As the rural-urban interface becomes less distinct we would like to know what kind of communication tools you as agricultural producers need to educate your neighbors and the school children in your community about agricultural practices in their community. We can only do this if we know current practices. How do you communicate with your neighbors? Let us know by completing this survey that is being conducted by the University of Florida IFAS Extension in partnership with Florida Farm Bureau. Based on the survey we will be designing a Good Neighbor Program (GNP) that will help people living in urban-rural interface communities understand more about the importance of agricultural practices. We are also asking School Systems to complete a survey asking how they communicate with you. Please share your communication practices with us and we will use them as part of the new Good Neighbor Program. The survey will take 5 to 10 minutes to complete and we will only use your answers after they have been combined with other respondents' answers and will be completely confidential. Thank you for participating.Email Survey Link:
If you have any questions, please call (352) 273-3971, or send an email to FOI@ufl.edu. Thank you for your participation.
The District’s Phase I Water Shortage Restrictions go in effect Dec. 1, 2010, except where stricter measures have been imposed by local governments. Always refer to your local government or utility restriction guidelines first.
Restrictions apply to all of Charlotte, Citrus, DeSoto, Hardee, Highlands, Hillsborough, Manatee, Pinellas, Polk and Sumter counties; and portions of Lake and Levy counties. View map.
The unincorporated parts of Hernando, Pasco and Sarasota counties have local ordinances and are on one-day-per-week restrictions.
The City of Ocala and unincorporated Marion County will continue to follow the St. Johns River Water Management District’s water restrictions; however, the City of Dunnellon and The Villages remain under the Southwest Florida Water Management District’s water restrictions.
Lawn Watering Schedule and Times
Lawn watering is limited to twice per week.
Lawn watering days and times are as follows unless your city or county has a different schedule or stricter hours in effect:
Even addresses may water on Thursday and/or Sunday before 10 a.m. or after 4 p.m.
Odd addresses may water on Wednesday and/or Saturday before 10 a.m. or after 4 p.m.
Locations without a discernable address, such as rights-of-way and other common areas inside a subdivision, may water on Tuesday and/or Friday before 10 a.m. or after 4 p.m.
Under Phase I, residents are asked to check their irrigation systems to ensure they are working properly. This means testing and repairing broken pipes and leaks, and damaged or tilted sprinkler heads.
Residents should also check their irrigation timer to ensure the settings are correct and the rain sensor is working properly in accordance with state law.
Landscape Watering Schedule and Times
Hand watering and micro-irrigation of plants (other than lawns) can be done on any day and at any time.
New Lawns and Plants
New lawns and plants have a 30-30 establishment period, which allows any-day watering during the first 30 days.
During the second 30 days, watering is allowed three days per week: even-numbered addresses may water on Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday; odd-numbered addresses may water Monday, Wednesday and Saturday.
Reclaimed water remains subject to voluntary watering hours, unless blended with another water source or restricted by the local government or utility.
Fountains, Car Washing and Pressure Washing
There are no restrictions on fountains, car washing and pressure washing. However, the District asks that residents be as efficient as possible, such as using a shutoff nozzle on their hose so water isn’t wasted.
Water utilities and their local governments are expected to review and revise water restriction enforcement procedures, begin monthly enforcement reporting and communicate with customers about water restrictions and water conservation.
For Immediate Release
Longleaf Pine Initiative Funding Available to Private Landowners
Gainesville, FL., November 10, 2010 -- Longleaf pine forests once covered millions of acres throughout the Southeastern United States. Today, only a few thousand acres of this vital habitat remains. To help sustain, enhance and restore longleaf pine forests, USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) Chief Dave White announced the availability of $400,000 to help private landowners in Florida restore and manage longleaf pine.
“The longleaf pine is one of our key native species; providing a home to hundreds of plant and animal species as well as being a tremendous economic resource,” White said. “Restoring and expanding this species is only made possible through voluntary partnerships with conservation-minded landowners who share our goal of healthy forests.”
Longleaf pine habitat can contain as many as 300 different species of groundcover plants per acre, and approximately 60 percent of the amphibian and reptile species found in the Southeast. Additionally, this forested habitat is home to at least 122 endangered or threatened plant and animal species including the fox squirrel, northern bobwhite, red-cockaded woodpecker and gopher tortoise.
