Jerry Davis honored as the 2015 Northwest Florida Agricultural Innovator of the Year

Jerry Davis mugshotOn Tuesday August 4, 2015, twelve Innovative Farmers and Ranchers were recognized by University of Florida IFAS Extension and Farm Credit of Northwest Florida at the Jefferson County Opera House, in Monticello. This is the fifth year these two organizations have teamed up to honor a selection of the most innovative farmers from the Florida Panhandle.

The purpose of the Agriculture Innovator Recognition Program is to annually recognize innovative farmers and ranchers from 16 Florida Panhandle counties, from Jefferson west to Escambia County. In 2015, County Agriculture Extension Agents selected 12 Agricultural Innovators to be recognized.

All of the county honorees have distinguished themselves as creative thinkers and leaders in the agricultural community. From this group of elite farmers that were honored by their home county, one is selected annually to represent Northwest Florida. This year Jerry Davis of Escambia and Santa Rosa Counties, was selected as the Northwest Florida Agriculture Innovator of the Year. Jerry Davis was nominated by Libbie Johnson, Escambia County Extension Agent and Mike Donahoe, Santa Rosa County Extension Director. Read Jerry’s story below. The 11 other Agricultural Innovators nominated this year will be featured on the Panhandle Ag e-News over the coming weeks.

Jerry Davis CombineJerry Davis

Northwest Florida Agricultural Innovator of the Year

Submitted by: Libbie Johnson, Escambia County Extension & Mike Donahoe, Santa Rosay County Extension

Jerry Davis has been at the forefront of agricultural success in Santa Rosa and Escambia Counties for many years. He has been a very progressive leader in many movements to improve farming techniques throughout the state. He comes from a farming family, growing soybeans and wheat in his youth. The family tradition of farming continues to this day as his wife Patty, and daughter Caitlynn have been very active in the farming operation that has included cotton, peanuts, wheat, corn, soybeans, vegetables, livestock, and other crops. Early on, Jerry designed a seed conditioning plant (to clean and bag seed for planting) at age 20 for the family farm, and after that, he began farming in 1984. The family was working with Dr. Ron Barnett, UF/IFAS Small Grains Breeder, and Dr. Robert Kinloch, UF/IFAS Nematologist, doing a lot of crop variety and nematode trials on their farm.

Jerry has been on the cutting edge in adopting new technology for agriculture. In 1987, he became involved with Extension in testing the Gossym-Comax cotton crop simulation model and expert system developed by scientists in USDA-ARS and Mississippi State and Clemson Universities. Jerry attended several training sessions with the agent at Mississippi State University, and tested the model for many years on his farm. The computer model benefited program participants by allowing them to optimize inputs in relation to weather, nitrogen, moisture stress, crop maturity, growth resultants, and harvest aid materials. Data collected was
provided to researchers for model improvement. Data showed that growers participating in the project increased net profits on test fields by more than $30 per acre.

The Davis Farm started doing no-till in 1985, well ahead of the trend. One of his neighbors asked when they were going to plant in the wheat field, and he said, “It’s already up.” Over the years, he’s diversified into other row crops as well as livestock and vegetables, but his mainstay has always ben row crops. In the late 90s, he began to expand to Escambia County, Florida, and later to Escambia, Baldwin, and Hale Counties in Alabama. He was the only peanut grower in Hale County and one of the first peanut growers in Baldwin County. He was one of the first to grow 30-inch twin row peanuts, has tried 15-inch cotton, and uses grid sampling and precision agriculture to fine tune his operation that covers multiple thousands of acres. He works with Southeastern Cotton Growers and was funded by a project to utilize a VERIS rig to determine conductivity and soil types to predict where nematodes might be more prevalent.

