Panhandle Agriculture

2017 NFREC Beef & Forage Day – September 15

2017 NFREC Beef & Forage Day – September 15

Friday, September 15, 2017

UF/IFAS NFREC Beef Research Unit
(One mile west of Greenwood, FL on Hwy 162)

Cattle producers are invited to visit the UF/IFAS North Florida Research and Education Center, near Marianna, for a Beef and Forage Field Day to be held at the beef Research Unit on Friday, September 15.  The festivities get started at 8:00 AM central with registration and time to visit with sponsoring exhibitors.  At 9:00 AM, a tour rotation will begin on covered trailers to visit seven demonstration sites.  The registration fee for the event is $ 10 per person and includes lunch and water that will be provided on each trailer.

Schedule of events (CDT):

8:00AM    Exhibitors and Registration (Registration fee – $ 10)

9:00AM   Tour Starts

  • Integrating rhizoma peanut into grazing systems
    Jose Dubeux, UF/IFAS Forage Specialist
  • Brunswick Grass Overview
    Ann Blount, UF Forage Breeder
  • Improving Nitrogen Efficiency in Soil Systems
    Cheryl Mackowiak, UF/IFAS Soils Specialist & Sunny Liao, UF Soil Microbial Ecology Specialist
  • Weed Walk: Identification and Control
    Brent Sellers, UF/IFAS Specialist & Mark Mauldin, UF/IFAS Extension Washington County Agent
  • Balancing Hay Diets with Commodities
    Nicolas DiLorenzo, UF/IFAS Beef Specialist & Doug Mayo, UF/IFAS Jackson Co Extension Director
  • Integrating EPDs with Visual Appraisal for Bull Selection
    Kalyn Waters, UF/IFAS Extension Holmes County Director
  • Carcass Evaluation for Todays Beef Producers
    Dr. Chad Carr, UF/IFAS Meat Extension Specialist

12:30PM Lunch (Lunch and refreshments will be provided)

1:30PM   Optional Forage Variety Demonstration Tour
Ann Blount, UF/IFAS Forage Breeder and Jose Dubeux, UF/IFAS Forage Specialist, Cheryl Mackowiak, UF/IFAS Soils Specialist

2:30PM   Adjourn

For more information call 850-526-1613 or visit the UF/IFAS NFREC website

Download the printer friendly flyer to share with a friend, or to hang up as a reminder:

NFREC Beef & Forage Field Day 2017


Author: ndilorenzo –


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July Florida Cattle Market Price Watch

July Florida Cattle Market Price Watch

The August 2017 Feeder Cattle futures contract increased by $ 0.08/cwt. during July. Based on this futures price increase, August Feeder Cattle revenues increased by approximately $ 0.60/head ($ 0.08/cwt. * 7.5 cwt.) on a 750-pound feeder steer which amounts to $ 40.00/truckload (50,000 lbs.). The August Feeder Cattle futures contract high, contract low, and price range since September 2016 are $ 160.10, $ 109.90, and $ 50.20/cwt., respectively. The price range of $ 50.20/cwt. on a 750-pound feeder steer totals $ 376.50/head and $ 25,100.00/truckload.

  1. The breakeven price was estimated to be $ 722.10/hd. or $ 131.29/cwt. ($ 722.10/hd. divided by 5.50 cwt.). The breakeven price includes production costs of $ 705/hd. and death loss of $ 17.10/hd.
  2. The price objective was estimated to be $ 872.10/hd. or $ 158.56/cwt. ($ 872.10/hd. divided by 5.50 cwt.). The price objective includes production costs of $ 705/hd., death loss ($ 17.10/hd.), family living withdrawal ($ 100/hd.), and growth capital/retirement ($ 50/hd.).
  3. The expected cash price is equal to the daily August 2017 Feeder Cattle futures closing price plus an expected August 2017 South Florida 550 lb. Feeder Calf Basis of $ 2/cwt.



