IFAS News

University of Florida

New Blueberry Varieties May Help Keep Prices Affordable All Year

Topic(s): Uncategorized

By:
Ed Hunter (352) 392-1773 x 278

Source(s):
Paul Lyrene pml@mail.ifas.ufl.edu, (352) 392-1928, ext. 307

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GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Blueberry fans who find springtime prices a bit on the steep side may get a little help from two new varieties of the fruit that ripen earlier in the year.

University of Florida blueberry breeders developed the Windsor and Millennia varieties to fill a gap in the fresh blueberry market left by existing varieties that mature later in the year, said Paul Lyrene, a professor with UF’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences. (more …)

4-H Camping Programs Provide Fun, Friends And Education This Summer

Topic(s): Uncategorized

By:
Aimee Huskey

Source:
Jerry Culen jrcu@gnv.ifas.ufl.edu, (352) 846-0996 ext. 250

GAINESVILLE, FLA. — Campfires, snorkeling, fun and friends are just a few of the activities part of county and state 4-H camping programs this summer. State level camps include seven weeks of marine camp and environmental “Ed -Venture” camp, as well as senior 4-H camp. Many county 4-H programs also offer summer residential camp for a week.

“Camp provides hands-on activities to keep kids interested as well as challenging them,” said Jerry Culen, associate professor in the University of Florida’s department of family, youth and community sciences. “The summer camps hosted at the 4-H centers are an excellent way for youth to learn about their environment while having fun and making friends that can last a lifetime.” (more …)

UF Receives $3.9 Million Grant For New Agroforestry Center

Topic(s): Uncategorized

By:
Tom Nordlie (352) 392-1773 x 277

Source(s):
P.K. Nair pknair@ufl.edu, (352) 846-0880
Michael Bannister mikebann@ufl.edu, (352) 846-0146
Rob Kalmbacher grassdr@gnv.ifas.ufl.edu, (863) 735-1314, ext. 203
Shibu Jose sjose@ufl.edu, (850) 983-2632

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GAINESVILLE, Fla.—To promote environmentally friendly farming practices in the U.S. Southeast, the University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences will establish a new Center for Subtropical Agroforestry with the aid of a $3.9 million grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

In announcing the grant today (5/24), P.K. Nair, distinguished professor in the School of Forest Resources and Conservation, said the center will provide teaching, research and extension in agroforestry, a new farming practice that grows crops and animals alongside of trees or shrubs. (more …)

New Fly Species Could Make Memorial Day Picnics More Enjoyable

Topic(s): Uncategorized

By:
Ed Hunter (352) 392-1773 x 278

Source(s):
Sanford Porter sporter@gainesville.usda.ufl.edu, (352) 374-5914

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GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Memorial Day wouldn’t quite be the same without picnics, backyard barbecues and, of course, the ever-present imported fire ant, but a tiny new fly may pull up the welcome mat on the uninvited holiday guest.

In addition to a species of phorid fly they have been releasing since 1997, University of Florida and U.S. Department of Agriculture researchers now are releasing a second variety to target smaller fire ants. The objective: to broaden the successful offensive established with the original release, said Sanford Porter, a UF and USDA entomologist. (more …)

Trees In 16 Florida Counties Under Attack By Southern Pine Beetles – Experts Say Situation Could Quickly Worsen With Drought

Topic(s): Uncategorized

By:
Paul Kimpel

Source(s):
John Foltz foltz@mail.ifas.ufl.edu, (352) 392-1901, ext. 130

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GAINESVILLE, Fla. — A record attack of Southern pine beetles in Florida may become worse still if ongoing dry conditions continue, University of Florida researchers say.

“This is the worst outbreak in documented Florida history, and if drought conditions continue it could become a very expensive situation,” said John Foltz, associate professor of entomology with UF’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences. (more …)

Technology Patented To Create Pierce’s Disease-resistant Grapevines

Topic(s): Uncategorized

By:
Aaron Hoover

Source(s):
Denis Gray djg@mail.ifas.ufl.edu, (407) 884-2034, ext. 126

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GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Grape growers battling a disease that causes millions of dollars in losses each year — and also prevents the cultivation of popular grape varieties in the Southeast — may soon be able to turn to genetically modified plants that resist the disease.

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office today (5/15) issued a patent for the use of a group of genes in grapevines expected to make the plants resistant to Pierce’s disease, for which there currently is no effective control. The patent was issued jointly to the University of Florida and the U.S. Department of Agriculture, who collaborated several years ago to develop the technology to transfer one of the genes into the plants. The research has since continued at UF’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences as part of multimillion-dollar project. (more …)

University Of Florida Develops Folic Acid Educational Material In Spanish – Hispanic Women At Increased Risk For Having Babies With Neural Tube Defects

Topic(s): Uncategorized

By:
Paul Kimpel

Source(s):
Gail Kauwell gpk@gnv.ifas.ufl.edu, (352) 392-1991 x-227
Linda Bobroff lbbobroff@mail.ifas.ufl.edu (352) 392-1895
Gail Rampersaud gcr@gnv.ifas.ufl.edu (352) 392-1978, x 423

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GAINESVILLE, Fla. — To help Hispanic women prevent having babies with neural-tube birth defects, the University of Florida has developed Spanish-language nutrition materials about the benefits of taking folic acid.

UF’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences is preparing to release to the public Spanish-language materials that explain the role of folic acid in preventing neural-tube birth defects. Hispanic women have almost twice the risk of bearing children with neural-tube defects, and moreover, mothers of Hispanic origin account for almost 20 percent of live births in Florida. (more …)

UF/IFAS Bookstore Expands Services To Meet Demand

Topic(s): Uncategorized

By:
Tom Nordlie (352) 392-1773 x 277

Source(s):
Eva Squires esquires@ufl.edu, (352) 392-2411, ext. 296

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GAINESVILLE, Fla.—Consumers seeking advice from the University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences and the Florida Cooperative Extension Service can get it fast from the IFAS-Extension Bookstore’s 2001 catalog and redesigned Web site.

“In response to public demand, we’re making our products more accessible to customers outside the Gainesville area,” said Eva Squires, marketing coordinator for the IFAS-Extension Bookstore. “We’ve also simplified the ordering process.” (more …)

Instructor Certification Kicks Off Florida Master Naturalist Program

Topic(s): Uncategorized

By:
Julie A. Carson

Source(s):
Martin Main mbma@gnv.ifas.ufl.edu, (941) 658-3400
Ginger Allen gallen@gnv.ifas.ufl.edu, (941) 658-3400

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IMMOKALEE, Fla. — The debut of the Florida Master Naturalist Program (FMNP) is on the horizon. Two orientation sessions scheduled for May will certify instructors, who will offer training opportunities beginning this summer.

“This is an exciting time for the program,” said Martin Main, wildlife ecologist at the University of Florida’s Southwest Florida Research and Education Center in Immokalee and creator of the new program. “The training begins a statewide effort to promote environmental education among citizens and visitors in Florida.” (more …)

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