Friday, August 30, 2013

ARS Newslink

Web links to stories issued August 26-30, 2013 ___________________________________________

ARS News Service
USDA Agricultural Research Service
August 30, 2013

Battling an avocado threat:
An experimental foam containing insect-killing fungi is being tested by USDA scientists in the fight against ambrosia beetles, wood-boring pests that threaten the nation's $322 million avocado crop. (8/26)

Study shows benefits of weaning calves early:
It pays to wean calves early when severe weather conditions like drought hinder beef cattle production, USDA studies confirm. During drought, limited forage for livestock grazing can restrict calf growth, resulting in lighter calf weaning weights. (8/29)


Newslink is the weekly e-mail pointer for web links to stories issued by the Agricultural Research Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture.

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On-Demand Featured Videos - Week of August 26, 2013

Week of August 26, 2013

You may not realize just how convenient it is to watch videos about Polk County meetings, programs and services right at your computer and now on any mobile device or tablet. Here are video links to recent and upcoming meetings, shows and features. Just click and watch!



Board of Adjustment – August 22 (

Board of County Commissioners Public Hearings – August 20 (

Board of County Commissioners Regular Session – August 20 (




Today's Veteran #017: Purple Heart Dedication & Homer Allem Medals

Central Florida Water Initiative: Regional Water Supply Planning Seminar

Polk Works Best Places To Work 2013 Awards (Stacy Campbell-Domineck, Lori Walsh, Governor Rick Scott)

Sports Central #206 – August 23

Que Pasa Polk? Show #21 – August 22

Dateline Polk #176 – August 20

Tax Collector Kids Tag Art Kick Off – August 16

Athlete Spotlight: Derek Peeples, Santa Fe Catholic HS swimming

Athlete Spotlight: Kevin Cruz, Haines City HS baseball

PCTSM NSA Fast Pitch World Series – July 17

Lakeland Skate Park PSA

Polk Place: Explorations V Financial Fitness for Families (Brenda Paul)

Polk Place: Theatre Winter Haven 2013/14 Season (Katrina Ploof)

Polk Place: ACS Cancer Prevention Study (Mallory McLean)

Polk Place: Central Florida Development Council (Greg Littleton, David Petr, Tracy Garcia)

Polk Place: Polk County Property Appraiser (Marsha Faux)

Polk Place: Crime Stoppers (Chip Brown)

Polk Place: Health Department WIC Program (Suzanne Wright, Kathy Oliver)

Polk Place: EVAC After-School Art Programs (Jane Waters Thomas)




Polk Place: kidsPACK BBQ Fundraiser (Randy Browning, Shawna Butler, Jared Hatcher) – September 7

Polk Place: Servapalooza Polk – September 7

Polk Place: Honoring Our Heroes, Remembering the Day (Jamie Brown) – September 7

Polk Place: LE/AD Cardboard Boat Challenge – September 14

Polk Place: Food Truck Wars – September 14

Polk Place: Polk Museum of Art Family Day (Sandy Horan) – September 21




Watch on TV Bright House 622, Comcast 5, Verizon 20 or online at PGTV LIVE.

Tuesday, September 3, at 9:00 a.m. – Board of County Commissioners Regular Session

Tuesday, September 3, at 1:30 p.m. – Board of County Commissioners Public Hearings

Wednesday, September 4, at 9:00 a.m. – Planning Commission

Thursday, September 5, at 6:00 p.m. – Public Hearing for FY 13/14 Budget

Friday, September 6, at 12:00 p.m. – Sports Central #207



Each week, we’ll be sending you a list of current video links. But for a complete listing of archive board meetings and other feature videos, go to For DVD copies, please email or call the Communications office, (863) 534-5997.


Please Note: Florida has a very broad Public Records Law.   Most written communications to or from State and Local Officials regarding State or Local business are public records available to the public and media upon request.   Your email communications may therefore be subject to public disclosure.

IFAS in the News, 8/30

Good morning! Here is IFAS in the News for Friday, Aug. 30, 2013.




