, and please RSVP to 800.527.0647 by January 20, 2017

 

PG

Author: admin – webmaster@ifas.ufl.edu

admin

Permanent link to this article: http://franklin.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2017/01/14/financial-and-succession-planning-workshop-january-26/

What is the USDA Survey You Got in the Mail in December?

What is the USDA Survey You Got in the Mail in December?

In addition to Christmas cards, farmers and ranchers in Florida received the National Agricultural Classification Survey (NACS) in December 2016’s mail.  This questionnaire will assist the U.S. Department of Agriculture to identify active farms and ranches in the United States, in preparation for the upcoming Ag Census.

The result of the NACS will determine who receives a census of agriculture questionnaire in December 2017. The census of agriculture is conducted every five years by USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS), and is the basis for uniform, comprehensive, and impartial agricultural data representing every county in the nation.

Through the census of agriculture, producers are able to establish the value and importance of agriculture, and influence decisions which will shape the future of the industry in this country. The reporting deadline for the NACS is January 30, 2016.

The census of agriculture is the leading source of data about domestic agriculture. Farm organizations, businesses, government decision-makers, commodity market analysts, news media, researchers, county agents and many others utilize census of agriculture information. It ensures every farm and ranch is represented.

The census of agriculture defines a farm as an entity which produces and sells, or could sell, $ 1,000 or more of agriculture products within a given calendar year. The NACS is required by law, as part of the census of agriculture. Under this same statute all information reported by individuals is protected.

For more information about Ag Classification Survey, and the 2017 Census of Agriculture, visit:

 

PG

Author: Les Harrison – harrisog@ufl.edu

Les Harrison is the UF/IFAS Wakulla County Extension Director, Agriculture and Natural Resources. He works with small and medium sized producers in the Big Bend region of north Florida on a wide range of topics. He has a Master’s of Science Degree in Agricultural Economics from Auburn University and a Bachelor of Science Degree in Journalism from the University of Florida.

Les Harrison

Permanent link to this article: http://franklin.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2017/01/14/what-is-the-usda-survey-you-got-in-the-mail-in-december/

APHIS Confirms New World Screwworm in Dade County Dog

APHIS Confirms New World Screwworm in Dade County Dog

Source: 

Screwworm larvae. Source: Foreign Animal Diseases “The Grey Book” USAHA

The United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) confirmed the presence of New World screwworm (Cochliomyia hominivorax) in a stray dog near Homestead, Florida. The dog was isolated and his infested wounds were treated. Federal and state officials have started active surveillance in the area.

This is the first confirmed case on Florida’s mainland. Screwworm was first confirmed on October 3, 2016 in Key deer from National Key Deer Refuge on Big Pine Key, Florida. This initial presence of screwworm was the first local detection in the United States in more than 30 years and Florida’s Commissioner of Agriculture, Adam Putnam declared an agricultural state of emergency in Monroe County, Florida.

Since October, 13 Keys had known infestations mostly in the key deer population, with five confirmed infestations in domestic animals. Animal health and wildlife officials at the state and federal levels have been working aggressively to eradicate this pest. Extensive response efforts have included fly assessments to determine the extent of the infestation, release of sterile flies to prevent reproduction and disease surveillance to look for additional cases in animals. Officials have received significantly fewer reports of adult screwworm flies in the area and fewer cases of infected Key deer. To date, fly assessments have been conducted on 40 Keys. USDA has released over 80 million sterile flies from 25 ground release sites on twelve islands and the city of Marathon. The initial epidemiology report on the Florida Keys infestation may be viewed at https://www.aphis.usda.gov/stakeholders/downloads/2017/nws-epi-report.pdf.

Life cycle of New World Screwworm from Fernandez and White, 2010. Investigation into Introduction of New World Screwworm into Florida Keys

Residents who have warm-blooded animals (pets, livestock, etc.) should watch their animals carefully. Florida residents should report any potential cases to 1-800-HELP-FLA (1-800-435-7352) or non-Florida residents should call (850) 410-3800.  Visitors to the area should ensure any pets that are with them are also checked, in order to prevent the spread of this infestation.

While human cases of New World screwworm are rare, they have occurred, and public health officials are involved in the response. No human cases have been reported in Florida. For more information about this disease in humans, please contact your local public health department. Using fly repellents and keeping skin wounds clean and protected from flies can help prevent infection with screwworm in both people and animals.

