12/20/11

Nursery Professional Seeks Position

An experienced (10+ yrs)  nurseryman/farm manager/sales manager is seeking employment opportunities.  Candidate has operations management and plant sales/account servicing knowledge.  If you are looking for someone to hire and are interested please give Shawn a ring at the extension office or send an email and he will give you the contact information.

USDA Conservation Stewardship Program

This in from the USDA...

For Immediate Release
Florida Ag Producers Should Apply Now for Financial Assistance
Conservation Stewardship Program Funds Available

Gainesville, FL., December 19, 2011 – Financial and technical assistance is now available to farmers and ranchers interested in the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Conservation Stewardship Program. The program, also called CSP, is administered by the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS). Producers interested in CSP should submit applications to their local NRCS office by January 13, 2012 so that their applications can be considered during the first ranking period of 2012.

“The CSP program is a good opportunity for producers to undertake additional conservation actions while continuing to maintain and manage existing conservation activities,” said Carlos Suarez, Florida NRCS state conservationist. “I encourage all farmers and ranchers who are interested in applying to contact their local NRCS office as soon as possible to determine eligibility.”

CSP is offered in all 50 states, and the Pacific and Caribbean areas through continuous sign-ups. The program provides many conservation benefits including improvement of water and soil quality, wildlife habit enhancements and adoption of conservation activities that address the effects of climate change. Eligible lands include cropland, pastureland, rangeland, nonindustrial private forest land and agricultural land under the jurisdiction of an Indian tribe.

A CSP self-screening checklist is available to help potential applicants 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 and on the CSP Web page.

As part of the CSP application process, applicants will work with NRCS field personnel to complete the resource inventory using a Conservation Measurement Tool (CMT). The CMT determines the conservation performance for existing and new conservation activities. The applicant’s conservation performance will be used to determine eligibility, ranking and payments.

Visit the NRCS National Web site, and connect with an NRCS office near you.

12/19/11

Cold Protect with a Chemical Spray

I read this in Science Daily.  Apparently you can get 2-9 F degrees of protection.  Here is a link to the full article of the selection from below from Science Daily.
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/12/111214135814.htm

"A report published in HortTechnology premiered the novel topical spray developed to increase resistance to both cold damage and cold mortality in plant foliage, flowers, and fruits. According to David Francko, Dean of the Graduate School and Professor of Biology at the University of Alabama, the patent-pending formula has been commercialized under the trade name FreezePruf.
The spray is composed of ingredients that are non-toxic to plants, humans, and animals. "The components of the laboratory spray formulation and FreezePruf are all either human food ingredients or used in the human food production chain," said Francko. He said that the spray actually improves plants' natural ability to tolerate freezing conditions.
The researchers tested the spray on a wide variety of foliage, flowers, and fruits. Data showed that both the laboratory formulation and the commercial version of the spray decreased the first damage temperature and the mortality temperature of the plants. "We noted beneficial effects within hours of application," Francko remarked. "Our results suggested that the spray formulation could add the equivalent of approximately 0.25 to almost 1.0 USDA Plant Hardiness Zone to the cold hardiness rating of the plants used in the experiments."

Here is a link to FreezePruf information http://pro.liquidfence.com/ecologic/freeze-pruf.html

12/13/11

Pindos 10' CT Wanted

A grower is looking for 10' CT Pindo Palms.  Please give me a ring if you have them or know someone who might.  813-629-6104.

Smart Sprays Can Reduce Your Work

Here is a story I came across from the USDA Agricultural Research Service.  This is a wonderful article about targeting your sprays to only pests and only when you have those pests at levels causing economic damage.  I often have growers tell me with the first signs of a problem pest they make a broad-spectrum insecticide application.  They hope to "nuke" the whole nursery or field to remove a pest without taking time to consider what else they may be disrupting by making that application.  Don't forget there are a host of other insects out there helping you do your job of raising beautiful plants to sell (spiders, wasps, predatory mites.)  You might be causing more work for yourself down the road without thinking about the best insecticide to spray.  Here is the article. And don't forget the Integrated Pest Management Update in February to help you make those pesticide decisions.

"Controlling Whiteflies the Natural Way

By Dennis O'Brien
December 6, 2011


U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) scientists are showing Arizona cotton growers how to reduce their dependence on broad-spectrum insecticides by controlling sweetpotato whiteflies with greener alternatives.

Some Arizona growers continue to combat whiteflies with broad-spectrum insecticides that wipe out a number of insects, despite the availability of sprays that specifically target whiteflies. Steve Naranjo, a scientist with USDA's Agricultural Research Service (ARS), and Peter Ellsworth of the University of Arizona conducted a study where they treated some plots with insecticides specific to whiteflies and other plots with broad-spectrum insecticides. They left a third set of plots as untreated controls. Naranjo is a research leader and acting center director at the ARS U.S. Arid-Land Agricultural Research Center in Maricopa.
The results, published in Biological Control, showed that whiteflies initially died off at about the same rate in areas treated with both the whitefly-specific and the broad-spectrum insecticides. But as the growing season continued, the area where the researchers sprayed broad-spectrum insecticides had to be repeatedly sprayed to control whiteflies, while there was no need to spray the area treated once with the whitefly-specific insecticide. In those areas, the whitefly's natural enemies survived the initial spraying and continued to feed on whiteflies.
Naranjo and Ellsworth also found a way to reduce the impact of whitefly migration from cantaloupe to cotton, which is a persistent problem in Arizona. The researchers showed that when cantaloupe is grown near cotton, whiteflies will typically reach excessive levels on cotton in July, coinciding with the end of the cantaloupe harvest and the passing of sufficient time for pest populations to grow after they initially invade cotton.

They also found that a single application of whitefly-specific insecticide on cotton preserved a sufficient supply of the natural enemies and caused a "knock down" of whitefly populations to levels where the enemies could control whiteflies for the rest of the growing season. The results, described in Biological Control and Pest Management Science, show the benefits of using insecticides designed specifically to control whiteflies.


Read more about the research in the November/December 2011 issue of Agricultural Research magazine."

12/7/11

Palm School

Palm Management in the Florida Landscape

Date: February 28-29, 2012 (2 days - Tuesday and Wednesday)

Time: 7:45 AM – 5:00 PM each day

Location: University of Florida - IFAS Fort Lauderdale Research and Education Center
3205 College Avenue
Davie, FL 33314

Registration Fee: $300, checks only, payable to the “University of Florida”

Reservations/Payment By: February 14, 2012 (or until class fills up)
Enrollment Limit: 40 persons. Enrollment will be limited to 3 persons per company. If  space is still available after February 15, this enrollment cap will be lifted.

