Friday Feature:  Farm Dog of the Year

Friday Feature: Farm Dog of the Year

Woody, 2019 Farm Bureau Farm Dog of the Year

Joe Sheeran and Woody, 2019 Farm Bureau Farm Dog of the Year.  Credit: Nestle Purina PetCare

This week’s featured video was shared at the 2019 National Farm Bureau Convention in New Orleans, Louisiana.  An Australian Shepherd owned by Joe Sheeran, Texas was recognized as the 2019 Farm Dog of the Year.  A panel of expert judges reviewed more than 90 nominations to select the Farm Dog of the Year, based on helpfulness to the farmer and the role dogs played to make life better on the farm.

Woody, an Australian shepherd owned by Texas Farm Bureau members Joe and Mary Sheeran, is the winner of the 2019 Farm Bureau Farm Dog of the Year award. The American Farm Bureau Federation, with support from Nestlé Purina, recognized Woody and four runners-up at AFBF’s 100th Annual Convention.  Woody, the grand prize winner of the 2019 Farm Bureau Farm Dog of the Year award, won a year’s worth of Purina dog food, $5,000 in prize money, a trophy plate and a basket of Purina products. American Farm Bureau

Do you have a great farm dog you think is worthy of nomination next year?  Here is a link to the rules that were provided for the dogs that were nominated last fall: Farm Bureau Farm Dog of the Year Contest  


If you enjoyed this video, you might want to check out the featured videos from previous weeks:  Friday Features

If you come across an interesting or humorous video, or a new product innovation related to agriculture, please send in a link, so we can share it with our readers. Send video links to:  Doug Mayo

2018 Panhandle Ag Reader’s Choice Awards

2018 Panhandle Ag Reader’s Choice Awards

The Panhandle Ag Team would like to thank our subscribers for your regular interest and support of Panhandle Ag e-News, and for your helping to spread the word so more producers sign up each week.The Panhandle Ag e-News project began in April of 2012. Over the past seven years, 1,433 articles have been published that are searchable by topic area, keyword, author, or by using the search box provided on the site. The Panhandle Agriculture Extension Team is made up of 40 county agents and state specialists that serve commercial agriculture in Northwest Florida.

In 2018, the Panhandle Ag faculty team contributed 229 articles that provided timely information to farmers and ranchers related to farm management, pest management, best management practice recommendations, plus numerous announcements of upcoming educational events.  Each week links to the most recently published articles were shared through 41 electronic newsletters, as well as through Facebook and Twitter Accounts.   In 2018, readership increased 26% over 2017 with 292,654 page views (802/day), and the number of subscribers rose 4% to 4,396 people.

Readers Choice Awards

At the start of each year the statistics are compared for the articles that were published the previous year, with the authors of the most read articles given recognition for the Reader’s Choice Awards.  There were a number of the articles that were very popular this year, but there were several articles that really stood out. Each week a short YouTube video was shared under the title of “Friday Features.”  In general these videos related to some form of agriculture or farming humor.  The following are the 30 most read articles that were published in 2018, and the 10 most popular Friday Feature videos.

1st Place

MARC Updates Across-Breed EPD Table

Doug Mayo, Jackson County Extension Director wrote a short article that shared the USDA’s Meat Animal Research Center (MARC) recently revised  Across-Breed EPD Table, which is a performance comparison chart for 18 popular cattle breeds.  This is a very useful tool to compare the EPD of bulls from different breeds.  Doug’s article was read 2,218 times in 2018.


2nd Place

Hurricane Michael Agricultural Damage Assessment and Economic Impacts

Doug Mayo, Jackson County Extension Director, provided and overview of the FDACS and UF/IFAS Extension assessments of damages to farms in the Panhandle caused by Hurricane Michael.  Doug’s article was read 1,420 times in 2018.

3rd Place

Introducing the New UF Hay Balancer Decision-Aid for Cattle Ranchers

Nicolas DiLorenzo, UF/IFAS Cattle Nutrition Specialist, unveiled an new spreadsheet tool to help ranchers select the right supplements to compliment hay or baleage, based on the results of a basic a forage test.  Nicolas’ article was read 988 times in 2018.

Honorable Mention

Weed of the Week: Perilla Mint

Kalyn Waters, Holmes County Extension Director, has done a series of articles highlighting problematic pasture weeds.  The article highlighting perilla mint was the most popular one in 2018 with 772 page views.

