Tag Archive: Harvest

August Weather Summary & Harvest Outlook

August Weather Summary & Harvest Outlook

August was another rainy month across the Panhandle, but there was a wide variation in rainfall across the region.  The western counties had large areas with 10-15 inches (hot pink) and even some areas nearer to the coast with more than 15″.  The eastern counties were much drier, except along the coast with a range of 5-10″ (red), but there were isolated locations that had less than 5″ (tan).  As hard as it may be for farmers in Escambia, or Santa Rosa to believe, it got pretty dry in parts of Leon and Gadsden Counties in August.Florida showed up for the first time since June 20 in the U.S. Drought Monitor.  Quite a number of Southwest Georgia counties just to the north of Gadsden and Leon were moved into the Abnormally dry category at the end of August.

FAWN Weather Summary

The Florida Automated Weather Network (FAWN) stations also showed the variation in rainfall for the month of August.  The highest rainfall total was recorded in Jay with 9.6″ in August, with DeFuniak recording 9.5″.  Marianna was the driest location with only 4.5″.  Only the Marianna station recorded less than historic average for the month of August.  The average for all six stations was 8.0″ in August.

Through the first eight months, the Jay station has recorded 52.5″ in 2017, while only 33.9″ were recorded in Monticello.  All six stations averaged 43.5″ thus far for the year.  For the year, both Quincy and Monticello have recorded less than historic average for the first eight months of the year.  The Monticello location is 8.4″ below historic average for rainfall.

Soil temperatures heated up by one degree from an average of 87° in July to 88° in August.  The average air temperature held at 80°.  The high for the month was 96° on August 20 and 25, with the low of 62° on August 1. For daily temperature and rainfall records, Use the following link:  2017 Jan-Aug Weather Summary

Harvest Weather Outlook

The Climate Prediction Center is expecting above average temperatures and rainfall from September through November.  The latest projections call for 73% chance of warmer than normal temperatures and a 66% chance of higher than normal rainfall over the next three months.  It does not appear that the perfect harvest experienced in 2016 will return in 2017, but rainfall during this three-month period is historically lower than other months.  Certainly everyone needs to pay close attention to the tropics.  A major storm the size of Hurricane Irma could wreak havoc on peanut and cotton harvest for a large area.

ENSO Phase Outlook

The Climate Prediction Center is pretty clear in their forecast that they do not expect an El Niño this winter.  Neutral conditions currently exist and should continue.  Here is an excerpt from their latest ENSO phase outlook:

ENSO-Neutral conditions are present. Equatorial sea surface temperatures (SSTs) are near-to-below average across the central and eastern Pacific Ocean. ENSO-Neutral is favored (~85% chance during Jul-Sep, decreasing to ~55% during Dec-Feb) through the Northern Hemisphere winter 2017-18  Climate Prediction Center

So what does this forecast mean for area farmers?  Forecasters are not expecting influence from Pacific Ocean winds and weather to affect the US this fall and winter.  Farmers planning for cool-season crops can expect normal rainfall with no influence from Pacific Ocean ENSO phases.  If you go back in history, however, you will see that many of the ENSO neutral years were the ones with the hardest freezes and lowest temperatures.   In the end it is expected to be a normal winter, but what is normal lately?  It has been a number of years since there has been a normal weather in the Panhandle of Florida.  Maybe 2017-18 will get cold enough to reduce populations of whiteflies and other pests.

 

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/2017/09/08/august-weather-summary-harvest-outlook/

Summer’s Harvest Brings Healthy Benefits

North Florida’s beautiful spring weather means we get to enjoy a variety of delicious, locally-grown fruits and veggies during the summer months.  Produce such as bell peppers, squash, tomatoes, greens, corn, cucumbers, okra, peas, eggplant, and a variety of melons are plentiful and fresh from late spring through early fall.