CEUs requested: LIAF, ISA, FNGLA and FDACS (pesticide license)

Topics
(classroom presentations and field trip to palm groves on site)
 Diagnosing Palm Problems  Palm Insects
 Palm Anatomy and Growth  Palm Diseases
 Physiological Disorders  Normal Abnormalities
 Nutrient Deficiencies  Fertilizer Formulations
 Sampling and Leaf Analysis  Fertilizer Application Techniques
 Transplant Issues  Pruning Palms
Instructors:
• Dr. Timothy Broschat, Palm Horticulturist, Nutrition and Fertilization
• Dr. Monica Elliott, Palm Pathologist, Fungal Diseases
• Dr. Robin Giblin-Davis, Palm Entomologist/Nematologist
• Dr. Nigel Harrison, Palm Pathologist, Phytoplasma Diseases
• Dr. Catharine Mannion, Ornamental Entomologist

For more information and to reserve your spot for “Palm School”, contact:  Dr. Monica Elliott at melliott@ufl.edu or 954/577-6315

12/6/11

USDA Righting Past Wrongs

This is a news release from USDA in a settlement affecting African-Americans that may have been descriminated against.

Statements by Attorney General Holder and Agriculture Secretary Vilsack on Court Approval of Pigford II Settlement Agreement


WASHINGTON, October 28, 2011– Attorney General Eric Holder and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack released the following statements on the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia approval of the historic Pigford II settlement:


"This settlement allows the Department of Agriculture and African-American farmers to focus on the future, and brings us one step closer to giving these farmers a chance to have their claims heard," said Attorney General Holder. "Accomplishing this settlement has been a top priority of this Administration and I am pleased that the court has approved it."

"Since my first day at USDA, I made it a priority to treat all Americans with respect and dignity and to ensure equal access to our programs. Court approval of the Pigford settlement is another important step to ensure some level of justice for black farmers and ranchers who faced discrimination when trying to obtain services from USDA," said Secretary Vilsack. "President Obama, Attorney General Holder and I are thrilled by the court's approval so we can continue turning the page on this sad chapter in USDA history. In the months and years ahead, we will not stop working to move the Department into a new era as a model employer and premier service provider for all Americans regardless of race, ethnicity or gender."

On Feb.18, 2010, USDA and the U.S. Department of Justice announced an agreement with African-American farmers to settle the Pigford II litigation for $1.25 billion. Congress passed the Claims Settlement Act that funded the settlement in November 2010, and the bill was signed by President Obama in December 2010. The bill that passed the Senate and House included strong protections against waste, fraud and abuse to ensure integrity of the claims process. The claims process will soon be established and announced for individuals who may have faced discrimination.


In February 2010, the Departments of Justice and Agriculture announced the Pigford II settlement with African American farmers, in October 2010, the departments announced the Keepseagle settlement with Native American farmers, and in February 2011, the departments announced the establishment of a process to resolve the claims of Hispanic and women farmers and ranchers. Earlier this year, USDA also released a Civil Rights Assessment report that detailed an aggressive plan to promote equal access and opportunity at the department. The Department of Agriculture is currently implementing many of the department-wide recommendations that will help USDA improve service delivery to minority and socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers, and enhance program delivery and outreach to promote diversity, inclusion and accessibility. An overview of these comprehensive efforts is available at www.ascr.usda.gov/new_era_at_cr_.html.

11/22/11

Great Southern Tree Conference 2011

Don't miss out on the 2011 Great Southern Tree Conference.

This is what the FNGLA has to say about it...
"The Annual Great Southern Tree Conference (GSTC) is a cutting edge educational event centered around an outdoor demonstration area. Developed through the joint efforts of the Florida Nursery, Growers & Landscape Association and the University of Florida, this conference is devoted entirely to tree selection, landscape, production, establishment, marketing and management issues in the southern United States. Are you looking to better your business? Grow or install more or better plant material? Then mark your calendars for this premier industry event. While the main conference takes places December 1 - 2, there is also a special add-on bonus session which takes place November 30."

To find out more about the event click here.  http://www.fngla.org/events/great-southern-tree-conference/

If you would like to see the brochure click on this link. 
http://www.fngla.org/events/great-southern-tree-conference/2011/images/2011GSTCbrochure-lowres.pdf

Poinsettia Field Day

This in from the Environmental Horticulture Department at UF.

Calling all industry professionals: join us for our annual poinsettia open house!

The 2011 Poinsettia Field Day will be held Tuesday, December 6, 9am–3pm, in the UF Environmental Horticulture Greenhouse Complex in Gainesville.

On the industry day, a tour will be given. Last year, over 100 different varieties were on display from Dummen, Ecke, Selecta/Ball, and Syngenta.

There's no registration required. For questions or additional information contact Dr. Jim Barrett at jbarrett@ufl.edu.

11/15/11

Ornamental Plant Benefits

Marketing plants in this economy may seem overwhelming and the name of the game seems to be "Strive To Survive."  A simple marketing concept you can do for free is to constantly keep potential customers aware of the multitude of benefits derived from the products we grow. Every time a scientist mentions the fact that a particular fruit or vegetable has a health benefit, there is an increase in demand for the product. I feel that we need to do a better job of letting the public know how much benefit there is to creating beauty in the landscape with our products.

Here is a great summation of those benefits in a paper that was published in the Journal of Environmental Horticulture.  The title of the paper is "Economic, Environmental, and Health/Well-Being Benefits Associated with Green Industry Products and Services: A Review" by Dr. Charles Hall and Melanie Dickson.  Click on this link for the study http://tiny.cc/plantsaregreat   I feel that every grower needs to memorize this list of benefits and tell people about it, write articles about it, or adapt it as a handout or fact sheet for your office counter to give to customers as they go through.  You might even want to mail it to your retail cusotmers so that their customers can read it. 
When commercial/residential occupancy rates are down and home sales are slow, it is a great time to spruce up the exterior of the building and in the meanwhile make a return on your investment. Especially when there are deals to be found in the nursery industry.  Remember to sell the sizzle and not the steak!

Whitefly Trouble

This was originally posted from Dave Palmer in Manatee County.


This email was forwarded from Dr. Lance Osborne.

REPORTS ARE COMING IN ABOUT WHITEFLY MANAGEMENT PROBLEMS!
Based on early reports, 2011 may be another challenging year for whitefly management,with whitefly detections reported in several parts of the country.
Growers are reminded that in 2005, SAF helped USDA to convene the Ad Hoc Whitefly Task Force, made up of state and federal regulators, representatives of the ornamentals, cotton and vegetable industries, and leading scientists. That Task Force developed a comprehensive and effective whitefly management program, with specific spraying recommendations for whitefly control.


The continued success of the Whitefly Management Program depends in large part upon you: the ornamentals grower.

The program has been successful – but it will only work if growers are using it!
What should commercial growers be doing?

1. Weekly scouting is essential! Use sticky cards to monitor adults, and check the undersides of leaves to monitor the immature population. Visual inspections, sticky cards, and product performance-scouting are all necessary. Don’t let the whiteflies get ahead of you, or your treatment options will be more limited. Don’t wait until shipment to find out you have whiteflies!

2. Study and implement the “Management Program for Whiteflies on Propagated Ornamentals.” Click on any of the following websites:




The management program is based on the best scientific data and is updated to include new testing results and new products as they become available.

