Improving, Restoring, and Managing Natural Resources on Rural Properties in Florida: Sources of Financial Assistance

small farm in North Florida, sky, clouds, barn, cows,  beef cattle, trees, grass, pasture. UF/IFAS Photo: Thomas Wright.

Interested in conserving natural resources, such as wildlife habitat, or protecting the agricultural heritage of your land? Both federal and state governments have technical and financial assistance programs to help rural landowners achieve natural resource goals. These challenges are addressed through land rentals, technical assistance, cost-shares, and incentive payments and include both time-limited and permanent land-use options.

This 8-page fact sheet written by Chris Demers, Martin B. Main and Mark E. Hostetler and published by the UF School of Forest Resources and Conservation informs landowners about government programs available to help conserve natural resources.
http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/fr156

Implementing the Four Rs (4Rs) in Nutrient Stewardship for Tomato Production

Freshly picked tomatoes.Fertilization plays a critical role in tomato production across the state of Florida. However, appropriate fertilization management depends on four major components (4Rs): right source, right rate, right placement, and right timing. Farming practices that follow the 4Rs can provide nutrients for optimal tomato productivity while minimizing the risk of nutrient losses and adverse environmental effects, both of which are important to the development of agricultural sustainability. This 6-page fact sheet discusses the 4Rs as well as conventional dry source fertilizers, controlled-release or slow-release source fertilizers, and liquid source fertilizers. Written by Qingren Wang, Guodong Liu, Kelly Morgan, and Yuncong Li, and published by the UF Department of Horticultural Sciences, October 2015.
http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/hs1269

What Else Can Surface Water Buffer Systems Do?: Exploring Multiple Ecosystem Services

A night sky image with star trails over greenhouses at the Plant Science Research and Education Center in Citra, Florida. Stars, lake, pond, water, oak tree, reflection. Image used in the 2012 Annual Research Report.As society confronts the consequences of global warming, deteriorating water quality, and impoverished biodiversity, there is a growing urgency to develop and expand water buffers' multifunctional ecosystem services. However, limited information is available on other potential co-benefits associated with the use of buffers, particularly VFSs. This 5-page fact sheet provides information on buffers' multiple ecosystem benefits, such as niche products production, carbon sequestration, and flood risk mitigation, as well as recommendations on future research needs necessary to enhance multiple ecosystem services and benefits of buffers. Written by Lei Wu, Rafael Muñoz-Carpena, and Yuncong Li, and published by the UF Department of Soil and Water Science, November 2015.
http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/ss647

A Practical Guide for Aquaponics as an Alternative Enterprise

Figure 1. Aquaponic media filled bench bed (left) floating raft system (right) and recirculating tanks and filters (top) at Green Acre Aquaponics, Brooksville, FL.Aquaponics is an intensive sustainable agricultural production system that connects hydroponic and aquaculture systems to produce multiple cash crops with reduced water and fertilizer inputs. It is highly suited for small farm producers targeting local markets and agritourism opportunities. This 10-page fact sheet was written by Richard Tyson and Eric Simonne, and published by the UF Department of Horticultural Sciences, September 2014.
http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/hs1252

Introduction to Organic Crop Production

USDA Organic logoOrganic farming can generally be described as a method of production that utilizes non-synthetic inputs and emphasizes biological and ecological process to improve soil quality, manage soil fertility, and optimize pest management. This 16-page fact sheet is written for commercial producers who are transitioning to or beginning organic production. Written by D.D. Treadwell, and published by the UF Department of Horticultural Sciences, April 2014.
http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/cv118

Opciones de gestion agronomica para la variabilidad y para el cambio climatico: El riego localizado (HS1212)

Figure 1. Riego por goteo aplicado a la superficie para la producción de fresas. Créditos: Lincoln ZotarelliEsta publicación se enfoca en el uso del riego localizado para mejorar los sistemas de producción. This 5-page fact sheet was written by Lincoln Zotarelli, Clyde Fraisse, and Daniel Dourte, and published by the UF Department of Horticultural Sciences, January 2013.
http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/hs1212

