IFAS News

University of Florida

UF Researcher Says New Beef Forage May Ease Mole Cricket Woes

Topic(s): Uncategorized

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

Source(s):
Rob Kalmbacher grassdr@gnv.ifas.ufl.edu, (863) 735-1314, ext. 207
Kelsey Payne paynekf@stratonet.com, (863) 385-4642

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ONA, Fla.—A little-known African grass may bring relief to South Florida cattle ranchers plagued by the mole cricket, a subterranean pest that destroys bahia grass, the state’s most popular cattle forage.

“Creeping signal grass is not attractive to mole crickets, but cattle like it,” said Rob Kalmbacher, a forage crops specialist with the University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences. “It won’t replace bahia grass, but it’s good to have an alternative.” (more …)

UF Expert: Bedbugs Are Back In Big City Hotels

Topic(s): Uncategorized

By:
Paul Kimpel, (352) 392-1773

Source(s):
Phil Koehler pgk@gnv.ifas.ufl.edu, (352) 392-2484
Mel Whitson mwhitson@steritech.com, (407) 578-8172

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GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Good night, sleep tight and don’t let the bedbugs bite. That grandmother’s bedtime warning may make a comeback if bedbug infestations continue to escalate.

Called the “new scourge of America” by one expert, this blood-feeding insect of mythical lore has been spotted increasingly in cities that have an influx of international tourists. Infestations have been reported in hotels and motels, and it’s not just the rundown, seedy ones. (more …)

4-H Congress Opens Monday Bigger Than Ever, Five-Day Event Breaks Records

Topic(s): Uncategorized

By:
Ami Neiberger

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Roll out the red carpet and brace for impact. Florida 4-H Congress 2001 is coming to the UF campus today (7/23) and it’s bigger than ever before! With a record number attending, the dorms are maxed and workshop seats will be tight — 567 teens hailing from 59 of Florida’s 67 counties are coming for the annual Congress, July 23-27, themed, “4-H: Empowering the Leaders of Tomorrow.” They’ll be accompanied by 150 adults and more than 250 guests. (more …)

West Nile Virus Risk Low For People Despite Infected Horse In Panhandle

Topic(s): Uncategorized

Source(s):
Jonathan Day jfda@gnv.ifas.ufl.edu, (561) 778-7200, ext. 132
Roxanne Rutledge crr@gnv.ifas.ufl.edu

VERO BEACH, Fla. — The risk of West Nile encephalitis being transmitted to people remains low, despite today’s announcement of a confirmed case of the virus in a dead horse in the Florida Panhandle, says a University of Florida medical entomologist.

“Since an infected horse has been found, it is likely that mosquitoes are indeed infected with West Nile virus in this particular region of Florida,” said Jonathan Day, professor with UF’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences. “However, the magnitude of risk to humans likely is still low, but that could change if additional horse and bird West Nile infections are confirmed.” (more …)

Citizenship Lab: 4-H Legislature Cooks Up Lasting Lessons In Government

Topic(s): Uncategorized

Source:
Damon Miller dmi@gnv.ifas.ufl.edu, (352) 846-0996

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — More than 200 teens spent a week learning how government works in a citizenship lab in Tallahassee. The Florida House of Representatives chambers were used to run the experiment. There weren’t any test tubes or chemicals. There were issues like women’s history month, school uniforms and harsher penalties for juvenile offenders. (more …)

4-H Wildlife Program Connects Youth With Environment

Topic(s): Uncategorized

By:
Wendy-Lin Bartels (352) 392-7622

Source(s):
Mark Hostetler hostetlerm@wec.ufl.edu, (352) 846-0568
UF/IFAS Volusia County Extension (904) 822-5778

DELAND, Fla.A group of teens identified animals, plant life and wildlife habitats recently in Deland’s Bicentennial Youth Park as part of a 4-H competition designed to reconnect young people with their environment and foster environmental stewardship.

The contest required more than three months of preparation. It tests 4-H members on their knowledge about wildlife and encourages them to use critical thinking skills to solve problems. Contestants also have to rank and verbally defend their answers. (more …)

Simulator Shows How Pollutants Get Into Groundwater – Florida’s terrain in certain areas makes aquifer more susceptible to contamination

Topic(s): Uncategorized

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

Source(s):
Cynthia Brown cynthiab@mail.co.leon.fl.us, (850) 487-3003
Tyler Macmillan tyler.macmillan@nwfwmd.state.fl, (850) 539-5999
Dennis Mudge dmmudge@mail.ifas.ufl.edu, (407) 836-7570

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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — A sand-filled plastic box is giving some Florida school children a clearer picture of how fragile the state’s precious groundwater supply is and how not to pollute it.

With its tubes, compartments and plastic pipes, the groundwater simulator is the perfect model to help show people why it’s so important to think about what they put on the ground, pour down the sink or dump into the storm-water drain, said Cynthia Brown, Leon County extension agent with the University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences. (more …)

UF System May Increase Florida Horse Hay Production

Topic(s): Uncategorized

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

Source(s):
Paul Mislevy pmis@gnv.ifas.ufl.edu, (863) 735-1314
John B. Platt (863) 735-0158, fax (863) 735-

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ONA, Fla.—Florida farmers can produce more of the high-quality hay the state’s horses need, using a grass production system developed by the University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences that can yield five to seven harvests per year.

“Most Florida hay is cut only once or twice a year, after it’s old and tough,” said Paul Mislevy, a forage crops expert at UF’s Range Cattle Research and Education Center in Ona. “It provides low cost cattle feed, but we rely on other states for the high-quality hay that’s typically fed to horses.” (more …)

For Bird Watchers, UF Launches Internet Bird Monitoring Program

Topic(s): Uncategorized

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

Source(s):
Mark Hostetler hostetlerm@wec.ufl.edu, (352) 846-0643
John Brenneman jbrenneman@mail.ifas.ufl.edu (863) 533-0765
Mark Kraus mkraus@audubon.org (305) 371-6399

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GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Binoculars, a notebook, a pen – no self-respecting bird watcher would be without them. Now birding enthusiasts can add another tool to their bag: the Internet.

Launched last month, the Florida Bird Monitoring Program allows residents statewide to contribute information to a Web site that stores bird count results, said Mark Hostetler, a wildlife specialist with the University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences who designed the program. (more …)

UF Scientists Help Design “Back To Nature” Housing Development

Topic(s): Uncategorized

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

Source(s):
Mark Hostetler hostetlerm@wec.ufl.edu, (352) 846-0643
Martha Lentz harmonyinstitute@earthl, (407) 957-0207
Eleanor Foerste ecfoerste@mail.ifas.ufl, (407) 846-4181
James Lentz ez@agen.ufl.edu, (407) 891-1616

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ST. CLOUD, Fla.—A planned community under construction in rural Osceola County will encourage residents to get back to nature, and may convince developers that ecologically intelligent practices can be profitable.

“If development is inevitable, let’s do it in a wise way,” said Mark Hostetler, a wildlife specialist with the University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS). Hostetler is part of a team of research scientists connected with the community, named Harmony. (more …)

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