3. Do not rely on just one or two effective products. Rotate, rotate, rotate, with different modes of action, to decrease the potential for developing resistance. A resistant B-biotype can be just as bad as a Q-biotype! Or, if you are using a product that only kills the B-biotypes and have a mixed population, you will end up with more Q-biotypes, harder to control. Growers should also time product applications to meet label recommendations for the current life stage present. If neonicotinoids are applied too early in the crop cycle and/or heavy irrigation has occurred, the active ingredient residual may not last or may be leached out before the end of the crop cycle.

4. If you have control problems: Contact your propagator, your local extension agent or university expert. Knowing which biotype you are dealing with will help you choose the most effective control products: Q-biotype and some B-biotype whiteflies are resistant to certain products and will not be effectively controlled unless you use the correct program. So follow the Whitefly Management Program, and please get your whiteflies biotyped. The biotyping process is fast, free, and information will be kept absolutely confidential. The Whitefly Management Program provides the contact address to which samples may be sent for biotyping.

5. Practice good sanitation BETWEEN crop cycles. Whitefly management does not end once you ship. It is very important not to develop a resistant whitefly population develop within your nursery or greenhouse, and then cycle it from crop to crop! So make every effort to eradicate residual populations after shipment. It’s important for your vegetable, cotton, or peanut-producing neighbors – and it’s important for your future crop years. Letting whiteflies – and especially difficult-to-manage populations of either biotype – survive within your greenhouse or nursery is just a headache, and maybe a disaster, waiting to happen.

6. Inspect incoming shipments, and isolate if necessary. Ornamentals propagators are cooperating with the Task Force-developed program, so you should not be receiving undue numbers of whiteflies. Zero-tolerance is NOT the goal for anyone, so you may see a whitefly or two when your shipments arrive. That’s normal, and means that your propagator or rooting station is probably following good management practices. But if you see many whiteflies on incoming shipments, keep those plants separate from your other crops until they have been treated. And inform your propagator or rooting station.
7. Watch your neighbors’ fields. If you’re near cotton, peanut or vegetable fields (and especially if you are in a part of the country that has been hot and dry over the summer), you may see whiteflies migrate to your greenhouse at the end of their season. Obviously, you don’t want to be contributing whiteflies to their fields, either!

PLEASE DON’T BE PART OF THE PROBLEM: BE PART OF THE SOLUTION!

11/8/11

La Nina at Play this Fall and Winter

The National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) climate scientists are predicting that the La Nina that we had last year will continue to be a multi-year phenomena and may increase in strength this fall.  The current La Nina is not as strong as it was last September but one half the models predict it will strengthen this fall and winter.  This will place our overall winter weather as drier and warmer than usual.  This doesn't mean that we might not get a cold freezing blast but it means that for the most part the overall seasonal weather will be averaged to be warmer and dryer.
For detailed information about the La Nina Report click on this link and go the the Climate Prediction Center of NOAA.  http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/analysis_monitoring/enso_advisory/

11/2/11

FNGLA Lake Region Chapter Meeting

The FNGLA Lake Region Chapter will be having their next meeting at Sunshine Growers greenhouses in Polk Co. just east of County Line Rd off of Drane Field Rd on Thurs. Nov. 10th, 2011 at 5:00 pm.  We will be looking at their lineup of poinsettia plants they have in production.  There will also be a BBQ dinner at $15.00 per person.  For more information please click on this link and scroll down to November on the calendar.   Http://hillsborough.extension.ufl.edu/Ag/AgOrnProd/AgCalendar.html

11/1/11

Nursery Production Water Webinar Series

Water, water, everywhere!  This is an awesome educational opportunity for growers.  The Water Education Alliance for Horticulture is working with University of Florida Cooperative Extension, OFA, FNGLA, the German grower association Zentralverband Gartenbau and several experts at universities and companies on webinar topics to help growers conserve, recirculate, and treat irrigation water.
This is a great opportunity to sit at your own computer for lunch and get the latest information from around the world on a variety of timely water topics.  The technology is very easy to use so don't get intimidated.  You will click on a link and join the webinar.  Just make sure that your computer has speakers or you have a phone that can call for the audio.  It couldn't be any simpler to get UF Extension education. 

Registration is free at watereducationalliance.org (click on “workshops”), and 45-minute presentations will run at noon EDT on the following Tuesdays

29-Nov   Best Management Practices for water conservation Tom Yeager (University of Florida)

6-Dec   Biology of waterborne pathogens Gary Chastagner (Washington State University)

13-Dec   A Systems Approach for Managing Phytophthora Diseases in Nurseries: the Importance of Water. Jennifer Parke (Oregon State University)

20-Dec   Monitoring water quality Paul Fisher (University of Florida)

10-Jan   Filtration and avoiding clogging of irrigation lines (Dramm Water)

17-Jan  Surface cleaning and sanitation Warren Copes (USDA-ARS)

24-Jan  Algae control and pond management Ken Wagner (Water Resources Services)

31-Jan  Pro and cons of water disinfection techniques: A European perspective Walter Wohanka (Geisenheim Research Center, Germany)

7-Feb  Designing water treatment systems Paul Fisher.

If you are a nursery producer and irrigate plants then I hope you will take the time to learn more about some of these topics.  If you have any questions please call Shawn at 813-629-6104.

10/31/11

Queen Palms Blowout

A grower in Plant City has 175 queen palms in 25 gal containers at about 15' tall and needs to get rid of them.  They will be sold for $30.00 each.  Call Sue at 813-416-1573 if interested.

Graveyard Weed Tale for Halloween

This is an article published from the USDA Agricultural Research Service in the October 2011 Issue of Agricultureal Research.  "A Mississippi Graveyard: The Perfect Place for a Plant Mystery"

Gypsies, Graveyards and Mysterious Plants


By Ann Perry
October 19, 2011

A U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) scientist has confirmed the identity of a strange grass-like sedge discovered in a Mississippi graveyard, and believes the appearance of the potentially invasive plant is linked to the final resting places of several members of a royal Gypsy family.

Agricultural Research Service (ARS) botanist Charles Bryson was asked by Mississippi State University graduate student Lucas Majure to help classify a plant Majure had found in Rose Hill Cemetery in Meridian, Miss. Bryson works at the ARS Crop Production Systems Research Unit in Stoneville, Miss. ARS is USDA's chief intramural scientific research agency.

After several months of searching, Bryson identified the plant as blue sedge (Carex breviculmis), a native of Asia and Australia and previously unknown in North America. He also found it growing along railroad tracks, campgrounds used by transients, and in or around four cemeteries in Meridian, including Rose Hill Cemetery.

Visitors from all over the world come to Rose Hill Cemetery to pay their respects at the gravesite of Kelly Mitchell, the Queen of the Gypsies, who was buried there in 1915. Her husband and other family members were also laid to rest in the cemetery.

Given the plant's restricted and distinctive distribution in the region, Bryson thinks that global travelers introduced the sedge to Mississippi, possibly via seeds trapped in clothing or by leaving plants or soil at the gravesites of the Gypsy royalty. Then cemetery caretakers may have spread plant material from the first introduction site to the other cemeteries via contaminated clothing and lawn care equipment.

At two sites where it is now established, the plant exhibits weedy characteristics and reproduces and spreads profusely. To Bryson, these traits suggest that the Old World sedge could someday cause problems in U.S. lawn and turf systems, as well as in fruit and nut crop production.

