Tag Archive: February

Ready for Northwest Florida Artificial Reef Workshop Wednesday February 22

Ready for Northwest Florida Artificial Reef Workshop Wednesday February 22

Northwest Florida Workshop Attendees from 2013 in Niceville, FL. This year’s workshop will be held at the UF/IFAS Extension Okaloosa County Office in Crestview, February 22, 2017. Direction and Contact Information can be found at this link http://directory.ifas.ufl.edu/Dir/searchdir?pageID=2&uid=A56 

Researchers from University of West Florida recently estimated the value of Artificial Reefs to Florida’s coastal economy. Bay County artificial reefs provide 49.02 million dollars annually in personal income to local residents.  Bay County ranks 8th in the state of Florida with 1,936 fishing and diving jobs. This important economic study gives updated guidance and insight for industry and government leaders. This same level of detailed insight is available for other Northwest Florida counties and counties throughout the state.

The UWF research team is one of several contributors scheduled to present at the Northwest Florida Artificial Reef Manager’s Workshop February 22. Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission and Florida Sea Grant are hosting the workshop. This meeting will bring together about fifty artificial reef managers, scientists, fishing and diving charter businesses, and others interested in artificial reefs to discuss new research, statewide initiatives and regional updates for Florida’s Northwest region. The meeting will be held at the UF/IFAS Extension Okaloosa County Office in Crestview, FL.

Cost is $ 15.00 and includes conference handouts, light continental breakfast with coffee, lunch, and afternoon refreshments. Register now by visiting Eventbrite or short link url  https://goo.gl/VOLYkJ.

A limited number of exhibit tables/spaces will be available. For more information, please contact Laura Tiu, lgtiu@ufl.edu or 850-612-6197.


Super Reefs staged at the Panama City Marina, which were deployed in SAARS D, located 3 nautical miles south of Pier Park. Learn more about this reef project and others at the Northwest Florida Artificial Reef Manager’s Workshop in Crestview, February 22, 2017. (Photo by Scott Jackson).


Northwest Florida Artificial Reef Workshop Tentative Agenda

Date: February 22, 2017

Where: UF/IFAS Extension Okaloosa County Office, 3098 Airport Road Crestview, FL 32539

8:15     Meet and Greet

9:00     Welcome and Introductions – Laura Tiu UF/IFAS Okaloosa Co and Keith Mille, FWC

9:25     Regional and National Artificial Reef Updates – Keith Mille

9:50     Invasive Lionfish Trends, Impacts, and Potential Mitigation on Panhandle Artificial Reefs – Kristen Dahl, University of Florida

10:20   Valuing Artificial Reefs in Northwest Florida – Bill Huth, University of West Florida

11:00   County Updates – Representatives will provide a brief overview of recent activities 12:00 LUNCH (included with registration)

12:00   LUNCH

1:00     NRDA NW Florida Artificial Reef Creation and Restoration Project Update – Alex Fogg, FWC

1:15     Goliath Grouper Preferences for Artificial Reefs: An Opportunity for Citizen Science – Angela Collins, FL, Sea Grant

1:45     Current Research and Perspectives on Artificial Reefs and Fisheries – Will Patterson, University of Florida

3:00     BREAK

3:30     Association between Habitat Quantity and Quality and Exploited Reef Fishes: Implications for Retrospective Analyses and Future Survey Improvements – Sean Keenan, FWRI

3:50     Innovations in Artificial Reef Design and Use – Robert Turpin, facilitator

4:10     Using Websites and Social Media to Promote Artificial Reef Program Engagement – Bob Cox, Mexico Beach Artificial Reef Association & Scott Jackson, UF/IFAS Bay Co

4:40     Wrap Up and Next Steps – Keith Mille and Scott Jackson

5:00     Adjourn and Networking


Register now by visiting Eventbrite or short link url  https://goo.gl/VOLYkJ. Live Broadcast, workshop videos, and other information will be available on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/floridaartificialreefs/ (Florida Artificial Reefs) .

An Equal Opportunity Institution. University of Florida, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) Extension, Nick T. Place, Dean.


