Tampa Spring Expo 2012

Just wanted to remind you of the upcoming Tampa Spring Expo. It is early this year which is great for the weather we are having.  The show will take place at the State Fair Grounds in Tampa on February 1st and 2nd. This is a good time to try and drum up some sales, catch up on all the latest happenings with your fellow industry members, and share some camaraderie with your friends.

The event will also culminate with the plant auction on the 20th before the trade show ends. Any participants can donate their booth to the TBWG and we will auction it off. It is a great chance to purchase plants at deep discounts. This is a great opportunity for landscapers and retailers! The money raised will be donated to UF/IFAS Share for horticultural research and Hillsborough County Environmental Horticulture Extension Program.
Here is a link with all the information  http://tbwg.org/TSE.html


Wetlands Restorations with USDA

This in from the USDA...

Funding Available for Wetland Protection and Habitat Improvement

Proposals due February 10, 2012

Gainesville, FL., January 24, 2012 — USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) State Conservationist Carlos Suarez today announced a funding opportunity for wetland protection, restoration and enhancement activities on eligible lands in Florida. Funding comes through the agency’s Wetlands Reserve Enhancement Program (WREP), with up to $17 million available nationwide.

WREP is a voluntary conservation program that works through partnership agreements with states, nongovernmental organizations and tribes, as defined in section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Partnership proposals for WREP projects are due by Friday, February 10, 2012.

“This is a great opportunity for Florida stakeholders to carry out high-priority wetland protection and improve wildlife habitat,” Suarez said. “WREP is an important conservation tool and I encourage eligible entities who are interested to send us their proposals as soon as possible.”

WREP is a component of the Wetlands Reserve Program through which NRCS enters into agreements with eligible partners to leverage resources to carry out high-priority wetland protection and improve wildlife habitat.

Benefits to partners in WREP agreements include:

· Wetland Restoration in high-priority areas;

· The ability to cost-share restoration or enhancement components beyond those required by NRCS;

· Participating in management or monitoring of selected project locations; and

· Opportunities to use innovative restoration methods and practices.

Eligible partners may submit general WREP proposals for individual, watershed-wide or larger geographical area projects. WREP partners are required to contribute a financial or technical assistance fund match.

State NRCS staffs will use a competitive process to evaluate the proposals. Recommended proposals will then be competed nationally for final selection and funding.

This announcement is for General WREP proposals. Proposals submitted through the Mississippi River Basin Healthy Watersheds Initiative are being solicited under a separate Request for Proposals as published in the Federal Register on January 3, 2012.

To submit a proposal or receive information about General WREP, visit www.fl.nrcs.usda.gov/programs or contact Roney Gutierrez, 2614 NW 43 Street, Gainesville, Fl, 32606, 352-338-9502, or roney.gutierrez@fl.usda.gov. WREP proposals submitted by fax or through Grants.gov will not be accepted.


Nursery Sales Positions Available

Pine Lake Nursery is looking to hire two sales people.  Here is the job description.

• 1 Year of College or a Technical or Vocational School
• Florida Certified Horticulture Professional with knowledge of Florida landscape plants and horticultural practices preferred
• 3 years of relevant experience
• Drug Screen, Background, Credit, References and Motor Vehicle Record Checks will be conducted
• Valid Driver's License

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:
• Multi-lingual is a plus
• Computer literate and knowledge of Quick books program
• Must be team driven and self motivated
• Strong organizational skills necessary
• Must be able to work some weekends

Job Duties:
• Establish long term, mutually beneficial, relationships with retail and wholesale customers
• Provide consistently superior customer service to all clients
• Seamlessly multi-task varying responsibilities
• Pursue new clients as well as servicing established client base
• Assist walk-in customers as well as answering phones

Salary and Hours:
• Hourly plus commission
• Full Time; 40 hours per week; Schedule may vary, some weekends

Location:  Lutz, FL 33548

Apply Via Email or Fax Only, Send Resume To:  Email: Pinelake@tampabay.rr.com or Fax 813 909-0386


Dinner with Lake Region FNGLA and a Core CEU

The Lake Region FNGLA Chapter is hosting a dinner meeting and a CEU in conjunction with Polk County Extension on February 9, 2012. The meeting will take place at 6:00 PM at the Polk County Extension office in Bartow Florida. If you'd like to eat dinner and join in the FNGLA meeting, $15 will be taken at the door. The CEU portion of the meeting will start at 7:00 PM and end at 8:00 PM. One core CEU will be available. The topic of the class will be “Why Pesticides Fail to Work.” If you would only like to participate in this CEU portion please register with this Eventbrite link http://whenpesticidesfail0292019.eventbrite.com

If you would like to attend the meeting and dinner please RSVP with Karen Peterson 863-644-6491 by Feb. 7, 2012.


