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.