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North FL Research & Education Center- Suwannee Valley

North FL Research & Education Center- Suwannee Valley

Robert (Bob) Hochmuth

Assistant Center Director & Regional Specialized Extension Agent - Vegetables

Robert (Bob) Hochmuth serves as the Center Director for the UF/IFAS North Florida Research & Education Center - Suwannee Valley as well as a Regional Specialized Extension Agent for commercial vegetable crops serving the Northeast Extension District of Florida. Bob serves both greenhouse and field vegetable growers.

Programs

Bob has developed and implemented Extension programs in a wide variety of areas including: plastic mulch and drip irrigation culture, alternative specialty vegetable crops, nutrient management, adopting, best management practices (BMPs), integrated pest management (IPM) and whole farm IPM strategies, farm food safety an Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs), greenhouse vegetable production, protected ag and hydroponic systems, and small farms and alternative enterprises. Bob also serves as a primary UF/IFAS contact with the Florida Watermelon Association.

  • Research

    Research Summary

    Bob Hochmuth has a UF/IFAS faculty appointment of 100% Extension and serves as a Regional Specialized Extension Agent for Commercial Vegetables (50%) in the Suwannee Valley Region and NE Florida Extension District as well as NFREC-SV Assistant Center Director (50%). To implement his Extension program, over the years, Bob developed a network of relationships with key UF/IFAS specialists who have a portion of their position with a research appointment. These relationships have led to great opportunities in successfully securing significant research and extension grants. Bob’s contribution to this process is to identify research needs in the communities served and to facilitate the development of highly productive grant teams. In addition, contributions include facilitating stakeholder support, letters of support for research projects, coordinating the commitment from farmers to host on-farm research, commitments to educational outreach scope of work for projects including field days and EDIS documents, etc. Bob’s contributions to the research discipline include work in the following key areas: Water and Nutrient Management, Whole Farm Integrated Pest Management, Small Farms Food Safety, New and Emerging Specialty Vegetable Crops, and Protected Agriculture for Vegetable Crops.

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Contact

UF/IFAS North Florida Research & Education Center - Suwannee Valley
7580 County Road 136
Live Oak, FL 32060

Phone: (386) 219-4255
bobhoch@ufl.edu

  • Education

    Education:

    • 1981. MS degree, University of Maryland, Department of Entomology.
    • 1979. BS degree, University of Maryland, Department of Ag and Extension Education.
  • Publications

    EDIS Publications

    Refereed Publications

    • Simonne, Eric, and Robert Hochmuth. 2016. Review, An Overview of Fertilization and Irrigation Management in the Conventional and Certified Organic Production of Vegetable Crops in Florida Horticulturae 2016, 2(3), 7; doi:10.3390/horticulturae2030007
