Lake Region Meeting Invite

The FNGLA Lake Region Chapter would like to invite you to their next meeting at the new Danielle Fence Outdoor Living Center. This is a great place to send your clients for ideas for outdoor living and combining landscape plants. The meeting will not only be a get-together but will also be a mini trade show. Here is the rest of the information:

Join Us For Chillin and Grillin
at the new
Outdoor Living Center at Danielle Fence
4855 W State Road 60
West of Mulberry near County Line Road

You're invited for a special private preview of Danielle's Fence's New Outdoor Living Center, featuring Central Florida's premier outdoor living showroom, featuring one stop shopping for all your outdoor living needs.

The Lake Region FNGLA Chapter is showcasing this event as a mini trade show. Bring a small table and a couple of chairs to display your products and/or services to attendees. We have invited a large number (but select group) of trade people who will benefit from your participation.

Date; Thursday August 5, 2010

Time: 6 to 9 PM

Menu: Grilled specialties served by two Master Chefs, who's culinary talents will be enjoyed from the finest outdoor equipment available.
Dessert after dark, features a special light show. Complimentary adult beverages will be available.

Cost: A requested $5.00 donation per person. Funds raised will help support our education and scholarship fund.

Reservations Appreciated: Please call Karen at Peterson Nursery @ (863) 644-6491, to let her know to expect you.


Conservation Science Course at Extension

Here is a course being offered at Hillsborough County extension by Rob Northrup Hillsborough County's Urban Forester. The course is being offered to those who might be interested in conservation. Here is some of the information below.

Course Purpose
This course is designed to educate people in the concepts, language, and science related to conservation needs, planning, and action. People that complete this course will better understand the complexities of conservation, which will make them both better educators and participants in local conservation efforts. This course will cover concepts such as species diversity, measuring biodiversity, the processes that generate and maintain biodiversity, types of ecosystem services, ecological processes, habitat fragmentation, effects of human activities on ecosystems, the history of conservation in North America, and strategies for conservation planning.

Course Goals
1. Understand the role that biodiversity plays in conservation science.
2. Understand the factors that sustain or threaten ecosystem integrity.
3. Understand the strategies and approaches used to conserve biodiversity and maintain ecosystem integrity.

Each one-day workshop is designed to include a morning classroom session and discussion,
followed by a field trip and/or practical activity.

Here is the link if you would like more information:

The same link will be able to register you online.


NRCS EQUIP Funding for Local Growers

A press release came across my desk for immediate release. This press release is from the USDA for Hillsborough County farmers to implement water savings, environmental enhancement, and runoff remediation projects. It is a cost share grant based on criteria and rankings set by NRCS. Here is a Web link to projects that are potentially grant funding under this NRCS program. ftp://ftp-fc.sc.egov.usda.gov/FL/eqip/EQIPpractices.pdf

Contact: Jeffrey Woods, 352-338-9515
Katura Wright, 352-338-9510
For Immediate Release

Project Funding Available in Florida to Improve Water Quality and Quantity

Gainesville, FL., July 12, 2010 – Hillsborough County area farmers and ranchers can help conserve water and improve water quality on agricultural working lands through the US Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Agricultural Water Enhancement Program (AWEP), which leverages additional resources and services from conservation partners. The program is administered by USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), which enters into agreements with conservation partners to help landowners plan and implement conservation practices in project areas established through the agreements. Florida NRCS has partnered with the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services on one project funded in 2010 for $750,000. Producers in the Northern Tampa Bay area of Hillsborough County have until July 23, 2010, to apply for this program at their local NRCS office.

"NRCS is working hard to support efforts to protect and preserve our water resources,” said Carlos Suarez, NRCS state conservationist in Florida. “The funding announced today will help producers in Florida begin or expand plans and projects to improve water quality.”