Author: Chris Prevatt –

Chris Prevatt

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Pecan Field Day – September 12 – Monticello

Pecan Field Day – September 12 – Monticello

Harvest time is just around the corner for Florida pecan growers. Producers will meet in Monticello on Tuesday, September 12, 2017 for the annual field day and Pecan Growers’ Association meeting. If you’re a pecan grower, or just considering it, the morning’s topics and speakers will be a great opportunity to learn more about the pecan business. The year’s event features guest speakers from the University of Florida, the University of Georgia, and special guest Randy Hudson from Hudson Pecan Company in Ocilla, GA. Randy will give a first-hand look of the future of the pecan industry from an international perspective.

This is free event for Florida Pecan Growers’ Association members, and $ 10 for non-members. You will be able to become a member during event registration. We do ask that you call the Jackson County Extension Office to RSVP at 850-482-9620 or email Matt Lollar at, so we know how many to expect for lunch.

Pecan tree grove in North Florida. UF/IFAS Photo: Thomas Wright.

Schedule (Eastern Time)

9:00 – Registration Opens

9:15 – Welcome – Matt Lollar, UF/IFAS Extension, Jackson County

9:20 – Tree Spacing & Orchard Layout – Matt Lollar, UF/IFAS Extension, Jackson County

9:50 – Stink Bug Management – Russ Mizell, UF/IFAS Entomologist

10:20 – Pecan Scab – We’re winning the battle, but will we win the war? – Tim Brenneman, UGA Plant Pathology

10:50 – New Pecan Cultivars – Patrick Conner, UGA Plant Breeding

11:20 – Future of the Pecan Industry – Randy Hudson, CEO Hudson Pecan Company, Ocilla, GA

11:50 – Travel to Simpson Nurseries – 52 Nacoosa Rd, Monticello, FL

12:10 – Tour of Simpson Nurseries & Lunch (Included with registration or membership.)

1:00 – Annual Meeting, Florida Pecan Growers’ Association  

Pesticide Applicator CEUs will be available for field day participants.


Author: Matt Lollar –

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

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July Weather Summary and August Outlook

July Weather Summary and August Outlook

National Weather Service estimates of rainfall in July 2017 across the Panhandle.


July was more typical than the previous month with scattered summer showers that were anything but uniform.  For the most part, coastal areas received higher totals than further inland.  While there were isolated areas in hot pink that received over 10″ for the month, most of the region ranged from 3-8″.

The six Florida Automated Weather Network (FAWN) stations also recorded considerable variation in rainfall totals.  The wettest location was in Marianna, with 6.8″, while only 2.5″ were recorded in Jay.  The Marianna station was the only one that recorded above historic average for the location in July.  For the year, the six station average of 35.5″ is right at the historic average for all six locations.  Only the Monticello and Quincy stations have recorded less than historic average through the first seven months.  The Jay station still has the highest yearly total with 42.9″, and the Monticello station the lowest total of only 26.9″.


Temperatures certainly heated up in July with five days reaching a high of 94° (July 4,5,6,20,& 21).  The cold front that passed through at the close of the month cooled things off with the low of 67° on July 31.  The average air temperature rose three degrees from 77° in June to 80° in July, and the average soil temperature rose five degrees from 82° to 87°.

For a daily summary of temperatures and rainfall, use the following link: 17 Jan-July Jackson County Weather Summary

August Outlook

The Climate Prediction Center (CPC) is expecting the warming trend to continue in August with higher than normal temperatures for this region.  Normal rainfall is expected for the month.

ENSO Alert

CPC forecasters are still expecting a neutral winter, but there is still a chance of an El Nino (35-40%).  It is still too early to call it yet, so we will have to wait to find out.  At this point, farmers and ranchers should plan on a normal rainfall for their cool-season crops.

Neutral conditions are present. Equatorial sea surface temperatures (SSTs) are near-to-above average across the central and east-central Pacific Ocean. ENSO-Neutral is favored (50 to ~55% chance) into the Northern Hemisphere winter 2017-18.  Climate Prediction Center

Author: Doug Mayo –

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.

