Tag Archive: 2012

2012 Ag Census Underway


2012 Census of Agriculture Underway – Respond Now

For many farmers across the nation, this is the time of year to finish paperwork after a busy harvest season and look towards planning for next year. This makes it a perfect time to also fill out and return your 2012 Census of Agriculture form.

The Census of Agriculture is sent to all farmers and ranchers only once every five years by USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS). Taking part in the Census of Agriculture is increasingly important to Florida farmers and their communities because it provides a snapshot of agriculture in every county across the nation.

Companies, cooperatives, planners and lawmakers who serve Florida farmers use Census data to make important decisions affecting them, their industry, and their communities for years to come. Farmers and ranchers also use Census data to help make informed decisions about the future of their own operations.

The Census provides producers an opportunity to help shape farm programs, boost rural services and grow their farm future. Businesses and producers review Census data when determining where to establish or expand their operations, and even when looking for locations they can go to purchase or supply locally-produced food and agricultural products – all examples that emphasize the importance of responding and providing accurate Census information.

All producers should receive their Census form in the mail by early January and must respond by February 4, 2013. Farmers can return their forms by mail or online by visiting a secure website, www.agcensus.usda.gov. Federal law requires all agricultural producers to participate in the Census and requires NASS to keep all individual information confidential.

For more information about the Census, visit www.agcensus.usda.gov or call 1-888-4AG-STAT (1-888-424-7828). The Census of Agriculture is your voice, your future, your responsibility.

Doug Mayo

Permanent link to this article: http://franklin.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2013/01/11/2012-ag-census-underway/

2012 Panhandle Weather Summary

Monthly rainfall totals from 6 UF/IFAS FAWN stations located across North Florida.

Monthly rainfall totals from 6 UF/IFAS FAWN weather stations located across North Florida.

2012 was a fairly good weather year. For the year, the Florida Automated Weather Network (FAWN) station at Marianna recorded the highest rainfall with almost 61″ and the lowest total was recorded at the station near Quincy, coming in just below 45″.  Average for the region was 55″ for the year.

In addition to higher rainfall totals than the previous two years, 2012 was also a milder year.  There were only 16 days with low temperatures below freezing, compared to 21 days in 2011, and 51 days in 2010.  There were also only 29 days with high temperatures above 95 in 2012, as compared to 81 in 2011, and 83 in 2010.  The three year drought totals were reduced to some degree with almost 7″ more rain than the 60 year average.

Download the full daily weather report for the entire year:  2012 Jackson Co Weather Summary

Weather data collected near Marianna by the UF/IFAS FAWN weather station located at the NFREC Marianna.

Weather data collected near Marianna by the UF/IFAS FAWN weather station located at the NFREC Marianna.

Doug Mayo

Permanent link to this article: http://franklin.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2013/01/04/2012-panhandle-weather-summary/

US Forest Service 2012 Tax Tips for Forest Landowners

USDA Forest Service tax information website for forest landowners.

USDA Forest Service tax information website for forest landowners.

The USDA Forest Service has updated their web page with information on Federal income Tax returns for Forest Landowners.  The web site provides non-industrial private forest (NIPF) landowners with a consolidated source of information on the complex tax issues associated with forest maintenance and management. While our national forests are of course exempt form federal taxes, and corporate forest landowners often employ taxation specialists to help them manage their forest assets, NIPF landowners rarely have this expertise at their disposal.

Well managed forests produce timber and other forest products, provide wildlife habitat, recreational opportunities, aquifer and watershed protection, and other amenities. The nation’s NIPF lands, comprising approximately 60% of its forest land, make significant contributions to maintaining these values, and could do more. Providing tailored tax information is one way in which the Forest Service is working to increase forest productivity on non-industrial forest lands.


