Hillsborough Agriculture Video

Curious about the agriculture in Hillsborough County?  Want to know a few more facts for political reasons or casual dinner conversation?  Want to see some friendly, local faces in the Hillsborough agricultural community?  Well here is the video for you.  Check out the YouTube video "From the Farm to the Home:  Agriculture in Hillsborough County" from the Hillsborough County Extension. 


SWFWMD Director Resigns

This just in from Cori Cutler the Community Affairs Manager of SWFWMD.

Southwest Florida Water Management District Executive Director David L. Moore Resigns

Southwest Florida Water Management District executive director David L. Moore resigned today but has offered to continue temporarily in the role to help facilitate the successful transition of the next executive director.  Moore, who was appointed executive director in March 2003, says he feels he is leaving the District at the right time.  “The past eight years have been extremely rewarding,” said Moore. “From developing large-scale alternative water supplies and reclaimed water to dealing with droughts, hurricanes and an unprecedented freeze, I’m extremely proud of what the District has been able to accomplish. Now I’m ready to transition into the next chapter of my life, which will include spending more time with my family.”

Moore 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.  During Moore’s tenure he has played a key role in restoration and preservation of water bodies, establishment of minimum flows and levels, watershed assessments, maximizing the beneficial use of reclaimed water, development and implementation of regional water supply plans, land acquisition and management activities, data collection network establishment and permitting rule revisions.

Moore is a certified professional geologist with a bachelor’s degree in geology from the College of Charleston, S.C., a master’s degree in geology from the University of South Florida and a graduate certificate in public administration, also from the University of South Florida. He is past chair of the WateReuse Foundation Board and a graduate of Leadership Florida (Class XXIII).

Cori Cuttler
Community Affairs Manager
Southwest Florida Water Management District


Great CEU Roundup

UF/IFAS in conjuction with the Florida Turfgrass Association is hosting a CEU bonanza.  On June 8, you'll have an incredible opportunity to get CEU's in a wide range of certification areas. The day-long event will be simulcast from Gainesville via IFAS "polycom" to extension offices around the state. Seating is limited in our Hillsborough County Office in Seffner.  Topics will include turf diseases, turf insects, pesticide core, herbicide resistance management, sprayer calibration, among others.  The registration cost is $50 for members of FTGA and other cooperating associations (eg. FNGLA, FPMA, FLMA, etc.) and $75.00 for the general public.  Registration cost includes a lunch and free shirt.  To see more details and to register either online, by fax, or mail visit this weblink.  https://www.ftga.org/events/great-ceu-round


UF Releases New Coleus Cultivars for Exclusive Liscensing

UF has just released 4 new coleus cultivars for growers interested in exclusive liscensing agreement from the Florida Foundation Seed Producers (FFSP).  For more information you can go to the FFSP website.   http://ffsp.net/resources/ITN11-01-4+-+Coleus+Cultivars.pdf

Florida Foundation Seed Producers, Inc. (FFSP) is announcing these Invitations to Negotiate (ITN) for the exclusive licensing opportunities of the 'UF08-4-3', 'UF08-17-4', 'UF09-6-1' and 'UF09-27-1' coleus cultivars. These cultivars were developed in the University of Florida's Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences' coleus breeding program under the direction of Dr. David Clark.

FFSP encourages technology transfer to be an open process among all interested external parties. Because these cultivars may be exclusively licensed, the award of these exclusive licenses will be handled through our ITN process. If you or your company are unfamiliar with the ITN process, please click here for more information. http://ffsp.net/4.html
There are three (3) principles used to guide the entire FFSP ITN process. In order of importance, these principles are:
For the good of the State of Florida and its people;
For the good of the University of Florida and IFAS; and
For the good of the breeding program and the breeders.
These three (3) principles are to be addressed at all levels of discussion in the ITN process.

Cultivar descriptions

'UF08-4-3' is a vigorous, upright growing plant with velvety textured leaves. Foliage color is mainly yellow-green in the center of the leaf, transitioning to darker yellow-green margins with yellow-green leaf veins on the adaxial surface. Leaf shape is reticulate at the base and caudate at the tip with lacerate margins.