The Integrated Pest Management Update

This year's Integrated Pest Management Update looks like it's shaped up to be a really good seminar. The event will take place on February 8, 2012 at UF/IFAS Southwest Florida  Research  and Education Center in Balm. We've got a great lineup of speakers from all over the state of Florida and from Texas A&M University.  This year's theme is "doing more with less"in terms of integrated pest management in nursery production.  Here is the lineup of speakers.

Pest Insect Update - Catherine Mannion, Ph.D., University of Florida (UF) TREC

Reducing Costs through Scouting - Catherine Mannion, Ph.D., UF TREC & Bill Schall, UF/IFAS Palm Beach County Extension Service

Low Imput Strategies for Reducing Plant Diseases - Matthews Paret, Ph.D., UF NFREC

Vendor Presentations
New pyraclostrobin & fungicide/miticide products, BASF Corporation
Biological Products, BioWorks, Inc.
Hachi-Hachi Insecticide, SePro
Benefit Insecticide & Jewel Herbicide, Everris
Kontos Insecticide & Biathlon Herbicide, OHP, Inc.
Magus Miticide, Gowan

Insects Use Fertilizer Too! Managing Both - Kevin Heinz, Ph.D., Texas A&M

IPM Through the Economic Lens - Charles Hall, Ph.D., Texas A&M

Here is the flyer for more information.  http://hillsborough.extension.ufl.edu/Ag/AgOrnProd/documents/IPMflierdraft.pdf
And here is the link to register for the event.

The cost is only $20 and snacks are included.  CEU's and FNGLA Credits will be available.  Hope you will take advantage of this great educational lineup!


Incredible Texas Tree Deaths

This report from the Nursery Management (12/28/11) just astounds me with the magnitude of the numbers of tree deaths.  I've copied some of the article here.  To read the entire report click here.  http://www.nurserymanagementonline.com/drought-kills-up-to-10-percent-of-texas-trees.aspx?

"As many as 500 million trees scattered across the Lone Star State have died this year as a result of the unrelenting drought, according to preliminary estimates from Texas Forest Service.
The numbers were derived by Texas Forest Service foresters, who canvassed local forestry professionals, gathering information from them on the drought and its effect on trees in their respective communities.
Each forestry expert estimated the percentage of trees in their region that have died as a result of the 2011 drought. That percentage was applied to the estimated number of trees in the region, a figure determined by the agency’s Forest Inventory & Analysis (FIA) program.
Using this approach, an estimated 100 million to 500 million trees with a diameter of 5 inches or larger on forestland were estimated to have succumbed to the drought. That range is equivalent to 2 to 10 percent of the state’s 4.9 billion trees.
“In 2011, Texas experienced an exceptional drought, prolonged high winds and record-setting temperatures. Together, those conditions took a severe toll on trees across the state,” said Burl Carraway, Sustainable Forestry department head. “Large numbers of trees in both urban communities and rural forests have died or are struggling to survive. The impacts are numerous and widespread.”
The preliminary estimates indicate three multi-county areas appear to be the hardest hit. The area including Sutton, Crockett, western Kimble and eastern Pecos counties saw extensive mortality among Ashe junipers.
The area including Harris, Montgomery, Grimes, Madison and Leon counties saw extensive mortality among loblolly pines. Western Bastrop and eastern Caldwell counties, as well as surrounding areas, saw extensive mortality among cedars and post oaks.
Additionally, localized pockets of heavy mortality were reported for many other areas.
Texas Forest Service foresters plan to use aerial imagery to conduct a more in-depth analysis in the spring, which is when trees that may have gone into early dormancy — an act of self-preservation — could begin to make a comeback."

New Farmers Market Project

This came in from Mary Beth Henry in Polk Co. and she asked if I would share with my growers.

Four Corners Green Market

Have you ever visited Pike’s Place Market in Seattle? (http://www.pikeplacemarket.org/ )
Ever considered the economic impact a robust market such as this has on the surrounding community?

UF/IFAS Polk County Extension has been contacted to participate in and gather growers for discussion on a proposed green market in Polk County. The developer would like to pick the brain of those most likely to participate as vendors in the market. His vision is big and hopes for public funds to help make the vision a reality. The discussion is designed to draw feedback from producers as to the likelihood for producer participation as an indication of the feasibility and ultimate success of the project. The proposed market would be located in Polk but bordering Osceola, Orange and Lake Counties at the intersection of Highway 27 and 54 (Four Corners). The proposed scale is designed to draw vendors from all over Central Florida. See the location and scale of the project below and attached (attached also available at http://polk.ifas.ufl.edu/AG_Safety/files/pdf/publications/PolkFourCornersMarket.pdf.)