2012 Forest Service Tax Tips Web Site


Doug Mayo

Permanent link to this article: http://franklin.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2012/12/20/us-forest-service-2012-tax-tips-for-forest-landowners/

2012 NASS Survey Summary of Farm Lease Rates

Table 1. USDA NASS survey summary of non-irrigated crop land rent in Northwest Florida.

One of the challenges for both land owners and farmers is making farm land rental agreements which are fair for both parties.  Farm leases are private agreements between farmers and land owners, so very little information is available to assist with determining fair market value.  Every lease is also different:  some include hunting rights, some do not; and some leases are for an entire farm which includes land that is not suitable for crops or grazing, while others target only the acres being used for production.  Certainly larger tracts have more value to farmers than smaller tracts.  Location, soil type and amount of available irrigation also affect the value of a potential farm lease.

The challenge is finding a starting place for negations.  The USDA National Agriculture Statistic Service (NASS) does an annual survey of farm lease rates each summer.  Table 1 above provides the average rental rate per acre of dryland or non-irrigated crop land reported by county for the past few years.  Since there are much fewer irrigated farms, NASS reports irrigated acres only for the region instead of individual counties in Florida.  Table 2 below shows the average lease rate per acre for irrigated farm leases in the Tri-state area by region.  Pasture rental rates are usually lower per acre than crop land.  Table 3 below shows the results of the NASS survey of pasture land rental by county.

USDA NASS has other data available, if you would like to compare other economic figures and statistics, go to http://quickstats.nass.usda.gov.


Table 2. USDA NASS survey summary of irrigated crop land by region.

Table 3. USDA NASS survey summary of pasture rent in NW Florida.

Doug Mayo

Permanent link to this article: http://franklin.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2012/11/30/2012-nass-survey-summary-of-farm-lease-rates/

Beekeepers Field Day And Trade Show December 1, 2012!

Participants at last year’s Beekeeping Field day and Tradeshow had plenty of opportunity for hands-on activities and interaction with expert beekeepers.


Saturday, December 1, 2012


Washington County Extension Office

1424 Jackson Avenue

Chipley, FL 32428



  • Registration                                          9:00 – 10:00
  • Class Rotation I                                  10:00 – 10:35
  • Class Rotation II                                 10:40 – 11:15
  • Class Rotation III                                 11:20 – 11:55
  • Smoker Lighting Contest                    12:00 – 12:15
  • Lunch                                                  12:15 – 1:00
  • Judging Smoker Lighting Contest        1:00 – 1:15
  • General Session: Pollen and Nectar                                                                                                        Producing Plants – (Lawrence Cutts,                                                                                                      Elmore Herman)                                  1:15 – 2:00
  • Adjourn                                                 2:00


  • Hive Assembly (Doug Corbin, Elmore Herman)
  • Open Hive Demonstration (Jeff Pippin, Dr. Jamie Ellis, and David Westervelt)
  • Winter Hive Management (Lawrence Cutts)


$ 15.00 Per Person, $ 10.00 For Additional Family Members

Please pre-register for this event no later than November 23rd by contacting your local UF/IFAS County Extension office listed below:

  • Bay County 850-784-6105
  • Calhoun County 850-674-8323
  • Escambia County 850-475-5230
  • Franklin County 850-653-9337
  • Gadsden County 850-875-7255
  • Gulf County 850-639-3200
  • Holmes County 850-547-1108
  • Jackson County 850-482-9620
  • Jefferson County 850-342-0187
  • Leon County 850-606-5202
  • Liberty County 850-643-2229
  • Okaloosa County 850-689-5850
  • Santa Rosa County 850-623-3868
  • Wakulla County 850-926-3931
  • Walton County 850-892-8172
  • Washington County 850-638-6180


Advanced Beekeeper Training Classes will be offered by interactive videoconference to selected counties on the evenings of February 18, February 25, March 4 and March 11. More details to follow!