Jerry is widely considered an early adopter of innovations and is ready and willing to try new concepts on his farm. He has partnered with UF/IFAS on variety trials and projects over the years, but most recently, he has tried his hand at growing carinata (Brassica carinata). Carinata resembles mustard as a young plant but can reach four to six feet in height at full maturity. It is high in erucic and linoleic acids and has less than 7% saturated fatty acids. These characteristics make it a desirable oil that can be processed into a ready-to-use or “drop-in” bio-fuel. Because the oil is high in erucic acid, it is considered a nonfood oilseed crop. Carinata has the potential to help meet the renewable energy demands of the United States without posing a threat to food production. Researchers are working to determine if carinata can be successfully grown in the Panhandle for use as oilseeds. The seeds would be crushed, and the resulting product would be refined for use as a renewable source of jet fuel. This winter and spring, Jerry planted a significant acreage in partnership with Dr. David Wright, UF/IFAS Agronomist, to determine the viability of this region for production of carinata. Not only does Jerry adopt practices, he helps researchers develop the agronomic practices that will serve all producers in this region.

Improving Agriculture through Extension Involvement

Jerry & Caitlynn Davis
Jerry Davis & daughter Caitlynn

Jerry Davis has served on the Santa Rosa County Extension Overall Advisory Committee as well as the Santa Rosa Agriculture Advisory Committees. He has hosted the, now famous, Santa Rosa Farm Tour, the Santa Rosa Young Leaders Tour, and collaborated with Extension to host the Agriculture Legislative Tour for Escambia, Santa Rosa, and Okaloosa counties. He has partnered with Escambia County Extension to offer the Ag Leadership Institute Tours. He is currently serving on the UF/IFAS Regional Advisory Committee, and the West Florida Research and Education Center Advisory Committee. He is also a past member of the North Florida Research and Education Center Advisory Committee. He was the recipient of the 2009 UF/IFAS NFREC Hall of Fame Award for work supporting research and extension programs in Quincy, Marianna and the Panhandle. He was recognized in 2006 for his contributions to Extension by the Florida Association of County Agricultural Agents as a Friend of Extension.

Though he and his crew are busy farming multiple thousands of acres, he has always had time to work with Extension through committee work, as the leader of a tour, or as a sounding board. Jerry has a ready smile and a willingness to help people. For the past several years, he has played a major role in the West Florida Research and Education Center’s Farm-City Week Celebration. His farm purchases and donates the sweet potatoes that are included in the box of Thanksgiving food that is given to pre-qualified needy recipients in Escambia and Santa Rosa Counties. Much of the produce in the box is grown at the WFREC, but the sweet potatoes come from Baldwin County, courtesy of the Davis Family.

Impacting Agriculture in Northwest Florida

Jerry & Patty Davis
Jerry & Patty Davis

Jerry is very civic minded and has worked diligently to advance the interests of the farming community. For many years he has been a spokesman for farmers at the local, state, and national levels. He has worked with policy makers to ensure disaster legislation and positive Federal Farm Bills. He was instrumental in obtaining $600K of state funding for cotton hardlock research over a three year period. He has served as a director of the Florida and Southeastern Boll Weevil Eradication Foundations since the program’s implementation in 1987. As a result of the Boll Weevil Eradication Program’s success, boll weevils have not caused economic yield losses for cotton growers since the early 90s. Upon the program’s completion it was estimated that eradication of the boll weevil benefited growers at the rate of $60 per acre annually. Jerry has served and continues to serve agriculture and his community in many other capacities including:

  • Farm Bureau – District I Florida Farm Bureau Director since 2009. Has served on various American Farm Bureau Advisory Committees including Peanut/Cotton and Issues and Policy.
  • Santa Rosa County Farm Bureau President
  • National Cotton Council – Has served as the State Unit Officer for Florida for many years
  • Chairman of the Ag Research Committee for Cotton Incorporated
  • Florida Commissioner of Agriculture Peanut Advisory Committee member
  • Southern Cotton Growers Farm Bill Task Force member
  • Florida and Southeastern Boll Weevil Eradication Foundation, Inc. Board member
  • Past President of Florida Soybean Association
  • Past Florida Peanut Producers Association Board member
  • Past Florida Foundation Seed Producers Board Member
  • Past Chairman of the Santa Rosa Farm Service Agency County Committee
  • 2001 Conservation Farmer of the Year in Escambia County
  • 1991 Good Year Conservation Farmer in Santa Rosa County
  • 1988 Santa Rosa County Farm Family of the Year (Mr.& Mrs. John H. Davis, Jerry, and brother Joel)
  • Has been on 12 mission trips to Central and South America




UF IFAS Ext 2013





The University of Florida/IFAS Northwest Florida Extension District and Farm Credit of Northwest Florida are proud partners of the annual Agricultural Innovator Recognition Program.



