Private Applicator Exam Prep Class, WPS Train the Trainer Class, and CEUs

On December 15, 2015, UF/IFAS Extension will be conducting classes for those who would like to become certified Private Pesticide Applicators or for those who need a few more CEUs towards their license.  The class will be divided into two segments: Core 8:30am-10:30am, Private 10:45am-12:50pm.  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 CEUs in Core and 2 Private are offered for both classes, respectively. Light snacks will be offered.  Walk-ins will be welcomed.  The class fee is $15 per class. Here is the link to register.  http://www.eventbrite.com/o/university-of-floridaifas-extension-392897162 

We will also be conducting a Worker Protection Standard Train the Trainer Class so that you can train agricultural workers to comply with the federal WPS.  If you have a private applicator license you do not need this class. This class starts at 9:30 and you can register at the same link.  The fee for this class is $20.00.

All classes will be held at the Gulf Coast Research and Education Center 14625 CR 672
Wimauma, FL 33598.  For more information call Veronica at (941)722-4524 or E-mail: veronica1303@ufl.edu


Lake Region FNGLA Christmas Party Meeting

The meeting and festivities will begin at 6:30 P.M, then after dinner there will be a White Elephant Game. Come Join the Fun!  For the White Elephant Game bring something new under $20. Wrap the gift so it will be a surprise.  No plants please.

The meeting will be held at Ling Chinese Buffet in Lakeland.

Monday, December 7th, IF YOU CAN COME.

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!


As in years past, they will be collecting money and gift donations for Florida Baptist Children's Home.  Gifts and gift cards should be suitable for teenagers.  Bring donated gifts for children unwrapped please.

Worker Protection Standard Train the Trainer Class

What:  WPS Train-The-Trainer (TTT) Class
When:  December 15, 2015 at 9:30am-12:30pm
Where:  Gulf Coast Research and Education Center
Why:  Need CEUs or need to be WPS certified to train agricultural workers?

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.

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.
There is a $20 class fee. You may pay at the door with cash or check made out to “Manatee County Friends of Extension”

Special Presenter** This program will also feature Florida Dept. of Agriculture and Consumer Services WPS state coordinator, Ricardo Devalos. Ricardo will be covering changes to the WPS program and requirements for growers. Ricardo’s presentation will be in addition to the program above. Additional CEUs Pending.

To register please visit: www.commercialveg.eventbrite.com or contact Veronica at veronica1303@ufl.edu


UF Poinsettia Field Day 2015

I took the opportunity to attend this event last year and it was well worth it to see the latest and greatest poinsettias hitting the hort. industry.  I would count this event as a "must-attend" if you grow any quantity of poinsettias for the market place.  Here are the details...

Note the expanded format and different location from previous years – this is becoming our floriculture short course extension day. If you are a member of FNGLA, you can enter the code FNGLA15 at the online registration website (http://www.cvent.com/d/1fqjzr) for a 10% discount.
The student poinsettia plant sale is a separate event on Dec 10 (8 am to 5 pm) and Dec 11 (8 am to 3 pm).

Title: Poinsettia Trials Industry Field Day

When: Tues, December 8, 9:30am – 4:00pm

Where: Hilton University of Florida Conference Center (1714 SW 34th St., Gainesville, FL 32607) and UF Environmental Horticulture Dept. Greenhouses, Gainesville (Fifield Hall, Hull Rd., Gainesville, FL 32611)

This workshop is designed for commercial greenhouse plant producers. No plant sales will be available at this event.
Morning sessions at the University of Florida Hilton Hotel include Dr. Roger Styer, Styer's Horticultural Consulting, and Dr. Raymond Cloyd, Kansas State University, on the latest growth strategies and pest management/control techniques for greenhouse ornamental crops.
Lunch at the Hilton will be followed by a greenhouse presentation of the National Poinsettia Trials at University of Florida with Dr. Jim Barrett, along with the latest greenhouse research taking place at the University of Florida with Dr. Paul Fisher and Dr. Carrie Harmon on such topics as practical disease diagnosis, growing container edibles and training your staff how to water.
Pesticide CEUs will be provided in the ornamentals and turf category for pesticide license holders. For CEUs, have your form signed before you leave.
Cost $60.00 per person Early Bird, or $75.00 after November 23, 2015. Includes materials and lunch.
More details and registration: http://www.cvent.com/d/1fqjzr


Container Irrigation App Workshop

Ever wanted a way to easily adjust your irrigation amount without any guesstimating?  With the help of a new app from UF/IFAS Research, Dr. Tom Yeager has a very easy to use mobile app that will calculate the run time for your irrigation system for container nurseries. Now, no more guess work in how long to run the system.  I have seen this app in practice and I assure you that I wish I had the use of this when managing large container irrigation systems.  You put in some simple parameters and it gives you a run time.  No more guessing!

What:  Container Nursery Workshop
When:  12:30 – 2:30 pm Nov. 12, 2015
Where:  Mid-Florida Nursery, 2451 County Line Road, Plant City, FL 33566
Email yeagert@ufl.edu by Nov. 9 to register and have access to this simple to use, innovative app on your mobile device.

Lunch for free!


Deadline for Strawberry Festival Youth Plant Show and Sale Nov. 2, 2015

For those of you with participating youth in the 2016 Strawberry Festival Youth Plant Show and Sale, the deadline is approaching to be registered and purchase all plant materials that are not in the Miscellaneous Section (Section D) of the rules or the Liners/Rooted Cuttings/Seedlings Section (Section E). November 2, 2015 is the date of last purchase of plant material to grow for the show and sale.  For a copy of the Youth Plant Show and Sale rules here is a link. http://www.flstrawberryfestival.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/2016-Youth-Plant-Show-Sale-Rules.pdf

Don't forget to attend at least one of the mandatory meetings.  Mandatory entry seminars will be held; Tuesday, November 17, 2015 at 6:30 p.m. in the Author Boring Civic Center at the Florida Strawberry Festival in Plant City, located at 2406 W. Reynolds St., Plant City, Florida and Thursday, November 19, 2015 at East Bay High School Cafeteria, at 6:30 p.m. 7710 Big Bend Road, Gibsonton, Florida. Parking will be in the student parking lot. Late arrivals will not be admitted.
Each exhibitor and/or a parent or guardian must attend and turn in their entry form at the meeting. No
exceptions will be made and entry forms must be complete including all necessary signatures. Only one of the two offered meetings must be attended.

