New UF/IFAS Agricultural Publications
UF/IFAS Extension has an extensive publications website, called EDIS (Electronic Data Information Source). Here are some of the new publications added this month that may be of interest to you:
Bottling, Labeling and Selling Honey in Florida (ENY159/IN918)
In 2011, the Florida Legislature enacted HB 7209 allowing individuals to manufacture, sell, and store certain types of “cottage foods” (including honey) in an unlicensed kitchen. “Cottage food operations,” as they are called, require no licensing or permitting from the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services and are not inspected by any other state government entity. This 4-page fact sheet was written by Nancy Gentry and James D. Ellis, and published by the UF Department of Entomology and Nematology. http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/in918
Florida Bears and Beekeeping (ENY105/AA133)
The Florida black bear (Ursus americanus floridanus) is a minor predator of beehives in Florida with the potential to cause major destruction. Large-scale urban and agricultural development inexorably reduces prime bear habitat each year. This habitat also contains excellent bee forage, and so bears and bees will sometimes come in contact, thus resulting in bear predation. This 4-page fact sheet was written by Malcolm T. Sanford and James D. Ellis, and published by the UF Department of Entomology and Nematology,
Fertigation for Vegetables: A Practical Guide for Small Fields (HS1206) More and more farmers are growing small crops of fruits and vegetables for specialty local markets. They commonly grow several crops at different stages of development at the same time so they have a variety of produce to sell to customers. This forces farmers to make several fertilizer calculations because of their diverse crop demands, because water and nutrient requirements vary according to the crop and stage of development. This 7-page fact sheet helps growers correctly interpret fertilizer recommendations and calculate accurate fertilizer amounts to be used based on crop nutrient requirements. Written by Jim DeValerio, David Nistler, Robert Hochmuth, and Eric Simonne, and published by the UF Department of Horticultural Sciences.
Horn Fly Management (ENY288/IN952)
Horn flies are one of the livestock pests with the greatest impact on the health and productivity of cattle. Economic losses due to horn fly damage are estimated at $36 million annually in Florida alone. In the U.S.A. annual losses total between $700 million and $1 billion, with up to $60 million spent on insecticidal control. Horn fly damage is caused by blood feeding. The flies feed frequently and exclusively on blood, piercing the skin of cattle with their proboscis and taking around 20 small blood meals each day. Pain and irritation due to the constant presence of the flies and their bites causes defensive behavior in the cattle that prevents adequate food consumption and rest. This 4-page fact sheet was written by P. E. Kaufman and E. N. I. Weeks, and published by the UF Department of Entomology and Nematology.
Self-Treatment Methods for Livestock–Backrubbers (ENY279/IG134)
Back rubbers are a method of pesticide self-treatment for cattle. When bothered by insects or other pests, cattle tend to rub against objects. Backrubbers provide a rubbing surface that is treated with a pesticide. Cattle self-treat during rubbing, which reduces the number of flies, particularly horn flies, and parasites such as lice, on the animal. Backrubbers may be purchased commercially or constructed from easily available materials. A properly designed backrubber that supplies pesticide reliably to the animal can be a valuable addition to an integrated pest management program. This 4-page fact sheet was written by E. N. I. Weeks and P. E. Kaufman, and published by the UF Department of Entomology and Nematology.
Comparing the Urine Ketone Strip Test and Handheld Ketone Meter to Diagnose Ketosis in Early Lactation Dairy Cows (VM186)
Ketosis is a common metabolic disease in fresh dairy cows. Clinical and subclinical ketosis (SCK) can cause reduced milk yield, decreased milk protein, reduced reproductive capacity, and increased risk of displaced abomasum. Usually, diagnosing ketosis is performed by measuring acetoacetate or BHBA levels in the blood, urine, or milk samples. Measuring BHBA in serum or plasma is considered the gold standard diagnostic test for subclinical ketosis, because this method has stability, but the price for ketone strips is approximately $0.08/strip while the price for the electronic BHBA measuring system is approximately $1.00. UF/IFAS researchers conducted a study to compare the two, using 72 Holstein cows between 14–40 days in milk from three dairy farms in north-central Florida with 450–800 lactating dairy cows. The key finding for this experiment is that no difference exists in BHBA concentration between cows that had a trace or small in the ketone strip reading. This 3-page fact sheet was written by Klibs N. Galvão, Achilles Vieira Neto, Gustavo Peña, Joao Bittar, and Lucas Ibarbia, and published by the UF Department of Veterinary Medicine-Large Animal Clinical Sciences.