Author: Scott Jackson – lsj@ufl.edu

UF/IFAS Bay County Extension Florida Sea Grant Regional Specialized Agent (Artificial Reefs and Fisheries)

Scott Jackson

Permanent link to this article: http://franklin.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2017/02/16/ready-for-northwest-florida-artificial-reef-workshop-wednesday-february-22/

Dooryard Citrus Care for February

Dooryard Citrus Care for February

Dooryard citrus enthusiasts may be uncertain about late winter management of Satsuma and other citrus trees.  Several questions that have come in to the Extension Office recently include:

  • Should I prune my trees?
  • Why are the leaves yellow?
  • How soon should I fertilize? 

The focus of this article is to provide some answers to these common questions.

Should I prune my trees?

This is a complicated question that is best answered with “it depends…”  Pruning is not necessary for citrus, as it is in many temperate fruits, to have excellent production quality and quantity. Citrus trees perform excellently with minimal pruning. The only pruning necessary for most citrus is removing crossing or rubbing branches while shaping young trees, removing dead wood, and pruning out suckers from the root-stock. Homeowners may choose to prune citrus trees to keep them small, but this will reduce potential yield, since bigger trees produce more fruit.

Often, maturing Satsuma trees produce long vertical branches. It is tempting to prune these off, since they make the tree look unbalanced. To maximize yield, allow these branches to weep with the heavy load of fruit until they touch the ground. This allows increased surface area for the tree, since the low areas around the trunk are not bare. Additionally, weeds are suppressed since the low branches shade out weed growth. The ground under the trees remains bare, thus allowing heat from the soil to radiate up during cold weather events. The extra branches around the trunk offer added protection to the bud union as well. If smaller trees are desired for ease of harvest, ‘flying dragon’ root-stock offers dwarfing benefits, so that the mature scion cultivar size will only grow to 8-10 feet tall.

Heavy fruit loads were produced in many home gardens throughout Northwest Florida last year. When fruiting is heavy, citrus trees translocate nitrogen and other nutrients from older leaves to newer growth and fruit. Therefore, temporary yellowing may occur and last until trees resume growing in the spring. Remember, never fertilize after early September, since fertilizing this late in the year  can reduce fruit quality and increase potential for cold injury. If a deficiency, as in the photo above persists through spring, consider a soil test, or consult a citrus production publication to determine if additional fertilizer should be added to your fertilizer program.

How soon should you fertilize?

Although most Florida citrus publications recommend fertilizing citrus in February, they don’t take into account the potential for late frost in the Panhandle. Thus it makes more sense to wait until mid-March for the first fertilizer application in this region. Citrus trees don’t require a fertilizer with a high percentage of nitrogen, so it is best for fruit quality if an analysis of around 8-8-8 with micro-nutrients is used. Fertilizer should be applied in the drip-line of the tree, not around the trunk. The drip-line of a mature tree is generally considered to extend one foot from the trunk out to one foot from the edge of the furthest branch tip from the trunk. For fertilizer quantity recommendation see the chart below.

Table edited by Doug Mayo, from “Citrus Culture in the Home Landscape”

Through awareness of the unique managements techniques inherent to  dooryard citrus production in the Panhandle, home gardeners are offered an opportunity to provide their friends and family with a substantial portion of their annual citrus !


For more information on this topic please use the following link to the UF/IFAS Publication:

Citrus Culture in the Home Landscape



Author: Matthew Orwat – mjorwat@ufl.edu

Matthew J. Orwat started his career with UF / IFAS in 2011 and is the Horticulture Extension Agent for Washington County Florida. His goal is to provide educational programming to meet the diverse needs of and provide solutions for homeowners and small farmers with ornamental, turf, fruit and vegetable gardening objectives. Please feel free to contact him with any questions you may have.

Matthew Orwat

Permanent link to this article: http://franklin.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2017/02/14/dooryard-citrus-care-for-february/

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 Deadline is February 6, 2017


  • 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


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/

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:


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/

Northwest Florida Beef Conference & Trade Show – February 8

Northwest Florida Beef Conference & Trade Show – February 8

The 32nd annual Northwest Florida Beef Conference and Trade Show will be held on Wednesday, February 8th in the Agriculture Conference Center, at the Jackson County Extension Office, located at 2741 Penn Avenue, Marianna, Florida. Registration and the Trade Show open at 7:30 AM central time, the program starts at 8:15 AM, and concludes with a steak lunch. There will be a $ 5 per person registration fee for advanced ticket sales, or $ 10 per person the day of the event.

