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North Florida REC

The North Florida Research & Education Center (NFREC) is one of the largest and the most diverse units of UF/IFAS, consisting of research and education campuses in Quincy and Marianna, Florida. The research and extension programs at NFREC are designed to help agricultural and natural resource clientele adapt and manage resources and agricultural operations effectively and profitably in a changing socioeconomic and environmentally aware setting.

Editorial Team


Perennial Peanut as a Potential Living Mulch and Nitrogen Source for Citrus and Other Orchard Crops in Florida

HS1474/HS1474by Muhammad A. Shahid, K. Leaks, A. R. Blount, and Cheryl MackowiakNovember 2nd, 2023The concept of using a perennial peanut as a living mulch and source of biological nitrogen in fruit and nut crop orchards is not a new idea. In Central and South America, perennial peanuts have long been incorporated as a living groundcover into palm, coffee, cacao, plantain, and citrus, as well as into other fruit and nut production orchards. This cover crop may pose as a viable, environmentally-friendly option for production in Florida, too.Critical Issue: Agricultural and Food Systems

Rhizosphere Microbes and the Roles They Play in Crop Production and Soil Health

SS723/SL510by Hui-Ling LiaoOctober 25th, 2023Each gram of rich soil can harbor 100 million to a billion microorganisms, meaning every inch of our soil is alive (Raynaud and Nunan 2014) (Fig. 1). These underground organisms keep soil healthy. Balancing the community of microbes can benefit plant yield, plant health, and soil sustainability. While it is recognized that many soil microbes perform key roles in crop productivity, the importance of these underground activities is easily overlooked because of their small size. By focusing on a specific group of microbes living on or near plant roots, this publication provides understanding for these questions: Who are these microbes and how do they improve plant and soil health?Critical Issue: Natural Resources and Environment

Carinata, the Sustainable Crop for a Bio-based Economy: Production Recommendations for the Southeastern United States

AG389/SS-AGR-384by R. Seepaul, I. M. Small, P. Devkota, H. Y. Sintim, M. J. Mulvaney, S. George, R. G. Leon, S. V. Paula-Moraes, Isaac L. Esquivel, R. Bennett, A. Pokrzywinski, D. Geller, J. J. Marois, and D. L. WrightAugust 25th, 2023Brassica carinata is a non-food industrial oilseed crop that can be grown in the winter in the southeast US without impacting food, feed, or fiber crops. Carinata is a low carbon advanced renewable fuel feedstock and a good source of animal protein. Carinata research in the SE US through a public-private partnership has developed a comprehensive body of knowledge regarding carinata agronomics, life cycle analysis, best management practices and economics. This article aims to help growers and others interested in carinata to understand its biology, agronomy, and production aspects.Critical Issue: Agricultural and Food Systems

A Preliminary Survey of Mycotoxins Identified from Florida Bahiagrass Pastures

SS718/SL505by Hui-Ling (Sunny) Liao, Ko-Hsuan Chen, Florencia Marcon, Robert (Robbie) Jones, Brittany Justesen, Joseph Walter, Ann Blount, Cheryl Mackowiak, Doug Mayo, and Marcelo WallauAugust 15th, 2023The beef cattle ranchers in Florida reported some health issues related to cattle grazing on warm-season grass pastures, such as bahiagrass and bermudagrass. The illness was not attributable to nutritional imbalances, or other possible causes. The focus then turned to what the animals were consuming, and forages were implicated. In general, the forages in Florida are just fine, however, sometimes under certain circumstances the fungi that live in our forages may produce “secondary metabolites”. All the forage harbor fungi. Some fungi are good in that they aid our forages to grow better, helping to mine nutrients from the soil or atmosphere. Sometimes they are not so good, like when high levels of ergotized seed occur in the seed heads of bahiagrass.Critical Issue: Natural Resources and Environment

Insect and Mite Pest Management in Florida Peanut

IN1408/ENY2101by Isaac L. Esquivel, Xavier Martini, Ethan Carter, and Silvana Paula-MoraesJune 22nd, 2023Peanut is one of the most important cash crops grown in the United States, with an estimated production value of over $1 billion. The southeastern coastal plains harbor most of the US peanut acreage, and Florida is ranked among the top five major peanut producers in the US, with 160 thousand acres planted in 2022 and an annual production value of $130 million in 2021. The majority of peanut acreage in Florida is in the Panhandle and central Florida, in Jackson, Santa Rosa, and Levy counties. Several insect pests feed on various peanut plant parts, including foliage, roots, and fruiting structures. These pests can cause significant damage to the plant canopy and kernels and can also transmit diseases, reducing the quality and quantity of yield if they are not properly detected and managed. This publication serves as a guide for Extension agents and growers to provide an overview of proper sampling techniques and management for peanut pests found in the Florida Panhandle.Critical Issue: Agricultural and Food Systems