Tag Archive: Money

Proper Hay Storage Can Save You Money

Proper Hay Storage Can Save You Money

Evan Anderson, Walton County Agriculture Agent

If you grow or purchase hay to feed livestock, you probably know that not all hay is created equal. There are a number of factors that contribute to the quality of the bale you end up with. If you’re relying on hay to provide your animals with the nutrition they need, it pays to take care when managing your hay pastures or deciding which hay to purchase.

First, the type of forage plays a role. Different crops have different average levels of crude protein and total digestible nutrients; in general, legumes and cool-season grasses are often higher quality than warm-season grasses. The way forage crops are treated while growing makes a difference, too. Fertilize your forage properly while it’s growing, and what you add will translate to more available nutrients for your livestock. Next, hay should be cut at the proper time. Let the forage grow too long, and it becomes tough, full of lignin and stems. This not only reduces the quality of the hay, but also makes it less palatable.

To determine the quality of your hay once it’s made, get it tested. A forage testing lab can tell you exactly what’s in your final product, ensuring that you are able to tailor your feeding program to give your livestock the right nutrition.

All this might seem like a lot, but it’s just the beginning. A surprising amount of quality can be lost, from even the best hay, after it has been cut and baled. Proper storage has a huge impact on not only the quality of the hay, but eventually on the health of your livestock and from there, on your wallet.

Important!

You can lose up to a 50% of the nutrients from improperly storing hay!

What does proper hay storage look like? Start by making or buying well-made bales that are dense, so they can shed water and reduce weathering losses. A loose bale lets water and air in, which leeches out nutrients. In a 5 foot diameter bale, the outer 4 inches accounts for 25% of the bale. If only that outer layer becomes weathered, you’ve lost up to one-quarter of the money you spent.

To help avoid this, wrap or cover the bales. Yes, bales that are high in moisture may need to dry in the sun for a day or two. Moisture levels above 20% are dangerous; mold can grow in damp bales, which can lead to sick animals or even spontaneous combustion of the bale. Once they’ve dried, however, they should be moved to shelter as soon as possible. A roof overhead is best, so a good pole barn will pay for itself eventually. If that’s not an option, try covering the bales with a tarp or plastic. Keep them off the ground if possible, on racks, tires, gravel, or at least on well-drained soil.  Treat your hay well, and the extra work and investment will pay off in the long run!

 

For more information, contact your local Extension office, or use the following links to fact sheets related to this subject:

Minimizing Losses in Hay Storage and Feeding

Round Bale Hay Storage

Factors Affecting Forage Quality

Implications of Round Bale Dimensions on Hay Use

Harvesting, Storing, and Feeding Forages as Round Bale Silage

Forage Testing

 

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Author: eanderson350 – eanderson350@ufl.edu

eanderson350

Permanent link to this article: http://franklin.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2017/10/06/proper-hay-storage-can-save-you-money/

Maintain Your Septic System to Save Money and Reduce Water Pollution

Maintain Your Septic System to Save Money and Reduce Water Pollution

One third of homes in Florida rely on septic systems, or onsite sewage treatment and disposal systems (OSTDS), to treat and dispose of household wastewater, which includes wastewater from bathrooms, kitchen sinks and laundry machines. When properly maintained, septic systems can last 25-30 years, and maintenance costs are relatively low.

A conventional residential septic tank and drain field under construction.
Photo: Andrea Albertin

A general rule of thumb is that with proper care, systems need to be pumped every 3-5 years at a cost of about $ 300 to $ 400. Time between pumping does vary though, depending on the size of your household, the size of your septic tank and how much wastewater you produce. If systems aren’t maintained they can fail, and repairs or replacing a tank can cost anywhere between $ 3000 to $ 10,000. It definitely pays off to maintain your septic system!

The most common type of OSTDS is a conventional septic system, which is made up of a septic tank (a watertight container buried in the ground) and a drain field, or leach field. The septic tank’s job is to separate out solids (which settle on the bottom as sludge), from oils and grease, which float to the top and form a scum layer. The liquid wastewater, which is in the middle layer of the tank, flows out through pipes into the drainfield, where it percolates down through the ground.