Advanced tickets are available online through February 3rd at:


175 people attended the 2016 Northwest Florida Beef Conference. Photo credit: Doug Mayo

The focus of the five presentations at the 2017 Beef Conference will be: “Crucial Management in Challenging Times.”  Dr. Cliff Lamb, UF Beef Reproduction Specialist will be the keynote speaker, providing a presentation on essential reproductive management .  Dr. Matt Hersom, UF Beef Specialist will also be providing a key presentation on essential nutrition for the herd.  Charles Mitchell, Emeritus Auburn Soil Specialist will be discussing cost cutting techniques for pasture fertility  Other presentations will also focus on general ranch management with lower cattle prices.  For more details, download the printer friendly flyer:  2017 NW FL Beef Conference Flyer

Schedule of Events (all Central Time)

  •  7:30 – Trade Show & Registration Opens

  •   8:15 – Welcome

  •  8:30 – Riding Out the Cow Cycle:  What to Do When the Wheels Come Off?
    Jed Dillard, Jefferson County Agriculture Agent

  •  9:00 – Essential Reproductive Management Considerations
    Cliff Lamb, UF/IFAS Beef Reproduction Specialist

  •  9:45 – Trade Show & Snack Break

  • 10:30Essential Nutrition:  Put Your Money Where Her Mouth Is
    Matt Hersom, UF/IFAS Beef Extension Specialist

  • 11:15Strategies to Reduce Fertilizer Costs in Forage Systems
    Charles Mitchell, Emeritus Auburn Soil Specialist

  • 11:45Crunching the Numbers to Improve Ranch Efficiency
    Doug Mayo, Jackson County Extension Director

  • 12:15 – Grilled Steak Lunch

  • 12:45 – 1:30 Trade Show Open

In addition to the educational program, the Beef Conference will also feature a Trade Show of businesses and agencies that work with cattle producers in the region. Time is allotted on the schedule to allow visits with the company representatives to learn about specific products, equipment, and services they offer for beef cattle producers.

If you are interested in participating as a vendor in the Trade Show, use the following link to the website with more details:  Beef Conference Trade Show Exhibitor Info

The Northwest Florida Beef Conference and Trade Show is an educational program provided by the UF/IFAS Panhandle Agriculture Extension Team.

For more information on the Beef Conference, or to exhibit in the Trade Show, contact Doug Mayo, Beef Conference Chairman, at 850-482-9620, or demayo@ufl.edu.




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.

Doug Mayo

Permanent link to this article: http://franklin.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2016/12/19/northwest-florida-beef-conference-trade-show-february-8/

February Weather Summary and Spring Forecast

February Weather Summary and Spring Forecast

National Weather Service estimated rainfall for February 2016.

National Weather Service estimated rainfall for February 2016.

February 2016

The National Weather Service estimated that rainfall ranged from  10″ to as little as 2″ in February across the Florida Panhandle.  The dark red portions of the map received between 8-10″ and the light tan and yellow areas only 2-4″.  The map clearly shows where the heavy bands of rain moved up from the Gulf during the recent major front, but it was not uniform at all.

16 Jan-Feb Panhandle RainfallThe six Florida Automated Weather Network (FAWN) stations across the Panhandle also showed considerable variation.  The Quincy station was the driest location registering only 3″ while the DeFuniak Station recorded 8.2″.  Through the first two months of the 2016, the DeFuniak Station recorded 13.8″ in contrast to Carrabelle with only 7.8″.  Six of the stations recorded above average rainfall and three were below average through the first two months.

16 Jan-Feb Weather SummaryTemperature wise, the first two months were pretty mild, with only 10 days with lows below freezing and minimum temperature of only 27°.  In February average air temperatures climbed 6° compared to January and the soil warmed up 5°.

