14 Sep
Getting in the Gardening Game with a Good Offensive Plan for Your Plants

Football isn’t the only thing that kicks off in September; so does our fall gardening season.  Now is the time to think differently about your garden and landscape’s health. It’s time to plant annual flowers and vegetable plants.  Also, if you’re looking to transplant any trees and shrubs, now is a good time. Here are

14 Aug
Why bother having disability insurance?

I get it—nobody looks forward to paying their disability insurance premiums every year! It’s not exactly an exciting expense that people enjoy having to pay. However, think of the ramifications of an unexpected or tragic event occurring without this protection in place. Here’s some examples of why it’s so important. Disability insurance can protect you

14 Aug
ACS – Prepared for Anything

By Ben Adams, Jr Two months ago, the headline for this column was “The ACS Food Defense Plan.” The focus was on the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) and the act’s most recent shoe to drop — the element dealing with “malicious contamination” or “intentional adulteration” of food and how businesses in the food supply

14 Aug
Take Advantage of What Florida Has to Offer

Hunting is a pastime enjoyed by many. It offers the opportunity to get outdoors and enjoy nature while bonding with friends and family. Plus, if things go well, there will be plenty of fresh, locally-sourced meat afterwards. Florida has some excellent hunting grounds that can be enjoyed by those new to the sport or seasoned

14 Aug
Safety Reminders for Work on the Farm

by Andrew Hein, DO There’s no doubt about it— working in the agricultural industry can be one of the hardest (albeit one of the most rewarding) jobs on the planet. Members of the farming community are the first to point this out, but with that truth, there are also plenty of hazards associated with working

14 Aug
Eastern Equine Encephalitis

By Dr. Katie Hennessy “Triple E,” or EEE, is a mosquito spread virus that is spread to animals — most often to horses — and also to humans by infected mosquitoes. In horses, EEE causes inflammation or swelling of the brain and spinal cord, and in 70 to 95 percent of all cases, the disease

14 Aug
Cost Share Programs Promote Ag Conservation

By Patrck Spinosa Farmers, ranchers, and ag landowners in Florida know how important our natural resources are in running a successful operation and take their roles as environmental stewards very seriously. Increasing operational efficiencies and improving conservation and management practices can be expensive, though. Fortunately, there are programs in place that offer financial assistance to encourage

14 Aug
Beat the Heat for a Lawn Budding with Beauty

by BILL DOTY It’s August, and while the heat comes as no surprise, the rainfall we’ve had so far this season puts us ahead of the average, and that’s affecting our lawns and gardens. Here are some helpful tips to keep your garden and lawn healthy and beautiful. First, during this month it’s important to

14 Aug
The Story of Agriculture

The story about agriculture, in Florida and across the nation, is a great story. It’s a story worth telling — a story with sharing with people of all ages and from all walks of life. I’m among those who think it’s important to get out the good word about agriculture to our children — if

14 Aug
Citrus Irrigation Scheduling

Citrus irrigation scheduling is a must-do for Florida citrus growers to walk that fine line between adequately irrigating their citrus groves and maintaining water conservation efforts. There are many different considerations concerning irrigation scheduling for citrus, and those factors also affect nutrition and fertilizer management, so citrus producers will want to ensure they are checking

14 Aug
The Benefits of Hydra-Hume

By JOHN BAXTER With water being absolutely the key resource in farming — cropland without it practically has no value — and water conservation a high priority in agriculture, a question among farmers and growers is this: “How can I get the most and best use out of every drop of water available to me?”

20 Jul
What Do I Need to Retire?

Having been a financial advisor for nearly two decades, I’ve helped with planning retirement for people from all walks of life: agriculture business owners, medical professionals, school teachers, firefighters, and many others.  Some people have been planning for years, with a large retirement nest egg to show for it. Others haven’t asked themselves the tough

20 Jul
The ACS Emergency Plan

Here at Adams Cold Storage (ACS) in Auburndale, we have a lot of confidence in the emergency plan we’ve developed for severe weather and other disaster scenarios. You might be surprised to learn, several weeks now into the Atlantic hurricane season, that the plan has already been activated once this year — and that it

20 Jul
Reduce Your Risk of Heat Stroke While Working Outdoors

Those of us who have lived and worked under the Florida sun know first-hand what the summer heat is like. Working outdoors in the summer heat may require taking some extra precautions to protect yourself from the possibility of heat exhaustion or heat stroke. Heat stroke is a very serious medical condition that occurs in

