The Panhandle Ag Team would like to thank our subscribers for your regular interest and support of this project, and for your help in spreading the word so more producers sign up each week.The Panhandle Ag e-News project began in April of 2012. Over the past six years, 1,206 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 serving commercial agriculture in Northwest Florida.

In 2017, the Panhandle Agriculture Extension faculty team contributed 266 articles that provided timely information to farmers and ranchers in the region related to farm management, pest management, best management practice recommendations, as well as announcements for upcoming educational events.  Each week links to the newest published articles were shared through 45 electronic newsletters, as well as through Facebook and Twitter Accounts.   In 2017 readership increased 35% over 2016 with 224,393 page views (643 /day), and the number of subscribers rose 12% to 4,240 people.

Readers Choice Awards

There were a number of the articles that were very popular this year, but there were articles that really stood out as reader favorites. The following are the 30 most read articles that were published in 2017, and the 10 most popular YouTube videos shared through the weekly Friday Features:

1st Place

At What Weight Should I Sell My Feeder Calves?

The 2017 Reader’s Choice Award goes to an article written by Chris Prevatt, Livestock Economics State Specialized Agent.  His  article addressed a commonly asked question around sale barns and at extension programs,  “Should I sell light-weight feeder calves now or hold them and sell them when they are heavier?” Like every good economist, his answer , “It depends on your individual situation.”  This article was read 2,974 times in 2017.

If you would like to congratulate Chris to let him know he is doing a great job, use the following link to send him an email:  Chris Prevatt

2nd Place

Updates to the Florida Cottage Food Law

The 2017 Runner Up was an article written by Molly Jameson, Leon County Extension.  There were 867 readers who were interested in finding out more about the changes to the Cottage Food Law that allows for the sale of homemade items at Farmer’s Markets and roadside stands.  The big news was that the law now allows annual sales of up to $50,000, up from the previous limit of $15,000.

If you would like to congratulate Molly to let her know she is doing a great job, use the following link to send her an email:  Molly Jameson

3rd Place

The Peanut Burrower Bug – an Emerging Pest in Peanuts

The 2017 Third Place article was written by a new Panhandle Ag Team member this year.  Xavier Martini is the entomologist at the North Florida Research and Education Center, Quincy.  His article on the Peanut Burrower Bug was read 748 times.  Despite the fact that damage on peanuts has been described for decades, it is only recently that burrower bug has become a recurrent problem in peanut crops in Georgia, Alabama, and Florida.

If you would like to congratulate Xavier to let him know he is doing a great job, use the following link to send him an email: Xavier Martini

Honorable Mention

Corn Disease Management: When to Apply a Fungicide?

The Honorable Mention for 2017 was an article written by Nick Dufault, UF/IFAS Crop Pathologist that was read 615 times.  With so many cloudy, and rainy days this summer, producers were asking if it would be beneficial to spray a fungicide to their corn crop? Spraying at the right time can be useful in protecting yields, especially with diseases like northern corn leaf blight and southern rust, which spread quickly and cause significant yield losses, if left untreated.

If you would like to congratulate Nick to let him know he is doing a great job, use the following link to send him an email:  Nick Dufault

The other most read articles, listed in order of popularity, are:

5 – A Tiny Wasp to Fight the Asian Citrus Psyllid – 614 page views
6 – What are the Requirements to Sell Eggs and Dressed Poultry from Florida Small Farms? – 530
7 – 2016 NASS Farm Land Rent and Labor Survey Summary – 530
8 – UF/IFAS Evaluating Cold-Hardy Citrus Varieties for the Panhandle – 506
9 – Snails have Invaded the Western Panhandle – 505
10 – When is the Best Time to Fertilize Your Perennial Pastures? – 504
11 – UF Sugar Belle Citrus Variety more Tolerant to Greening – 487
12 – Disease Alert: Citrus Greening and Asian Citrus Psyllids found in the Panhandle – 443
13 – Atypical BSE Cow Confirmed in Alabama – 427
14 – Tritcale is Gaining Popularity with Dairy and Beef Cattle Producers – 424
15 – Cassava – A Crop for the Back Forty – 406
16 – 2017 Average Farm Land Rent and Labor Rates – 392
17 – Natural Service Synchronization for the Cow Herd – 376
18 – Dr. Cliff Lamb Accepts Position at Texas A&M University – 368
19 – Watch for a Lameness Issue in Cattle, called Corkscrew Claw – 361
20 – Late-summer Legume Cover Crops behind Corn – 339
21 – Disease Management Strategies for the 2017 Watermelon Season – 300
22 – Winter Annual Forage Seed Costs: What is the Best Deal? – 299
23 – BMAPs, BMPs and the New Florida Water Bill – 298
24 – Using Dicamba on Dicamba-Tolerant Crops – 290
25 – Late Winter Citrus Management Considerations – 277
26 – Weed of the Week: Showy Crotalaria – 274
27 – Reducing Beef Herd Costs in a Deflated Market – 266
28 – How Do I Legally Sell Beef from My Livestock Operation in Florida? – 266
29 – The Impact of Shade on Cattle Performance in the Florida Panhandle – 266
30 – Cotton Variety Selection Based on 2016 Variety Trial Results – 262

10 most popular Friday Feature videos

 1 – White Angus developed at the University of Florida – 1,779 page views
 2 –  The Cow Sprayer Automated Fly Control System – 518
 3 – Florida Ranchers Working Together to Supply Local Beef – 291
 4- Way Out West in Florida – 221
 5 – Cordless Fence Staple Gun – 189
 6- Friday Feature: The Riding Cow – 186
 7 – Friday Feature: Hurricane Irma’s Impact on the Florida Citrus Industry – 183
 8 – Friday Feature: Timeless Fence System – 181
 9 – Friday Feature: Portable Chainsaw Sawmill – 176
10 – Friday Feature: Remote Control Boat for Pond Herbicide Application – 175

These articles were ranked based on the number of times readers opened the link to each article in 2017. The editors and authors would love to hear your feedback on the articles that were most helpful to you. Use the comment box below to share which articles were of the most benefit this past year.

Reader’s Choice Awards from Previous Years

Panhandle Ag e-News 2016 Reader’s Choice Awards

Panhandle Ag e-News 2015 Reader’s Choice Awards

Panhandle Ag e-News 2014 Reader’s Choice Awards

Panhandle Ag 2013 Reader’s Choice Awards


Doug Mayo
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