The benefits of eating fresh fruits and vegetables are numerous and well-known.  Fruits and veggies provide important vitamins and minerals that are vital to keeping your body working properly.  They’re rich in fiber, which is important for digestive health and helps lower cholesterol.  They provide antioxidants, which can help reduce your risk of a variety of cancers.  They’re low in calories, fat, and sodium, which make them an ideal snack.  And their colorful spectrum makes them a beautiful and healthy addition to any meal.

The MyPlate https://www.choosemyplate.gov/MyPlate guidelines call for making half your plate fruits and vegetables as part of a balanced meal.  But remember, preparation is key.  Steamed, roasted, raw, baked, and grilled veggies will provide the biggest nutritional bang for your buck, allowing the natural flavors to shine through.  Deep fried, breaded veggies add unnecessary fat and calories, so be careful not to rely on this cooking method too often.

Mix and match!  Pair a leafy green with a starchy vegetable for a wider spectrum of nutrients.  Add fruits such as mandarin oranges or dried cranberries to a salad for a little extra sweetness.  Try new flavor combinations by adding herbs and spices – but go easy on the salt!

While fresh fruits and vegetables are healthy, delicious, and plentiful during Florida’s summer months, frozen and canned varieties, including juices, can also provide many of the same health benefits.  However, be sure to read the label carefully before buying.  Look for low sodium or no salt varieties and only purchase 100% juice beverages, as other drinks may contain a lot of artificial flavorings and colors.

For more information about the benefits and uses of fresh North Florida produce, please visit the Panhandle Produce Pointers page at: http://wfrec.ifas.ufl.edu/panhandle-produce-pointers/produce-pointers-sheets/.

PG

Author: Samantha Kennedy, M.S. – skennedy@ufl.edu

Samantha is the Family & Consumer Sciences agent in Wakulla County. She has worked for UF/IFAS Extension since 2004. She has a B.S. in both Microbiology & Cell Science and Nutritional Sciences and an M.S. in Agricultural Education, both from UF. Her areas of expertise are nutrition, health & wellness, chronic disease prevention, food safety, disaster preparedness, and financial literacy. You can reach her via email at skennedy@ufl.edu or by calling (850) 926-3931.

Samantha Kennedy, M.S.

Permanent link to this article: http://franklin.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2017/07/03/summers-harvest-brings-healthy-benefits/

When is the Correct Time to Harvest Satsumas?

When is the Correct Time to Harvest Satsumas?

Fall 2016 Satsumas. Image Credit: Matthew Orwat

    Fall 2016 Satsumas. Image Credit: Matthew Orwat

One question that repeatedly pops up in my Extension work is “When do I harvest fruit or vegetable X ?”  This fall, the question of “when should I harvest my citrus?” has been a choice topic! The most common citrus in the Florida panhandle is the satsuma, Citrus unshiu, so it makes sense to limit this article to that species.

Harvesting satsumas can be a confusing activity for new citrus enthusiasts. Fall seasons in the panhandle tend to be extremely variable, from cold and wet to warm and dry or any combination thereof. To complicate matters, citrus is often grown in a protected microclimate in the garden. Thus, another variable is added to the decision tree.

Some harvest considerations to take note of:

  • Sometimes the fruit is ready to harvest even when some green remains on the fruit
  • Not all fruit on a given tree will be ready at the same time
  • It’s a good idea to harvest a few fruit per tree and taste test….this will be a good indicator of the readiness of the other fruit on the tree
  • A general trend to consider is that the longer the fruit remains on the tree, the sweeter it will become
Image Credit Matthew Orwat

Image Credit Matthew Orwat

When satsuma ripen, they become slightly soft. That’s a good indicator that they are ready to harvest. This softness makes them extremely easy to peel but poses a challenge when harvesting. If they are simply pulled off of the tree, some peel will be left on the tree and the fruit will be compromised. Such a fruit would have to be consumed quickly. To solve this problem satsuma are clipped off the tree, leaving a tiny bit of stem attached to the fruit. This allows the fruit to be stored and transported.