UF/IFAS study finds algal cells create fat more quickly than thought, could aid biofuel research


New study finds algal cells create fat more quickly than thought, could aid biofuel research


Citrus Greening Forces Florida Growers To Trust A Controversial Savior


Loren Stover: Grandfather of the Florida grape industry


NMB offers mango-handling advice to importers, wholesalers and brokers


Of Interest…


FDA, academia and industry team up to end hepatitis C


Yale legal scholar to discuss public perceptions of science


Human Microbiome May Be Seeded Before Birth





Follow UF/IFAS News on Facebook and Twitter.


Thursday, August 29, 2013

IFAS in the News, 8/29

Good morning! Here is IFAS in the News for Thursday, Aug. 29, 2013.




Asian termites on the move, new threat to parts of South Florida


Opinion: Restoring Tomato Flavor


Rain Barrel Workshop offered in Titusville (Brevard County)


General Certification Standards training, testing scheduled for agricultural pesticide applicators Sept. 4 (St. Lucie County)


White and Bright Garden Plants


Review: A Practical Guide to Estuary Friendly Living



Of Interest...


NASA enlists UF faculty to develop small satellite technology


International scientists at UF this week for epidemiology workshop

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Weekly Harvest, August 28, 2013

Home | Newsletter Archives

ATTRA - National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service

Weekly Harvest Newsletter
Sustainable Agriculture News Briefs - August 28, 2013

Weekly sustainable agriculture news and resources gleaned from the Internet by NCAT staff for the ATTRA - National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service website. The Weekly Harvest Newsletter is also available online.

News & Resources

  • Floriculture Search Engine Now Online
  • Uncommon Fruit Website Introduced
  • Plant Diagnostic App Introduced
  • NOP Proposes Allowing Biodegradable Biobased Mulch Film in Organic Production
  • Minnesota Greenbook Highlights Sustainable Innovations in Agriculture
  • Harvesting Clean Energy Issues Call for Presentations

Funding Opportunities

  • NCR-SARE Research and Education Grant Program
  • USDA Rural Microentrepreneur Assistance Program
  • Minnesota Farm to School Grant Program

Coming Events

  • Small-Scale Intensive Farming: Lowering Risks and Increasing Profits
  • Value-Added Beef Workshop: Production and Cost Considerations for Finishing Animals for Direct Marketing
  • Snoqualmie Food, Farms, and Forests Day

News & Resources

Floriculture Search Engine Now Online
The American Floral Endowment (AFE) has partnered with North Carolina State University (NCSU) to create the Floriculture InfoSearch Engine, providing comprehensive access to floriculture literature, videos, and presentations. The website contains a floriculture archive with materials from AFE, NCSU, scientific journals, and trade publications. The search engine will be continuously updated.
Related ATTRA Publication: Specialty Cut Flower Production and Marketing

Uncommon Fruit Website Introduced
The Center for Integrated Agricultural Systems (CIAS) worked with Dale Secher of Carandale Farm to create a website detailing Secher's 10 years of on-farm research on uncommon fruit crops. Secher shares his observations and knowledge of using fruits such as aronia, currants, Saskatoon, and jostaberries in an integrated cropping system.
Related ATTRA Publication: Specialty Crops for Cold Climates

Plant Diagnostic App Introduced
A new mobile application created by eight university labs, including Purdue's Plant and Pest Diagnostic Laboratory, allows users to send digital photos and plant-problem descriptions to any of the participating labs. The other university diagnostic labs involved are Alabama Cooperative Extension, University of Connecticut, University of Illinois Extension, University of Kentucky, Michigan State University, University of New Hampshire, and Ohio State University. The app is free, but individual labs charge varying fees to submit samples.

NOP Proposes Allowing Biodegradable Biobased Mulch Film in Organic Production
USDA National Organic Program (NOP) has proposed amending the National List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances to allow the use of biodegradable biobased mulch film in organic production. Farmers wouldn't need to remove the biodegradable mulch at the end of the growing season. Public comments on the proposed amendment can be submitted until October 21, 2013.

Minnesota Greenbook Highlights Sustainable Innovations in Agriculture
The Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) has released its 2013 Greenbook, highlighting the results of innovative projects that test new approaches to raising crops and livestock in Minnesota. The projects are funded by the MDA's Sustainable Agriculture Demonstration Grant Program. The Greenbook is available online or in print.