    • Penca, Cory, Amanda C. Hodges, Lani Lei L. Davis, Norman C. Leppla, and Robert C. Hochmuth. 2016. Comparison of arthropods in buckwheat at North Florida blueberry and vegetable farms. Florida Entomologist (Accepted for Publication).
    • Stevenson, K. A. Keinath, A. Thomas, D. Langston, P. Roberts, R. Hochmuth, and A. Thorton. 2011. Boscalid insensitivity documented in Didymella bryoniae isolated from watermelon in Florida and North Carolina. Plant Health Progress http://www.plantmanagementnetwork.org/php/elements/sum.aspx?id=10328&photo=5695
    • Poh, B. L., A. Gazula, E. H. Simonne, R. C. Hochmuth, and M. R. Alligood. 2011. Effect of reduced irrigation system operating pressure on drip-tape flow rate, water application uniformity and soil wetting pattern on a sandy soil. HortTechnology 21: 22-29.
    • Poh, B. L., A. Gazula, E. H. Simonne, F. Di Gioia, R. C. Hochmuth, and M. R. Alligood. 2010. Effect of operating pressure, irrigation rate and nitrogen rate on drip-irrigated fresh market tomato nutritional status and yields: implications on irrigation and fertilization management. HortTechnology 21: 14-21.
    • Treadwell, D. D., G. J. Hochmuth, R. C. Hochmuth, E. H. Simonne, S. A. Sargent, L. L. Davis, W. L. Laughlin, and A. Berry. 2010. Organically-managed greenhouse basil and spearmint responses to fertilizer program in a soilless-media trough system. HortTechnology 21:162-169.
    • Poh, B. L., A. Gazula, E.H. Simonne, R. C. Hochmuth, and M. R. Alligood. 2010. Movement of the wetted front under drip-irrigated tomatoes grown on a sandy soil. Proc. Fla. State Hort. Soc. 123:175-179.
    • Di Gioia, E. Simonne, D. Jarry, M. Dukes, R. Hochmuth, and D. Studstill. 2009. Real-time drip-irrigation scheduling of watermelon grown with plasticulture. Proc. Fla. State Hort. Soc. 122:212-218.
    • Poh, Bee Ling, E.H. Simonne, R.C. Hochmuth, A. Gazula, and D.W. Studstill. 2009. Effect of splitting drip irrigation on the depth and width of wetted zone in a sandy soil. Proc. Fla. State Hort. Soc. 122:221-224.
    • Simonne, E.H., C.M. Hutchinson, J.T. Devalerio, R.C. Hochmuth, D.D. Treadwell, A.L. Wright, B.M. Santos, A.J. Whidden, E.J. McAvoy, X. Zhao, T. Olczyk, and A. Gazula. 2009. Current knowledge, gaps, and future needs for keeping water and nutrients in the rootzone of vegetables grown in Florida. HortTechnology 20:143-152.
    • Simonne, E.H., R.C. Hochmuth, G.J. Hochmuth and D.W. Studstill. 2008. Development of a N fertigation program for grape tomato. J. Plant Nutr. 31:2145-2154
    • Farneselli, M., D.W. Studstill, E.H. Simonne, R.C. Hochmuth, G.J. Hochmuth, and F. Tei. 2008. Depth and width of the wetted zone after leaching irrigation on a sandy soil and implication for nitrate load calculation. Comm. Soil Sci. Plant Anal. 39:1192-1193.
    • Treadwell, D. D., G. J. Hochmuth, R. C. Hochmuth, E. H. Simonne, L. L. Davis, W. L. Laughlin, S. A. Sargent, Y. Li, T. Olczyk, R. K. Sprenkel, and L. S. Osborne. 2007. Nutrient management for organic greenhouse culinary herbs: Where are we now? HortTechnology. 17(4):461-466.
    • Simonne, A.H., J.M. Fuzere, E. Simonne, R.C. Hochmuth, and M.R. Marshal. 2007. Effect of nitrogen rates on chemical composition of yellow grape tomato grown in a subtropical climate. J. Plant Nutr. 30(4-6)927-936.

