IFAS News

University of Florida

New UF/IFAS book offers insights on managing large residential lots

Topic(s): Agriculture, Conservation, Environment, Forestry, Lawn & Garden

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — A big yard or vacation property can be a great asset to a family, offering plenty of room for sports, recreation and relaxation.

But taking care of an acre or two, or 10 or 20, involves more than just buying a riding mower.

So the University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences has just published a handbook designed to help people with large, forested residential properties understand their land management options.

“Your Backyard Woods and Wildlife” is available for $18 from http://ifasbooks.ufl.edu

The 164-page book explains the basics of Florida’s ecosystems, delves into ways of earning extra income from forestland, and tells where to turn for more information and advice.

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Farm Bureau helps UF/IFAS get closer to fundraising goal for new learning center

Topic(s): Announcements, CALS, Forestry, IFAS

Farm Bureau donates to UF/IFAS

Click here for high resolution image. Caption at bottom.

GAINESVILLE, Fla. – The University of Florida’s School of Forest Resources and Conservation received a $50,000 donation Wednesday from the Florida Farm Bureau to help rebuild a learning center destroyed by fire in July 2011.

The school —part of UF’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences — is now halfway to the fundraising goal of $1.5 million for rebuilding the center, located on Lake Mize in the Austin Cary Forest northeast of Gainesville.

“We are proud to be a major contributor to the rebuilding of the Austin Cary learning center,” said John Hoblick, Florida Farm Bureau president. “Education is one facet of what Farm Bureau is all about, and this center will offer a quality learning environment as well as a place for university and community functions.”

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UF/IFAS creates math-based model to show how citrus greening spreads within tree

Topic(s): Citrus, Pests, RECs, Research

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — University of Florida researchers have created a mathematical model that shows how citrus greening is transmitted within an infected tree – an important step toward helping scientists understand the devastating disease.

The model, published this month by the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, revealed that once a tree is infected, insecticides to control the pests that spread the disease may not be enough to halt the disease’s progression in the tree, and instead may only slow its spread within the tree.

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Jacqueline Burns to direct UF/IFAS’ Southwest Florida Research and Education Center

Topic(s): Agriculture, Announcements, Citrus, Crops, Honors and Appointments, IFAS, RECs, Research

Photo cutline at bottom. Click here for high-resolution image.

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Jacqueline Burns, director of the University of Florida’s Citrus Research and Education Center, now has another hat to wear – she’s been named to lead UF’s Southwest Florida Research and Education Center in Immokalee.

Jack Payne, UF senior vice president for agriculture and natural resources, appointed Burns in early July. She will officially take the post Aug. 1.

“Dr. Burns has been doing an outstanding job at the Citrus REC, and I know she’ll bring the same passion and work ethic to Immokalee,” Payne said. “I want to thank her and express my full confidence that she will carry out her new responsibilities with distinction.”

Burns succeeds John Dunckelman, interim director of the Immokalee center since 2010. Dunckelman was hired in 2004 as associate director and will remain with the center as farm manager.

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UF/IFAS’ new FloraGator website can help students learn to classify plants by family

Topic(s): CALS, Environment, IFAS

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — FloraGator, an online plant identification website developed by the University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, is now available via mobile app and Internet website.

The site enables users to take information about a flowering plant and determine which of Florida’s 196 flowering plant families it represents. Get it with an app released June 25 on Apple iTunes, or by visiting http://hort.ifas.ufl.edu/floragator. The site is aimed at students attending UF science classes where plant identification is an important part of the curriculum.

To get the most out of FloraGator, users must know specific details about the structure of the plant they’re trying to identify, and be able to express those details in technical terms.

And that’s the point, says Sandra Wilson, an ornamental horticulture professor at UF’s Indian River Research and Education Center.

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UF/IFAS study suggests growers should monitor for tomato thrips carefully

Topic(s): Agriculture, Crops, Environment, Invasive Species, Pests

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — South Florida vegetable growers worried about the invasive tomato thrips should make certain they’re looking for the pest in the right places, say University of Florida researchers.

Also known as common blossom thrips, the species is native to South America and attacks a variety of crops. A major pest of tomatoes and cucumbers in its home range, the thrips has been detected regularly in South Florida since 2008.

A team from UF’s Tropical Research and Education Center in Homestead recently published a study outlining their efforts to assess the abundance and distribution of tomato thrips in cucumber fields. Their findings appear in the June 2012 issue of the journal Bulletin of Entomological Research.

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Payne appoints former UF/IFAS faculty member Nick Place dean for extension

Topic(s): Announcements, Extension, IFAS

Cutline at bottom. Click here for high-resolution image.

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Former University of Florida faculty member Nick Place is returning to Gainesville to become the UF Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences dean for extension and director of the Florida Cooperative Extension Service.

Jack Payne, UF senior vice president for agriculture and natural resources, made the announcement July 2. Place officially takes the position Sept. 15.

“I’m thrilled that we were able to find someone with the energy, vision and character that Dr. Place has,” Payne said. “That he’s already familiar with the University of Florida, our land-grant mission and the people here – that’s a bonus.”

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Florida small farms conference slated for July 27-29

Topic(s): Agriculture, Announcements, Crops, Environment, Food Safety, IFAS, Nutrition, Vegetables

2011 Small Farms Conference

Click here for high resolution version. Caption at the bottom.

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — The Florida Small Farms and Alternative Enterprises Conference is a one-stop shop for anyone who has thought about starting a farm or supporting local foods.

The conference, now in its fourth year, is presented by the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences and Florida A&M University. It will feature tours, vendor exhibits, lunch and nearly 30 presentations.

The conference will be held at the Osceola Heritage Park located at 1875 Silver Spur Lane in Kissimmee July 27-29.

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