Bryson and Majure published their findings in the Journal of the Botanical Research Institute of Texas.
Read more about this research in the October 2011 issue of Agricultural Research magazine.

Here is the the link. 
http://www.ars.usda.gov/is/AR/archive/oct11/plant1011.htm

SWFWMD Extends Phase I Water Restrictions

This in from SWFWMD.  I would advise growers that this is a good time to check your irrigation system's operational efficiency.

Oct. 25, 2011

District Extends Water Restrictions
Rainy Season Not Productive Enough for Resources to Recover

The Southwest Florida Water Management District’s Governing Board voted today to extend Phase I water shortage restrictions for the District’s entire 16-county area through Feb. 29, 2012, because of a disappointing summer rainy season and an approaching winter that is expected to be drier than normal.

The Phase I order is intended as an alert to prepare for worsening conditions. 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 timers to ensure the settings are correct and the required rain sensors or soil moisture sensors are working properly in accordance with state law.

There are no changes to watering days or times in a Phase I water shortage compared to the District’s year-round water conservation measures. This means lawn and landscape watering remains limited to a two-day-per-week schedule, and residents may only water before 10 a.m. or after 4 p.m.

10/5/11

New CEU article released

A new article "Using Beneficial Arthropods" by Juanita Popenoe has been added to the free, online, industry sponsored UF/IFAS Hillsborough County Pesticide CEU web page.  This article will give you 1 credit for Private Applicator, Ornamental and Turf Pest Control, Limited Certificate Commercial Landscape and Maintenance, or Limited Certification Lawn and Ornamental.  Just click on the link, read the article, and take the quiz to get your free CEU.  I will email the certification to you if you pass the quiz with a 70% or better.  www.tiny.cc/CEUS

Plant Auction at the Hillsborough County Fair Grounds

UF/IFAS Hillsborough County Extension, FNGLA Tampa Chapter, and the Hillsborough County Fair would like to invite you to the Annual FNGLA Plant Auction.  The auction will take place at the fairgrounds on Saturday, October 15, 2011.  If you are a plant donor or grower you can get in free and enjoy a free barbecue lunch from the 4-H foundation on us.  We are also having a special silent auction for fertilizers and chemicals strictly for growers.   If you would like to get a ticket call Shawn at the office 813-744-5519 ext. 54147.  If you are a buyer or just love gardening and landscaping, come on out and get great deals on annuals, perennials, woody ornamentals, and trees.  The money that we raise at this auction goes to help scholarships and youth programs.  If you would like to help out at the auction also give Shawn a call. We have a lot of fun and there is a ton of stuff to do at the fair. Not to mention all the fair food!  For more information please click on this link http://hillsborough.extension.ufl.edu/Ag/AgOrnProd/AgCalendar.html

9/30/11

FNGLA Lake Region Chapter News

The Lake Region FNGLA Chapter has its newsletters out now.  They are hosting a meeting at the Polk Training Center for Handicapped Citizens on October 6, 2011 at 6:00 pm.  Please RSVP Karen Peterson at 863-644-649.  They will have Luigi's catering an Italian Cuisine for $15.00.  For more information, a map and the newsletter please click on the following link.   http://hillsborough.extension.ufl.edu/Ag/AgOrnProd/AgCalendar.html

9/29/11

Cleaner Air Equals More Productivity

It is often thought that environmental regulations are just burdensome to agriculture and other industries. Here is an interesting report to the contrary.  The National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) published a report today entitled The Impact of Ozone Pollution on Worker Productivity by Joshua S. Graff Zivin and Matthew J. Neidell that showed ozone levels in the atmosphere affect the productivity of agricultural workers. In California, the researchers used agricultural productivity data along with environmental conditions monitoring information and looked at the relationship.  They discovered that even at levels well below government air quality standards, ozone is having a severe effect on worker productivity in the field. They surmised that even with a 10 ppb (parts per billion) reduction in the ozone standard would translate into an increase of 4.2% worker productivity and annual cost savings of approximately $1.1 billion in labor expenditures.  11.8% of the US labor force work in outdoor conditions and could benefit from stricter standards.  This is a fascinating case of how regulating air quality can not only improve quality of life, but also the bottom line of business.  If you would like to read the full report please click on this link http://papers.nber.org/papers/W17038

9/21/11

Environmental Horticulture Production Newsletter Release

The latest edition of the Nationally Awarded (National Association of County Ag Agents Communication Awards-Individual Newsletter National Finalist 2011) Environmental Horticulture Production Newsletter is now out.  Read about testing pH, industry updates, chemical updates, irrigation saving devices, state of the industry, and more.  For more information please click on the following link and enjoy! 
http://tiny.cc/EHPNSummer2011

9/20/11

These GALS Ain't Pretty

A recent detection in Miami-Dade County has the nursery industry concerned especially if you are bringing plants up from Homestead to sell.  The Giant African Land Snail or GALS are one of the most destructive snails in the world.  They can eat over 500 different types of plants, can cause damage to stucco, and can harbor nematodes which can transmit menengitis.  Here is a pest alert from USDA http://www.freshfromflorida.com/pi/plantinsp/images/pa_phgas.pdf  and here is more information than you probably care for.  It is a link to DPI's GALS page with pictures and factsheets.  Below is a picture of the damage on ornamentals from GALS.

9/7/11

Florida Hardy Rose Production Seminar

Wouldn't it be nice if you could just plant roses and never have to care for them.  The University of Florida has been doing some important work on this dream for you. Three locations across Florida north, central, and south, trialed old garden roses to see how well they hold up under minimal input landscape care.  The central location was located here in Plant City under the watchful eye of Dr. Sydney Park-Brown.  The idea for this project came from the Texas A&M Earth-kind roses program http://aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/earthkind/roses/.  
The roses were subjected to every day climate at their various locations. And they were treated with a "set it and forget it" landscape approach. These roses had minimal fertilizer, minimal irrigation, no pruning, and no pesticides for either disease or insect control. The results of this experiment were given at a seminar in conjunction with the University of Florida Research and Extension at the Plant City Campus.  At our seminar we also provided participants with roses to take home and trial from the best performing varieties.  I provided rooted cuttings and Dr. Gary Knox from the North Florida Research and Education Center provided one gallon plants.  It was my intention that someone in our local industry would start to grow them commercially.  Some of the best performing varieties they found from the old garden roses were Mutabalis, Knock Outs, Spice, and Mrs. B.R. Kant.  These might be excellent varieties to provide for your landscape customers for landscape and home enjoyment.  Here are the presentations in case you missed them on my website.  Just scroll down to the Florida Hardy Rose Production Seminar and click on a title of the presentations you would like to see.  http://hillsborough.extension.ufl.edu/Ag/AgOrnProd/AgPresentations2009.html

Lake Region Chapter FNGLA Meeting 9/8/11

The Lake Region Chapter of FNGLA will be meeting at Hollis Gardens in Lakeland for a behind the scenes tour and then everyone will be heading over to Black and Brew Coffee House and Bistro for the meeting.  Dinner is on your own and we hope to have the raffle as usual.  Hope to see you there.  Click here for the flyer.  http://hillsborough.extension.ufl.edu/Ag/AgOrnProd/AgCalendar.html#Septmber

NWS Frost and Freeze Criteria

This in from the National Weather Service in Ruskin...