    Non-refereed proceeding-articles

    • Hochmuth, R., A. Simonne, W. Laughlin, E. Martin, N. Parkell, J. Guo, and R. Naccour. 2017. Yield, Market Quality, and Bitterness of Lettuce Cultivars Grown Hydroponically in a North Florida Greenhouse During the Summer. Proc. Fla. State Hort. Soc. 130:94-99. 2017
    • Bera, T, R. Hochmuth, M. Shahid, and G. Liu. 2017. Comparing Petiole Sap Nitrate-nitrogen and Leaf Nitrogen Concentrations as a Predictor of Watermelon Nitrogen Status. Proc. Fla. State Hort. Soc. 130:100-105. 2017.
    • Athearn, K., R. Hochmuth, W. Laughlin, and J. Clark. 2018. Economic Analysis of Small-scale Greenhouse Tomato Production in Florida. Proc. Fla. State Hort. Soc. 131, 2018
    • Hogue, B., G.Liu, R. Hochmuth, and C. Vann. 2013. Using Controlled Release Fertilizer to Increase N Use Efficiency for Commercial Snap Bean Production using Center Pivot Irrigation in North Florida. Proc. Fla. State Hort. Soc. Vol 126; 152-155. https://journals.flvc.org/fshs/article/view/83718
    • McCoy, S., R. Hochmuth, W. Laughlin, A. Gazula, and D. Fenneman. 2013. Economic Analysis of Fresh Green Bell Pepper (Capsicum annuum) Production under Shade Structures. Pro. Fla. State Hort. Soc. 126: 101-106. https://journals.flvc.org/fshs/article/view/83704
    • Hochmuth, R., W. Laughlin, S. McCoy, A. Gazula, and D. Fenneman. 2013. Evaluation of several bell pepper (Capsicum annuum) cultivars grown under an open shaded structure. Proc. Fla. State Hort. Soc. 126:97-100. https://journals.flvc.org/fshs/article/view/83703
    • Williamson, J., P. Miller, R. Hochmuth, and L. Landrum. 2010. Damage to low-chill peach trees from ice accumulation during severe winter freezes in north and north-central Florida. Proc. Fla. State Hort. Soc. 123:14-18.
    • Hochmuth, R. 2010. Hydroponics and other innovative production systems. Proc. Of Florida Master Gardener Conference. Pp. 44-55.
    • Zhao, X., J.D. Edwards, E. Simonne, K. Koch, R. Hochmuth, S.M. Olson, and J.W. Scott. 2008. Plant tumor development on tomato derived from Lycopersicon hirsutum. Proc. Fla. State Hort. Soc. 121:167-169.
    • Simonne, E., R. Datar, A. Simonne, R. Hochmuth, and A. Gazula. 2008. Sensory evaluation of red and yellow grape tomato varieties. Proc. Fla. State Hort. Soc. 121:178-182.
    • Treadwell, D. A. Simonne, T. Nkambule, R. Hochmuth, W. Laughlin, C. Peavy, C. Rogers, and T. Olczyk. 2008. Yield, chemical composition, and eating quality of heirloom tomato grown in the subtropical climate of Florida. Proc. Fla. State Hort. Soc. 121:170-174.
    • Hochmuth, R. L. Davis, W. Laughlin, and A. Warner. 2008. Chestnut (Castanea sp.) cultivar evaluations for North Florida. Proc. Fla. State Hort. Soc. 121:41-42.
    • Simonne, E., C. Hutchinson, J. DeValerio, B. Hochmuth, D. Treadwell, A. Wright, B. Santos, A. Whidden, G. McAvoy, X. Zhao, and T. Olczyk. 2008. Keeping water and nutrients in the root zone of vegetables, pp. 173-203, In: T. Obreza, E. Simonne and B. Boman (Eds.) Proceedings of the 2008 workshop on BMP research and Education priorities for horticultural crops, May 20-21, Apopka, FL.
    • Hochmuth, R.C., D.D. Treadwell, E.H. Simonne, L.B. Landrum, W.L. Laughlin and L.L. Davis. 2008. Growing bell peppers in soilless culture under open shade structures. Amer. Soc. Plasticulture. Proc. 34th Natl. Agr. Plastic Congress, Tampa, FL, 32:46-50.
    • Simonne, E.H., R.C. Hochmuth, A. Gazula, and D.W. Studstill. 2008. Splitting drip irrigation on a sandy soil does not affect the depth and width of the wetted zone. Proc. 34th Plasticulture Congress, Tampa, FL.
    • Gazula, A., E.H. Simonne, R.C. Hochmuth, J.H. Chandler, and D.W. Studstill. 2008 Comparison of N fertigation programs for grape tomato grown with plasticulture. Proc. 34th Plasticulture Congress, Tampa, FL.
    • Hochmuth, R., W. Laughlin, R. Sprenkel, and K. Smith. 2008. A new use for metalized mulch film in managing greenhouse pests. Proc. 34th Plasticulture Congress., Tampa, FL
    • Olczyk, T., Y. Qian, K.W. Migliaccio, Y.C. Li, G.J. Hochmuth, R.C. Hochmuth, E.H. Simonne, D.D. Treadwell, L.S. Osborne and R.K. Sprenkel. 2007. Nutrient management for greenhouse production of container grown organic herbs. Proc. Fla. State Hort. Soc. 120: 178-180.
    • Breman, J. W., Simonne, A. H., Hochmuth, R. C., Landrum, L. B., Taylor, M. C., Evans, K., Peavy, C. & Goode, D. Z. 2007. “Quality characteristics of selected muscadine grape cultivars grown in North Florida”. Proc. Fla. State Hort. Soc. 120:8-11.
    • Olczyk, T., Y. Li, Y. Qian, G. Hochmuth, R. Hochmuth, E. Simonne, D. Treadwell, L. Osborne and R. Sprenkel. 2006. Developing nutrient management program for greenhouse production of culinary herbs. Proc. Interamerican Soc. Tropical Hort. Conf. San Juan, PR 09/06.
    • Gazula, A., E. Simonne, M. Dukes, G. Hochmuth, R Hochmuth, and D. Studstill. 2006. Optimization of drainage lysimeter design for field determination of nitrogen loads. Proc. Fla. State Hort. Soc. 119:213-233