Harvesting Clean Energy Issues Call for Presentations
Harvesting Clean Energy, the Northwest's premier gathering of agriculture, forestry, and energy industries to advance rural economic development through clean energy, has issued a call for presentations for the 2014 conference. The conference will be held in Helena, Montana, February 4-6, 2014. Guidelines for proposal submissions are available online.

>> More Breaking News

Back to top

Funding Opportunities

NCR-SARE Research and Education Grant Program
North Central Region SARE's Research and Education program offers competitive grants for researchers and educators in the twelve-state region who are conducting projects that explore and promote environmentally sound, profitable, and socially responsible food and/or fiber systems. Grants range from $10,000 to $200,000.
The deadline for preproposals is October 24, 2013.

USDA Rural Microentrepreneur Assistance Program
Under this program, USDA provides loans of up to $500,000 to selected Microenterprise Development Organizations (MDOs), which in turn make microloans for business start-up or development to eligible microentrepreneurs. Grants of up to $30,000 are available for MDOs to provide technical assistance and training, particularly in rural areas that have experienced significant outmigration.
Applications are due by September 13, 2013.

Minnesota Farm to School Grant Program
This program supports Minnesota school districts in the processing of Minnesota agricultural products. Grants are intended to create a feasibility plan that identifies specific equipment, tools, training, or policies needed by school districts, or to purchase equipment to allow schools to purchase, prepare, and serve more food grown or raised in Minnesota.
Proposals must be received no later than October 18, 2013.

>> More Funding Opportunities

Back to top

Coming Events

Small-Scale Intensive Farming: Lowering Risks and Increasing Profits
October 10, 2013
Wilmington, North Carolina

This workshop will provide information on risk-management strategies particular to business and financial planning, market diversification, and intensive crop-production techniques as a means of lowering risks and increasing farm revenue. Workshop participants will learn how to overcome barriers that commonly affect farmers on small-acreage and urban soils. Join Andy Pressman, Sustainable Agriculture Specialist with the National Center for Appropriate Technology, as he leads participants in exploring the application of small-scale intensive crop production.

Value-Added Beef Workshop: Production and Cost Considerations for Finishing Animals for Direct Marketing
September 30; October 7, 14, 21; November 14; or December 10, 2013
Various locations in Tennessee

To educate producers interested in responding to the demand for locally produced beef, University of Tennessee Extension's Center for Profitable Agriculture will be leading a new educational workshop in six locations throughout the state. The program will focus on beef production techniques and cost considerations.

Snoqualmie Food, Farms, and Forests Day
September 28, 2013
Snoqualmie, Washington

This is a community stewardship event organized by American Farmland Trust to engage local residents in restoration efforts on local farmland. Community volunteers will plant riparian forests on one of a handful of Snoqualmie Valley farms and learn more about healthy practices on farmland.

>> More Events

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Subscribe to the Weekly Harvest

Comments? Questions? Contact us

Weekly Harvest and ATTRAnews Archives
Digital versions of recent and archived Weekly Harvest and ATTRAnews newsletters are available online. ATTRAnews is the newsletter of ATTRA - National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service.

National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT) logo and link to home pageThe National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service - ATTRA - was developed and is managed by the National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT). The project is funded through a cooperative agreement with the United States Department of Agriculture's Rural Business-Cooperative Service.

Visit the NCAT website for more information on our other sustainable agriculture and energy projects.

© 2013 NCAT

Back to top

Sustainable Producer Spotlight
Say Hay Farms

Question of the Week
The farm I just purchased previously struggled with foot rot in sheep. How long will it take the foot rot organism to leave the ground?

Ask a Sustainable Agriculture Expert
Submit questions to our professional staff online

ATTRA Webinars
Last chance to sign up for our August 29 webinar, "Budding and Grafting Fruit Varieties for Organic Production," with NCAT's Guy Ames. Register now!