20 Jul
Beat the Heat— and the Pests— in Your Lawn this Month

It’s summer time in Central Florida, which means it is hot, humid, and (this year) wet.  Besides staying hydrated while working in the yard, there are several things you should be thinking about when it comes to summer lawn and garden care.  Now is the time for summer fertilization. Repairing, renovating, or planting are also

20 Jul
Summer Heat and Your Horse

Horses are remarkable for many things — one of them being their ability to adapt to weather extremes including the summertime heat and humidity of Central Florida. If you own a horse or horses, it is important to provide shelter — natural or constructed — so your horses are able to regulate their temperature by

20 Jul
Hurricane Preparation to be Ready for the Next Storm

June 1st was the official start of the Atlantic Hurricane season. While some climatologists are backing off the active hurricane prediction, it is still important to be prepared, especially for the high winds and flooding that are common with a hurricane. We shared two blogs with UF/IFAS tips on hurricane preparation for your farm or

19 Jul
The Future of Our Farms

Here’s a fact that tends to bring cheers: due in large part to better science, technology, and horticultural practices, U.S. farming productivity and efficiency rates today are the best they’ve ever been. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the level of farm output in 2015 was 2.7 times greater than its 1948 level. That’s

19 Jul
Hunters on a Mission

The Wild Game Food Bank is committed to serving our community through a partnership with local hunters and area food banks. A great example of how this is applied is our relationship with the Mission of Winter Haven. This Christian organization seeks to lend a hand to those in need, and serves roughly 100-150 meals

19 Jul
Adjuvants and Your Operation

What are adjuvants, and how do they help your operation? Adjuvants are inputs that aid the activity and/or modify the physical characteristics of a spray mixture. In other words, they simplify ease of use and improve the application performance of what you are spraying. Adjuvants are a relatively small cost for helping you get more

13 Jul
Florida Citrus— Solutions for Replanting or Resetting Your Grove

Citrus greening disease, also known as HLB, has impacted more than 80 percent of Florida’s citrus trees, according to UF/IFAS research. It has been present in Florida groves since 2005. With such a challenge before them, growers are asking whether it is a wise financial investment to plant new trees or reset groves. And, it’s

08 Jun
The Potential Benefits of Selling High

Making money can be very simple. Most folks over complicate the process or think that making money is overly complex. Of course, it can be – but doesn’t need to be, at least not 100% of the time. Understanding the buying and selling investment cycle with a focus on “selling high” may have potential benefits

08 Jun
The ACS Food Defense Plan

When signed into law by President Barack Obama on Jan. 4, 2011, the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) was so massive in scope and so broad and deep in its regulatory reach, it wasn’t practical or even possible to roll out all of its mandates at one time. Instead, the timetable for review, implementation, and

08 Jun
Florida Blueberry Growers Fighting for Fairness in NAFTA

As negotiations are underway on the North American Free Trade Agreement, the concerns of the Florida blueberry growers, and of all Florida farmers, should have heavy weight and prominence in the discussions. Issues that are top-of-mind for U.S. farmers include competition and labor, particularly when it comes to imports from Mexico. Letters from Florida Commissioner

08 Jun
The Benefits of Eating Wild Game

When you go out hunting or fishing, you are participating in the ancient traditions of food acquisition. At Wild Game Food Bank, we always appreciate your donations when thrill of the hunt outweighs the need for fresh meat, but there are also some great reasons to enjoy that meat yourself. The benefits of eating wild

08 Jun
The Ultimate Goal of Our People, Products, and Knowledge

The goal of Helena Agri-Enterprises, LLC, has always been clear: to utilize our people, products, and knowledge to bring about the ultimate end result of our customer’s success.  In other words, we care about whether you successfully grow a profitable crop each year. Helena is one of the foremost agronomic solutions providers in the United

08 Jun
Looking Back at This Year’s Blueberry Harvest

In keeping with the theme of this month’s issue of Central Florida Ag News, the Blueberry Roundup Edition, I thought I would share what I’ve heard about how the just-completed Florida blueberry harvesting season went this past year. The word I’ve heard most to describe the blueberry season — from the growing season to the

