9/15/17

Hurricane Recovery

This message about disaster losses was from Gene McAvoy an agent in Hendry Co.

Farmers and Ranchers Affected by Hurricanes Harvey, Irma Granted Extra Time, Procedures, to Document and Claim Disaster Losses

USDA announced special procedures to assist producers who lost crops or livestock or had other damage to their farms or ranches as a result of hurricanes Harvey and Irma. Also, because of the severe and widespread damage caused by the hurricanes, USDA will provide additional flexibility to assist farm loan borrowers.

USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA), is authorizing emergency procedures on a case-by-case basis to assist impacted borrowers, livestock owners, contract growers, and other producers. The measures announced today apply only to counties impacted by a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration-determined tropical storm, typhoon, or hurricane, including Harvey and Irma that have received a primary Presidential Disaster Declaration and those counties contiguous to such designated counties.

Financially stressed FSA farm loan borrowers affected by the hurricanes who have received primary loan servicing applications may be eligible for 60 day extensions.  Full details are available at https://go.usa.gov/xRe8V.

A more complete listing of all of the special farm program provisions is posted at https://go.usa.gov/xRe8p.

Among the actions announced today are lengthened deadlines for certain provisions under the Marketing Assistance Loan (MAL) program, the Farm Storage Facility Loan Program (FSFL), and the Emergency Conservation Program (ECP), the Emergency Forest Restoration Program (EFRP), the Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program (NAP), and the Tree Assistance Program (TAP).  Emergency grazing may also be authorized under the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) for up to 60 days.

In addition, the deadlines to file a loss for the Livestock Indemnity Program (LIP) and the Emergency Assistance for Livestock, Honey Bees and Farm-Raised Fish (ELAP) are extended, and special provisions are provided for “acceptable proof of livestock death and inventory for livestock losses.”

Farmers and ranchers affected by the hurricanes are urged to keep thorough records of all losses, including livestock death losses, as well as expenses for such things as feed purchases and other extraordinary costs because of lost supplies and or increased transportation costs.

Producers with coverage through USDA’s Risk Management Agency (RMA) administered federal crop insurance program should contact their crop insurance agent for issues regarding filing claims. Those who purchased crop insurance will be paid for covered losses. Producers should report crop damage within 72 hours of damage discovery and follow up in writing within 15 days. The Approved Insurance Providers (AIP), loss adjusters and agents are experienced and well trained in handling these types of events.  For more information see https://www.rma.usda.gov/news/stormdisaster.html.

As part of its commitment to delivering excellent customer service, RMA is working closely with AIPs that sell and service crop insurance policies to ensure enough loss adjusters will be available to process claims in the affected areas as quickly as possible.

In anticipation of flooding due to Hurricane Harvey, RMA took several proactive steps to ensure the efficient and reliable delivery of the crop insurance program.   RMA authorized the use of emergency loss adjustment procedures to streamline certain loss determinations on specific crops and accelerated the adjustment of losses and issuance of indemnity payments to policyholders in all Texas and Louisiana counties impacted by Hurricane Harvey. RMA is reviewing the need for additional measures in response to Hurricane Irma.

USDA encourages all farmers and ranchers to contact their crop insurance agents and their local FSA office, as applicable, to report damages to crops or livestock loss.  Additional resources to help farmers and ranchers deal with flooding and other damage may be found at www.usda.gov/disaster

Local FSA Offices are
Hillsborough County Farm Service Agency
Plant City Service Center
201 S Collins St. Ste 201
Plant City, FL 33563
(813) 752-1474
(813) 754-7297 fax

Polk County Farm Service Agency
Bartow Service Center
1700 HWY 17 S
Bartow, FL 33830
(800) 243-9912
(863) 533-2051
(855) 475-8047 fax

9/10/17

Hurricane Information


Image from NOAA

As we prepare for the approaching hurricane, I hope we are all spared the worst of possibilities.  Here are a few resources that might be helpful pre/post hurricane.

National Hurricane Center Website
http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/  Official source for tropical storm/hurricane updates and predictions

Dr. Yeager's storm preparation document for nurseries.

UF's hurricane information blog.  This site has a multitude of information on storm updates and resources like protecting agricultural animals, disaster information, services, and recovery documents.

Recovery Documents
      Preventing Further Damage to your Flooded Home
      Mold Prevention Mitigation
      Disaster Recovery Resources

Hillsborough County Farm Service Agency
Plant City Service Center
201 S Collins St. Ste 201
Plant City, FL 33563
(813) 752-1474
(813) 754-7297 fax

Polk County Farm Service Agency
Bartow Service Center
1700 HWY 17 S
Bartow, FL 33830
(800) 243-9912
(863) 533-2051
(855) 475-8047 fax

Florida Virtual Business Emergency Operations Center http://flvbeoc.org/  Resources and Disaster Recovery for Businesses

Stay Safe!


8/25/17

Greenhouses for Sale in Plant City

Here is an opportunity I was notified of from a local real estate agent (Chase Wolf with Signature Realty). Click on the link below for more information.  


