Corn is an important crop grown in the Suwannee Valley to meet the needs of the dairy, poultry, and beef industries. Farmers report that at current fuel and fertilizer prices, over 50% of a corn grower’s budget is spent on fertilizers and fuel for irrigation. Increasing the efficiency of this large production expense would make strides to improve farm profitability.
University of Florida/IFAS Research and Columbia County Extension have joined to collect data on farm fields to help farmers better understand nutrient use efficiency and optimum fertilizer application rates. The results of this work will help farmers to save money and reduce nutrient loss to the environment.
Dr. George Hochmuth, UF Soil and Water Science, is leading this work with financial support from Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. Extension Agents in Columbia, Levy, Hamilton, Suwannee, and Madison counties have engaged farmers in each county to gain valuable information across a broad range of conditions. This research is coupled with research plots at the Plant Sciences Research and Education Unit at Citra, Florida. The information obtained there will improve recommendations for corn grown on sandy soils.
Farmers and the Ag Industry will learn more about corn production by attending upcoming field days in Columbia and Suwannee County. The Columbia County Corn Growers Field Day will be held the morning of July 8th at Bar D Ranch near Columbia City. Corn hybrids from Monsanto, Pioneer, and Croplan Genetics will be highlighted. There will be additional discussion about irrigation management and recommendations for the use of soil moisture sensors. For more information on this program, contact the Columbia County Extension Office at 752-5384.
There is also a program for corn growers the evening of July 7th in Suwannee County near McAlpin. Corn response to various fertilizer application rates will be discussed at this event from 7-8PM. For more information contact the Suwannee County Extension Office at 362-2771.