IFAS News

University of Florida

New SECC Forecasts Help Southeast Farmers Reduce Production Risks

Topic(s): Uncategorized

By:
Chris Eversole (352) 494-7837

Source(s):
Jim O’Brien jim.obrien@coaps.fsu.edu, (850) 644-4581
Clyde Fraisse cfraisse@ufl.edu, (352) 392-1864 ext. 239
David Stooksbury stooks@engr.uga.edu, (706) 583-0156

TALLAHASSEE, Fla.—Farmers in the Southeastern United States can now learn about changes in seasonal climate patterns earlier than ever, thanks to a new long-term forecasting system developed by the Southeast Climate Consortium (SECC), a partnership among six universities in Alabama, Florida and Georgia.

SECC researchers are using data that has been collected daily for the past 50 years from 214 weather stations in Alabama, Florida and Georgia to make county-by-county forecasts that farmers can view on the Internet. The SECC, which produces its forecasts at Florida State University in Tallahassee, has issued the first in a series of quarterly forecasts aimed at helping farmers reduce risks to their crops and increase their odds of a successful growing season. (more …)

Invasive Moth From Tropics Threatens Cactus Plants In U.S.

Topic(s): Uncategorized

Source(s):
Jim Cuda jcuda@ifas.ufl.edu, (352) 392-1901 ext. 126
Richard Moyroud moyroud@prodigy.net, (561) 967-2630
Stephen Hight hight@nettally.com, (850) 656-9870 ext. 18

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GAINESVILLE, Fla. — In a prime example of how Florida is becoming a haven for exotic pests, a South American moth is attacking valuable ornamental cactus plants used in landscaping and could be a threat to the nation’s $70 million cactus industry.

First spotted in the Florida Keys about 15 years ago, the tiny moth has already spread northward to Alabama and South Carolina. Now, University of Florida entomologists say the invasive pest could spread even farther, attacking natural and cultivated prickly pear cacti in other areas of the United States. (more …)

Invasive Mussel Gains Foothold On Florida’s East Coast

Topic(s): Uncategorized

By:
Tom

Source(s):
Maia McGuire MPMcGuire@ifas.ufl.edu, (904) 824-4564
Patrick Baker pbaker@ifas.ufl.edu, (352) 392-9617 ext. 281
Lori Williams lori_williams@ios.doi.gov, (202) 513-7243

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ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. — Boaters and bathers along northeast Florida beaches this summer may notice a new and unwelcome addition — an invasive mussel that already plagues the state’s Gulf coast where it’s killing native shellfish and covering manmade objects.

The Asian green mussel (Perna viridis) was discovered at St. Augustine in 2002 and now is found from Savannah, Ga., to Mosquito Lagoon near Titusville, said Patrick Baker, a mollusk expert with the University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences. (more …)

UF Researchers Say New, Bigger Low-Carb Potato With Different Taste Will Give Consumers More Choices

Topic(s): Uncategorized

By:
Chuck Woods (352) 392-1773 ext. 281

Source(s):
Chad Hutchinson cmhutchinson@ifas.ufl.edu, (904) 742-2711
Wayne Smith patsysigman@hotmail.com, (904) 669-6647
Don Northcott don@hzpc.ca, (902) 892-2004 ext. 223
Hank Whetstone hwhetstone@sunfreshofflorida.com (904) 825-0700

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HASTINGS, Fla.—Following the January debut of the first low- carb potato that’s now a popular item in supermarkets, University of Florida researchers say a larger and tastier version of the spud will be available to consumers in May of this year.

Like the original low-carb potato, the new variety will have 30 percent fewer carbohydrates and 25 percent fewer calories than a standard Russet Burbank potato. The main difference is that the new tubers will have yellow flesh instead of white flesh, said Chad Hutchinson, an assistant professor of horticulture with UF’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences. The yellow flesh gives the potato a slightly sweeter flavor. (more …)

Public/Private Partnership: UF/IFAS And California Database Company Offer Instant Information On Pesticides

Topic(s): Uncategorized

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

Source(s):
Daniel Sonke dsonke@ufl.edu, (352) 392-1901 ext. 205
Ted Holmes ted@cdms.net (941) 746-6087

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GAINESVILLE, Fla.—Following successful tests at the University of Florida, a California-based company is making its crop management database on pesticides available to research and extension faculty at land-grant universities across the nation.

