IFAS News

University of Florida

Spooky Owl Provides Natural Rodent Control For Farmers

Topic(s): Uncategorized
  • By:
    Cindy Spence

Cosandra Hochreiter checks on a barn owl nesting site on the grounds of UF's Everglades Research and Education Center
View Photo

BELLE GLADE—For the spooks that haunt the Everglades Agricultural Area, Halloween happens every night as they swoop through the skies above the sprawling sugar cane fields in search of treats.But these winged apparitions don’t wear costumes and aren’t begging for candy. They’re ghost owls, also known as barn owls and death owls, and they are a welcome, though eerie, sight to sugar cane farmers, said University of Florida researcher Richard Raid.

The birds perform a valuable service, with a nesting pair of barn owls capable of catching and eating almost 3,000 rodents over the course of a year, said Raid and research assistant Cosandra Hochreiter, of UF’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences. Rodents can cause up to $30 million in damage per year to the area’s 750,000 acres of sugar cane, rice and vegetables. (more …)

Official Name Change: It’s Now The UF’s College Of Agricultural And Life Sciences

Topic(s): Uncategorized

By:
Chuck Woods (352) 392-1773 x 281

Source(s):
Jimmy Cheek (352) 392-1961

GAINESVILLE—Effective immediately, the University of Florida’s College of Agriculture has a new name — College of Agricultural and Life Sciences — that more accurately reflects the wide range of teaching programs available to students.

In announcing the name change, Jimmy Cheek, dean for academic programs for the UF’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS), said the Board of Regents ok’d the change. Prior to that, the change was approved by UF/IFAS faculty, the UF Curriculum Committee and the UF Senate. (more …)

As Yellow Jacket Population Peaks, So Does Danger Of Stings

Topic(s): Uncategorized

By:
Cindy Spence

Source:
Phil Koehler pgk@gnv.ifas.ufl.edu, (352) 392-2484

GAINESVILLE—University of Florida researchers say yellow jacket season is at its peak and warn parents to be particularly careful about keeping children away from the territorial insects’ nests.

Earlier this month, UF entomologist Phil Koehler and two graduate researchers helped Alachua County school officials track yellow jackets from a schoolyard back to a nest large enough to house 100,000 of the aggressive wasps. (more …)

UF/IFAS Hosts International Conference In Miami, Nov. 14-16, On Sweetener Markets In The 21st Century

Topic(s): Uncategorized

By:
Chuck Woods (352) 392-1773 x 281

Source(s):
Tom Spreen (352) 392-1826, ext. 209
Andrew Schmitz (352) 392-1845, ext. 415
Bill Messina (352) 392-1881, ext. 308

MIAMI—With new and existing trade agreements expected to reshape the multibillion dollar global sugar and sweetener market — which includes Florida’s $l.2 billion sugarcane industry — experts from around the world will gather in Miami Nov. 14-16 for a conference on Sweetener Markets in the 21st Century.

The conference will be held at the Embassy Suites Hotel at Miami International Airport, bringing together more than 40 leading sweetener industry authorities from both the private and public sectors and academia to discuss the challenges and issues facing the industry in the next century, said Tom Spreen, conference coordinator and professor of agricultural economics with the University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) in Gainesville. (more …)

James Wadley Will Speak Nov. 4 At UF’s Wershow Distinguished Lecture Series

Topic(s): Uncategorized

By:
Chuck Woods (352) 392-1773 x 281

Source(s):
James Wadley (785) 231-1010, ext. 1682
Leo Polopolus (352) 392-1845, ext. 416

GAINESVILLE—James B. Wadley, professor of law and director of the Rural Law Center at the School of Law at Washburn University of Topeka, Kan., will be the featured speaker for the 1999 James S. And Dorothy Wershow Distinguished Lecture Series at the University of Florida.

