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.   


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


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.


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

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

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


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.


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


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.