08 Jun
Hurricane Season Tips for Your Animals

Hurricane season has arrived and officially runs from June 1 through November 30. The hurricane season of 2017 should have been a “wake up” call that we need to be prepared and the best time to do that is now. There is plenty of information out there for preparing your homes, property, and human family

08 Jun
Bill Doty Gardening Tips for June

Gardening ‘To Do’ List in June After a Wet May!  May was one of the wettest months on record for Florida this year so it makes June a critical month to plant new lawns and repair existing ones.  You can use Palmetto plugs to fill those empty spots during the continuation of our rainy season,

08 Jun
Glyphosate Class-Action Lawsuit Asserts the Dangers of Unhealthy Soil

The link between the health of our soil and the health of the foods grown in that soil has been proven time and again. The connection between the health of the foods we eat and our overall health—including our risk for developing diseases—is a no-brainer. At Guardian Soil Solutions we know that healing our soil,

08 Jun
A Hurricane Preparedness Summary to Get You Started on Storm Readiness

June 1st was the official start of the Atlantic Hurricane season. NOAA has predicted that we could be in store for another active hurricane season this year. On our website,, we have already published two online articles sharing tips from UF/IFAS on getting your farm or ranch ready. Make sure to go online and

16 May
Lessons Learned from the Family Farming Tradition

It’s a tradition that no doubt will continue and keep agriculture going strong. EVERYWHERE YOU LOOK in agriculture, there are stories of the strength of our country’s family farming traditions. Whether it’s a story of two daughters continuing their late father’s legacy on the family ranch or the lessons learned on a five-generation cattle and

16 May
Don’t Let Small Problems with Your Horse Turn into Big Problems

ALL HORSES require regular maintenance and preventive care for the best possible health. As a horse owner it is your responsibility to provide regular health care for your horse. Fortunately, many equine health problems can be prevented or minimized with regular wellness care and/or treatment by a qualified veterinarian. Four key areas of health-care concern

16 May
Hunger: The Preventable Tragedy

WHAT DID YOU have to eat today? Maybe some toast and eggs for breakfast, or a bowl of cereal. Maybe you skipped breakfast and had a big lunch. Dinner might range from a light salad to a hearty steak and potatoes meal. Whatever it was, we’re sure you were grateful for what you had.

15 May
Citrus Greening Research Highlights Cooperation and Women in Ag Leadership

CITRUS GREENING has been at work for more than a decade in Florida citrus groves, and the devastation it has brought to the Sunshine State’s citrus industry is enormous. Citrus greening also threatens the citrus industries of other citrus-growing states; the pathogen was detected in residential citrus in California in 2012 and 2017. The best

15 May
Maintaining the Cold Supply Chain in the Caribbean

IN MARCH’S COLUMN, I began a discussion of the Adams Cold Storage (ACS) Caribbean connection — its link to the cruise liner industry and food exporting to the islands in the region. That link is the role ACS plays in the cold supply chain that helps to keep many cruise ships and some of the

15 May
Florida Agriculture Is Putting Up Big Numbers

I’VE SAID IT BEFORE, but it merits repeating: Florida agriculture is big. Make that HUGE. It’s huge in scope, in numbers, and importance — importance not only to those of us fortunate to live here but also to people across the nation and around the world.

09 Apr
Owning Versus Renting Ranch Land

Large tracts of ranch land are one of the biggest requirements for a successful cattle operation, and that invariably opens up the timeless debate of whether it’s more beneficial to own or rent your pasture. Some cattle operators in Florida choose to take the “rent” path, and for good reason. However, before you completely disregard

09 Apr
Don’t Forget This as Part of Preconditioning Beef Calves

April generally starts the spring working season when cows and calves undergo vaccinations and parasite control.  If you’re not planning on doing so, make sure deworming your beef calves is part of the process. Research proves a good parasite-control program leads to weight gains and improved overall health, and that deworming should get as much

09 Apr
Financial Tips for Growing Your Agricultural Business

Given the success many ranchers and farmers have experienced over the past few years, we often hear of families or organizations looking to expand their agricultural business.   Many factors go into making sound financial decisions about your farm or other operation, which today include concerns like: increasing land values, higher interest rates on equipment

09 Apr
Psyllid Problem or Soil Problem?

In the last decade, Florida citrus has been devastated by the Asian citrus psyllid.  Since 2005, this non-native insect has spread a bacterial disease (citrus greening) throughout the citrus industry in all Florida and now to Alabama, Texas, and California.  The economic loss has been estimated by the University of Florida to be well over

