Employee Highlight: Tips on Running a Business Office with Chloe & Natalya

Read what advice AgAmerica’s Office Administrators have to share on running a business office.

They say a business is only as good as the employees working in it, or the team of employees. If a company’s business office team isn’t on the same page, then the company as a whole suffers; they ensure all the other parts of the company run smoothly. AgAmerica’s Office Administrator, Chloe Carpenter, and Administrative Assistant, Natalya Clemens, have words of wisdom to share so your business office can start the New Year on the right foot.Read More

Florida Sugarcane and Black Gold

Read about how important sugarcane is—and the muck it grows in—to Florida agriculture.

The state of Florida offers many different row crops, and sugarcane is a big one. Florida leads the U.S. in sugarcane production. While the tropical plant can be grown anywhere in The Sunshine State, the nutrient-rich muck fields of South Florida and Lake Okeechobee are the most desirable spots for growing the sun-loving cane. AgAmerica’s Regional Account Manager, Chuck Cruse, discusses this unique soil type, nicknamed “black gold,” and the steps farmers are taking to replicate it, below.Read More

HLB Research Continues to Restore Florida Citrus Crop

Scientists are relentlessly working to curb the continued proliferation of HLB, otherwise known as “citrus greening.” Solutions are slim and the research is moving incredibly slow; however, some findings have offered citrus growers hope amidst the growing HLB devastation, including:

  • Taking a greenhouse approach. Scientists have discovered that heating potted citrus seedlings in greenhouses will kill the HLB bacterium and may rid the seedlings of HLB symptoms for up to two years.
  • Putting tents in the groves. Scientists have discovered that heating HLB-infected trees in the sun by encasing them in solar, plastic “tents” can extend their productivity and resistance to HLB.
  • Growing a wider citrus selection. Adding variety has proven effective. Selections explored fall into the orange-like category, including orange hybrids (with complex lineage) that demonstrate varying degrees of obvious (or possible) resistance to HLB. These selections are incredibly close to the appearance of a typical orange and, in most cases, also taste and smell similar to an orange.
  • Controlling psyllids. Having a zero tolerance policy for psyllids in the grove is key. Regular ground applications, aerial applications, and perimeter sprays around the groves can be an effective approach in keeping psyllids at bay.
  • Protecting young trees. Growers that use neonicotinoids on younger trees have greatly mitigated the risk of HLB.

These results, though promising, are not a cure-all for HLB. The hope is that continued research evaluation, combined with collaborative efforts and research funding, will eventually shed light on a more concrete approach in battling deadly citrus greening.

Before this solution surfaces, however, citrus growers can expect to see a drop in production for 2013-2014, due in part to HLB and other environmental factors (hurricanes, freezes, etc.). So, while huge efforts have been made to control HLB, it is clearly not enough. Scientists and growers most come together, sharing strategies and research, to win the war on HLB.

Are you a Florida citrus grower? Do you need help financing your agricultural land? Contact Bankers South to discuss our citrus loans and other ag loan products.

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.