Ag Demand Growing in Florida

Have you heard the news? According to the 2012 U.S. Census Bureau figures, Florida is now the fourth most populated state in the United States at 19.3 million people. Who knew? What’s more, the population growth rate is surmised to continue climbing at a lively rate, perhaps surpassing New York in populous by 2016.

But why is Florida agriculture booming in light of this population increase? Isn’t farmland shrinking in size due to increased population and development?

Yes, it is true. Agricultural land in Florida has reduced in size, but maybe not as much as you think. In fact, Florida is still rich in agricultural and rural areas. Sure, you might have to get off the beaten path to realize the abundance of land, but it is most definitely out there and ready to be utilized.

Why the high agricultural land demand?

Agricultural and rural land is still going strong in Florida, even better than expected, because the economic strength and value of the sector promotes its continued strength and success. The demand is currently there and will realize even greater strength and value as Florida’s population expands and there’s more hungry mouths to feed.

While the agricultural land itself might be consolidating and shrinking, its value is not. In fact, more than ever, agriculture is becoming an industry of great importance for future survival. The industry is at a turning point. Urban farming is becoming a thing of the future. Great change in the agricultural industry is on the horizon.

Are you considering purchasing agricultural land in Florida?  Contact Bankers South Lending and Financing, LLC to discuss your Florida farmland financing options. We provide Florida producers and growers a variety of loan products, including conventional agricultural real estate loans.

Florida’s Agricultural Industry Going Strong

Things are looking up for Florida agricultural according to a recent study conducted by the UF’s Food and Resource Economics Department. Combining agricultural, natural resources, and associated food industries, the state brought in an impressive $104 billion in 2011 according to this economic study. Since then, Florida’s agricultural impact has only continued to increase and strengthen.

Which industries are responsible for this positive impact?

Agricultural industries including crop, livestock, forestry, and fisheries production; agricultural product and service providers; food product manufacturing; forest product manufacturing; food distribution; mining; and nature-based recreation are all responsible for Florida’s agricultural turn around.

What’s more, this economic contribution from Florida’s agricultural industries is greatly fueling the job sector. Approximately 2 million full-time and part-time employees in the agricultural sector were accounted for in 2011. This number accounted for 20% of all jobs in Florida state. From 2010 to 2011, the number of employment opportunities in the Florida state agricultural industry increased by 4.4% – a promising increase.

This study paints an overall promising picture of what’s currently going on in Florida’s agricultural and economic climate. All signs point to an effective recovery from the 2008 recession (a very low point) and the continuation of agricultural growth and strength.

Now that Florida’s agricultural industries are once again stable and expanding strong, it follows that now is a good economic climate to tap into the industry, especially the industries that are really generating a positive impact (see above).

If you are interested in purchasing or re-financing agricultural land in Florida, contact Bankers South Lending & Financing for information on our variety of farm loans and agricultural financing options. We want to support your Florida-based agricultural operation and facilitate its continued growth and success.

Peanut Disease Management: White Mold Solutions

Recently, trace amounts of white mold were confirmed in an Extension Peanut Fungicide trial conducted in Santa Rosa County, Florida.

White Mold Description and Details

White mold is a fungal pathogen and a soilborne disease. It appears as a small BB-like, mustard-sized seed that germinates and infects the peanut crop. Hits of white mold are almost unpreventable, especially in warm, wet years such as these. These hits should be heavily monitored and managed to prevent future spreading. Fortunately, white mold is very easy to detect. Unfortunately, it’s not so easy to completely wipe out.

White Mold Treatment Strategies and Solutions

To prevent the spread of white mold, it is paramount that peanut growers enact a solid fungicide program early on in the peanut planting process.

Even so, no fungicide that is used for peanuts can totally wipe out the white mold from a field. Even with the enactment of a sound treatment plan, the fungicide will only kill about 70% of the fungus. To really minimize the risk and manage a current white mold break out, requires the practice of good crop rotation and the use of more resistant, newer peanut varieties.

If you find that white mold is becoming a huge problem, it’s important to deduce the root cause of it. Check if your sprayer is properly calibrated. Make sure the application rate of the fungicide is appropriate. Timing is everything. Perhaps consider shortening the interval time between fungicide applications. Consider applying the fungicide at night or in the early morning hours to allow better penetration. There are many proven techniques that you can implement to better reduce the risk of white mold spreading and ruining your peanut crop.

Bankers South provides farm loans for peanut producers. Please contact us if you’d like to discuss agricultural financing options for your peanut farm. Stabilize, protect, and support your peanut production with assistance from Bankers South.

Cattle Producers: Innovations to Ease Drought Devastation

Cattle producers, especially in Southern regions, were hit pretty hard in 2012 due to extreme drought conditions. Fortunately, many strategies have been implemented to reduce the disastrous impact of drought conditions on cattle production and other agricultural operations.

To save your cattle operation and promote continued success, a grazing management approach must be pursued to help reduce some of the drought risks. Many of the following strategies were developed and put into practice with assistance from the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service; however, government backed farm loans are not the only viable option. In fact, some cattle operations impacted by drought conditions are outside government assistance program borders. Other cattle producers say that government agricultural loans are too slow or require too much paperwork. That’s where Bankers South would like to step in and offer farmland financing assistance.

To spare cattle operations from the worst of the drought, the following innovations have proven incredibly effective:

  • Electric fence and pipeline. Add these systems to channel water to new tire tank watering facilities in each of the pastures.
  • New pastures. Create new pastures, so cattle can move around more frequently and freely.
  • Prescribed grazing. Protect soil from erosion and compaction. Improve the quality of the forage by giving it restoration time before it’s grazed again. Enhance water quality by stopping soil from flowing into the water supply. Avoid the expense of costly supplemental forage like hay, which has become even more costly due to drought conditions.
  • Gravity flow systems. Conserve electricity by providing your cattle water via fenced ponds that rely on a gravity flow system to fill multiple tire tank watering facilities.
  • Legumes. Eliminate commercial fertilizer, prevent erosion, improve the abundance of soil water, and supply nutrients like nitrogen. Legumes convert nitrogen gas in the atmosphere into soil nitrogen that plants can digest, meaning manure or commercial fertilizer may be needed in minute quantities or be totally abandoned.

 

To beat the drought elements, it’s paramount to pursue new practices and ideas – to think outside the box. To fully realize these new practices and ideas oftentimes requires the help of an ag lending company like Bankers South.

Work with Bankers South to help finance your agricultural land. Choose an agricultural loan that works best for you and that allows you to better implement a conservation plan to successfully get your cattle operation through the drought.