Posted: August 7, 2015

Category: Agriculture
Tags: Ag Innovator, Awards & Recognition, General Agriculture, Panhandle-agriculture



May 19, 2023

Contact Dorothy at for more information on canning classes!

Jill Keim
April 14, 2022

Hello, I can't seem to find any canning classes near me. I don't mind driving up to 1 hour away but the closest I've seen on this site is 8 hours away from Punta Gorda, FL. Please let me know if I'm missing something closer to home. Thank you, Jill

Carol Sigler
April 13, 2022

Wow, a wonderful success story to create even more successes.Thank you for your willingness to share these POSITIVE things. Makes my days brighter!

Alicia Betancourt
April 1, 2022

Great info!

Rick O'Connor

March 28, 2022

Hahaha - yes, many of my students felt the same!

Carol Sigler
March 25, 2022

Loved the adventure, though reading about it is more to my liking. Thanks, Carol Sigler

Carol Sigler
March 23, 2022

Didn’t know about excluding bats but I do know you cannot relocate a squirrel . Used to do it all the time until I found out it’s not legal.

Rick O'Connor

March 11, 2022

Hey Carol - snake photos already coming in. Let's see what we find next month!

Carol Sigler
March 11, 2022

Fun trip..thanks. Carol


March 10, 2022

You are so welcome, Elizabeth! Thanks to YOU for all your tireless work, as well.


March 10, 2022

Thank you--I thought the analogy would be useful! And yes, her pies are Amazing.


March 10, 2022

Thank you! Yes--quite timely with Pi day!

Carol Sigler
March 9, 2022

That is a lovely pie..,and Pi Day is coming!

March 9, 2022

Love the comparison between meringue and sea foam. Your mom's pie looks yummy!

elizabeth major
March 9, 2022

You do such good work. Thanks for ALL your many efforts.

Rick O'Connor

February 28, 2022

There are certainly plenty of reasons to manage them.

Rick O'Connor

February 28, 2022

Thanks Jean Ann

Carol Sigler
February 28, 2022

I’ve considered the “let it be scenario” with the invasives until I participated in the naturalist course. The biggest whap on the head was the description of what is contained in an oak tree as compared to a tallow and how the oak supports so many natives. Nature is wonderful..we just need to stop “messing around”.

Jean Ann Ann Hartman
February 28, 2022

Good article, Rick.

Rick O'Connor

February 28, 2022

Hey Donna They could be. International law prohibits the discharge of any waste from ships in federal waters, and specific waste in international waters. Many vessels carry large tanks, as do smaller vessels and aircraft, which are pumped out. But there is less law enforcement on the high seas and partial discharges could occur. For our cases in estuaries this of course is illegal. All watercraft in state waters can not discharge but must "pump out" - and most do. However, law enforcement have found, and cited, watercraft within marinas that were illegally discharging - so, it does happen.

February 25, 2022

Thank you for clarifying this issue. I am wondering…how do cruise ships/boats dispose of human waste? Could they be contributing to this problem?

make money online
January 24, 2022

Enjoyed every bit of your blog article. Much obliged.Loading...

Katrina Kiefer
January 23, 2022

I've searched the Pensacola ordinances looking for an answer to my problem. I'm a tree hugging type, very into preserving our planet and trees; but, there's a heritage tree right on the fence line that's roots have utterly destroyed the foundation of our pool house. There's one crack the runs nearly the entire length that's displace the floor by a full 1/2 inch. We're in East Hill in an old home and it's clear the root damage began long ago. What are my best options to mitigating this growing, pun intended, damage to my home?