When a hard freeze is approaching (5 hours below 28ºF), it is important to harvest the fruit before this event whether or not they are ripe. Hard freezes will ruin the texture of the fruit and cause them to begin the rotting process.

Since a hard freeze is forecast for Friday December 9th 2016 for part of the Florida Panhandle, consult your local weather forecast and make your decisions accordingly.  For an in-depth discussion on citrus fruit harvesting and cold tolerances, please consult this publication from Texas A& M University. Additional articles are available on cold protection and frost readiness here.

 

PG

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.
http://washington.ifas.ufl.edu/lng/about/

Matthew Orwat

Permanent link to this article: http://franklin.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2016/12/08/when-is-the-correct-time-to-harvest-satsumas/

July Weather Summary and Harvest Weather Outlook

July Weather Summary and Harvest Weather Outlook

National Weather Service estimates for July 2016 rainfall.

National Weather Service estimates for July 2016 rainfall.

Typically, July in the Florida Panhandle is the wettest month of the year with 6-7″ of rainfall.  In the graphic above, areas that are hot pink or dark red did receive over 6″ in July, but this was not the case for many central and eastern counties.  The regions highlighted in tan and yellow had less than 4″ of rainfall in July.

16 Jan-July Panhandle FAWN Summary revisedThe Florida Automated Weather Network (FAWN) stations in the Panhandle showed the variation across the Panhandle as well. Only the Jay station was above historic average for the month of July.  For the first seven months of 2016, only the Monitcello, Quincy, and Jay stations were above averages for those locations.  Thanks to field data collected in March and April, we have some data for the Quincy station to replace the data lost with the bad gauge.  The Marianna station has recorded only 29″ through July, nearly 5″ below average for the year.  Carrabelle has recorded the lowest rainfall totals for the year, with less than 27″ of rain, more than 4″ below historic average for that location.

16 July Marianna FAWN SummaryTemperatures were slightly hotter than in June.  The average air temperature climbed to 81° and the average soil temperature to 89°.  There were five days that the 6′ air temperature was above 95°, and the soil temperature rose above 100° in early July.  To view daily temperature and rainfall totals from the Marianna FAWN station, download:  2016 Jan-July Weather Summary.

3 Month Outlook

CPC 16 Aug-Oct OutlookThe three month outlook provided by the Climate Prediction Center (CPC) calls for above average temperatures over the next three months across the Southeast.  The CPC is forecasting below average rainfall for much of the Southeast, but left the Florida Panhandle out of that zone prediction.  It does appear that Panhandle farmers can expect the heat to continue for several more months.

La Niña Watch

Last month the Climate Prediction Center provided the following report on July 14th:

ENSO-neutral conditions were observed during the past month.  Many models favor La Niña by the end of the Northern Hemisphere summer, continuing during fall and lasting into winter.  Statistical models predict a later onset time (i.e., mid-fall) than dynamical models, and also predict a relatively weaker event. The forecaster consensus is somewhat of a compromise between the two model types, favoring La Niña onset during the August-October season, and predicting a weak event, if an event were to form. Overall, ENSO-neutral conditions currently prevail and La Niña is favored to develop by August – October 2016, with about a 55-60% chance of La Niña during the fall and winter 2016-17.  Climate Prediction Center

What does a La Niña mean for agriculture in the Panhandle?  Typically ENSO phases have the greatest impact from November through March, but can have affects earlier and later in the year.  In a La Niña phase, Panhandle weather is warmer and dryer than normal.  The AgroClimate website has a full discussion of typical ENSO phase impacts on different types of crops, but in general, small grains, winter cover crops, and winter forage yields are lower, but summer crops can benefit from reduced pests and diseases. The CPC is predicting a 55-60% chance of a weak La Niña for the 2016-17 cool season, so growers should keep an eye on this forecast as we move closer to the time for cools season crop and pasture planting decisions.

The following are examples of average yield data for wheat and peanuts during the three ENSO phases:

Source: AgroClimate

Source: AgroClimate

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/2016/08/05/july-weather-summary-and-harvest-weather-outlook/

Corn Harvest Underway in Jackson County

The combine was running hard harvesting field corn this week near Greenwood, FL at Bishop Farms.