Although bacteria continually work on breaking down the organic matter in your septic tank, sludge and scum will build up, which is why a system needs to be cleaned out periodically. If not, solids will flow into the drainfield clogging the pipes and sewage can back up into your house. Overloading the system with water also reduces its ability to work properly by not leaving enough time for material to separate out in the tank, and by flooding the system. Sewage can flow to the surface of your lawn and/or back up into your house.

Failed septic systems not only result in soggy lawns and horrible smells, but they contaminate groundwater, private and public supply wells, creeks, rivers and many of our estuaries and coastal areas with excess nutrients, like nitrogen, and harmful pathogens, like E. coli.

It is important to note that even when traditional septic systems are maintained, they are still a source of nitrogen to groundwater; nitrate is not fully removed from the wastewater effluent.

How can you properly care for your septic system?

Here are a some basic tips to keep your system working properly so that you can reduce maintenance costs by avoiding system failure, and so that you can reduce your household’s impact on water pollution in your area.

    1. Don’t flush trash down the toilet. Only flush regular toilet paper. Toilet paper treated with lotion forms a layer of scum. Wet wipes are not flushable, although many brands are labelled as such. They wreak havoc on septic systems! Avoid flushing cigarette butts, paper towels and facial tissues, which can take longer to break down than toilet paper.
    2. Think at the sink. Avoid pouring oil and fat down the kitchen drain. Avoid excessive use of harsh cleaning products and detergents, which can affect the microbes in your septic tank (regular weekly or so cleaning is fine). Prescription drugs and antibiotics should never be flushed down the toilet.
  • Limit your use of the garbage disposal. Disposals add organic matter to your septic system, which results in the need for more frequent pumping. Composting is a great way to dispose of your fruit and vegetable scraps instead.
  • Take care at the surface of yourtank and drainfield. To work well, a septic system should be surrounded by non-compacted soil. Don’t drive vehicles or heavy equipment over the system. Avoid planting trees or shrubs with deep roots that could disrupt the system or plug pipes. It is a good idea to grow grass over the drainfield to stabilize soil and absorb liquid and nutrients.
  • Conserve water. You can reduce the amount of water pumped into your septic tank by reducing the amount you and your family use. Water conservation practices include repairing leaky faucets, toilets and pipes, installing low cost, low-flow showerheads and faucet aerators, and only running the washing machine and dishwasher when full. In the US, most of the household water used is to flush toilets (about 27%). Placing filled water bottles in the toilet tank is an inexpensive way to reduce the amount of water used per flush.
  • Have your septic system pumped by a certified professional. The general rule of thumb is every 3-5 years, but it will depend on household size, the size of your septic tank and how much wastewater you produce.

 

By following these guidelines, you can contribute to the health of your family, community and environment, as well as avoid costly repairs and septic system replacements.

You can find excellent information on septic systems a the US EPA website: https://www.epa.gov/septic. The Florida Department of Health website provides permiting information for Florida and a list of certified maintenance entities by county: http://www.floridahealth.gov/Environmental-Health/onsite-sewage/index.html.

The Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) identified septic systems as the major source of nitrate in Wakulla Springs, located in Wakulla County. Excess nitrate is thought to promote algal growth, leading to the degradation of the biological community in the spring.
Photo: Andrea Albertin

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Author: albertin – albertin@ufl.edu

albertin

Permanent link to this article: http://franklin.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2017/04/29/maintain-your-septic-system-to-save-money-and-reduce-water-pollution/

Selecting the Right Lubricant for Your Equipment Saves Time, Money and Frustration

Selecting the Right Lubricant for Your Equipment Saves Time, Money and Frustration

cotton-harvest-equipment

Using the correct engine lubricant with a proper maintenance schedule is essential for long tractor life, and to ensure equipment is running well when you need it most at harvest time.  Photo credit: Doug Mayo

Farming enterprises in the 21st century require many costly inputs to even have a chance of competing successfully. Equipment such as tractors, truck and harvest machinery are necessary, but a major long term expense.