Doug Mayo

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Weed of the Week: Showy Crotalaria

Weed of the Week: Showy Crotalaria

Showy crotalaria is a common weed in the Panhandle that is toxic to livestock.  Photo credit: Doug Mayo

Commonly known as Showy Rattlebox, Showy Crotalaria is a fast growing summer annual that germinates in early spring and flowers in late summer. As a member of the legume family, it was brought to the United States to be used as a cover crop to help set nitrogen in dry sandy soils. Showy Crotalaria is toxic to livestock, containing high levels of alkaloids, which commonly cause issues in cattle and horses in the southeastern states.

For help to identify weeds or developing a control plan for your operation, please contact your county extension agent. 

For more information on this topic please see the following UF/IFAS Publication: Weed Snapshot: Showy Crotalaria


Author: Kalyn Waters –

Holmes County Extension Director working in the areas of Agricultural Management in row crop, natural resources, livestock and forage production. Specialized in Beef Cattle Production in the area of reproductive, nutritional and finical management.

Kalyn Waters

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Protecting Pollinators from Pesticides: Everyone Plays a Part

Protecting Pollinators from Pesticides: Everyone Plays a Part

Cotton is largely self-pollinating but attractive to bees. Pollination by bees can increase seed set per boll. Photo by Judy Biss


On January 12, 2017, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released its final Policy to Mitigate the Acute Risk to Bees from Pesticide Products.  This policy outlines EPA’s label statements designed to mitigate acute risks to bees from pesticides.  The recent UF/IFAS publication, Pesticide Labeling: Protection of Pollinators, provides an in-depth look at the new EPA policy.  This article provides an overview of the ways beekeepers, agricultural producers, and state and federal agencies all play an important role in sustaining this critical component of food production.

Why is Pollinator Protection Important?

Pollinator Protection was formally recognized at the federal level in 2014 when the President of the United States signed an official memorandum entitled: Creating a Federal Strategy to Promote the Health of Honey Bees and Other Pollinators  which outlines specific steps needed to increase and improve pollinator habitat. These steps are geared towards protecting and restoring populations of not only honey bees, but native bees, birds, bats, and butterflies all of which are vital to our nation’s economy, food production, and environmental health.

The western honey bee is conceivably the most important pollinator in American agricultural landscapes. The honey bee is credited with approximately 85% of the pollinating activity necessary to supply about one-quarter to one-third of the nation’s food supply. Over 50 major crops in the United States and at least 13 in Florida either depend on honey bees for pollination or produce more abundantly when honey bees are plentiful. Rental of honey bee colonies for pollination purposes is a highly demanded service and a viable component of commercial beekeeping and agriculture. Bee colonies are moved extensively across the country for use in multiple crops every year. There are also over 3,000 registered beekeepers in Florida, managing a total of more than 400,000 honey bee colonies and producing between 10–20 million pounds of honey annually.”  UF/IFAS publication Minimizing Honey Bee Exposure to Pesticides

The Bee Informed Partnership nationwide, estimates of the total economic value of honey bee pollination services range between $ 10 and $ 15 billion annually.  Other bee species are important pollinators as well.

“Growers also use other managed bees species, such as the bumble bee to provide field and greenhouse crop pollination services. Additionally, there are more than 315 species of wild/unmanaged bees in Florida that play a role in the pollination of agricultural crops and natural and managed landscapes. These include mining bees, mason bees, sweat bees, leafcutter bees, feral honey bees, and carpenter bees, among others.”  UF/IFAS Publication Minimizing Honey Bee Exposure to Pesticides

How do pesticides harm bees and other pollinators?

There are a number of pesticides approved for use on our agricultural crops.  These pesticides are made up of different active ingredients designed to target different pest insects in a number of different crops.  The effects of these pesticide products on bees varies from having no effect, to acute harm, quickly killing individual bees or entire colonies, to chronic and even sublethal effects, leading to long term physiological or behavioral impairment and eventual death.  It is suspected that exposure to pesticides is one of the many environmental and biological factors causing elevated bee colony losses each year.

