Panhandle Producers Watchful and Proactive

Les Harrison
Extension Agent - Sustainable Agriculture
Leon County
harrisong@leoncountyfl.gov

The last half of August in good years is a keep-your-fingers-crossed period where farmers hope for the best, but keep close watch on everything than can go wrong.  Surprises, many unpleasant, can be lurking out of sight just over the horizon.  They may be as huge and unstoppable as tropical weather systems, which are now popping up with regularity in both the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic.  The unspoken admission is the peak of hurricane season is still four weeks away and we have really been lucky since the pummeling in 2004.    

The embryonic misfortune may be as small as Phakopsora pachyrhiz spores. Experienced producers appreciate, but never really understand the randomness of the next ill wihd which delivers some from problems and to other delivers problems, in this case Asian Soybean Rust. Right now no farmers or cattleman is taking his or her eye off the agricultural ball.

In tune with the season, panhandle farmers are monitoring stock, pastures and fields closely for insect outbreaks , mold and disease appearances, or the breakthrough weeds of late summer.   While heat is a general concern, producers are dealing with a variety of outbreaks.  To learn more, read on…