Thorough and regular maintenance is required to get the best performance and longest life from any internal combustion engine powered rolling stock. Engine oils are a key maintenance component, but the array of choices can be confusing.

Frequently the first consideration is the viscosity, a measure of the oil’s thickness. Higher number ratings indicate thicker, more viscous oils. This ranking is an indication of how well the oil flows and the protection it provides to moving parts.

Modern multi-viscosity oils provide the correct flow characteristics across a broad range of temperatures. The equipment manufactures’ handbook will make recommendations for the correct viscosity ratings to be used.

The W following the first number stands for “winter” (not weight) and indicates the cold-start viscosity at very lower temperatures. The range is achieved by additives called viscosity index improvers which thicken the oil as it heats.

Another consideration is whether to use conventional or synthetic oil. Each has distinct advantages, with the cost advantage going to conventional which is also known as mineral oil.

Synthetics are classified as Group I, II, III IV or V. Groups I, II and III are refined from oil pumped from wells. Group IV and V are chemically manufactured from modified materials.

The higher group rating indicates lower sulfur content and a higher viscosity index, an indication of the oil’s ability to reduce friction. Both are important features for modern engines.

The term “Ester” on the label is reflective of Group V oils which have premium properties. These features include high detergency, important for engine cleanliness, and exceptional lubricating qualities.

As with the viscosity requirements, the equipment manufacturer will recommend the type of oil required and a timetable for changing. Strictly following this maintenance schedule will promote long engine life and minimize costly repairs at critical times.

For more information on this subject:

 

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Author: Les Harrison – harrisog@ufl.edu

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

Les Harrison

Permanent link to this article: http://franklin.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2016/10/08/selecting-the-right-lubricant-for-your-equipment-saves-time-money-and-frustration/

Some Things are Too Important to Say Nothing: Talking with Your Children about Money

Child Talking to Parent

Bindaas Madhavi. (2011) Listen to Your Kids.

Most parents would not allow their child to play in the street or to touch a hot stove because parents understand that these actions have consequences and the consequences are serious. If you don’t talk with your child about money and allow them to observe you exhibiting positive financial behaviors, this can also have serious consequences. One indicator of an individual’s financial capabilities is their credit score. A poor credit score can impact an individual’s ability to get a job, secure housing, purchase reliable transportation and access other forms of credit.

According to FINRA Investor Education Foundation State Financial Education Mandates, three years after Georgia, Idaho and Texas implemented a financial education mandate, credit scores of participants improved. In 2014, Florida also voted to adopt financial education into its social studies standards for students in grades K-12 and financial education is now a graduation requirement. While incorporating financial education into schools is an important step, parents still play an important role in financial socialization (establishing what is normal in terms of financial behaviors). In fact, research shows that time preference patterns and delay of gratification patterns are set by age five or before a child reaches kindergarten. Time preference patterns and delay of gratification patterns are often exhibited by adults through savings and budgeting. In a recent study by Cho, Gutter, Kim and Mauldin, the researchers found the effects of financial socialization had significant effect on the financial behaviors of low- to moderate-income adults aged 24-66, indicating that the time preference patterns children develop in youth could last a lifetime.

UF/IFAS Extension Northwest District Family & Consumer Sciences (FCS) Agents know that, as parents, you want to protect your child or children from things that have negative consequences whether it be an inattentive driver, a hot stove, or a poor credit score. One of the things parents can do immediately, to impact what their child is learning about money and how their child is being financially socialized, is to talk with their child about money. Some ideas to get your family conversations about money started are to discuss:

– Wants versus needs

– The grocery budget

– Household expenses

– How your child can earn/save money

If you are still a little nervous about starting the conversation as a result of concerns about your own financial capabilities, contact your local UF/IFAS Extension Office and ask about our Master Money Mentor Program or upcoming financial classes. If you can’t wait for a class, check out these additional resources:

Talking to Children about Money:  http://www.ag.ndsu.edu/pubs/yf/famsci/fs1441.pdf

Are Your Children in the Middle of your Conflict or Divorce? http://goo.gl/lpXwwc

9 Important Communication Skills for Every Relationship  http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/pdffiles/FY/FY127700.pdf

 

Remember a family conversation about money is one conversation that is too important to wait. Make a money date with your child or children today!

