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:
Greenhouse 101 /
Invernadero 101
06/19 - 07/14
Nutrient Management 1 (Intro) /
Manejo de Nutrientes 1 (Introductorio)
07/24 - 08/18
Nutrient Management 2 (Advanced) /
Manejo de Nutrientes 2 (Avanzado)
08/28 - 09/22
Weed Management /
Manejo de Malezas
09/25 - 10/20
Costing and Profitability /
Costos y Rentabilidad
10/30 – 12/01b
• 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  


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.


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.


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


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