HUGELY UNIQUE PROPERTY for either an investor or a horticultural business. The property consists of a single wide mobile home fronting on Knights Loop with over an acre of land and seven large greenhouses. The mobile home will require work to be fully usable. However, it could serve as a residence, a caretaker/worker part time home, an office/showroom or any other combination of the aforementioned. The current owner did not do the work, as the layout/finish is highly dependent upon the use. The greenhouses are metal framed, have irrigation throughout, wood plant shelves and timber columns. Although they need some work to be fully usable, all of the infrastructure is in place. Could be an amazing plant nursery. An investor could also utilize this as a rental property. A short drive to I-4 exit 21, providing access to the Hard Rock, downtown Tampa and Orlando. Priced to sell...

http://www.kw.com/homes-for-sale/33565/FL/PLANT-CITY/4846-KNIGHTS-LOOP/3yd-MFRMLSFL-T2899164.html

8/17/17

Polk County Irrigated Land Report

Here is an interesting report from the USGS on irrigated land in Polk County.  It is a map based delineation of the crops that were growing in 2016 along with a detailed summary.  It is interesting to look at the total consumption of ground water along with other industries and it is also interesting to note that total usage has been declining for the county among all sources of withdrawls listed.
The results of this inventory in 2016 shows, an estimated 88,652 acres were irrigated within Polk County;83,995 acres were in citrus; 2,893 acres were in other non-citrus fruit crops (blueberries, grapes, peaches, and strawberries); 621 acres were in row crops (primarily beans and watermelons); 1,117 acres were in nursery (container and tree farms) and sod production; and 26 acres were in field crops including hay and pasture.
If you would like to take a look at this report, here is a link to the USGS document set.  https://pubs.er.usgs.gov/publication/ofr20171082

8/11/17

Hort Talks in Manatee County

I am teaming up with Martha Glenn in Manatee County for a session on weeds.  We will be offering up to 4 CEUs in various categories (core and private) at the Manatee County Extension Office.  Here are the details and you can sign up with the link below.  My session is an update on our latest research with weed control.  Specifically, tropical plants and herbicides that can be used with them as well as control in the usual suspects.

Hort-Talks (4 hours of various CEUs)
Thursday, August 25th - Weeds, Weeds, Weeds - the legal but invasive kind.  9:00am - 1:00pm

$25 includes a mid-morning snack

Speakers include:

Dr. Paul Mitola, Field Training Coordinator, Florida Dept. of Agriculture and Consumer Services will present on Core safety topics

Shawn Steed, Environmental Horticulture Production Agent, Hillsborough/Polk Counties, will discuss Weeds and their Controls

Dr. James Cuda, Professor Biological Weed Control, UF/IFAS Entomology and Nematology Depart, will show us how to manage invasive weeds sustainably with a focus on biological control.

Here is the link to register.  https://www.eventbrite.com/e/commercial-hort-talks-tickets-31102747154?mc_cid=9eac086ba3&mc_eid=e616d8bed9

7/31/17

WPS and Respirator Use

The Worker Protection Standard rules regarding the use of respirators has changed and will need to be followed to avoid compliance issues during FDACS inspections.  Here is a very good fact sheet by Dr. Fred Fishel (UF) with the specifics on what has changed and how to comply with the new standards.  Remember that employees applying granular pre-emergence herbicides that require dust masks under personal protective equipment will need to follow these rules as well.  Here is a link to the fact sheet.  http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/pdffiles/PI/PI27200.pdf


7/28/17

SWFWMD for Growers: Permit Renewal Changes

Reed Putnall from SWFWMD has asked if I could do a series of articles about misconceptions that growers might have about permits and the permitting process for nursery folk.  It sounded like a good idea and after several meetings with SWFWMD I have learned a few things that I would like to pass on.  Here is our first article of the series.

Some growers have recently stated that their irrigation quantities allocated for production were reduced or cut by SWFWMD when their water use permits went through the renewal process.  There is a little bit of confusion about how the water was allocated.  In the past, when permits were approved, farms requested amounts based on the total land area that was being farmed (including non-growing areas (ex. offices, roads, loading areas, potting areas, storage, etc)).  SWFWMD now uses GIS (geographic information system) technology that allows the removal of non-growing areas from the total farm area covered under the water use permit.  Technically, the total allocation amount does get reduced but the amount allocated to the productive area on the farm stays the same. Quantities allowable for the production of the crop on a per area basis doesn’t change; the District is just getting better at determining land areas covered under the water use permit.  So for instance, if you were previously allocated 50 inches (hypothetical amount) per acre per year for 10 acres and your permit is up for renewal things might change when a closer look is taken. SWFWMD determines that you have 1 acre of buildings and roads on the farm.  This means that they can renew the permit for 50 inches of irrigation per acre per year for 9 acres.  So in this example your application rate hasn't changed but your total allocation for the farm did decrease.  This information can be found in your permit paperwork.  If you have any questions about this or other actions of SWFWMD regarding your permit please shoot me an email.

7/20/17

Private Applicator Training Class in Manatee County

Core and Private Applicator Prep Classes are being offered on July 25th at the Manatee County Extension Office (1303 17th St W, Palmetto, FL 34221).
General Core Prep – This class is from 8:30 - 10:30.  2 Core CEUs available (both 482 & 487).  The cost of the class is $15.00.  The Exam follows the class if you choose to take it.  The link to register is:  https://core2017.eventbrite.com
Private Applicator Prep – This class is from 10:45 - 12:45.  2 Private CEUs available.  The cost of the class is $15.00.  Exam(s) follow.
The link to register is:  https://private2017.eventbrite.com  Please call Martha Glenn with any questions (941) 722-4524.