The National Weather Service in Ruskin, FL will be conducting a conference call on September 22 at 1 PM EDT for customer and partner feedback regarding our current criteria for issuing frost and freeze products across west central and southwest Florida.

Attached is a copy of our current frost/freeze criteria, including the temperatures required as well as the durations required to meet these criteria.
Our question is: What do you think of the current criteria for frost and freeze products issued by the National Weather Service in Ruskin?

You're invited to participate in our conference call, and we'd really appreciate your feedback about our products. Conference Call: 866-231-8384 
Passcode: 8136452323
We look forward to hearing from you and actively incorporating your feedback to improve the quality and relevance of the products we issue.

Logan Johnson and Todd Barron

National Weather Service Ruskin
Frost and Freeze Products Service Improvement Team

Frost and Freeze Products Current Criteria

• Frost: Temperatures expected to fall to between 33-36 degrees with light winds and clear skies with frost expected to form.
• Freeze: Temperatures expected to fall to between 28-32 degrees for at least 3 hours consecutively.
• Hard Freeze: Temperatures expected to fall below 27 degrees for at least 3 hours consecutively.
• These products will be issued any and every time these conditions are expected to occur throughout the entire year.

USDA Update for Conservation Funding

This in from the USDA...

Opportunities Available Now for Conservation Assistance and Funding

Apply before October 31, 2011 cut-off date

GAINESVILLE, FL, September 1, 2011 — The USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in Florida is encouraging landowners, farmers and producers to visit their local NRCS office now to receive more information and apply for conservation technical assistance and possible cost share opportunities.

The application process for 2008 Farm Bill conservation programs is continuous, but funding selections are only made once a year. The Florida NRCS application cutoff date for consideration for Federal Fiscal Year 2012 funds is October 31, 2011.

“Applications received after that date will be considered for future funding periods,” said State Conservationist Carlos Suarez. “We’re urging producers to get their applications in as soon as possible to be considered for this year’s funding.”

NRCS works with landowners through conservation planning and assistance designed to benefit the soil, water, air, plants, and animals that result in productive lands and healthy ecosystems.

Cost share funding is available to eligible applicants for the following Farm Bill programs:

· The Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) is a conservation program that provides financial and technical assistance to farmers and ranchers who face threats to soil, water, air, and related natural resources on their land. Through EQIP, NRCS develops contracts with agricultural producers to voluntarily implement conservation practices. Persons engaged in livestock or agricultural production and owners of non-industrial private forestland are eligible for the program. Eligible land includes cropland, rangeland, pastureland, private non-industrial forestland, and other farm or ranch lands.

· The Wildlife Habitat Incentive Program (WHIP) is a voluntary program for developing or improving high quality habitat that supports fish and wildlife populations of National, State, Tribal, and local significance. Through WHIP, the NRCS provides technical and financial assistance to eligible private and Tribal landowners for the development of upland, wetland, aquatic, and other types of wildlife habitat.

The Wetlands Reserve Program (WRP) provides technical and financial assistance to private landowners and Tribes to restore, protect, and enhance wetlands in exchange for retiring eligible land from agriculture.

The Grassland Reserve Program (GRP) is a program for landowners and operators to protect grazing uses and related conservation values by conserving grassland, including rangeland, pastureland, shrubland, and certain other lands.

The Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) is available on Tribal and private agricultural lands and non-industrial private forest land. CSP encourages producers to address resource concerns in a comprehensive manner by undertaking additional conservation activities; and improving, maintaining, and managing existing conservation activities.

Seventy percent of the land in the United States is privately owned, making stewardship by private landowners vital to the health of our Nation’s environment.

NRCS encourages interested parties to visit with our staff as soon as possible. Applicants who apply early have more time to resolve any program or land eligibility issues.

Additional information on NRCS, conservation assistance, and programs is available on its website at www.fl.nrcs.usda.gov or at your local USDA - NRCS office. To find the nearest office go to your telephone directory under “U. S. Government, Department of Agriculture”, or http://offices.sc.egov.usda.gov/locator/app.

##

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).

8/23/11

New Pest Alert from DPI

A Jamacian citrus weevil was found in the Bahamas now closer than ever to the mainland of Florida.  This weevil is a general feeder on plants in Jamaica including peanuts, coco plum, tropical almond, mango, papaya, cassava, breadfruit, as well as citrus.  Although not a pest here in Florida, DPI has alerted us to the nearness of the pest.  Here is the link to the DPI pest alert.   

8/17/11

New Caladium from GCREC 'Tapestry'

Zhanao Deng a researcher/breeder at the Gulf Coast Research and Education Center in Balm has released a new caladium cultivar to the industry.  Here is the description.

'Tapestry' is a fancy-leaved variety with large, attractive pink blotches and red petioles (Figures 1; Deng et al. 2011). It has demonstrated high tuber yield potential and performed well in forced containers and landscape use. Its performance as a pot or landscape plant was significantly better than 'Carolyn Whorton', 'Fannie Munson', or 'White Queen'. 'Tapestry' also sprouts earlier than these existing commercial varieties. These characteristics should benefit consumers and landscapers as well as growers producing tubers and marketing potted or bedding plants.

For more information on this new caladium cultivar please read the following publication http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/ep444



8/10/11

FDOT Vehicle in Commerce Requirements


by Erin Harlow and Paul Mitola
Erin Harlow is the Commercial Horticulture Agent in Duval County. Paul Mitola is FDACS Field Training Coordinator and has 20 years experience in the pest control industry.

As far as I'm aware, these requirements apply to wholesale nursery and commercial landscape vehicles.

In July, the Region 5 Florida Pest Management Association held its monthly meeting at the Duval County Extension Office. Paul Mitola with the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services spoke about the Florida Department of Transportation requirements for vehicles in commerce. This is an important topic for anyone doing business and FDOT does not need a reason to stop you.

The requirements are summarized below:
1. All loads must be secured with DOT approved straps (no bungy cords).
2. All equipment and tools must be secured with DOT approved straps.
3. All gas cans must have a spout cap or an automatic spout stop.
4. All gas cans must be secured to the vehicle.
5. All lights must be working.
6. Vehicle must not be leaking any fluids.
7. Must have 3 reflective devices cones or triangles.
8. Windows must have at least 70% transparency.
9. Must have an approved fire extinguisher and it must be mounted.
10. The vehicle must be registered for the proper tax class for the vehicle GVWR or maximum weight or it’s $0.05 per pound fine over the registered weight.
11. Gas cans must be FDOT approved and cannot be more than 8 gallons.
12. All opened bags of fertilizer must be closed and sealed to prevent spillage.
13. Vehicles over 8 feet wide must have center marker lights on rear; all lights must be working.
14. FDOT can put your vehicle “out of service” which means you cannot move it unless the condition is corrected or have the vehicle towed.
15. If you move the vehicle other than it being towed without the corrections being made the company will be fined $2500, the driver could lose his CDL and could go to jail. Fine also depends on driver or driver/owner.
16. After corrections are made the mechanic or the owner must complete and sign the inspection report and send it to Tallahassee.
17. Water tanks should be marked “water only” or “non-potable water” and the gallon capacity.
18. You cannot have any alcoholic beverages even unopened in vehicles in commerce.
19. Any vehicles over 10,000 lbs must stop at weigh stations and must follow “no trucks in left lanes” signs.
20. Front tires must have at least 4/32” tread on front tires and 2/32” on rear tires.
21. Your license plate must be secured and unobstructed.
22. Mirrors must be in working condition.
23. Placarded vehicles require the driver to have proper license endorsements and possess a valid medical card.
24. Fertilizer spreader with fertilizer still in must have a cover on it during transportation as to not allow spillage.
25. Hoses not on a hose reel must be secured properly.
26. FDOT also checks the vehicle suspension and brakes.
27. Cans or bottles must be secured against movement.

