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.
http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/ag438

Weeds as Reservoirs of Plant Pathogens Affecting Economically Important Crops

White clover, a member of the Fabaceae family.

Weeds are a major contributor to yield loss and reduction in yield quality in an agricultural setting, competing with the crop for resources like light, water, and nutrients. This competition, along with the cost of weed management strategies like tillage and herbicides, is responsible for the economic impact of weeds, which can reach into the billions. Weeds can also harm crop plants by acting as reservoirs for destructive plant pathogens, the insect vectors that move these pathogens from plant to plant, or both. This new 7-page publication of the UF/IFAS Horticultural Sciences Department, written by Morgan Byron, Danielle Treadwell, and Peter Dittmar, summarizes previously published weed-pathogen associations to help growers scout and monitor pathogens in weeds near production areas.
https://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/hs1335

Nematode Management in Potatoes (Irish or White)

Plant-parasitic nematodes are a major pest on potatoes in Florida. Root-knot, sting, and stubby-root nematodes are the primary problems. Sampling is an important component of confirming nematode problems in a field. Nematode management relies heavily on chemical control (nematicides), but crop rotation and soil culture are important considerations as well. This 12-page fact sheet about nematode management in potatoes was written by Zane J. Grabau and J.W. Noling and published by the UF Department of Entomology and Nematology.
http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/ng029

Risk Management Planning for Agricultural Business Owners

Red chili peppers growing on the bush. Photo taken 09-13-18.

Risk identification is the beginning point for risk management planning because solution identification begins with knowledge of the problem. This 4-page document presents questions to consider regarding production risk, price or market risk, financial risk, legal risk, and human risk. Written by Martie Gillen and Beatrice Pierre, and published by the UF/IFAS Department of Family, Youth and Community Sciences, August 2019.
http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/fy1485

Current Status of Research, Regulations, and Future Challenges for CRISPR Gene Editing in Crop Improvement

Hydroponic tomatoes growing on the vine in a greenhouse. Photo taken on 03-14-17

Recently, new plant-breeding technology such as CRISPR gene editing has provided the potential to substantially improve crop breeding in agriculture. Considerable efforts have been devoted to apply this gene-editing technology in modern agriculture to increase crop yields and improve the quality of food ingredients, especially by many of the major agronomic seed-producing companies. In this new 4-page article, we outline the recent research updates and regulations on gene editing in crop improvement. Written by Sadikshya Sharma, Heqiang Huo, and Seonghee Lee and published by the UF/IFAS Horticultural Sciences Department.
https://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/hs1334

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

Estimating Herbage Mass on Pastures to Adjust Stocking Rate

Beef Cattle at the Straughn Extension Professional Development Center and at the Horse Teaching Unit. Livestock, cows. UF/IFAS Photo by Tyler Jones.

This new 6-page document explains methods to measure forage mass and utilize that information to estimate an adequate stocking rate. Written by Jose Dubeux, Marcelo Wallau, João Vendramini, Liliane Silva, Jane Griffin, Nicolas DiLorenzo, and Erick Santos, and published by the UF/IFAS Agronomy Department, June 2019.
http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/ag434

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

Plant Biostimulants: Definition and Overview of Categories and Effects

Fucus distichus

This new 4-page article provides an overview of a group of crop production materials termed “plant biostimulants,” which are frequently promoted as environment-friendly alternatives to chemical-based products. It explains their regulatory status and presents an overview of the most popular materials (e.g., beneficial fungi, seaweeds, and silicon) and their effects on plants. Written by Ute Albrecht and published by the UF/IFAS Horticultural Sciences Department.
http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/hs1330

Nitrogen Contributions from Peanut Residues to Subsequent Crops

Peanut residues are concentrated in former windrows when residue spreaders are not used at harvest.

There is not enough evidence to support current peanut N credit recommendations in the Southeast. Nitrogen is released rapidly from peanut residues, and it moves quickly through light-textured soils found in this region. Only a relatively small amount of N from peanut residues is available when subsequent crops need it. This new 5-page document discusses peanut nitrogen credits, nitrogen release from peanut residues, crop performance following peanut, tillage and nitrogen release, and peanut residue distribution and nitrogen release. Written by Arun Jani and Michael J. Mulvaney, and published by the UF/IFAS Agronomy Department, April 2019.
http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/ag431

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

Food Safety on the Farm: Good Agricultural Practices and Good Handling Practices: Transportation

Good agricultural practices (GAPs) and good handling practices (GHPs) encompass the general procedures growers, packers, and processors of fresh fruits and vegetables should follow to ensure the safety of their product. GAPs usually address preharvest practices (i.e., in the field), while GHPs cover postharvest practices, including packing and shipping. This 3-page fact sheet covers the GAPs of transporting crops. This major revision is a part of the Food Safety on the Farm series and was written by Christopher R. Pabst, Jaysankar De, Alina Balaguero, Jessica Lepper, Renée Goodrich-Schneider, and Keith R. Schneider and published by the UF/IFAS Food Science and Human Nutrition Department.
http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/fs151

Sugarcane Cultivar Descriptive Fact Sheet: CPCL 02-0926 and CP 05-1526

CP 05-1526 in early growth stage in muck soil.

