Ragweed parthenium

I have seen a relatively newer weed starting to line the sides of the road and have been seeing it popping up in nurseries; ragweed parthenium.  This weed is very durable and I have personally seen it lose a few leaves after being sprayed with glyphosate and then bounce right back to reproductive health.  It can grow in areas that are fertile or very inhospitable to plant life, like in the sandy roads between greenhouses.  It is rather troublesome and is even a reported health problem.  I have put together a factsheet and a slide set you can look at to get more information about this weed and it's control.  Here is the link to the slide set. ragweed parthenium slideset

Here is a link to the factsheet.  ragweed parthenium factsheet

What is a Boss Worth?

Is having a boss really worth it? Here is an interesting question you might have for your employees. The National Bureau of Economic Research looked at this question. In a research paper entitled "The Value of Bosses" (Lazear, et.al.)this question was probed. The researchers found that when they looked at a very large service oriented company, the daily average productivity for 23,878 workers matched to 1,940 bosses over five years, the researchers found significant differences in bosses' productivity between the best and worst bosses. The researchers found that the average boss adds 1.75 times as much output as the average worker. They also determined that teaching is the boss's number one role. Bosses are to help employees gain persistent skills that will increasing productivity. Motivating employees to better outcomes was secondary. To purchase the rest of the article here is a link.  http://papers.nber.org/papers/w18317


Pesticide Safety Posters

Pesticide safety is always a concern around the farm or nursery.  Training employees to do the job right the first time is the best way to keep people safe and out of trouble.  While it is always important to read and follow labels there may be points that might need more clarification.  Here is a series of pesticide applicator topic posters to help refresh ideas for veteran pesticide applicators or are a good reference tool for new applicators.  The posters include scanable quick response (QR) codes for smart phones with links to short instructional videos. Here is a link to the entire list of topics  http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/topic_series_pesticide_safety_miniposters

If you would like to look at individual posters here is a list of them with their links.
Apply the Correct Amount  http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/IN959
IPM:  Beyond Spraying  http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/IN928
Daily Personal Care  http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/IN956
Labels and Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS)  http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/IN958
Pest Control Vehicle Safety  http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/IN963
Pesticide Emergencies  http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/IN954
Pesticide Formulations  http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/IN955
Pesticide Spill Control  http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/IN961
Protecting Yourself  http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/IN960
Triple Rinse Steps  http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/IN962
Not all the poster apply to nursery setting and these are not the mandatory Worker Protection Standard poster but there might be some that you find useful for your employees. Click and take a look.


USDA Funding Available

I wanted to forward this information to you from the USDA on a few programs they have available to assist you on different initiatives.  The initiatives are organic production, seasonal high tunnels, longleaf pine habitats, and on farm energy production.  Read below for more information.

Additional Opportunity for Agricultural Assistance in Florida

Applications due by March 15, 2013

GAINESVILLE, FL., January 14, 2013--The 2008 Farm Bill was recently extended by Congress until September. This extension has allowed the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in Florida to add an additional chance for producers to improve water and air quality, build healthier soil, improve forest lands, conserve energy, enhance organic operations, and achieve other environmental benefits.

"Adding an additional ranking date is going to give more producers time to submit their applications and help them get started with implementing the practices they need to benefit the natural resources on their operations," said NRCS acting state conservationist Roney Gutierrez.

Interested producers should visit their local NRCS service center now to receive more information on the:

• Organic initiative--helps producers install conservation practices on USDA certified organic operations or those working toward organic certification.

• Seasonal high tunnel initiative--helps producers install high tunnels designed to extend the growing season, increase productivity, keep plants at a steady temperature and conserve water and energy.

• On-farm energy initiative--helps producers conserve energy on their operations.

• Longleaf pine initiative--helps private landowners improve the sustainability and profitability of Longleaf pine forest ecosystems.

They can then apply for conservation technical assistance and possible cost-share funding opportunities. Applications must be filed no later than March 15, 2013, to be eligible for this year’s funding.

Although applications are accepted on a continuous basis, the March 15th date has been set to make FY 2013 funding decisions for these special initiatives. Producers may continue to apply for all funded programs throughout the year.

Additional information on NRCS, conservation assistance, and available programs can be found on this website: 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 on the web at: http://offices.sc.egov.usda.gov/locator/app.


USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer and lender. To file a complaint of discrimination, write to USDA, Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Avenue, S.W., Stop 9410, Washington, DC 20250-9410, or call toll-free at (866) 632-9992 (English) or (800) 877-8339 (TDD) or (866) 377-8642 (English Federal-relay) or (800) 845-6136 (Spanish Federal-relay).


Vegetation in Runoff Ditches Reduce Contaminates

Many growers view weeds in their irrigation ditches as a problem to be solved.  Mowing or spraying the weeds to keep ditches clean and obstruction free is the general practice.  You obviously want water to clear out of an area or the ditches wouldn't be there in the first place.  Here is an article that just might change your mind and possibly even save you some money in ditch vegetation management and create a cleaner environment. 

In an article by the Agriculture Research Service from the USDA,  entitled "Drainage Ditch Research Reveals Opportunities for Cleaning Up Runoff" (published in the January 2013 issue of Agricultural Research magazine), research was conducted by Matt Moore on contaminates of atrazine, lambda-cyhalothrin and their movement in irrigation ditches.  In one study he found that after one hour, ditch vegetation in a 160 foot section of ditch had removed 61% of the atrazine and 87% of the lambda-cyhalothrin to non-toxic levels at the end of the ditch.  In another study of lambda-cyhalothrin and bifenthrin, (both pyrethroid pesticides).  In only 3 hours 96 percent of the lambda-cyhalothrin and 99 percent of the bifenthrin were captured by the ditch vegetation.

This has also been proven for nutrients such as phosphorous and nitrogen.  Ditch shape and the vegetation that grows there will make a difference in what gets absorbed.  The amount of time in the ditch and the length of the ditch will be factors to consider as well. 

To read more about some of the findings on this and other studies about pesticides and nutrients moving from fields into ditches you can click on the full article here.    http://www.ars.usda.gov/is/AR/archive/jan13/ditch0113.htm