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UF-led consortium wins prestigious national award

Topic(s): Agriculture, Announcements, Crops, Environment, Honors and Appointments, IFAS, New Technology, Research
Clyde Fraisse (blue shirt)  led a consortium of researchers to win a prestigious U.S. award.

See cutline below

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — A consortium of scientists and researchers, led by the University of Florida, has received the prestigious National Institute of Food and Agriculture’s Partnership Award for Multistate Efforts.

The Southeast Climate Extension project is comprised of 19 researchers from half a dozen universities. They engage agricultural producers and help them implement management strategies to protect crops from weather extremes. In addition, they conduct research aimed at reducing climate and weather risks in agriculture and natural resources in Florida, and cooperate with similar programs through the Southeast Climate Consortium. (more …)

Family Day at the Dairy Farm canceled for Oct. 25

Topic(s): Agriculture, Announcements, Families and Consumers, IFAS, Livestock, Nutrition

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Ongoing weather issues have forced the University of Florida to cancel its Family Day at the Dairy Farm open house, which was scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 25.

“We’re very sorry to have to cancel, but heavy rainfall in late September and early October created wet conditions in the pasture that serves as our visitor parking area,” said Jerry Wasdin, one of the event organizers. “We’re concerned that the ground will not dry out in time to provide reliable parking at the event, and cars might get stuck in the mud.”

Organizers have ruled out the possibility of rescheduling the event for a later date in 2014, Wasdin said. Possibilities for a 2015 open house will be discussed in the weeks to come.

(more …)

UF/IFAS celebrates supporters in third annual Dinner of Distinction

Topic(s): Honors and Appointments, Uncategorized

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GAINESVILLE, Fla. — The University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences honored some of its most ardent supporters at its annual Dinner of Distinction, held at the UF Hilton Conference Center Friday evening.

This was the third year for the awards banquet that recognizes individuals and organizations that support and advance UF/IFAS in its research, teaching and Extension efforts.

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UF/IFAS-created strawberry monitoring system set to expand

Topic(s): Agriculture, Crops, Environment, Honors and Appointments, New Technology, Pests

Natalia Peres strawberries resized

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GAINESVILLE, Fla. – A strawberry monitoring web system that will soon expand to South Carolina is one of many reasons a University of Florida faculty member has won the Lee M. Hutchins Award from the American Phytopathological Society (APS).

The Hutchins award goes to the author or authors of significant published research on basic or applied aspects of diseases of perennial fruit plants, according to the society’s website.

“APS is probably the most prestigious society worldwide in our field of plant pathology, so I am very honored with the nomination and the award,” said Natalia Peres, an associate professor of plant pathology at the Gulf Coast Research and Education Center in Balm.

(more …)

Limagrain, HM. CLAUSE gifts give $300,000 to Challenge 2050 program

Topic(s): Announcements, CALS

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Officials from two global agricultural companies, Limagrain and HM.CLAUSE, and the University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) have partnered to support a new initiative aimed at finding ways to feed a growing world.

Limagrain will provide $200,000 over a three-year period, while HM.CLAUSE will donate $100,000 over a five-year span, to support the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences’ (CALS) Challenge 2050 Project, which aims to equip current and future agricultural leaders with the skills to find innovative ways to sustainably feed more than 9 billion people by 2050.

(more …)

UF/IFAS’ Kevin Folta to advise Pennsylvania lawmakers on GMO topic

Topic(s): Announcements, Honors and Appointments, New Technology, Uncategorized

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UF/IFAS Horticultural Sciences chairman Kevin Folta will advise the Pennsylvania House of Representatives’ Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee Monday, Oct. 6 on the use of transgenic crops, or GMOs.

The committee will have an informational meeting at 9 a.m. with nationally recognized scientists offering presentations about GMO foods. The legislators are gathering information in advance of debate over a bill that would require labeling of genetically engineered food.

(more …)

Learn from UF/IFAS Extension experts at 37th annual Sunbelt Ag Expo

Topic(s): Agriculture, Announcements, Extension, IFAS

Sun Belt Ag Expo Russ Mizzell

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GAINESVILLE, Fla. – Find out when to plant crops, how to can foods safely and how to use paper to pot plants from University of Florida experts at the 37th annual Sunbelt Ag Expo – the largest agricultural expo in the southeast.

The Sunbelt Ag Expo, Oct. 14-16 in Moultrie, Georgia, draws more than 100,000 people each year.

“The Sunbelt Expo gives people from all walks of life a chance to learn about everything Extension offers from our experts,” said Nick Place, dean of Extension for UF’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences.

The expo features the latest agricultural research, a live farm harvest and insights into various agricultural businesses, according to its website.

UF/IFAS will have a permanent building, popular with visitors because of engaging displays and giveaways such as peanuts from the Florida Peanut Growers Association, Florida Orange Juice provided by Natalie’s Orchid Island Juice Company and many other “Gator Giveaways.”

This year, the Extension Service celebrates the centennial of the Smith-Lever Act of 1914, which created the national service, through which agents deliver unbiased research data to the public. Florida’s program remains as viable as ever, helping its many stakeholders. That includes guiding growers to maximize production through the most efficient use of their resources.

UF/IFAS’s three branches, Extension, research and the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences (CALS) will host six interactive booths with the theme “Solutions for the Next 100 Years.”