Other popular articles included:

5 – Bahiagrass Pasture Fertilization – Is it Worth the Money? – 748

6 – Controlling Pocket Gophers in Hay Fields – 639

7 – Federal Programs Available to Help Farmers and Ranchers Recover from Hurricane Michael – 617

8 – 2018 Southern Forage and Hay Outlook – 574

8 – Documentation for USDA-FSA Disaster Relief Programs – 574

9 – Is it Profitable to Add Weight and Sell Heavier Feeder Calves this Year? – 567

10 – Sunn Hemp for Forage or Wildlife Food Plots – 513

11 – Weed of the Week: Arrowleaf Sida “Teaweed” – 490

12 – Understanding Your Generic Base Conversion Options with the New Seed Cotton Program – 470

13 – Using Solar Energy to Pump Water for Livestock – 466

14 – Hurricane Preparation for Your Farm – 404

15 – Fungicide Options for Peanut Producers due to the Expected Chlorothalonil Shortage in 2018 – 391

16 – UF/IFAS Economists: Hurricane Michael Caused $158 Million in Florida Agricultural Production Losses – 377

17 – Useful Smartphone Apps for Cattle Ranchers – 371

18 – Emergency Money for Farm and Business Owners Impacted by Hurricane Michael – 368

19 – Weed of the Week: Chinese Tallow – 339

20 – Atmospheric Temperature Inversions – Why Are They Important To Farmers? – 336

21 – Carinata SPARCs Interest as a Winter Crop for the Southeast U.S. – 324

22 – Limpograss: A Potential Forage Stockpiling Option for North Florida – 323

23 – FSA Offices Accepting Applications for Assistance from Producers Affected by 2017 Hurricanes – 311

24 – Rapid Response Team Deployed to Investigate Peanut Collapse – 310

25 – Farm Bill Seed Cotton and Hurricane Program Updates – 298

26 – Apopka Weevil Confirmed in Jefferson County Nursery – 295

27 – Grass Carp – A Biological Control to Manage Pond Weeds – 292

28 – Florida Forest Service Requirements for Open Burning in Hurricane Michael Impacted Areas – 290

29 – Weed of the Week: Spiderwort – 269

29 – Prices and Payments from the New Farm Bill Program for Cotton – 269

30 – Weed of the Week: Broomsedge – 260


Top 10 Friday Feature Videos:

1 –  Almond Dairy Farming 930 (Yes it is very funny)

2 – Cows Assist Deputies with Car Thief Arrest – 741

3 –  PTO Quick Connector – 498

4 – The Ride Over Gate – 407

5 –  Deer Farming in the Panhandle – 396

6 – Satsumas from Farm to Schools – 249

7 – Corn that Acquires Its Own Nitrogen –  216

8 – Shenandoah Dairy Video Farm Tour – 199

9 – Peterson Brother’s Tractor Stuck Parody – 180

10 – Karl Kressman’s the Cow Truck & the Convertible – 171



You might want to also check out the most popular article from previous years:

2018 Weather Summary and 1st Quarter Outlook

2018 Weather Summary and 1st Quarter Outlook

Many folks in the Panhandle were more than happy to take down their 2018 calendar to start a new year.  The weather in 2018 is the main reason for the renewed optimism provided by a new year.  There were really two elements that stood out as to what made 2018 a weather year folks here will never forget, terrible wind and rain, rain, and more rain.  At least the temperatures were more typical.


Quite a few people have inquired about the actual wind speeds of Hurricane Michael.  The National Weather Service has still not issued a final report on this storm.  With the 155 mph reported wind speed at landfall, there has been a good deal of debate about if this was really a Category 5 hurricane (157+ mph).  There is a company that does storm assessment and modeling to help the insurance industry asses damages called RMS or Risk Management Solutions.  A team of RMS engineers visited the impact zone and issued a report on what they saw: Hurricane Michael Field Reconnaissance: Contrasting Performance of Structures at Design Wind Speeds.  The graphic above came from that report.  The lines are the building design contours and the shaded colored zones were their estimates of wind speeds based on their observations.  From their report, RMS engineers showed that areas of Bay, Gulf, Calhoun, Liberty, Jackson, and Gadsden Counties received 130-150 mph winds, with the worst winds along the Apalachicola River.  Just for your reference an F2 Tornado has winds ranging from 113-157 mph, so you may as well say a giant F2 Tornado raged through the center of the Panhandle on October 10, 2018.

