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

22 Nov
November signals the beginning of Florida’s winter

IT’S TIME FOR the most important fertilization of the year. For a green lawn this winter and quick takeoff next spring, feed it now. A combination of weed and feed may be advisable, especially if your lawn is weedy. Winterizer fertilizer would follow two to four weeks later.

11 Nov
Florida bees to benefit from partnership

IT’S ARGUABLE THAT some of the best art is created by Mother Nature, and a recent partnership between The Wildlife Society and the Feed a Bee program, operated by life-science group Bayer: Science for A Better Life, is creating masterpieces through a series of native wildflower planting events to benefit bees and other pollinators. Florida

11 Nov
Putting our blessings in greater focus

I LIKE TO THINK about the good group of men and women who come to work each day at Adams Cold Storage in Auburndale. I like to think that we’re a thankful group, happy to be working and providing a valuable service to our customers and, in many ways, to the public in general.

28 Oct
How public refrigerated warehousing operations help during emergency situations

THERE’S A GOOD CHANCE that some of the food items originally bound for the public school lunchrooms in peninsular Florida were recently diverted for a higher-priority purpose. There’s nothing to worry about, though. The lunchroom cupboards aren’t going bare. There are plenty of commodities in the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) pipeline to replace it

25 Oct
Tips for the fall: Lawn and garden management for late October and early November

AS THE COOLER MONTHS of the year approach, it’s important to ensure that your lawn and garden are ready to withstand any obstacle Mother Nature might throw at them. Here at Doty Farm and Garden Supply, Inc., we are dedicated to helping your plants, lawns, and trees get the protection they need.

25 Oct
Hurricane Matthew spares Florida citrus

HURRICANE MATTHEW gave the state of Florida quite a scare during the first week of October. It held the potential to inflict great devastation on the state’s inhabitants and infrastructure. It was especially troubling to Florida’s agricultural industry, with the citrus industry having a lot to lose.

08 Oct
PCFB President’s Column: Farm Bureau says goodbye — for now — to Will Putnam

THE LAST FEW WEEKS have been difficult for our Polk County Farm Bureau family as we said goodbye for now to an industry leader and our friend, Will Putnam. Will was a member of the Polk County Farm Bureau board for 24 years, serving as president in 2000-2002, and in so very many capacities throughout

16 Sep
Incentives offered for Florida citrus growers

FLORIDA CITRUS MUTUAL maintains that Florida’s citrus industry must plant 20 million trees in the next 10 years to keep infrastructure up, stay solvent, and keep the industry afloat. A much-talked about planting program for Florida citrus growers has finally gained approval, and it should work as a good incentive for grove owners to plant

16 Sep
Fungal infestation of fescue

FESCUE IS A HARDY, EASY-GROWING grass that was established in the United States in the 1940s and grows on more than 35 million acres of land. Of the pastures that grow the tall fescue, many contain plants that are infected with a fungus, Acremonium coenophialum, that is toxic to horses.

16 Sep
The new ‘cash crop’ in the U.S. is here

IF YOU WANT TO KNOW how big agriculture-related tourism, or agritourism, is in Florida and how quickly it’s growing, you can always dig into the economic numbers. But, really, you don’t have to do that. All you really have to know are two things:

16 Sep
The international view from the cold food chain’s perspective

THE FOOD AND FOOD INGREDIENTS kept cold, dry, and secure at Adams Cold Storage in Auburndale truly are international in flavor and increasingly international in origin. Increased foreign trade, the result of 20 free trade and other agreements negotiated by the U.S. government, makes it possible for products from all over the world to pass

16 Sep
Publisher Letter: Congrats to the PCFB Youth Speech Contest winners

THERE ARE FEW THINGS that are more intimidating to people than public speaking. It’s an acquired skill that, through years of practice, however, can be mastered. In my youth, I was involved in my local Future Farmers of America (FFA) chapter, and public speaking was par for the course. Back then, I was one of

16 Sep
From the Editor’s Desk: Meet the Board of Directors for the Florida AgriTourism Association

ON WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 7, I was invited to join the recently established Board of Directors for the Florida AgriTourism Association during its inaugural meeting. If you know what I know, then you can appreciate how significant an association devoted to supporting agritourism in Florida will be for the members of our agriculture industry.

