Spring 2016 Edition of "The Plant Producer"

Don't miss the articles in the latest edition of UF/IFAS Extension's collaborative plant production newsletter "The Plant Producer."  We have a CEU article, articles on scouting, eye tracking horticulture research, grower highlight (Richard May, May Nursery), research updates, and Globally Harmonization System of pesticide labeling information.  Here is a link to the newsletter.  Just click, then read.

Spring Newsletter 2016

Tree Grower Wanted

General Information

Job title:Tree Grower
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Job location:Ruskin, FL  
Job type:Full-Time
Compensation:Salary plus vacation

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Job Description

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Sun City Tree Farm is seeking a container tree grower to manage and oversee 150 acres of trees. The tree grower is responsible for the day to day growing of trees and management of field production crews.

Responsibilities Include:

- Monitoring and scheduling irrigation.
- Monitoring and controlling fertilizer applications.
- Monitoring and scouting crops for pest and disease.
- Troubleshooting pest and disease with proper spray program.
- Oversee all pruning and staking of trees.
- Involvement with our root manipulation process.
- Some (limited) propagation required.
- Production reports.
- Assist with inventory when needed.
- Assist production manager with shifting when needed.
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Job Requirements

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Educations & Experience:

- Bachelors Degree in Horticulture or related field preferred.
- Associates Degree in Horticulture or related field preferred.
- Certified Horticultural Professional (FNGLA)
- 3-5 years growing container trees or plants required.
- Pesticide license preferred.
- Certified Arborist preferred.

Skills required:

- Knowledge of pest and diseases.
- Knowledge of chemicals spray programs.
- Ability to diagnose and solve problems.
- Knowledge of Florida Grades & Standards
- Supervisory and training.
- Organized and detail oriented.
- Demonstrates initiative and self motivation.
- Good interpersonal skills.
- Some Spanish a must.
- Computer skills Microsoft Office.
- Ability to manage up to 20 employees.
- Ability to lift up to 50lbs.
- Must be able to tolerate sun, heat and cold.

For inquires please call Vincent Tort 813-645-9527


EQIP Money Available to Growers

This is a last reminder notice for those wishing to sign up for cost-share money available for USDA EQIP Programs for water savings on nursery evaporative cooling pad recovery systems....

Financial Assistance Helps Nursery Owners Save Water
Application deadline extended to June 3

GAINESVILLE, Fla., May 24, 2016 — The deadline has been extended to June 3 for nursery owners in Lake, Seminole, Orange, Osceola, Polk and Volusia counties to apply for financial and technical assistance to install water conservation practices through a special sign-up for the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP), administered by USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS).

Financial assistance will be available for eligible nursery owners to install evaporative cooling pad recovery systems or improve existing systems.  “In Florida, assisting agricultural producers conserve water is a top priority for NRCS.  One nursery with an improved recycled water nursery cooling pad system can save around 22,000 gallons a month.  Through this special funding we plan to assist nursery operations to implement practices that will save thousands of gallons of water per month,” said Florida State Conservationist, Russell Morgan.    

Although applications are accepted on a continuous basis for all programs, funding selections are typically made once a year. 

For more information or to apply, contact the NRCS district conservationists in the following counties:
Lake: Tavares Service Center, Suzy Daubert, 352-343-2481 X3 or 352-742-7005 x3
Seminole: Cocoa/Partnership Office, David Millard, 321-633-1702 x241
Orange & Osceola: Kissimmee Service Center, Chuck O’Rourke, 407-847-4465 x105
Polk: Bartow Service Center, Edward Sheehan, 863-533-2051 x3
Volusia: Deland Service Center, George Johnson, 386-985-4037 x3

To learn about technical and financial assistance available from NRCS, go to Getting Started with NRCS.


Greenhouse Training Courses Online

Courses will be taught online from the University of Florida for those who would like to gain more knowledge of greenhouse topics.  Increase your productivity, employee knowledge and skills with these 4-week certificates right from your own computer!  All courses are in English and Spanish.

Program Overview
  • Courses are designed for people already working in the horticulture industry.
  • Lectures and assignments are in both English and Spanish, with support from bilingual instructors.
  • Courses on specific dates, typically for four weeks. Click on titles of individual courses below to find out the next date each course will be offered.
  • Classes are completely online, and include streaming videos, readings, and assignments. They are available any time of the day, and new modules are activated each week during the course.
  • You will register each employee individually to track their progress. Each employee will need their own unique email address before you register them. You will also need their first and last name, and date of birth (for security purposes).
  • Click on each course to find the registration link.
  • Once you have registered you will be sent an online link to access the course with a desktop computer, tablet, or smart phone.
  • Cost is $200 per employee for most courses.
  • When you complete the requirements for each course you will be sent a personalized certificate.
  • Courses do not count for credit towards a university degree.
Title/Titulo   Level/Nivel*Dates/Fechas   
Greenhouse 101/Invernadero 101 *05/30 - 06/24
Nutrient Management 1 (Intro) / Manejo de Nutrientes 1 (Introductorio)**07/18 - 08/12
Nutrient Management 2 (Advanced) / Manejo de Nutrientes 2 (Avanzado)***08/22 - 09/16
Disease Management / Manejo de Enfermedades**09/26 - 10/21
Weed Management / Manejo de Malezas**10/24 - 11/18