ATTRA Spanish Newsletter
Subscribe to Cosecha Mensual (Monthly Harvest), ATTRA's Spanish-language e-newsletter

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Python Patrol responder trainings Oct. 1st at Dupuis WEA

If you are interested in training in how to safely and humanely capture Burmese pythons and other invasive exotic constrictors to help with EDRR, there will be two trainings held on 10/1/13 at the Dupuis WEA in Okeechobee County. For the AM training (8am-noon), the link to sign up is and for the PM training (1-5pm), it’s . There is a more detailed description of the training on the webpage, but it will basically consist of an indoor interactive classroom training about Burmese pythons and other exotic animals followed by outdoor capture practice. All the info I think you need is on there (e.g., it explains how to do the online REDDy training as a prerequisite, has a link to the required permission slip, and has the location on a Google map). There is only room for 12 participants in each class, so only sign up as a participant if you are willing to help with python response by using the skills you practice if needed. There is room for an additional 28 observers (who participate in everything except the capture practice), so if you are not willing to capture a python after the class, sign up as an observer.


Contact me if you have any questions and know that this will likely fill up quickly, so don’t delay in signing up if you’re interested.


Cheryl Millett
(863) 635-7506, ext. 205 (Office)

(863) 604-3352 (Cell) 
(863) 635-6456 (Fax)

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The Nature Conservancy
LWR Office

P. O. Box 630
Babson Park, FL 33827-0630




Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Events and announcements

2013 Joint Tomato Conference:

** Please note all Tomato conference activities are being held at a new location.  The Ritz Carlton beach resort is undergoing renovations. The meeting will be held at the golf resort: Ritz-Carlton Golf Resort, 2600 Tiburón Drive, Naples, FL.


September 3: Tomato Food Safety Workshop: T-GAP/T-BMP Training and Research Updates, 1:00-5:30pm. Please see the attached agenda.

You can register for the meeting here:


September 4: Tomato Institute, 9:00am-4:00pm. Restricted Use and CCA CEUs are pending approval. Please see the attached agenda.

If you are interested in presenting in the “industry updates” section, please contact Chris Miller at:


If you have questions about becoming a sponsor, need to book a room or need to register for other parts of the conference, please visit the Florida Tomato Exchange Website or contact Diana Hester at:


September 12: Farm to School Webinar: Understanding School Food Service, 10:00am Please see attachment for details


September 25, 26: Core and Private Applicator Training and Exams

Core 10am-12pm Sept. 25, Private 10am-12pm Sept. 26, Manatee County Extension Service, Palmetto, FL.

Two separate exam prep classes will be held to help you prepare for the Core and Private Applicator RUP license exams. Exams will be offered immediately following the classes. However, you do not have to take the exams the same day.  You may schedule a time to take the exams at your convenience.  You may take one class without the other, if needed.

If you are already a license holder, 2 CEUs in Core and 2 in Private are offered for both classes, respectively. Light snacks will be offered. For details and registration visit:


Core Exam training and testing:


Private Applicator Exam training and testing:


October 21-22: Florida Agriculture Financial Management Conference, Orlando, FL. Please see the attached flyer for details.


October 22: Local Food Systems Urban Farming Conference 9:30am-3:00pm, UF/IFAS Extension Orange County. Please see attachment for details.


Farm Labor Supervisor Trainings: Five scheduled one-day trainings will be offered in different IFAS locations:  Sept. 10, Homestead; Sept. 24, Belle Glade; Oct. 22, Arcadia; Oct. 23, Bartow; Oct. 29, Immokalee. Please see the attached flyers for details.



Other News:


Job Opportunity: Pepper Research Technician

Enza Zaden is seeking a pepper research technician for their Myakka City location.




POSITION:Research Technician, Pepper


POSITION IN THE ORGANISATION: Reports to the Plant Breeder, Pepper


PURPOSE OF THE POSITION:  Provide support in the execution of plant breeding programs.


Summary of responsibilities:

1.   Set up and execute schedules for hybridization programs.

2.   Perform administrative duties.

3.   Oversee the administration of selected plants.

4.   Maintains an organized seed vault inventory.

5.   Other duties as may be required.


Brief description of responsibilities and duties:


1.     Set up and execute schedules for hybridization programs.

• On the instructions of the Plant Breeder, carries out hybridization programs in both field and greenhouse settings.

• Accurately pollinate, harvest and process fruit for seed according to the plan.