This combine was running hard harvesting field corn this week near Greenwood, FL at Bishop Farms.

Harvest is always an exciting time on the farm.  Months of work, investment, and risk pay off when the crop comes in.  This week several farms in Jackson County started harvesting field corn from both dryland and irrigated fields. Reported yields for dryland fields ranged from 90-130 bushels per acre.  Irrigated corn yields ranged from 200-280 bushels per acre.  It appears that yields will be off a little this year, slightly below average, due to the several weeks of hot dry weather at the end of June and early July.

Ethan Carter, Regional Crop IMP Agent, measured corn to calculate corn yields at Bishop Farms.

Ethan Carter, Regional Crop IMP Agent, measured corn to calculate corn yields at Bishop Farms.

Ethan Carter, Crop IMP Regional Agent, did some yield checks at Bishop Farms at a cornfield near Greenwood, Florida.  Dekalb 6659 was the variety that provided excellent yields in this field.

The National Corn Growers Association offers a national corn yield contest.  For this contest, yields have to be evaluated by an unbiased third party such as your County Extension Agriculture Agent.  The deadline for entry this year was today, July 29, 2016.

Even if you missed the entry deadline for the national contest, doing some spot yield checks is just good information to have.  Typically, yield checks are more accurate than the yield monitors provided in combines.  Having accurate yield records for different varieties can help determine the best varieties to plant in the future.  It also provides valuable information about management decisions made from year to year.  If you would like assistance doing spot yield checks of your field corn, contact your local county extension office.

The following are some highlights from Bishop Farms harvest this past week.  Not only are the harvest equipment running non-stop, but they are also prepping the land and planting a second crop of soybeans right behind the combine.  The first is a short video of the combine in action, and some photos of the process follow.

>>>

Bishop Corn Combine 2

Bishop Corn Buggy loadBishop Truck loadingBishop Soybean prep

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/2016/07/30/corn-harvest-underway-in-jackson-county/

PeanutFARM Irrigation and Harvest Tool is Now Mobile Friendly

Rowland Peanut FARM Field StatusBrendan Zurweller and Diane Rowland, UFIFAS Agronomy Department

Even in the southeast, where annual rainfall totals would lead you to believe that water stress rarely occurs, depletion of soil water can develop quickly during the peanut growing season.  There are certainly times when supplemental irrigation can reduce crop water stress and prevent yield reductions. Adding to the challenge of effectively irrigating the crop are the often unpredictable rainfall events, sometimes following irrigation applications, resulting in too much soil water and the risk of reducing peanut yield. To address these challenges associated with irrigation management, the University of Florida, University of Georgia, and Auburn University have been conducting research across multiple locations throughout Florida, Georgia, and Alabama for developing and refining an effective irrigation scheduling tool as part of the crop management tool called PeanutFARM.

The most recent improvement in PeanutFARM has been the development of a mobile devise friendly, web based platform to deliver both irrigation scheduling and harvest aid predictions (peanutfarm.org).  Added features within the PeanutFARM smartphone application include a field GPS coordinate locator that automatically records the location of a particular field (when a grower is actually present at the field location) and associates the field with the closest weather station, including stations in FL, GA, AL, NC, and SC. A drop pin can also be placed on a map for selecting the field location, if the user is not using a mobile devise in the specific field. Identifying the field location and connecting to the closest weather station allows the program to automatically import daily evapotranspiration, maximum and minimum temperatures, and rainfall. These parameters are then used to calculate adjusted cumulative growing degree days (aGDDs) specific for peanut, which are used to estimate plant available water and demand over the growing season, as well as the maturity level of the crop. The rainfall received can also be edited to better match the amount of precipitation received at a specific field and will improve the irrigation recommendation considerably. In addition, the irrigation inputs can be recorded by the grower under the data tab on the home screen. An additional improvement to the PeanutFARM site is the option to request automated email alerts when the irrigation recommendation threshold is close to being reached.

