Lake Region FNGLA, Chili, and CEUs

How does Lake Region FNGLA, chili, and CEUs go together.  Stop by and find out.  The Lake Region FNGLA will be having their February meeting at the Polk County Extension Office.  They will also be hosting their first chili cookoff fundraiser.  It will be $5.00 to enter your winning chili.  While you are eating and judging chili you can get a Private Applicator Pesticide CEU for free.  The class will be entitled Pre-Emergent Herbicides for Ornamentals-Use and Efficacy.  If you'd like to attend please call Karen Norris at 863-644-6491.

Sustainable Substrates for Nursery Production

Here is a video you may want to watch about sustainable substrates for nursery production.  This is one video in a series of videos from a Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education grant to help nursery producers move towards sustainable systems for plant production.  This particular video is 4.5 minutes long and discusses options to formulations of peat and pine bark substrates that are most prominently used in current potting soils.  Click here for the link to the video.  Sustainable Substrates


Work on the Boards Down

The American Institute for Architecture has just released Architecture Billings Index (ABI) for the month of December. This index is a leading index of nonresidential building construction approximately 9 to 12 months into the future.  The idea is that construction firms make architectural plans and are billed prior to constructing the buildings in the future.  The ABI is centered around a value of 50.  Scores above 50 indicate an increase in billings and below 50 indicate a decrease in architectural billings.  The ABI score for November was 49.8, in December it fell again to 48.5.  This generally would mean a potential downturn in construction spending on nonresidential projects in the future.  Some good news is that on a regional average, the ABI for the southern region (a 3 month moving average) was 51.2.   For more information on this topic you can check out this link  http://www.aia.org/press/releases/AIAB101427

Local Retail Help Needed

Saturday Help Wanted  
Treemart Garden Center is looking for Saturday Retail Sales help. 
Plant knowledge and experience is mandatory.  Saturdays 8:30 to 4:00
Must walk with, talk to and write up customers. 
Email  scott@treemart.com   for information.


Worker Protection Standard Train the Trainer Training

Worker Protection Standard Train-The-Trainer Training being offered at the Hillsborough County Extension Office. 
When:  1/29/14 09:oo
Where:  Hills. Co. Extension Office Meeting Room
Why:  To comply with EPA WPS Standard Employee Trainings
How Much: $25 plus processing fees. 
CEUs: 3

This training will enable an attendee to train workers and handlers to comply with the Worker Protection Standards regulated by EPA. Participants will learn what material are required by trainers to cover when educating their workforce. 3 Core Pesticide CEUs will be issued after the class for those needing CEUs. Cost will be $25.00 + processing fees. Check or cash will be accepted at the door. Just click on this link to register.  http://tiny.cc/WPSHills

Environmental Horticulture Outlook 2014

For those of you wishing you had a crystal ball to look into the future of the environmental horticulture production industry for 2014 here is as close as it gets.  UF/IFAS Food and Resource Economics Department (FRED) Dr. Hayk Katchatrayn and Dr. Alan Hodges give their perspective for the Florida Nursery and Landscape Industry for 2014.  Overall in their opinion it looks like there will be a similar year as last year. Factors that will affect the increase of sales will be the housing and construction market, homes sales, consumer sentiment, and general employment.  Increases in these areas will generally lead to support in sales of environmental horticulture products.  As an industry we need to be exacting in knowing our costs and diligent in finding new market outlets for our products to increase sales and profit growth.  Remember we are in a mature to declining industry where competition abounds forcing a downward movement in prices.  A bright spot however on the horizon looks to be the landscaping market.  This segment of the industry still seems to have some growth left in it.  Here is Dr. Katchatrayn’s 22 minute report that you can download and view yourself just follow this link.  http://tiny.cc/greenreport2014

Frost Cloth and Pots for Sale

A local grower is trying to sell seven rolls of Agrifabric Pro70 20'X140' - brand new, still in the original wrapping. They were never used and he is willing to take offers on them. He also has several hundred used NSI 10,000S squat pots that were previously used for blueberries. They are 20 gallon pots and he is wanting $2.00 a piece for them.  If you would like more information please give Shawn a call at the extension office 813-744–5519 ext. 54147.