• Assists in sowing, monitoring germination after sowing and transplanting.

• Signals and discusses bottlenecks with the Plant Breeder. 


2 Perform administrative duties.

• Assists in collecting information for the research database and keeps organized data logs. 


3. Oversee the administration of selected plants.

• Ensures proper tagging, digging and labeling of plants. 

• Monitors insect and disease pressure of greenhouses and reports feedback to Farm Manager.


4.  Maintain an organized seed vault inventory.

• Prepares and organizes seed packets for receiving and storing into seed vault.


5. Other duties as may be required.

• Carries out all (project) activities as may be required by the Breeder.

• Collects plant samples for testing. 





Education / knowledge

Bachelor of Science degree required. Has a thorough knowledge of the respective crop with 1-2 years of relevant work experience.  Bilingual (English/Spanish) preferred. 



Excellent and clear communication skills (verbal and written).

Is accurate with strong attention to detail. 

Demonstrates effective supervisory skills.   

Proficient in Microsoft Office applications (Word, Excel, Outlook).



Shows personal initiative, is flexible, pragmatic, and a team player. 

Must be able to portray and promote a positive image of the company’s vision, mission and values.

Must maintain high confidentiality.



Performs the various duties independently as much as possible, under the responsibility of the Plant Breeder.



Contacts are mainly internal. 



Supervises the activities of the seasonal labor crew.


Working conditions

Sometimes works under pressure in greenhouses and open field under varying climatic conditions.  Infrequent travel, including overnight stays, may be required on occasion. 


Please send Resume to:


Enza Zaden Research USA INC.

27610 Crosby Road

Myakka City, FL 34251

Or by e-mail:





Crystal Snodgrass, M.S.
Extension Agent, Vegetables
Manatee County Government
University of Florida IFAS Extension
941-722-4524, Ext. 230
Fax: 941-721-6796


IFAS in the News, 8/27

Good morning! Here is IFAS in the News for Tuesday, Aug. 27, 2013.




Tomatoes Ripe for Improvement


The West is on the brink of a wild horse apocalypse. (No, really.)


Big Donation To Help In The Fight Against HLB


Rain too much of a good thing for some farmers


UF cries foul over Lee County's plan to slash funding|head


Tens of Thousands of Wild Horses Are Causing a Crisis Out West


Daily downpours raise concern for citrus crops


The gift of knowledge is passed on


Paper or plastic?


News & Notes: August 27, 2013 (St. Johns County; third item)


Captive mustangs could cost $US1b over next 17 years – experts



Of Interest…


UF: Innovation Hub spawns 250 jobs in just 20 months


Forgetful? It may be your medicine,0,





Follow UF/IFAS News on Facebook and Twitter.


FCHP training at HCC

This just in…  The starting date for the Florida Certified Horticulture Professional class to be offered at Hillsborough Community College has been changed to October 24 and the class will run through the end of January.

Contact HCC here


Mary Beth Henry

Small Farms/Pesticide Licensing

Extension Agent II, UF/IFAS Extension Polk County

1702 HWY. 17 S, Bartow, FL 33830
NOTE NEW PHONE NUMBER 863.519.1049  Fax: 863.534.0001
Previous number 863.519.8677 x 110 will be phased out soon 

No Farmers No Food


Need notice of upcoming training and other information?
Join the email newsletter here:
Join the conversation here




Monday, August 26, 2013

IFAS in the News, 8/26

Good morning! Here is IFAS in the News for Monday, Aug. 26, 2013.



UF Agricultural Communicators of Tomorrow chapter wins scholarship for fourth time


Activist group hiked into Loblolly Woods to protest partial sale to Collier Companies owner


An online foodie revolution: MOOC craze pulls top restaurant chefs into the learning game


Citrus Growers Crying for More Weapons to Battle Greening


Giant banana spiders are hanging out in a tree near you


Time to prepare garden for fall's arrival


Growing tomatoes in the fall is a bit of a race against time


How to attract birds to your yard


Garden Q&A: 'Super weeds' running rampant on lawn


Gardening: Butterflies flock to this friendly habitat


Mango tree has branch die-back



Of Interest…


Muschamp embraces the Gators' tough 2014 schedule


Backyard hives keep area bee biz buzzing amid threat,0,7230566.story




Follow UF/IFAS News on Facebook and Twitter.