    Refereed Abstracts

    • Newberry, E., M. L. Paret, J. B. Jones, L. Ritchie, J. H. Freeman, N. S. Dufault, B. Babu, E. M. Goss, G. E. Vallad, P. D. Roberts, B. Hochmuth, A. Drew, K. Bekham. 2015. Characterization of Pseudomonas syringae associated with watermelon and squash disease outbreaks in Florida and Georgia. Phytopathology. APS Southern Region Abstracts. Vol. 105 (Supplement 2), No. 4, 2015 S2.7. http://apsjournals.apsnet.org/doi/10.1094/PHYTO-105-4-S2.1
    • Hochmuth, R. Florida Extension Programs Fine Tune Irrigation and Nutrient Management in Plasticulture. 2014. HortScience 49(9): S105. (abstr.) Supplement for 2014 Annual Meeting of ASHS. https://cdn.ymaws.com/ashs.org/resource/resmgr/Files/HS-Sept_2014-Conference_Supp.pdf
    • Schnell, R. and R. Hochmuth. 2012. Managing Nutrients In Outdoor Floating Hydroponic Systems for Lettuce Production. Poster session, Amer. Soc. Hort. Sci. July 31, 2012.
    • Poh, B. L., A. Gazula, E. Simonne, R. Hochmuth, and M. Alligood. 2010. Position of the wetted front under drip-irrigated tomatoes grown on a sandy soil. Poster session, Amer. Soc. Hort. Sci.
    • Treadwell, D., R. Hochmuth, N. Wilson, R. Kluson, and S. Kelly. 2010 Building capacity for Florida’s small farms industry with a statewide conference. Poster session, Amer. Soc. Hort. Sci.
    • Zhao, X., E. Simonne, and R. Hochmuth. 2009. Grafting as an alternative to methyl bromide in field tomato production. Amer. Soc. Hort. Sci. 44:1058.

    Non-refereed Abstracts

    • Treadwell, D., R. Hochmuth, and J Perez. 2018. Nitrogen Management in Organic Carrot Production. American Society of Agronomy, Baltimore, MD
    • Troy, P., A. Marion, K. Athearn, and R. Hochmuth. 2018. Soil Moisture Sensors Help Suwannee Valley Growers Manage Irrigation. National Association of County Agricultural Agents Annual Meeting and Professional Improvement Conference. Chattanooga, TN.
    • Perez, J., D. Treadwell, D. Campbell, R. Hochmuth, B. Broughton, and M. Boyette. 2018. Nitrogen Management in Organic Carrot Production in North Florida. SE Regional Fruit and Vegetable Conference Poster Presentations, Savannah, GA.
    • Hochmuth, R., C. Barrett, B. Broughton, and M. Boyette. 2018. Carrot Nitrogen Management in North Florida Sandy Soils. SE Regional Fruit and Vegetable Conference Poster Presentations, Savannah, GA.
    • Grabau, Z., D. Treadwell, J. Perez, and R. Hochmuth. 2018. Nitrogen Fertilizer Rate Affects the Nematode Community in Organic and Conventional Carrot Production. SE Regional Fruit and Vegetable Conference Poster Presentations, Savannah, GA.
    • Hochmuth, R., D. Seal, T. Mengistu, R. Dyrdahl-Young, N. Leppla, B. Broughton, and D. Broughton. 2018. Research Trials to Evaluate Various Management Strategies for Wireworm (Conoderus Spp.) in Sweet Potato in North Florida. SE Regional Fruit and Vegetable Conference Poster Presentations, Savannah, GA.
  • Professional Service and Awards

    Professional Memberships

    • 1982-Present. National Association of County Agricultural Agents (NACAA)
    • 1982-1988. Delaware Association of County Agricultural Agents
    • 1988- Present. Florida Association of County Agricultural Agents (FACAA)
    • 2000-Present. American Society for Horticultural Sciences
    • 1988-2009. American Society for Plasticulture
    • 1988-Present. Extension Professionals Association of Florida
    • 1995-Present. Epsilon Sigma Phi
    • 1990-Present. Florida Farm Bureau
    • 2019. Live Oak Rotary Club
    • 2011-2012. University of Florida IFAS Tenure and Promotion Committee Member
    • 2015, 2016. University of Florida, Academic Promotion Board Member

    Recent Honors

    • 2018. Florida State Horticultural Society. 2018 Florida Horticultural Society's Vegetable Section Best Paper Award: Comparing Petiole Sap Nitrate-nitrogen and Leaf Nitrogen Concentrations as a Predictor of Watermelon Nitrogen Status (R. Hochmuth Co-Author)
    • 2017. Florida Farm Bureau Federation. Extension Professional of the Year
    • 2017. Prudential Productivity Award. Suwannee Valley Agricultural Extension Center Team.
    • 2016. National Association of County Agricultural Agents. National Winner: Search for Excellence in Young, Beginning, or Small Farmers (Florida Drip Irrigation School. M. Bauer, A. Gazula, R. Hochmuth, D. Fenneman.)
    • 2015. National Association of County Agricultural Agents. Search for Excellence in Young, Beginning or Small Farmers (R. Hochmuth, M.E. Henry, D.D. Treadwell, S. Galindo, A. Bolquez, D. Barber, F. Beckford, J. Bosques-Mendez, J. Devalerio, A. Fluke, A. Gazula, L. Johnson, R. Kluson, M. Lollar, D. Nistler, E. Skvarch, J. Sullivan, B. Thaxton, E. Toro, R. Tyson, J. Walter.)
    • 2012. National Association of County Agricultural Agents. National Winner, Search for Excellence-Farm Health and Safety, “Teaching Farmers to Build Their Own Food Safety Manual" (Hochmuth, Landrum, Toro, and Fenneman team award).