How can Beekeepers and Pesticide Applicators protect Pollinators?

There are a number of best management practices that both beekeepers and pesticide applicators can adopt to minimize or eliminate harm to both managed and wild pollinating insects.  The following recommendations were provided in the UF/IFAS publication, Minimizing Honey Bee Exposure to Pesticides:

Recommendations for Beekeepers:

  • Develop and maintain one-on-one communication with growers whose crops your bees are pollinating, or from which they gather nectar for honey production.
  • Work with growers to reach written agreements providing permission to place hives close to crops for honey production, or for crop pollination. (see referenced publication for further detail).
  • Stay in touch with the grower; clear and regular communication is the best way to avoid pesticide problems.
  • Beekeepers should take the time, upon disclosure of the pesticides to be used, to understand the label and potential hazards to bees.
  • Beekeepers should advise the grower immediately if they observe bee kills or any unusual bee conditions.
  • Do not place bees in crops without a written agreement to do so from the grower.
  • When granted permission to keep hives in or by a crop, do not “sublet” and allow other beekeepers to bring in their hives.
  • Do not assume that because you have worked with a grower before, you can bring your hives in again without written permission.
  • Beekeepers should be available and ready to be on location to work with the grower as needs may arise.
  • Keep the grower informed of hive locations, status, and concerns, and be willing to remove hives promptly if the need arises. If a pesticide application must occur while the bees are on site, the beekeeper should be willing and able to move the bees to the agreed-upon holding zone, or out of the area altogether.
  • Beekeepers should strive to understand the farm and crop dynamics of their chosen site.
  • Hives should be escorted on and off the target bloom appropriately, so that target-pests can be treated during non-bloom times without risking damage to colonies.
  • Follow regulations to register as a beekeeper with FDACS-DPI (Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services – Division of Plant Industry)
  • Register hive locations with the “FDACS-DPI “Bee Locator website. Ensure that the information is accurate and kept current. Also, the website can be used to locate alternative bee forage.
  • Communicate with fellow beekeepers working in the area of the apiary to share information, facilitate communication with growers, encourage adoption of recommendations, facilitate movement of hives, and identify holding locations for temporary foraging.
  • Be a good partner with growers. Be flexible and work to develop a long-standing relationship.
  • If producing honey, reward growers who work with you. Consider financial remuneration or in-kind rewards.
  • Recognize an apiary’s total potential foraging area and inform neighboring growers within the area of the presence of the colonies. Additional knowledge of potential pesticide exposure within the foraging area would be of benefit.

Recommendations for Pesticide Applicators:

  • Pesticide applicators are required to follow the label. The label is the law, and it was written in such a way to minimize product impact on pollinators.
  • Consult the FDACS-Division of Plant Industry (DPI) geographic information system (GIS) tool to identify beekeepers with hives in your area.
  • Use pesticides only when needed.
  • Develop a pest management plan that considers the likelihood of bees foraging during bloom.
  • Do not contaminate water.
  • Consider less toxic compounds.
  • Consider less toxic formulations.
  • Before treating a field with pesticides, determine the presence of other blooming plants and weeds (such as clover, Spanish needle, etc.) that might attract bees. In some instances, bees have been killed even though the crop being sprayed was not in bloom
  • Know your farm and your crop. Understanding your crop and its pollination requirements might be the best tactic in deciding how to use pesticides and minimize the exposure to pesticides of non-target pollinators likely to be visiting your crop site and nearby areas.
  • Notify beekeepers. If beekeepers are notified in advance of application, colonies can be moved away from the treatment area. Florida law requires every apiary or bee yard to be plainly marked with the owner’s name, address, and telephone number.
  • Agreements and notification. Cooperation between applicators, growers, beekeepers, Extension workers, and government officials is necessary to control problem crop pests and protect pollinators from pesticide exposure.