New World screwworm are fly larvae (maggots) that can infest livestock and other warm-blooded animals, including people. They most often enter an animal through an open wound and feed on the animal’s living flesh. While they can fly much farther under ideal conditions, adult flies generally do not travel more than a couple of miles if there are suitable host animals in the area. New World screwworm is more likely to spread long distances when infested animals move to new areas and carry the pest there.

In the 1950s, USDA developed a new method to help eradicate screwworm using a form of biological control, called the sterile insect technique, which releases infertile flies in infested areas. When they mate with wild females, no offspring result. With fewer fertile mates available in each succeeding generation, the fly, in essence, breeds itself out of existence.  USDA used this technique to eradicate screwworm from the U.S. and worked with other countries in Central America and the Caribbean to eradicate it there as well. Today, USDA and its partners maintain a permanent sterile fly barrier at the Darien Gap between Panama and Colombia to prevent the establishment of any screwworm flies that enter from South America.

For more information on this subject, use the following links:

USDA Confirms Screwworms in the Florida Keys

Investigation into Introduction of New World Screwworm into Florida Keys

APHIS New World Screwworm Fact-sheet

 

PG

Author: admin – webmaster@ifas.ufl.edu

admin

Permanent link to this article: http://franklin.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2017/01/13/aphis-confirms-new-world-screwworm-in-dade-county-dog/

Evaluation of ESN Controlled Release Fertilizer for Florida Corn Production

Environmentally Smart Nitrogen (ESN) corn trial at the UF/IFAS West Florida Research and Education Center in Jay, FL. Photo: Mike Mulvaney

Dr. Michael J. Mulvaney, Cropping Systems Specialist, WFREC, Jay, FL

Now is the time to start thinking about nitrogen (N) management strategies for corn production in the Panhandle.  This is a follow-up to the March 2016 article:  Environmentally Smart Nitrogen (ESN) as a Controlled-release Nitrogen source for Cotton, or ESN for cotton production.  Researchers now have data on the use of ESN for corn production in Florida.

ESN is a polymer-coated urea formulated as 44-0-0. The reason it contains 2% less N than urea (which is 46-0-0) is due to the weight of the polymer coating.  ESN is commercially available in bulk in some parts of the Panhandle.  Many growers blend ESN with urea, commonly as a 50-50 mix, with the idea that some N is immediately available, while the rest will release slowly over time to “spoon feed” the crop.

How slowly does ESN release N?

The release of N from ESN is temperature dependent under controlled conditions.  That is, the higher the temperature, the faster the release.  So, it stands to reason that ESN release should be slower at corn pre-plant as compared to corn sidedress application.  Likewise, we should see different N release if we broadcast as compared to incorporating ESN.  UF Researchers took this out of the lab, and measured the release rates under field conditions at Jay and Citra, FL during the 2015 and 2016 growing seasons.

The Florida data showed that ESN releases 50% N in approximately 2-5 weeks, with broadcast applications releasing N slower than incorporated ESN.

But does it make a difference in yield?

We used different ESN:urea blends at different times (all pre-plant, or 25% N pre-plant with 75% N sidedress) under corn production at two sites across the Panhandle during 2015 and 2016.  These corn trials were all fertilized at 183 lbs N/ac (except the control, of course) – the only differences were in how it was applied.

Figure 1. Corn grain yields using various ESN:urea blends, applied either all pre-plant or using a 25% N pre-plant, 75% N sidedress split application. 183 lbs N/ac were applied to all plots except the control.

Yield differences were not statistically significant among any of the application treatments.

Cost

Global urea prices are near 5-year lows, but are about the same price as last year (Figure 2).  Locally sourced urea in March of 2016 was selling at $ 380/ton, and ESN was $ 600/ton.  That’s a 65% increase per unit of N for ESN over urea.  March 2015 prices were $ 560/ton urea and $ 687/ton ESN, an increase of 28% per unit of N over urea.  It is expected that prices in March 2017 will be slightly higher those in March 2016.

Figure 2. Global urea prices over the past five years.

Break even cost

If corn prices are $ 3.60/bushel, and 200 lbs N were applied, you would need a 15 bu/ac yield increase to break even for the additional cost of ESN over urea.  If only half of the N was applied as ESN, a 7.5 bu/ac yield increase would be needed to break even.