'UF08-17-4' is a vigorous, large-leafed plant with a loosely mounded habit. Foliage on the adaxial leaf surface is primarily red-purple with yellow-greeninterveinal areas and margins. Leaf shape is attenuate at the base and caudate at the tip with undulated lobed margins.

'UF09-6-1' is a plant with upright growth habit, uniform branching and standard vigor similar to most commercial varieties. The adaxial leaf surface is mottled with yellow and yellow-green. Young leaves feature a red-purple center, while older leaves display less of this pink color. Leaf shape is auriculate at the base and whorled/acuminate at the tip with lobed margins.

'UF09-27-1' is a plant with upright growth habit, uniform branching, and vigor similar to that of most other commercial coleus varieties. Foliage features a mixture of red-purple, brown, and yellow-green on the adaxial leaf surface. Leaf shape is attenuate at the base and acute at the tip with lobed margins.
Performance and selection

'UF08-4-3' was selected mainly for its novel leaf shape and bold, lemon-lime foliage color. It has superior color stability in both sun and shade. This plant has not been observed to set flowers in any trial to date. Thus, it is desirable for long-season performance in the landscape.

'UF08-17-4' was chosen for its mounded plant habit, lack of flowering, and proliferation of vegetative propagules. The maroon leaf color of this cultivar, which is mottled with lime-green colored edges, is very stable in both sun and shade. The mounded growth habit of this cultivar would also accent front borders of landscape.

'UF09-6-1' has a novel foliage color patterning and leaf shape and is distinguished by its color compatibility with other plants in the landscape. Leaves are mainly bright yellow-green, but pink leaf centers and a distinct leaf shape give leaves a swirled pattern and appearance.

'UF09-27-1' was selected mainly for its unique combination of leaf colors and its stable color patterning in both sun and shade conditions. 'UF09-27-1' is well branched and should produce ample cuttings for propagators. It does not flower until very late in the season, which ensures that this plant will have a long season to show all of its different colors.

All interested parties are encouraged to submit comments and/or proposals for these exclusive licensing opportunities. In order to submit comments and/or proposals, you must first complete and submit the ITN Acknowledgment Form(s) to Mr. John Beuttenmuller, FFSP Executive Director via fax or mail (Fax - (877) 839-9162, Mail - 1059 McCarty Hall D, PO Box 110200, Gainesville, FL 32611-0200). The ITN Acknowledgment Forms can be found at the end of the Coleus ITN Announcement Packet. After FFSP has received your signed Acknowledgment Form(s), your company will be sent a questionnaire, which may be used as a template for your proposal.

All proposals and comments must be received by FFSP before 12PM EST on Friday, June 17, 2011. Proposals and comments received after this time will not be accepted or considered.
If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact FFSP John Beuttenmuller,  Phone:  352-392-9446.

I-9 Webinar-Prepare for an Audit

This may be of interest to some growers.  This is from Growing Produce.com

I-9 Basics: Be Prepared For An Audit

Join us for a free webinar

Space is limited.  Reserve your webinar seat now at:

After more than a decade of failed attempts to urge the U.S. government to fix a broken immigration system, another season begins with not only no reform in sight, but also increased enforcement in the form of I-9 audits and proposed legislation of other enforcement programs such as E-Verify. The problem is, it's easy for growers to make mistakes when filling out I-9 forms. This webinar, featuring speaker Brandon Mallory of Agri-Placement Services Inc. and Mallory Enterprises, will look at how to properly fill out I-9 forms, and the mistakes to avoid in order to reduce your chance of an audit.

Title: I-9 Basics: Be Prepared For An Audit
Date: Tuesday, May 24, 2011
Time: 2:00 PM - 3:00 PM EDT
After registering you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.
System Requirements
PC-based attendees
Required: Windows® 2000, XP Home, XP Pro, 2003 Server, Vista

Macintosh®-based attendees
Required: Mac OS® X 10.4 (Tiger®) or newer


Important Marketing Trend - QR Codes

Have you seen strange images like this before? They’re called QR (Quick Response) codes. QR Codes like the one on the right or a Microsoft Tag, below it, are appearing In the advertising of many different types of magazines, including Greenhouse Grower and Nursery Retailer, and others. They’re also showing up on plant tags in home Depot, Lowes and many independent retail nurseries. The QR code on the tag below leads to information on miniature roses in Home Depot's 'Mobil Plant Library.'