8/8/11

Water Saving Technology

Here is a great idea for saving water in the nursery.  The moisture click from Dynamax.  A realy convient, inexpensive method to let the plant dictate when it needs water.  This simple device plugs into your controller at one end and the other end in a planted pot.  You simply set the moisture percentage of the substrate to the level that you dicide is the dry set point where the irrigation controller needs to turn on.  The moisture probe will then sample your pot and when the plant needs water the switch will allow your program to run.  This works great for growing one size or type of plant at a particular age which is a limitation for its use.  Otherwise it seems like a great water saving technology.  Click here to watch a really short video I created to demonstrate it better.   http://tiny.cc/mclick

SWFWMD Open House on New Rules

This in from SWFWMD

Public Open House

August 23, 2011 6:00 pm
Hillsborough Community College Trinkle Center
1206 North Park Road, Plant City, FL 33563
www.WaterMatters.org/frost-freeze

The Southwest Florida Water Management District’s new water use permitting rules for the Dover/Plant City area took effect in June. These rules affect water use permit holders with crops that require frost/freeze protection. The new rules are one component of the District’s comprehensive freeze management plan, which was developed to significantly reduce impacts from groundwater pumpage during future frost/freeze events.

The District developed the new rules in response to the unprecedented January 2010 freeze event, as well as previous freeze events, which resulted in dry wells and sinkholes. Public input and technical expert and stakeholder participation were a significant part of the rule development process.

The District is hosting a Public Open House where staff will be available to answer individual questions from both homeowners and growers about the new rules and the freeze management plan.
Staff will be on hand to answer questions on various topics, including:
· Well and casing depth requirements for new residential wells
· Reporting dry well complaints
· The new allocation process for investigating and assigning dry well complaints
· New metering requirements
· Automatic Meter Reading Devices
· Alternative freeze protection incentives through the FARMS Program
· Water use permit (WUP) applications, renewals and modifications in the Dover/Plant City water use caution area

If you have questions regarding this Public Open House or if you no longer wish to receive information on the Dover/Plant City rule implementation, please contact Carol Lynch by email at Carol.Lynch@WaterMatters.org or by phone at (352) 796-7211, ext. 4336, or via US Mail at SWFWMD-PMO, 2379 Broad Street, Brooksville, FL 34604.

Palm Management

Posted by Dave Palmer
Here’s an outstanding opportunity for those in this area that want to dramatically improve their knowledge of palms. The 2 palm ‘gurus’ at the University of Florida. Dr Monica Elliot and Dr Tim Broschat are offering their famous ‘Palm School” in nearby Pinellas County.

Dr. Monica Elliot is a plant pathologist who has been specializing in diseases of palms. Dr Tim Broschat has been researching palm nutrition for many years. During the past 10-15 years, many professionals across the state have called on these specialists to help solve difficult palm problems. Between them they are a wealth of knowledge.
Here are the details:
Dates: October 24 & 25, 2011 (2 full days – Monday and Tuesday)
Time: 7:45 AM – 5:00 PM each day
Location: Pinellas County Cooperative Extension Service
12520 Ulmerton Road
Largo, FL 33774
Registration Fee: $300/person, checks only, payable to “University of Florida”
Register by contacting Dr. Monica Elliott:
954-577-6315 or melliott@ufl.edu
Then send check with name, phone number and e-mail address of person(s) participating to:
Dr. Monica L. Elliott
University of Florida-IFAS
Fort Lauderdale Research and Education Center
3205 College Avenue
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33314
Reservations/Payment By: October 14, 2010 (or until class fills up)
Enrollment Limit: 40 persons. Enrollment will initially be limited to 3 persons per company. If space is still available after October 14, this enrollment cap will be lifted.

CEUs applied for: ISA, FNGLA and FDACS (pesticide license)
Topics: (classroom presentations and field trip to palm gardens on site)
Diagnosing Palm Problems
Palm Insects
Palm Anatomy and Growth
Palm Diseases
Physiological Disorders
Normal Abnormalities
Nutrient Deficiencies
Fertilizer Formulations & Techniques
Transplant Issues
Pruning Palms

Instructors:
Dr. Timothy Broschat, Palm Horticulturist, University of Florida – IFAS
Dr. Monica Elliott, Palm Pathologist, University of Florida – IFAS
For more information and to reserve your spot for “Palm School”, contact Monica Elliott, Fort Lauderdale Research and Education Center, e-mail: melliott@ufl.edu, phone: 954-577-6315

8/5/11

Free Mite Seminar

Have trouble controlling mites?  Don't miss out on our latest class for ornamental plant mite control. Winfield Solutions and University of Florida Extension is holding a mite control seminar at the Gulf Coast Research and Education Center on August 18, 2011 from 9:30 AM until 1:00 PM.  Our feature speaker will be Dr. Lance Osborne from the Mid-Florida Research and Education Center.  We will also have presentations from the extension agents from Hillsborough and Manatee counties as well as chemical industry representatives from different companies.  We will be covering how to identify, control, and manage mites.  We will also be covering the latest spray technologies, chemistries, and rotations that can help you in your mite control. One of the best parts about the program will be the free lunch and CEU's.  To register please call 752-1177 extension 253.