09 Apr
Contagious Equine Metritis (CEM)

Contagious equine metritis is a sexually transmitted disease caused by the bacterium Taylorella equigenitalis.  Unless you are importing horses or semen from other countries, Contagious equine metritis (CEM) shouldn’t be a concern. CEM does not exist in the United States, but preventing its entry is important and requires some stringent rules to be enforced.  All

09 Apr
Hunting Facts on Wild Hogs

Wild hogs are the second most popular hunting game in Florida (second only to the white-tailed deer), but you may be surprised to learn that these hogs that are so common throughout the state are not native to the area.  In fact, no real pigs or hogs are indigenous to North America.  Hogs came to this continent

09 Apr
Before the Hot Florida Summer, There’s April — and a Lot To Do Outdoors

Our early Spring and late Winter weather were turned upside down this year. February felt like March and  March felt like February except with mid-70 and 80-degree temperatures and drier weather. However, April is here and it is one of the better months to be outside and working in a Central Florida lawn and garden.

09 Apr
FATA — Great Opportunity for Florida Ag Operators

THERE’S A GRAND OPPORTUNITY in Florida for every farmer, rancher, grower, or forester with an open mind and a willingness to make a modest investment. It’s an opportunity to maximize the value of every acre you own and/or manage. How is this possible? It’s possible — actually, more probable than possible — with a first

09 Apr
The Cold Standard: Exceeding Regulations

In last month’s column, we began a discussion about our efforts in supporting the cold-chain supply lines between our customers and the cruise lines in the Caribbean islands.  I’m going to pause on this subject because we just received the formal renewal certification of our British Retail Consortium-International (BRC-I) Audit for Storage & Distribution, conducted

14 Mar
Nutrition Farming, the Future of Agriculture

The future of agriculture is now.  Over the last 70 years, farmers have been taught to farm using monoculture, fumigants, expensive high salt fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides, and now antibiotics to grow our crops.  Under this system, we have unknowingly lost our soil’s natural ability to defend itself. Year after year of using these methods has

14 Mar
The Attraction of Authentic Cattle Drives

On Saturday, March 10th, the public was able to see a band of authentic cowboys and cowgirls on an as-real-as-it-can-get cattle drive down Main Street in Immokalee, Florida.  It’s a short drive from our Griffin Fertilizer office in La Belle. The event included 200 head of cattle heading to the current Immokalee Pioneer Museum at

14 Mar
Go Greenhow: Important Financial Tips

IRA?  Now’s the Time! The recent stock market volatility has been an interesting ride for everyone – but within the changes lie financial opportunities.  For example, it’s an excellent time for those who have not yet made IRA and retirement plan contributions for last year (2017) to consider doing so! Why contribute to an IRA

14 Mar
Keeping it Cool in the Caribbean

The friendly city of Auburndale, located in the very heart of Central Florida and the home of Adams Cold Storage (ACS), is about as landlocked as a city can be in the Sunshine State, but that hasn’t kept our company from being in the mix of things in a business based in deep water —

14 Mar
Springtime with these Gardening Steps

Now that the warm weather has arrived, it’s time for the gardening tips for March.  We have some great suggestions this month to make anyone a lawn and gardening pro. Your yard needs some much-needed attention during this month.  Ensure that you fertilize your lawn now. Many problems are caused by lack of food.  A

14 Mar
Teaching Our Children the Hunting Tradition

In the hustle and bustle of modern life, it is easy to let our traditions, like hunting together, get lost and forgotten.  Children especially may not appreciate the skill and patience required to successfully bag a deer if they’ve never been taken on a hunting trip.  In fact, statistics say that for every 100 adult

14 Mar
Simple Ways to Support Your Local Farming Community

March 20th is National Ag Day, and it’s the perfect time to discuss how we can support the local farming community, not just on this day, but all year.  The Agriculture Council of America hosts National Ag Day to recognize and celebrate the contributions of agriculture, big and small.  The focus is three-fold: to help

14 Mar
Finding Equine Facts

You can find a lot of misleading, incorrect or opinion tainted information searching on the internet.  Have you thought about where you might look on the internet to find factual data or information? When you have agriculture or equine disease questions, visit the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services website, For horse lovers,