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15 Sep
Hops could be cropping up in Florida

THE CRAFT BEER INDUSTRY has grown like wildfire, and a UF/IFAS team is researching if Florida growers could benefit by filling a need in this niche industry: growing beer-quality hops. UF horticulturist Brian Pearson recently won third place in the Early Career Award for scientists at the American Society of Horticultural Sciences (ASHS) for his

15 Sep
Early fall considerations for your lawn and garden

THE BOYS OF FALL are all ready to tee it up and kick off for this year’s football season, but that’s not the only thing that kicks off in September — so does Central Florida’s fall gardening season. Now is the time to approach things a little differently in regard to your landscape’s health.

02 Sep
Rules to remember when starting your own farm

IN 2008, A SITE with an intriguing name hit the World Wide Web. It’s The Art of Manliness (www.artofmanliness. com). Five years later, a contributing writer offered a column that came to my attention a few weeks ago. The title is “9 Rules for Starting Your Own Farm.” It’s an interesting and fun-to-read piece by

17 Aug
PRWs and the Sanitary Transport Rule

LAST MONTH’S COLUMN began a discussion of the Sanitary Transportation of Human and Animal Foods Rule (the Sanitary Transport Rule, or STF), one of the seven pillar rules embodied by the sweeping Food Safety Modernization Act that became law in January 2011.

15 Aug
Citrus industry’s clock is ticking; researchers working to find a solution in time

FLORIDA’S CITRUS INDUSTRY has suffered significant losses due to citrus greening since the bacteria was detected in a South Florida grove in 2005. Annual harvest numbers have fallen year after year while the costs to maintain a grove in the face of HLB has doubled. The question has long been, “How long can the citrus

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29 Jul
MSU Extension takes a close look at Florida ag

WE IN FLORIDA have known for quite some time how grand, how diverse, and how wonderful agriculture in the Sunshine State really is — and how much more grand it’s destined to be. Now, a bunch of folks way up north, in the U.S. Midwest, are learning about Florida’s special place in American agriculture, too.

25 Jul
Citrus greening putting ag research on display

CITRUS GREENING IS A SCOURGE on the Florida citrus industry, but it highlights the value of ag tech, science, and innovation in an amazing way. So many are working on the issue, and the ingenuity of those in agriculture is on full display. Below are some of the research efforts in the works right now.

20 Jul
The battle for your lawn and garden

NOW THAT WE’RE well into July, here are some tips you can arm yourself with for your lawn and garden. This month is the time for summer fertilization of your lawn. It’s also a good time to repair, renovate, or plant. It is key to work in as much organic materials, such as peat, manure,

08 Jul
Getting ready for new federal overtime regulations

NEW OVERTIME REGULATIONS are in the books in Washington, D.C., but they won’t be effective until Dec. 1, giving employers nationwide more than five months from now to prepare for them. The time will be needed; the regulations will affect almost every company, organization, and government agency from sea to shining sea and extend overtime

08 Jul
Recently released early Valencia orange varieties from UF/IFAS may offer advantage to growers

FLORIDA CITRUS GROWERS are in dire need of new orange trees, and two new early UF/IFAS-created Valencia orange varieties have the interest of nurseries and growers. Citrus greening, or HLB, has infected an estimated 80 percent of citrus trees in Florida groves, according to a survey conducted by UF/IFAS in April, and replacing dead or

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17 Jun
Government funds available to help your operation

IF YOU KNOW where to find it, if you know how to access it, and if you meet certain qualifications, government funds are available to help your citrus operation. For that matter, government funds, at both the federal and state levels, are available to help a wide variety of agriculture-related enterprises.

15 Jun
What can we learn from this California ag education story?

AGRICULTURE IS IN NEED of warm bodies in the industry, with vacancies in the scientific and technical side of agricultural employment growing rapidly. It’s one reason why ag education is so important. Traditional ag education classes that pair with organizations like 4-H, Future Farmers of America and others — both in and out of public

27 May
Business resources for starting a farm

IF YOU’RE SEARCHING for something meaningful and rewarding to do with your life, be a farmer. If you appreciate the land and want to work it to help feed the world, be a farmer. If you’re looking to join the ranks of some of the most down-to-earth and salt-of-the-earth folks around, be a farmer. If