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.
Monday, May 22, 2017
Florida Land Steward Update 5/19/17
FLORIDA LAND STEWARD UPDATE May 19, 2017
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.
LONGLEAF PINE CONE PROSPECTS FOR 2017 AND 2018 From the U.S. Forest Service, Southern Research Station During the spring of 2017, cone production data were collected from selected low-density stands of mature longleaf pine, throughout its native range. Binocular counts of green cones and unfertilized conelets were conducted on the crowns of sampled trees, as viewed from a single location on the ground. The regional cone crop is good for 2017, at 61.9 cones per tree. As usual, there is natural variation in cone production across the region. Bumper crops (> 100 cones per tree) were observed in Escambia County, Alabama, Santa Rosa Country, Florida, Baker County, Georgia and Chattahoochee County, Georgia. See the full report here.
USDA FARM SERVICE AGENCY OFFERS WILDFIRE RECOVERY ASSISTANCE USDA's Farm Service Agency (FSA) offers disaster assistance and low-interest loan programs to assist agricultural producers in their recovery efforts following wildfires or other qualifying natural disasters.
FUNDING AVAILABLE FOR COGONGRASS CONTROL ON PRIVATE LANDS WITHIN APALACHICOLA WATERSHED Funding is available from the US Fish and Wildlife Service Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program for invasive species control within the Apalachicola River watershed. Cogongrass on private lands in Gadsden and Liberty counties is highest priority for treatment. This is a 60% cost share. Contact Brian Pelc, The Nature Conservancy, (727) 515-8313, firstname.lastname@example.org.
RESTORE LONGLEAF PINE FOREST, REESTABLISH QUAIL ON FLORIDA'S AG LANDS Application Deadline is TODAY May 19 Agricultural producers in Florida have until May 19 to apply for financial assistance to restore longleaf pine and build habitat for northern bobwhite quail habitat. Landowners can apply through Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) of the USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS). NRCS helps landowners plant and manage longleaf forests through practices such as prescribed burning. Longleaf forests benefit both wildlife and landowners. Private landowners can get financial and technical assistance to restore and protect quail habitat in the following counties: Santa Rosa¸ Okaloosa, Walton, Jackson, Leon, Jefferson, Madison, Hamilton, Columbia, Clay, Levy, Marion, Osceola, Baker, Citrus, Polk, Highlands, Manatee, Charlotte and Sarasota.
Contact your local USDA service center for more information. A NRCS district conservationist will help you develop a conservation plan customized to your land and assist you in the application process for financial assistance. Applications are accepted throughout the year, although funding selections are usually made once a year. Learn more about getting started with NRCS.
FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE HELPS AG PRODUCERS IMPROVE WATER QUALITY Application Deadline is TODAY May 19 Agricultural producers in three watersheds can apply for financial assistance from USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) until May 19 to improve water quality in high-priority streams and rivers. The watersheds are Deep Creek and Clarks Creek on the Lower St. Johns River within Putnam and St. Johns counties and the Little Scurlock Creek Watershed on the Lower Choctawhatchee River within Jackson and Washington counties.
The National Water Quality Initiative (NWQI) helps farmers and ranchers adopt conservation practices such as improving soil nutrient management, planting cover crops, using conservation cropping systems, establishing filter strips and monitoring water quality.
The contact for the Deep Creek and Clarks Creek watersheds is NRCS District Conservationist Lakeisha Barber, 386-328-2908, x3 and in Little Scurlock Creek contact District Conservationist MaryJane Nelson, 850-526-2610, x3. New to working with NRCS? The first step is to develop a conservation plan with a NRCS specialist. Contact your local field office in Florida. Learn more about participating in conservation programs at www.nrcs.usda.gov/GetStarted.
FUNDING HELPS RANCHERS CONSERVE FLORIDA PANTHER HABITAT Application deadline is June 16 Ranchers in southwest Florida may be able to get financial assistance for managing their property for wildlife, including the Florida panther. To be eligible, a producer's operation must be in northeastern Collier County or southwestern Hendry County—an area identified as important for the long-term viability of the panther population. Federal, state and nonprofits are coordinating a suite of technical services and financial assistance to ranchers for practices such as building fencing and treating invasive plants.
To find out how to participate contact Luis Gonzales at FWC, 863-648-3826 or Erin Myers at USFWS, 239-657-8009. At NRCS in Hendry County contact District Conservationist Jim Sutter, 863-674-5700, and in Collier County District Conservationist Bob Beck, 239-455-4100.
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 at the University of Florida 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, email@example.com
37th Annual Florida Native Plant Society Conference (link), Westgate River Ranch Resort & Rodeo, 3200 River Ranch Boulevard, River Ranch, FL 33867. The conference will address the biological and ecological connections important to the Kissimmee River Basin and beyond. See link for details and registration.
Dr. Minno's Journey Into The Natural World (link), 10:30 am to 12:30 pm, B.B. Brown's Gardens at the Florida Scrub-Jay Trail, 11490 Montevista Road, Clermont, FL. Dr. Marc Minno will lead a 2 hour trek through the sandhill scrub and wetlands where butterflies live in abundance along with a plethora of tiny insects, caterpillars, birds, native plants, shrubs and trees. $10.00 per member, $15.00 per non-member. RSVP Required. Call or email (352) 429-5566, firstname.lastname@example.org
Feral Swine Workshop, 12:00 to 2:00 pm ET, UF/IFAS Columbia County Extension Office, 971 W. Duval Street #170, Lake City, FL 32025. Provided by Florida A&M University. Guest speakers will be J.C. Griffin, USDA/APHIS Wildlife Services and Pam Hunter, DVM, Florida Dept. of Agriculture and Consumer Services/Animal Industry. Free. Please RSVP by calling (386) 752-1117.