Experts will interact with the public on several topics:

  • “Canning parties” were some of the first Extension programs to help people better understand how to safely preserve foods. Expo visitors can learn more about this tradition as Family and Consumer Science Extension agents share from the past and present to provide the latest innovations for home food preservation.
  • 4-H is one of UF/IFAS’ oldest recognized Extension programs. See how youth are leading and learning to meet the challenges of the next century. Visitors will learn about a 4-H recycling project and can take home a start to their family garden.
  • Farming tools and methods are constantly improving. Visitors can see some of UF/IFAS’ favorites from the past and contrast them with flying drones and infrared scanners for today and the future. These new tools aid farmers in early identification of disease, pest and nutritional problems.
  • Natural Resource and Sea Grant Extension agents are bringing Florida’s beaches and bays to Georgia. Touch tanks and displays with animals will highlight this exhibit focused on beach and boating safety and stewardship.
  • Horticulture displays will give visitors insight into establishing a Florida Friendly yard by using appropriate plants and cultural methods. Butterfly gardening plants will be featured. Visitors will also learn how to distinguish beneficial insects from problem pests.
  • Visit with CALS Ambassadors and learn about life as a student at the UF College of Agricultural and Life Sciences. Ambassadors will give information about major programs, admission, enrollment and hand out plenty of Gator goodies.

The expo is on 1,680 acres, 4 miles southeast of U.S. 319 (Veteran’s Parkway) on Georgia Highway 133 near Moultrie. Expo hours are 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday and 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday. Admission price is $10 per person per day, or $20 for a three-day pass. Children 10 and under get in free, if they’re accompanied by a parent or guardian.

For more information, go to www.sunbeltexpo.com.

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Writer: Brad Buck, 352-294-3303, bradbuck@ufl.edu

Source: Nick Place, 352-392-1761, nplace@ufl.edu

Cutline: Russ Mizell, a UF/IFAS entomology professor, who conducts research and does Extension work from the North Florida Research and Education Center in Quincy, is seen at a recent Sunbelt Ag Expo in Moultrie, Ga. UF/IFAS Extension experts will again be at this year’s expo, Oct. 14-16.

Credit: UF/IFAS photo by Tyler L. Jones

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rogers named interim head of UF/IFAS Citrus Research and Education Center

Topic(s): Agriculture, Announcements, Citrus, IFAS, RECs

Michael Rogers2

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — The University Florida today named Michael Rogers interim director of the Citrus Research and Education Center in Lake Alfred. The CREC is part of the Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences.

Rogers has a doctorate in entomology from the University of Kentucky and specializes in citrus integrated pest management.  His research has focused on the Asian citrus psyllid, the insect that carries the bacterium that causes citrus greening.

Citrus greening disease starves the tree of nutrients and produces fruits that are green and misshapen — unsuitable for sale as fresh fruit or juice. Most infected trees die within a few years. The disease has affected millions of citrus trees in North America.

“Currently, the survival of the Florida citrus industry is threatened by citrus greening disease, and time is something many growers don’t have,” Rogers said. “The Florida citrus industry is looking to the research and extension programs of the University of Florida, IFAS, to develop and deliver the solutions needed to continue production of Florida’s iconic crop.”

Although current methods to control the spread of citrus greening are limited to the removal and destruction of infected trees, UF/IFAS researchers are working to defeat it on a number of fronts, including trying to eradicate the insect that carries the bacteria, breeding citrus rootstock that shows better greening resistance, testing laboratory treatments that could be used on trees and harnessing steam to treat trees.

Rogers takes the place of Jackie Burns, who becomes UF/IFAS’ dean for research. Both start their new jobs Nov. 1.

“While Dr. Burns leaves the leadership role of CREC director, she will continue to serve the Florida citrus industry, and UF/IFAS as a whole, in an even more important role as dean for research,” Rogers said.  “On behalf of the faculty and staff of the CREC, I thank Dr. Burns for her years of dedicated service to the CREC.”

By Kimberly Moore Wilmoth, 352-294-3302, k.moore.wilmoth@ufl.edu

Sources:      Michael Rogers, 863-956-8801, mrgrs@ufl.edu

UF/IFAS study: Florida’s climate boosts soil-carbon storage, cuts greenhouse emissions

Topic(s): Biocontrols, Conservation, Environment, Forestry, Green Living, IFAS, Pollution

Sabine Grunwald. Associate Professor, Ph.D.  Soil and Water Science.

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GAINESVILLE, Fla. – Warm temperatures and a wet landscape increase soil’s ability to store carbon, which in turn helps mitigate greenhouse gas emissions, according to a new University of Florida study covering 45 years of data.

Soil-stored carbon can slow the build-up of carbon-based gases in the atmosphere, a phenomenon believed to be a cause of global climate change. So it’s vital to preserve soil carbon, said Sabine Grunwald, a UF soil and water science professor who led the research.

“The conservation of the ‘black gold’ below our feet, which is not only a natural part of Florida’s soils but also helps to improve our climate and agricultural production, is a hidden treasure,” said Grunwald, a member of the Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences faculty. “Soils serve as a natural container to hold carbon that would otherwise be emitted into the atmosphere as greenhouse gases that accelerate global climate change.”

(more …)

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