Judy Ludlow

Permanent link to this article: http://franklin.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2012/11/09/beekeepers-field-day-and-trade-show-december-1-2012/

2012 January – October FAWN Weather Summary

Marianna FAWN Summary
October was the first month since March where high temperatures stayed below 90 degrees.  Below average rainfall aided crop and hay harvest, but was not favorable for the planting of cool season crops.  For the year, Jackson County is still almost 9 inches above average.  The entire growing season was much cooler than the previous two, with only 29 days of over 95 degrees as compared to 81 in 2011, and 83 in 2010.  The cooler temperatures and above average rainfall certainly contributed to higher peanut yields for 2012.  For more complete details, download the complete Jackson Weather Summary for 2012:  Jan-Oct 2012 Jackson Co Weather Summary

North Florida Summary
For the whole Panhandle Region Quincy remained the driest location, falling well short of the average for the region.  Live Oak received the highest rainfall once again and remains the wettest location across North Florida.

To acceess c

Doug Mayo

Permanent link to this article: http://franklin.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2012/11/02/2012-january-october-fawn-weather-summary/

UF/IFAS Sugarcane Field Day, Quincy Florida, Monday, November 5, 2012

Sugarcane Field Day is an annual event hosted at the University of Florida Research and Education Center in Quincy (NFREC-Quincy). This event is geared to new and existing sugarcane producers and syrup makers interested in learning about new and updated agricultural and production techniques and about new sugarcane varieties.   Each year various state and regional renowned speakers come to share with farmers and producers their experience in sugarcane production such as:

  • Weed Management
  • Insect and Disease Management
  • Nutrient Management




Field Day Agenda

  • 8:15 am Registration
  • 8:30 am Opening remarks
  • 8:45 am Cultural practices
  • 9:45 am Varieties and other updates
  • 10:00 am Cane cutting instructions


Registration fee: $ 10.00 per participant. Pre-registration is encouraged.

  • Pre-registered attendees will be given first access to the fields. Only those registered will be allowed on the fields.
  • Each participant is allowed to cut a strict maximum of 15 stalks of each variety for seed/propagation materials only.
  • Each participant should bring their own cutting tools and transportation.
  • Registered participants should send a signed note with representative in order for them to get their cane.

Make sure to register for the Sugarcane Field Day. To do so you can:

Remember only registered participants will be allowed in the fields.

Judy Ludlow

Permanent link to this article: http://franklin.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2012/10/02/ufifas-sugarcane-field-day-quincy-florida-monday-november-5-2012/

Come Visit UF/IFAS at the 2012 Sunbelt Ag Expo!

The UF/IFAS Building at the Sunbelt Ag Expo, Moultrie, GA

Each year UF/IFAS NW Extension District Faculty participates in the annual Sunbelt Ag Expo in Moultrie Georgia.  This is the largest agricultural expo in the southeast attended by over 200,000 visitors.  In addition to the over 1,200 commercial exhibitors, visitors also learn from the many university and research specialist displays on hand throughout the expo.  This year’s event will be October 16 – 18, 2012, in Moultrie, GA.  For more information please visit the website: Sunbelt Ag Expo.

The University of Florida has its own permanent building for educational displays at the Expo.  The 2012 theme for UF/IFAS is Small Farms, Big Opportunities,and we will have 12 interactive, educational displays related to this topic.  A brief description of these exhibits follows below.  So, come out and visit your Extension Agents at the UF/IFAS building and learn more about Small Farms!


Hydroponic Systems and Crops  This display will include several types of hydroponic systems (floating, vertical towers, containers, etc.) with opportunities to interact, touch, and see how they work.

Bees, More than Just Honey  This display will include a bee hive encased in glass for kids’ and adults’ viewing pleasure. Activities for youth may include Bee Bingo, kids coloring worksheet or find a word or crossword puzzle that discusses all the products that can be marketed from bees as well as the benefits of pollination. Tupelo honey sticks will be given out.

