IFAS News

University of Florida

Horse racing road apples might soon turn a shiny profit

Topic(s): Agriculture, Conservation, Economics, Florida Friendly, Pollution

By:
Stu Hutson 352-392-0400

Source(s):
Lori Warren lkwarren@ufl.edu, 352-392-1957

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GAINESVILLE, Fla. — On June 9, the final horse race of the Triple Crown, the Belmont Stakes, will run. But there’ll be more than confetti to pick up afterwards.

Horse tracks like Belmont Park produce up to 600 cubic feet of manure a day—with or without a race. Add to that the thousands of horse farms around the country and you have one big problem. (more …)

UF Researchers test natural predators to control sago palm threat

Topic(s): Biocontrols, Entomology and Nematology, Invasive Species, Pests

By:
Chuck Woods (352) 392-0400

Source(s):
Ronald Cave rdcave@ufl.edu, 772-468-3922 ext. 145
Catharine Mannion cmannion@ufl.edu, 305-246-7001 ext. 220

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GAINESVILLE, Fla. — In a prime example of how an exotic insect can wreak havoc on landscape plants and cause millions of dollars in damage, the Asian cycad scale has invaded South Florida and quickly spread throughout the state.

The tiny pest’s only host is the cycad – also called a sago palm – and experts say the scale is probably the single most important threat to wild cycad populations around the world. (more …)

Finding too-small-to-see bedbugs no problem for these sniffers, UF researchers say

Topic(s): Entomology and Nematology, Families and Consumers, Household Pests

By:
Mickie Anderson (352) 392-0400

Source(s):
Pepe Peruyero pepe@jkk9.com, 386-454-3647
Phil Koehler ppgk@ufl.edu, 352-392-2484

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GAINESVILLE, Fla. — At the sound of a bag of treats being latched onto her handler’s waist, she bounds up and down, as if on springs.

Nine-pound Nudie’s feet skitter across the concrete floor as she speeds by, keeping her tiny nose to the ground. She scurries around the perimeter of a bed, then hops on top. (more …)

Arsenic-Absorbing Fern May Soak Up Toxic Metal to Repel Hungry Bugs, UF Researchers Say

Topic(s): Agriculture, Biocontrols, Entomology and Nematology, Environment, Pests, Research


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GAINESVILLE, Fla. — In the struggle for survival, plants are often at the mercy of hungry animals – but one fern has turned the tables by using poisonous arsenic to reduce its appeal, say University of Florida researchers.

A UF study published online April 24 by the journal New Phytologist showed starving grasshoppers shunned Chinese brake fern – one of several fern species known to store arsenic – when the plants contained large quantities of the toxic heavy metal. It is the first published study showing that arsenic accumulated in plant tissue deters predators. (more …)

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