 

References:

Cho, Gutter, Kim and Mauldin. (2012). The Effect of Socialization and Information Source on Financial Management Behaviors among Low-and Moderate-Income Adults. Family & Consumer Science Research Journal. 40(4): 417-430

Council for Economic Education. (2015). Survey of the States. Retrieved 16 March 2015 from http://www.councilforeconed.org/news-information/survey-of-the-states/

National Financial Educators Council. (2013) Financial Education Impact. Retrieved 16 March 2015 from http://www.financialeducatorscouncil.org/financial-literacy-statistics/

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Author: Kristin Jackson – kris88@UFL.EDU

Kristin Jackson is the Family Consumer Science (FCS) agent for Jefferson County Florida. She has been employed with UF IFAS Extension Jefferson County for four years. Her two major program areas are individual/family finance and healthy lifestyles.
http://jefferson@ifas.ufl.edu

Kristin Jackson

Permanent link to this article: http://franklin.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2015/03/29/some-things-are-too-important-to-say-nothing-talking-with-your-children-about-money/

Cotton Irrigation Scheduling App Saves Water & Money

Cotton Irrigation Scheduling App Saves Water & Money

Irrigated Cotton at NFREC

Irrigation and nitrogen fertilizer are keys to producing high yielding cotton. New scheduling tools being tested at Southeastern Universities may help farmers utilize these valuable inputs more efficiently. Photo credit: Doug Mayo

Brendan Zurweller and Diane Rowland, UF/IFAS Agronomy Department

Smart Irrigation AppThere are many challenges facing cotton growers in the southeast, but this year it will be even more critical to improve efficiency. This is particularly true for Florida cotton growers where water conservation has become a major statewide initiative. New research addressing irrigation scheduling is currently being conducted by University of Florida scientists in conjunction with the University of Georgia and Clemson University. The goal is to develop a standardized irrigation scheduling platform for cotton, so that growers have a common and familiar scheduling tool to use, while providing regional specific crop coefficients that optimize water conservation in each region. The platform chosen was the SmartIrrigation Cotton Application developed by Dr. George Vellidis at the University of Georgia (http://smartirrigationapps.org/). Similar trials testing the app were conducted in Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina by cooperating researchers.

The Florida trial, lead by Brendan Zurweller a UF Ph.D. student, was conducted at the Suwannee Valley Agricultural Extension Center in Live Oak, FL.  The trial compared full and reduced irrigation schedules for four cotton cultivars. Water treatments included a full irrigation treatment which replenished the depleted plant available water provided by the SmartIrrigation app, and a 40% reduction of that amount. To utilize the scheduling app, Zurweller used a 50% depletion rate of plant available water on the app for triggering irrigation. Rates varied across the season according to the effective rooting depth of the crop. While Zurweller typically monitored the app manually, growers have the option to set automated notifications, monitoring the plant-available water deficit and crop growth stages.

Because water quality is such a huge issue in this region, different levels of nitrogen applications were also tested within each of the irrigation treatments in the trial. Nitrogen (N) levels included a total amount of 20, 60, and 100 lbs of nitrogen per acre. Following the initial N application, N was applied according to the chlorophyll content measured using a SPAD chlorophyll meter (Minolta) beginning at first bloom and using a threshold value to determine optimum nitrogen application according to plant need.

Average cotton lint yield as affected by the total amount of N applied and percent of depleted plant available water replenished through irrigation (Abbreviations: 100% PAW, 100 percent of depleted plant available water replenished; 60% PAW, 60 percent of depleted plant available water replenished; LSD, least significant difference at P<0.05).

