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Agriculture in Southwest Florida

Cattle / Forage

The MacArthur Agro-Ecology Program at Buck Island: Center for Natural Resources, 2000. University of Florida, IFAS, CNR-2

The MacArthur Agro-Ecology (MAERC) project investigates the relationships between cattle ranching, citrus production and Florida native ecosystems. Researching the complex issues surrounding natural resource management in an agricultural environment, program participants hope to develop protective strategies of Florida natural resources while still maintaining economically viable and compatible agricultural industries within the state. Particularly important is understanding how cattle and citrus production affect water quality and soil nutrients, and how these factors influence invertebrate and wildlife populations.

Publications
Integrating Ranch Forage Production, Cattle Performance, and Economics in Ranch Management Systems for Southern Florida.

Arthington, J.D., F.M. Roka, J.J. Mullahey, S.W. Coleman, R.M. Muchovej, L.O. Lollis, and D. Hitchcock. University of Florida. Rangeland Ecology & Mgmt. Vol. 60(1):12-18

The presence of grazing cattle near open waterways has created environmental concerns related to the potential for water contamination. In Florida the removal of cattle from grazing landscapes or decreasing stocking density is being investigated as one option to improve the quality of surface water runoff draining into Lake Okeechobee, Florida. The objective of this study was to determine the effects of stocking rate on cow-calf performance, forage availability and quality, and ranch economic performance.

Download: Integrating Ranch Forage Production, Cattle Performance, and Economics in Ranch Management Systems for Southern Florida  [pdf]

Comparing Costs and Returns for Sugarcane Production on Sand and Muck Soils of Southern Florida, 2008-2009

Fritz M. Roka, Leslie E. Baucum, Ronald W. Rice, and Jose Alvarez. Journal Amer. Soc. Of Sugar Cane Technologists. Vol. 30, 2010

Sugarcane production in Florida is concentrated south and west of Lake Okeechobee and is grown on both muck and sand soils. During the 2008-2009 season, more than 12 million metric tons of sugarcane was harvested and supported important sugarcane milling and sugar refining operations located in southern Florida. Farms on muck soils account for 80% of Florida’s annual sugarcane crop, while farms on sand soils account for the remaining 20%. This paper compares revenues, production costs and net annual returns from two equally sized sugarcane farms (2,000 hectare) representing typical growing conditions on sand and muck soils.

Download: Comparing Costs and Returns for Sugarcane Production on Sand and Muck Soils of Southern Florida, 2008-2009 [pdf]

Competition of Giant Smutgrass (Sporobolus indicus) in a Bahiagrass Pasture

Jason A. Ferrell, J. Jeffrey Mullahey, Joan A. Dusky, and Fritz M. Roka. 2006. Weed Science, 54(1):100-105.

Competition of Giant Smutgrass (Sporobolus indicus) in a Bahiagrass Pasture, Jason A. Ferrell, J. Jeffrey Mullahey, Joan A. Dusky, and Fritz M. Roka. 2006. Weed Science, 54(1):100-105.

Download: Competition of Giant Smutgrass (Sporobolus indicus) in a Bahiagrass Pasture. [pdf]

Agriculture in Southwest Florida: Cattle / Forage

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The MacArthur Agro-Ecology (MAERC) project investigates the relationships between cattle ranching, citrus production and Florida native ecosystems.