Summary

During corn production in the Florida Panhandle, 50% of N release can be expected in 2-5 weeks, depending on timing and placement. Although controlled release of N may lead to increased N use efficiency, there was no evidence of significant yield differences among blends, or timing of applications when applied at 183 lbs N/ac at either Jay, FL (a sandy loam) or Citra, FL (sand).

Advantages over urea:

  • It may limit the opportunity for N loss through volatilization, which may be useful under certain conditions where urea-N loss can be high (warm, moist, broadcast conditions). Research on N volatilization from ESN is underway through Dr. Cheryl Mackowiak’s program.
  • It stores better than urea. It won’t gum up unless prills are broken.

Disadvantages compared to urea:

  • It currently costs 65% more per unit of N than urea.
  • In a heavy rainfall, broadcast ESN can be pushed into low spots in the immediate area. You can incorporate ESN to help avoid this, particularly if you are on a slope.
  • ESN should be handled with reasonable care. Damaged prills are as good as urea but considerably more expensive. When the front-end loader scoops from the bottom of the pile, significant damage can occur to the polymer coating.  Also, broadcast applications can damage prills with contact to spreader fins.  Incorporation of ESN may damage prills as well, which may explain why incorporated N release was faster than broadcast N release.

    ESN prills washed into localized low spots after a heavy rain in 2016. Photo: Mike Mulvaney

PG

Author: Michael Mulvaney – m.mulvaney@ufl.edu

Cropping Systems Specialist, University of Florida, West Florida Research and Education Center, Jay, FL. Follow me @TheDirtDude
http://wfrec.ifas.ufl.edu/people/faculty/dr-michael-mulvaney/

Michael Mulvaney

Permanent link to this article: http://franklin.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2017/01/13/evaluation-of-esn-controlled-release-fertilizer-for-florida-corn-production/

Bull Buying – Focus on Value Not Just Price

Bull Buying – Focus on Value Not Just Price

Selecting the right bulls are a key component to the success of any cattle operation. When market conditions are less than ideal focus on finding the right bull, not necessarily the cheapest bull.  Photo Credit: Mark Mauldin

2017 is shaping up to be another year of tight margins for cattle producers. As much as ranchers would like to limit expenses during market downturns, some expenditures can’t be postponed. Bulls fall into this category.  The necessity of having an adequate number of bulls goes without saying. When bull buying time and lackluster market conditions coincide there are a few things to keep in mind that can help prevent the situation from having a negative impact on your operation.

When making purchasing decisions, try to consider value over price. Cutting corners rarely results in a positive outcome in the long run. Buying an inferior quality bull now might save you a few dollars in initial cash outlay, but will likely cost you substantially more over the long run than purchasing a quality animal would have.  Bear in mind that the registered cattle market will also be softer this year, although the purebred market typically lags behind the movement of the commercial cattle prices.

The value associated with a bull takes many forms. One of the first forms that can go by the wayside, when buyers are thinking only about price, is the opportunity for risk management and improved calf performance that comes with purchasing a bull with known EPD values. Expected Progeny Differences (EPDs) are figures that predict the performance of a bull’s calves. The science and math behind EPDs can be mind boggling, but the application of the information is fairly straightforward and should be utilized by all cattle producers. The predictive power of EPDs has significant value because it enables bull buyers to stay away from bulls whose calves have a genetic propensity towards negative traits (ie. higher birth weights), and focus on bulls whose calves will be more likely to exhibit positive traits (ie. higher weaning weights).

Purchasing a bull without data is a risk not worth taking. Think about the cost of a calf lost due to calving difficulties, or the earning potential given up by selecting a bull whose calves have substandard growth potential. Remember, a bull will sire numerous calves over his productive lifetime, so even small advantages in performance can have substantial cumulative effects. Why would you give up the opportunity to make an informed selection decision by buying a bull without data?

Assuming you are planning on utilizing performance data in your bull selection process (if not, read the previous paragraphs again), there are some basic steps that can be taken to maximize the value associated with your decision.