    Regional/State

    • 2014. National Association of County Agricultural Agents. Search for Excellence in Crop Production, “Improving the Competitiveness of the Watermelon Industry in the Suwannee Valley” (Hochmuth, Gazula, Fenneman, Bauer, McCoy and Toro, team award).
    • 2013. UF/IFAS Extension. Mentor of the Year Award.
    • 2012. Florida Entomological Society. 2012 Achievement Award for Extension.
    • 2012. Epsilon Sigma Phi. Extension Team Award (Co-winner for Small Farms and Alternative Enterprises Conference, Kelley and Hochmuth, team award).
    • 2012. Florida Small Farms and Alternative Enterprises Conference. Best Poster Award- First Place (Poster presented with authors: A. Gazula and W. Laughlin, Greenhouse Lettuce Cultivars). Primary author A. Gazula.
    • 2012. Florida Small Farms and Alternative Enterprises Conference. Best Poster Award- Third Place (Poster presented with authors: A. Gazula, and E. Simonne). Primary author A. Gazula.
    • 2012. NAE4-HA. Search for Excellence, Team Award- Fall Harvest Experience. (Estevez, Toro, et al.).

    Local

    • 2012. Nutrients for Life Foundation. Florida FFA Helping Communities Grow Chapter Recognition. This first place in FL award was presented to Ft White Chapter for program where Extension partnered in the project. My role in the team was the overall design and implementation of the project and assisting with training the students.

    Other Significant Honors Prior to 2012

    • 2010. Sustainable Florida. Co Leader of Team Award: The Collins Center Best Practice Award – Government Category, Small Farms and Alternative Enterprise Conference.
    • 2007. Florida State Horticultural Society. Best Paper Award-Vegetable Section Co-Author, Monitoring Nitrate Concentration in Shallow Wells Below a Vegetable Field.
    • 2006. National Association of State University and Land Grant Colleges (NASULGC). Excelence in Extension, Southern US Regional Winner.
    • 2003. National Association of County Agricultural Agents. Distinguished Service Award
    • 1995. USDA Secretary of Agriculture Award for Superior Service
  • Teaching

    Teaching Summary

    Bob Hochmuth supports the overall Land Grant University mission by helping teach University of Florida students in traditional and nontraditional settings. Bob has served as a guest lecturer for several UF/IFAS College of Agriculture and Life Sciences courses including:

    • HOS 4283C "Advanced Organic and Sustainable Crop Production” Lecture Topic: Whole Farm IPM Strategies. Instructor Dr. Xin Zhao.
    • HOS3222C/HOS6932: 03CD /04E4, “Greenhouse and Protected Crop Production” Three Lecture Topics: Protected Ag Structures, Soilless Media, and Integrated Pest Management. Bob also hosts an all-day field trip for this class each year. Instructor Dr. Xin Zhao.
    • Department of Agronomy: Applied Field Crop Production Course, Lecture Topic: Whole Farm IPM Strategies that Work. Guest Lecturer in (Instructors: Rowland and Farrell)
    • Host the students in the Doctor of Plant Medicine course, Integrated Plant Medicine ALS 6925, DEPX for six years. This is a capstone course and R. Hochmuth has hosted the class for a full day instructional tour at the North Florida Research & Education Center - Suwannee Valley (NFREC-SV) and area farms. The focus has been on integrated pest and cultural management systems related to greenhouse vegetables

    Bob Hochmuth has also supported students by other methods including:

    • Hosted various individual students at NFREC-SV to provide information on class projects for ABE6933
    • Hosted a fourth-year UF English Department undergraduate student at UF recording of a video thesis “Lettuce Begin”
    • Served as a member of the graduate committee for Maxine Floyd, candidate for MS degree in the UF Department of Agricultural Education and Communication, 2014.
    • Bob Hochmuth has hosted and advised three student interns, one from France, one from Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College, and one with the UF Department of Agricultural Education and Communication funded by UF Water Institute
    • Bob Hochmuth hosted entomology students (and their families) in the Doctor of Plant Medicine for an insect collecting activity known as “Black Lighting”. This event was hosted at the SVAEC on Saturday, September 29, 2012 and was attended by 10 UF graduate students and 25 other family members and guests. The lead faculty member is Dr. Amanda Hodges, UF Dept. of Entomology and Nematology.