14 Mar
FYI: A Great Opportunity for Youth in Ag

The opportunities for children and teenagers in Florida to learn about the interesting, important, and wonderful world of agriculture are plentiful.  Programs such as FFA in the schools and 4H provide many of those opportunities in a structured format, exposing young people to the ways agriculture affects us all, teaching them the work and ways

19 Feb
A Strong, Yet Flexible Link in the Cold-Supply Chain

An exceedingly strong link in the food cold-supply chain can be a flexible one as well.  That’s what a multi-temperature public refrigerated warehousing business can provide for its customers— flexibility in the kinds of perishable products it can safely accept, store, and help to distribute. Our business, Adams Cold Storage (ACS) in Auburndale, is one

19 Feb
Minerals, Microbes, and a Food Source: The History of Compost

The principles and benefits of composting can be traced back to the beginning of time.  Nature has always demonstrated the benefits of using death to restore life.  In addition to being mentioned many times in the Bible, composting was also written about by the Greeks, Romans, and Israelites.  It was written about coming out of

19 Feb
Protecting Yourself and Your Horse from Rabies

Rabies is a viral disease that causes inflammation of the brain in all mammals.  Humans and animals can become infected through the bite of an infected animal.  Rabies is endemic in wildlife such as bats, raccoons, and foxes.  While these animals do transmit the disease, dogs, cats, and even horses can become infected through the

19 Feb
Fostering a Healthy Wildlife Population

Few people understand the needs of the land and wildlife like hunters do.  After all, without healthy ecosystems, game populations dwindle, and hunting becomes impossible.  If you are a property owner looking to foster a healthy wildlife population on your plot of land, here are some reminders that will be helpful in your efforts: Plant

19 Feb
Garden Tips: Before Spring Makes its Grand Entrance

It’s February, which means it’s planting time in your garden.  Get busy by putting your tender annuals in the ground now, as well as fertilize your fruit and shade trees. Before you go plant-crazy for the impending spring season, however, you’ll want to have your soil pH checked.  Most plants like a pH of 5.5

19 Feb
Ag Tax-Cut Package for Florida Agriculture Proposed

Hurricane Irma did a lot of damage to Florida agriculture in the first half of September 2017.  Damages to Florida agriculture by Hurricane Irma were estimated to be around $2.5 billion, with sectors like citrus, the nursery industry, cattle, and sugar hit the hardest.  Growers and producers are awaiting federal disaster relief, but The Florida

16 Feb
Top 3 Conclusions from the USDA ERS 2017 Report on America’s Diverse Family Farms

by DON HARDEN As a family farmer myself, the status of the family farm and its impact on the future of agriculture is not lost on me.  With the average age of farmers on the rise, family farms are also the focus of USDA’s Economic Research Service’s (ERS) recently released a report on the subject:

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15 Jan
Prepare Your Lawn and Garden for a Great Year

Now that the New Year has arrived, it’s time to make some plant and garden resolutions that will add life to your outdoor space.  Here are the gardening tips for the month of January to get your lawn and garden started off the right way. One of the first things to do is fertilize Bermuda

15 Jan
Little Known Facts About IQF

Much of the USA began 2018 on an extremely cold and icy footing, quickly bringing to mind Disney’s “Frozen,” the highly popular animated film.  At Adams Cold Storage (ACS), we’re blessed with the opportunity to make a living in the real world of frozen and to do our part to secure critical links in the

15 Jan
Soil Health and Your Grove

We need a paradigm shift in agriculture.  I know that’s a bold statement, but let me tell you a quick story about why I feel this way.   Over the holidays, I had the pleasure of touring citrus groves in Avon Park.  What I witnessed was a beautiful landscape and a proud agricultural community.  I

15 Jan
Florida Cattlemen’s Association Hosts Genetics Technology Lectureship

In addition to proper land management of your pasture, genetics is an important topic when it comes to the health and marketability of your beef herd.  The technology of genetics, however, has advanced so rapidly in recent years that it can be hard to keep up.  A two-day lectureship, the Application of Advanced Genetic Technology

15 Jan
Economic Facts About Florida Forestry

When you discuss the big players in Florida agriculture, citrus and beef cattle are usually the topic of conversation, but there’s another sector that deserves recognition for bringing a lot of jobs and revenue to The Sunshine State: The Forest Industry.  I have a great deal of experience in land purchasing and forestry management, so

