Transitioning from Conventional to Organic Farming Using Conservation Tillage

Organic corn planted in a cover crop of roller-crimped rye and hairy vetch.

Organic farming is one of the fastest-growing segments of the agricultural industry in the United States and in Florida. Conservation tillage is often employed to reduce soil erosion, improve physical and biological properties of soil, and increase water use efficiency. This 5-page article aims to provide recommendations to row crop farmers who wish to implement conservation tillage practices during their transition to a certified organic system. Written by D. L. Wright, J. Moyer, D. Treadwell, I. M. Small, and S. George, and published by the UF/IFAS Agronomy Department, revised November 2020.
https://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/ag246

Crop Water Use and Irrigation Scheduling Guide for North Florida

Rows of peanuts ready to be harvested. Photo taken 08-22-19.

Effective irrigation scheduling enables the irrigator to apply the right amount of water at the right time to meet the crop water demand. This 19-page guide presents information on average daily and weekly crop water use and crop growth stages for twelve north Florida crops that can be used to help schedule irrigation. This will allow a grower to develop a realistic irrigation schedule that minimizes plant water stress, saves water, and reduces nutrient leaching potential. Written by Vivek Sharma, Charles Barrett, De Broughton, and Thomas Obreza, and published by the UF/IFAS Department of Soil and Water Sciences, revised December 2020.
https://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/ss491

Blackberry and Dewberry: Biology and Control

Dewberry has a trailing or vine-like growth pattern.

Blackberry and dewberry are often viewed as nuisance weeds that reduce grazing in a portion of the pasture. However, severe financial losses can occur if these growing thickets injure cattle. This 4-page document provides information regarding blackberry and dewberry management in pastures. Written by Brent Sellers, Pratap Devkota, and Jason Ferrell, and published by the UF/IFAS Agronomy Department, revised November 2020.
https://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/ag238

Smutgrass Control in Perennial Grass Pastures

Smutgrass infestations are common in bahiagrass pastures throughout Florida.

This 4-page document provides an overview of smutgrass biology, control, and general recommendations. Written by Brent Sellers, Neha Rana, José Luiz C. S. Dias, and Pratap Devkota, and published by the UF/IFAS Agronomy Department, revised October 2020.
https://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/aa261

Tax Relief in Disaster Situations

Through its Hurricane Preparedness for Hotels and Motels Program, the Florida Energy Extension Service helps the tourist industry keep guests safe during lightning storms.

This 1-page document provides general information regarding disaster assistance and links to online resources for taxpayers affected by a federally declared disaster. Written by Jorge Ruiz-Menjivar and Heidi Copeland, and published by the UF/IFAS Department of Family, Youth and Community Sciences, revised September 2020.
https://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/fm259

Weed Management in Peanuts

Rows of peanuts ready to be harvested. Photo taken 08-22-19.

Successful weed control in peanuts involves use of good management practices in all phases of peanut production. This 11-page document lists herbicide products registered for use in Florida peanut production, their mode of actions group, application rate per acre and per season, and reentry interval. It also discusses the performance of these herbicides on several weeds under Florida conditions. Written by J. A. Ferrell, G. E. MacDonald, and P. Devkota, and published by the UF/IFAS Agronomy Department, revised May 2020.
https://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/wg008

Bermudagrass Production in Florida

Tifton 85 bermudagrass hayfield in Florida.

This 10-page document is primarily for Extension agents and farmers looking for detailed information about bermudagrass production in Florida, including cultivar characteristics, fertilization, and pest and disease management. Written by M. O. Wallau, J. M. B. Vendramini, and J. K. Yarborough, and published by the UF/IFAS Agronomy Department, revised May 2020.
https://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/aa200

Amaranthus palmeri—Palmer Amaranth

First true leaves are roughly oval and have a slight notch or indentation at the end.

