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.