Looking Ahead

16 CPC's Precip Outlook Mar-MayThe Climate Predication Center’s outlook for the next three months is still calling for above average rainfall, especially in March.  The above chart shows the March (left) and the March through May Outlook (right).  If their forecast holds true there should be good moisture for planting, but hopefully not excessive moisture to create delays like last season.  March is typically one of the wettest months of the year, so if there is too much rain, river flooding may be an issue to keep an eye on.

El Niño Update

El Niño appears to be losing it’s influence, so more normal conditions are expected in the near future.  The Climate Predication Center (CPC) is forecasting a transition to ENSO-neutral (normal) during late spring or early summer 2016, with a possible transition to La Niña conditions during the fall.  The last major El Niño in 1998 went from a wet spring to a very dry summer with wildfires across Florida, but that has not always been the case with “Super” El Niños.  Let’s hope things just get back to normal and stay there. 

The following is the latest El Niño update from the CPC:

Most models indicate that El Niño will weaken, with a transition to ENSO-neutral during the late spring or early summer 2016. Thereafter, the chance of La Niña conditions increases into the fall. While there is both model and physical support for La Niña following strong El Niño, considerable uncertainty remains. A transition to ENSO-neutral is likely during late Northern Hemisphere spring or early summer 2016, with a possible transition to La Niña conditions during the fall.

El Niño has already produced significant global impacts and is expected to affect temperature and precipitation patterns across the United States during the upcoming months. The seasonal outlooks for February – April indicate an increased likelihood of above-median precipitation across the southern tier of the United States, and below-median precipitation over the northern tier. Above-average temperatures are favored in the North and West, and below-average temperatures are favored in the southern Plains and along the Gulf Coast.  Climate Predication Center


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.

Doug Mayo

Permanent link to this article: http://franklin.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2016/03/05/february-weather-summary-and-spring-forecast/

Crops in Season: February

strawberryAlthough cool weather certainly makes Floridians feel like they’re experiencing winter, Florida farms are working in overdrive this February producing agricultural products for a whole lot of people who, because of COLD weather, are not able to grow their own crops. .

The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services states that “Consumers around the world look for and value the “Fresh From Florida” label”. Because seasonal products are fresher and tastier, nutritional value is optimized. Often, seasonal products are more economical. In fact, fall plantings are not only being labeled as Fresh from Florida but also as what is in season right now. February’s list is quite impressive; especially when you think about the delicate nature of a strawberry!

Can you believe that each winter close to 300 million pounds of strawberries are grown in Central Florida, earning the area around Plant City the title Winter Strawberry Capital of the World!

Florida strawberries are indeed delicious and they’re full of Vitamin C and other vitamins and minerals – a real nutrient dense food.


When shopping for Florida Fresh strawberries:

  • Know that strawberries, once picked, do not ripen further.
  • Only purchase strawberries that can be consumed in a few days. Even when properly stored in a refrigerator, strawberries last only a few days.

Choose berries that are:

  • Firm, plump, and free of mold.
  • Shiny, deep red in color with attached green caps.

Avoid strawberries that are:

  • Dull in color or have green or yellow patches.

If you are buying strawberries prepackaged in container ensure:

  • Strawberries are not packed too tightly (which may cause them to become crushed and damaged.
  • The container has no signs of stains or moisture, (indication of possible spoilage).
  • The cap, stem and white hull remain intact (this prevents unnecessary loss of moisture).
  • Strawberries are not left at room temperature or exposed to sunlight (this aides in their spoiling).

Since strawberries are very perishable, strawberries should not be washed until right before eating or using in a recipe.

  • Do not remove strawberry caps and stems until after they have been gently washed under cold running water and patted dry. This will prevent them from absorbing excess water, which can degrade strawberries’ texture and flavor and cause them to spoil.

To freeze strawberries:

  • Gently wash strawberries and pat dry. The cap and stem can either be removed or left intact, depending upon what you will do with them once they are thawed.
  • Arrange strawberries in a single layer on a flat pan or cookie sheet and place them in the freezer. (lining the tray with a piece of parchment paper makes for easy removal once frozen)
  • Once frozen, transfer the strawberries to a heavy plastic bag and return them to the freezer where they will keep for up to one year.