Step 1) Identify the type of production system in which the bull will be utilized, and what traits are most economically significant in that type of system. How will the bull’s progeny be marketed or utilized? If all progeny are sold at weaning, the list of significant traits are pretty short: calving ease and weaning weight. If heifers sired by the bull are going to be kept the list gets much longer, as all of the maternal characteristics come into play. If calves are marketed based on carcass merit, then even more factors become economically significant. Beware of single trait selection, but also recognize that you also can’t effectively select for all traits simultaneously. Focus your selection pressure on traits with the largest return on investment.

Step 2) Identify the selection tools available that address these traits. By this point in the process a decision will have to be made regarding which breed of bull you are looking for (this can be a lengthy conversation in and of itself), because the specific resources available will differ from breed to breed. There are specific EPDs that are linked to many economically significant traits. These EPDs are an excellent place to start, but when many traits are being considered simultaneously a simpler technique is to utilize Economic Selection Indices. These indices, which are expressed as $ values, incorporate the economic value of multiple EPDs. Because Economic Selection Indices consider values based on economic significance, it is crucial that bull buyers utilize an index that accurately reflects their operation.

From: Beef Cattle Economic Selection Indices By: Bob Weaber, Kansas State University
http://articles.extension.org/pages/73372/beef-cattle-economic-selection-indices

Step 3) Utilize the tools to select bulls that are the most likely to provide the greatest value to your operation. Effectively using EPDs and Indices, like any other tool, takes some practice and basic understanding. To maximize the effectiveness of the selection tools be sure you are familiar with breed averages, and percentile breakdowns for various traits. (See list below)  This will help you better understand how well the bulls you are considering stack-up within the breed. EPD accuracy (possible change), and the units of measure are also important to keep in mind to help determine what constitutes a meaningful difference between individual bulls.

Links to Breed Averages and Percentile Rankings

Following these steps should help maximize the value of your bull purchase. Price will be a factor in any purchasing decision, and rightfully so, but a bull that does not fit your system and limits your ability to generate return on investment is never a good value, regardless of the price. When financial conditions are tight it is more important than ever to limit risk and make well-informed management decisions based on a plan. When it comes to buying bulls, this means utilizing all available information, and finding a bull that provides real value to your operation.

For more information regarding any of the topics mentioned in this article contact your county’s UF/IFAS Agriculture Extension Agent.  Also, don’t forget about the Florida Bull Test Sale on January 21, 2017, which is an excellent opportunity to find a bull that can bring value to your operation.

 

PG

Author: Mark Mauldin – mdm83@ufl.edu

I am the Agriculture and Natural Resources agent in Washington County. My program areas include livestock and forage, row crops, and pond management.
http://washington.ifas.ufl.edu

Mark Mauldin

Permanent link to this article: http://franklin.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2017/01/13/bull-buying-focus-on-value-not-just-price/

December Weather Summary and January Outlook

National Weather Service estimates of rainfall across the Panhandle in December 2016.

December brought quite a change from the previous months of drought.  The National Weather Service estimates for rainfall ranged from isolated locations with over 15″ (purple), large regions with over 10″ (hot pink), to less than 4″ along the coast of Gulf, Franklin, Wakulla and Jefferson Counties (tan and yellow).

The six Florida Automated Weather Network (FAWN) stations also documented the range in rainfall in December, from a low of only 3.3″ in Carrabelle to over 12″ in Marianna and DeFuniak.  All six FAWN stations recorded above historic average for the month of December.  For the year, the wettest location was at the station in Defuniak, with 63.1″ in 2016.  The driest location was at Carrabelle with only 48.4″ for the year.  Certainly the rainfall was not uniform in 2016 with Monticello station recording 4.8″ above historic average, while the other five locations were below average for the year.  The Carrabelle location was unusually dry, 7.4″ below historic average for annual rainfall.

Annual averages don’t tell the whole story.  It is not just how much falls in total, but when it comes.  The chart above shows how three months:  March, August, and December made up for the shortfalls the rest of the year at the Marianna location.  For the record it was an average year of 54″ of rain, but July, October and November were serious drought months.

The high rainfall totals in December did ease the drought through the Panhandle, but not uniformly.  Calhoun, Gulf, Liberty, Bay and Leon, as well as portions of Escambia and Jefferson Counties are still listed in the Moderate Drought category.  This may change in the weeks ahead with all of the rain in early January.

Temperatures did continue to cool off from November to December. The average air temperature dropped 4° from 61° to 57° in December, and the average soil temperate dropped 8°, from 69 down to 61.