8/3/11

Nursery Cost Analysis

When growers think about "sustainability" usually they are thinking about conservation and environmental consequences. Many producers don't usually think of economic sustainability. Staying in business is a consideration within the realm of sustainability and staying in business means having more money coming out than what you put in.  What if I asked you how much does it cost to produce a finished 1 or 3 gallon of a particular plant your growing?  Would you know the answer to a series of questions such as; How much profit do you make on that plant?  What would it save you if you didn't pot up that plant?  How much profit is in producing that plant?  How much profit would you lose if you had to dump 10% of that crop?  Should you grow more of these plants than those plants?  These are all questions that can be answered by doing cost analysis. Here is an excellent video introduction on what cost analysis is in a nursery. It might surprise you that you can predict financial results on your nursery using this method. It does take some time to do the calculations but the paybacks could be substantial in terms of making real educated guesses on production factors. Just click on this link to view a Floricast video that explains the method   http://tiny.cc/zyyxo

8/1/11

Diaprepes Root Weevil in Ornamentals

I have recently been to a couple of tree producers and have seen the dramatic effects of diaprepes root weevils in their nurseries.  Above is a picture of a dead holly tree that seemingly had root damage caused by both insects and disease.  These medium-size insects can have devastating results to larger grown material. The adults can be seen in ornamentals by the damage they inflict by notching the leaves.  Usually this is not bad enough to render a plan unsalable, but it is a good indicator of the insect and of the need to treat it. The bad stage of this insect infestation is what lies below the ground unseen.  The juvenile stage of this insect is a root grub that will girdle roots of plants and trees. If infestations are extremely high plants may show symptoms of lack of vigor and even death. Along with root girdling, plants may become infected with soil borne pathogens usually this is Phytophthora. Roots become susceptible when the juveniles wound the roots and allowed root exudates and carbohydrates to leak and  feed pathogenic fungi.  These fungi when weather conditions permit can become extremely aggressive infecting roots and causing tree death.  Here is a link to a publication on diaprepies  http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/in147  and here is a link to host plants that can harbor the pest  http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/in119  Here are some pictures of root damage and fungal infection probably caused by the insect/disease complex on holly.

7/28/11

SWFWMD Extends Water Restrictions

This is from the local Water District...

District Extends Water Restrictions


Residents Urged to Check Their Irrigation Systems

The Southwest Florida Water Management District’s Governing Board voted today to extend Phase I water shortage restrictions for the District’s entire 16-county area through Oct. 31, 2011, because the region’s water resources have not been replenished due to a delayed start in the summer rainy season.

The Phase I order is intended as an alert to prepare for worsening conditions. 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.


There are no changes to watering days or times in a Phase I water shortage compared to the District’s year-round water conservation measures. This means lawn and landscape watering remains limited to a two-day-per-week schedule, and residents may only water before 10 a.m. or after 4 p.m. Some local governments have stricter local ordinances limiting lawn watering to one day per week or using different watering hours, so residents should always check with their local government or utility.

“Our rainy season has gotten off to a slow start,” said Lois Sorensen, District demand management program manager. “The region’s public water supplies are in relatively good shape for now, but we may need to consider stricter measures if the rest of the rainy season isn’t more consistently productive.”

When Phase I first went into effect, water utilities and their local governments were expected to review and revise their watering restriction enforcement procedures. The extension means they must continue to report enforcement activity to the District on a monthly basis.

For additional information about water restrictions and water conservation, please contact your local utility or visit the District’s website at www.WaterMatters.org/conservation/. To report a possible violation, call 1-800-848-0499 or email Water.Restrictions@WaterMatters.org/.

7/21/11

Nickle, Not Just for Piggy Banks

Introducing Nickel – The Newest Essential Element for Plants


Posted on July 5, 2011 by Dave

IFAS Extension recently published a publication of interest to growers on the plant micronutrient nickel. This 5 page publication begins with an introduction to the 17th essential plant nutrient. It then explains the function of nickel in plants and what symptoms to look for when plants are deficient.

The publication explains that nickel is required by the urease enzyme in plants for the efficient conversion of urea to ammonia. When nickel is at an insufficient level in the plant, urea is not converted as efficiently and toxicity may develop.

Uptake, transport, bio-transport and soil testing are covered, as well as how to fertilize to avoid nickel deficiency. The publication is here: http://bit.ly/lv6jaF

7/18/11

Trees are Beneficial

Here is a nice article about the benefits of trees from Nursery Management and Production.  I've created a link to the article in the magazine.  You can flip through the rest of the magazine from the link.  If you are a grower and don't get the magazine it is worth your while and it is free to subscribe.  The article is basically a summary of different benefits shade trees convey to urban areas. It is also a good article to use when trying to let your buyers be aware of how valuable your product really is and how important trees are to society.  Correctly planted and maintain trees have benefits of reducing storm water runoff, increasing property values, creating natural resource jobs, reducing energy consumption, increasing community health and welfare, decreasing stress, and creating natural habitat for wildlife. Remember the marketing saying, “Sell the sizzle, not the steak.”  If you would like to read further here is the link to the NM Pro article: http://tiny.cc/nmprotrees

7/13/11

Rose Production Seminar

Here is an interesting, free seminar I will be hosting on roses and their production at the UF/Plant City Campus on July 22.  It is work done with Drs. Gary Knox and Sydney Park Brown on low maintenance shrub roses.  A collection of roses have not been pruned, sprayed, and have been minimally fertilized to see what performed well under our local conditions. Find out what did well and what didn't. There is also a disease and pest component to the seminar.  I also have propagated some of the better performing varieties and hope to give some of them out as trials at the meeting.

Here is the agenda.
9:00 a.m. Registration & Welcome
9:15 a.m. Performance of shrub roses in northern, central &
southern Florida under low maintenance conditions-
Gary W. Knox
10:00 a.m. Observations and effects of chili thrips on twelve cultivars
of Old Garden and Modern Shrub roses-Sydney Park Brown
10:30 a.m. Break
10:45 a.m. Banker plants for nursery production—Juanita Popenoe
and Lance Osborne
11:15 a.m. Diseases of rose and their management-Mathews Paret
11:45 a.m. Resources on roses: new and updated publications on
roses-Gary Knox and Mathews Paret
12:00 p.m. View rose planting in Gardens

If you would like to attend send me an email ststeed@ufl.edu or call 813-744-5519 ext.147

6/24/11

FNGLA Tampa Chapter Carl Cowgill Scholarship

The FNGLA Carl F. Cowgill Youth Scholarship is available from the FNGLA.  If you know somebody who is a college student from Hillsborough County that is pursuing a degree that will lead to employment within the environmental horticulture industry, this scholarship would apply to them.  The FNGLA awards up to 5 scholarships each year based upon the merit and needs of the students.  The FNGLA holds a plant auction at the Hillsborough County Fair and has a golf tournament to raise money for the scholarships.  The deadline for application is July 15 (no exceptions).  If awarded, the scholarship can be up to $1000 depending upon available funds.  If you would like an application please email me ststeed@ufl.edu 

Need Drippers?

Mr. Billie Green has about 10,000 drip emmiters for pots available for purchase.  He picked them up at an auction.  I asked him the price and he said make him an offer!  His phone number is 863-537-5127.

6/23/11

Small Farms/Alternative Enterprise Conference



To Everyone Interested in Florida’s Small Farms,


Become an active part of the fastest growing segment of all Florida agriculture, that is....the small farms industry. If you desire local food systems that support family farms, conserve natural resources and provide affordable, healthy and delicious food for your family's table, stand up and be counted! Never before has the future looked brighter, but your participation is critical to make progress. Don't sit on the sidelines and watch, be a player! Great things are happening so fast for small farmers throughout the state. Come and be a part of the signature event for Florida small farms. We hope you can participate all three days, but did you know you we offer a special one-day only registration for Saturday? That's right! Gather your friends, rise from your own bed early, attend the full day's event and return to your own bed that night for only a $110 registration fee! It is not as fully rewarding as the entire conference, but rather than sitting on the sidelines, it is a choice you will be glad you made.

