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Farm Fueled Friday 6/15

It’s a great Farm Fueled Friday once again!  Growing season is in full swing and our local Santa Rosa County farmers are hard at work every day in the field to provide a quality fresh local crop.  I am sure everyone across the country has seen the unprecedented amount of rain Northwest Florida has received in the last week.  The West Florida Research and Education Center (WFREC) in Jay, Fl recorded 5 inches of rainfall over the weekend.  Of course there were places in Escambia county that received >20 inches of rain.  The Santa Rosa County Extension office in Milton received ~14 inches.  I was a bit worried about the crops our farmers have in the field when we had all of the hard rain at one time, but I have not observed too much damage in Santa Rosa County.

With all the rain this past weekend I am sure the citizens of Santa Rosa County are looking to get outside and enjoy some fresh air this weekend.  Maybe a BBQ is in the plans.  If so, some fresh sweet corn is something that a lot people like to throw on the grill and enjoy as a timeless southern tradition.  There is also field corn which has less sweetness and is mainly used for animal feeds and industrial uses.  I personally am always a little disappointed when I bite into corn and it is field corn and not sweet corn.  Others prefer field corn because it maybe what they have grown accustom to over the years.  So what is the real difference in sweet corn and field corn?

Sweet corn is a mutant corn, which the American Indians first grew, that has more sugar in the endosperm (the storage area) than field corn.  Sweet corn has become sweeter over the years through breeding of new mutants, these are called se (sugary enhanced) and sh2 (shrunken-2 or supersweet).  Sweet corn color will come as white, yellow, or bicolor.  Bicolor is a result of cross-pollination of a yellow kernel variety and a white kernel variety.  Now that you know a little more about sweet corn get out there and buy some of our local growers product this weekend.

Many readers may think well I sure would like to start growing vegetables for profit.  If you are one of those readers unfortunately you just missed the field day at the WFREC in Jay on May 31st.  The good news is there will be another one scheduled in the near future.  At the field day a great deal was mentioned on the research of specialty crops that is being done at the center.  The people that were able to come got to see firsthand the different option of specialty crops that can be grown in Santa Rosa County.  They were shown the greenhouse tomato project by William Wendt, Research Associate.

Also Dr. Ronnie Schnell presented the floating hydroponic lettuce system in place.

 

Other operations mentioned were; fruit orchard, weed management in plasticulture, watermelon production, and hoop house production.  Overall it was a great day and I encourage you to keep an eye on the website for the next field day.

Permanent link to this article: http://santarosa.ifas.ufl.edu/hort/2012/06/15/farm-fueled-friday-615/