Tampa Chapter Florida Nursery Growers and Landscape Association Meeting

The Tampa Chapter of FNGLA is having a social meeting for nursery growers and landscapers to meet and greet.  The event will be on Thursday, July 27, 2017 from 6:00 - 9:00 pm at Cigar City Brewing (3924 West Spruce Street Tampa, FL 33607).  $10.00 at the door will get you entry and five raffle tickets for door prizes.  A cash/credit bar will be available.  Please RSVP to tampafngla@gmail.com  For more information check out the flyer below.

6/29/17

Hillsborough County Nursery Seeking Grower

A Hillsborough County Nursery is looking for a woody ornamental grower with the following credentials.  If you or someone you know is interested please email Shawn Steed at UF/IFAS Extension Hillsborough County.

-          Self-Starter
-          Organized
-          Knowledge of woody ornamentals
-          Develop a crop/nursery maintenance program
o   Knowledge of chemicals – When and where to use them
o   Knowledge of pests/insects – Scout regularly and know how to identify them.
o   Knowledge of fungus/bacteria
o   Knowledge of herbicides and seasonal weeds
o   Assist in conducting training programs to protect workers involved in pest/fungus/weed control. 
o    Direct all aspects of nursery production
o   Assist in managing inventory and availability – input on when and what to pot up when inventory is getting low
o   Knowledge of planting, pruning, fertilizing, and weeding, AND having the ability to direct others in these activities.
o   Provide direction to other employees and process the ability to train or teach others along the way
o   Assist in purchasing and receiving raw materials, and step up material by communicating with us on what and when you need something for production.  This includes procurement of products such as fertilizer, chemicals, pots, soil, etc.  
-          Knowledge of human resource issues in the production area – conscience of practices that are unsafe and harmful to all employees involved
-          Ability to coordinate equipment needs/service and maintenance. 
-          Assist in daily sales, and coordinate pulling orders correctly.  This includes being able to direct other employees to help in this process.
-          Oversee all orders for delivery to ensure the right plants and quantities are pulled. 

-          Knowledge of loading trucks and how to organize multiple orders on one truck.  

6/20/17

Important Nursery Insurance Meeting 6/27/17

This important message from FNGLA to growers who have nursery crop insurance...


A significant meeting is set for Tuesday, June 27 for Florida's nursery growers to share your frustrations with the federal nursery crop insurance policy and what's needed to improve the policy. USDA's Risk Management Agency (RMA) recently awarded a contract to conduct research and obtain information for a proposed new alternative nursery crop insurance policy. The proposal is the direct result of FNGLA's persistent multi-year push to overhaul the existing policy, in part, by eliminating most of the upfront burdens such as price lists, Datascape plant values, and plant inventory inspections at time of application. If adopted by RMA, the new policy crafted by FNGLA allows you to select a level of insurance coverage which makes business sense for your nursery. Sales records will need to be produced only at times of loss.

The meeting is 8:30 to 9:30 a.m. at the Palm Beach County Extension Exhibit Hall B located at 559 N. Military Trail, West Palm Beach 33415. RMA is requiring "listening sessions" be held throughout the country so input can be gathered from nursery growers. This grower session will be followed by a 1:00 to 2:00 p.m. "listening session" for Florida crop insurance agents and insurance company representatives. If you are upset with crop insurance coverage at time of loss, or believe the paperwork and plant inventory inspections at time of application are overly burdensome, then please attend this crucial June 27 meeting! If you're happy with the policy, RMA needs to hear that too.

Since Florida's growers purchase the lion's share of the nation's nursery crop insurance policies, FNGLA pushed for three sessions to be held (one each in North, Central and South Florida). Nonetheless, June 27 will be the only Florida session. So, it's important lots of nursery growers show up from all across our state! This is an opportunity to voice your concerns with the existing policy! To make it easy for you, FNGLA will have available at the meeting a one-pager of suggested talking points to help you drive home the need to overhaul the current nursery crop insurance policy. If you plan to attend, yet have not let FNGLA know, please do so ASAP by emailing info@fngla.org. If crop insurance is important to your nursery, then you need to be with us on June 27!

6/16/17

Flumioxazin Plant Injury




Dr. Nathan Boyd, weed scientist at the UF/IFAS Gulf Coast Research and Education Center and I have been working on tropical ornamental crop tolerances to preemergent herbicides as part of an FNGLA research grant.  He sent this picture of firebush BoradStar herbicide damage to me and thought I would share.  BroadStar can be applied to ornamental plants growing in containers, the field and in landscapes.  Mild spotting is a common reaction of tolerant plants with symptoms showing up 1-2 days after application.  Do not apply BroadStar to wet foliage, stressed plants, or some plants that can funnel the herbicide into leaf bases.  Below is his description of what is going on.

The active ingredient in BroadStar is flumioxazin.  This herbicide is a PPO inhibitor that is generally applied preemergence (before weeds emerge).  It can, however, damage plants when the herbicide comes in contact with green foliage.  When applied preemergence, the emerging seedling absorbs the herbicide and subsequently dies when the shoot is exposed to light.  Flumioxazin can also be absorbed by the root system of larger plants.  When this occurs the roots generally are not damaged as they are not exposed to light and do not contain chlorophyll.  Flumioxazin can travel through from the roots to the leaves.  Once it reaches the leaves where it is exposed to light the veins turn purple and die.  Leaf death follows soon afterwards.  Symptoms of flumioxazin damage include, purpling of the veins in the leaf, purpling or tissue death moving from the veins outward.