The anemometers at the airports and UF/IFAS FAWN Stations were not built to measure winds of this magnitude, so there really is no absolute scientific data, but simply assessments of structure and tree damage.  So was Michael a Category 5?  What hit us was terrible, so I am not really sure it matters, but I guess for history’s sake those hit by this storm would like it to be remembered as a Cat 5. The main thing was that Michael was a devastating hurricane that created an estimated $1.5 billion in ag industry losses, with the bulk of those losses attributed to the timber industry.


2018 was also a very wet year.  The graphic above is the National Weather Service’s estimates for annual rainfall for the Florida Panhandle in 2018.  There were isolated areas that received more than 100″ last year (white), large areas of more than 80″ (lavender), areas with more than 70″ (hot pink), and some areas with more than 60″ (dark red). So how did this compare with normal?

018 NWS Departure from Avg Rainfall

Almost the entire region was well above normal.  The map above shows how far above average the area was in 2018, with the majority of the region 16 to 20 inches or more above average.  Needless to say, but 2018 was a very wet year.

2018 Panhandle FAWN Rainfall

The Florida Automated Weather network (FAWN) stations documented the rainfall totals across the region.  The average for all six stations was 21.2″ above historic average for these locations.The wettest site was in Marianna with 75.7″, which was almost 29″ above average.  Not since the 80.6″ fell in 1964 (54 years) had this much rain been recorded in that location. Much of the rain in October came from the hurricane.  The automated rain gauges at these FAWN stations don’t do so well measuring rain blowing sideways, so the October total may actually be higher than what was reported.  The station in Jay received rain from two tropical storms and totaled 75.7″ for the year.  Because the FAWN station in Monticello was out of commission in March, we don’t have accurate data for that month, but there was at least 74″ at that location.  The driest location was 66.6″ in Quincy, which was still 18.6″ above average.

2018 Marianna FAWN Rainfall Distribution

Much of the rainfall came at the end of the year.  There were 24″ (almost 1/3 of the total) that fell in the last quarter of the year, right when farmers were trying to harvest cotton and later planted peanuts.  What had promised to be an excellent crop year at the end of the summer was ruined by high winds and boggy wet fields at harvest time.


There were not a lot of extreme temperatures in 2018.  There were only 20 days below freezing, primarily in January.  There was only one day in June above 95°.  The simple average temperature for the year was 67°.  In general, temperature wise it was a fairly normal year.

1st Quarter Outlook

1st qtr 19 CPC Outlook

The Climate Prediction Center (CPC) is forecasting the above average rainfall to continue in North Florida over the the first three months of 2019.  Temperatures are expected to be near to average for these months.  This forecast goes along with the expectation of a weak El Niño ENSO Phase.

El Niño Watch

The CPC is still expecting the onset of an El Niño, but not necessarily the major global impacts of previous strong El Niño periods.  The Seas Surface Temperatures (SST) are warmer than average, but the wind patterns don’t match those associated with strong El Niño ENSO phases.

El Niño-level SSTs continued to be observed in the December average, and the subsurface waters continued to be warmer than average. However, most atmospheric variables continued to show ENSO-neutral patterns. The official CPC/IRI outlook calls for a 82% chance of El Niño prevailing during Jan-Mar, and 66% during Mar-May. An El Niño watch is in effect. The most recent forecasts of statistical and dynamical models collectively show continuing weak El Niño-level SSTs through late spring.  Climate Prediction Center

So what does this mean for farmers and ranchers in 2019?  The above average rainfall is foretasted to continue, but will not necessarily have a major affect on the summer crop season in 2019.  The greatest affect may well be for the early planted vegetable crops and field corn.  Hopefully the average temperature forecast will mean that colder temperatures will come soon that are important for reducing pest populations.  At this point we don’t have enough information to know what to expect at peanut and cotton planting time, but there may be good subsoil moisture to plant into.  Perhaps 2019 will be a more average year than 2018, but as the climate is continuously changing, it is hard to know what average is anymore. Let’s hope we do have a good weather year in 2019, because it has been some time since area farmers had a good weather from planting to harvest.