AWEP partners include federally recognized Indian tribes, states, units of local government, agricultural associations, and non-governmental organizations. Partner proposals were selected using a competitive process that considered several factors including statutorily defined priority areas, emphasis for water conservation activities such as conversion of irrigated land to dryland farming and assistance to farmers and ranchers to meet regulatory requirements. Approved partners enter into multi-year agreements with NRCS to promote ground and surface water conservation or improve water quality on eligible agricultural lands in the project area. Additional information about AWEP is available at www.nrcs.usda.gov/programs/awep.
Information about other NRCS conservation programs can be found at www.fl.nrcs.usda.gov/programs.

NRCS is celebrating 75 years helping people help the land in 2010. Since 1935, the NRCS conservation delivery system has advanced a unique partnership with state and local governments and private landowners delivering conservation based on specific, local conservation needs, while accommodating state and national interests.

USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer and lender. To file a complaint of discrimination, write: USDA, Director, Office of Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Ave., S.W., Washington, D.C. 20250-9410 or call (800) 795-3272 (voice) or (202) 720-6382 (TDD).

If you have any other questions you can call your local NRCS service center in Plant City at 752-1474.



When I got back from the National Association of County Agriculture Agents National Conference, I was greeted at the airport by my wife and bad news. After greeting me she proceeded to tell me that lightning had struck our irrigation clock and our valves. The lightning caused our pipe to burst at the valve. I believe it struck the solenoid at the valve and traveled back to the clock. The charge then proceeded to blow apart the clock and traveled back to the power strip and blow that apart. The charge then tripped the breaker. The charge also fried the brains of another clock nearby and charred the wall where they were mounted. So instead of catching up with my family I spent the evening repairing the damage.

With this event fresh in mind, I figured it would be a good time to do a blog post on lightning and its effects. Florida is the lightning capital of the U.S. and it's probably good to refresh ourselves on the hazards of working outdoors in the rainy season in Florida. Here's a link to an IFAS document on lightning. http://solutionsforyourlife.ufl.edu/hot_topics/families_and_consumers/lightning_safety.html

This page has some basic information on lightning. It also has a section on what to do in emergencies where someone has been struck. This might be a good read considering the amount of time that nursery producers and fieldworkers spend in the outdoors.

I learned one lesson from this event. Make sure not to store any flammable material near a potential route for lightning to travel. I am glad that I did not have anything that could have caught fire next to where the clocks were. I could see from the char marks on the wall that if there was something flammable nearby it definitely would've caught. Below is a picture of the powerstrip that got blown in half. I am still looking for the remaining parts of the irrigation controller.


Pesticide Resistance In Whitefly

I am finally getting to some of those trade magazines that pileup on my desk throughout the year. I came across an article from The Grower in the November/December 2009 issue. The article is entitled Efficacy on the Decline by Vicky Boyd. The article summarizes some examples of pest resistance in whitefly. Specifically, the article talks about imidicloprid and how whiteflies are gaining resistance to this compound. The article states two researchers, one from the University of Arizona in Yuma and one at the University of Florida Gulf Coast Research and Education Center that have been seeing trials of whitefly resistance. John Palumbo states that he's seen a steady increase in imidicloprid resistance in the past 5 to 6 years. At the University of Florida, David Schuster has seen an increase of whitefly resistance to imidicloprid increase eight-fold from the years 2000 to 2006. I'm sure that many growers can probably say the same thing of their crops from the use of this chemical. When the chemistry came out it worked great, but now it seems that the pests don't respond in the same way. This is why it is recommended to rotate with different modes of action in remedying specific pests. As always make sure that you have correctly identified the past in which you want to control. A good publication from the University of Florida is http:edis.ifas.ufl.edu/pi121. This publication classifies insecticides based on mode of action from that Insecticide Resistance Action Committee. You can use this publication to help you rotate through different types of motive action when dealing with specific pests. Rotating through different types of motive action is a Best Management Practice in the nursery industry. It will also help keep certain chemistries available longer to control pests.