Linda Gunter
February 13, 2021

Hello! I am just getting started with beekeeping and would love to know resources and learning in Escambia / Santa Rosa Co. Florida

Gerhard Skaar
January 23, 2021

Today's Arbor Day event was very professional and well executed. Thank you for the community service and well done to the many 4-H'ers who assisted with event. Please put me in contact with the appropriate Agent and I may want to provide some assistance with the program. Thank you


January 5, 2021

Hi Diane, Beth's email is if you'd like to contact her directly!

diane baldwin
November 9, 2020

11-9-2020, Hi Beth, this is Diane again, I have been in touch with you a few times and yet again I cannot identify 2 plants, I think one is a cathedral cactus and the other one I have no idea what to even call it....I can try to send you pictures but could not.......find your email and I DO NOT FACEBOOK......My neighbors bamboo plant decided to die....never did figure out what kind it was... Thanks again, be safe, wear your mask, WE NEED YOU..... :-)

Carrie Stevenson
October 16, 2020

Case law is on the side of your neighbor. If any part of the tree is over his property, he can trim it. If you refer to this document, there is case law on a similar situation. This is a quote from the document. "What is the liability for over-hanging branches and encroaching roots? Branches and roots frequently extend across property lines. Whether a branch or root from a tree on an adjacent landowner's property is the responsibility of the landowner with the tree located on his or her property or the landowner of the property to which the branches overhang or roots encroach depends upon the branches or roots themselves. If the branches or roots are healthy, then the landowner with the tree located on his or her property is not liable for damage caused by the branches or roots. The adjoining landowner may, at his or her own expense, trim back the branches or roots as he or she desires up to the property line. If the branches are dead, however, then the landowner with the tree located on his or her property may be responsible and could be liable for damages caused by the branches (1 Fla. Jur 2d Adjoining Landowners section 8 [2014]).

October 15, 2020


William Norvell
October 14, 2020

You mention part of a tree crosses a property line AND effects his property he is entitled to trim it at his expense. What if it just crosses the property line but does NOT effect his property, can he unilaterally remove a large limb. Say one that hangs over his drive.

Herb Grower
September 23, 2020

Hey, nice article. I liked your advice on keeping the parsley out of the sun more in summer.

September 12, 2020

Even though purple hyacinth bean is an edible plant in many parts of the world, it is mostly considered an ornamental in our area. One of the reasons is that raw beans are poisonous and must be properly cooked before eaten. Because of the toxicity of the beans, it is best to plant in the ornamental garden rather than the edible garden.

August 28, 2020

Many thanks for the information. Hope it goes even better next time

Peter Jones.
June 2, 2020

The Bog in Old Oakland is brimming with forest goods- fertilizers. The time is almost different. The South Side, Pittsburgh renamed Newton also. THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. Tne Natural Emergency.The real emergency.

Charles Trinchitella
March 28, 2020

Pretty sure my live oak had stem galls; what treatment, if any, is available? Thanks

Beverly J Watkins
September 19, 2019

Hi Rick. I am curious about the life cycle of the common sand spur. I live on the beach and would like to be able to Identify these plants early on to manually remove them from our sandy lot before they set seed. Most info I have found is more about chemical control which I’m not interested in. Thanks.

August 25, 2019

In case you are interested, a book on the cultivation of the fig tree in the Albatera field has been published, it is a publication that will help the farmer / technician in the management of the crop, which also contributes to deepening the knowledge of it, in aspects as morphology, pollination, caprification, irrigation, fertilization; with novel data on pests and crop damage not known so far, with updating historical data on pruning and other techniques, with more than 200 images, and that will be a useful tool for the technician, farmer, student or for anyone who Want to delve into himself.

August 9, 2019

I wanted an actual recording of a cicada. I am not from Florida and was wondering if the noise I was hearing was indeed the cicadas.

Delores Koontz
July 29, 2019

who is responsible for rotten trees that are dangerous on private property, Landlord or Tennant?

Modular Kitche
July 8, 2019

Hi Carrie, thanks for writing this informative post. Keep up the good work.

January 10, 2019

Great post! Thanks for sharing.

September 3, 2018

Hello, My name is Kimberlee Blaine and as a first grade teacher at West Navarre Primary School in Navarre, Florida, I'm interested in bringing in a bee keeper to share their expertise in the bee world. Please contact me, if you know of someone that would be willing to share their information with my class. Thank you for your time, Kimberlee Blaine email:

Mike Burba
August 12, 2016

Beth, I have encountered some of the downsides you mentioned with this fabric. If the torpedo grass rhizomes run above the fabric in the mulch, it is easy to remove them; however, when they get under it, the effort involved is ten times more. The fabric must be cut and folded out to get at them. When you want to plant something in a new spot, the fabric must be cut to gain access to the soil underneath. I can sometimes cut through it with a spade, but mostly have to get a cutting tool. If the fabric is supposed to reduce erosion, it only works if the flow of water is on top of it. Once it breaks through underneath the fabric, you find soft spots with a hole below. My gut feeling, and of course I could be wrong, is that these fabrics are used more to reduce erosion before plants cover the areas. I noticed our landscaper only used it in areas that weren't relatively flat. Not a horticultural reason to reduce weeds and they certainly make it more difficult later for the gardener.