This new 5-page fact sheet provides basic information as well as yield and disease information for CPCL 02-0926 and CP 05-1526 to assist growers in selection and management of these cultivars. Written by Hardev Sandhu and Wayne Davidson, and published by the UF/IFAS Agronomy Department, February 2019.
http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/sc105

Southern Highbush Blueberry Cultivars from the University of Florida

'Kestrel'TM

Southern highbush blueberries combine the fruit quality and productivity of highbush blueberries with the low chilling requirement necessary to produce a crop in the Florida climate. Written by J. G. Williamson, D. A. Phillips, P. M. Lyrene, and P. R. Munoz and published by the UF/IFAS Horticultural Sciences Department, this 13-page major revision describes current and historical southern highbush blueberry cultivars released by the University of Florida.
http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/hs1245

Weed Management in Rice

Flooded rice in the Everglades Agricultural Area.

Successful weed control is essential for economical rice production in Florida. This 6-page document discusses field sanitation and tillage, water management, and herbicides. Written by D. C. Odero and M. VanWeelden, and published by the UF/IFAS Agronomy Department, revised August 2018.
http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/wg001

Sample Productivity and Cost Estimates of Producing Longan (Dimocarpus longan Lour.) in South Florida


Interest is growing in minor tropical fruit crops. This 6-page publication written by Fredy H. Ballen, Edward A. Evans, Aditya Singh, and Jonathan H. Crane and published by the UF/IFAS Food and Resource Economics Department provides an estimate of the costs and returns associated with the operation of an established longan grove in south Florida. Information presented in this article was obtained through field interviews with growers and industry experts; it reflects a wide variety of production practices in small longan orchards of 1 to 4 acres and should help estimate the financial requirements of operating an established grove.
http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/fe1049

Alpine Strawberry as a Potential Niche Crop for Florida Growers and Homeowners

Examples of red and white Alpine strawberry fruit types. Some varieties are naturally calyx-free when harvested. Note: 25 mm is ~1 inch.

Alpine strawberries (Fragaria vesca) produce edible and highly aromatic strawberries known for their excellent eating quality. The berries are fragile and not suitable for long-distance shipping, which inhibits trade on the international market but also provides an opportunity for growers catering to local markets and for homeowners interested in growing this unique and delicious strawberry. This 5-page fact sheet written by Alan Chambers and published by the UF/IFAS Horticultural Sciences Department describes yield and fruit quality for several varieties to guide potential growers. The results of this project are anticipated to benefit growers and homeowners looking to cultivate specialty alpine strawberries.
http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/hs1326

Elemental Sulfur Recommendations for Sugarcane on Florida Organic Soils

Sugar Cane stalks. UF/IFAS Photo by Tyler Jones.

Micronutrient deficiencies can be important limiting factors in alkaline soils, with most micronutrients becoming less available for plant uptake as soil pH increases. This 6-page document is intended primarily for Florida sugarcane growers but may also be useful to researchers and others interested in sugarcane nutrition. It presents revised elemental sulfur recommendations for sugarcane grown on Florida organic soils along with supporting information. Written by J. Mabry McCray, and published by the UF/IFAS Agronomy Department, February 2019.
http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/ag429

Pollination Best Practices in Southern Highbush Blueberry in Florida

Apis mellifera, the European honey bee.

Southern highbush blueberry is the primary blueberry species grown in Florida. It is dependent upon pollinating insects for adequate pollination and fruit. Some Florida growers have reported cases of low fruit set in recent years, in particular on the cultivars Meadowlark and Emerald, which may have been due in part to poor pollination. This 5-page fact sheet written by Rachel E. Mallinger and Douglas A. Phillips and published by the UF/IFAS Department of Entomology and Nematology will discuss blueberry pollinators, some causes of poor pollination, and current best practices to reduce the possibility of poor pollination of southern highbush blueberry.
http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/in1237

Potassium Fertilizer Recommendations for Sugarcane on Florida Organic Soils

Sugar Cane stalks. UF/IFAS Photo by Tyler Jones.

Potassium is a primary plant nutrient that is required in large amounts by sugarcane. About 74% of the 400,000 acres of Florida sugarcane is grown on organic soils in the Everglades Agricultural Area. Potassium is not a component of organic matter and virgin Histosols contain very low concentrations of K, so release of K through mineralization of organic matter in these soils is not an adequate K source for plant growth. This 7-page document presents revised potassium fertilizer recommendations for sugarcane grown on Florida organic soils along with supporting information. Written by J. Mabry McCray, and published by the UF/IFAS Agronomy Department, February 2019.
http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/ag428