Rowland Peanut FARM maturity ProfileThe maturity tools offered in the PeanutFARM suite are two methods that both predict and quantify the maturity level of the crop. Maturity prediction is achieved through an automatic calculation of the aGDDs – a value of 2500 accumulated aGDDs has been shown to be predictive of optimal maturity for most available peanut cultivars. For those growers that collect a sample for blasting, a link is also provided under the PeanutPROFILE tab on the home screen to allow for image analysis and a specific days to digging quantification of the maturity level of the crop to be sent automatically in an email alert (http://agronomy.ifas.ufl.edu/peanutprofile/).  When using PeanutPROFILE, a grower uploads a scanned image of blasted peanut pods to receive a days to dig estimation based on the percent of mature (brown and black) pods. Future updates for the PeanutPROFILE tool are aimed at allowing a grower to upload a picture of blasted pods taken from their smartphone directly, without having to scan the pods.

Download the five step guide for using the PeanutFARM tool:

PeanutFARM 5 Step Guide

Links to the PeanutFARM tool

PeanutFarm new website

Peanut Profile upload scanner image

 

PG

Author: Diane – dlrowland@ufl.edu

My professional research is focused on the physiological mechanisms which determine stress response in crops. I am particularly interested in drought tolerance and irrigation scheduling. I study peanut, cotton, corn, and sesame.

Diane

Permanent link to this article: http://franklin.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2016/05/20/peanutfarm-irrigation-and-harvest-tool-is-now-mobile-friendly/

Satsuma Harvest Ongoing – A Thanksgiving Tradition

Satsuma Harvest Ongoing – A Thanksgiving Tradition

Satsuma fruit, harvested with their stem intact to ensure longevity when stored. Image Credit: Dr. Pete Andersen

Satsuma fruit, harvested with their stem intact to ensure longevity when stored. Image Credit: Dr. Pete Andersen

The satsuma mandarin (Citrus unshiu) is a popular dooryard fruit tree, and emerging crop, across the Florida Panhandle. 100-150 years ago it was a major cash crop for the region, with boxcar loads being shipped to the Northeast during the months of October-December. Due to a series of hard freezes in the 1950s and a shift in land use from produce production to timber, the satsuma industry was effectively dead in northwest Florida until recent years, when several entrepreneurial growers have invested time and effort in bringing back this delicious citrus to the commercial scene.

Throughout this time, many homeowners have enjoyed this historic citrus, dressing many a Thanksgiving table with its beautiful bright orange fruit. Satsumas contain few seeds, are generally sweet and very easy to peel. They are part of the mandarin group of citrus, and somewhat resemble canned mandarin oranges in shape and flavor. The cooler the fall temperatures (above freezing) the sweeter the fruit will be at harvest.

Mature trees are hardy down to 14-18 º F when budded to a cold hardy rootstock such as trifoliate orange or swingle. Young trees need to be protected from temperatures below the mid 20s, and fruit will be ruined if exposed to any freezing temperatures below “light frost” conditions. Commercial growers use protective techniques, such as microirrigation, to protect their fruit if freezing temperatures threaten harvest.

This Thanksgiving, if you do not have a satsuma tree of your own, seek out a local producer and buy a case of satsumas for the holiday season !

For more information on growing and harvesting satsuma mandarins consult “The Satsuma Mandarin – HS195“, produced for your benefit by UF / IFAS Extension.