August 12, 2016

One of the best pieces of landscaping advice you can offer. The worst possible use is under 'landscape' rocks. Two sinister plots to foil future attempts to garden in that spot. As for weeds? What do they care? Neither effort thwarts unwanted herbaceous plants from taking hold.

Chuck Stander
August 12, 2016

Very informative article. Chuck Stander

Jack Howard
August 4, 2016

What type of fig tree is best growing in SanataRosaCountyFla? Are fig trees self pollinateing? I have a fig tree that has been planted for about 20 years and is only about one foot tall and has never had more than 3 or 4 leaves. It has never had any figs or any bloom. Thanks for any information you might have.

Kayak Dave
July 31, 2016

Great article Rick on very important subject. The water wars will be very ugly.

Tina Sellers
July 29, 2016

Great article! Thanks

July 14, 2016


Mistie Mosely
June 21, 2016

Timely commentary , For what it's worth if others require a USDA OF-301 , my colleague found a sample version here

Rick O'Connor

June 13, 2016

Thanks Eleanore - will make that correction

June 11, 2016

The word "Welp" is incorrect. That means to bear puppies. The correct word it welt.

Rick O'Connor

June 10, 2016

You are more than welcome.

Tina Sellers
June 10, 2016

Thank you for the very interesting and helpful information!

Sonya Robinson
June 4, 2016

Great article Carrie. Thank you. This is related to your first paragraph. After the "hurricanes" and so many homeowners, including Master Gardeners, were rushing to get all the pine trees left in the ground, removed, Dr. Thetford made a simple comment that I thought was so appropriate. Some had been talking about all the lightning and wind and they were having those darn pine trees removed. He said, "And now what will be the tallest thing in your yard?" Food for thought! Thanks again Carrie. Sonya Robinson .

May 21, 2016

Thanks For Informarion.

May 10, 2016

Thank you very much for this information. Ants can be such a positive force in the landscape, but we're tempted to tar all ants with the reputation of fire ants.

Ann Poppy
May 7, 2016

Two green thumbs up.

May 6, 2016

Thanks for the good information. I really enjoy learning about ant species.

Shari Farrell
May 5, 2016

Thank you for this, Mary and Beth. Had no idea; now to teach the husband and his ant killer mania. Shari Farrell Ok. MG

Ann Poppy
April 9, 2016

Two green thumbs up! Love our carnivorous plants!

Ann Poppy
April 4, 2016

Aha! This explains those tiny "anthills" that never seem to have any ants associated with them.

Susan Henley
April 4, 2016

What type of Indian Hathorn can I use for a 3 foot formal hedge, do not want it to be real tall, maybe 3 ft

Rick O'Connor

March 12, 2016

Thanks Paul If you do see please log onto the FWC horseshoe crab site - and let me know as well! Would like to keep track locally how many we are seeing.

Paul Bennett
March 12, 2016

Rick, Found a couple of Horseshoe Crab shells washed up on my beach a few years ago. Have marked my calendar to check on the dates you listed. Paul Bennett

Rick O'Connor

March 11, 2016

Hi Deborah I believe I responded to you directly but wanted to add to the blog to make sure others saw the answer. One variety of vitex is listed in Florida as "Invasive, not Recommended". This is beach vitex, Vitex rotundifolia. Used in landscaping in coastal areas can lead to an invasive situation and is very difficult to remove once it begins to spread. We would recommend using a local native plant instead.

Jennifer Bearden
February 23, 2016

Vitex tree is different than Beach Vitex. Beach vitex was discussed in the blog post. The vitex tree is also invasive.

Deborah Mozert
February 23, 2016

Is the Vitex tree invasive? I saw a Vitex shrub in Lowe's last year and was going to buy it. I looked for it a few weeks ago and they did not have any. I read that it was a fast growing shrub/tree that I wanted to plant along my driveway. Any info is greatly appreciated.