6/10/17

Nurseries Seek Forming Peer Group

A few wholesale nursery businesses are seeking interest from other nurseries to develop a peer group to evaluate production and financial aspects of operating a nursery business.  Some of the benefits that belonging to this group could be nursery visits, production chain evaluation, production finish times, finding inefficiencies in  production, financial benchmarking, finding future research and education needs to solve common industry problems,  having peers to network with to solve issues and cost/waste savings.  If you are interested in having a introductory discussion about developing a nursery production peer group please email Shawn Steed at ststeed@ufl.edu

5/25/17

Excellent Online Classes in Environmental Horticulture Production

The University of Florida IFAS Extension is offering five online courses for greenhouse growers this year, including a new course on Costing and Profitability. Last year they had 488 registrants take our courses from the US and overseas, with 80% completion rate. 22% of growers took the courses in Spanish, and 22% were international.
 
The course descriptions and registration are at http://hort.ifas.ufl.edu/training/ and the attached PDFs. The registration process has also been simplified. You can easily register multiple employees and pay once. Feel free to email them at greenhousetraining@ifas.ufl.edu with any questions – they want your experience to be smooth and successful. We are offering a 5% discount from the listed fee when registering using the Coupon Code Hills17.
 
The Greenhouse 101 course begins June 19, so please sign up in advance so you can begin on time. There are also four other courses being offered this year:
 
Title/
Titulo
Dates/
Fechas
Level/
Nivela
Fee/
Cuota
Greenhouse 101 /
Invernadero 101
06/19 - 07/14
$US199
Nutrient Management 1 (Intro) /
Manejo de Nutrientes 1 (Introductorio)
07/24 - 08/18
••
$US199
Nutrient Management 2 (Advanced) /
Manejo de Nutrientes 2 (Avanzado)
08/28 - 09/22
•••
$US199
Weed Management /
Manejo de Malezas
09/25 - 10/20
••
$US199
Costing and Profitability /
Costos y Rentabilidad
10/30 – 12/01b
•••
$US499
aLevel/Nivel
• 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.
bNo class during Thanksgiving week Nov 20-24. Limited to 50 participants / No hay clase durante la semana de Thanksgiving del 20 al 24 de Nov. Limitado a 50 participantes.
 
All courses are in English and Spanish, and last 4 weeks. Each individual will receive a personalized certificate for each course when they complete the requirements. The courses do not count for credit towards a university degree. Each participant needs their own email address. Feel free to email at greenhousetraining@ifas.ufl.edu with any questions.

La Universidad de Florida IFAS está ofreciendo cinco cursos de invernadero en linea este año, incluyendo un nuevo curso de Costos y Rentabilidad. El año pasado hubieron 488 participantes de los EEUU e internacional en los cursos, con una tasa de finalización de 80%. 22% de los participantes tomaron el curso en Español, y 22% fueron internacionales.
 
Hay descripciones de los cursos y registro en http://hort.ifas.ufl.edu/training/ y en los PDFs adjuntos. El proceso de registro ha sido simplificado. Puede registrar fácilmente multiples participantes y pagar una sola vez. Por favor mande un email a greenhousetraining@ifas.ufl.edu con cualquier pregunta – queremos que su experiencia sea fácil y exitosa. Estamos ofreciendo un descuento de 5% de la cuota en la tabla al registrarse utilizando el Código de CupónHills17.
 
El curso de Invernadero 101 comienza el 19 de Junio, por favor regístrese lo antes posible para comenzar a tiempo. Los otros cuatro cursos estan listados en la tabla anterior.
 
Todos los cursos son en Ingles y Español, y duran 4 semanas. Cada individuo recibirá un certificado personalizado por cada curso al completar los requerimientos. Los cursos no cuentan para crédito hacia un título universitario. Cada participantes necesita su propia dirección de correo electrónico. No dude en enviarnos un email a greenhousetraining@ifas.ufl.edu con cualquier pregunta.
 
Muchas gracias por su interes en los cursos y nos vemos en línea.

Polk and Hillsborough County Drought Natural Disaster Assistance

Your nursery production might not be affected by the drought but this information might be useful.

WASHINGTON, May 15, 2017 — In response to a request from Debbie Folsom, Farm Service Agency’s (FSA) acting State Executive Director in Florida, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has designated 8 counties in Florida as primary natural disaster areas due to losses and damages caused by a recent drought. Those counties are:

Charlotte, DeSoto, Glades, Hardee, Highlands, Okeechobee, Osceola and Polk

Farmers and ranchers in the following counties in Florida also qualify for natural disaster assistance because their counties are contiguous. Those counties are:

Brevard, Hendry, Hillsborough, Indian River, Lake, Lee, Manatee, Martin, Orange, Palm Beach, Pasco, Sarasota, St. Lucie, and Sumter
                                             
All counties listed above were designated natural disaster areas on May 10, 2017, making all qualified farm operators in the designated areas eligible for FSA’s emergency (EM) loans, provided eligibility requirements are met.

Farmers in eligible counties have eight months from the date of the declaration to apply for loans to help cover part of their actual losses.

FSA will consider each loan application on its own merits, taking into account the extent of losses, security available and repayment ability.