Try these simple ideas for including strawberries in your next meals and snacks:

  • Strawberry and Spinach Salad
  • Strawberry-Banana Smoothie
  • Strawberry, Pistachio and Goat Cheese Pizza

Fore more information, contact:  http://strawberrysue.com/



Author: Heidi Copeland – hbc@ufl.edu

Family and Consumer Sciences Extension Agent, Leon County Florida Educational Program Focus: •Food, Nutrition and Wellness •Child Development and Parenting

Heidi Copeland

Permanent link to this article: http://franklin.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2016/02/20/crops-in-season-february/

Cotton Marketing News: February Report Not a Valentine

Cotton Marketing News:  February Report Not a Valentine

Cotton Maketing News header 2-12-16February has thus far been a brutal month for cotton prices. Old crop May16 futures prices have lost 4 cents per pound and new crop Dec16 futures have lost over 3½ cents. This represents a 6% loss in value just within the past 10 days or so. Both old crop and new crop futures prices have fallen below 60 cents—a level not thought very likely but, what “support” the cotton market had around 61 cents could not hold.

This week (on Tuesday, February 9th), USDA released its monthly production and supply/demand estimates. The numbers were not pretty. That report isn’t the only thing hammering cotton right now—but it sure didn’t help and added to the already bearish outlook for cotton.

USDA’s February numbers trimmed World cotton demand for the 2015 crop year by another 1.3 million bales. The mill use estimate for China was reduced by ½ million bales from the January estimate, India was lowered ½ million bales, and Pakistan lowered by 200K bales. World use or demand for cotton now stands below 110 million bales and has been flat since 2012.

Shurley World Cotton Use

China’s cotton imports for the 2015 crop year were lowered by ½ million bales and China, once the World’s largest cotton importer now ranks third behind Bangledesh and Vietnam. This is significant because the US is the World’s largest cotton exporter and China has always been our #1 buyer. US cotton exports for the 2015 crop year were lowered by ½ million bales and now expected to be 1 ¾ million bales less than for the 2014 crop year.

With demand struggling and increasing uncertainty surrounding China (its stocks, its mill use, and its policies) and the changing roles among all the players in the cotton game, the future of US cotton may depend on cultivating trade with these new players and continuing to find ways to recover market share lost to manmade fibers. Over the next few months as planting season approaches, we’ll hear a lot about acres and the weather. That’s fine; but cotton’s long-term future is all about demand.

Shurley 2-12-16 futures

The recent sharp decline in prices means the Market Loan Gain (MLG) and merchant equities will increase assuming no other changes such as basis and fiber quality price differentials. In other words, the Loan and inverse relationship between prices and the LDP/MLG, acts to help insulate the grower from low prices. When prices go down, the LDP/MLG will increase.

The folks hurt the most by this most recent decline are those that took the LDP earlier, thus bypassing the Loan, but who still are holding cotton.

On February 5th, the National Cotton Council released its survey-based estimate of the cotton acreage US farmers intend to plant this year. That number is 9.1 million acres—up a little over ½ million acres or 6.2% from last year. This is right in line with what most analysts and observers thought it would be.

What was surprising, however, is where the 9.1 million acres is expected to come from—or not come from. The survey suggests that GA will be down 5% from last year. I believe this is unlikely unless peanut acres remain very high as last year. Even if peanut acreage does remain high (and there’s a good probability that it could), I would expect cotton to gain a little ground from corn and soybeans.

Cotton acreage in the Mid-South is expected to increase almost 25%. An increase here was expected. Although cotton and all crop prices are down from a year ago, at the time the Council survey was taken, corn and soybean prices were weaker relative to cotton. This would likely result in a shift of acres back to cotton and that’s what the Council’s numbers suggest.

Actually, however, given the recent slide in cotton prices—cotton, corn, and soybean prices appear to be in a similar relationship to last season at this same time.

Shurley crop comparison

One must also be cautious when using such ratios as a possible indicator of acreage decisions. This does not include consideration of LDP/MLG on cotton, fiber quality differences on cotton, and does not consider any possible ARC/PLC payments for corn and soybeans planted on Generic Base.

