Save Water and Money Producing Plants

We had a great TBWG meeting at Riverview Flower Farm. Part of it is seeing the production methods of R.F.F. and the innovation that takes place there. The other part was our guest speaker Dr. Mike Dukes from UF. He spoke about Smart Water Application Technology(SWAT). Part of that is reducing water from a timed application of water and moving to a needs based application of water. Some of the technological advances to reducing this water is by using rain sensors, soil moisture sensors and evapotranspiration controllers. These devices will bypass an irrigation timer if the plants do not need the water (e.g. after a rain event). Dr. Dukes' had two years of research looking at homeowner lawns and these technologies have saved the homeowners from around 40-70% water savings.

One of our own local growers James Reed at Three Pines Tree Farm is using a soil moisture sensor for his irrigation and says even without the grant he received to put it in place, he will have the device paid for in about 14 months from savings on his pump usage. He will also be saving thousands of gallons of water from our aquifer and many pounds of fertilizer will not be wasted or leached into the ground. This technology is really helping James' operation tighten up costs and reduce waste thereby making him more competitive in the marketplace.

If you would like more information about SWAT Dr. Dukes has some information on his website http://www.irrigation.ifas.ufl.edu/

If you would like more information on saving water or getting a grant for your farm to utilize this technology send me an email or give me a call at the extension office.


Holloway Nursery for Sale

For those of you who may be looking to start a nursery or add a retail site here is a nursery for sale.

This is what Sue said is being offered:
Holloway Nursery is on five acres, there is a 1925-era house, two greenhouses up /two on the ground, there are three wells, everything is sprinkled, there are forty wire tables w/cinderblock rises. There is a new (2004?) six-stall horsebarn w/tackroom, a smaller, older three-stall barn (used as a cash register area), a covered shade area, a new (2007) 14' by 14' octagonal gazebo. There is a metal storage garage w/concrete floor and steel ceiling beams, new Kubota tractor, bushhog, new Husquevarna tractor. We paid $305,000 for the property and undeveloped land in 2006. All equipment and plants will be included in the asking price of $549,000.

Contact Sue Dangelmaier for more information 813-737-6043


Greenhouse and Nurserey Financial Program for Hard Economic Times

We all know that these economic times are the worst that many in the industry today have ever seen. And you can throw out all the old models as to what has worked in the past. The rules of the game have changed and we need to adapt in order to survive.

I have helped put together a free half day program with Lelan Parker (an extension agent in Orange County) to help bring you Financial Program for Hard Economic Times that will be on Oct. 14, 2009 at 8:00

As speakers we will have Mark Moritz from FDACS speaking about getting your money back from non-payers with the Ag Bond. Dave Palmer and myself will be speaking about using the internet for marketing. Dr. Alan Hodges will be speaking about cost anaylsis for nursery production, and Dr. Allen Wysocki will discuss marketing for your production. Both Drs. Hodges and Wysocki would be great to pick brains with in terms of economics in general or plant production or marketing specifically. Dave Palmer is also a web guru who is extremely knowledgeable about websites and optimization of your site for search engines.

It may be a good opportunity to just get some inspiration or new ideas to try to help your marketing efforts.

Here are the links for more information and the flyer: http://hillsborough.extension.ufl.edu/Ag/AgOrnProd/CalendarPubs/EconomicTimes_GreenhNursy_OCT2009.pdf

And here is the link for online registration: http://091014growers.eventbrite.com/