FSA has a variety of programs, in addition to the EM loan program, to help eligible farmers recover from adversity.

Other FSA programs that can provide assistance, but do not require a disaster declaration, include Operating and Farm Ownership Loans; the Emergency Conservation Program; Livestock Forage Disaster Program; Livestock Indemnity Program; Emergency Assistance for Livestock, Honeybees and Farm-Raised Fish Program; and the Tree Assistance Program.

Interested farmers may contact their local USDA service centers for further information on eligibility requirements and application procedures for these and other programs.

To find your local FSA office, go to https://offices.sc.egov.usda.gov/locator/app?state=fl&agency=fsa    

Additional information is also available online at http://disaster.fsa.usda.gov  

5/23/17

Water Restrictions

This just in from SWFWMD.  The district voted to increase water restrictions and Hillsborough and Polk Counties are now in a modified Phase III water shortage.

05/23/2017 3:00 PM EDT

The Southwest Florida Water Management District’s (District) Governing Board voted today to increase water restrictions throughout the region. The modified Phase III water shortage order affects counties throughout the District’s boundaries including Charlotte, Citrus, DeSoto, Hardee, Hernando, Highlands, Hillsborough, Lake, Levy, Manatee, Marion, Pasco, Pinellas, Polk, Sarasota and Sumter.

District hydrologists report a rainfall deficit of 11-inches since the start of the dry season last October. In fact, this is the driest dry season in the past 103 years.

Under the new water shortage order, lawn watering is reduced to once-per-week and allowable watering hours also are reduced. Micro-irrigation and hand watering of non-lawn areas are still allowed any day, if needed. Additionally, there are now limits on car washing and homeowners’ associations may not enforce any deed restrictions which could cause an increase in water use. The restrictions will remain in effect through August 1, 2017. Additional details regarding the watering of new lawns and plants, reclaimed water and other water uses can be found at WaterMatters.org/restrictions.

The District considers both natural water resource conditions and the viability of public supply when deciding to declare a water shortage order. For the past 20 years, the District has worked diligently with its partners to develop alternative water supplies. Even though the region is experiencing drought conditions, there is adequate public water supply available.

Florida’s dry season runs October through May. The District encourages water conservation year-round, and offers many tips to reduce water use and additional information at WaterMatters.org/conservation.

5/12/17

Pre-emergent Herbicides Inhibiting Asiatic Jasmine Growth

We have heard some word about Asiatic or dwarf jasmine (Trachelospermum asiaticum) possibly being affected by different herbicides.  One savvy grower decided to check on things and did a demonstration plot to see what was going on.  The grower applied two applications of either Biathlon, FreeHand, Tower or Gemini and had a non-herbicide control plot.  Liners were potted at 1/10/17 and herbicide was applied.  The second application was on 3/30/17.  Each bed was treated independently. There were plenty of replications within the block, but there were no randomizations or replications of blocks (which might lead to potential errors due to the nursery layout, (i.e. light, irrigation, etc.).  However, I feel that the demonstration is useful to caution a grower about using certain herbicides in all cases.  The picture below shows a representative example from each bed.  Notice the overall size and length of the shoots.  The bottom half of the picture shows the view at the plot level.  Notice the amount of soil showing at the top of the pot.  The grower mentioned that the affected plants are stunted (almost like a growth regulator) and are weeks behind in production time.

UF/IFAS Extension is not making any recommendations with this data; just showing the results of the small-scale demonstration. The use of trade names or registered products in this publication is solely for the purpose of providing specific information.  UF/IFAS does not guarantee or warranty the products named, and references to them in this publication do not signify our approval to the exclusion of other products of suitable composition.  All chemicals should be used in accordance with directions on the manufacturer's label.  Use pesticides safely.  Read and follow direction on the manufacturer's label.

5/5/17

Private Applicator and Core Pesticide License Exam Prep Classes

UF/IFAS Extension Hillsborough County is offering Private and Core Pesticide Applicator Licenses Preparatory Classes on May 18th, 2017 at the Hillsborough County Extension Office.  These are review/training classes for those wishing to pass the Core and/or Private Pesticide Applicator License Exam (Restricted Use Pesticide License) from the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.  You also may receive Pesticide CEUs if you already have a license.  We will offer 4 CEUs for the trainings.  You may register for either training alone or for both.  Core Exam Review will be from 8:30-10:30 and Private Applicator will be taught afterwards from 10:30 until 12:30 pm.  We will offer the Core and Private Exams after each training. Please contact Shawn Steed for any questions or special needs regarding this event 813-744-5519 ext. 54147.  Classes may be canceled due to low registration.  In this instance you will be notified.  Here is the link to register. https://www.eventbrite.com/e/private-and-core-pesticide-applicator-training-tickets-18027407461

5/2/17

Business Quotes

I went to a training last week for extension agents at UF last week to keep up my educator skill set.  Here are two good quotes I came away with from a presentation from Dr. Danny Klinefelter from Texas A&M.  Good business food for thought...

"It is an economic reality that for a business or organization to succeed and continue successfully,
management must learn, adapt and continuously improve at the rate set by the leading edge of the
competition and not by its comfort zone, otherwise it will be falling behind, even if it’s moving ahead."