What the Registration Fees Include:

Full Conference Attendee ($130 by June 27): Provides full participation in all Saturday and Sunday educational conference activities. It also includes all conference networking and social functions with exhibitors, attendees and speakers. Functions begin with the Friday evening Exhibit Preview and Opening Reception, the Saturday morning, midday and afternoon refreshment breaks, Saturday lunch featuring locally-produced food, Saturday evening Networking Social, the Sunday breakfast and end with the farmer to farmer roundtable.

One Day Fee - Saturday ($110 by June 27, includes the Friday Evening Exhibitor Preview and Reception): Provides full participation in all Saturday educational conference activities. It also includes all Friday and Saturday networking and social functions with exhibitors, attendees and speakers. Functions begin with the Friday evening Exhibit Preview and Opening Reception, the Saturday morning, midday and afternoon refreshment breaks, Saturday lunch featuring locally-produced food, and end with the Saturday evening Networking Social.

One Day Fee - Sunday ($50 by June 27): Provides full participation in Sunday educational conference activities. It also includes Sunday’s networking functions, the Sunday breakfast and the farmer to farmer roundtable.

A wide variety of businesses and organizations will be showcasing their information and products during the conference. Take a moment to preview our conference exhibitors! http://conference.ifas.ufl.edu/smallfarms/exhibitor_lst.html

Conference Attendees will have the opportunity to interact with exhibitors Friday evening during the exhibit preview and conference opening reception, and all day Saturday. See the conference agenda for details.
http://conference.ifas.ufl.edu/smallfarms/agenda_glance.html

Conference Details and Quick Links
Use the below links to view session details, agenda-at-a-glance and the optional pre-conference activities.

Conference Educational Sessions http://conference.ifas.ufl.edu/smallfarms/sess_desc.html

Agenda-at-a-Glance http://conference.ifas.ufl.edu/smallfarms/agenda_glance.html

Optional Food Safety Plan Workshop http://conference.ifas.ufl.edu/smallfarms/fsp_workshop.html
Limited availability, early registration advisable.

Optional Beginning Farmer Workshop http://conference.ifas.ufl.edu/smallfarms/ibf_workshop.html
Limited availability, early registration advisable.

Optional Horticulture Tour http://conference.ifas.ufl.edu/smallfarms/hort_tour.html
Visit two farms: Kissimmee's Green Place for Natural and Organic Vegetables and Organic Country Farms; Limited availability, early registration advisable.

Optional Livestock Tour http://conference.ifas.ufl.edu/smallfarms/ls_tour.html
Visit two farms: Foshee Farms and Lake Meadow Naturals, Limited availability, early registration advisable.

Registration Information http://conference.ifas.ufl.edu/smallfarms/registration.html
Save $50 by registering before June 27.

Additional Conference Highlights
In addition to the educational sessions and optional pre-conference activities, highlights include:
· Featured Florida farmers
· Livestock Arena with Live Animal Exhibits
· Lunch Featuring Local Foods
· Saturday Social with Music and Local Foods
· Large Exhibition Showcasing Products and Technologies

For More Information, You may contact Bob Hochmuth directly (see below)
Bob Hochmuth
Multi County Extension Agent
North Florida REC - Suwannee Valley
7580 County Road 136
Live Oak FL 32060
386-362-1725 x103
386-362-3067 fax



6/21/11

SWFWMD New Rules for Frost/Freeze Irrigation in Dover/Plant City Area

This in from SWFWMD Community Affairs...
The Southwest Florida Water Management District’s new regulatory rules took effect today for existing and future water use permit holders in the Dover/Plant City area with crops that require frost/freeze protection.


The District developed the new rules in response to the unprecedented 11-day January 2010 freeze event, which resulted in more than 750 dry wells and more than 140 sinkholes. The new rules are one component of a District’s comprehensive freeze management plan, which was developed to significantly reduce impacts from future frost/freeze events.
Here is what SWFWMD is doing.

1.  Declaring a 256-square-mile water use caution area in the Dover/Plant City area.
2.  Establishing a minimum aquifer level and Minimum Aquifer Level Protection Zone

3.  Developing a recovery strategy to help meet the minimum aquifer level
4.  Requiring Automatic Meter Reading Devices

5.  Creating a new process for allocating dry well complaints


For more information on the new regulatory rules or the District’s freeze management plan, visit www.WaterMatters.org/frost-freeze/.

6/20/11

USDA Compensation for Discrimination

This in from the USDA...

If you believe that the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) improperly denied farm loan benefits to you between 1981 and 2000 because you are Hispanic, or because you are female, you may be eligible to apply for compensation. You may be eligible if:

1. you sought a farm loan or farm-loan servicing from USDA during that period; and

2. the loan was denied, provided late, approved for a lesser amount than requested, approved with restrictive conditions, or USDA failed to provide an appropriate loan service; and

3. you believe these actions occurred because you are Hispanic or female.

If you want to register your name to receive a claims package, you can call the Farmer and
Rancher Call Center at 1-888-508-4429 or access the following website:  http://www.farmerclaims.gov/

New Horticulture Classes at Hillsborough Community College

Two new classes will be offered at HCC this summer from Sean Nordquist.  One will be a Florida Nursery, Growers and Landscape Certified Horticultural Professional.  The other will be Design Your Own Landscape: Introducing Circles, Curves and Color.  Both classes will be offered at the Plant City Campus of HCC.  If you are interested please give Mr. Nordquist a call 813-757-2186.

6/17/11

SWFWMD announces new Interim Director

This just in from SWFWMD.

The Southwest Florida Water Management District’s Governing Board accepted the resignation of Executive Director David L. Moore today and appointed the District’s General Counsel William S. Bilenky to serve as interim executive director.


Moore, who was appointed executive director in March 2003, resigned on May 26, but had offered to continue temporarily in the role to help facilitate the successful transition of the next executive director. The Board accepted Moore’s resignation today during a special workshop and praised him for his service to the District. Moore will continue to serve in an advisory capacity until July 15.

The Board also authorized District Human Resources staff to begin the recruitment process for a new executive director immediately.

Bilenky has been with the District since September 1999 and has served as its general counsel since March 2000. As the District’s general counsel, Bilenky provides legal advice and support to the Governing Board and the District, appearing on their behalf before the Department of Administrative Hearings, the Legislature, the state trial and appellate courts, and federal agencies and courts.

Before joining the District, Bilenky was in private practice and has also been the general counsel to the Florida Public Service Commission.

Bilenky holds a bachelor’s degree in industrial engineering from Cornell University, a master’s degree in business administration from Florida State University and a juris doctorate from the University of Florida. He has been admitted to the Virginia State Bar, the Florida Bar, the Bars of the United States Supreme Court; the United States Courts of Appeal for the 4th, 5th, 11th and D.C. Circuit; the Federal District Court for the Eastern and Western Districts of Virginia; and the Bankruptcy Court Bar for the Eastern District of Virginia. Bilenky is also a Florida Supreme Court-Certified Circuit Court Mediator.

Moore was appointed executive director in March 2003. He began his career at the District in 1984 as a hydrologist, working his way up through the leadership ranks as a project manager, manager, director and deputy executive director.