IFAS News

University of Florida

UF Family Finance Expert Gives Top 10 ‘What Not to Do’ List for Taxpayers

Topic(s): Families and Consumers, Finances

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Tax season is one of the most stressful times of the year. And a University of Florida expert cautions against making common mistakes that can complicate matters as we go about accounting for our income with the federal government.

So Michael Gutter, an assistant professor in family financial management with UF’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, has compiled a list of Americans’ top 10 tax-season gaffes. (more …)

UF Research Shows Termite Damage Cuts Insulation Values by Nearly 75 Percent

Topic(s): Conservation, Families and Consumers, Finances, Household Pests

Cynthia Tucker and Roberto Pereira use a thermal imaging camera to measure heat transfer through building materials damaged by termites
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GAINESVILLE, FLA. — Termites aren’t just out to eat the wood in your home. A new University of Florida study shows the voracious insects like to feast on your home’s insulation, too – making it nearly 75 percent less effective.

In tests measuring how termites damage the thermal properties or insulation in homes and other buildings, three types of widely used construction materials – 2-by-4 boards, five-ply plywood and foam board insulation – were exposed to the pest for eight weeks by entomologists at UF’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences. (more …)

Ropin’ in the Swamp (stand alone photo – no story available)

Topic(s): 4-H, Families and Consumers, Stand-Alone Photos

Lyndel Kerr and Bobby Lines chase a steer at Ropin' in the Swamp
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In this photo released from the University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, Lyndel Kerr of Lawtey, Fla., left, and Bobby Lines of Okeechobee, Fla., chase a steer at Ropin’ in the Swamp, an annual team roping competition at UF’s Horse Teaching Unit in Gainesville, Fla., Saturday, March 22, 2008. Kerr and Lines were among 36 riders who competed. Team roping is a rodeo event where pairs of riders try to lasso a steer’s head and hind legs as quickly as possible.

(AP photo/University of Florida/IFAS/Eric Zamora)

UF Researchers on the Watch for Nice Weather – and the Diseases It Could Bring

Topic(s): Disaster Preparedness, Families and Consumers, Pests, Weather
  • By:
    Stu Hutson – (352) 273-3569
  • Sources:
    Jonathan Day – jfda@ufl.edu, (561) 778-7200 x132
    Roxanne Rutledge Connelly – crr@ufl.edu, (772) 778-7200 x172

Asian tiger mosquito
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Calling it a silver lining may be a stretch, but the storm clouds wrought by the devastating 2004 hurricane season did bring the Sunshine State at least one ray of relief.

The year before, West Nile virus unexpectedly struck nearly 3,000 people in Colorado, killing more than 60. Similar outbreaks seemed virtually inevitable throughout the country for the next year – especially in Florida, where the mosquito and bird-borne disease seemed inevitable. (more …)

Bees, I Dare You (stand alone photo – no story available)

Topic(s): Entomology and Nematology, Extension, RECs
  • Source:
    James D. Ellis, Assistant Professor, Ph.D. – jdellis@ufl.edu, (352) 392-1901 x130

ABC's Good Morning America weatherman Sam Champion, left, and UF's Jamie Ellis, an assistant professor of entomology, dump nearly 15,000 bees into a hive at the Mid-Florida Research and Education Center in Apopka
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In this photo released from the University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, ABC’s Good Morning America weatherman Sam Champion, left, and UF’s Jamie Ellis, an assistant professor of entomology, dump nearly 15,000 bees into a hive at the Mid-Florida Research and Education Center in Apopka – Thursday, March 13, 2008. Champion, who was stung only once during the live broadcast, braved the bees as part of the show’s “I Dare You” challenge.

(AP photo/University of Florida/IFAS/Thomas Wright)

UF Research Helps Tasty Flowers Emerge as Haute Cuisine

Topic(s): Cultivars, Extension, Families and Consumers, Lawn & Garden, Nutrition, Vegetables

zucchini squash blossoms
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. — As executive chef at one of Florida’s most popular resorts, Anthony Sicignano must know virtually every form of cooking to direct nearly 3,000 daily meals. This season, however, he also has to be part florist.

“I think a few years ago, a lot of the public wouldn’t have been comfortable eating flowers, but squash blossoms have been a real delicacy in Italian cooking for centuries,” said Sicignano, of The Breakers Palm Beach. “Now, at certain times, people just can’t get enough of them.” (more …)

Overfertilizing St. Augustinegrass Could Encourage Chinch Bugs, UF Researcher Warns

Topic(s): Cultivars, Entomology and Nematology, Families and Consumers, Household Pests, Landscaping, Lawn & Garden
  • By:
    Tom Nordlie – (352) 273-3567
  • Sources:
    Eileen Buss – (352) 392-0400
    Fred Baxendale – fbaxendale1@unl.edu, (402) 472-8699

Eileen Buss holds a vial of Southern chinch bug specimens
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. — A little fertilizer can perk up a St. Augustinegrass lawn as spring arrives, but homeowners who overdo it may find they’re growing more than grass.

A University of Florida study suggests that repeatedly using large amounts of nitrogen fertilizer can ignite a population explosion of Southern chinch bugs – the No. 1 insect pest of St. Augustinegrass, the state’s most popular turfgrass. (more …)

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