The Council’s survey also suggests that Texas is expected to be up 267,000 acres from last year. This is considerably lower than what was expected. Acreage in Texas was expected to increase by ½ million acres or more. Last year, Texas farmers would have planted at least ½ million acres more than they did had weather cooperated. For many Texas growers, there are few if any reasonable alternatives to cotton regardless of prices.

Acres harvested and yields are more important price drivers than acres planted. So regardless of how plantings work out, Mother Nature will ultimately be a key factor in determining 2016 prices.

It is already being suggested that actual cotton planted will be less than Council’s 9.1 million acres figure. USDA’s first estimate will be out on March 31st. Just because prices have taken a tumble does not mean acres will decline. Growers know that LDP’s are available when prices are low—the market isn’t the only signal out there. As we near planting time, relative prices, expected LDP’s, and expected ARC/PLC payments on Generic Base will determine which way acres go.

Cotton News Sponsor

Don Shurley, University of Georgia
229-386-3512 / donshur@uga.edu




Author: admin – webmaster@ifas.ufl.edu


Permanent link to this article: http://franklin.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2016/02/20/cotton-marketing-news-february-report-not-a-valentine/

Start Fertilizing Citrus in February

Start Fertilizing Citrus in February

As you have read in other articles in this blog, it is too early to fertilize your lawn; however, this is a good time to start fertilizing your citrus to ensure a healthy fruit crop later in the year.

Orange grove at the University of Florida. UF/IFAS photo by Tara Piasio.

Orange grove at the University of Florida. UF/IFAS photo by Tara Piasio.

Citrus benefits from regular fertilization with a good quality balanced citrus fertilizer that also contains micronutrients. A balanced fertilizer has equal amounts of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium such as a 6-6-6, 8-8-8 or a 10-10-10. The amount of fertilizer to be applied will vary on the formulation; for example you will need less of a 10-10-10 than a 6-6-6 as the product is more concentrated. Always consult the product label for the correct amount to use for your particular trees. Fertilizer spikes are not recommended as the nutrients are concentrated in small areas and not able to be widely available to all plant roots.

The number of fertilizations per year will vary depending on the age of the tree. Trees planted the first year need 6 light fertilizations that year starting in February with the last application in October. In following years, decrease the number of fertilizations by one per year until the fifth year when it is down to 3 fertilizations per year. From then on, keep fertilizing 3 times per year for the life of the tree. Good quality citrus fertilizer will have accurate and specific instructions on the label for the amount and timing of fertilizer application.

Fertilizer should be spread evenly under the tree but not in contact with the trunk of the tree. Ideally, the area under the drip line of the tree should be free of grass, weeds and mulch in order for rain, irrigation and fertilizer to reach the roots of the tree and provide air movement around the base of the trunk.

If you have not in recent years, obtain a soil test from your local extension office. This can detect nutrient deficiencies, which may be corrected with additional targeted nutrient applications.

For more information:

Citrus Culture in the Landscape



Author: Mary Derrick – mderrick@ufl.edu

Residential Horticulture Extension Agent for Santa Rosa County

Mary Derrick

Permanent link to this article: http://franklin.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2016/02/16/start-fertilizing-citrus-in-february/

Effectively Controlling Row Crop Weeds Workshop February 19

Effectively Controlling Row Crop Weeds Workshop February 19

Join us on February 19th at 11:00 AM at Grace Fellowship Church (1412 East Nashville Avenue, Atmore, Alabama) to learn more about effectively controlling row crop weeds.  Lunch will be provided.

Topics presented will feature:

  • Resistant Weeds

  • New Herbicides

  • Latest Technologies

  • Best Economical Control

  • Weed Identification

Call the Escambia County Extension Office at 867-7760 by February 11, 2016 to sign up.  If you have any questions, please contact Kim Wilkins.


Herbicide resistant palmer amaranth

Herbicide resistant palmer amaranth


Author: Libbie Johnson – libbiej@ufl.edu

Agriculture agent at UF IFAS Escambia County Extension.

Libbie Johnson

Permanent link to this article: http://franklin.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2016/02/13/effectively-controlling-row-crop-weeds-workshop-february-19/

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