This blog is for Polk County Florida small farms and pesticide applicators as a method of communication and sharing information. This blog is administered by the University of Florida IFAS Extension Polk County Extension Agent, Mary Beth Henry.
Tuesday, November 17, 2015
Florida Land Steward Update 11/13/15
Florida Land Steward Update November 13, 2015
Have Land? Get a Plan and Stay Connected. Florida Land Steward is your source of assistance, information, events and resources.
News, information and upcoming events below. Please share this update with your neighbors, colleagues and others that may be interested.
JOIN US FOR A FOREST HEALTH UPDATE WORKSHOP ON DECEMBER 10, BROADCAST FROM THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA TO PARTICIPATING UF/IFAS EXTENSION OFFICES Insects and diseases are natural components of the forest. Some of these insects and diseases can become pests when they inhibit tree regeneration and growth on a large scale. In addition to native pests, invasive exotic pests are a growing challenge, with new species being introduced every year. Experts from the University of Florida and Florida Forest Service will provide an update on current forest health issues and priorities across Florida with emphasis on proactive management and available assistance. Free event. December 10, 2015; 1-4 pm EST. See the flier for details and confirmed host locations: Forest Stewardship Polycom Workshop: Forest Health Update
TAX TIPS FOR FOREST LANDOWNERS FOR THE 2015 TAX YEAR Federal income tax laws can influence a private woodland owner's financial decisions about land management. Yet, special favorable tax provisions on timber that are intended to encourage private forest management and stewardship are commonly unknown. To help woodland owners in filing their 2015 tax returns, this publication, by Dr. Linda Wang, USDA Forest Service National Timber Tax Specialist, explains the federal income tax laws on timber. The information is not legal or accounting advice. It is current as of September 30, 2015. This publication and other related resources are available at http://www.timbertax.org
USDA HELPS RESTORE, MANAGE LONGLEAF PINE FORESTS ON PRIVATE LANDS Longleaf Provides Critical Wildlife Habitat, Valuable Timber USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is providing $10.6 million to aid forest managers restoring longleaf pine ecosystems on private lands in nine states, including $1,278,000 for Florida. Longleaf pine forests nearly vanished, but a coordinated conservation effort, led by USDA and other conservation partners, is helping this unique ecosystem of the Southeast recover.
"USDA is committed to working with land managers to help restore and expand this critical ecosystem, and together we have restored nearly a quarter of a million acres since 2009," said Russell Morgan, NRCS state conservationist in Florida. "Longleaf forests provide vital habitat to a variety of species as well as valuable timber. We look forward to seeing what we can accomplish together in this next round of the initiative."
During the past two centuries, development, timbering and fire suppression reduced the ecosystem's range by almost 97 percent. Longleaf forests once dominated the coastal plains of the Southeast, and 29 threatened and endangered species – including the gopher tortoise and black pine snake – depend on these forests for survival.
NRCS' Longleaf Pine Initiative, now in its sixth year, has helped restore more than 240,000 acres of longleaf forests. NRCS provides technical and financial assistance to help landowners and land managers plant longleaf as well as manage longleaf forests through practices like prescribed burning. Longleaf trees are resistant to fire, and prescribed burning mimics a natural process that once enabled them to thrive. Additionally, fire gives life to a fresh understory of plants that provides food for wildlife. Longleaf forests benefit both wildlife and land managers. Longleaf pine trees, while slower growing than other pines like loblolly, provide highly valuable timber. Longleaf pine straw has also become a popular landscaping material.
Assistance is available to land managers in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Texas and Virginia. Interested landowners are encouraged to contact their local USDA service center.
USDA NRCS PROGRAMS HELP FLORIDA FARMERS, RANCHERS CONERVE NATURAL RESOURCES Application deadline for financial assistance Dec. 18 Florida farmers and ranchers can apply until Dec. 18, 2015, for financial and technical assistance from USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) programs for fiscal year 2016 funding. Although applications are accepted on a continuous basis for all programs, funding selections are typically made once a year.
Through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP), landowners may receive financial and technical assistance to improve soil, water, air, plants, animals and related resources. Eligible land includes cropland, rangeland, pastureland, private non-industrial forestland and other farm or ranch lands.
The Agricultural Conservation Easement Program (ACEP) provides financial and technical assistance to conserve agricultural lands and wetlands. Agricultural Land Easements help farmers and ranchers keep their land in agriculture. Eligible partners are Indian tribes, state and local governments and non-governmental organizations that have farmland or grassland protection programs. Wetland Reserve Easements offer technical and financial assistance directly to private landowners and Indian tribes to restore, protect and enhance wetlands through the purchase of a wetland easement.