Looking forward to another great show!

Zoysiagrass Seminar

For those of you in the turf production world or have an interest in growing zoysiagrass.  Here is a seminar for you on different aspects of Zoysiagrass production and maintenance from the Turfgrass Producers of Florida.

Pest and Disease Management
Harvesting, Installation & Establishment
Mowing & Maintenance
Nutrient & Water Needs & Dormancy

Zoysiagrass can present unique challenges during the winter and spring, especially on the heels of this year’s exceptionally wet summer. Join turfgrass specialists Dr. Laurie Trenholm and Dr. Bryan Unruh from the University of Florida for a review of best practices, a look at trends and troublespots, and advice on sustainable and successful zoysiagrass management.  TPF's Regional Meetings are designed to help sod producers, installers, landscapers and lawn maintenance professionals learn, connect and grow - better! These informal gatherings offer the latest info from experts and emphasize connecting with others in the industry in your area to discuss common issues
and share solutions. Although TPF's Regional Meetings are specifically developed to be accessible and schedule-friendly for those in the local area, industry professionals from throughout the state are welcome to attend. $15 per person, seating is limited; lunch is included.
Questions? Email betsymcgill@floridaturf.com or call 863-675-2144.

Where: SWFWMD Sarasota Service Center 6750 Fruitville Road Sarasota, FL 34240
When:  Wednesday, November 4, 201, 10:00 AM to 1:00 PM (EST) Register by November 2, 2015 Link to register:  www.floridaturf.com/events/regional-meetings


Nurseries Needed for Informal Tours for International Plant Propagators' Society Meeting in Tampa 10/10/15 - 10/14/15

The International Plant Propagators's Society Southern Region Meeting will be here in Tampa on 10/10/15 -10/14/15.  IPPS Southern Region members are a great group of plant producers,  propagators, botanical gardens, researchers, and students  from a region that spans Virginia to Florida, and Oklahoma to Texas, who meet every year to "seek and share" information regarding plant production and propagation.  This is one of the best producer meetings I attend.  We will be touring west-central Florida on Sunday 10/11/15 and Tuesday 10/13/15.  This year we are also hosting the international group to our regional meeting.  I am also getting a list of other nurseries that would like to be informal tour stops before and after the meetings.  This would mean opening up your nursery for visitors from the Society on Saturday 10/10/15 from 13:00 to 17:00 and/or Wednesday 13:00 to 16:00.  These informal tours could be as simple as letting folks do a self-tour of your production area to as elaborate as having guided walks through the nursery or providing refreshments.  You decide the level of participation you'd like to give.   If you want to open your nursery please give Shawn a ring at the Extension office 813-744-5519 x 54147.  If you'd like to find out more about the IPPS meeting here is a link for that.

Increasing Tree Specie Diversity in Urban Environments

Tree diversity in the landscape as well as in the production nurseries makes good, logical sense.  From an urban forest perspective, tree diversity means increasing habitat and functionality of benefits from different members of the forest.  For a tree producer it means spreading risks associated with growing trees, be it disease, insects, consumer fancy, etc. over a greater selection of trees.  A series of workshop discussions on how to increase tree diversity in the urban environment as well as production nurseries will begin with this first workshop.  To attend please sign up by clicking on this link.  https://www.eventbrite.com/e/urban-tree-diversity-tickets-18462796722


Purpose: Identify strategies for addressing the problems associated with low urban tree diversity.

Workshop: Monday, September 28, 2015, 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.
University of Florida IFAS-Hillsborough County Extension
5339 County Road 579, Seffner, Florida 33584

10 – 10:20 a.m. Introduction to Urban Forest Diversity Project
                            and Risk to Ecosystem Services from Low Tree Diversity
Rob Northrop, Urban and Community Forester, UF IFAS Extension

10:20 - 11 a.m. Low Tree Species Diversity Leads to Greater Risk and Lower Resilience for Cities
Dr. Jason Smith, Forest Pathologist, UF IFAS School of Forest Resources and Conservation

11 – 11:40 a.m. Low Tree Species Diversity Leads to Greater Risk for Growers
Dr. Andrew Koeser, Arboriculture, UF IFAS Center of Landscape Ecology

11:40 – 12:45 p.m. Group Exercise (on-site only) -
                                   Identification of General Strategies for Increasing Tree Diversity

12:45 - 1:30 p.m.  Lunch - On Your Own

1:30 - 2:15 p.m. Panel Discussion regarding Identified General Strategies

2:15 - 2:30 p.m. Next Steps in the Urban Forest Diversity Project

Cold drinks and small snacks will be provided for onsite workshop participants.

A Couple of Nursery Weed Fact Sheets

Here are a couple of new factsheets on identifying two weeds, long-stalked phyllanthus and mulberry weed in ornamental production.  These publications also discuss control options for ornamental producers.
Figure 3. Long-stalked phyllanthus in flower.

Biology and Management of Long-Stalked Phyllanthus in Ornamental Crop Production
This 5-page fact sheet discusses the characteristics of long-stalked phyllanthus and explains how to control its growth in a nursery environment. Written by Theresa Chormanski, Chris Marble, and Lyn Gettys, and published by the UF Department of Environmental Horticulture, April 2015.  Photo Credit Annette Chandler.

Figure 2. Mulberry weed seedlings.

Biology and Management of Mulberry Weed (Fatoua villosa) in Ornamental Crop Production
This 4-page fact sheet discusses the characteristics of mulberry weed (Fatoua villosa) and explains how to control its growth in a nursery environment. Written by Chris Marble and Shawn Steed, and published by the UF Department of Environmental Horticulture, April 2015.  Photo credit Annette Chandler. 

