2020 Reader's Choice Award

Awarded to the authors of the most popular articles published in 2020.

The Panhandle Ag Extension Team would like to thank our subscribers and social media followers for your interest and support of Panhandle Ag e-News in 2020.  Keep sharing those emails, posts, and tweets to help us spread the word, so more producers sign up for this service.The Panhandle Ag e-News project began in 2012. Over the past nine years, 1,890 articles have been published that are searchable by topic area, keyword, author, or by using the search box provided at the top of the website. The Panhandle Agriculture Extension Team is made up of 39 county agents and state specialists that serve farmers and ranchers in Northwest Florida.

In 2020, the Panhandle Ag Extension Team published 279 articles that provided timely information to farmers and ranchers related to farm management, pest management, best management practice recommendations, interesting or humorous videos, plus numerous announcements of upcoming educational events.  Each week links to the most recently published articles were shared through 44 electronic newsletter issues (emails), as well as through Facebook and Twitter Accounts.   In 2020, readership increased 28% over 2019, with 430,583 page views (1,176/day).  The number of email subscribers rose 6% to 4,782 people.  The social media followers grew 10% to 3,363.  In 2020, the website reached a new milestone with over 1.6 million page views, since the project began in 2012.

Readers Choice Awards

At the start of each year, the statistics are compared for the articles that were published on the Panhandle Ag e-News website over the previous year, with the authors of the most popular articles given recognition with Reader’s Choice Awards.  There were a number of the articles that were very popular this year, but there were several that really stood out. The following are the 30 most popular articles published in 2020.  Congratulations to the following authors for putting together excellent information and practical recommendations.

1st Place

Grain Drill7 Steps to Successful Pasture Establishment

Doug Mayo, Jackson County Extension Director, and Livestock and Forage Agent, wrote the most popular article published in 2020.  In the article, Mayo shared seven key steps that should be taken to ensure successful pasture establishment.  Producers need to develop a plan that outlines: what to plant, when to plant, prepare the land, fertilize, minimize weed competition, and grazing management.  These steps can’t prevent every problem, but will avoid most major issues.  This article was read 3,395 times in 2020.

2nd Place

Basic AI Kit

Figure 1. Basic AI Kit

Tips for Successful Artificial Insemination of Cattle

Daniela Cortés-Beltrán & Dr. Angela Gonella Diaza, North Florida Research and Education Center, Reproduction Lab, wrote the second most popular article published in 2020.  In the article, Beltran and Gonella shared  tips for successful utilization of Artificial Insemination (AI) on cattle operations.  AI is a tool for improving the reproductive performance and genetic quality of livestock. This technique is frequently used in the dairy and beef cattle industries to improve desired characteristics rapidly through intensive genetic selection.  It is important to emphasize that closely following the protocol is essential for the process to be successful. This article was read 2,669 times in 2020.

3rd Place

Heifer development at NFREC. Photo: N. DiLorenzo

How Much Should You Pay for a Bred Replacement Heifer?

Chris Prevatt, UF/IFAS Livestock & Forage Economist, wrote the third most popular article published in 2020.  In his article, Prevatt answered the question posed in the title, “How much should I pay for a bred replacement heifer this year?”  Producers have historically referenced bred replacement heifers in terms of how many calves are needed to pay for a bred replacement heifer or cow. Over the last 30 years, the cost of a bred replacement heifer has averaged 1.5 to 1.65 times the price of a 550-pound feeder steer. During the next decade, there will be a wide range of prices for bred replacement heifers.  This article was read 2,198 times in 2020.

Honorable Mention

Florida Hemp logoFlorida Growers Can Apply for Hemp Cultivation Permits

A Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) press release was the fourth most popular article in 2020. There was a great deal of interest in the agriculture industry for hemp as a new alternative crop.  This article announced that FDACS started accepting applications for cultivation of Hemp in Florida on April 27, 2020.   The article also outlined the process and steps to obtaining a hemp cultivation permit in Florida. This article was read 2,074 times in 2020.

Other popular articles written in 2020 included:

5. Pasture to Plate – Purchasing Meat Directly from Local Producers –  1,425 page views

6. 2019 Average Farm Rent & Labor Rates – 1,296 views

7.  Hurricane Sally Caused Major Damage to Escambia County Crop Fields – 1,232 views

8. Sawtooth Oak: A Good, but not Perfect Tree for Landowners and Wildlife Managers –  869 views

9 – The Importance of the Calving Distribution for Cow-calf Operations – 798 views

10 – Hydroponic Vegetable Production – 773 views

11 – La Niña is Here to Stay for a While  757 views

12.  The 2020 U.S. Beef Cattle Market and Current Economic Conditions – 717 views

13.  Controlling Thistle in Pastures – 711 views

14.  Corn Planting Date and Starter Fertilizer Recommendations – 705 Views

15.   Annual Warm-Season Legumes for Pastures, Cover Crops, or Wildlife – 623 views

16.  Evaluation of Controlled Release Fertilizers for Crop Production in Florida – 574 views

17. Utilizing Pearl Millet More on Cow-Calf Operations – 558 views

18.  Watch Out for Stinging and Venomous Caterpillars – 540 views

19.  2020 Virtual Perennial Peanut Field Day – 525 views

20.  The Art and Science of Grazing Management – 503 views

21.  Electronic Transportation Permit Simplifies Traveling Out of State with Your Horse – 460 views

22. What’s the Right Calcium Source for Your Soil? – 453 views

23.  Investigating a Rapid Decline in North Florida Corn Fields – 441 views

24.  First Year of Industrial Hemp Research in North Florida Completed – 399 views

25.  Sorghum Silage – A Cost-effective Alternative for Backgrounding Weaned Cattle – 390 views

26.  Peanut Pod Rot Issues Amplified by Heavy Rains – 380 views

27.  Comparing Nematicides for Nematode Management in Field Corn – 365 views

28. Wild Turkey Biology and Habitat Management – 346 views

29.  2019 Weather Summary and 2020 Outlook – 335 views

30.  Effectively Using EPDs for Bull Selection – It’s All About Context – 323 views

In addition to the articles shared each week, a short YouTube video was shared under the title of “Friday Features.”  In general these videos related to some form of agricultural issue, farming techniques, new innovative tools and equipment, or farm humor.

The top 10 Featured Videos of 2020 were:

1.  Buddy Hackett Shared Farm Jokes on Johnny Carson’s Tonight Show – 1,313 views

2.  Integrating Forage Legumes into Pastures to Reduce Fertilization Expense – 418 views

3.  ATV Hay Bale Unroller – 394 views

4.  Jim McArthur’s Panhandle Farm Videos – 373

5.  Florida Ranch Wins NCBA’s Environmental Stewardship Award – 316 views

6.  1949 Step-Saving U-Kitchen Design for Farm Houses – 227 views

7.  Bishop Farms’ Headquarters Barn Mural – 217 views

8.  If My Nose Was Running Money – 215 views

9. The Return of the Ford Bronco – 208 views

10.  Honey & Its Benefits – 199 views

You may also want to check out the most popular articles from previous years:

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