January Outlook

The Climate Predication Center’s (CPC) outlook for January calls for warmer and wetter than average.  It does seem as if La Niña has lost some of its grip, which should mean continued improvement of drought conditions, at least in the Panhandle.

The CPC is expecting the drought conditions to continue to improve in the Panhandle region, but not necessarily for the rest of Florida.

 

PG

Author: Doug Mayo – demayo@ufl.edu

Lead Editor for Panhandle Ag e-news – Jackson County Extension Director – Livestock & Forages Agent. My true expertise is with beef cattle and pasture management, but I can assist with information on other livestock species, as well as recreational fish ponds.
http://jackson.ifas.ufl.edu

Doug Mayo

Permanent link to this article: http://franklin.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2017/01/07/december-weather-summary-and-january-outlook/

Farm Food Safety Certification Training – February 13

A Produce Safety Alliance (PSA) Grower Training is scheduled for Monday, February 13 at the Jackson County Extension Office in Marianna, FL.  The PSA Grower Training curriculum is approved by the FDA to meet the requirements of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) Produce Safety Rule.

Who Should Attend? – Fruit and vegetable growers with farms that have an annual value of produce sold (based on a three year average) of $ 25,000 (adjusted for inflation) or more.

Benefits to Attending – The course will cover the requirements of the FSMA produce safety rule.  It will also cover key Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs) and Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) that are necessary in a farm food safety plan.

Cost to Attend – The fee for the training is $ 150.  For attendees who are members of the Florida Fruit & Vegetable Association (FFVA), a discounted rate of $ 99 is available.  (Not sure if you’re a member?  Contact Sonia Tighe at 321-214-5245 or sonia.tighe@ffva.com).  Registration fee includes the training materials, lunch, refreshments, and a Certificate of Course Attendance that complies with the training requirements of FSMA.

Registration

Registration Deadline is February 6, 2017

PSA TRAINING AGENDA

  • 8:30 Registration and Refreshments
  • 9:00 Welcome and Introductions
  • 9:15 Module 1: Introduction to Produce Safety
  • 10:00 Module 2: Worker Health, Hygiene, and Training
  • 11:00 Break
  • 11:15 Module 3: Soil Amendments
  • 12:00 Module 4: Wildlife, Domesticated Animals, and Land Use
  • 12:45 Lunch
  • 1:30 Module 5: Agricultural Water Part 1: Production Water
  • 2:15 Part 2: Postharvest Water
  • 3:15 Break
  • 3:30 Module 6: Postharvest Handling and Sanitation
  • 4:30 Module 7: How to Develop a Farm Food Safety Plan
  • 5:00 Final Questions and Evaluations

PG

Author: Matt Lollar – mlollar@ufl.edu

Matt Lollar is the Jackson County Horticulture Agent. He has 5 years of experience with University of Florida/IFAS Extension and he began his career in Sanford, FL as the Seminole County Horticulture Agent. Matt is originally from Belle Fontaine, AL. He earned his MS and BS degrees in Horticulture Production from Auburn University.

Matt Lollar

Permanent link to this article: http://franklin.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2017/01/07/farm-food-safety-certification-training-february-13/

Panhandle Ag e-News 2016 Reader’s Choice Awards

The Panhandle Ag e-news project began in April of 2012.  Over the past five years,  1,131 articles have been published that are searchable by topic area, keyword, author, or by using the search engine box provided on the site.  The Panhandle Agriculture Extension Team is made up of 40 county agents and specialists serving commercial agriculture in Northwest Florida.  This faculty team contributed articles on a weekly basis to provide educational information to farmers and ranchers in the region related to farm management, pest management, best management practice recommendations, as well as announcements for upcoming educational events.  The electronic newsletter is made up of four parts:  a WordPress website that allows numerous authors to add content, weekly notifications via email using the Subscription Management System (SMS), as well as Facebook and Twitter accounts which provide direct links to newly published articles for subscribers.

2016 was an even more successful year for Panhandle Ag e-News.  18 county agents and 18 state specialists contributed 304 articles in 2016, that were posted to the website, with links shared through Facebook and twitter accounts. 46 issues of the electronic newsletter were emailed to 3,775 subscribers.  The newsletters, along with Facebook and twitter posts generated 167,881 page views (459/day) in 2016.  This represented a 26% increase in subscribers from the previous year, and a 52% increase in readership as compared to 2015. In 2016, the Facebook followers grew 240% from 318 to 1,084, and the number of twitter followers grew 30% from 350 to 456 at the end of the year.