Average cotton lint yield as affected by the total amount of N applied and percent of depleted plant available water replenished through irrigation (Abbreviations: 100% PAW, 100 percent of depleted plant available water replenished; 60% PAW, 60 percent of depleted plant available water replenished; LSD, least significant difference at P<0.05).

Results from the 2014 trial indicated that reductions in irrigation and nitrogen applied yielded similarly to the full rates. This indicates that increases in water use and nitrogen use efficiency were achieved in the trial using these two scheduling tools. A continuation of the research is planned in 2015, to more fully evaluate these tools. These preliminary results indicate that the irrigation scheduling app can be easily utilized by Florida and southeastern cotton growers to aid in scheduling decisions, and has the potential to achieve water conservation as well.

Get more information about the App: 

     Cotton Smart Irrigation App

 

           Download a PDF of a 2014 Beltwide Cotton Conference paper describing the SmartIrrigation Cotton App.

Watch the Tutorial Video

 

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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/2015/03/13/cotton-irrigation-scheduling-app-saves-water-money/

Soil Testing Can Save You Money

Soil Testing Can Save You Money

Correct way to pull a soil sample is the use of a soil probe
Photo Credit : Eddie Powell

Many home gardeners ask, why take soil samples? Soil sampling must be done prior to the planting of crops to determine the correct amount of nutrients and lime to add to the soil.
It is best to take soil samples late in the fall or early winter of each year because certain additives, such as lime, require several fallow months before fully activated in the soil.  Thus the 2-3 months lead time will allow lime, if needed, to react with the soil in time for spring planting.
Soil testing also determines proper fertilization rates support good plant growth, based on what is being grown. A soil test does not specify when and how often fertilizer should be applied, just what quantity. Additionally, soil tests do not test for nitrogen.

Information about timing fertilization is available at your local Extension Office. It is best to consult with your local extension agent once you have received your soil results so that he or she can advise you on the proper steps to take as to when and how to apply these items to the soil.
Soil testing will save you money and is probably the most important step that is taken in preparing your soils for good plant support. If this step is left out of the soil preparation stage, then it will be impossible to determine the proper amounts of nutrients to add to the soil to support a healthy plant.
Remember now is the time to do your soil testing for the spring. Contact your Local Extension office for any questions on getting a soil test.

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Author: Eddie Powell – pep5@ufl.edu

Residential Horticulture Educate the residents of Walton County who are unfamiliar with growing certain landscape and vegetable plants that grow in north Florida. Provide homeowners with information about why a good looking healthy lawn is important. Teaching proper fertilization and irrigation practices for successful backyard gardening and container gardening. Master Gardener Coordinator Develop in-school programs with use of Master Gardeners to reach school kids and youth. Also provide educational programs for developing community gardens and provide educational material at local festivals.
http://walton.ifas.ufl.edu

Eddie Powell

Permanent link to this article: http://franklin.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2015/02/17/soil-testing-can-save-you-money/

Minimize Hay Losses to Save Money

Storing hay directly on the ground, without protection from the weather can result in large DM losses.

Storing hay directly on the ground, without protection from the weather can result in large dry matter (DM) losses.

The cooler temperatures and shorter days associated with the transition from summer to fall can be a welcome change when working outside. However, it is a mixed blessing for Panhandle cattle producers. As temperatures decrease and day lengths shorten, perennial warm season pastures (upon which area cattle operations are built) begin to go dormant. Dormant pastures cannot meet the nutritional needs of the herd, and therefore, supplemental food and nutrition must be provided in some other way. Cured hay is commonly used to fill the winter nutritional deficit.

Hay is an expensive feed whether grown on the farm, or purchased off-farm. Area hay prices range in the vicinity of $ 100/ton (purchased hay).  Mature cows require 20-30lbs./head./day during the winter feeding period.  Growing or purchasing hay for a herd, for the entire winter, is a sizable investment.  To help keep hay costs manageable, it is imperative that producers minimize the amount of hay lost or wasted.