S-131 Firefighter Type 1 Training (link), 8 am - 5 pm ET, Doyle Conner Building in Gainesville, FL. Provided by Natural Areas Training Academy. Cost is $75. Topics include fireline reference materials, communications, and tactical decision making. Register by May 15, limited capacity. See link above for details and registration.
S-215 Fire Operations in the Wildland/Urban Interface (link), 8 am - 5 pm ET each day, Doyle Conner Building in Gainesville, FL. Provided by Natural Areas Training Academy. Cost is $100. Provides students with the skills and knowledge to size-up a wildland/urban interface fire incident, evaluate the potential situation, order and deploy the necessary resources, and apply safe and effective strategy and tactics to minimize the threat to life and property. Register by May 15, limited capacity. See link above for details and registration.
Regional Agritourism Workshop (link), UF/IFAS Martin County Extension Office, 2614 SE Dixie Hwy, Stuart, FL 34996. For farmers, policy-makers, and consumers interested in learning about agri-tourism. Includes farm tour and presentations. Provided by UF/IFAS Martin County Extension. $75 if by June 8, $90 after June 8. See link above for details and registration.
Cover Crop Tour Helps Florida Ag Producers Build Soil Health (link), 10 am - 1 pm ET at the NRCS Brooksville Plant Material Center, 14119 Broad St, Brooksville, FL 34601. Farmers, ranchers and researchers invited. Free tour showcases performance of 17 summer cover crop species in west central Florida and tests of five summer cover crop species to improve soil health. Learn evaluation results for different cover crop seed sources and planting recommendations. Regional soil health scientist Nathan Lowder will demonstrate different infiltration rates for cropland management types. Hosted by USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service. Contact Janet Grabowski at 352-796-9600, ext. 3831 or email@example.com.
Forest Stewardship Workshop: Sell Your Timber for what it's Worth (pdf link), 9:00 am to 2:00 pm ET, UF/IFAS North Florida Research and Education Center, 155 Research Rd, Quincy, FL 32351. Join us to learn the necessary steps to get the best return on your timber investment and meet your forest management objectives. We will also discuss income opportunities from the FWC's Gopher Tortoise Relocation Program. $10 fee covers lunch and materials. Register at https://fsp-workshop052517.eventbrite.com/. You can also call UF/IFAS NFREC, (850) 875-7100 to reserve a space. Please register by May 17 so we can plan accordingly.
Pond Weed Management Workshop (link), 6 to 8 pm CT, UF/IFAS Washington County Agricultural Center in Chipley, FL. Provided by UF/IFAS Extension. $10 fee includes supper and materials. Please register in advance by Friday, June 2. If you have any questions or would like to register contact the Washington County Extension Office at (850) 638-6180, or firstname.lastname@example.org. See link above for details.
Need Pesticide CEUs? Attend The Great CEU Round-Up (link), 8:30 am – 4:00 pm EDT at participating UF/IFAS Extension Offices in the Panhandle. Presented by The Florida Turfgrass Association and UF/IFAS. Earn up to 6 CEUs across 14 license categories as this statewide program is broadcast to participating Extension Offices, in the panhandle these include Bay, Escambia, Calhoun, Holmes, Jackson, Leon, Santa Rosa and Walton Counties. Until 7/21, registration is $15 for UF/IFAS employees, $30 for municipal employees, and $50 for industry professionals. Starting 7/22, prices increase to $22.50 for UF/IFAS employees, $45 for municipal employees, and $75 for industry professionals. See link above for details.
Invasive Exotic Species and Control Workshop (pdf link), 9 am to 3 pm CT, UF/IFAS Okaloosa County Extension Office, Crestview, FL. Join us to learn about identifying and controlling some of the most troublesome invasive exotic plants like cogongrass, Japanese climbing fern and others. We'll also address new and established exotic insects that are causing land management problems. Earn pesticide applicator CEUs and forestry CFEs and connect with partnership and assistance opportunities! Presented by the Six Rivers Cooperative Invasive Species Management Area and Florida Forest Stewardship Program. Register on-line at https://fsp-workshop092817.eventbrite.com/. You can also reserve a space by contacting UF/IFAS Okaloosa County Extension at (850) 689-5850. Please register by September 15 so we can plan accordingly.
Forest Stewardship Tour at David and Cindi Stewart's Sandhills Farm, Jackson County (pdf link), 9 am to 2 pm CT. Join us to learn about longleaf pine regeneration, prescribed fire, forest groundcover and habitat enhancements for a variety of wildlife species. Take this opportunity to meet your County Forester, UF/IFAS County Extension Agent, Landowner Assistance Biologists, and other resource partners that can provide management assistance, cost-share opportunities, forest certification and many other resources. $10 fee. Register at https://fsp-tour100517.eventbrite.com/ or contact UF/IFAS Jackson County Extension at (850) 482-9620. Please register by September 22 so we can plan accordingly.