“In times of change, the learners inherit the earth, while the learned find themselves beautifully
equipped to deal with a world that no longer exists.”  --Eric Hoffer


4/28/17

Helpful Hints for Cutting Propagation

Here is a relatively new publication from Dr. Tom Yeager entitled "Helpful Details for Commercial Propagation of Woody Plant Stem Cuttings."  It would be a good read for a beginning propagator or a new employee in the propagation department.  This three-page fact sheet provides information for successful propagation of woody plant stem cuttings, such as sanitation, quality of cuttings, the time of year/day to take cuttings, stem size diameter and length of cutting, location of cuts/terminal bud removal, and environmental conditions.   Here is the link to read the publication.   http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/pdffiles/EP/EP53600.pdf

Water Restrictions and Burn Ban

Hillsborough County continues its lack of rainfall and various agencies have decided to take actions.  SWFWMD has declared a Phase I water shortage and Hillsborough County has issued an open burning ban.  More information can be found below.


Hillsborough County, Fla. (April 27, 2017) - The Emergency Policy Group today approved an executive order banning open burning in Hillsborough County until at least May 4.

Warm temperatures and dry conditions have combined to increase the danger of wildfires in our area.
See Video of Emergency Policy Group meeting

Under the executive order:

A local state of emergency is declared.
All outdoor open burning is prohibited. The only exception is burning that has been specifically allowed in writing by the Florida Forest Service.
Any authorized outdoor burning shall be conducted in strict compliance with state statutes, agency rules, or any other written conditions imposed by the agency or department. Any person conducting outdoor burning authorized by a state agency shall provide a copy of the written authorization to the Emergency Dispatch Center no less than 24 hours prior to conducting the burn.
The order bans fireworks and sparklers.
Outdoor grilling is allowed, as long as the flames are contained within a grill or other fireproof container, and the fire is constantly attended and extinguished fully. By law, the order can be made for no more than seven days. If conditions persist, the order can be extended.
Safety Tips

Remove fuels that can lead flames to your home or that can be ignited by windblown embers.
Clear away dead grass, leaves, twigs, and branches from structures, roofs, rain gutters, decks, and walkways.
Store firewood at least 30 feet from occupied structures.
Plant landscaping that retains moisture and resists ignition, such as native, fire-resistant vegetation.
Help emergency responders find your home faster by making sure that street numbers are easy to read.
Install metal screening that blocks embers from entering structures.
Know where the closest firefighting water source is to your home or building. Dispose of cigarette butts properly.
Pick up light-refracting metal items, such as soda cans, that can spark a fire.
Don't park vehicles over high grass that could come into contact with hot engines and other components.
Although no large wildfires have yet occurred in Hillsborough County, it's important to stay in the know. Residents and visitors should register for HCFL Alert, Hillsborough County's official public notification system for emergency and urgent alerts. To receive messages by email, phone, and text, go to HCFLGov.net/HCFLAlert.



District Declares Phase I Water Shortage throughout 16-County Region
04/25/2017 12:00 AM EDT

The Southwest Florida Water Management District’s (District) Governing Board voted today to declare a Phase I Water Shortage for all 16 counties throughout the District’s boundaries. Included in the order are Charlotte, Citrus, DeSoto, Hardee, Hernando, Highlands, Hillsborough, Lake, Lee, Levy, Manatee, Marion, Pasco, Pinellas, Polk, Sarasota and Sumter counties.

The primary purpose for a Phase I water shortage is to alert the public that watering restrictions could be forthcoming. The order also requires local utilities to review and implement procedures for enforcing year-round water conservation measures and water shortage restrictions, including reporting enforcement activity to the District.

Phase I water shortage order does not change allowable watering schedules, however it does prohibit “wasteful and unnecessary” water use.

The District considers both natural water resource conditions and the viability of public supply when deciding to declare a water shortage order – that means, restricting the amount of water the public can use. For the past 20 years, the District has worked diligently with our partners to develop alternative water supplies. Even though we are experiencing drought conditions, there is adequate water supply available to the public.

Florida’s dry season runs October through May and April is historically one of the driest months of the year. The District encourages water conservation year-round, and offers many tips to reduce water use and additional information on our website WaterMatters.org/conservation.

4/13/17

Amaryllis Herbicide Demonstration


I completed a short-term demonstration trial on amaryllis recently to determine a few safe preemergent-herbicides that might prove useful to prevent hand weeding since I couldn't find anything in the literature.  Eight different herbicides were applied over the top of three pots and then on another set of three pots herbicide was applied under the canopy of the leaf blades to see if there were any differences.  The rates were about twice the high labeled rate to make sure they would be relatively safe even with an over-application.  Only above ground plants were evaluated.  Herbicide injury could show up in slower growth rates, longer term growth, and root damage but these were not evaluated.
Here are the results three weeks after treatment application. Herbicides that look relatively safe were Corral, FreeHand, Tower, Snapshot.  Ones that caused injury were OH2, O-O Herbicide, Jewel, Rout, and OHII.  Almost all damage was in the axil of the leaves right at the base of the bulb (see red arrow in above picture).  There was less injury when herbicides were applied under the canopy but nothing was 100% injury free if it caused damage in the overhead trial (see red arrow at bottom right picture above).  It would be extremely difficult to apply these herbicides under canopy if there were any number of pots that would need to be applied and there would be no way to guarantee the application would be only to the soil.  As a caveat with this information, this was done in a limited number of plants in April in West Central Florida with overhead irrigation.  Data may be different with other environmental conditions, irrigation practices, media, etc.  UF/IFAS Extension is not making any recommendations with this data, just showing the results of the small-scale demonstration. The use of trade names or registered products in this publication is solely for the purpose of providing specific information.  UF/IFAS does not guarantee or warranty the products named, and references to them in this publication do not signify our approval to the exclusion of other products of suitable composition.  All chemicals should be used in accordance with directions on the manufacturer's label.  Use pesticides safely.  Read and follow direction on the manufacturer's label.    