“When our research and extension faculty said they needed accurate, up-to-date information on pesticides from 104 manufacturers, we began a unique business arrangement with Crop Data Management Systems Inc. in Marysville, Calif.,” said Daniel Sonke, an assistant coordinator for the integrated pest management (IPM) program at UF’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences in Gainesville. (more …)

New UF/IFAS Economic Study: Forestry Is Now Biggest Segment Of Florida Agriculture

Topic(s): Uncategorized

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

Source(s):
Alan Hodges AWHodges@ifas.ufl.edu, (352) 392-1845 ext. 312
David Mulkey mulkey@fred.ifas.ufl.edu, (352) 392-1845 ext. 406

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GAINESVILLE, Fla.—In a new study that reveals the changing face of Florida agriculture, University of Florida researchers say the forestry industry now has the biggest economic impact on the state — eclipsing citrus, vegetables and ornamentals in terms of output.

Annual output or sales impacts in the forest products industry exceed $16.6 billion, creating 133,475 jobs, with $7.5 billion in value-added personal and business income, and generating more than $581 million in local, state and federal taxes (excluding income taxes), said Alan Hodges, an economist in UF’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, or UF/IFAS. (more …)

Parents Can Get Help Teaching Kids Financial Responsibility

Topic(s): Uncategorized

By:
Tom Nordlie, (352) 392-1773

Source(s):
Mary Harrison MNHarrison@ifas.ufl.edu, (352) 392-1868 ext. 243
Jo Turner JTurner@ifas.ufl.edu, (352) 392-1945 ext. 228
Laura Levine llevine@jumpstart.org, (202) 466-8610

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GAINESVILLE, Fla. — April is Financial Literacy for Youth Month and with credit-card debt at staggering levels among college students, University of Florida experts say childhood training in money management has never been more important.

Though elaborate programs aimed at wealthy youngsters have emerged recently, children from every income level can — and should — learn the basics of personal finance before leaving home, said Mary Harrison, a consumer education professor with UF’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, or UF/IFAS. (more …)

Double Trouble: UF/IFAS Researchers Find Another Termite In South Florida As Destructive As Formosan “Super Termite”

Topic(s): Uncategorized

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

Source(s):
Nan-Yao Su nysu@ufl.edu, (954) 577-6339
Rudolph Scheffrahn rhsc@ufl.edu, (954) 577-6312
Brian Cabrera bcabrera@ufl.edu, (954) 577-6363

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FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla.—Another highly destructive termite — a close relative of the Formosan “super termite” that’s gnawing its way across many Southern states — has become established in South Florida, according to University of Florida researchers.

“The Asian subterranean termite, a major pest in tropical areas such as Brazil and the West Indies, was not considered to be a serious threat to Florida until now,” said Nan-Yao Su, a professor of entomology with UF’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, or UF/IFAS. “I thought it could not survive north of the tropics, and I am puzzled by its rapid spread in South Florida.” (more …)

New UF/IFAS Study Shows Double-Digit Increases For Most Florida Farmland Values

Topic(s): Uncategorized

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

Source:
John Reynolds JohnR@nrpsforesters.com, (352) 378-8966

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GAINESVILLE, Fla.—-The value of agricultural land continued to increase in all areas of the state last year, buoyed by a population boom and strong nonagricultural demand for land, according to a new University of Florida survey.

“Following recent trends, the market for agricultural land was very active this past year, and the rate of increase in land values was particularly high in the southern regions of the state,” said John Reynolds, a professor emeritus with UF’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences. “In most land-value categories, we recorded double-digit increases.” (more …)

UF/IFAS Forest Experts Say Hurricane Debris Adds Fuel To The Fire Season

Topic(s): Uncategorized

Source(s):
Rick Williams rawilliams@ifas.ufl.edu, (850) 983-5216 ext. 102
Alan Long ajl2@ufl.edu, (352) 846-0891

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PENSACOLA, Fla.—With the approach of drier weather during the next couple of months, University of Florida forestry experts warn that many areas of the state could experience a severe fire season in areas hit hard by the 2004 hurricanes.

Hurricanes Charley, Frances, Ivan and Jeanne damaged or destroyed more than 7 million acres of forest in 34 counties, creating conditions on the ground that could fuel wildfires that are more intense and widespread, said Richard Williams, an associate professor of forestry with UF’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, or UF/IFAS. (more …)

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