Begin by visiting your local NRCS field office and requesting help developing a conservation plan. Our experts provide this free service to help you use your natural resources more efficiently. To learn about technical and financial assistance available from NRCS, go to Getting Started with NRCS.
FOREST STEWARDSHIP VIDEOS - VIEW AND SHARE! Enjoy and share these videos about a variety of stewardship topics: the Forest Stewardship Program, forests and water, thinning your pine stand, invasive species, greenbelt property tax assessment. All these videos are on the Florida Forest Stewardship Program home page – check them out: http://sfrc.ufl.edu/forest_stewardship
SOMETHING BUGGING YOUR TREES? Do you have pests or a disease in your trees? Leaves or needles wilting, and you don't know why? Sawdust falling out of your trees, and you don't know how to save them? There is help: ask your question at the free Forest Health Diagnostic Forum: http://sfrc.ufl.edu/treehealth/forum/.
GOT AN INVASIVE SPECIES PROBLEM? Go to floridainvasives.org for information, assistance and partnership opportunities.
LOOKING FOR INFORMATION ON A PARTICULAR TOPIC? Check the vast array of extension publications available through UF/IFAS on the EDIS publication site: http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/ Wow, there's a publication about that?
HAVE AN EVENT OR RELATED NEWS TO SHARE? Drop a line to Chris Demers, firstname.lastname@example.org
Marion County Farm City Festival (link), Marion County 4-H Farm, 5151 SE 58th Ave (Baseline Rd), Ocala, FL. Farmers market, fun stuff for kids, livestock, farm equipment, food, live music, and more. See link for details.
Lake County Farm Tour, starting at 8 am, UF/IFAS Lake County Ag Center. We will board buses for a tour of northeast Lake County agriculture with four farm stops and a stop for lunch. Be prepared to walk with appropriate foot wear. Buses will leave promptly at 8:30 am. Details and registration is at 2015lakecountyfarmtour.eventbrite.com/. Register by Nov. 10. For more information contact Lake County Extension at (352) 343-4101.
Agriculture Conservation Workshop: C.R.O.P. - Comprehensive Rural Opportunities Program (link), 9:00 AM to 2:00 PM ET, Duval County Public Schools Annex, 275 US 301 N,Baldwin, FL 32234. Farmers and landowners interested in conservation efforts, funding, and lending opportunities available. U.S. Department of Agriculture's Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), University of Florida extension service and others will be on hand to discuss different conservation efforts and business opportunities. Provided by USDA NRCS. Event is free but please register. Lunch, sponsored by Wealth Watchers, will be served. See link above for details and registration or reserve a space by calling Wealth Watchers at (904) 265-4736.
Wildland Fire Chainsaw Training (link), 9 am to 5 pm each day, Ordway Swisher Biological Station, Melrose, FL. Provided by Natural Areas Training Academy. Cost is $150. See link above for details.
Forest Stewardship Tour at Withlacoochee Gulf Preserve in Yankeetown, FL (pdf link), 9:00 am to 2 pm ET, Withlacoochee Gulf Preserve, 1001 Old Rock Road, Yankeetown, FL 34498 . Join us for this unique tour of a municipal Forest Stewardship property managed to provide a place for citizens to appreciate the beauty of Florida's Nature Coast wetlands. With streams, lakes, salt marshes, pine and hardwood forests, the Withlacoochee Gulf Preserve is a unique piece of old Florida. $10 fee covers lunch and materials. Don't miss this unique opportunity. Register on-line at https://fsp-tour1203215.eventbrite.com/ or reserve a space by contacting Chris Demers, (352) 846-2375, email@example.com
Greenhouse Gas Mitigation Workshop, Gwinnet Environmental & Heritage Center, Buford, GA. Provided by the USDA Forest Service Southeastern Climate Hub. Landowners, land managers, foresters, and agency staff are invited to learn about adaptive strategies that make workiing lands more resilient and able to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions. Free. Registration and more details at link above.
Forest Stewardship Polycom Workshop: Forest Health Update, 1-4 pm ET at Alachua, Columbia, Duval, Gadsden, Jackson, Lake, Santa Rosa, and Walton County Extension Offices. Get the latest on the insects and diseases affecting Florida's forests and available assistance. See above for details and registration.