Friday, April 15, 2016

Peach Production in Florida - Great Article from

Everyday I check out the most recent news on producing horticultural crops in Florida. More and more press is going to #FloridaPeaches. The number one key to success is choosing the right variety with about 75% of the chill hours your area receives in a normal year. Given our recent swings in temperatures; hot mild winter in 2015-2016 and cooler neutral in winter 2014-2015. You might be thinking, "What's normal?". Check out the AgroClimate link that is connected to the Florida Automated Weather Network or FAWN at under the Climate Tab. Chill Accumulation is the link you are looking for, from there you'll be directed to

The closest weather station to Sumter County is Okahumpka Station located in Southwest Lake County. From there, I picked the 32-45 degree F model, because that's the temperature in which peaches accumulate chill. Then I choose my time range from Oct. 1, 2015 to Feb. 29, 2016. While this is pretty liberal on the Fall end (October). AgroClimate will then graph out a chill accumulation and projected chill accumulated. For this past year for the model and time frame, I choose southern Sumter/Lake counties received approximately 198 hours of chill. This is really low! Our historic average is 360 and last year we had 368 for the same time frame. Doing a little more math, 75% of our historic average comes out to 270. using this most people would have chosen a variety that had between 250 to 300 chill units required. Anything less than that would have required extensive frost/freeze protection due to the project bloom time of lower chill varieties.

Why did this discussion come about? Check out the peach variety infographic from those varieties listed are just a small number of the total varieties available.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Interesting Article about FARM 2 Table

Farm to Table has been a big movement over the past few years. The main questions posted by the journalist from Tampa Bay Times are:

  1. Are there any Farmers selling at the local Farmer's Market?
  2. What is local?
  3. Where did the produce really come from?

Check out the article which is Part 2 of 1 at

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Free Webinar on the Food Safety Modernization Act of 2011

USDA is hosting a free ‪#‎webinar‬ on the Produce Safety Regulation on Thursday April 21st from 2pm-3pm EST. Sign up online by using the shortened link :

Get on board now to understanding the changes coming to Farm Food Safety.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Free Online CEUs Available

Several opportunities exist to obtain Florida Department of Ag and Consumer Services pesticide license Continuing Education Units (CEUs) online. Typically, online CEUs are offered by reading articles on a topic covered in one of the many study manuals for exams. Along with reading the article, participants will have to complete a quiz. A score of 70% or better will be awarded a CEU in the selected category.

Currently, there are two locations for FREE CEUs on line. The first is through Citrus Industry Magazine at Four General CORE Standard CEU articles with quizzes are available all year long for those requiring CORE CEUs. The articles expire after 1 year of being posted. So don't choose the oldest article.
The second is through UF-IFAS Extension Hillsborough County which hosts The Plant Producer Newsletter.  New CEU articles are added on the quarterly basis in the categories of Private Applicator and General CORE Standards. Access to The Plant Producer CEU articles is at

Monday, October 12, 2015

Thrips Management for Strawberries Meeting in Dover, FL


Thrips Management in Strawberry
Grower meeting
Tuesday October 20, 2015
FSGA 13138 Lewis Gallagher Rd., Dover FL 33527

12:00-12:45        Grower Lunch Sponsored by DuPont
12:45-1:25          “Thresholds, seasonal abundance and resistance monitoring for thrips in strawberries”
                             Dr. Joe Funderburk, Iris Strzyzewski, Danielle Sprague         Entomologists, UF, North Florida REC

1:25-1:45            “Species complex and management of thrips in strawberries”
                             Drs. Oscar Liburd, Janine Razze, Elena Rhodes
                                    Entomologists, UF, Gainesville

1:45-2:10            Break & opportunity to view thrips and other strawberry pests.

2:10-2:30            “DuPont crop protection products for strawberry”
                             Dr. James Taylor, DuPont

2:30-3:00            Questions, answers and discussion

Please RSVP by Oct. 14 for headcount for lunch to Alicia Whidden at 813-744-5519 ext. 54134 or  CEU and CCA credits applied for.

Hillsborough County Extension is a cooperative service of Hillsborough County Board of County Commissioners and the University of Florida.

The Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (IFAS) is an Equal Employment Opportunity Institution authorized to provide research, educational information and other services only to individuals and institutions that function with non-discrimination with respect to race, creed, color, religion, age, disability, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, national origin, political opinions or affiliations.  U.S. Department of Agriculture, Cooperative Extension Service, University of Florida, IFAS, Florida A. & M., University Cooperative Extension Program, and Boards of County Commissioners Cooperating.

‪#‎Kansas‬ State University is doing a study of the ‪#‎marketing‬ practices, effectiveness and economic ‪#‎impact‬ of ‪#‎Nurseries‬ and ‪#‎Garden‬ Centers.
They need your help by filling out the survey at…
You’ll be able to see the results and enter to win an Amazon gift card.

Monday, September 21, 2015

National Farm Safety Week

National Farm Safety Week starts today, September 20, 2015. We all need to do our part to protect ourselves, employees, and children in agricultural environments. #FarmSafety is everyone's job! Resources are available at