IFAS News

University of Florida

Soil Moisture Monitors Help Sprinkler Systems Save Water, Money, Says UF Expert

Topic(s): Uncategorized

By:
Julie Walters (352) 392-1773 x 277

Source(s):
Michael Dukes mddukes@ufl.edu, (352) 392-1864
Brent Mecham brentm@ncwcd.org (970) 622-2324

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GAINESVILLE, Fla.—The cost of keeping a lawn green could get lower, thanks to soil moisture monitors that make automatic sprinkler systems more efficient, says a University of Florida researcher.

The devices can cut sprinkler system water usage by more than half, according to a recent UF study. The findings were presented at the annual meeting of the American Society of Agricultural Engineers July 17-20 in Tampa. (more …)

Manure Happens: Nation’s First Livestock Waste Testing Lab Helps Farmers Turn Waste Into A Valuable Resource For Plant Crops

Topic(s): Uncategorized

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

Source(s):
Cliff Starling cwstarling@ifas.ufl.edu, (386) 364-4029, cell (386) 208
George Hochmuth gjh@ifas.ufl.edu, (850) 875-7100
John & Doug Carter (386) 362-6155, cell (386) 590

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LIVE OAK, Fla. — According to the “Poop Scoop” newsletter — published by the University of Florida to help farmers manage waste from thousands of dairy cows and millions of chickens — manure can be a good thing.

“We try to take a light-hearted rear view of the problem, but managing all that waste to protect the environment is no easy task,” says Cliff Starling, coordinator of nutrient management programs at UF’s Suwannee Valley Livestock Waste Testing Laboratory in Live Oak. (more …)

New National Study: Environmental Horticulture Industry One Of The Fastest-Growing Segments Of U.S. Agriculture

Topic(s): Uncategorized

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

Source(s):
Robert Dolibois rdolibois@anla.org, (202) 789-2900
Charles Hall crh@utk.edu, (865) 974-7410
John Haydu JJH@ifas.ufl.edu, (407) 884-2034 ext. 156
Alan Hodges AWHodges@ifas.ufl.edu, (352) 392-1845 ext. 312

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — The nationwide boom in housing and other construction associated with urban development is driving one of the fastest growing segments of U.S. agriculture, according to a new economic study by the University of Florida and the University of Tennessee.

“The $147 billion environmental horticulture industry — also known as the ‘green industry’ — is not only one of the nation’s fastest-growing businesses, but it continues to expand even during recessionary periods,” said Alan Hodges, an economist with UF’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences and one of three authors of the national study. (more …)

New Hybrid Orchid Named For Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Alvarez

Topic(s): Uncategorized

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

Source(s):
Martin Motes vandas@mindspring.com, (305) 247-4398
Van Waddill vhwaddill@ifas.ufl.edu, (305) 246-7001 ext. 200
Wagner Vendrame wavendrame@ifas.ufl.edu, (305) 246-7001 ext. 210
Don Pybas pybas@ifas.ufl.edu, (305) 248-3311 ext. 241

HOMESTEAD, Fla.—To recognize Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Alvarez for his strong and consistent support of the horticulture industry in South Florida, a new hybrid orchid is being named in his honor.

Officially registered as “Vanda Mayor Carlos Alvarez” with the Royal Horticultural Society in London, England, the blue orchid was developed by Martin Motes of Motes Orchids in Homestead. He will present the orchid to Alvarez during July 15 ceremonies at the University of Florida’s Tropical Research and Education Center in Homestead. (The orchid will be presented to Mayor Alvarez around 11 a.m. at the center located at 18905 Southwest 280th Street in Homestead.) (more …)

New Florida Nature Guide Focuses On Caterpillars

Topic(s): Uncategorized

By:
Patti Bartlett (352) 392-1773 x 276

Source(s):
Jerry Butler jfb@mail.ifas.ufl.edu, (352) 392-1930 ext. 152
Don Hall dwh@ifas.ufl.edu, (352) 392-1901 ext. 113

GAINESVILLE, Fla.—Many books focus on butterflies in Florida, but now the state’s caterpillars are also in the spotlight, thanks to a new guide by two University of Florida entomologists.

“Florida Butterfly Caterpillars and Their Host Plants,” from the University Press of Florida, is the first book of its kind, said Jerry Butler, a professor emeritus of entomology with UF’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences. (more …)

UF Researchers Take Pulse Of Hurricane Dennis

Topic(s): Uncategorized

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

Source(s):
Kurt Gurley kgurl@ce.ufl.edu, (352) 392-9537 ext. 1508
Lamar Christenberry lchristenberry@ifas.ufl.edu, (850) 554-2881

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — University of Florida researchers working on at least two separate projects helped gauge Hurricane Dennis’ fury Saturday and Sunday.

In the first, a team of research engineers from UF and two other Florida universities deployed five mobile wind towers in Dennis’ projected path, then monitored and recorded the hurricane’s winds as it powered ashore. In the second project, UF Institute of Food and Agriculture Sciences researchers followed the hurricane’s impact on UF’s “hurricane house” near Pensacola, built to withstand winds exceeding 140 mph. (more …)

UF “Hurricane House” In Pensacola Shows No Damage After Hurricane Dennis

Topic(s): Uncategorized

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

Source(s):
Lamar Christenberry lchristenberry@ifas.ufl.edu, (850) 554-2881
Pierce Jones ez@energy.ufl.edu (352) 392-8074
Justin Glover justin.glover@citizensfla.com (850) 513-3774

PENSACOLA, Fla.—Designed to withstand winds in excess of 140 miles per hour, the University of Florida’s “hurricane house” near Pensacola received no structural damage from Hurricane Dennis.

“Last year, the hurricane house came through Ivan with no damage, and we survived Dennis with no structural damage, although we did have some wet carpets this year caused by localized flooding in the area,” said Lamar Christenberry, Escambia County extension director with UF’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences. “Our hurricane house demonstrates that it is possible to build a home that will come through hurricanes such as Dennis and Ivan with little or no damage.” (more …)

Portable Generators: Know Watt’s Right And Wrong

Topic(s): Uncategorized

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

Source(s):
Julie England julieeng@ifas.ufl.edu, (352) 343-4101
Carol Lehtola CJLehtola@ifas.ufl.edu, (352) 392-1864 ext. 223

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TAVARES, Fla.—With seven to nine hurricanes predicted for the current season — including two or three that will hit the United States — sales of portable generators are rising fast, and so are the safety concerns about using them.

University of Florida extension safety experts say common mistakes include operating generators in closed spaces without proper ventilation, overloading them with too many appliances and plugging or wiring them directly into house electrical systems. (more …)

UF Researchers Identify Zinc Transport Proteins

Topic(s): Uncategorized

By:
Tom Nordlie (352) 392-1773 x 278

Source(s):
Bob Cousins cousins@ufl.edu, (352) 392-1991 ext. 222

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GAINESVILLE, Fla.—When infections strike people and other mammals, zinc circulating in their blood is diverted into liver cells, a response both familiar and puzzling to scientists, who have long debated its purpose.

University of Florida researchers studying mice have, for the first time, identified proteins that transport zinc during the process, said Robert Cousins, an eminent scholar of nutritional biochemistry with UF’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences. The researchers also identified the chemical that initiates production of the most active protein in the group. (more …)

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