UF Ext. Service for Okaloosa County

Pesticides And Our Foods

February 7, 2017 by Jennifer Bearden In the US, only 2% of the citizens produce our food supply.  In order to feed the world, our farmers have adopted the use of Integrated Pest Management or IPM.  IPM is the coordinated use of pest and environmental information and available pest control methods to prevent unacceptable levels of damage by the most ...

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Do Your Homework Before Choosing Fruit Trees (with audio)

February 5, 2017 by Larry Williams Many people that move to our area are disappointed to find that they have paid for, planted and cared for fruit trees that are not adapted to our climate. Weather is probably the most important factor determining where certain fruits can and cannot be grown. Most fruits which grow in the northern part of ...

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Backyard Poultry (with audio)

January 31, 2017 by Jennifer Bearden Raising chickens in your backyard is becoming a national fad.  There has been a push to change land use codes to allow for small scale poultry production in large cities and towns.  More people want to raise their own chickens for eggs and meat.  However, raising poultry is not for everyone. Before purchasing poultry, ...

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Coyotes (with audio)

December 05, 2016 by Jennifer Bearden Coyotes can be a nuisance to pet and livestock owners as well as vegetable farmers.  Coyotes are true scavengers and will eat just about anything – sheep, calves, poultry, deer, watermelons, snakes, foxes, cats, rabbits, grass, carrion, garbage, pet food… Coyotes are mainly active at night but can be seen during daylight hours close ...

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Reduce 100 Bags of Fall Leaves to Ten (with audio)

December 04, 2016 by Larry Williams Billions of leaves blanket the fall landscape and are bagged by hundreds of homeowners to be placed curbside for local trash pick-up. Many of these leaves could be easily turned into valuable mulch or compost. Why do all those fall leaves end up in bags to be discarded? It’s probably because the homeowner is ...

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Fertilizer Basics for Pastures and Hay Fields (with audio)

November 28, 2016 by Jennifer Bearden Soil fertility and plant nutrient management is an important part of agroecosystems. Agroecological approaches to soil fertility and nutrient management begin with soil testing. A soil test will tell you soil pH. Soil pH affects the availability of nutrients to the plant. Soil pH should be adjusted to the optimal level for each crop before ...

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Poisonous Plants (with audio)

November 20, 2016 by Jennifer Bearden There are over sixty plant species with the potential to poison livestock.  However, only a few species cause most of the problems.  Toxic plants can be both native and exotic and most are broadleaved plants.  Florida’s climate is ideal for dozens of species of poisonous plants. Livestock generally only eat poisonous plants under extreme ...

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Blackberry and Dewberry Control in Pastures (with audio)

November 14, 2016 by Jennifer Bearden Blackberry and dewberry control in pastures is difficult to achieve.  The first step is identification of the plant.  Blackberries grow upright while dewberries have a low vine-like growth habit.  Dewberries also have slender thorns and red hairs on the stem while blackberries have hard, tough thorns and no hairs.  Blackberries grow up to 3-6 ...

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Cotton Weaves Through Our Lives (with audio)

November 13, 2016 by Jennifer Bearden You probably can’t go a day without touching cotton or a cotton byproduct. In 2007, according to USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service, 7,099 bales of cotton were produced in our county. Each bale weighs about 480 pounds. That’s enough cotton to make more than 1.5 million pairs of jeans or more than two billion ...

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Time to get rid of Chinese Tallow Trees (with audio)

by Jennifer Bearden Chinese Tallow, also known as the Popcorn Tree, was introduced in the US over 200 years ago.  Ben Franklin sent seeds over in 1772.  Although Franklin was blamed for the invasion of popcorn trees in the US Gulf Coast, scientists performed genetic testing and have concluded that the blame actually lies with federal biologists who imported some ...

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