PG

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.
http://washington.ifas.ufl.edu/lng/about/

Matthew Orwat

Permanent link to this article: http://franklin.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2015/11/25/satsuma-harvest-ongoing-a-thanksgiving-tradition/

Sunshine Returns so Harvest is Underway Again in Jackson County

Sunshine Returns so Harvest is Underway Again in Jackson County

Our hearts are saddened by the preliminary reports coming from South Carolina after more than a week of constant and heavy rains in the region.  Hugh Weathers, South Carolina Commissioner for Agriculture issued a preliminary report from initial damage assessments:

Conservative early estimates are that direct crop losses from the recent flood may exceed $ 300 million.  The storm had a significant statewide effect, and it appears that low lying farmland adjacent to rivers systems and creeks was most severely impacted. The crops affected include peanuts, cotton, fall vegetables, soybeans, and some timber. Poultry farmers are working to repair access roads to get feed trucks to their flocks. Livestock and poultry assessments continue in impacted areas. Timber harvest will resume when the logging roads are passable. Long-term, this disaster will cause major income loss for local farmers and the rural counties of South Carolina.  2015 has been an exceptionally challenging year for farmers in our state. We have dealt with a severe drought during the growing season and now excessive rainfall at harvest. Efforts will continue to gauge losses through the completion of harvest season.

National Weather Service estimates of rainfall from September 23 through October 7.

National Weather Service estimates of rainfall from September 23 through October 7.

While farmers in the region saw much lower rainfall totals than the 1.5 – 2 feet of rain that fell in South Carolina, parts of Walton, Holmes, Washington, and Jackson Counties received between 6-12 inches over the past two weeks, as can be seen in the graphic above. The same weather system that impacted South Carolina hovered and churned over the Panhandle as well. Weather forecasts ahead of the tropical wave predicted 3-5 days of rainfall for the Panhandle followed by a cold front passing through and drying things out again.  In addition to the actual rainfall, however, a longer than predicted period of cloudy, cool and damp weather delayed peanut and cotton harvest for 10-14 days. This sort of weather issue at harvest is really challenging.  Farmers were faced with a difficult decision of either digging up peanuts or waiting out the rain and leaving them in the ground to mature further.  Digging them up protects the yield by preventing the most mature, heaviest peanuts from breaking off of the vine and staying in the ground at digging.  Waiting out the rain before digging protects the quality, or grade of the peanuts.

Jackson County peanuts dug ahaed of the tropical wave sate for 12 days waiting on sunshine to dry the field. Photo credit: Doug Mayo

Jackson County peanuts dug ahead of the tropical wave sat for 12 days waiting on sunshine to dry the field. Photo credit: Doug Mayo

Most of the local farmers went ahead and dug their more mature peanut fields before the rain moved in. Thousands of acres of peanuts were dug on September 25th and 26th as their early planted peanuts were already at the 140 day maturity mark since planting.   The two week harvest delay will have a negative effect on their peanut yields and especially their quality.  How much damage is still to be determined, but a guess from one local farmer was 10-20% yield loss with some 8-10 points in reduction in grade.

Peanuts are being picked once again, after sunshine returned on Wednesday.

Peanuts are being picked once again, after sunshine returned on Wednesday.

Peanut wagons loaded with peanuts are ready for hauling to the buying point. Photo credit: Doug Mayo

Peanut wagons loaded with peanuts are ready for hauling to the buying point. Photo credit: Doug Mayo

Most cotton fields have not been defoliated yet, but there were some that were ahead of the tropical system that have begun to re-sprout leaves and will need another dose of defoliant prior to harvest.  The peanut harvest delay will push cotton harvest back as well, as most farms focus first on peanuts and then shift to cotton harvest.  Farm crews will be working long hours for the next month trying to make up for lost time.

Hay harvest has also been delayed with the cloudy, damp weather.  With the short days of fall however, the grass growth is much slower, so most farms should still have ample time to gather their hay before frost.  Even so, farmers have endured two weeks of frustration waiting for clear dry weather to get going again, with winter grazing still needing to be planted.

Hay drying in the warm sunshine of October. Photo credit: Doug Mayo

Hay drying in the warm sunshine of October. Photo credit: Doug Mayo

After nearly two weeks of cloudy and rainy weather, the sun finally started shinning again on Wednesday. Peanut fluffers, diggers and pickers were once again hitting the fields.  Hay mowers were buzzing through fields with forages rejuvenated by the rainfall.  Peanut wagons and semi-trucks were loaded and headed to buying points all across the county.