15 Jan
Resolution Idea – Be a Hunter On a Mission

It’s a new year, and many people are looking to improve themselves in some way or another.  It’s a time for reflection, for considering our paths and resolving to do more for ourselves and our communities.  Here at the Wild Game Food Bank, we are committed to connecting hunters with the needy by making it

15 Jan
Protecting Your Horse From West Nile Virus

West Nile Virus (WNV) is a mosquito-borne virus that is primarily a bird disease but can infect any mammal, including horses and humans. It’s maintained by infected birds in the wild as they contain a high level of the virus in their blood. Humans and horses are considered “dead-end hosts” since mosquitoes appear unable to

15 Jan
Resolve to Support the Farm Community

If, heading into 2018, you made resolutions for the new year, I hope that at this point in January you’re still keeping them— or at least most of them. A few of them, maybe? I know some folks who list goals for a new year rather than make resolutions. They say it’s more practical to do

19 Dec
Assistance Available for Irma Damaged Ag Land

Hurricane Irma did a significant amount of damage to Florida agriculture with few industries escaping damages of some kind. If it wasn’t damaging to ripening or new crops, it was damage to soil beds, water sources, or infrastructure. Florida Commissioner of Agriculture Adam Putnam is working to get relief for Florida farmers and ranchers from

19 Dec
Nutrition Farming is Taking Off

Here at Guardian Soil Solutions, we have discovered that taking care of the soil helps crops and groves grow and produce— even if they’re suffering from citrus greening. But our philosophy didn’t originate here; it came from another part of the world where it’s already being religiously followed. Graeme Sait is an evangelist of sorts.

18 Dec
Can Precision Ag Impact Potential Profits?

If you’re working in ag, you’d be hard-pressed not to have heard of precision agriculture.  Whether it’s the latest piece of technology or a review of the benefits of precision ag, the topic is front and center in agriculture news.  One benefit that is often discussed is the potential for profits and what do they

13 Dec
Groundwater’s Role in Agriculture

Meeting food production demand in the 21st century will depend on groundwater in many parts of the world. Did you know that in the United States irrigated agriculture pumps an average of 49.5 billion gallons of groundwater every day? Sustaining our groundwater resources to meet agricultural needs requires wise use, pumping efficiency, and resource monitoring.

13 Dec
Nutrition Farming is Taking Off

Here at Guardian Soil Solutions, we have discovered that taking care of the soil helps crops and groves grow and produce— even if they’re suffering from citrus greening.  But our philosophy didn’t originate here; it came from another part of the world where it’s already being religiously followed. Graeme Sait is an evangelist of sorts.

27 Nov
The Symbiotic Relationship of Plants and Soil

Nature has a specific design!  All life on Earth works together in a symbiotic relationship to serve a better purpose.  Soil contains trillions of living organisms, each with a specific role in mining minerals, processing sugars, and protecting the roots of whichever plant species is growing above them.  With such a heavy workload, life can

22 Nov
Crafting Cow Whips for Cattle Ranchers

Art can be found in many different elements of agriculture, most of which perform some kind of function. Creative artisans can take a tool as common as a cow whip and craft it into a work of art. I can think of no other artisan who makes them so beautifully as KJ Smith. He makes

30 Oct
Reminders for Hunting Deer in Zones B and C

With their guns sighted-in and bows tuned, hunting enthusiasts will soon be loading up their hunting gear and climbing into a tree stand or blind.  Whether hunting public or private land, a hunting license and a $5 Deer Permit is required for the expedition.

16 Oct
Growing Lemons in Florida— Could They Make a Comeback?

  While Florida agriculture works to recover from the damage left behind by Hurricane Irma, the industry has turned its attention to citrus with the monthly Citrus Forecast from the USDA.  From this forecast, which was first released on October 12, you’ll hear a lot about oranges and grapefruit, but not Florida lemons and limes.  The

18 Sep
Archery Safety Tip Reminders

With September comes the winddown of summer and the first hints of fall.  It also means hunting season is back in much of Florida, with bow hunting starting things off.  Archery has long been a popular sport amongst 4-H students and hunting enthusiast alike, so it’s always a good time to share some archery safety

21 Aug
Small Farms and Resources for Them

Small farms in Florida might not grab the big headlines, but the fact that there are so many of them means they can’t go unnoticed. And they don’t. In statistics last updated in 2015, Florida had approximately 47,300 commercial farms and ranches, using a total of 9.45 million acres, according to the Florida Department of

21 Aug
Advantages and Disadvantages of Drip Irrigation— Things to Consider

Irrigation is an important component of any farm, and drip irrigation is one of the most popular options. However, to make the best choice for your operation, you’ll need to consider the advantages and disadvantages of drip irrigation when deciding if it’s right for your crops. Advantages of Drip Irrigation Drip irrigation offers many benefits.