I’m contacting you to ask your participation in the meeting and request that you pass the invitation on to as many as possible that may be interested.

The meeting will be held January 18th at 10 am at the Lake Myrtle Sports Complex 2701 Lake Myrtle Park Rd, Auburndale, FL 33823. We expect the meeting to last about 2 hours. See directions here http://maps.google.com/maps/ms?e=UTF8&oe=UTF8&msa=0&msid=217964219781809525293.000453181969471143ab2

Contact for more information:
Quen Wilson, AICP, CPM
Concurrency and Entitlements Director
Polk County Office of Planning and Development
(863) 534-6792

This is a big idea that could change the scope of direct to consumer marketing in Central Florida. We appreciate your time and hope you will be able to attend!

If you are not able to attend but are willing to provide comments on the project, please comment on the Polk Small Farms blog posting here.
Thanks again for your time!


More Publications from IFAS

Here are a few more nursery production publications you might like to take a look at. 
I see ragweed parthenium in some of the nurseries that I visit.  The biotype that I saw did not completely die with the application of glyphosate.  It merely lost some leaves and then bounced back.  Here is a new factsheet about it.

Identification, Impacts, and Control of Ragweed Parthenium (Parthenium hysterophorus L.) (ENH1187/EP448)

One of the worlds most invasive weeds, this member of the Asteraceae family is a problem in Africa, Australia, India, and is increasingly a problem in Florida. Learn more in this 10-page fact sheet was written by Robert H. Stamps, and published by the UF Department of Environmental Horticulture, December 2011. http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/ep448

Also from IFAS, a publication about changing from plastic pots to other materials.  You can save oil and use a sustainable product.

Alternatives to Petroleum-Based Containers for the Nursery Industry (ENH1193/EP454)
Biodegradable containers are an increasingly attractive option for consumers and growers alike. This 5-page fact sheet looks at the past, present, and future of containers used in container nursery production. Written by Gary W. Knox and Matthew Chappell, and published by the UF Department of Environmental Horticulture, November 2011.http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/ep454


New Nursery/Greenhouse Publications From UF/IFAS

I read this from Dave Palmer's Blog.  Very interesting new publications from IFAS for the Nursery Industry.

Posted on January 6, 2012 by Dave

Dieffenbachia Diseases: Identification and Control in Commercial Greenhouse Operations (PP286)

Dieffenbachia is among the top 10 most popular plants produced by commercial foliage growers in Florida. This 4-page fact sheet provides guidelines to identify and treat diseases that may be encountered during the commercial production of Dieffenbachia. Written by David Norman and published by the UF Department of Plant Pathology, October 2011.

Using Gibberellic Acid and Ethephon to Induce Flowers on Tropical Foliage Plants (ENH1186/EP447)

Even though they are prized for their beautiful leaves, flowers are induced in tropical foliage plants for breeding and for marketing purposes. This 6-page fact sheet discusses several factors to consider when developing protocols for inducing blooms in tropical foliage crops. Written by R. J. Henny and J. Chen, and published by the UF Department of Environmental Horticulture, October 2011.

‘Jon Jon’ Magnolia: A Late-Flowering Deciduous Magnolia for Northern Florida (ENH1192 /EP453)

This large-flowered, hybrid, deciduous magnolia flowers profusely in late spring, about two weeks after most saucer magnolias, but before foliage emerges. This allows ‘Jon Jon’ to miss spring freezes that often damage saucer and other spring-flowering magnolias. This 2-page fact sheet was written by Gary W. Knox and published by the UF Department of Environmental Horticulture, October 2011.

Emerald Ash Borer: A Potential Future Threat to Ash Trees in Florida (FOR284/FR346)

Do not move firewood into or around the state! This invasive exotic beetle kills ash trees and is likely to reach Florida in the years to come — or faster if it gets transported by humans. Learn more in this 5-page fact sheet was written by Don Spence and Jason Smith, and published by the UF Department of School of Forest Resources and Conservation, August 2011.

Nursery Crop Selection and Market Niches (ENH1194/EP455)

The ultimate success of an ornamental production operation hinges on the ability of that operation to successfully understand which genera, species, and/or cultivars to grow on a year-to-year basis. This 5-page fact sheet describes several important factors that must be considered in order to properly assess which ornamental crops should be grown and which market niches exist that may dictate crop selection. Written by Gary Knox and Matthew Chappell and published by the UF Department of Environmental Horticulture, October 2011. UF/IFAS Photo by Josh Wickham.


2012 Starts with a Chill

Three days into the new year and we are expecting a hard freeze for our area.  Both Dover and Balm Florida Automated Weather Network sites are forecasting a low of 23 degrees F with temperatures falling below freezing somewhere between 9 -11:00 pm.  Watch the weather and protect the plants!