4/7/17

Hillsborough County Extension Arbor Day Tree Giveaway Contests

UF/IFAS Extension Hillsborough County is sponsoring two Arbor Day contests with the help of Florida Forestry Service and Kerby's Nursery, to promote the the appreciation and planting of trees.  We will be having a Mail Art Contest and a Written Word Contest. Both contests are open to any aged resident of Hillsborough County.  The winner will receive a tree of their choice from Kerby's Nursery and a tree planting kit (may include items such as fertilizer, shovel, gloves, pruners, etc).  Rules and information are available at these two links...
Mail Art Contest-    http://tiny.cc/9iedky
Written Word Contest- http://tiny.cc/akedky

Please share this information to those who may be interseted.
Contest closes 4/14/17!

4/4/17

Southeastern US Pest Control Guide for Nursery Crops and Landscape Plantings

Wondering which herbicide to use with what weeds or what herbicide rotation you should use?  How about how to control beetles on the roses?  There is a new tool for you to use...
The Southern Nursery IPM Group (SNIPM) just released the 2017 Southeastern US Pest Control Guide for Nursery Crops and Landscape Plantings. This new resource contains information about products used to control diseases and pests on nursery crops and landscape plantings. The intent is that the information be used a guide to pest control decision-making and not a substitute for other aspects of IPM (Integrated Pest Management). The Guide was developed by Joe Neal (North Carolina State University), J.C. Chong (Clemson University) and Jean Williams-Woodward (University of Georgia) with contributions from many other university faculty, including from the University of Florida. The Guide is available for download at the NC State webpage, https://content.ces.ncsu.edu/southeastern-us-pest-control-guide-for-nursery-crops-and-landscape-plantings, and check out additional IPM resources on the SNIPM website.

3/27/17

New Weed Fact Sheets


Two new fact sheets have been released by UF/IFAS to help nursery growers with problem weeds...
 

Biology and Management of Goosegrass (Eleusine indica (L.) Gaertn.) in Ornamental Plant Production
This six-page fact sheet provides information about the biology and management of goosegrass, including preemergence and postemergence control options. Written by Shawn Steed, Christopher Marble, Nathan S. Boyd, Andrew MacRae, and Kiran Fnu and published by the Environmental Horticulture Department.
To check it out click on this link.  http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/ep538



Biology and Management of Thickhead (Crassocephalum crepidioides) in Ornamental Crop Production
Typically found in shadehouses and shaded areas of nursery production, thickhead grows aggressively in containers and can outcompete nursery crops for water, nutrients, and light. This erect, sparingly branched, herbaceous annual, grows up to 4 feet tall and germinates over a wide range of pH, salt, and temperature conditions. This four-page fact sheet describes thickhead (Crassocephalum crepidioides) and various methods for its control in ornamental crop production. Written by Allison Bechtloff, Shawn Steed, Chris Marble, and Nathan Boyd and published by the Environmental Horticulture Department.
Here is the link to this fact sheet.  http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/ep534

Production Classifieds

A few nurseries have mentioned openings for growers and managers. 

A grower is seeking used shadehouse poles to erect a new shadehouse.

If interested in either post please give Shawn a ring or shoot him an email.

3/24/17

Pesticide Applicator Class Available

Please join us for Private and Core Prep Classes being held in Balm at the Gulf Coast Research and Education Center on Thursday, March 30th

 
General Core (both 432 &487) Prep.
This is from 8:30 to 10:30.  2 Core CEUs available.  The cost of the class is $15.00.  The exam follows the class if you choose to take it.    
Private Applicator Prep.
Exam(s) follow.  This is from 10:45 to 12:45.  2 Private CEUs available. The cost of the class is $15.00.  
 
If you have any questions, please contact Veronica or Martha at 941-722-4524, ext. 223 or 255.

3/18/17

Evening Social and Fertilizer Trial/Demonstration

Join us for a cook out at the Gulf Coast Research and Education Center in Balm and for a look at the trial UF/IFAS Extension ran with six different controlled-release fertilizers.  We planted liners to a three gallon pot a year ago and took data at eight months and a year.  Some of you may have seen the trial beginnings at our last woody production field day.  We looked at plant growth and chlorophyll levels to help you make better fertilizer decisions.  Grab a bite to eat, hang out and chat with fellow growers, and see how your fertilizer compares.  

Event date:  March 30, 2017, 5:30 pm.  
Location:  14625 Co Rd 672, Wimauma, FL 33598.  
Cost:  Free.
Meal:  Provided by Bruce Rumph, Mid-Florida Nursery
Drinks:  Provided by Shawn Steed, UF/IFAS Extension Hillsborough County       

3/10/17

Health Insurance and Farming

How does health insurance affect farmers and ranchers? Help influence rural health policy in upcoming survey

Farmers and ranchers: How does health insurance affect you? Help influence rural health policy by participating in an upcoming USDA funded survey. Your responses will help researchers understand how health-insurance policy affects farmers’ and ranchers’ decisions to invest, expand, and grow their enterprises.

