IFAS News

University of Florida

UF to release parasitic fly to combat “evil weevil” destroying native bromeliads

Topic(s): Biocontrols, Environment, Invasive Species, Pests, RECs

By:
Tom Nordlie (352) 392-0400

Sources:
Ron Cave rdcave@ufl.edu, 772-468-3922
Howard Frank jhfrank@ufl.edu, 352-392-1901 ext. 128
Howard Frank dennis.giardina@dep.state.fl.us, 239-695-4593

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GAINESVILLE, FLA — The free ride is almost over for the “evil weevil” destroying Florida’s native bromeliads.

Since 1989, the invasive insect has wreaked havoc on the state’s airplants, unchecked by natural enemies. But in the next few days, researchers with the University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences will release a parasitic fly that kills the weevil’s larvae and could help save the tree-dwelling plants, many threatened or endangered. (more …)

New UF computer system could one day help citrus growers count fruit before harvest

Topic(s): Agriculture, Citrus, Crops, New Technology, RECs, Research

By:
Tom Nordlie (352) 392-0400

Source:
Daniel Lee wslee@ufl.edu, 352-392-1864 ext. 227

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GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Farmers are told not to count chickens before they hatch, but for citrus growers it’s a little different – knowing how much fruit is on their trees can help them make better decisions about managing and harvesting the crop.

So University of Florida experts are developing an electronic system to “see” and count fruit, a concept called machine vision. It could be commercially available by the end of the decade. (more …)

UF seeks collaborator for cutting edge cellulosic ethanol research plant

Topic(s): Announcements, Biofuels

By:
Mickie Anderson (352) 392-0400

Source:
Lonnie Ingram ingram@ufl.edu, 352-392-8176

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — This spring, state legislators awarded $20 million to the University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences to establish a research plant to commercialize researcher Lonnie Ingram’s patented technology for producing ethanol from the woody parts of plants.

Now, UF officials are extending an offer to businesses and professional organizations to help make that plant a reality. The plant will further establish UF’s reputation as one of the nation’s leading institutions for alternative fuels research, said Ingram, a distinguished professor of microbiology and cell science. (more …)

Invasive Cuban tree frogs threaten native wildlife, damage utilities, says UF expert

Topic(s): Biocontrols, Environment, Invasive Species

By:
Tom Nordlie (352) 392-0400

Source(s):
Steve Johnson tadpole@ufl.edu, 813-757-2273
Steve Perkins steve.perkins@lakelandelectric, 863-834-8873

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GAINESVILLE, Fla. — North Florida residents accustomed to tiny tree frogs may feel jumpy – a giant Cuban species has colonized half the state and is moving north, a University of Florida expert says.

The Cuban tree frog may threaten its native counterparts, said Steve Johnson, an assistant professor with UF’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences. The amphibians have already become a nuisance to homeowners and utilities workers. (more …)

New UF DVD dispels myth that orchids are difficult to grow

Topic(s): Agriculture, Extension, Lawn & Garden

By:
Chuck Woods (352) 392-0400

Source(s):
Bob Black rblack78@bellsouth.net, 352-335-7152
Tom Sheehan tsheehan@ufl.edu, 352-376-9673

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GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Growing orchids just got easier, thanks to a new University of Florida DVD that provides a complete guide to producing “the world’s most beautiful flowers.”

The “Growing Orchids: Easier Than You Think” DVD, featuring two orchid experts at UF’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, includes interviews and hands-on demonstrations. The disk also has information on selecting appropriate containers, plant media, fertilizers, watering requirements and other tips. Total run time of the DVD is 54 minutes, with a 21-minute segment on easy-to-grow varieties and a 33-minute guide for growers. (more …)

UF turfgrass researchers release slow-grow, low-mow grass — and it’s pretty

Topic(s): Agriculture, Cultivars, Florida Friendly, Landscaping, Lawn & Garden

By:
Mickie Anderson (352) 392-0400Source:
Russell Nagata nagata@ifas.ufl.edu, 561-993-1557

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GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Imagine life with fewer Saturday afternoons stuck behind a noisy lawn mower.

The University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences has released a new slow-growing turfgrass that you may be able to buy as early as next year.

And you can put down that fertilizer bag: The new St. Augustinegrass variety’s finer leaf blade and dark green hue make for a prettier lawn and it’s far more resistant to sap-sucking, lawn-killing chinch bugs than current varieties. (more …)

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