F S R / E U P DAT E
NORTH FLORIDA PROJECT
Following the Sondeo, it was decided that the most pressing problem of
the farmers was that of corn. This crop is traditional on small farms in
northern Florida even though on small farms it has never yielded much on a
per acre basis. It provides flexibility: it can be grazed if the failure
is nearly .complete, it can be hogged off, it can be fed, it can be stored
and it can be sold. But small farmers are desperately looking for an alter-
native crop. It appears to the FSR&E team that winter wheat may present a
Florida 301 has characteristics which make it appear to have potential
for the conditions of these farmers. It was decided to initiate several
farm trials to determine the adaptability of this cultivar to satisfy the
needs of the small farmers. As the trials were being readied, several
questions were posed by the farmers for which no reliable information was
available. This triggered some added experiments and one other on-farm trial.
On-farm winter wheat trials
Nine on-farm trails are now scheduled on nearly 300 acres (see lo-
cation on map). Soil samples and penetrometer readings have been made on
all fields and fertilizer recommendations have been delivered to five of
the farmers. IFAS information on Florida 301 was delivered to all collabor-
In all but one case, the penetrometer recordings indicated the presence
of compaction problems severe enough to be a limiting factor in corn produc-
tion, In 8 of 10 cases, farmers were unaware of the existence of this
Most farmers were interested in grazing the wheat during the winter
months, but little reliable information was available on this facet. One
on-farm trial was planned and planted to detect the effect of different
amounts of grazing on grain yield. This trial was planted on October 27.
Exclosures are being used to provide 4 replications of 5 or 6 treatments
(depending on date of removal of all cattle).
Winter wheat experiments on-station
Several farmers indicated a desire to plant the winter wheat as
early as mid October for grazing purposes. Again, little information was
availble.on the effects of such early planting dates, particularly with
grazing. A date of planting trial was set up on the Live Oak ARC with 6
planting dates ranging from October 21 into December. The first two have
been planted. On the BRU, in collaboration with Dr. Okumpaugh, Agronomy,
a time of planting x grazing experiment was established. The first plant-
ing date was October 30.
On the Agronomy Farm in Gainesville an experiment was established on
overseeding winter wheat in perennial peanut (mulch/no mulch x N x K20).
Land preparation was completed during the month.
Materials were prepared and tested for obtaining enterprise records
from small farmers to provide a realistic source of information on their
operations. Nine collaborators (the same as those with wheat trials) have
received the materials and have been instructed in their use. As part of
the instruction, information is being obtained on the cost of production
and the practices used in the traditional corn crop. Six corn records for
the 1981 crop are now complete. The other three are being completed. Now
that the materials have been tested, the number of collaborators will be
During the month of October, the team made 34 visits to farms. Usually
two, infrequently one and sometimes three members of the team made each visit
which lasted an average of over two hours each.
Preparation is continuing on the nitrogen cycling experiment being con-
ducted on the Agronomy Farm in Gainesville in collaboration with Dr. Blue
of the Soil Science Department. This experiment is the dissertation project
for Ramiro Ortiz of the Agronomy Department. The purpose is to evaluate the
contribution made by perennial peanut to an annual N usage budget in a crop-
To date, no herbicides have been cleared for perennial peanut. Ber-
muda grass has been a problem in establishing stands, so a screening trial
was initiated at the Live Oak ARC in October in collaboration with Drs.
Prine and Teem, Agronomy.
Data analysis was initiated on the results of the mulch/no mulch x fer-
tilizer x density of corn in perennial peanut experiment conducted this sum-
mer on the Agronomy Farm in Gainesville.
Meetings, Conferences, Field Days
A meeting was held on October 16 with the FSR/E Advisory Commitee of
IFAS Department Chairmen to report on the results of the Sondeo and the pro-
posed program for the next few months.
Personnel from the project attended the Swine Field Day in Live Oak on
October 8 and the Governor's Small Farm Conference in Ocala at the end of
A meeting was held with Dr. Rich and Dr. White of the Live Oak ARC on
September 30 to review progress of the FSR/E team and to discuss future col-
A meeting was held with Dr. Smith, Extension Director of Suwannee
county on November 2 to update him on team activities.
The FSR/E Coordinator traveled to the University of Minnesota to con-
sult with the Department of Agricultural Economics on a Biological Nitrogen
Fixation Evaluation project and present a seminar on Farming Systems Methods
and the UF FSR/E Program.
Two abstracts were submitted to the Southern Regional Branch of the
American Society of Agronomy and one to the Society for Applied Anthropology.
Base maps for the Suwannee-Columbia Counties area were completed. Maps
showing the location of farmers interviewed in the Sondeo and of the location
of the on-farm wheat trials were prepared.
A slide presentation depicting the activities of the North Florida
FSR/E team to date has been prepared and is being used.
The Coordinator prepared an invited paper for the Farming Systems Re-
search Symposium at Kansas State University, Novemer 11-13. The title of
the Symposium is "Small Farms in a Changing World: Prospects for the Eight-
ies", The title of the paper is "Role, Potential and Problems of Farming
Systems Research and Extension: Developing Countries vs. United States".
University of Florida Contracts
The FSR/E Program Coordinator traveled to Ecuador October 4-16 to con-
sult with CONACYT and INIAP under the auspices of the USDA/UF Contract with
that country. The contract envisions a major Farming Systems component and
one of the purposes of this trip was to initiate discussions concerning im-
A second purpose of the trip was to make recommendations concerning the
establishment of a new Farming Systems (PIP) team in the Napo area of the
upper Amazon in eastern Ecaudor and of the utilization of the results of the
work which has been done in that area over the past several years, partly
under a UF contract with INIAP. Three days were spent in the area. A draft
report was completed and has been submitted to CONACYT.
A third purpose was to present seminars and discuss the FSR/E methodol-
o.gy with different groups who will be working with the project. This acti-
vity plus working on the report of the Napo area were done during the second
week. Also during this week, Dean Woeste was on an orientation trip to
Ecuador. A trip to the Sierra and one to the western coastal plain were
taken with him.
Francisco Huerta of Ecuador visited the campus under the auspices of the
UF contract. A presentation was made to him on the FSR/E program in Florida.
USDA Cooperative Agreement
The FSR/E Coordinator traveled to Washington, D.C. on September 28 to
consult with the OICD and meet with a group from Portugal in preparation
for a consulting trip to that country October 13-24. The trip to Portugal
was made with George Clough of the north Florida FSR/E team and Ruth Harris
of Virginia Polytechnic Institute who also has a Cooperative Agreement with
the USDA. The purpose of the trip to Portugal was to help the Portuguese
and the USDA team formulate a Farming Systems sub-project to the USDA con-
tract with that country. As the visit progressed, the request was modified
to include a complete reorganization of both the research and the extension
services of that country so they will be better able to help the small farmers
make the adjustments necessary under the changing economic conditions fore-
seen when Portugal enters the European Common Market. In the northern part
of the country, 87% of the farms are smaller than 4 hectares in size and
and the majority of them are run by women whose men have migrated to northern
Europe for work or to the larger cities in Portugal. They are convinced that
the Farming Systems approach is necessary, but will need a great deal of
help in organizing the research and extension services if they are to be ef-
fective. A draft report has been written and is under review and revision.
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