Central Florida Water Initiative Meeting

The Central Florida Water Initiative is a collaboration of different stakeholders and regulators to look at the sustainability of the water resources at the conversion points of three water management districts in an area that includes southern Lake, Orange, Osceola, Seminole and Polk counties. The three water management districts, along with the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (DACS), regional public water supply utilities and other stakeholders are collaborating to develop a unified process to address central Florida’s current and long-term water supply needs.  One of things that Jim Fletcher (County Extension Director of Osceola County who sits on the committee) has been trying to do, is make sure agriculture is represented at the the table.  Part of the continuing efforts of this planning initiative is the development of a solutions planning team that represent all the interests in the 5 county area.  Jim was selected to serve as the agriculture representative on the committee. Part of the charge of this committee is to make sure all interests have been heard as the initiative moves forward.  Robert Beltran, Executive  Director for SWFWMD is the chair person of this solution team.  Mr. Beltran would like to meet with the agricultural industry as a whole to make sure he understands and can report all the issues.  If you are interested in attending the meeting with Robert Beltran and CFWI it is on April 16, at 1:30-3:30 pm at the UF Osceola County Extension Service, 1921 Kissimmee Valley Lane, Kissimmee, Fl 34744.  For more information please call 321.697.3000.  You may want to visit the Central Florida Water Initiative website http://cfwiwater.com/  to get more information prior to the meeting.

WPS-Changes in the Making and Meeting Notice

On February 20, 2014, the Environmental Protection Agency announced proposed changes to the agricultural Worker Protection Standard (WPS) to increase protections from pesticide exposure for the nation's 2 million agricultural workers and their families.  They are seeking input on the changes that are being proposed.  Here is an EPA factsheet on the changes and compares with what is already in place.  http://www.epa.gov/oppfead1/safety/workers/proposed/comparisons-current-proposed-wps.pdf   Here is a list of the included changes:

Increased frequency of mandatory trainings (from once every five years to annually) to inform farm workers about the protections they are afforded under the law, including restrictions on entering pesticide-treated fields and surrounding areas, decontamination supplies, access to information and use of personal protective equipment. Expanded trainings will include instructions to reduce take-home exposure from pesticides on work clothing and other safety topics.

Expanded mandatory posting of no-entry signs for the most hazardous pesticides; the signs prohibit entry into pesticide-treated fields until residues decline to a safe level.

First time-ever minimum age requirement: Children under 16 will be prohibited from handling pesticides, with an exemption for family farms.

No-entry buffer areas surrounding pesticide-treated fields will protect workers and others from exposure from pesticide overspray and fumes.

Measures to improve the states’ ability to enforce compliance including requiring employers to keep records of application-specific pesticide information as well as farmworker training and early-entry notification for two years.

Personal Protection Equipment (respirator use) must be consistent with the Occupational Safety & Health Administration standards for ensuring respirators are providing protection, including fit test, medical evaluation, and training.

Make available to farm workers or their advocates (including medical personnel) information specific to the pesticide application, including the pesticide label and Safety Data Sheets.

Additional changes make the rule more practical and easier to comply with for farmers.

Continues the exemptions for family farms.

Here is the site for more information from the EPA as well as a link to add your comments to the proposed changes.  http://www.epa.gov/oppfead1/safety/workers/proposed/index.html
If you would like to go to a meeting about these rule changes FDACS and EPA is holding one.  Here is the information: 
The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) will be hosting a meeting with growers and grower organizations to provide an overview of the recently proposed changes to U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Worker Protection Standard (WPS). The purpose of the meeting is to better inform the grower community on the WPS proposals and the comment submission process. Mr. Richard Pont with the U.S. EPA, Office of Pesticide Programs will be making a presentation and answering questions regarding the changes. The meeting will be held on April 3, 2014 at 9:30 AM-12:00 PM at the Citrus Research and Education Center (CREC), located at 700 Experiment Station Rd., Lake Alfred, FL. Please note that the public is strongly encouraged to submit their comments to the docket via Regulations.gov.

Core and Private Applicator Trainings in Manatee County

April 22: Core and Private Applicator Training and Exams

Core 8:30am-10:35am, Private 10:35am-11:40pm, Manatee County Extension Service, Palmetto, FL.

Two separate exam prep classes will be held to help you prepare for the Core and Private Applicator RUP (Restricted Use Pesticide) license exams. Exams will be offered immediately following the classes. However, you do not have to take the exams the same day. You may schedule a time to take the exams at your convenience. You may take one class without the other, if needed.

If you are already a license holder, 2.5 CEUs in Core and 2.5 in Private are offered for both classes, respectively. Light snacks will be offered. For details and registration visit:

Core link to information and registration:  http://tinyurl.com/l94g76t
Private Applicator link to information and registration:   http://tinyurl.com/owo2vay

New Factsheets from UF/IFAS

There are a few more factsheets for your perusal from IFAS EDIS our Electronic Data Information Source.  This week we've got factsheets on trees, diseases and weeds for your reading pleasure. 