Deborah Mozert
February 23, 2016

I did not know that Vitex is an invasive species. Does that mean all strains of Vitex? I saw some Vitex (not sure if Chinese) in Lowe's last year and was going to buy them, but I did not. I looked for them at Lowe's last week and they did not have any.

Doug Mayo
February 1, 2016

They do sell lawn herbicides in garden centers that contain the combination of 2,4-D and Dicamba, which are the active ingredients in Weedmaster. You may also find some products claiming brush control on the label with the triclopyr, that is the active ingredient in Remedy that provided better control of this weed. The brand names of garden center products vary considerably, but the active ingredients are similar, but may not be as concentrated.

January 29, 2016

I am having issues with this weed in my yard and wondering where I can purchase for residential use.

Rick O'Connor

January 26, 2016

YES! Thank you - made the change. You read over and over looking for typo's etc. Do not pay attention to whether the direction was correct or not. Will double check on future post. Thank you for catching.

January 26, 2016

Mr. O'Connor, You need to rewrite this: "As you leave Perdido Key you find Big Lagoon State Park on your left." There is no possible way coming off of Perdido Key by car that Big Lagoon State Park is on your left. It is on your right.

December 23, 2015

Enjoyed this article. Thank you

December 21, 2015

Excellent suggestions! I love this.

December 8, 2015

Will be curious to see how it does in the trial garden. Any value to wildlife?

kathleen groh
November 13, 2015

Where is there a collection location in the Navarre/Gulf Breeze area? Somewhere near the zoo on Hwy 98 if possible

Whitney Gray
November 6, 2015

Hi Rick! Thanks for another great article! I'd just like to point out that the Aucilla Sinks Trail is also a part of the Great Florida Birding and Wildlife Trail! More information on that and other GFBWT sites can be found at

elizabeth major
October 24, 2015

Carrie, Beautifully written and cogent. Thanks Elizabeth Major

October 24, 2015

Great article Carrie!

Dr. Wrong
October 9, 2015

Good job!

Louise Biernesser
September 24, 2015

These articles are great and need to broadcast to a wider audience. Putting this on FB....

Mike Rundel
September 14, 2015

Speaking from 16 years of Volunteer Fire is definitely the key. You are only as good as you train. Thanks!

Matthew Orwat
August 27, 2015

Thank you for your comment, here's another viable alternative:

Matthew Orwat
August 27, 2015

Here's another viable alternative:

August 27, 2015

Better to have suggested keeping cats and other small pets indoors at all times, rather than just at night ; cats, both domestic and feral, especially wreak havoc on our ecosystems.

Sonya Robinson
August 26, 2015

Dear Beth, Your articles are always inspiring. This one has a little different slant on the pest as we normally think about. This is a wonderfully surprising article in a very small amount of space. I believe that those that are not Master Gardeners will also be amazed. Would you give me permission to include this article in the next FFGC District 1 Newsletter? You will get all the credit of course. If it is not alright, I'll understand. Thank you, Sonya

August 26, 2015

Cats should not be let to roam outside at anytime, anywhere. There are many ways for them to be injured or killed. But most importantly is the wildlife they kill, the numbers of small wildlife killed by free roaming cats is huge and should not be acceptable. This slaughter of wildlife can be prevented by keeping cats indoors at all times. If a person cannot accept this than they should choose not to have cats. Please visit American Bird Conservancy (ABC) 'Cats Indoors' initiative. The death toll on wildlife, the potential for disease transmissions from cats to humans, and the possibility of injury or death to the cat should make all cat keepers think twice before they open the door and let kitty out unattended. Please help educate people on this subject. We can all easily help wildlife by keeping our cats indoors, safe and healthy. A cat can be happy and have a good life in the house.

Rick O'Connor

August 15, 2015

Hey Nick Glad you enjoyed the article. Was targeting folks such as yourself. Interesting findings and will good discussion next FMNP class. Your pictures are great! Thanks for letting me use them.