Peanut being dug after sunshine returned to Jackson County. Photo credit: Doug Mayo

Peanuts left in the ground being dug after sunshine returned to Jackson County. Photo credit: Doug Mayo

While two weeks of frustration adds pressure to try to catch up, everyone I met this week had a smile on their face as the sun had returned and October was once again harvest season.  There is just something special about the harvest.  Seeing the results of a year of work and sharing with the folks you meet, before dashing back to work again.  While the pressure is on to get the crops in, farmers in Jackson County are just happy to finally have nice weather again, so they can finish the job and get the crops to market.

Even Brahman cows at Ford Farms were out basking in the sun on Wednesday. Photo credit: Doug Mayo.

Even Brahman cows in Jackson County were out basking in the sun on Wednesday, enjoying the first day of sunshine after nearly two weeks of cloudy, damp, cool weather.. Photo credit: Doug Mayo.

 

PG

Author: Doug Mayo – demayo@ufl.edu

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/2015/10/09/sunshine-returns-so-harvest-is-underway-again-in-jackson-county/

Corn Harvest is Winding Down in Jackson County

Combines are rolling along at Dietrich Farms in Jackson County this week.  Photo credit:  Doug Mayo

Combines were rolling along at Dietrich Farms in Jackson County this week. Photo credit: Doug Mayo

It is corn harvest time in Jackson County.  While many farmers and ranchers are enjoying the more frequent rainfall lately, it is making corn harvest more challenging.  Agents in Jackson County have performed yield checks on several varieties for local farmers that have ranged from 230-260 bu/acre.

jackson Corn Truck Fill

Most area farmers had decent yields from 200-260 bu/acre, but were somewhat disappointing in comparison to the past few years. Photo credit: Doug Mayo.

For the most part, farmers were a little disappointed in their corn yields this year.  The corn went from a wet start to a dry finish, and now harvest has been somewhat delayed by recent heavy rains in the area.  According to a local custom harvesting service, there was less corn produced in the area than in previous years.  Fewer acres were planted in total, and the fields that were grown had yields that were slightly off from the high yields of the past two years.  If the weather holds, however, corn harvest in Jackson County should wrap up by the end of next week.

Jackson Corn Combine View

Late season weed growth may have reduced corn yields late in the season. From the driver’s seat in the combine you can see the green weeds really starting to take off. Photo credit: Doug Mayo

Weed control also became an issue late in the season.  Speculation is that the hot, dry weather in June and July, and then harvest delays in August allowed weed growth late in the season after preemergence herbicides began to break down.  While fields remained clean for most of the season, the late season weed growth may have also been a factor in reducing corn yields slightly.

 

PG

Author: Doug Mayo – demayo@ufl.edu

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/2015/08/15/corn-harvest-is-winding-down-in-jackson-county/

Peanut and Cotton Harvest Video 2014

Peanut and Cotton Harvest Video 2014

It’s the beginning of November, and so far the weather conditions have been great for harvesting peanuts and cotton. In Jackson and surrounding counties, peanut harvest is wrapping up and cotton harvest is in full swing. Yields have been variable across the region. Irrigated crops have had good to excellent yields, while some non-irrigated fields have been very poor, with a few having to be abandoned.

Overall this would have been a good year for peanut and cotton farmers, if the prices had not been so depressed. Although the economic outlook does not look good for commodity prices, farmers are doing what it takes to get the crop in and are staying optimistic about what the future holds.

Take a look at some harvest video from the variety trials at MacArthur Farms and J&G Farms in Jackson County. We appreciate their support!

 

PG

Author: Josh Thompson – j.thompson@ufl.edu

Josh Thompson is a regional agricultural agent based in Jackson County who focuses on Integrated Pest Management (IPM) and agronomic crops.
http://jackson.ifas.ufl.edu

Josh Thompson

Permanent link to this article: http://franklin.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2014/11/11/peanut-and-cotton-harvest-video-2014/

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