Organic and Sustainable Farming  This display will feature photos showing the diversity of soil organisms and what they do (in terms of plant health), organic-compliant fertilizers and pesticides, one-page handout of the organic program, laptop showing YouTube videos of conservation tillage equipment in action, cover crops in pots, and possibly a scope showing rhizobia nodules on roots and the organisms.

Small Livestock for Small Farms  This livestock display will feature poultry and poultry products and perhaps goat and sheep. One aspect of the display will be the Virtual Field Day modules on pastured poultry.

Creating a Buzz About Your Business: Florida MarketMaker and Other On-line Tools for Success  This display will include an interactive presentation using several types of marketing techniques, branding, using social media, blogs, and Twitter to increase sales of a business. This area will also feature Florida MarketMaker. There will be opportunities for participants to learn more about this important web-based resource for producers and buyers to connect with each other, and for consumers to connect with producers. Participants will have the opportunity to create a profile on MarketMaker.

Integrated Pest Management  Integrated pest management techniques, tools, pest specimens, and beneficial specimens will be demonstrated. Farmscaping strategies to be displayed include: bluebird and other bird houses, solitary bee houses, insect traps, trap crops, and other IPM tools.

Extension Programs Reaching Florida Small Farmers  This display will feature ongoing UF/IFAS educational programs including Florida Small Farms Web Site, Small Farms and Alternative Enterprises Conference, Small Farms Academy, Regional programming like Agritunity, Regional Small Farms Working Groups, and local county programs such as Living on a Few Acres.

Building a Farm Food Safety Program  This display will show the online and printed resources available to help farmers build their food safety plans.

Mushroom Production Systems  This display will showcase mushroom production using both log and bag culture techniques. Tools of the trade will be demonstrated, and information provided.

Alternative and Emerging Fruit Crops in Florida  This display will feature specialty fruit crops that are emerging as viable alternatives on small farms. Fruit crops may include: blueberry, cold hardy citrus, grapes, persimmon, pomegranate, peach, plum, and tropicals.

150th Anniversary of the Morrill Act  Banners will spotlight the 150th Anniversary of the Morrill Act. The Morrill Act established the land-grant university system and essentially initiated what could be defined as “The Education Revolution” that thrives to this day.  Some of the most highly regarded universities in the nation are land-grant institutions. The University of Florida is proud to be one of them.

University of Florida College of Agricultural and Life Sciences (CALS) Ambassadors  This area will feature the CALS Ambassadors answering questions about becoming a student at UF.


Judy Ludlow

Permanent link to this article: http://franklin.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2012/10/02/come-visit-ufifas-at-the-2012-sunbelt-ag-expo/

Ag Census Data Helps Rural Communities; 2012 Surveys Coming Soon


Farmers Use the Census of Agriculture to Improve Local Communities, Farm Future

When a Pennsylvania dairy farmer heard that his local county officials were considering a significant reduction in rural snowplow services in his community, he became concerned. While the cuts were caused by local government budget constraints, this dairy farmer knew he had to do something – he turned to the Census of Agriculture administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS).

Using Census data he was able to illustrate the need for rural snowplow service to, “show our county officials the value of all the milk produced” in the community and the need for truck access to dairy farms during inclement weather. The farmer said the officials, “had no idea of the size of the dairy industry in our county and reconsidered their plan for the snow removal budget with dairy farmers in mind.” Because of his efforts and utilizing data from the Census of Agriculture, one farmer had the opportunity to make a significant impact and benefit his community.

While stories such as the Pennsylvania farmer’s make it evident that the census protects U.S. agriculture now, it may also be surprising to know it also protects the future of agriculture in America. Data gathered from the 2007 Census of Agriculture showed the average farmer is approaching 60 years of age and the number of farmers under the age of 25 decreased by almost 30 percent since 2002. Findings such as these have helped the USDA see the need to create beginning farmer programs to protect the future of agriculture.