Good Thrips?

Not all thrips are bad!  Here is a great example of identifying your insects first before you spray.  You might just be helping your pest enemies get a stronger foothold.  The following publication helps identify a beneficial thrips that you might find in your production area that might be doing some good.  These thrips eat, other pest thrips like chili thrips, spider mites, whitefly eggs and psyllid eggs.  For more information please check out the new publication below.
Figure 1. Female vespiform thrips showing constricted waist and white band. Credit: Runqian Mao, University of Florida

 Vespiform Thrips, Franklinothrips vespiformis Crawford, is a predatory thrips with a pantropical distribution. The distinctive red, humped-back larvae and fast-moving ant-like adults are predaceous on small arthropods. In addition to being easily mistaken for an ant, this beneficial thrips is unusual in that it constructs a silken cocoon within which it pupates. Males of this species are rare. This species is sold for use as a biological control agent in botanical gardens, zoos, interior landscapes, research greenhouses, nurseries with ornamental plants as well as outdoors in subtropical regions. This 4-page fact sheet was written by Runqian Mao, Yingfang Xiao, and Steven P. Arthurs, and published by the UF Department of Entomology and Nematology, March 2015. (Photo credit: Runqian Mao, UF/IFAS)


Grant Opportunities from USDA

Here is some important information that you might take advantage of from utilizing USDA grants to help increase the sustainability of your operation.

Cost Share Helps Florida Farmers, Ranchers Conserve Natural Resources
Application deadline for financial assistance Dec. 18
GAINESVILLE, Fla., Sept. 1, 2015 — Florida farmers and ranchers can apply until Dec. 18, 2015, for financial and technical assistance from USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) programs for fiscal year 2016 funding. Although applications are accepted on a continuous basis for all programs, funding selections are typically made once a year. 
Through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP), landowners may receive financial and technical assistance to improve soil, water, air, plants, animals and related resources. Eligible land includes cropland, rangeland, pastureland, private non-industrial forestland and other farm or ranch lands.
The Agricultural Conservation Easement Program (ACEP) provides financial and technical assistance to conserve agricultural lands and wetlands. Agricultural Land Easements help farmers and ranchers keep their land in agriculture. Eligible partners are Indian tribes, state and local governments and non-governmental organizations that have farmland or grassland protection programs. Wetland Reserve Easements offer technical and financial assistance directly to private landowners and Indian tribes to restore, protect and enhance wetlands through the purchase of a wetland easement.

Our contact for Hillsborough is Plant City Service Center, 201 S Collins St. STE 201, Plant City, FL 33563

The contact information for Polk County is Bartow Service Center, 1700 Hwy 17 S, Bartow, FL 33830 800-243-9912.


The Plant Producer Newsletter Summer Edition

The Summer Edition of  Extension's The Plant Producer is now out with some interesting articles you might like to check out.
There are articles on conducting a leaching fraction; a Core CEU Credit Pesticide article, "BMPs for Herbicide Applications;" marketing tree values with the traveling tree walk; research highlights; Nursery Spotlight with Pat Ford's Nursery; a new pest, crapemrytle bark scale; BMPs and cost share funding; using local internet marketing; and information on the International Plant Propagator's Society Meeting in Tampa.   Here is the link Extension's The Plant Producer Summer Newsletter.pdf 


Operation Cleansweep is Back!

For those of you who missed our county collection day, here is another opportunity to get rid of old, unusable, or discontinued pesticides.  Operation Cleansweep is here to help you.  The purpose of Operation Cleansweep is to offer a safe, convenient, and cost effective mechanism for agricultural operations, golf courses, and pest control companies to properly
dispose of canceled, suspended, and unusable pesticides (CSUP).  The first 750 pounds of CSUP will be managed utilizing Cleansweep funds. If more CSUP, over the initial 750 pounds exists, the entity requesting service will be responsible for paying for the management of this “excess” material at the
contracted rate directly to the contractor. Additional requests will be handled on a case by case basis, based on the degree of eminent danger to public health and safety and the potential for environmental harm.

If you'd like to get rid of materials you can either forward me your quantity (in lbs.) or use the contact information provide here.
Shannon D. Turner
Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services
3125 Conner Blvd., Ste N
Tallahassee, FL 32399
Toll-Free 1-877-851-5285

Sunburn, Not Just for People

Here is a shot I took while visiting a grower who mentioned that this huge crapemyrtle blew over in a storm and was on its side for a couple of days.  Notice the amount of bark that cooked off the trunk near the head of the tree.  I would have never guessed that the wound was caused by scalding from the sun.  Something to think about during stormy events or laying down trees in front of an approaching hurricane.

Flooding Damage?

Hillsborough County Agriculture and Economic Development Management is requesting ag producers calculate and state damages resulting from flooding in the county.  If you have experienced loss as a result from flooding please calculate that loss and reply back to me at ststeed@ufl.edu.  Loss should be defined as direct loss (death of crops or plants), productivity loss (e.g. suspending activities, not being able to harvest crops, unable to access fields, etc.), or infrastructure damages (greenhouse collapse, office flooded).  Please state what type and how much damage was incurred in total dollar amounts.  I will then aggregate and forward.  If you have questions please call Shawn 813-744-5519 ext. 54147.


Weed Control Seminar and Demonstration from Southern Ag

I agreed to help Larry Jones from Sothern Ag promote his program he is having in Sumter Co.  Although it is not an official Extension event Dr. Chris Marble a weed scientist from UF will be giving a presentation.  Here is some information if you decide to go.