Hay losses come in two main forms; dry matter (DM) and nutritional quality. Dry matter losses refer to the decrease in the physical amount of hay present and available for consumption. Nutritional quality refers to the specific nutritional value of the hay, such as total digestible nutrients (TDN), or crude protein (CP). See the UF/IFAS publication Forage Testing for more details on nutritional value of hay.  This article will focus on ways to manage DM losses in hay. Dry matter losses will generally fall into one of two main categories; storage losses and feeding losses.

Storage losses, as one may expect, are any reduction in DM from the time the hay is rolled or baled until the hay is fed. The first factor impacting the severity of storage loss is the moisture content of the hay at baling. All hay will lose some DM in the weeks immediately after baling. The dryer the hay is at baling the lower the expected DM loss will be. Hay dried to 15-20% moisture prior to baling should have minimal DM loss, whereas hay baled with over 20% moisture has the potential for considerable DM losses. In the case of high moisture hay DM losses will be accompanied by decreased nutritional content and palatability. There is also an increased risk of fire when high moisture hay is stored. For these reasons it is crucial that adequate drying occurs prior to baling.  For a more detailed explanation see: Hay Storage: Dry Matter Losses and Quality Changes.

Individually wrapping bales with plastic is an effective way to reduce storage loss.

Individually wrapping bales with plastic is an effective way to reduce storage loss.

How and where hay is stored after baling also has a significant effect on the amount of DM lost. Protecting hay from the environment, especially moisture is crucial to prevent DM loss. A worst case scenario would be bales wrapped with twine and stacked uncovered directly on the ground. This scenario could result in over 25% DM loss in one year. Ideally, hay bales would be completely protected. This protection could come from a permanent structure like a barn, or from more individual/temporary measures like bale sleeves or individual wrapping in plastic wrap. These forms of protection reduce DM storage losses to around 5%.  The publication Round Bale Hay Storage looks at various techniques and the associated economics.

Feeding losses are those losses that occur after the hay has been presented to the cattle. In other words, hay that is refused or wasted by the cattle. Feeding losses can be as high as 40%, if measures are not taken to prevent them. When cattle are given unrestricted access to large amounts of hay, much is wasted. Feeding losses can be minimized by utilizing some type of hay feeding device. Cone style hay feeders are the most effective at reducing losses. The less expensive, and more common ring style hay feeder also does a good job of reducing losses.

Dry Matter Losses with Different Feeding Techniques

Source: Lemus, 2009

Using some type of feeding device greatly reduces the amount of feeding waste.

Using some type of feeding device greatly reduces the amount of feeding waste.

Amount fed and feeding location can also impact the amount of hay wasted. When fed on dry ground cattle are more likely to clean up all available hay, whereas cattle are more likely to refuse hay that has become wet or muddy, after contacting the ground. For this reason it is advisable to avoid feeding hay in low or wet areas. If sufficient labor is available, it is also preferable to feed only one day’s ration of hay at a time. When cattle only receive one day’s ration they are more likely to eat all available hay before they have an opportunity to waste it by trampling or soiling it. Additionally, when cattle are fed a single day’s ration the feeding site can be moved more regularly preventing severe pasture damage, and more effectively spreading the nutrients found in manure.  Feeding losses are most effectively managed when a one day supply is fed in a feeding device. However, if no feeding device is available, limiting the amount of hay fed at one time can significantly reduce waste.  See Reducing Losses When Feeding Hay to Beef Cattle for more details on techniques to reduce feeding waste.

Hay feeding and storage losses could realistically reach as high as 65% of baled DM, if no steps are taken to limit waste and loss. However expected losses can be lowered to as low as 10%, if the proper steps are taken. When considering the cost of hay, a 55% difference in the amount of loss can make a huge difference on the economic viability of a cattle operation. Granted, not all of the loss reducing techniques described are feasible on every operation. However, it would benefit all producers to consider adopting at least some management techniques designed to reduce hay storage or feeding losses. For help determining which techniques would best fit your operation contact your county’s UF/IFAS Extension Office.

