Hillsborough/Polk County Nurseries Virtual Tour

Visit some of our local (Hillsborough and Polk County) plant producers anytime from wherever you can view the web. Here is just a sampling of some of the folks who add value to and beautify our community with the products that they grow.  You can view the interactive map and click on the links to the tour stop locations that we have.  http://tiny.cc/nursvirtour

We begin at the Extension office (tour stop A) for an overview of the tour.  Our next stops will be at Sunshine Growers, Tampa Wholesale Nursery, 3 Pines Tree Farm, Wood's Tree Farm, and Council Farms who were gracious enough to be hosts on this virtual nursery tour.  Click on the map link and the videos and enjoy your tour!



New CEU for You!

Here is another free, industry supported, UF/IFAS Hillsborough/Polk County Extension online pesticide CEU available to keep your pesticide licenses current. The article Unintended Herbicide Effects discusses how herbicides can move off target and negatively impact the environment.  If you'd like to get a CEU credit, read the article and then click on the link at the bottom to take the quiz for credit.  CEUs available=1 PRVT, 1 L&O, 1 CL&O, 1 LCCLM, or 1 LCL&O

Unintended Herbicide Effects
by Juanita Popenoe

Herbicides are something that almost everyone uses. Why hand weed when you can just spray? If you select the right chemical, you may not have to come back to control weeds for quite a while. What could be easier? Herbicides kill target weeds by extreme phytotoxicity, a big word for injury to plants due to chemical exposure. Herbicides are designed to do this. There are many perhaps unexpected ways that herbicides can have unintended effects on non-target plants, whether through drift, leaching, runoff, persistence, or residue.

Knowledge of the chemicals being used and a thorough reading of the label are required to avoid contamination of our environment. Most pesticide applicators realize that spray drift is a very common, and easily controlled cause of non-target exposure. Drift occurs when small droplets of pesticide are carried off-site by air movement. By applying when wind speeds are low (under ten miles per hour) and using larger droplet size or drift-reduction agents an applicator should be able to avoid this type of unintended consequence. If the target plant is a large tree, shrub or vine in a tree, you should not be applying herbicide as a liquid spray up into the air. The chances of drift to non-target plants is too great for this type of application. An alternative method such as hack and squirt, cut stump, or basal application technique should be used.

Because pre-emergent herbicides are directed at the ground and are intended to cover the soil surface, stick to the surface and form a barrier layer. They are formulated to spread out with a small amount of irrigation, and not move down through the soil into our ground water. Too much water and they may be washed away. Also, if the surface is mulch or loose soil, applied herbicides may be adsorbed, or bound to the particles, and carried away on the mulch or soil particles washed away by heavy rains. This could be termed runoff, even though it is not the pesticide in the rain water itself being washed away to non-target areas, but the pesticide on a carrier particle. Pre-emergent herbicides are more efficiently applied beneath a mulch, although you may get weeds starting up in the mulch.

Other types of herbicides may be very soluble and not be adsorbed to soil particles. Herbicides formulated to be easily taken up by the roots of plants usually do not bind to the soil surface. These types of herbicides may very easily move into the ground water with heavy rains or irrigation. They may be easily washed down or off site and impact non-target organisms. Again, the label is your friend as well as the law. The label will tell you when to be aware of these types of hazards. You would think persistent herbicides would be a great way to save money on applications. Persistent means that the herbicide remains present and active in its original form for an extended time before breaking down. Chemistry that allows a pesticide to be persistent is not that common, so we have few really persistent herbicides, and that may be a good thing.

Landscapes and plants change with time as any living thing will, and the use, design or layout of the plants will also change with time. I have had a landscaper come to me with a problem caused by using a persistent herbicide in what was a landscaped area that the owner wanted to change over to a vegetable garden. The vegetables just would not grow and the answer was in the history of the site. Another example involves a nursery grower who thought to cut down on his labor by applying imazapyr, a very persistent herbicide, to the ground cloth around his nursery pots. This was a completely off-label use; in other words, illegal. The herbicide did not bind to the ground cloth and when a heavy rain event occurred, the herbicide was washed up into the pots and taken up by the plant roots, causing all the plants to be stunted. They never grew out. Read the label of the herbicide carefully and be sure to think of potential future impacts. Even right of way applicators don’t necessarily want a barren desert for years. Persistent herbicides bound to soil particles or mulch, or unattached to anything, can wash away to a non-target site and cause a catastrophe.

Most herbicides are not persistent and break down under normal environmental conditions, either through microbial, chemical or photo degradation within a few days. Glyphosate is one herbicide that does not last in the environment for very long, however once inside the plant it is another story. Glyphosate is a systemic herbicide that is taken up by the plant and translocated throughout the plant. We used to say that if it got on anything green, it would be taken up. More recent research indicates that it will go through thin or pigmented bark as well, especially if it is combined with a surfactant to increase penetration. This is a very effective type of herbicide because you do not have to get good coverage of the weed to have an effect. However, this characteristic also makes it very dangerous for drift accidents. Another contributing cause to accidents is that many landscape plants seem to be unaffected by low rates of glyphosate, and applicators often spray over “resistant” plants to get at the weeds around them. Research now shows that woody plants will take up sub-lethal doses and store glyphosate in the roots for years. It may take two years for the symptoms of the sub-lethal doses to appear. Symptoms of sub-lethal doses of glyphosate include: stunting, bark cracking or splitting, loss of apical dominance, individual dead limbs, chlorosis and death. This is a great example of unintended consequences of herbicide use and a reason to keep up with the latest in research.