9:30 AM – 2:30 PM

Strategies to achieve better results with lower costs
Dr. Chris Marble - UF
Bill Bodnaruk – Jon’sNursery

9:30 – Airtec Sprayer Demonstration At Hibernia Nursery
1176 C 478A ● Webster, FL 33597

11:00 – Sumter County Fair Grounds Arena
7620 State Road 471 ● Bushnell, FL 33513
FREE LUNCH catered by Market Restaurant Webster

CEUs Available Private Applicator and O&T

Contact: Larry Jones

Private and Core Exam Prep/CEU Classes 8/27/2015

On August 27, 2015, UF/IFAS Hillsborough County will be conducting a class for those who would like to become certified Private Pesticide Applicators or for those who need a few more CEUs towards their license.  The class will be divided into two segments: Core 8:30am-10:30am, Private 10:45am-12:50pm.  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 CEUs in Core and 2 Private are offered for both classes, respectively. Light snacks will be offered.  Walk-ins will be welcomed.  The class fee is $15 per class. Here is the link to register.  https://www.eventbrite.com/e/private-and-core-pesticide-applicator-training-tickets-18027407461  Please bring a cash or a check made out to “Hillsborough County EOAC.” if you would like to register same day.  If you have any questions please give Shawn a call 813-744-5519 x 54147.


Nutrient Management Class for Container-Grown Crops

If you wanted to learn more about fertilizing your container plants more specifically or have employees (English and Spanish speaking) that could gain knowledge in this topic area we have an online class for you.

Aug 24 to Sep 18 2015
What is the course about and who is it aimed at?
• Learn from expert UF instructors (Drs. Paul Fisher & Rosanna Freyre):
» List the essential plant nutrients for plant growth
» Interpret a fertilizer label
» Understand fundamentals of managing pH and fertilizer level
» Perform substrate-pH and electrical conductivity (EC) tests
» Identify and prevent pH and EC-related problems

• This will allow you to:
» Solve most common nutrition problems
» Save costs in fertilizer and plant losses
» Reduce impact on the environment

• Designed for greenhouse employees in the U.S. and internationally with no formal horticulture training. A typical participant is a section grower with practical experience who is responsible for fertilizing ornamental crops in containers.

• Lectures & assignments in both English and Spanish.

How do I register and access the course?
 • Each employee will be registered individually to track their progress.
• Online registration link: CLICK HERE
• Once you have registered you will be sent an online link. You will be able to access this with a desktop computer, tablet, or smart phone.
• Classes are completely online and include streaming videos, readings, and assignments. They will be available any time of the day and new modules are activated each of the 4 weeks of the course. It takes about 4 hours per week to complete lessons and activities.
• Chat online with your instructors during the course for help and interactive learning.
• Cost is $200 per employee.

Here is a link to register.  https://reg.distance.ufl.edu/reg/Activity/Details/9A6E97C6B9644C128184F6C389D5FA8A


Cost Saving Potting Soils Class

Imagine getting fresh potting soil for less than $5.00 per cubic yard!  Would you like to know how? UF/IFAS Extension Hillsborough County will be having a two hour class demonstrating the recycling of used potting soil.  We will be discussing the results and utility of solarizing used potting soil from the USDA Southern Sustainable Agricultural Research and Education On-Farm Grant.  A model demonstration site will be available to look at so you will be able to treat your own soil.  We will also be discussing the availability and use of the Hillsborough County Biosolids/Compost program that will be available for use for agricultural producers in Hillsborough County in the future.  This may be a great alternative to buying peat/bark mixes.  The cost is free and refreshments will be served.  For more information please call Shawn 813-744-5519 Ext. 54147.  Location: 5339 CR 579, Seffner, FL 33584.  To register please either call Shawn or click this link.  https://www.eventbrite.com/e/cost-savings-potting-soils-class-tickets-17894926206

09:45 - 10:00  Sign in
10:00 - 10:45  Large Scale Solarization of Used Potting Soil-Shawn Steed, UF/IFAS Extension
10:45 - 11:10  Solarization Demonstration Viewing
11:10 - 11:20  Break
11:20 - 12:00  Hillsborough County Composting Program-Simon Bollin,  Agricultural Econ. Development Manager.


Private Applicator Training in Pasco County

Just a reminder about our regional team approach to teaching the Private Applicator Exam Review and testing opportunity...
 UF-IFAS Extension of Pasco County will be hosting a Private Applicator and CORE Exam Review on Thursday July 16th from 8:30am to 2pm at the Pasco County Extension Office located on the Pasco County Fairgrounds in Dade City, FL.  This program has 2 classes in which each have been approved for 2 CEUs in their respective category. The cost is $15/person per class. The fee covers the cost of materials and light snacks. All exams are proctored after the completion of both reviews. You may only attend this program once per a year for CEUs per FDACS requirements.

To register, please use the following link: http://multicountycommhort.eventbrite.com/

Have Questions? Contact Cami Esmel McAvoy at 352-569-6872 or cami13@ufl.edu.

Mini-FARMS Grants Still Available

Just wanted to let you all know that the SWFWMD has funding still available through the MiniFARMS Program for water quantity related projects.  The money will be available until October and provides 75% cost share up to a maximum reimbursement of $5,000.  If you are a grower 100 acres or less and have a project you think will qualify please contact me.  You will also need to be in production for at least 2 years to qualify.


FNGLA Tampa Chapter Past President's Dinner Rescheduled

NEW DATE: Thursday, July 23
Location: Same, Columbia Café @ The History Center

The reason for the change is because the arena added an event on our originally scheduled date and parking would be limited and expensive. Changing the date will make parking and attendance easier on everyone attending.

Thank you for your understanding in switching the date to July 23 and hopefully more people can attend. Look forward to seeing everyone there.

Tickets are $20 per person. Includes 3-course meal and free raffle tickets. We have some great prizes. Also, please bring cash for 50/50 Raffle. Landscape Pros are sponsors of the 50/50 and the pot will start at $50 and grow from there.

Thanks to Big Earth and Soho Landscape as Dessert Sponsors and BIG Thanks to Maher Chevrolet as Lead Sponsor of this special event.


Increase Your Pest Management Solutions Through Surveys

Here is your chance to weigh in on the spending of some of your tax money to help pest management options on ornamental plants.  The IR-4 Program is a cooperation of USDA and EPA to expand pesticide labels so more control options are available to growers to manage pests through collection of residue and efficacy data in support of the registration or reregistration of minor use pesticides.  A survey is available to voice any concerns you have in controlling particular pests on certain crops. The survey is extremely brief and will take only a few minutes to complete.  See survey information below.