Selected participants received a letter about the survey in February.

If you did not receive a letter and survey but would like to participate follow this link:  https://survey.uvm.edu/index.php/132344?lang=en

This survey is a chance for farmers and ranchers to make their voices heard about their experiences with health insurance and how that affects both their economic development and family’s quality of life.

"We’re interested in hearing from multi-generation, beginning, and first generation farm and ranch families across all ages and  sectors of agriculture. We want to understand what parts of health insurance are working well for farmers and ranchers and what types of policy and program modifications need to be made. Results will be shared with agriculture and health policy makers,” said lead researcher, Shoshanah Inwood, rural sociologist and professor at the University of Vermont. All responses will be confidential and only summary statistics will be reported.

"We know from our prior research that farmers identify the cost of health insurance as a key barrier to growing their farms or farming full-time,” said Inwood. This study is a joint effort with the NORC Walsh Center for Rural Health Policy, and the four USDA Rural Development Centers. Findings will be used to guide the development of training materials for professionals who work with farmers and ranchers—such as Extension Educators, farm consultants, and tax accountants—so that they can support farmers’ and ranchers' ability to make well-informed decisions regarding health insurance.

The survey questions are based on interviews conducted in 2016 with smaller groups of farmers and ranchers in the 10 states being researched. This study is a four-year national project exploring how health insurance options impact the farm and ranch population in the U.S. The project, titled “Health Insurance, Rural Economic Development and Agriculture” (HIREDnAG), is funded by a $500,000 USDA Rural Communities and Regional Development grant. States included in the study are California, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, Nebraska, Pennsylvania, Utah, Vermont, and Washington.

Project partners include the Northeastern, North Central, Southern and Western Regional Rural Development Centers (RRDCs); University of Vermont Center for Rural Studies; University of Vermont Extension; Center for Rural Affairs; University of Maryland Extension; and, the Farm Foundation.

For more information, visit the HIREDnAG website: http://www.hirednag.net/
Or contact Katlyn Morris, HIREDnAG Project Coordinator at katlyn.morris@uvm.edu or by phone at 802-656-0257.

2/24/17

Strawberry Festival Youth Plant Show and Sale 2017

When I travel to national horticulture meetings, I often hear the statement "How do we get the next generation interested in horticulture?"  One way to do that is to give kids opportunities to practice horticulture skills and then encourage and financially reward them in their efforts at growing plants.

Hillsborough County youth in 4-H and FFA clubs have been growing plants for the Strawberry Festival Youth Plant Show and Sale and will be entering their projects on Wed. March 1, 2017.  Plants will be judged for best of class and best of show awards and then all plants will be auctioned off in a silent and live auction on Sunday, March 5th, 2017.  The silent auction starts at 11:30 am the live auction will start at 2:30 pm.  The best part about buying plants at the auction is that you will get free tickets to next year's festival when you get on the buyer list.  If you are one of the top buyers you will get tickets and free parking right up close to the action for next year's event.

This is a great opportunity to motivate youth to continue to flex their "green thumbs" and reward their efforts.  Not only are they learning to grow plants but they are building business, marketing, social, and personal skills that they will need later in life.  Please come out and support the Strawberry Festival Youth Plant Show and Sale and continue to keep Hillsborough youth growing.  If you have any questions about this event please give Shawn Steed a ring at the Extension office 813-744-5519.

2/17/17

Manatee County WPS Class



Martha Glenn our the Commercial Horticulture Agent in Manatee County would like to let you know that there is a class available for the new Worker Protection Standards.  If you already have the Train-the-Trainer certificate this will need to be updated.  This is a great time to get it done and get a lunch as well.  You can also get 4 Private Applicator CEUs as well.  Here is the information....

Worker Protection Standards, Train the Trainer has changed.  If you have a certificate for Train the Trainer you now need to update that training and receive a new certificate (I know that we were all told that the certificate would not expire – BUT that has changed.).  As of right now, we are all to be retrained by January 2, 2017 as per the EPA.  Also, many of the regulations pertaining to the training of agricultural workers have changed. 
Come join us for the new revised training.  You will receive a certificate in the mail once you have completed this new training.  You will be able to receive the following CEUs (max of four) – Private Applicator, Aerial application, Ag Row Crop, Ag Tree Crop, Forestry, Ornamental & Turf, Soil and Greenhouse Fumigation.   
CEUs Available (max of four):  Private Applicator, Aerial application, Ag Row Crop, Ag Tree Crop, Forestry, Ornamental & Turf,   Soil and Greenhouse Fumigation
When:  February 23
Time:  9:00am – 1:30pm
Cost:  $25.00 (lunch included)
Register online at:  https://wps2017.eventbrite.com

Review of Worker Protection Standard Topics Including:
Basic pesticide information and regulations
The Worker Protection Standard (WPS)
WPS Agricultural Worker and Pesticide Handler Training
How to conduct training
Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) Inspection and Enforcement Perspective
 CEUs are available and include:
  4 Private Applicator
  4 Aerial Application
  4 Ag Row Crop
  4 Ag Tree Crop
  4 Forestry
  4 Ornamental & Turf
  4 Soil & Greenhouse Fumigation