Nick Baldwin
August 14, 2015

Surprised to see the photo.......thought it looked familiar......scrolled down, and sure enough it was one I had taken. (-: As a Master Naturalist I am delighted to be able to share my photos with IFAS and fellow Master Naturalists, whenever they are useful. Great story too btw. (-: NB

Rick O'Connor

August 14, 2015

HEY WHITNEY! Yep, I remember... after reading the Gainesville blogs I think we were looking in the wrong place. Apparently concentrated at one point on the island. Maybe next time :-)

Carrie Stevenson
August 12, 2015

That's great! Glad we could help. Thanks for reading and letting us know.

Whitney Gray
August 7, 2015

Awesome article, Rick! I remember our trip there trying to find the cottonmouths!

Shari Farrell
July 29, 2015

Thank you Carrie! My husband now agrees the big pecan tree needs to stay and continue shading the A/C compressor on the south side of the house. Shari Farrell Okaloosa MG

Shari Farrell
July 29, 2015

Stephanie~ I have had my large rosemary for at least 15 years and, like yours, it blooms sporadically. I'm thinking it blooms better with enough water to drain. They are drought tolerant certainly, but aren't completely a desert variety plant... no water. Since they bloom in the drier part of Florida during the winter, some irrigation is good. Hopes this works for you.

Martha Lyle
July 21, 2015

Is it native to northwest Florida?

Martha Lyle
July 21, 2015

Is fakahatchee grass native to northwest Florida? Thanks, Martha Lyle

clifton mower
July 1, 2015

Had a similar experience Carrie and agree with you 100%!

Stephanie Dickens
June 30, 2015

Hi there. I have grown 2 separate Rosemary bushes over the years in a spot that gets sun and drains well yet, never have I gotten either one of them to bloom? Can you explain that? Thank you!!

Rick O'Connor

June 5, 2015

Thanks Paul! Thinking of doing a late afternoon trip for June. See if there is a difference. Let you know.

Glenn Klein
June 3, 2015

Thanks Beth, I bought a few of these because they were awesome but the seller insisted they were just big bulbina. Now I know what to re-order. Glenn

Paul Bennett
May 30, 2015

Rick, that interesting milkweed we saw on the island today is called Sandhill Milkweed or Pinewoods Milkweed (Asclepias humistrata). More here: Paul

Rick O'Connor

May 29, 2015

Thanks Whitney! Hope things are going well with you.

Whitney Gray
May 26, 2015

Nice article, Rick!

Rick O'Connor
April 28, 2015

Hey Kathy Chipmunks have never been in high numbers here in Florida. The few I have seen have been in the northern portions of counties that border Alabama and Georgia. Currently the population of those have been declining and FWC has now listed them. I do not think the squirrels are the reason for their low numbers. They are more common in rocky terrain and in colder climates where squirrels are still common. I think it is more of a climate issue. I am not sure why the few we have in the state are declining.

Rob English
April 19, 2015

Do they taste like cherries in jams? Where is the best place to purchase these bushes if you wanted a decent quantity? What time of yr do they produce? thank you

Murray White
April 18, 2015

Excellent illustrated descriptions of our barrier islands. Much appreciated and valued. Your work for the youth is a community asset.

kathy groh
March 28, 2015

curiously, I have noticed that there are no chipmunks in my area - NW Florida - specifically, Gulf Breeze. Is there a logical reason for this - we have squirrels but I have never seen a chipmunk and I would think the weather would be quite perfect for these little creatures.

February 23, 2015

This a terrific essay chock full of good info and causes me to wish for more of the great Master Naturalist classes and Panhandle Outdoors.

m v parker
February 11, 2015

good ideas with photos and reminders not to hide the house. foundations plantings are sort of a myth.

Rick O'Connor

January 30, 2015

Working on the link Lori. Sent the pdf version. If this does not help you let me know and we will find what you need.

January 30, 2015

Hi Rick, Great article! I would like to reprint this on Walton Outdoors. I was wondering if you have any duck box assembly instructions you can share. The link at the end of your story is a bad link. Thanks so much!

Rick O'Connor

January 24, 2015

Good morning Nina The NW panhandle team will be meeting Feb 18 to decide what project we will be doing this year. I suspect we will do a Panhandle Live program but the format may be different. Will let the group know of your interest and respond to you after the meeting.

January 24, 2015

Will there be a Panhandle Outdoors LIVE 2015 this year? If so, can you direct me to the flyer?