Ornamental Horticulture Program
2015/2015 IR-4 Ornamental Horticulture Program Survey

The IR-4 Project’s Ornamental Horticulture Program helps provide safe and effective pest management solutions for greenhouse, nursery, landscape, Christmas tree and forestry producers. Every other year, we prioritize the next two-year research plan at our Ornamental Horticulture Workshop. Our next Workshop will be held October 6 – 8, 2015 in Chicago, IL. We invite you to help us focus our research by answering a few questions about the diseases, insects, and weeds which impact your business. Your responses to these questions will provide direction to approximately $1 million annual funding dedicated to identifying new tools for managing diseases, insects and weeds on ornamental horticulture plants. The survey is available online at http://ir4.rutgers.edu/Ornamental/Survey/index.cfm  Please complete the survey before Aug 29th.


Postemergent Herbicides for Use in Ornamentals

Removal of weeds that have already germinated with herbicides requires a postemergent herbicide. Generally there are limitations to what you can spray and not also kill the plants that you are trying to grow.  Here is a factsheet that might help you decide what kinds of herbicides you can add to your toolbox for dealing with weeds.  

Postemergent Herbicides for Use in Ornamentals (http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/wg059) is a 5-page fact sheet and is largely comprised of two tables: Table one lists postemergent herbicides that can be safely used over the top of some ornamentals when used according to label directions; table 2 lists postemergent herbicides that are registered for use around ornamental plants when applied as a directed spray. This factsheet was written by Jeffrey G. Norcini and Chris Marble, and published by the UF Department of Environmental Horticulture, November 2014.


FTGA's Great CEU Roundup at Extension

In need of CEUs?  Earn up to 6 in many categories including Private, O&T, and Right-of-Way.  Join us at Hillsborough County Extension for the Florida Turfgrass Annual CEU Day.  July 22, 08:30-16:00.  Register online at http://www.ftga.org/ceuroundup  Food will be provided.  Cost is $30.00 for municipal workers, $50.00 for Industrial.  Call Shawn with questions 813-744-5519 x 54147.

8:30 – 9:00 Registration
9:00—9:50 Factors to Consider When Developing A Weed Management Program
10:00 – 10:50 How Herbicides Work & Where They Go                         
10:50—11:00 Break
11:00—11:50 Preventing Herbicide Failures                                             
11:50—1:00 Lunch (provided)
1:00—1:50 Understanding Adjuvants                                                     
1:50—2:00 Break
2:00—2:50 BMP in Urban, Aquatic & Natural Systems                      
2:50—3:00 Break

3:00—3:50  Identification & Integrated Management of Invasive Grasses


UF Greenhouse 101 Course

Did you ever want to take a few more classes to increase your knowledge on greenhouse crop production?  How about giving some employees that little bit of extra instruction they can complete after hours?  Here is a class for you!  UF's Greenhouse 101:Plant Science for Commercial Production.
In this class you will learn the underlying horticultural science of plant growth from experienced PhD University of Florida instructors (Drs. Brian Pearson, Rosanna Freyre and Paul Fisher).
A little about the class...
• Make effective crop decisions by understanding the “why”
and not just the “how”.
• Lectures & assignments in both English and Spanish.
• Designed for greenhouse employees in the U.S. and internationally who do not have formal training in horticulture. The typical participant is a section grower who has practical experience and is responsible for planting, spraying, pinching, irrigating and fertilizing ornamental crops in containers

Topics will include.
1. Plant Parts & Functions
2. Photosynthesis and growth
3. Greenhouse technology
4. Flowering
5. Compactness and branching
6. Growing substrates and water
7. Nutrition
8. Plant health

Cost will be $200.00 per person.  To find out more and to register please click on this link.  https://reg.distance.ufl.edu/reg/Activity/Details/BB356A4F4EE143E78276DE58ED7F85FE


Boxwood Blight Found in Florida

Boxwood blight is a devastating boxwood disease and it has just been found in North Florida.  A disease alert has been issued from UF/IFAS and FDACS DPI.  If you grow or purchase boxwood please take a moment and read the alert found at the link below.   There has been a bunch of research done in North Carolina on the cultural control, variety selection, and chemical control which can also be found at the same link.  If you suspect you might have problems please give Extension a call.  Photo credit Mathews Paret. link. http://hillsborough.ifas.ufl.edu/ornamental_production/index.shtml  


Private Applicator and Core Exam Review Class and WPS Train-The-Trainer Class

The South Central Regional Extension Team will be offering a review class for the Private Applicator Pesticide License and Core Exam Review at the Gulf Coast Research and Education Center at Balm (GCREC) on June 11, 2015.  This class will prep you for taking the exam and then offer the exam directly after the class.  If you already have the Private Pesticide License and need CEUs, these classes will offer 2 Core and 2 Private Pesticide CEUs.  The Core Exam Prep will start at 8:30-10:30 and the Private Exam Prep will be at 10:45-12:45.  Online registration is required along with a fee of $15.00 for each class.
The Worker Protection Standard Train-The-Trainer Class to be certified to conduct WPS training for employees will be offered at GCREC on the same day, June 11, 2015 at 10:45-12:4, for $15.00.
For more information and to register for any of the classes above please click on this link http://www.eventbrite.com/o/ufifas-extension-manatee-county-7844389020?s=32808298


Agricultural Stakeholder Water Meeting with CFWI

For producers that operate in Polk county there is a water meeting that you might like to be in on.   The Central Florida Water Initiative (CFWI) is having a stakeholder meeting for solutions to the regions future water needs and how they might impact our industry.  This is your change to give feedback on these proposals. Here is the meeting announcement below.

In the agriculture industry, one of the greatest issues of importance is water. 

We have been working with the Central Florida Water Initiative (CFWI) to discuss diminishing water resources in Central Florida and ramifications to the agriculture industry if we do not act now to address this issue. 