The cost of constructing a hay barn can be daunting. However, storing hay in a barn is an excellent way to reduce DM loss.

The cost of constructing a hay barn can be daunting. However, storing hay in a barn is an excellent way to reduce DM loss.

 

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Author: Mark Mauldin – mdm83@ufl.edu

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

Mark Mauldin

Permanent link to this article: http://franklin.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2013/10/26/minimize-hay-losses-to-save-money/

Soil Testing Can Save You Money Later

 

Soil Sampling  Probe Image Credit: Eddie Powell

Soil Sampling Probe
Image Credit: Eddie Powell

Often, vegetable gardeners that I work with through the Walton County Extension office pose the question: Why should I take a soil sample?

I always answer that soil testing will determine whether lime and fertilizer need to be applied to the soil to support good plant growth.

Soil sampling must be done prior to the planting of crops so that it can be determined whether or not adequate levels of nutrients are present in the soil and if the pH is at the proper level for the type of crop grown.  The test results of these soil samples will also indicate the amount of fertilizer that should be applied to the garden.

Keep in mind that this test only tells you the amount of fertilizer (if any) to add to the soil, and does not specify when and how often it should be applied. Such information can be gathered at your local Extension Office.

It is best to consult with your local extension agent once you have received your soil results so that he or she can advise you on the proper steps to take as to when and how to apply fertilizer and/or lime to the soil. Also, refer to this publication for tips on soil testing for the home vegetable garden.

Soil testing will save money in the long run and is the most important step that is taken in preparing garden soils for good plant growth. Remember, the fall growing season is the time to do your soil testing for the spring. Contact your Local UF/IFAS Extension Office for a soil test kit.

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Author: Eddie Powell – pep5@ufl.edu

Residential Horticulture
Educate the residents of Walton County who are unfamiliar with growing certain landscape and vegetable plants that grow in north Florida. Provide homeowners with information about why a good looking healthy lawn is important. Teaching proper fertilization and irrigation practices for successful backyard gardening and container gardening.
Master Gardener Coordinator
Develop in-school programs with use of Master Gardeners to reach school kids and youth. Also provide educational programs for developing community gardens and provide educational material at local festivals.

http://walton.ifas.ufl.edu

Eddie Powell

Permanent link to this article: http://franklin.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2013/08/12/soil-testing-can-save-you-money-later/

Horse Deworming Strategy to Save Money

Horse Deworming Strategy to Save Money

Horse pictured was dewormed only twice last year based on FEC

Horse pictured was dewormed only twice last year based on FEC

Horses may only need to be dewormed two to three times per year.  The active ingredient in commercial dewormers need to be rotated to prevent resistance. The best approach for worm control in horses is to utilize fecal egg counts (FEC) to determine which horses merit treatment, and rotate products with different active ingredients.

Generally, most horse owners deworm their horses every eight to ten weeks based on the old recommendations. This practice has led to the development of drug resistance in worm (nematode) populations. We have a limited number of dewormer products to use. To keep these dewormers effective, we must employ new strategies to prevent resistance.

In general, 20% of the horse population harbors 80% of the worm population.  The other 80% of our horses may only need deworming twice per year. Not only will this help prevent resistance, but also save you money.

New recommendations for adult horses call for 3 fecal egg counts per year and deworming based on the results of these tests. A detailed suggested worm control program can be found at:  http://animal.ifas.ufl.edu/extension/equine/documents/2009equineinstit/kaplanwormcon.pdf

 

Deworming with the same product every 8 weeks creates resistant worms in horses

Deworming with the same product every 8 weeks creates resistant worms in horses

 

 

 

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Author: Jennifer Bearden – heady@ufl.edu

Agriculture Agent
Okaloosa County

Jennifer Bearden

Permanent link to this article: http://franklin.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2013/01/25/horse-deworming-strategy-to-save-money/