What are some of EPA’s Activities to Protect Pollinators?

Below are a few of EPA’s actions to protect pollinators from pesticide exposure as listed on their website: EPA Pollinator Protection.  Please visit their web-page for the complete list.

  • Implemented a policy in 2017 that protects bees from agricultural pesticide spray and dust applications, while the bees are under contract to provide pollination services. The policy also recommends that states and tribes develop pollinator protection plans and best management practices.
  • Prohibited the use of certain neonicotinoid pesticides when bees are present.
  • Expediting the re-evaluation of the neonicotinoid family of pesticides, as well as other pesticides.
  • Temporarily halted the approval of new outdoor neonicotinoid pesticide uses until new bee data are submitted and pollinator risk assessments are complete.
  • Expediting the review of new Varroa mite control products.
  • Established guidance and best practices for regional, state and tribal inspectors conducting FIFRA inspections of apparent cases of pesticide-related bee deaths.
  • Developing a new risk management approach for considering the impacts of herbicides on monarch butterfly habitats and protecting milkweed from pesticide exposure.
  • Working with pesticide manufacturers to develop new seed-planting technologies that will reduce dust that may be toxic to pollinators during the planting of pesticide-treated seed.

How does EPA’s “Policy to Mitigate the Acute Risk to Bees from Pesticide Products,” Protect Pollinators?

The following highlights are taken from the UF/IFAS publication: Pesticide Labeling: Protection of Pollinators

  • The EPA finalized its Policy to Mitigate the Acute Risk to Bees from Pesticide Products in January 2017. It describes methods for addressing acute risks to bees from pesticides. Applications of acutely toxic pesticides would be prohibited under certain conditions when bees are most likely to be present. While the restrictions focus on managed bees under contract pollination services, the EPA believes that these measures will also protect native bees and other pollinators that are in and around treatment areas.
  • The policy generally applies to all products that meet all of the following criteria:
    • liquid or dust formulations as applied;
    • outdoor foliar use directions on agricultural crop(s) that may utilize contract pollination services; and
    • maximum application rate(s) that result in risk estimates that exceed the acute risk LOC (level of concern) for bees of 0.4 (based on contact exposure). The acute risk LOC of 0.4 is the level that is 40% of the dose that caused one half of bees to die in relevant acute toxicology studies.
  • The EPA intends that with the 2017 policy, pesticide registrants with labels for products registered for foliar application to a flowering crop(s) with an application rate that exceeds the honey bee acute risk level of concern (LOC) of 0.4, submit amended labels to reflect the acute risk mitigation language.
  • The label restrictions outlined in the policy would not replace more restrictive chemical-specific, bee-protective provisions (e.g., pre-bloom restrictions) that may already be included on a product label.
  • The policy provides label language for pesticides categorized as Acute Risk, Low Risk, Indeterminate Crop Grown for Seed Risk, and Public Health Application Risk.

Please refer to Pesticide Labeling: Protection of Pollinators for a list of pesticide active ingredients that are subject to this policy.

The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services – Division of Plant Industry-Bureau of Apiary Inspection is the lead regulatory agency for beekeepers in Florida and provides a number of resources for assisting beekeepers and growers in protecting pollinators.  These resources can be found on the website: Honey Bee Protection in Florida

As is evident, everyone has a role to play in protecting the pollinators that assist in providing the abundant harvests of food from agricultural producers to backyard vegetable gardens.  With planning and open communication both crop farmers and beekeepers can remain productive for years to come.

For more information, please see these resources used for this article:



Author: Judy Biss –

Judy Biss is the Agriculture and Natural Resource Agent in Calhoun County, Florida

Judy Biss

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Crop Insurance for Beekeepers

Crop Insurance for Beekeepers

USDA’s Risk Management Agency announced on July 27 that Apiculture Crop Insurance is now available nationwide.  Beekeepers have until November 17 to sign up for 2018 coverage.

