This just in from NRCS... Conservation Assistance and Funding Applications Being Accepted Apply before November 15, 2013 GAINESVILLE, FL, October 31, 2013 — Now is the time for farmers, ranchers and other agricultural producers to visit their local USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) office to receive more information and apply for conservation technical assistance and possible funding opportunities. NRCS offices across the country, including those in Florida, are resuming work with farmers and ranchers to implement conservation activities. All offices are open and are working to address the backlog of requests expediently. “If you are interested in conservation assistance you should visit with our staff as soon as possible,” said Assistant State Conservationist for Financial Programs, Jeffrey Woods. “Our agency is able to proceed with implementation of several conservation programs, including the Environmental Quality Incentives Program and the Conservation Stewardship Program.” Florida NRCS has established November 15, 2013, as the application cutoff date for consideration for Federal Fiscal Year 2014 funds for these two 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. 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. Applications received after November 15th will be considered for future funding periods. Authority to enroll acres in several other programs, including the Wetlands Reserve Program (WRP), expired on September 30, 2013, due to the expiration of the Farm Bill. 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. Polk County-Bartow Service Center, Polk SWCD 1700 Highway 17 South, Suite #2,Bartow, FL 33830-6633, (863) 533-2051/(863) 533-1884 (FAX) and Hillsborough County-Plant City Service Center, 201 S. Collins Street, Suite 202, Plant City, FL 33563-5531, 813-752-1474/(813) 759-6530 (FAX)
The insecticide endosulfan, which can be labeled as Endosulfan, Thiodan, Drexel Endosulfan or Thionex®, has been undergoing a phase-out for end-users. The phase-out began on July 31, 2012 for many Florida crops such as broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, celery, cucumber, lettuce, summer melon (cantaloupe and watermelon), summer squash, non-bearing and nursery stock citrus, collard greens, eggplant, kale, kohlrabi, mustard greens, strawberry, sweet potato, Christmas trees, and leatherleaf fern. July 31, 2012 was the last date of legal application to these crops, which have for the large part been harvested by 2013. The use of this product is now illegal for all Florida crops except apple, blueberry, pepper, potato, pumpkin, sweet corn, tomato and winter squash. Floridian end-users are able to use endosulfan on these crops (apple, blueberry, pepper, potato, pumpkin, sweet corn, tomato and winter squash) until December 31, 2014. If these same crops are grown in other states, endosulfan may be used in those states until July 31, 2015. Livestock ear tags and some vegetable crops grown for seed have an end-user date of July 31, 2016. Currently, there are tolerance expiration dates that are the same as the end-use date, leaving no time between a possible last application and the tolerance expiration. Under such circumstances, it is possible that a lawful application of endosulfan could result in residues in a crop for which the tolerance has been revoked. In the case of a lawful application, the product would not be in violation if the grower could provide written spray records demonstrating the application occurred before the end-use date. It is clear that if endosulfan is applied on a crop after the labeled expiration date, the applicator would be in violation even if the applicator is applying product purchased before the end-use date. In Florida, endosulfan may now only be applied to the crops whose use ends 12/31/2014. Posted in Chemically Speaking Oct. 2013.
OSHA has revised its Hazard Communication Standard to align with the United Nations globally harmonized system of classification and labeling of chemicals. This will change the labeling elements of hazardous material labels and the Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS), now called Safety Data Sheets(SDS), and the information the labels will contain. The revised standards require employers to train their employees by December 1, 2013. There are a set of required topics that employees must be trained in. Training on label elements must include: product identifier, signal word, pictogram, hazard statement, precautionary statement(s), and chemical manufacturer, distributor, or importer contact information. Training on how an employee might use the labels in the workplace(e.g., to properly store the materials, or for first aid emergencies), and a general understanding of how the elements work together on a label (e.g., if a chemical has multiple hazards, different pictograms are used). Training on the format of the SDS must include information on: standardized 16-section format, how the information on the label is related to the SDS. Remember that OSHA requires employers to present information in a manner and language that their employees can understand. OSHA has a website for more information and training materials to train your employees. You can visit http://www.osha.gov/dsg/hazcom/index.html If you would like to participate in a training, Susan Haddock will be conducting classes here at the Extension Office for more information please visit her website. http://hillsborough.ifas.ufl.edu/prohort/index.shtml or call 813-744-5519.
Hillsborough County intends to enter into a Lease Agreement to maximize the potential of the Property located at the Hillsborough County Southeast County Landfill – 15960 County Road 672, Lithia, FL 33547 through agricultural use. Agricultural use could include (but not be limited to) horticulture, floriculture, viticulture, forestry, livestock, poultry, pisciculture, aquaculture, sod farming, and/or other farming production. All proposed uses and activities of the property must be consistent with the current zoning requirements and be environmentally sound and sustainable. The RFP can be viewed at the following website: http://www.demandstar.com/supplier/bids/agency_inc/bid_list.asp?f=search&LP=BB&mi=1188433 The successful proposer will be responsible for any and all land/site preparation necessary to achieve the proposed agricultural use. Proposers should avoid any activities that require irrigation for freeze protection. Mandatory pre-proposal meeting and site visit - October 16, 2013, 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. Meeting and site visit location: Hillsborough County Southeast County Landfill 15960 County Road 672 Lithia, FL 33547 Phone: (813) 671-7077 Stephen Gran