Pretreatment of Ligno-cellulosic Biomass for Biofuels and Bioproducts (AE495)

Figure 1. Schematic diagram showing the effect of pretreatment on ligno-cellulosic biomass. The primary cell wall becomes compacted by a dense lignin network structure as the plant grows and ages.This 4-page fact sheet discusses bioethanol as a renewable form of energy, explaining the importance of using ligno-cellulosic biomass to produce biofuels. It describes the pretreatment step in producing biofuels and the need for more research into this step so that ligno-cellulosic biofuels can be produced cheaply and efficiently at a commercial scale. Written by Zhaohui Tong, Nusheng Cheng, and Pratap Pullammanappallil, and published by the UF Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering, January 2013.
http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/ae495

Cultivos en asocio, diversidad de cultivos y manejo integrado de plagas (ENY862S/IN932)

Figure 5. El valle de Almolonga, Guatemala, en donde muchos cultivos hortícolas son producidos en pequeñas parcelas. La diversidad de cultivos puede reducir la acumulación de ciertas especies. Créditos: Hugh Smith El cultivo en asocio (o cultivo intercalado) es una práctica en donde se siembran diversos cultivos en un mismo campo. Adicionalmente plantas que no son cultivos, tales como las malezas, cultivos rastreros o de cobertura, así como plantas del hábitat, se pueden combinar en el espacio y tiempo para influir en el número de plagas o artrópodos benéficos en un cultivo principal. This 7-page fact sheet was written by Hugh Smith y Oscar Liburd. Traducido por Ana Lucrecia MacVean, and published by the UF Department of Entomology and Nematology, June 2012.
http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/in932

Agricultural Management Options for Climate Variability and Change: Sensor-Based, Variable-Rate Nitrogen Management (AE487)

Clemson-designed variable-rate nitrogen applicator that does not have onboard sensors; NDVI data were collected in a previous trip across the field (right).Nitrogen fertilizer cost represents about 10%–15% of total farm costs for corn, cotton, and wheat in the Southeastern United States. The efficiency of nitrogen use can be highly variable for producers, so a sensor-based, variable-rate nitrogen application (SVNA) system has been developed for irrigated and dryland row crops to reduce production costs. Using sensor-based N application, there is a minimum 20% reduction in N usage. If that rate reduction were applied to all the cotton, corn, and wheat grown in the United States, CO2 emissions from N fertilizer production would be decreased by 2.7 million tons.
This 4-page fact sheet was written by Wesley Porter, Ahmad Khalilian, Daniel Dourte, and Clyde Fraisse, and published by the UF Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering, July 2012.
http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/ae487

Agricultural Management Options for Climate Variability and Change: Conservation Tillage (AE486)

Figure 3.  Cover crop rolling and strip tillage in preparation for planting; note the substantial plant residues maintained on the soil surface. Custom roller/strip-till unit by Myron Johnson of Headland, AL.This 4-page fact sheet focuses on the use of conservation tillage in crop production systems as a strategy to minimize the risks associated with climate variability and change and to improve resource-use efficiency. Written by Kip Balkcom, Leah Duzy, Daniel Dourte, and Clyde Fraisse, and published by the UF Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering, June 2012.
http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/ae486

Intercropping, Crop Diversity and Pest Management (ENY862/IN922)

Squash with living mulch of buckwheat.Growing different crops in the same field and/or planting different crops on the same plot during different times of the year can reduce insect pest populations, increasing beneficial insects, and suppress weeds. In addition, non-crop plants such as weeds, cover crops, and habitat plantings can be combined in space and time to influence numbers of pest and beneficial arthropods on the main crop. This 7-page fact sheet was written by Hugh A. Smith and Oscar E. Liburd, and published by the UF Department of Entomology and Nematology, February 2012.
http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/in922

Alternatives to Petroleum-Based Containers for the Nursery Industry (ENH1193/EP454)

