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.
Friday, July 7, 2017
Florida Land Steward Update 7/7/17
FLORIDA LAND STEWARD UPDATE July 7, 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.
COGONGRASS PROBLEM? SIGN UP NOW FOR THE 2017 COGONGRASS TREATMENT COST-SHARE PROGRAM Apply by August 30, 2017 A Cogongrass Treatment Cost-Share Program is again offered to eligible non-industrial private landowners by the Florida Forest Service (FFS) through temporary grants from the USDA Forest Service. The primary objective of this program is to reduce the spread of cogongrass to new areas by helping private landowners control or eradicate existing infestations. Cogongrass (Imperata cylindrica L.) is a non-native, invasive grass that is established in Florida and several other southeastern states. In addition to being regulated as a state and federal noxious weed, cogongrass is a pest plant in 73 countries, and has been recognized as one of the "Top 10 Worst Weeds in the World." Cogongrass infestations negatively affect tree regeneration, growth and survival, as well as wildlife habitat, native plant diversity, forage quality and property values. They also increase the risk of wildfires and alter fire behavior. See http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/wg202 for more information about this pest.
The Cost-Share Program offers reimbursement of up to 50% of the cost of herbicide treatment of cogongrass infestations on non-industrial private land for two consecutive years. The maximum reimbursement is $100 per year for treatment of up to one acre, and $75/acre per year for any additional area. There is no minimum size, and qualified applicants may apply to treat up to a maximum of 133 acres of infested area. Applications must be submitted through the County Forester where the property is located. For more information see the Program website at: http://www.freshfromflorida.com/Cogongrass-Program or contact your Florida Forest Service County Forester.
2017 SOUTHERN PINE BEETLE ASSISTANCE AND PREVENTION PROGRAM Apply by July 31, 2017 The Florida Forest Service has announced the 2017 Southern Pine Beetle Assistance and Prevention Program, offered to eligible non-industrial private forest landowners by the Florida Forest Service (FFS) through temporary grants from the USDA Forest Service.
The goal of this program is to minimize SPB damage in Florida by helping forest landowners conduct management practices that can make their pine stands less susceptible to this destructive insect pest. Forest management practices such as thinning, prescribed burning, other competition control, and use of less-susceptible pine species can improve the health of pine stands and decrease their likelihood of developing SPB infestations.
The program offers partial cost reimbursement or incentive payments for first pulpwood thinning, prescribed burning, planting longleaf and/or slash pine, and mechanical underbrush treatments. All payments are made at specified per-acre or per-seedling rates.
The program is limited to 44 northern Florida counties located within the range of the southern pine beetle. Qualified landowners may apply for up to two approved practices per year. The minimum tract size requirement is 10 acres (5 acres for a First Pulpwood Thinning) and funding requests may not exceed $10,000. Only one application per landowner is permitted per year. All applications received during the sign-up period will be evaluated and ranked to determine which applications can be approved with the available grant funds. Applications that meet all of the eligibility and program requirements will be evaluated for funding. Landowners with current, active Forest Stewardship Plans or Tree Farm Certification will receive a 15-point boost in their ranking score. Those with a consultant-prepared Multi-Resource Management Plan (MRMP) on file with the County Forester will receive a 10-point increase.
AIR POTATO PATROL CITIZEN SCIENCE PROJECT A new on-line Citizen Science project is looking for volunteers at https://airpotatobeetle.com/. This collaborative project between University of Florida IFAS Extension and Florida Dept. of Agriculture and Consumer Services seeks to educate residents on how to identify and better control air potato vines, and to gather data important to current research and air potato leaf beetle tracking. The website contains educational videos and a blog to educate the participants and keep them updated. Volunteers will be asked to complete surveys to evaluate the level of air potato infestation and the presence of the air potato beetles in their test plots. For more information please visit the website or contact William Lester, UF/IFAS Extension, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
SOMETHING BUGGING YOUR TREES? - CHECK OUT THE NEW DIAGNOSTICS FORUM Hosted by a group of forest and tree health specialists with Southeastern universities and agencies, we are here to help identify pests and diseases in your forest or your backyard, and to recommend a solution, if appropriate. Join the group and report your tree health issue! Visit the new Forest Health Diagnostic forum on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/SouthernTreeHealthDiagnostics/
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
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
First Coast Invasive Species Management Area Meeting, 10 am to 3 pm ET, UF/IFAS St. Johns County Extension Office, 3125 Agricultural Center Dr, St Augustine, FL 32092. Topics will include control methods for Johnsongrass and Old World climbing fern; Early Detection Rapid Response training, and more. For more information contact Kaitlyn Dietz, (904) 823-2291, Kaitlyn.email@example.com
Florida USDA NRCS State Technical Advisory Committee Meeting, 10 am to 12:30 pm, Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, Doyle Conner Agriculture Building Auditorium, 1911 SW 34th Street, Gainesville, FL 32608. The meeting is open to the public and will give an overview of the 2014 Farm Bill programs and conservation easements. NRCS will solicit recommendations for establishing technical guidelines, program criteria and priorities for conservation practices in Florida. Individuals who want to get on the agenda or who require special accommodations or materials in an alternative format or language contact Jeffrey Woods, (352) 338-9515 by Aug. 1. Additional information on NRCS and programs is available on our website at or at your local USDA NRCS office.
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, Holmes, Jackson, Calhoun, 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.
Tri-StateForest Herbicide Workshop (link), 8 am to 4 pm ET, UF/IFAS North Florida Research and Education Center in Quincy, FL. This one-day workshop is appropriate for managers of forest land and natural areas and will provide 5 forestry CFEs and state pesticide license CEUs (5) applied for in AL, FL, GA. Speakers include: Dr. David Dickens, UGA, Dr. Nancy Loewenstein, AU, Dr. Stephen Enloe and Dr. Pat Minogue, UF, and representatives from industry. Registration is limited to 100 attendees and advance registration is encouraged through Eventbrite at the link above. This is filling fast so register soon.
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. CEUs and CFEs are pending.
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 other landowners, 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. This will be a relatively short but scenic walking tour so please wear appropriate clothing and footwear for the field.