These images are actually a type of barcode. They’re similar to the more familiar barcodes used in grocery and department stores, only more powerful. They can contain more information, open a website, or send an e-mail or text message. These barcodes can be scanned by most smartphones or even some, mobiles phones with a camera.

Why am I talking about QR codes and smartphones? Because smartphone sales have skyrocketed. At the end of 2010 there were over 63 million smartphones in use in the U.S. – roughly 25% of all mobile phone users owned one (http://bit.ly/hLNbNQ). Just recently (Feb 2011) the Associated Press reported that smartphones are now outselling PCs. It’s forecast that smartphone sales will total 75% of all mobile phone sales by 2015. (http://bit.ly/ePw2pC)

In other words, if you’re not using QR codes or planning to use them in the near future, you’re missing out on a healthy, and growing, portion of your market.

Your imagination is the only limit on how this process is used. You could add a QR code to link to special care instructions on your website, on a flyer to provide directions to an event, or even a coffee mug or T-shirt (see http://www.qrstuff.com/). Anyone with a smartphone and a barcode app will be able to quickly and easily access encoded information.

Using two of the many free online QR code generators (and Microsoft tag generators), I created the two codes above. If you happen to own a smartphone, you could scan either and within several seconds open a Google map to the Manatee Extension office.

These tags are now in wide use in Japan. They’re gaining popularity in the UK, Europe and the US. Don’t miss out on an important marketing trend.


UF Extension Listens

Just in case you missed the listening session that was at the Extension office today in Hillsborough County  here is a simple online survey you can take to give UF Extension the input it seeks.  Below is a summary of what is going on and here is the link  https://ufaecd.qualtrics.com/SE/?SID=SV_5zsTd3yLMDDKDDC

To Our Extension Partners and Supporters:

The University of Florida IFAS is launching of a long‐range planning effort for Florida Extension. This effort is labeled Shaping Solutions for Florida’s Future.

Why are we engaging in this planning process?
1. Considering our state's budget situation, advancements in technology and emerging issues, it is time to
take a fresh look at our priorities.

2. The outcome will guide resource allocation within Extension in the future.

3. This is an opportunity to forge new partnerships in support of our programs.

What is the process?
Listening will be at the core of Extension’s long-range planning effort. Extension seeks to acquire diverse
viewpoints regarding the future of Florida and through careful analysis formulate priorities and operational
procedures to achieve a future where Extension contributes positively to Florida’s health and well‐being. And we need the input of our stakeholders, clientele, community leaders, advisory committees and faculty.
The purpose of the listening session is to develop a community vision by getting answers to the following

 What are the strengths of our community and what do we value about our community?

 What trends and issues are impacting our community?

 Which of these trends and issues represent the most significant threats to our community and what we value?

 Of these threatening trends and issues, which can/should be addressed through Florida Extension educational programs? What priority should be placed on each issue and concern?

 How do you think we should deliver these educational programs?

We truly hope you will participate in this listening session to help shape the future of Extension, not only in
Hillsborough County, but throughout the state of Florida.


Stormy Clouds on the Horizon...

If the economic turmoil is not enough for you, here is a report from Colorado State U. about the forecasted hurricane season.  In summary, Dr. Gray and his team are predicting a more active season than usual this year.  Their estimation is for activity to be 175% of  the normal hurricane season.  They also report about a 50-50 chance for a direct hit on the east coast of the US including Florida.  His team is predicting 16 named storms for this season including 9 hurricanes and 5 major storms (category 3-4-5 storms) for this season. A typical or "normal" season averages about 10 named storms, 6 hurricanes, and 2.3 major storms per year going back 50 years.  If you would like to peruse the actual report here is the link.  http://tiny.cc/cys8i

With this in mind make sure that you have a hurricane plan in place.  The season starts June 1, 2011.  Remember that hurricanes don't care when the start date of the season begins.  Check your generators, and your back ups, take inventory of equipment, chemicals, and nursery stock.  Print out your customer, employee, and accounting information prior to a storm and keep it in a safe place.