Bagasse: A Potential Organic Soil Amendment Used in Sugarcane Production

Pile of bagasse collected at the US Sugar processing plant in Clewiston, FL.

Bagasse is an agricultural by-product derived from the sugarcane milling process. It is a dry and fibrous residue left after the extraction of sugar juice from sugarcane. This 5-page document is a preliminary investigation into the possible effects of using bagasse as a soil amendment. Written by Jehangir H. Bhadha, Nan Xu, Raju Khatiwada, Stewart Swanson, and Chris LaBorde, and published by the UF/IFAS Department of Soil and Water Sciences, August 2020.

Everglades Agricultural Area Soil Subsidence and Sustainability

Presence of calcium carbonate in the form o flimestone gets higher as the soils become shallow, raising the pH.

This 4-page major revision, a publication of the UF/IFAS Department of Soil and Water Sciences, highlights the current status of Histosols within the Everglades Agricultural Area in southern Florida. Over the last century, soils within the region have gradually been lost via oxidation, a process commonly referred to as soil subsidence. The rate of subsidence is gradually declining, due to factors such as increased mineral content in soil, humification, and water management (maintenance of higher water tables). Best Management Practices and crop rotation help slow down the rate of oxidation and promote soil sustainability within the region. Written by Jehangir H. Bhadha, Alan L. Wright, and George H. Snyder.

Rice Physiology, Products, and Critical Steps Associated with Postharvest Operations in Southern Florida

Farm equipment at a rice paddy. Photos from the Smathers Archives.

This 5-page document pertains to the UF/IFAS Extension programs related to rice production in the EAA and focuses on the steps that comprise postharvest processing of rice (drying, tempering, milling, and storage). It aims to highlight the physiology of the rice kernel and define some of the common terms used in the rice industry, elaborate on the steps in postharvest processing, and provide a brief overview of rice products and their market potential. Written by Jehangir H. Bhadha, Sangeeta Mukhopadhyay, Charlene Andrews, and Matthew VanWeelden, and published by the UF/IFAS Agronomy Department, September 2019.

Tapegrass, Eelgrass, or Wild Celery (Vallisneria americana Michaux): A Native Aquatic and Wetland Plant

Tapegrass, Vallisneria americana. a) Tapegrass underwater meadow. b) Illustrations of male and female plants.

This 5-page document describes the main features of tapegrass and summarizes important habitat requirements for its growth and restoration. Written by Mohsen Tootoonchi, Lyn A. Gettys, and Jehangir H. Bhadha, and published by the UF/IFAS Agronomy Department, September 2019.

Tools for Evaluating Soil Health

Soil health is a term synonymous with soil quality. It refers to the chemical, biological, and physical characteristics that influence a soil’s ability to function sustainably and to satisfy the needs of humans, support plants, and cycle elements, water, and energy between earth systems. This four-page fact sheet identifies ways to evaluate soil health. Written by Jehangir H. Bhadha, Jay Capasso, Robert S. Schindelbeck, and Allan R. Bacon and published by the Department of Soil and Water Sciences.

Trends in Rice Production and Varieties in the Everglades Agricultural Area

Porntip Tinjuangjun, a postdoctoral plant pathology student from Thailand, collects seed from transgenic rice at the University of Florida's Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences in Gainesville, Tuesday JUNE 10, 2003. By using cloning and other genetic engineering methods, she is developing seed that is resistant to bacterial infection, which is a major rice crop problem in Africa and Southeast Asia.

Rice production in the Everglades Agriculture Area (EAA) of Florida dates back nearly seven decades. For a brief period in the 1950s about 2,000 acres of rice was grown in the EAA. Rice was reintroduced in the EAA in 1977 after it was demonstrated that rice could be successfully incorporated into the sugarcane production cycle during the fallow period. This three-page fact sheet provides a history of rice production in Florida and information about rice varieties grown in Florida. Written by Jehangir H. Bhadha, Luigi Trotta, and Matthew VanWeelden and published by the Soil and Water Sciences Department.

Producing biochar using a custom designed Top-lit Updraft (TLUD) gasifier

Figure 1. (left) original design of the TLUD; (right) constructed version of the TLUD.Biochar can be produced in a wide variety of ways; some are complex, while others are relatively simple. Researchers at the University of Florida Everglades Research and Education Center in Belle Glade, FL, designed and built a top-lit updraft (TLUD) gasifier that can generate biochar from locally acquired feedstock. This 4-page fact sheet describes its design and evaluates the biochar recovery of four locally available feedstocks. Written by Jehangir H. Bhadha, Stephen Jennewein, Julio Sanchez, and Timothy A. Lang, and published by the UF Department of Soil and Water Science, September 2014.