Palmer amaranth has become one of the most troublesome weeds in the southeastern US due to its vigorous growth rate, high seed production, and development of resistance to herbicides from multiple modes of action. This 4-page publication illustrates characteristics of this weed to assist in accurate identification, proper management, and development of effective control strategies. Written by Sergio Morichetti, Jason Ferrell, and Pratap Devkota, and published by the UF/IFAS Agronomy Department, revised April 2020.
https://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/ag346

Nutrition of Florida Citrus Trees, Third Edition

Citrus fruit on trees in the campus orange groves. Photo taken 06-22-18.

This update to 2007’s second edition adds information regarding nutrition of Florida citrus trees affected by huanglongbing (HLB), also known as citrus greening. Much of the guidance provided in this document on nutrients, application methods, leaf and soil sampling, and irrigation scheduling is also effective for trees affected by HLB. However, research conducted since the previous edition was published has established changes in many production practices, including nutrient rates, irrigation scheduling, soil pH management, and use of Citrus Under Protective Screen (CUPS). Changes to the second edition will appear at the beginning of chapters 2, 6, 8, 9, and 11. See also this topic page for links to individual chapters in HTML and PDF formats. This 115-page book was edited by Kelly T. Morgan and Davie M. Kadyampakeni, and published by the UF/IFAS Department of Soil and Water Sciences.
https://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/ss478

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.
https://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/ss523

Lettuce Cultivars Suitable for Use on Organic Soils in Southern Florida

Lettuce. UF/IFAS Photo: Thomas Wright.

Lettuce as a commercial crop is planted mainly in organic soils (“muck”) in the Everglades Agricultural Area (EAA) in south Florida. This updated 6-page publication of the UF/IFAS Horticultural Sciences Department presents a summary of previous cultivar releases by UF/IFAS as well as a description of cultivars currently planted in the EAA. Written by German Sandoya and Huangjun Lu.
https://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/hs1225

Considerations for Selection and Use of Ornamental Grasses

Scouring horsetail in a planter.

Ornamental grasses create interest and excitement in the landscape with their unique characteristics. The availability of a large number of species and cultivars makes these plants very versatile, with many potential uses in the landscape. This publication outlines many of the considerations for the proper selection and use of ornamental grasses. The information and tables should assist the first-time gardener as well as the experienced landscaper in the selection and use of ornamental grasses in Florida. This 9-page major revision was written by Mack Thetford and Mary Salinas and published by the UF/IFAS Environmental Horticulture Department.
https://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/ep233

Smartirrigation Apps: Urban Turf

Smartirrigation Turf App

As freshwater resources become increasingly scarce, efficient irrigation scheduling methods that allow efficient irrigation water uses are required. Migliaccio et al. (2016) have developed an app called Smartirrigation Turf, an easy-to-use mobile tool that delivers information to improve irrigation scheduling for urban turf. The app was only available for Florida and Georgia, but recently, we have made improvements to the app and made it available to any location throughout the contiguous United States. The 7-page major revision, written by Haimanote K. Bayabil, K. W. Migliaccio, J. H. Debastiani Andreis, C. Fraisse, K. T. Morgan, and G. Vellidis, and published by the UF/IFAS Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering, describes the changes made on the recently released Smartirrigation Turf app.
https://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/ae499

Raising Backyard Chickens for Eggs

Chickens. Chicken, poultry, eggs, small farms livestock. UF/IFAS Photo by Tyler Jones.

Raising backyard chickens is an increasingly popular way to explore self-sufficiency, connect with how our food is produced, and gain experience for future dabbling in food production. This 13-page publication is designed primarily for those considering raising backyard chickens for eggs for personal consumption. Written by Mary E. Henry, Jessica M. Ryals, Alicia Halbritter, and Derek L. Barber, and published by the UF/IFAS Department of Animal Sciences, revised November 2019.
http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/an239

Florida 4-H Poultry Project Record Book

Two children evaluate chickens at a 4-H poultry show.