“We’ve taken great steps toward conserving longleaf pine forests in Florida,” said Jeffrey Woods, acting state conservationist for Florida. “Through this initiative, and the great works of our landowners, we will be able to enhance and protect more of this essential habitat.”
The Longleaf Pine Initiative will incorporate, through the Wildlife Habitat Incentive Program (WHIP), both technical and financial assistance to help landowners in Florida to improve habitat on agricultural land, nonindustrial private forest and Tribal land. Although WHIP has a continuous signup, landowners have until January 7, 2011 to apply for FY2011 funding for the Longleaf Pine Initiative.
Nine states are included in the Longleaf Pine Initiative: Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Texas and Virginia.
Approved participants will receive financial assistance for implementing conservation practices including planting longleaf pine, installing firebreaks, conducting prescribed burning and controlling invasive plants.
Additional information on NRCS and our programs is available on our Website at www.fl.nrcs.usda.gov or at your local USDA NRCS office. To find the nearest office go to http://offices.sc.egov.usda.gov/locator/app .
Gainesville, FL., November 4, 2010 – The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) has extended the ranking period cut-off date for their Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP). Producers now have until January 7, 201, to finalize their applications; but are encouraged to apply as soon as possible.
The CSP program, authorized in the 2008 Farm Bill, offers payments to producers who maintain a high level of conservation on their land and who agree to adopt higher levels of stewardship. Eligible lands include cropland, pastureland, rangeland and nonindustrial forestland.
“We’re extending the deadline for applications to CSP to provide agricultural producers more time to complete their applications,” said Acting State Conservationist Jeffrey Woods. “This will help farmers, ranchers and forestry producers by giving them more time and hopefully allow even more producers to participate in this program.”
CSP is offered in all 50 states, District of Columbia, and the Pacific and Caribbean areas through continuous sign-ups with announced cut-off dates for ranking periods. The program provides many conservation benefits including improvement of water and soil quality, wildlife habitat enhancement and adoption of conservation activities that address the effects of climate change.
A CSP self-screening checklist is available to help producers determine if CSP is suitable for their operation. The checklist highlights basic information about CSP eligibility requirements, contract obligations and potential payments. It is available from local NRCS offices or online at http://www.nrcs.usda.gov/programs/new_csp/csp.html .
For information about CSP or other NRCS conservation programs, visit: www.fl.nrcs.usda.gov/programs or the USDA-NRCS Service Center nearest you, http://offices.sc.egov.usda.gov/locator/app .
NRCS is celebrating 75 years helping people help the land.
We need a plant salesperson for the retail nursery garden-center who knows the plant names and common problems with their remedies. We seek a well-spoken, helpful” teacher-type” person. We sell to mostly retirees. There is no educational requirement except skill and success. Some QuickBooks POS experience would be a plus but just ordinary computer skills is enough, Microsoft OS. Some marketing and plant upkeep knowledge is good.
Must be OK with some lifting and warm summers. $24,000/year and up, permanent. Contract after trial period. References etc. Start immediately.
Anne and Robert
Colorfield Farms, Inc.
8221 S.R. 674
Wimauma, Florida 33598
This graph shows higher than usual temperatures during the winter for the Tampa area when looking at the averages of the La Nina years.
I find that this is an interesting graph as it shows that we might have more freezes than usual depending upon whether or not the La Nina is strong or weak even though overall winter temperatures may be warmer.
How does this affect production? If you are scheduling plants for a particular week remember the growing degree days will be higher and therefore development of plants will be more rapid. It means that you will probably use more water as water loss from the plants is a function of temperature. That might mean that your costs might be slightly higher for production. It means that you will more rapidly use fertilizer if you are using controlled release fertilizers. It means that spring sales will probably start a little earlier and you should have your labor lined up for production, shipping, and delivery. It means pests may stick around longer and start earlier and you will need to be vigilant. It means you shouldn't think that freezes wont be a problem this winter. They might and you will need to keep an ear to the forecast. I'm sure that you can probably think of a few other ways that this climate phenomenon will affect production. If you like please share with the other readers of this blog and post a comment!
For more economic analysis on climate data refer to my previous post about climate by clicking on the label heading called "climate" on the side bar of this blog.