There were quite a number of the articles that were very popular, but there were some articles that really stood out as favorites.  The following are the 30 most read articles, and the 10 most popular jokes published in 2016:

1st Place

Hay Bale Size Really Does Matter

The 2016 Reader’s Choice Award goes to an article written by Matt Hersom, UF/IFAS Beef Extension Specialist.  Matt’s article that discussed the difference in weight of round bales of varying dimension and the numbers of bales need to feed 25 cows per week.  His article was a smash hit on social media, because it was relevant to both hay producers and hay buyers, and was read 10,169 times in 2016.

2nd Place

What Happened to Your Pasture?

The runner up this year was an article written by Mark Mauldin, Washington County Ag Agent.  Mark’s article discussed issues that cause pastures to decline to the point they need to be renovated.  His article was read 1,409 times because he tackled such an intriguing topic.

3rd Place

Enhancing the Market Value of Your Next Calf Crop

The third most read article was written by Kalyn Waters, Holmes County Extension Director.  Kalyn captured some great advice to share from Ed Neel, Dothan Livestock Market on basic techniques to get more value from calves sold through a livestock market.  Her article was read 974 times.

Honorable Mention

USDA Confirms Screwworms in the Florida Keys

The fourth most popular article was written by Doug Mayo, Jackson County Extension Director.  Doug’s article shared the disturbing reports of screw worms that are infesting the native deer population in the Florida Keys.  This article was read 949 times.

The other most read articles, listed in order of popularity, are:

10 Most popular Friday Funnies

  1. Top 20 Cow One-liners – 1,707 page views
  2. You Might be a Farmer – 509
  3. Cowboy Math – 448
  4. Couple Sex – 429
  5. Football Rivalry Insults – 396
  6. The Cow Salesman – 353
  7. English is a Crazy Language – 336
  8. The Guard Mule – 309
  9. The Lifesaving Lie – 309
  10. Friday Not so Funny – 307

These articles were ranked based on the number of times readers opened the link to each page in 2016.  The editors and authors would love to hear your feedback on the articles that were most helpful to you.  Use the comment box below to share what articles, or types of articles you got the most benefit from this past year.

 

PG

Author: Doug Mayo – demayo@ufl.edu

Lead Editor for Panhandle Ag e-news – Jackson County Extension Director – Livestock & Forages Agent. My true expertise is with beef cattle and pasture management, but I can assist with information on other livestock species, as well as recreational fish ponds.
http://jackson.ifas.ufl.edu

Doug Mayo

Permanent link to this article: http://franklin.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2017/01/07/panhandle-ag-e-news-2016-readers-choice-awards/

So You Want to be a Farmer? Workshop Series – February 7

So You Want to be a Farmer? Workshop Series  – February 7

Did you know that Florida’s farmers are an aging group, averaging 57 years in 2002 and 59.8 years in 2012? Also, in Florida, there was an 8% decrease in the number of farms and a 26% decrease in acres of cropland from 2002 to 2012.

Additionally, agriculture professionals are actually in high demand. There is an estimated 60,000 highly skilled jobs in agriculture available annually, but only about half of these positions are being filled by graduates with agriculture related degrees. These statistics highlight the importance of recruiting a younger farmer workforce and assisting new farmers with the many challenges they will face.

This is why the UF/IFAS Extension Panhandle Agriculture Extension Team is hosting a So You Want to be a Farmer? Workshop Series on topics designed for beginning or novice farmers.

There’s a lot to know if you want to get into this business! This series aims to introduce new farmers to innovative and environmentally safe production practices, concepts of soil and water management, integrated pest management, how to grow for a farmers’ market, and financial management.

If you are interested in attending, please register and pay for the series on the So You Want to be a Farmer? Eventbrite page.

You can attend any number of the sessions you would like – please note the various session locations.

Further details below:

PG

Author: Molly Jameson – mjameson@ufl.edu

Molly Jameson

Permanent link to this article: http://franklin.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2017/01/07/so-you-want-to-be-a-farmer-workshop-series-february-7/

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