The CFWI is a collaborative effort guided by three water management districts – the St. Johns River Water Management District, the South Florida Water Management District, and the Southwest Florida Water Management District, along with the Department of Environmental Protection – to find new ways to meet increasing demands for limited freshwater resources in the region.  These agencies, along with other key stakeholders, are working toward water resource planning, development, and management for Florida’s current and long-term water supply needs.

Now is the time for your input and action.  As a leader in the agricultural industry, we understand you have a vested interest in how water resources are addressed in our region and how they affect your business – today and in the future.

The CFWI will be presenting a proposed Solutions Plan for the region’s future water needs on Wednesday, May 20th from 2:00pm – 4:30pm.  This will be your opportunity to hear, first hand, what the proposed solutions for our region’s water shortages are, how they impact our industry, and offer feedback and input on those proposed solutions. 

The CFWI Workshop will be held at ChampionsGate, 8575 White Shark Boulevard, Davenport, FL 33896. 

Please RSVP your attendance to https://agricultureindustry.eventbrite.com or by calling 407-758-5873.

Leaching Fraction Explained

In case you missed the class on container irrigation we had this week, learning about how to conduct a leaching fraction is a great tool to get to know.  This super-simple method will give you the confidence to irrigate effectively to reduce excess pumping, reduce the amount of fertilizer needed to grow a plant, reduce pesticide use and grow quality plants.   It will also give you an accurate amount of time to tell people to run the irrigation system depending upon the changes in weather, season, plant size, etc.
A leaching fraction is simply the amount of water that leaves the container after you run irrigation divided by the total amount of water that was applied and captured by the container during irrigation.  The last number is arrived at by subtracting the weight of a dry plant before irrigation from a wet plant after irrigation.  This simple equation creates a number, the leaching fraction.  When multiplied by 100 will give a percent.  The Water Quality/Quantity Best Management Practices for Florida Nurseries manual states that the leaching fraction percent should be 10-15%.  If the number is extremely low say 0-5% you may be under-watering plants.  If the number is higher than you are over-watering plants.  You can easily do this with buckets attached underneath the pots you are growing, randomly scattered in your field.  This can be easily done for small annual containers to large containers with a slight modification on catching the leachate.  For more information here is a video that can be found in the BMP Manual  http://www.freshfromflorida.com/Media/Files/Agricultural-Water-Policy-Files/Best-Management-Practices/Nursery-Videos/Video-8-Leaching-Fraction  If you would like to see the rest of the Florida Nursery manual here is a link to that  http://www.freshfromflorida.com/content/download/37570/848371/NurseryBMP.pdf  If you would like help setting up a leaching fraction and interpreting the results, contact Shawn at UF/IFAS Extension Hillsborough/Polk County ststeed@ufl.edu for a nursery visit.


Irrigation Mini-Workshop

Don't forget to drop in for a free irrigation class and lunch (Fred's Market with peach cobbler) at Bruce Rumph's Mid-Florida Nurseries.  Extension will be demonstrate a leaching fraction at Mid-Florida Nurseries (2451 S. County Line Rd., Plant City, FL 33566). Join us from 11:00 - 1:00 pm on Tuesday May 12, 2015 where Dr. Tom Yeager will be the speaker for the event and we will walk you through a leaching fraction. This class is geared to help you irrigate based on plant needs to save money, fertilizer, and water.  A catered lunch will be served and is sponsored by Farm Bureau .  If you grow container plants from 1 to 15 gallon then you should attend.  If you would like to attend the event, please call Shawn at 813-744-5519 ext. 54147.  Here is a link to the flyer.  http://hillsborough.ifas.ufl.edu/ornamental_production/documents/2015MidFloridaNurseries.pdf


International Plant Propagator Society-Southern Region Meeting in Tampa

I attend a bunch of meetings every year; however, there is one meeting that really shines as a "grower's meeting," the International Plant Propagators Society-Southern Region Meeting.  This is one of the best meetings out there for growers (especially woody plant and tree growers) to get involved with.  The series of talks and tours don't just cover propagation but many aspects of growing plants.  Every meeting has a ton of useful information, not to mention all the great contacts you will meet.  This year the Southern Region meeting will be in Tampa (Sheraton Riverwalk Hotel) on Oct. 11-14th.  This meeting will also host an international delegation of nursery folk from around the world.

As hosts to this prestigious event, I am looking for nurseries to sponsor some aspect of the meetings and tours.  There are certain perks for those who commit to a sponsorship.  We already have our tour destinations picked out and are starting to line up educational speakers for the meetings.  If you would like to show your industry peers from the southern region, and around the world, a great time in our backyard by sponsoring the meeting, please call Shawn at the Extension office 813-744-5519 ex. 54147.

I also would like to showcase our area a little better by opening up more nurseries to the faculty, growers, and garden managers in attendance that will be here before and after the meetings.  If you would like to open up your nursery for folks to informally drop by and have a look around (have your current availability list ready), I will have two slots for you to pick.  Saturday 10/10/15 from 13:00-17:00 and/or Wednesday 10/14/15 from 13:00-16:00.  You could even do both.  This is a great way to gain some exposure for your nursery with other industry professionals in the southeast.  If you would like to be an informal host site also call Shawn at Extension or email ststeed@ufl.edu to confirm times and dates.

What is a Leaching Fraction?

You may not know what a leaching fraction is or how to do one, but if you signed a BMP Notice of Intent to Implement the Nursery BMPs then you should be conducting them at your nursery.  Extension will be conducting a mini-workshop to define and demonstrate a leaching fraction at Mid-Florida Nurseries (2451 S. County Line Rd., Plant City, FL 33566). Join us from 11:00 - 1:00 pm on May 12, 2015 where Dr. Tom Yeager will be the speaker for the event and we will walk you through a leaching fraction.  A catered lunch will be served and is sponsored by Farm Bureau .  If you grow container plants from 1 to 15 gallon then you should attend.  If you have any questions about the event, please call Shawn at 813-744-5519 ext. 54147.


Will Climate Change Affect Your Farm?