Officials from NASS say stories like the one from the dairy farmer in Pennsylvania should be more common – and they encourage more farmers and ranchers to take advantage of the data and the benefits it provides. The first step is to complete the Census of Agriculture to ensure an accurate and complete count and to help grow your future, boost rural services and shape farm programs.

Soon farmers will have the opportunity to complete the 2012 Census of Agriculture. NASS will mail Census form at the end of December, and responses are due by February 4th, 2013. By responding, farmers and ranchers can have a voice in shaping their future. After all, the Census is your voice, your future and your responsibility. For more information about the Census, visit www.agcensus.usda.gov or call 1-800-4AG-STAT (1-888-424-7828).

Doug Mayo

Permanent link to this article: http://franklin.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2012/10/02/ag-census-data-helps-rural-communities-2012-surveys-coming-soon/

Florida Peanut Disease Update September 2012

Typical symptoms and signs of the peanut disease White Mold also called Stem Rot. A.) Wilting and discoloration on an infected branch; B.) Wilting of multiple branches; C.) White fungal growth on the branches of peanuts; D.) Mustard size sclerotia on the soil next to diseased plants.

By: Nicholas S. Dufault, Extension Plant Pathologist, University of Florida

This year rainfall returned to most of Florida’s peanut production areas through afternoon showers and tropical systems Debra and Isaac. The increase in moisture created a high disease pressure year with stem rot (white mold) and Rhizoctonia diseases being a major problem for many growers across the state. Also, there was one confirmed occurrence of Cylindrocladium black rot (CBR) in north central Florida and several unconfirmed reports throughout the state. Finally, Tomato Spotted Wilt Virus (TSWV) was also seen throughout the growing region but in low quantities. It is possible that the warm winter months coupled with early planting dates, and in some case ‘skippy’ stands, led to the notable presence of TSWV. However, TSWV was still not a major concern for Florida peanut production in 2012.

As the peanut season comes to a close there are a few things we should consider about our disease management programs. First, in order to have a quality management program it is critical to gather as much information as possible about the host, pathogen and environment. Three things to keep in mind about these factors as you make your final decisions are:

1. Remember that within 14 days of harvest fungicides provide little if any yield benefits and that pre-harvest intervals range from 14 to 40 days (Table 2). So, knowing the approximate days your peanuts have until maturity is critical to determining late season fungicide sprays, if any are needed.

2. Even in the best fungicide programs, there will always be some disease present. During high disease pressure years it is estimated that the best fungicide program will provide 70 to 80% control/management of a disease. So, in a year such as 2012, having a disease incidence of 30% or greater is not uncommon. During a high disease pressure year the rotation of fungicide chemistries is even more important to control the development and spread of resistant pathogens. Tables 1 and 2 provide a list of common fungicides and their different chemistries (FRAC numbers), to assist you in your fungicide spray selection.

3. Weather is always critical for the disease development of any peanut pathogen. In general, fungal pathogens do better in wet and warm (65 to 85°F) environmental conditions. Major systems, such as tropical storms or hurricanes, can also delay our harvest dates or create gaps in our spray programs. It is important for growers to watch the weather forecast to make accurate and timely applications of fungicide products.

It is never too early to start planning for next year. Before your harvest, it is always good to take notes and scout your field for disease and other problems. These notes will be critical to determining management programs for next year and are very useful for spray selection tools such as Peanut Rx. Finally, be sure to note what disease is present in the field. For example, in-furrow fungicide applications can be useful for managing Cylindrocladium black rot, but may not be as useful for stem rot or Rhizoctonia diseases. Knowing what diseases were present the year before is always important for any decisions in your fungicide management program.

Download the entire fact sheet that has descriptions for common peanut diseases, ratings chart, and specif fungicide information :  Sept 2012 Peanut Disease Update.

Doug Mayo

Permanent link to this article: http://franklin.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2012/09/21/florida-peanut-disease-update-september-2012/

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