The Florida 4-H Poultry Project Record Book is designed as a tool for Florida 4-H members to keep records for their dual-purpose or show flocks. The Florida 4-H Poultry project’s purpose is to acquire an understanding of poultry production by preparing for, purchasing, breeding, caring for, and keeping records on one or more chickens or other poultry species. This 18-page major revision by Chris Decubellis is based on the original edition by L. W. Kalch and is a publication of the UF/IFAS Extension 4-H Youth Development Program.
https://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/4h038

Restricted Use Pesticides for Use in Florida

Phil Koehler, left, a professor of entomology with the University of Florida's Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, and Dempsey Sapp, president Florida Pest Control & Chemical Co. in Gainesville, check pesticides left unguarded from children and pets on a lawn service trailer. (UF/IFAS photo by Josh Wickham)

All pesticides are classified according to their toxicity, use pattern, and environmental effects. The two main classifications are unclassified use and restricted use, though unclassified pesticides are commonly referred to as general use pesticides. A restricted use pesticide is one that is for retail sale to and use by only certified applicators or persons under their direct supervision and only for those purposes covered by the applicator’s certification. This document will provide a listing of pesticide active ingredients registered in Florida that are classified as restricted and the reason(s) for the restricted use classification. This 4-page major revision was written by Frederick M. Fishel and published by the UF/IFAS Pesticide Information Office.
https://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/pi073

Bahiagrass (Paspalum notatum Flueggé): Overview and Pasture Management

Bahiagrass seedhead. The purple anthers can be observed covering each raceme.

This 10-page document discusses bahiagrass forage cultivars, forage production, nutritive value, animal performance, planting, pasture renovation, management, and more. Written by Marcelo Wallau, Joao Vendramini, José Dubeux, and Ann Blount, and published by the UF/IFAS Agronomy Department, revised July 2019.
http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/ag342

Methods of Forage Moisture Testing

Perennial peanut variety. Photo taken 04-18-18

Determining forage moisture is an essential procedure for estimating forage mass in pastures, determining harvesting or baling point for preserved forages, and calculating dry matter of feedstuff for total mixed rations. This 3-page document discusses methods and pieces of equipment available to estimate forage moisture. Written by M. Wallau and J. Vendramini, and published by the UF/IFAS Agronomy Department, revised June 2019.
http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/ag181

La Granada en Florida: Una fruta de arbol para Florida?

Árbol de granada ('Wonderful' cv.)

El potencial económico en la producción comercial para el cultivo de granadas en Florida es actualmente desconocido en este momento. La investigación científica continúa sobre la posibilidad de encontrar variedades de granadas que puedan crecer en Florida. Las condiciones ambientales, con una alta temporada húmeda en la Florida, y un clima caluroso, son factores que son favorables para las enfermedades en las granadas y eso reduce la calidad de esta fruta, especialmente para las variedades de temporada tardía como la variedad ‘Wonderful’. ‘Wonderful’ es el principal cultivar comercial que se originó en la Florida. Para reducir las enfermedades y evitar la competencia de comercialización con las granadas de California, la investigación para la producción de granadas en la Florida debe centrarse en buscar variedades de temporada temprana que puedan cosecharse en julio y agosto. This six-page document is the Spanish translation of HS44, The Pomegranate. Written by Ali Sarkhosh and Jeff Williamson, translated by Eva Pabon, and published by the UF/IFAS Horticultural Sciences Department.
http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/hs294

Protecting Perishable Foods During Transport by Truck and Rail

Airfoil accessories to increase fuel efficiency: underbody fairings

The importance of protecting perishable foods from loss of quality during transport has long been recognized. Increased recognition of the importance of the transport link in the food distribution cold chain in securing the safety of perishable foods has more recently become as well recognized.
This updated edition reflects the dynamic changes and innovations in the handling and transportation of perishable foods. Some of these include improved insulation and air movement, microprocessors for more efficient refrigeration, expert systems to control the transport environment and conserve fuel energy, and the use of telematics to monitor and control the performance of refrigerated vehicles during transit. This edition includes descriptions and recommendations for food transported over the road and by rail in marine containers, as well as in railcars. This 214-page revision was written by J. K. Brecht, Steven A. Sargent, Patrick E. Brecht, Jorge Saenz, and Leonard Rodowick and published by the UF/IFAS Horticultural Sciences Department in cooperation with the USDA AMS Transportation Services Division.
http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/hs1328