The short answer is yes!  Rising temperatures have negative consequences to your business.  In an interesting paper from the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) authors Tatyana Deryugina and Solomon M. Hsiang in a paper entitiled "Does the Environment Still Matter? Daily Temperature and Income in the United States" report, that rising temperatures affect the productivity of workers' output.  This make a lot of sense around here (just try mowing the yard on a hot afternoon and watch what happens to your productivity).  They suggest that productivity per individual workday declines 1.7 percent for each 1 degree C (1.8 degrees F) rise in temperature above 15 degrees C (59 degrees F) when statistics are looked at.  A shocking $20.00 per day, per person, is lost in a county when a weekday is above 30 degrees C (86 degrees F).  Now this is a survey of the entire economy in a county but it was determined that farm incomes contribute most to that loss.

In another thought provoking paper from NBER entitiled "Climate and Conflict" concluded after looking at 55 econometric studies linking climate and potential conflict, that indeed rising temperatures provoked rising conflicts.  Conflicts could be defined as interpersonal conflict, which includes domestic violence, road rage, assault, murder, and rape, as well as group conflict which included  riots, ethnic violence, land invasions, gang violence, civil war, and other political instability which might not be what would happen at your nursery but does happen in other countries.  And this type of conflict increase even faster at an average of 11.3 percent for each standard deviation rise in temperature.

So, in light of this data on a economy wide, macroeconomic basis, it might be interesting to look at this on a nursery or micro-economic basis and see how workers' productivity and comfort might be improved to increase the overall farm output for better year end results.  For more information on this research, here is a link to the NBER.  http://www.nber.org/digest/apr15/w20750.html  Let me know what are your thoughts about this data, you can comment a post on this blog.


Private Applicator Pesticide License Exam Preparation Class 4/16/15

If you are looking to test for the Private Applicator Pesticide License you may want to sit through the training class offered in Pasco County.  We rotate counties in our area to spread out the classes for your convenience.  For more details and to register you can click on the links below.  If you already have a license and would like to get CEUs this is a way to do that.  Testing for the license will occur after the exam reviews.

UF-IFAS Extension Pasco County in conjunction with the multi-county commercial horticulture extension program will be hosting an exam review for Private Applicator and General Standards (CORE) on Thursday April 16, 2015 from 8:30am to 2:00pm. Each program has been approved for 2 CEUs in their respective categories. The cost is $15 for each class. All exams are proctored after the completion of both reviews.
Register online using a credit card at the following links:
Private Agricultural Pesticide Applicator: https://pascoaprilpesticideexamreview.eventbrite.com
Don’t want to register online?
You can use the attached mail in form to pay by cash, check or money order. County or Governmental employees desiring the reduced rate for the CORE must bring a county/government ID.
Classes that do not fill will be canceled and fees refunded.
 Please contact Cami Esmel McAvoy at 352-569-6872 or cami13@ufl.edu if you require assistance due to disability.


Save the Date! FNGLA Tampa Chapter Annual Meeting and Past Presidents' Dinner

The FNGLA Tampa Chapter is inviting all members and the retired leadership to the annual meeting and  Past Presidents' Dinner on July 16, 2015.  If you are a Past President of the Tampa Chapter you will dine for free.  We hope that you will join us at the Columbia Cafe at The History Center for an evening of good food, raffles and catching up with industry friends.


Social Media Use in Nurseries?

I have often advocated the use of social media for increasing sales of plant material to customers and the general public at large.  I just read an article mentioning that this year there will be more folks belonging to the Millennial generation (those born from 1981 to 1997) than the Baby Boomers (1946 to 1964).  So it might be time to start delving into how the Millennials get information to make purchases and how those purchases might be plants.

Another thing you might like to participate in is a research study on social media use in the green industry. Kansas State University is working on a question of how social media is being used by nurseries and garden centers for marketing.  Here’s an opportunity for you to get some answers about online marketing efforts by participating in a research project.  Questions in the survey will focus on marketing practices, their effectiveness, and their economic impact. Results of the survey (available to participants who submit their email address) will benefit nurseries and garden centers across the country by learning how to reach customers more effectively.  We invite you to participate in the survey.  In addition to helping our industry, there are personal incentives (two chances to win a $50 Amazon.com gift certificate)! Click on the link below to get started (works on mobile devices as well). 

Or copy and paste the URL above into your internet browser.


Private Applicator Exam Review and CEUs

If you are looking to take the Private Applicator exam or just need a few more CEUs for your licence, here is an opportunity for you.  Our Private Applicator Exam Extension Team will be co-teaching in Pasco County at our next event.  Here is the information below.

Pasco County Extension Office will host a private applicator and CORE General Standards Exam Review on Thursday April 16, 2015 from 8:30am to 2pm.
Register online at the following links:
CORE General Standards: https://pascoaprilcoreexamreview.eventbrite.com Approved for 2 CEUs.
Private Agricultural Pesticide Applicator: https://pascoaprilpesticideexamreview.eventbrite.com Approved for 2 CEUs
The cost is $30 for both or $15 for one. The General Standard (CORE) starts at 8:30am and the Private Applicator at 11:35am.
Don’t want to register online? Please call 352-569-6872 to RSVP with Cami Esmel McAvoy
If classes do not fill, they will be canceled and fees refunded.


Agriculture Pesticide Collection Day

If you are a commercial nursery producer, I am sure that you have  jugs and bags of agricultural chemicals that have been left over and probably have no idea what they are anymore.    Here is just the day you are looking for.

Hillsborough County to Host Free Agriculture Pesticide Collection April 30th

Hillsborough County’s Agriculture Industry Development Program is organizing an Agriculture Pesticide Collection Day on April 30  from 8 a.m. - 2 p.m. at EQ Florida, 7202 E. 8th Ave. in Tampa.

The Agriculture Pesticide Collection Day is in partnership with the Hillsborough County Extension Service, and the Environmental Protection Commission of Hillsborough County. The collection effort is part of an initiative to provide a free pesticide disposal service for Hillsborough County agricultural operations. Pesticide manufacturers and distributors, homeowners, universities and government institutions, including state, county and local government pesticide users, are not eligible to participate.