Crop insurance for beekeeper operations has been expanded to include 19 additional states and now spans the entire 48 contiguous states. On July 27th,  U.S.Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Risk Management Agency (RMA) announced changes to the Apiculture Pilot Insurance (API) plan, ensuring greater protection for the producers’ honey, pollen collection, wax, and breeding stock.

Expanding this coverage so that more producers can participate in the Federal crop insurance program strengthens the rural economy through a broader farm safety net,” said RMA Acting Administrator Heather Manzano. “This provides increased support for beekeepers who play a critical role in agriculture.”Apiculture systems are diverse, with varying types of plant species and climate conditions. API is designed to cover the unique precipitation requirements of different regions across the nation.
In addition to expanding API coverage, the Federal Crop Insurance Corporation Board of Directors voted to replace the satellite-based Vegetation Index with the precipitation-based Rainfall Index for API policies. Available since 2009, API was developed through the Federal Crop Insurance Act’s 508(h) process, which allows private submitters to develop innovative insurance products to meet the needs of producers.


Producers have until November 15, 2017 to enroll in API coverage for the 2018 crop year. 

For more specif information on API, use the following links:

Apiculture Pilot Insurance Program Fact Sheet

Apiculture Crop Insurance website

Crop insurance is sold and delivered solely through private crop insurance agents. A list of agents is available at all USDA Service Centers and online at the RMA Agent Locator.  Learn more about all of the types of federal crop insurance and the modern farm safety net at

Author: admin –


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Moisture Monitoring, Cover Crops, and Best Management Practices Field Day – August 10

Moisture Monitoring, Cover Crops, and Best Management Practices Field Day – August 10

Please join us on the morning of August 10th for a Moisture Monitoring, Cover Crops, and Best Management Practices Field Day hosted by UF/IFAS Santa Rosa Extension.  The event will take place from 8:00 am to 9:30 at Mickey Diamond’s Farm: 3270 Scarborough Road near Jay, Florida.

The following topics will be covered:

  • Soil Moisture Sensor Project Overview and Results

  • Benefits of Soil Moisture Probes

  • Use of small grains, legumes, and mixtures as cover crops

  • Using a summer legume after corn

  • Benefits of cover Crops

  • Estimation of Fall 2017 costs for installation of cover crops

  • Best Management Practices

  • Nutrient availability of legumes for future crops

  • On-farm management of cover crops

  • Explanation of crimper/roller to terminate winter cover

  • Demonstration of petiole sap testing of cotton and other crops

Need more information?  Contact Libbie Johnson at 850-475-5230 or by email at


Author: Libbie Johnson –

Agriculture agent at UF IFAS Escambia County Extension.

Libbie Johnson

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Certified Pile Burner Course – August 30 & September 13

Certified Pile Burner Course – August 30 & September 13

The Florida Forest Service (FFS) and UF/IFAS Extension Service will be conducting a Certified Pile Burners Course on Wednesday, August 30 in Milton, and Wednesday, September 13, 2017 in Marianna and in Madison, FL.  (This course is also being offered in other areas of the state.  Check the website for the closest training to your location:  FFS Training Scheudule).  .  This training will be held from 8:30 am till 4:30 pm local time at the County Extension Office in all three locations.  Lunch will be provided with the training.  Fill out the registration form for the location of choice below and return as directed.

Don’t wait to register!  The number of training opportunities offered, and attendance at each individual  training is LIMITED.  The first fifty individuals to complete the requirements will be registered; there will be a 7-day non refundable fee limit.  If you do not make the training, and did not contact the hosting office at least one week before the class, you will not receive a refund.  There will be a test at the end of the session.  You must receive a grade of 70% or higher on the exam and demonstrate a proper pile burn with your local FFS office to become certified.  Once you are certified it will be noted with your customer number, thus it is important for us to have the proper number.  If you do not have a customer number, the FFS office in Bonifay will set one up for you:  850-373-1801.