• Introductory: Practical experience but without formal horticultural science education / Introductorio: experiencia práctica sin educación formal en ciencias hortícolas.
•• Intermediate: Some experience and training, entry university level / Intermedio: Algo de experiencia y entrenamiento, o nivel inicial universitario.
••• Advanced: Experienced, well-trained grower, upper university level / Avanzado: Productor con experiencia y bien entrenado, o nivel superior universitario.

Links to register:
Greenhouse 101    http:tinyurl.com/GH101Hills2016
Nutrient Management 1 (Intro)     http://tinyurl.com/IntroNutMgtHills2016
Nutrient Management 2 (Adv.)    http://tinyurl.com/AdvNutMgtHills2016
Disease Management     http://tinyurl.com/DiseaseMgtHills2016
Weed Management      http://tinyurl.com/WeedMgtHills2016

For more information: email greenhousetraining@ifas.ufl.edu.

Free OSHA Inspections...Not done by OSHA!

Have you ever wondered what might happen if OSHA showed up at your nursery/farm?  Well worry no longer.  This message was forwarded by my colleague, Liz Felter in Orange County, about a program from another university in our backyard; USF. They have grant funding to conduct OSHA audits at your place of business and will give you a report of their findings.  See contact information below.

Free Service Prepares Nursery/Greenhouse Businesses for an OSHA Audit

The Safety Florida Consultation Program housed at the University of South Florida has a program that can prepare your business for an OSHA audit and it's FREE.

Go to http://www.usfsafetyflorida.com
Click on the tab " Request a Free Consultation"
Fill out the form and state: Want a free OSHA consultation.
Within 3-4 business days you will be contacted to make an appointment for a nursery visit. A walk through of the nursery is done and a written report is provided on how to improve in order to prepare for an OSHA audit.
This service is grant funded. They DO NOT work for OSHA and Will Not call OSHA 
Safety Florida Consultation Program
University of South Florida
13201 Bruce B. Downs Boulevard, MDC 56
Tampa, FL 33612
Dial toll-free 1(866) 273-1105


Woody Ornamental Production Field Day

The Woody Ornamental Production Field Day at the UF/IFAS Gulf Coast Research and Education Center on May 19, 2016 at 09:00 is a smorgasbord of ornamental container crop production field trials and educational updates.  This event is partially sponsored by Southern Ag and Mosaic.  Come out to the field and see a fertilizer trial, preemergent herbicide trials, liquid vs. granular herbicide efficacy trials, moisture sensor technology, tropical plants and herbicide interactions, a demonstration of liquid herbicide application equipment and the novel use of plastic mulch for one gallon pot-to-pot production.  Educational talks will be about preemergent herbicides, crop biological additives trials, honing your irrigation application efficiency, and managing (or changing) pH in container production. CEUs are available and refreshments and lunch will be served.   To join us you must register at this link.  https://woodypro.eventbrite.com  Registration cost is $50.00.

09:00 - 9:30 Registrations

Introduction and Orientations 9:30-9:45
Field Plots
1. Moisture Controller/Plastic Mulch Bed Production (Shawn Steed) 09:55 - 10:10
2. Fertilizer Demonstration (Dr. Cami McAvoy) 10:15 - 10:30
3. Pre-emergent Herbicide Demonstration and Trials (Dr. Chris Marble) 10:35 - 10:50
4. Tropical Plants with Preemergent Herbicides Trials 2 (Dr. Nathan Boyd) 10:55 - 11:10
5. Liquid vs. Granular Study Results (Dr. Chris Marble) 11:15 - 11:30
6. Airtec Sprayer Herbicide Applicator Demonstration (Martha Glenn-Intro) 11:30 - 11:45
Return to Classroom

Lunch 11:50-12:35

Discussion on field observations (Shawn Steed) 12:40 - 13:00
Biological Additives Trials – (Dr. Juanita Popenoe) 13:00 - 13:15
Monitoring Irrigation – (Dr. Tom Yeager) 13:15-13:45
Break 13:45-14:00
Preemergent Weeds Control in Containers and Post Control of Weeds – (Dr. Chris Marble) 14:00-14:30
Balancing pH in Containers – (Dr. Paul Fisher) 14:30 - 15:00
Wrap up, CEUs, and Surveys 15:00 - 15:15
End of Program 15:30