This one is entitled Plumeria:  Propagation from Cuttings http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/pdffiles/EP/EP48900.pdf
Here is one on identification and control of Impatiens Downey Mildew  http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/pdffiles/PP/PP30900.pdf 
Here is a factsheet on one of the weeds that I see at nurseries everywhere. Erect and Prostrate Spurge Managenment in Turf. http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/pdffiles/EP/EP49500.pdf
This is one on a unique tree I haven't seen before. Faber's Maple:  Acer fabri http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/pdffiles/EP/EP49000.pdf
And here is one on Apalachee Crapemrytle:  Lagerstromia idica x fauriei 'Apalachee' http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/pdffiles/EP/EP49100.pdf


News from Tampa Chapter of FNGLA

The Tampa Chapter of FNGLA would like to convey some news about their upcoming events.

Happy Hour/Social on the 1st Thur of each month!

If you're in business in the Tampa Bay market, you don't want to miss our monthly socials. Take a break from the daily grind and network with fellow industry professionals.

Gaspar's Patio Bar & Grill
8448 N. 56th St. Tampa, FL 33617
Thursday, 4/3/14, 5:30pm - 7:00pm
NO RSVP needed. Just show up and look for the group.

1st Annual Cornhole Tournament
5/30/14 Details coming soon!

Welcome our newest member to the Board of Directors: Amanda Hebert - Big Earth Landscape Supply


Private and Core Pesticide Exam Review Classes and WPS Train the Trainer Workshops

Need to become a WPS certified Trainer?

The Worker Protection Standard (WPS) is a federal program designed to protect agricultural farm workers in the production of agricultural plants. A person is qualified to teach WPS to farm workers if he/she holds a restricted use pesticide license or if he/she has completed the WPS Train the trainer course. Once a person has completed the course he/she is certified for life.

Need to pass the Private or Core Pesticide Exams?

We have regional classes that will help you review the information for the FDACS Core and Private Pesticide Spray License Exams.  

Need CEUs?
The Core and Private Exam Reviews will offer 2.5 CEUs for Core and 2.5 CEUs for the Private License for a total of 5 CEUs.  You can take one or both of the classes for CEUs.

The WPS TTT workshop provides CEUs in several categories. Even if you don’t need to be WPS certified, don’t miss this opportunity for CEUs. CEUs available: 2 in the following categories: Aerial, Ag. Row, Ag. Tree, O&T, Private, Forest Pest Control, and Soil and Greenhouse Fumigation.

For more information about all of these programs and times, dates, and locations please click here for this flyer.


Floriculture Outlook for Florida

Here is a new publication on the outlook of the Florida floriculture industry that might help out with you future marketing and production planning.  We are seeing a bit of an uptick in the industry which is following the housing and development industry.  Here is your link to the article entitiled "Floriculture Crops Economic Outlook for 2014" by Dr. H. Khachatran, et. al.  http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/pdffiles/FE/FE94100.pdf


4-H Fund Raising Event Strawberry Picking

Help the 4-H youth and food banks of our community by picking strawberries.
8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. (Rain or Shine. . . Restrooms on grounds)

50 cents a qt. No Limit!!!

Location:  Fancy Farms
I-4 Exit #25, south on County Line Rd. 3 miles to Rice Rd.

4-H Ambassadors will be in the field to assist the
elderly and disabled.

For more information call 4-H @ 813-744-5519 x 54132


New Gerbera and Caladium Varieties

Here are a few new cultivars and factsheets on the latest ornamental plant cultivar releases from Dr. Zhanao Deng at the Gulf Coast Research and Education Center in Balm. 

                                       Caladium 'Red Hot' photo credit Zhanao Deng UF/IFAS
First are his caladiums are called 'Fairytale Princess' and 'Red Hot.'  These two new varieties are vibrant red, lanced leaved cultivars that show excellent tuber yield, pot quality, and landscape performance.  If you would like to read more here is a link to the EDIS factsheet. http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/pdffiles/EP/EP48100.pdf
If you would like to find out about availability please send Shawn Steed and email ststeed@ufl.edu.

                                                 Photo Credits: Gail Bowman UF/IFAS

Secondly, are his gerbera daisy releases in the Funtastic TM, line called, 'Tangerine Eye' and 'Golden Eye.'  These gerberas have been breed and tested for use in large containers.  They are powdery mildew resistant and produce large flowers in colors complimenting the Funtastic TM line and are orange-red and yellow-orange.  If you would like to read more about these cultivars here is a link to the factsheet  http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/pdffiles/EP/EP48200.pdf