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Soil and Water Science

UF/IFAS Department of Soil, Water, and Ecosystem Sciences Extension faculty translate current and relevant soil and water science knowledge into user-friendly form for Florida residents, visitors, industry, business, governmental agencies and county agents.

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Editorial Team

  • aaguirre1 - ICS Editor
  • Rao Mylavarapu - Editor
  • Matt Whiles - Chair, Approver


Common Pollutants in Stormwater Runoff and Actions that Homeowners can Take to Reduce Stormwater Pollution

SS720/SL507by Anthony Halcyon, Mary G. Lusk, and Ann C. WilkieSeptember 24th, 2023This publication explains what happens when stormwater runoff enters constructed environments, its impacts on water bodies, and how individuals can take steps to lower their own stormwater runoff footprint. This guide can increase awareness of ways to reduce each person's role in water quality impairment by stormwater pollution. This publication is intended primarily for urban residential readers and does not focus on agricultural runoff. Critical Issue: Water Quality and Conservation

Managing Fruit Splitting in Florida Citrus

SS716/SL503by Andrew Krajewski, Timothy Ebert, Arnold Schumann, and Laura WaldoAugust 20th, 2023Sometimes, the fruit on citrus trees will split open, making the fruit unmarketable; splitting can aid fungal and insect pests that subsequently damage fruit. A physiological disorder, pre-harvest fruit splitting begins with nutrient imbalances at flowering. Nutrient deficiencies weaken the rind, causing it to crack if interior parts of the fruit expand too quickly. Symptoms are only visible after it is too late to avoid the problem, but mitigation is still possible. Our goal is to define the problem and suggest management tactics for growers and Extension personnel to avoid or mitigate pre-harvest fruit splitting. Critical Issue: Agricultural and Food Systems

The Importance of Sulfur for Florida Agricultural Production

SS715/SL502by Lakesh K. Sharma, Lincoln Zotarelli, and Christian T. ChristensenAugust 17th, 2023Intended for Extension clients, this publication highlights the importance of sulfur in row and vegetable crop production systems in Florida, such as its use in pesticides and fertilizers. Additionally, the publication provides insights into the perspective of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on sulfur in naturally occurring aquatic systems. This publication's target audience is agricultural producers, Extension agents, crop consultants, representatives of the fertilizer industry, state and local agencies, students, instructors, researchers, and interested Florida citizens.Critical Issue: Agricultural and Food Systems

Nutrient Management Recommendations Based on Mehlich-3 Extractant for Calcareous Soils in Miami-Dade County

SS717/SL504by Yuncong Li, Qiang Zhu, Rao Mylavarapu, Kelly Morgan, Guodong Liu, Jonathan Crane, Qingren Wang, Henry Mayer, Jeff Wasielewski, Laura Vasquez, Qingchun Liu, and Teresa OlczykAugust 15th, 2023This factsheet provides information about the history of soil testing calibrations and justification for recommending extraction of soil nutrients using Mehlich-3 for calcareous soils in Miami-Dade County. The dominant soils from this County have an extraordinarily high concentration of calcium resulting in high pH. This document also includes UF/IFAS approved Mehlich-3 extractant-based testing interpretations and recommendations for these soils. The purpose of this publication is to elucidate an appropriate approach for analyzing the unique calcareous soils from Miami-Dade County for plant available nutrients. The target audiences are Extension agents, agronomists at soil testing laboratories, crop advisors, growers, representatives of the state and local agencies, and others concerned about soil testing and plant analysis in Miami-Dade County.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 14th, 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

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