19 Jul
Growing Limes in Florida: A Sweet and Sour History for Growers

Limes were once so plentiful in south Florida that one of the varieties grown here was known as a Key lime because it was grown around the Florida Keys.  Then, a “perfect storm” of Hurricane Andrew, citrus canker, and insect pests came together to push limes out of Florida.  However, it looks as if limes

19 Jul
Water Well During Droughts and Flooding

The unpredictable weather changes in Florida have affected not only the plants and grass, but also the water supply.  During the first part of the year many experienced record water lows.  However, the past couple of months have been wet and rainy!  Whether you are in an area that is still experiencing effects of the

19 Jul
Horse Management During Excessively Wet Weather

While we have all been relieved to see some rain after the recent drought, we’ve received a little more than we bargained for.  Excessively wet weather can present a number of problems for both your horse’s health and management. Standing water and muddy footing in high use areas in pastures and paths can promote hoof

23 Jun
Recognizing the Cream of the Crop with CARES Awards

Most farmers and ranchers that I know have a real love for the land and a strong desire to take good care of it. The land, after all, is how farmers and ranchers make a living— it’s their bread and butter, so to speak— so it’s not surprising that farmers and ranchers often are recognized

16 Jun
In Florida, It’s Watermelons, Watermelons Everywhere

FLORIDA LEADS the country in many crops and commodities, and one of the most important and underrated is watermelon. Florida is the top of four states— Texas, Georgia, and California being the other three— that produce over half of the country’s watermelon, and demand for the crop is continually increasing. According to the Ag Marketing

01 Jun
Having a Plan for Hurricane Season in the Food Supply Chain

As educational activities locally and statewide were winding down in late May, and folks looked forward to the long Memorial Day holiday weekend, activities of the emergency management kind were ratcheting upward. With the start of June came the start of the sixth-month 2017 Atlantic hurricane season. Emergency management officials far and wide renewed their

20 May
Crop Diversification in Central Florida— Where to Begin by DON HARDEN

Agridiversity is an increasingly important part of agriculture as the statistics show that the industry will need people from all backgrounds to consider agriculture as a career if we are going to feed the world’s growing population.   In the pages of this month’s Central Florida Ag News, you’ll read stories of the diversity of

24 Apr
U.S. Cow Herd Large and Young

The U.S. cow herd continues to grow at a very fast rate. An piece examining the growth maintains the cow herd expansion from 2014 through 2016 was the biggest since the 1970s. The USDA–National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) Cattle Inventory report was released January 1. The report showed increased growth in cow herd, and

10 Apr
A smoother transition for passing on the family farming tradition

THE 2012 CENSUS OF AGRICULTURE counted 2.1 million farms in the U.S., with 97 percent being considered family-owned operations. While that designation could be any number of configurations of family members, siblings, and extended kin, the one that packs the most important punch is the multigenerational family farming business. We count the number of farming

13 Mar
College-level ag programs offer training and open doors

AGRICULTURAL PROGRAMS like FFA and 4-H are celebrated for their ability to get America’s youth interested in ag, but did you know there are similar programs at the college level? These postsecondary ag programs take the principles of programs like 4-H and FFA to the next level. The word from all agriculture sectors is that

10 Feb
Water access a key component to farmland value

“EVERYONE KNOWS that land without water isn’t worth much.” That was the sentiment of Tony Toso, a California Farm Bureau Federation director, rancher, and professional agricultural land appraiser, in a 2014 article about ground water rights. No matter the locale of the farm or the crop being grown, access to water is of the utmost

09 Dec
Agricultural-Environmental Leadership Award winners a credit to ag

EVERY YEAR, the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) presents the Agricultural-Environmental Leadership Award to three agriculture operations that “demonstrate a sustained commitment to conserving Florida’s natural resources and improving our environment.” The praises of this year’s winners were sung by Florida Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam in a recent Growing Produce article. Putnam