Friday, August 23, 2013

Heartland CISMA: Success!, SAVE THE DATES, position available and more

Hi all, here are 7 new and 2 repeated Heartland CISMA tidbits:


1)      EDRR success update: Sandy Greer and Jennifer Heller of the Lake Wales Ridge State Forest recently did a check up on the Coral Ardisia project on the Walk in Water Tract near Tiger Creek.  They have treated the two areas three times since the Heartland CISMA partner and Ridge Rangers workdays in early 2012 to help with removing all the berries.  They were disappointed with the outcome of the first two treatments but after the last treatment and being patient, they feel they have a success.  Attached are two pictures following their first treatment and two pictures taken after their most recent treatment.  The June 20th picture is only dead sticks and the picture does not truly show just how many dead plants there are in this area.  If you were there, you remember how thick they were. Jennifer wrote, “We don't have a lot of true success stories like this one in our battle with invasive plant and this would have been an overwhelming task without your help.  Please share our pictures with the volunteers and let them know we think of them every time we revisit the site.  Thank you again for your help.” Thanks for sharing that, Jennifer! If anyone else has an EDRR plant infestation, report it on EDDMapS, ask for assistance from the FWC EDDR strike team, or if you’d like a partner workday to help get it treated and so partners can learn more about it in person, let us know.

2)      SAVE THE DATE #1: Monday, 9/9, 7pm, “So You’re Birding and You See a Python- What Do You Do?” detector training at monthly Hendry-Glades Audubon meeting - Cheryl Millett, Biologist at the Nature Conservancy, Dallas Townsend Bldg., located at 1085 Pratt Blvd., LaBelle. (863) 983-2870.

3)      SAVE THE DATE #2: Tuesday, 10/1, Python Patrol responder and detector training, Dupuis Wildlife and Environmental Area, Okeechobee County. I’ll send out the links to sign up next week.

4)      SAVE THE DATE #3: Wednesday, 10/16, Fall Grass ID training, Archbold Biological Station, Highlands County. This training will focus on native and exotic grass ID for natural areas and disturbed/pasture grasses with classroom and field portions. The flyer with details and sign-up will be sent as soon as they are available, but make sure to mark this on your calendar now.

5)      New FWC Biologist II position available to work on invasive exotic plants with applications due 9/11/13 (see attached).

6)      New IFAS info available:

Water quality and effectiveness of pesticides:

Paragrass factsheet:

7)      FLEPPC/SE EPPC abstracts available: posted on the websites at and

8)      Wish smutgrass was FLEPPC listed?- Contact Kevin Main with examples of smutgrass in native areas. Kevin Main of Archbold Biological Station is interested in submitting smutgrass, aka West Indian dropseed, (Sporobolus indicus var. pyramidalis) to the FLEPPC listing committee.  He would like to get smutgrass listed by the state primarily because it's a big problem with restoration efforts. He says, “We have large areas of smutgrass in pastures we are starting to restore. If smutgrass was state listed it would qualify for funding by state/federal agencies to be able to treat it. Evidently there are LOTS of ranchers who want to get rid of it but they can't get the state to list it just for pastures. However, if it can be proven as a problem in native/semi-native areas there would be more support for listing it.”

Contact Kevin (below) ASAP so he can compile your responses and include, if possible:

Habitats invaded, including disturbance level (disturbed, semidisturbed, undisturbed):

Name of non-vouchered natural area invaded:

Population density / age structure: 

Alteration observed to natural community:

Fire tolerance:


Kevin Main

Land Manager

Archbold Biological Station

123 Main Drive

Venus, FL 33960


9)      EDRR plant and animal priority lists. We started working on updating the plant list at the annual workshop and will finish that and create the animal list this year. Contact me to help.


Cheryl Millett
(863) 635-7506, ext. 205 (Office)

(863) 604-3352 (Cell) 
(863) 635-6456 (Fax)

Download our Nature Conservancy magazine App FREE for exclusive digital content.


The Nature Conservancy
LWR Office

P. O. Box 630
Babson Park, FL 33827-0630