Another example of off target herbicide effects is found with residue from some herbicides. Aminopyralid, clopyralid, fluroxypyr, picloram, and triclopyr are all in a class of herbicides registered for use on pasture, grain crops, nonresidential lawns, certain vegetables and fruits, and roadsides. They kill a range of broadleaf weeds including some that are toxic to livestock. Livestock can eat the grass from treated pastures with no effect and no effect to humans eating meat from these livestock. However, these herbicides pass through the livestock and remain as residue in the manure and urine. The residues also remain on the pasture, hay and cut grass. Compost made from the manure, hay or grass clippings also retains the residue, which may take years to break down, depending on conditions. It has been well documented that gardeners using this compost or manure in their gardens reported poor seed germination, death of young plants, twisted/deformed leaves, and reduced yields. Beans, peas, lettuce, tomatoes, carrots, peppers, potatoes and eggplants are all plants sensitive to the residue in the compost.

Applicators need to be aware of the possible consequences of herbicide treatments and the possible future impacts. Unintended herbicide effects on non-target plants can be caused by something as simple as drift to something as complicated as compost from manure from a cow that had eaten in a treated field. As a pesticide applicator you have a responsibility to ensure that you have as little impact on the environment as possible beyond the intended application. Careful reading of the label and application practices should limit the unintended consequences without impacting the desired results.

Click here to take the quiz for a pesticide CEU credit. http://tiny.cc/Un-herb-effects


USF Looking for Growers for Fresh Market

USF is looking for individuals who do not necessarily have to be farmers. Maybe even a backyard gardener or someone who specializes in something, just anyone who might be interested in selling at their market. They would prefer organic but will take conventional to grow the market as long as it is not wholesale or resale produce. They are also trying to educate the USF community on what is in season and the health benefits of what they are selling. They also will sell plants, flowers, herbs and some packaged items. Right now the university has strict rules on anything homemade related to food but they can sell jams, jellies, (one lady sells salsa) as long as it is not in containers or plastic baggies (with the exception of dried herbs). They can sell baked goods but they must be things like artisan breads. They are not wanting to sell anything that is processed, so no cookies, cakes, etc. There is a small application that they can discuss with the farmer. The market date will be Thursday January 30th from 11-3pm with set up starting at 10am. Tabling fee is $10.00 and parking is $5.00. They will consider discussing consignment for someone who has an interest but cannot table themselves. As always Farmers don't have to commit to any specific market They call everyone each month and see what they want to do. So farmers can come in and out as they please, there is no obligation. They also try and visit the farm/property of the person that is selling to see how they operate and what they do. If you would like more information pleas contact Colleen Mulkahey cmulcahe@mail.usf.edu | 813-952-7769 | fb.com/farmusf

Disaster Relief for Polk County Nurseries

For nurseries in Polk County that may have experienced adverse economic injury from the spring drought, the following announcement may be important. Secretary of Agriculture Declaration Deadline Approaching in Florida for SBA Working Capital Loans ATLANTA - The U.S. Small Business Administration is reminding small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, small businesses engaged in aquaculture and most private non-profit organizations of all sizes that Jan. 2, 2014 is the filing deadline for federal economic injury disaster loans in Florida as a result of the drought between March 5 and April 29, 2013. The loans are available in the following counties: Alachua, Brevard, Citrus, Flagler, Lake, Levy, Marion, Orange, Osceola, Polk, Seminole, Sumter and Volusia. Under this declaration, the SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan program is available to eligible farm-related and nonfarm-related entities that suffered financial losses as a direct result of this disaster. With the exception of aquaculture enterprises, SBA cannot provide disaster loans to agricultural producers, farmers, or ranchers. Nurseries are eligible to apply for economic injury disaster loans for losses caused by drought conditions. The loans are for working capital and can be up to $2 million with interest rates of 4 percent for eligible small businesses and 2.875 percent for non-profit organizations, and terms up to 30 years. Applicants may apply online using the Electronic Loan Application (ELA) via SBA’s secure website at https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela. Disaster loan information and application forms may also be obtained by calling the SBA’s Customer Service Center at 800-659-2955 (800-877-8339 for the deaf and hard-of-hearing) or by sending an email to disastercustomerservice@sba.gov. Loan applications can be downloaded from the SBA’s website at www.sba.gov/disaster. Completed applications should be mailed to: U.S. Small Business Administration, Processing and Disbursement Center, 14925 Kingsport Road, Fort Worth, TX 76155. Completed loan applications must be returned to SBA no later than January 2, 2014.


Preemergent Herbicide Demonstration Plots and Workshop

Only a few days left to sign up to look at the Herbicide Demonstration Plots and Herbicide Workshop for Ornamental Growers. Are your preemergent herbicides working the way they should? Are they controlling the weeds that you have? Come out to the Extension Office to see 20 different herbicides applied at 30 and 60 days prior to the workshop and how well they stand up against the weed pressure. This will be a hands on weed identification, control, calibration and preemergent herbicide demonstration for ornamental plant growers. Attendees will be treated to a lunch and up to 1 Core and 2 PVT, 2 L&O, 2 LL&O, 2 LCLM, 2 O&T Pesticide CEUs. Attendees may bring weeds for ID as well. Attendees must purchase tickets in advance for $35.00 or call Shawn Steed 813-744-5519 ext 54147. If you are a TBWG member tickets are $15.00. There will be no same day registrations due to space constraints. If you have any special needs please notify the Hillsborough County Extension Office 813-744-5519. An agenda is available at http://hillsborough.ifas.ufl.edu/ornamental_production/index.shtml If you would like to register for the event go to www.tiny.cc/weedwork