Wadley’s lecture, entitled “Ag 2K: Agricultural Policy at the Millennium Crossroads,” will be at 8 p.m. on (Thursday) Nov. 4 at the Bailey Auditorium of the UF’s College of Law. The lecture is free and open to the public. (more …)

State Disaster Management Team Issues Guidelines To Protect Animals Stranded In Flooded Pastures

Topic(s): Uncategorized

By:
Chuck Woods (352) 392-1773 x 281

Source(s):
Ruth Francis-Floyd rff@gnv.ifas.ufl.edu, (352) 392-9617, ext. 229
UF/IFAS County Extension Direc pybas@gnv.ifas.ufl.edu, (305) 248-3311, ext. 241
Mary Peters (Broward) mpeters@gnv.ifas.ufl.edu, (954) 370-3725
Clayton Hutcheson (Palm Beach) ceh@gnv.ifas.ufl.edu (561) 233-1712

HOMESTEAD—In the aftermath of Hurricane Irene’s torrential rains, state officials are recommending emergency measures to protect and care for livestock stranded in flooded pastures and standing water in South Florida.

The Florida Disaster Management Team, which includes experts from the University of Florida, the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services and the Florida Farm Bureau, said lack of feed and safe drinking water, coupled with the threat of water-borne and mosquito-borne diseases, are the biggest threats to animal health. (more …)

Public Invited to Small Farm Day in Brooksville Oct. 30 (Saturday)

Topic(s): Uncategorized

By:
Chuck Woods (352) 392-1773 x 281

Source:
Wayne Odegaard (352) 754-4433

BROOKSVILLE—The 1999 Florida Small Farm Day will be held at the Hernando County Fairgrounds in Brooksville on Oct. 30. Small farm owners and those interested in starting a small farm are invited to attend the free program, which begins at 8:30 a.m.

Theme for the statewide event will be “Opportunities at Your Scale,” according to Wayne Odegaard, Hernando County extension director with the University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) and program coordinator. (more …)

Building Dedication And Ground-Breaking Ceremonies At UF/IFAS North Florida Research And Education Center Set For Oct. 21 In Marianna And Oct. 22 In Quincy

Topic(s): Uncategorized

By:
Chuck Woods (352) 392-1773 x 281

Source:
George Hochmuth (850) 875-7100

MARIANNA/QUINCY—Building dedication ceremonies in Marianna on Oct. 21 and ground- breaking ceremonies in Quincy on Oct. 22 will highlight the modernization and consolidation of the University of Florida’s North Florida Research and Education Center in both locations.

New facilities at Marianna, which include a research laboratory/office, cattle show pavilion and maintenance barn, will be dedicated on Oct. 21 at 10:30 a.m. by Michael Martin, vice president for agriculture and natural resources with the UF’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS). Joining Martin for the dedication ceremonies will be state Sen. Pat Thomas, D-Quincy, and state Rep. Bev Kilmer, R-Marianna. (more …)

Botanic Gardens Relieve Stress, UF Researchers Find

Topic(s): Uncategorized

By:
Cindy Spence

Source(s):
Jennifer Bradley jbradley@gnv.ifas.ufl.edu, (352) 392-7936
Tammy Kohlleppel (352) 392-7641

GAINESVILLE—Take a walk and call me in the morning may be a good prescription for stress, according to researchers at the University of Florida.

In a relatively new area of horticultural research, Professor Jennifer Bradley and graduate researcher Tammy Kohlleppel found that walks in botanic gardens lower visitors’ perceptions of their stress levels. (more …)

UF College of Agriculture to Offer World’s First “Plant Doctor” Graduate Degree Program

Topic(s): Uncategorized

By:
Chuck Woods (352) 392-1773 x 281
George Agrios

Source(s): (352) 392-3631

GAINESVILLE—University of Florida graduate students can learn about a different kind of medicine when the College of Agriculture begins offering a doctoral program in plant medicine, starting in fall 2000.

Students enrolled in the new doctor of plant medicine (DPM) degree program, believed to be the world’s first, will be trained to diagnose any problems that affect plants and make recommendations to correct those ailments. (more …)

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