Some alternative containers are made from wood fiber, recycled paper, or cardboard.Biodegradable containers are an increasingly attractive option for consumers and growers alike. This 5-page fact sheet looks at the past, present, and future of containers used in container nursery production. Written by Gary W. Knox and Matthew Chappell, and published by the UF Department of Environmental Horticulture, November 2011.
http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/ep454

Predatory Stink Bug, Alcaeorrhynchus grandis (Dallas) (Hemiptera: Pentatomidae) (EENY165/IN322)

Sometimes called the giant strong-nosed stink bug, this very large (20 mm) predatory stink bug occurs in several row crops and preys on other insects, especially lepidopterous larvae. The stages in the life cycle are presented here so that they can be identified in the field. This 3-page fact sheet was written by David B. Richman and Frank W. Mead, and published by the UF Department of Entomology and Nematology, March 2011.
http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/in322

Sustainability of Agriculture in Miami-Dade County: Considering Water Supply (ABE380/AE429)

Developing sustainable agricultural practices in Miami-Dade County (Figure 1) is important to ensuring the future of its economically significant winter vegetable, tropical fruit, and ornamental nursery plant production. This 8-page fact sheet discusses water availability, factors that influence water availability, agricultural water use, and irrigation efficiency as they relate to Miami-Dade County. It was written by Kati W. Migliaccio and published by the UF Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering, January 2011.
http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/ae429

HS1186 Solutions for Small Farmers and Home Gardens: Building a Low-Cost Vertical Soilless System for Production of Small Vegetable and Fruit Crops

HS1186, a 5-page illustrated fact sheet by Bielinski M. Santos, Teresa P. Salame-Donoso, and Shawn C. Arango, provides written and graphic instructions on how to build a homemade vertical soilless (hydroponic) growing system (also known as “bottle grow”) to produce vegetables and small fruit crops at a fraction of the cost of commercially available systems, without occupying premium agricultural land and by utilizing materials available in the home and local hardware store. Published by the UF Department of Horticultural Sciences, November 2010.
http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/hs1186

ENY062/IN856 Introduction to Soil Solarization

ENY062, a 6-page illustrated fact sheet by Robert McSorley and Harsimran K. Gill, describes this practice of covering soil surface with plastic to harness the sun’s heat to manage soil weeds, nematodes, diseases and insects in soil. The authors answer frequently asked questions and outline steps for conducting soil solarization. Includes references. Published by the UF Department of Entomology and Nematology, June 2010.
http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/in856

HS1161/HS406 Guia de para la Utilización Exitosa de la Composta en la Producción de Hortalizas

HS1161, a 7-page Spanish-language fact sheet by Monica Ozores-Hampton and Brain Asmad, provides a guide to the successful use of compost to produce vegetables. Published by the UF Department of Horticultural Sciences, March 2010.
http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/hs406

FOR227/FR289 Windbreak Designs and Planting for Florida Agricultural Fields

FOR-227, a 6-page illustrated fact sheet by Bijay Tamang, Michael G. Andreu, Melissa H. Friedman, and Donald L. Rockwood, reviews several design and planting options in order to assist in windbreak planning and development. Includes references. Published by the UF School of Forest Resources and Conservation, August 2009.
http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/FR289

FOR288/FR290 Management of Field Windbreaks

FOR-288, a 6-page illustrated fact sheet by Bijay Tamang, Michael G. Andreu, Melissa H. Friedman, and Donald L. Rockwood, summarizes the most important management practices needing attention from the time the windbreak is planted to when it is replaced. Includes references. Published by the UF School of Forest Resources and Conservation, September 2009.
http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/FR290

SL301/SS514 Soil Structure in Everglades Agricultural Area Histosols: Effects on Carbon Sequestration and Subsidence

SL-301, a 6-page illustrated fact sheet by A.L. Wright and E. A. Hanlon, discusses organic soil oxidation relative to storing or releasing carbon and nitrogen, evaluates effects of cultivation, and uses this information to predict long-term outcomes for agricultural production and reclamation. Includes references. Published by the UF Department of Soil and Water Science, August 2009.
http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/SS514