This course will show you how to burn piles legally, safely and efficientlyMost importantly, it could save a life.  If you burn piles regularly, don’t put off registering for this training.  When the weather is dry, certified pile burners will receive priority for authorization to burn.  Also, certified pile burners are allowed to burn up to two hours longer per day and get multiple day authorizations.

Topics to be covered:
  1. Fire Weather
  2. Smoke Management
  3. Open Burning Regulations
  4. Pile Burn Planning and Implementation
  5. Safety
  6. Public Relations
  7. Pile Burner Certification Test        Please bring a Pencil for the Exam!

Download the Registration Packet for the location nearest you:

Milton – Santa Rosa Co. Pile Burner Course Registration Packet – August 30

Marianna Jackson Co. Pile Burner Course Registration Packet – September 13

Madison – Madison Co. Pile Burner Course Registration Packet – September 13

Frequently Asked Questions about Florida’s Certified Pile Burner Training

Q: Why should I be a certified pile burner?
A: Certified pile burners are trained to burn piles legally, safely and efficiently. Most importantly, it could save a life. Also, when the weather is dry, certified pile burners will receive priority for authorization to burn by the Florida Forest Service (FFS).  Also, certified pile burners are allowed to burn up to two hours longer per day and get multiple day authorizations.
Q: What is a Pile Burner Customer Number?
A: When you call the FFS for an authorization to burn, you will be assigned a personal customer number. This number references your information so it doesn’t need to be gathered each time you call for an authorization. You must have your individual FFS customer number in order to be certified.
Q: Is there a test?
A: Yes, the test is 20 questions and open-book. You must receive a score of at least 70% to pass.
Q: What if I don’t pass?
A: Very few people fail the test, but if you do, you will be provided another opportunity to take the test at a later date. If you fail the second time, you must re-register and take the training again.
Q: Why do you ask for my email on the application form?
A: Email is the fastest and most convenient method to inform registrants of their registration status. If no email address is provided then all correspondence will be sent through the federal mail. This can take several days to relay messages and this may not be practical if changes are made to the course schedule or for last minute registrations.
Q: How much does it cost to register for the training?
A: Registration for the training is $ 50 per person and includes lunch, training materials and testing.
Q: How long does my certification last, and how long do I have to complete the certification from the time I finish the class?
A: As long as the person with the certification uses their number at least 5 times in a period of 5 years their certification will not expire under the current program. You MUST complete the certification burn within a year of taking the class.
Q: Will certified burners be notified if their certification expires?
A: Yes, notification will be sent out to them to let them know of their upcoming certification expiration date.
Q: Will I be certified at the end of the one day training?
A: No, you will need to follow the written instructions that you will receive from the FFS to become certified. You will need to complete a simple burn plan, have it reviewed and approved locally by the FFS and also have the burn itself reviewed and approved by the FFS.
Q: Is there a minimum age to be a certified pile burner?
A: Yes, you must be at least 18 years old to take the test and be a certified pile burner.

Author: Doug Mayo –

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.

Doug Mayo

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Friday Feature: Large Scale Lettuce Production on Muck Soil near Belle Glade

Friday Feature:  Large Scale Lettuce Production on Muck Soil near Belle Glade

This week’s featured video was produced by Erin Freel to promote TKM Bengard Farms, Belle Glade.  This video highlights the four generations of the Basor family that produces 15 different types of lettuce and other produce in the rich, fertile muck soils just north of the Everglades.  This video highlights large scale vegetable production with 15 different harvest crews and 500-550 employees each day.

Video Link:  TKM Bengard Farms – Growers of Quality Lettuce in Belle Glade, Florida


If you enjoyed this video, you might want to check out the featured videos from previous weeks:  Friday Features

If you come across a humorous video or interesting story related to agriculture, please send in a link, so we can share it with our readers. Send video links to:  Doug Mayo


Author: Doug Mayo –

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.

Doug Mayo

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