Tag Archives: crop

Fragility of monoculture agriculture in varying water conditions

They don’t want to say “we don’t know,” but they don’t know. At least they have a working hypothesis about the collapse of the 2017 peanut crop in much of Florida: it has to do with variations in rainfall.

Bob Kemerait, Southeast Farm Press, 22 January 2018, Peanut collapse: Something happened but it’s not clear exactly why,

…For months, University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences Extension agents led by Anthony Drew, Mace Bauer and Dee Broughton had been sounding the alarm that an unprecedented collapse of the peanut crop was occurring across large areas of Florida’s production region. Symptoms of this collapse included stunted plants, late-season yellowing and leaves with distinctive marginal leaf necrosis. Where most severe, entire fields wilted in the weeks prior to harvest. Abysmal yields, off by as much as 45 percent, forced some to consider their future in farming if solution could not be found.

During the latter third of the season, Continue reading

Crop nitrogen losses into Suwannee Basin

Here is a very interesting paper about increasing nitrogen from crops into the Suwannee River Basin and its springs (promoting algae growth), with actual data on how well best management practices (BMPs) are containing the runoff: Environmental Nitrogen Losses from Commercial Crop Production Systems in the Suwannee River Basin of Florida, by Rishi Prasad, George J. Hochmuth, PLOSOne, Published: December 1, 2016, http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0167558

Fig 3. Comparison of A) environmental nitrogen losses (Nenvloss) from three crops (potato, sweet corn and silage corn) during four growing seasons (2010 to2013) and B) relationship between seasonal total N rates and environmental nitrogen losses at the study farm in the Middle Suwannee River Basin, Florida. Silage corn was not studied during 2013. Mean values of Nenvloss (represented by individual bars and their standard errors for the three crops) followed by different letters indicate significant difference at α = 0.05 level

Abstract Continue reading