Friday Feature:  Peterson Bothers’ Farmer Rock Anthem

Friday Feature: Peterson Bothers’ Farmer Rock Anthem

Those famous Kansas farm boys, the Peterson Bothers, have created another parody video called Farmers Rock Anthem, which is a parody of the popular song ” Party Rock Anthem.”  The Peterson Brothers have published a number of these videos to tell the positive story of farming to people who really don’t understand anything about the industry.  They may seem a little silly, but their strategy is working.  This video was released back on December 1 and already has revived 371 thousand views in a little more than one month.  Check out their latest video, and share it through your social media account to your friends.  These young guys are working hard to tell the good story of modern farming in a way that people from their generation will enjoy.



If you enjoyed this video, you might want to check out the featured videos from previous weeks:  Friday Features

If you come across an interesting or humorous video, or a new product innovation related to agriculture, please send in a link, so we can share it with our readers. Send video links to:  Doug Mayo

Northwest Florida Beef Conference & Trade Show – February 13

Northwest Florida Beef Conference & Trade Show – February 13

Cattle ranchers, employees, and family members from the Tri-state Region (FL, AL, GA) are invited to attend the 34th annual Northwest Florida Beef Conference and Trade Show, to be held on Wednesday, February 13, 2019 in Marianna, Florida.  The Conference will be held at the Jackson County Extension Office, located at 2741 Penn Avenue, Marianna, Florida. There will be a $5 per person registration fee, payable at the door.  Registration and the Trade Show open at 7:30 AM central time, the program starts at 8:15 AM, and concludes with a steak lunch.


 Beef Confernce Crowd

2018 Northwest Florida Beef Conference & Trade Show. Credit: Doug Mayo, UF/IFAS

2019 Focus:  Rebuilding for a Better Future

The Tri-state area was hammered by Hurricane Michael, so cattle producers in this region survived a very challenging year in 2018.  Because of this, the 2019 Beef Conference educational program will focus on Rebuilding for a Better Future. Dr. Jared Decker, Beef Genetics Extension Specialist, University of Missouri, will be the keynote speaker. He will discuss genomic-enhanced EPDs and EPD Indexes to help producers make effective choices to improve the genetics of their herd. Michael Archibald, Deseret Cattle and Timber will share diversification options to consider.  Ken Kelley, Alabama Regional Farm management Agent, will discuss improving income through cattle marketing options.   Other topics will focus on potential supplemental income from pastures, and controlling trees and brush in rebuilt fence lines.

Schedule of Events (all Central Time)
  •  7:30 – Trade Show & Registration Opens
  •  8:15 – Welcome & Program Introduction
  •  8:30 – Diversification to Add Income to Your Cattle Operation
                Michael Archibald, General Manager Deseret Cattle & Timber
  •  9:00 – Using Genomic-Enhanced EPDs and EPD Indexes to Build a Better Herd
                Jared Decker, Beef Genetics Extension Specialist, University of Missouri
  •  9:45 – Trade Show & Snack Break
  • 10:30 – Marketing Options to Improve Income
                 Ken Kelley, Alabama Regional Farm and Agribusiness Management Agent
  • 11:00 – Income Potential from Pastures
                 Doug Mayo, County Director, UF/IFAS Extension Jackson County
  • 11:30 – Killing Trees and Brush in Your Fence Lines
                 Mark Mauldin, Ag Agent, UF/IFAS Extension Washington County
  • 12:00 – Grilled Steak Lunch (thanks to JCCA Cooking Crew)
  • 12:30 – 1:30 Trade Show Open

Trade Show

18 Beef Conference Trade Show

The Beef Conference will also feature a Trade Show of businesses and agencies that offer goods and services to cattle producers. Credit Doug Mayo, UF/IFAS

In addition to the educational program, the Beef Conference will also feature a Trade Show of businesses and agencies that offer goods and services to cattle producers. There will be time allotted on the schedule to visit with the company representatives to learn about specific products and services they offer for cattle producers in this region. The program will have designated times for ranchers to visit with the Trade Show Exhibitors:  45 minutes during registration, 45 minutes in the middle of the program, and 1 hour immediately after lunch is served.

If you are interested in participating in the as an exhibitor/sponsor, utilize the Trade Show Eventbrite Registration website .  You will be entering the required information online and paying in one simple step.  No other action required. Registration deadline is Friday, February 8.

Trade Show booth at the Northwest Florida Beef Conference.

The Northwest Florida Beef Conference and Trade Show is an educational program provided by the UF/IFAS Panhandle Agriculture Extension Team. For more information on the Beef Conference, or participating in the Trade Show as an exhibitor, contact Doug Mayo, at 850-482-9620.