University of Florida study helps farmers find best fields for sweet potatoes

Wireworms won’t dampen the spirits of Florida’s sweet potato growers, thanks to ongoing research by scientists at the University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agriculture Sciences.

Wireworms took center stage in Florida after some major sweet potato growers converted fields previously dedicated to grain crops to the sweet potato crop. Some acreage was initiated by a farm that had actually relocated to Florida after leaving California because of prolonged drought, hopeful to take advantage of Florida’s warm weather, abundant water resources and sandy soil. Continue reading

A Tale of Two Buttercups

by Matt Poore, North Carolina State University

One of the signs of spring are the beautiful buttercups that adorn the roadsides, pastures and cropland. While to the casual viewer they really give a pretty yellow glow to the world in early spring, to an experienced forage manager they are clearly one of our most common and troublesome weeds.

Buttercups are non-native species that are very opportunistic at taking hold wherever there is bare ground in pastures. They are very common in hay feeding/sacrifice areas, around waterers, and everywhere in pastures that have been damaged due to animal impact during wet times, or due to overgrazing. The plants are very quick to set seed, so by the time you see the first yellow, there are literally only days left until they have set seed to provide for a good population the next year. So, if your pastures are really yellow each spring and you don’t do anything about it, it is unlikely that you will ever have much of a break from their impact. Continue reading