Sigrid Benson
January 17, 2015

Thank you! I hope your mailing list is very long and also that this paper will appear elsewhere. I am a volunteer in a visitors' center at the Gulf Islands National Seahore, and I hear frequetly from visitors how beautiful this area is. Part of that beauty is because there is plenty of it---and our visitors have said they appreciate that we are less "developed." I was young and adventurous 'way back when there were 10 animal phyla and ecological studies were simply "conservation" (so you see, my 1957 BS in Biology is quite outdated). I was worried back then and are even more so now, but with people like you and a steady drumbeat of your messages, perhaps the majority of us will enjoy a more natural, balanced way of iving after all.

Carrie Stevenson

January 4, 2015

Larry, from everything I've read, just pull several inches of the rhizomes up with the fern and place them in a natural crook or deeper bark ridges of the new oak tree, and they should do great. I've even heard of teachers keeping them alive in classrooms with spray water bottles in a bowl. Resurrection ferns are so hardy that I believe it'd be hard to go wrong. On a side note, we recently just picked up some firewood that had pieces of resurrection fern growing in loose bark--you could always take a small piece of bark that already includes some fern and place it on a horizontal limb to help transplant it. Let me know if it works for you!

Larry Phillips
December 6, 2014

Hi Carrie, What is the best way to start a resurrection fern from one live oak tree to another live oak tree in a different location? Would love to hear from an expert. Thanks and I would appreciate your suggestion. Larry Phillips

Matthew Orwat
October 3, 2014

What I do in the garden is use very forceful streams of water to wash them off. This process needs to be repeated several times until their life cycle is disrupted. The undersides of the leaves must be washed as well. This works in the garden, but is labor intensive and would not be practical for large scale production. See the publication below for more info.

Rick O'Connor
September 15, 2014

Michele Rick O'Connor - Sea Grant in Escambia What we would like to do is first verify and photograph the plant to post on EDDmaps - will need your permission to do so. Then, if interested, we can advise you on how to remove. Let me know if you are interested in doing part or all of this.

September 12, 2014

Could you recommend some organic methods of spider mite management? Thank you :)

Michele Gibson
September 12, 2014

Add bay county to the list. I have a house on the beach and my dunes are covered. So sad as it has climbed the sea oats this year, and many failed to survive.

Cynthia Pelfrey
September 5, 2014

I would like to participate in this class if you have availability.

August 18, 2014

This sounds great! Are you guys doing something like this for 2015?

Beth Bolles
February 6, 2014

Jane, Asclepias seeds germinate in 3-4 weeks at temperatures of 68-86 degrees F. Seeds are short lived so plant soon after ripening. Milkweed are warm season plants so wait until after our last frost to set out the transplants, about mid to late March. If we get a late cold, be prepared to cover.

Jane Brewer
February 5, 2014

Our Garden Club in Panama City Beach is getting ready to co-op with our Conservation Park to create a Butterfly Garden. We have 300 Milkweed seed to begin with---any helpful suggestions on the best way to start these seeds and when to transplant???? Thank you! (Beth, I attend your classes in Milton at Short Course North.)

February 5, 2014

Enjoyed the content and links. Linda Deaton

October 13, 2013

love those peanuts. grew up on farm in Jackson county where we grew peanuts, cotton, corn, soybeans. love those peanuts. cant seem to get enough of peanuts. didn't even know there was so many vitamins in peanuts. just taste good sue wiley

Matthew Orwat
October 11, 2013

Thank You. We are here to serve your gardening needs, and value your input.

Audrey B Carnley
October 8, 2013

Thank you...........I love all the information from the University of Florida IFAS Extension

October 8, 2013

Where can I buy barrels? Thank you!

Scott Jackson
September 22, 2013

Update 9/22/2031 The Blackwater River State Forest Trip Oct 3 is now open for registration. There's was registration delay due to our attempt to reschedule the Apalachicola trip originally scheduled for September 24. The date conflicts with an important meeting our Sea Grant Agents are required to attend. This meeting was not on the calendar when the original POL 2013 dates were announced. At this time, we cannot find a date that works for the trip leaders. Typically we open the trips for registration after the preceding trip is complete. So at this time we are opening the next trip to Blackwater River State Forest. To register visit

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