The purpose of the program is to eliminate potential public health and environmental hazards from stored pesticides that are out-of-date, suspended or unusable. The program also further educates agricultural pesticide users on proper handling, storage, and management practices.

Funding for the collection has been made available through the Environmental Protection Commission Pollution Recovery Fund. This funding is limited; therefore once it is exhausted the collection will be closed.

For more information, contact Simon Bollin, Agriculture Industry Development Program Manager, Hillsborough County Economic Development Department, at (813) 276-2735.


Green and Growing Youth Activity

I thought I would share this opportunity with Hillsborough County youth who may like to be a farmer for a day!  This is a program that Manatee County Extension is running and is welcoming folks from nearby.  Here is the information...
If you or someone you know are between the ages of 8 and 13,  come  join us for a really fun day at the Manatee County Extension office, Gulf Coast Research Center in Balm, a nursery and much more….  The day is planned, lunches re arranged, bags with lots of goodies for the participants are ready so register today!  
Green & Growing Youth Field Day
Friday, March 27, 2015 (8:00 a.m.—5:00pm)

Come join the fun! Be a farmer for a day!
Get the scoop on Green and Growing by attending a day-long field day on March 27th to learn about horticulture production and research. The day starts and ends at the Manatee County Agriculture and Extension Services office at 1303 17th St. W. Palmetto.  The majority of the day will be spent at University of Florida’s Gulf Coast Research and Education Center (GCREC) in Balm. We will also be visiting a Manatee County nursery where we will learn what it's like to be a farmer.
Topics to be presented: 
  •  Laboratory and greenhouse tour at GCREC
  •  Tractor safety course
  •  Hands on activities 
  •  Talk with researchers
  •  Visit a Manatee County plant nursery
... and more

Open to youth 8-13 years of age as of September 1, 2014 and costs $15.00. The fee includes group transportation and  lunch. This will be an outdoor event so please wear closed toe shoes and brings sunscreen. Please register no later than March 23rd. Green and Growing has a limited program capacity. For more information, please contact Martha at the Manatee County Extension Office at  941.722.4524 or mglenn7@ufl.edu.

This program is open to all youth (ages 8-13) without regard to race, color, sex, handicap or national origin.  Anyone with a disability needing assistance should call 941.722.4524 prior to the field day.
https://florida.4honline.com 4-H club members – join the Group: Green & Growing
Non-4-H – enroll as a short-term member by creating a profile,
-then join the Group: Green & Growing
If you need help, please contact the 4-H Office at 941.722.4524   


The Plant Producer Newsletter

Another edition of UF/IFAS Exension's The Plant Producer Newsletter is now out.  There are some articles about downy mildew on impatiens, solarizing to recycle used potting soil, a few horticultural research updates, a new resource for IPM of rose, camellia, and other major shrubs, gardens of the Big Bend: A New Botanical and Teaching Garden in North Florida, information about collecting old pesticides with operation cleansweep, and one Core CEU article.  You can find it here at this link  http://tiny.cc/PlantProdWinter2015


Carts Needed for Youth at Auction!

We are looking for about four (4) small nursery carts to assist the youth at the Florida Strawberry Festival Youth Plant Show and Sale with moving plants around the show ring.  We will be using them on Wednesday, Feb. 25 at the plant check in and then again on the day of the sale on March 1.  You can pick them as soon as the plants are moved out to the buyers on Sunday after the auction.  If you can help, please give Shawn a call at 813-629-6104.    Thank you for supporting our next generation of growers!


Potting Soil Recycling Workshop Feb 26

We will be having a workshop that will look at two methods of turning your waste into an input and save you money in the long run.  I will be reporting the findings of the Southern Agriculture Research and Education On-Farm Grant that was awarded to myself and John Pearson at Stardust Farms.  The project was using a large scale method of solarization to recycle used potting soil.  It has proven to be a great, inexpensive way to treat soil to use it back in production.  We will also have Dr. Monica Ozorez-Hampton teaching about composting dumped soil and plants for safe reuse.  A free lunch from Diamond R Fertilizer will be available.  I would also like to mention our sponsors of Southern SARE and Hillsborough County Soil and Water Conservation District in helping out with this project.  This is a workshop you will not want to miss!  Register at the link below.

What: Recycling Used Potting Soil Workshop
When:  Feb. 26, 2015
Where:  Hillsborough County Extension Office
Time: 09:30 - 14:00
Lunch:  Will be served
Cost:   Free
Register at www.soilreuse.eventbrite.com 


Two New Weed Factsheets

Here are two new fact sheets dealing with ornamental weeds that you might like to read.  We will be having more in the series so comment or shoot me an email of your not-so favorite weeds.

Biology and Management of Eclipta (Eclipta prostrata) in Ornamental Crop Production

Figure 2. Eclipta growth in a mulched landscape bed. Note the purplish stems, lanceolate leaves, and prostrate growth habit.

Eclipta grows aggressively in containers and can outcompete nursery crops for water, nutrients, and light. Plants flower in as little as five weeks after germination and produce thousands of seeds over the course of a growing season, and stem fragments left on the soil or media surface following hand-weeding or cultivation can root and reproduce vegetatively. This 4-page fact sheet describes the plant, its biology, and recommendations for physical, cultural, and chemical control. Written by Chris Marble, Shawn Steed, and Nathan S. Boyd, and published by the UF Department of Environmental Horticulture, January 2015. (Photo: Annette Chandler, UF/IFAS) http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/ep512

Biology and Management of Hairy Bittercress (Cardamine hirsute) in Ornamental Crop Production

Bittercress commonly grows in the potting media of container-grown ornamentals and often through drainage holes in nursery containers. It also can be a problem in propagation houses, greenhouses, and in the field. This 6-page fact sheet provides species description, plant biology, and management recommendations. Written by Chris Marble, Shawn Steed, and Nathan S. Boyd, and published by the UF Department of Environmental Horticulture, December 2014.http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/ep511