Key Plant, Key Pests: Oleander (Nerium oleander)

A polka-dot wasp moth. Credit: James Castner, UF/IFAS

This series of Key Plant, Key Pests publications are designed for Florida gardeners, horticulturalists, and landscape professionals to help identify common pests associated with common Florida flora. This new 5-page publication, the tenth in the series, helps identify the most common pests found on oleander. This publication provides information and general management recommendations for oleander aphids, oleander caterpillars, sphaerosis gall, oleander leaf scorch, and scale. Written by Juanita Popenoe, Jacqueline Bourdon, Caroline R. Warwick, and Jianjun Chen, and published by the UF/IFAS Environmental Horticulture Department.
https://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/ep574

Soils and Fertilizers for Master Gardeners: Soil Physical Characteristics

A child's hands planting a vegetable in the soil. Photo taken December 5th, 2015. UF/IFAS Photo by Tyler Jones

Soils are a foundational component of the landscape, providing a medium for plant root growth and playing a crucial role in nutrient cycling and water movement across the landscape. This new 7-page article describes the physical properties of soils, including soil formation in Florida, the soil profile, and water dynamics within soils, and provides a thorough reference for Master Gardeners and other individuals searching for a basic understanding of soil dynamics to apply to residential landscapes. Written by Amy L. Shober, Alexander J. Reisinger, Mary G. Lusk, and Sally Ann Scalera and published by the UF/IFAS Department of Soil and Water Sciences.
https://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/mg458

Children’s Citrus Activity: Diaprepes Root Weevil

Diaprepes adult

This new two-page children’s activity sheet features pictures of Diaprepes root weevil larva and adults as well as feeding damage. Page two includes a maze. Written by Lauren M. Diepenbrock and Jamie D. Burrow and published by the UF/IFAS Extension 4-H Youth Development program.
http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/4h403

Children’s Citrus Activity: Citrus Counting

A University of Florida orange grove in Lake Alfred, FL

Florida is well known for its citrus industry, valued at over eight billion dollars, and is one of the top citrus-producing states in the United States. This new one-page children’s activity sheet about Florida citrus includes an activity for students learning to count and match. Written by Jamie D. Burrow and Ariel Singerman and published by the UF/IFAS Extension 4-H Youth Development Program.
http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/4h402

Pesticide Recordkeeping Form for Florida Applicators

UF/IFAS Photo by Tyler Jones

This new 5-page document provides a form containing the required elements to include on a record of pesticide application for meeting the restricted use pesticide and Worker Protection Standard (WPS) requirements. An example application record and an explanation of the required elements is provided. This is not a required form because there are other methods to keep records if they contain the required information. Handwritten notes, electronic records, and other recordkeeping software systems are also acceptable. Written by Frederick M. Fishel and published by the UF/IFAS Agronomy Department.
http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/pi280

Biology and Management of Pusley (Richardia L.) in Tomato, Pepper, Cucurbit, and Strawberry Production

Brazil pusley flowers. Credit: Shaun M. Sharpe, UF/IFAS

Four species of pusley (Richardia L.) are widespread and common weeds in Florida vegetable and strawberry production. We refer to the native plant Richardia scabra L. as Florida pusley. This discrimination is necessary because these species are often referred to collectively as Florida pusley due to overlapping distributions, similar growth habits and leaf morphologies, and difficulty identifying without the presence of fruit. This new 6-page publication of the UF/IFAS Horticultural Sciences Department describes the different pusley species and provides management options for strawberry, pepper, cucurbits, and tomato. Written by Shaun M. Sharpe, Nathan S. Boyd, Chris Marble, and Shawn Steed.
https://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/hs1331

Lethal Bronzing Disease (LBD)

Figure 5. Discoloration of the lowest (older) leaves is an early symptom of TPPD in cabbage palm.

Lethal bronzing disease (LBD), formerly Texas Phoenix Palm Decline (TPPD), is a lethal phytoplasma infection of various palm species in the state of Florida. It was first detected in Florida in 2006 and has since spread to 31 different counties and been isolated from 16 different species of palm. This three-page fact sheet describes the pathogen and hosts of LBD, its symptoms, how to diagnose it, and disease management practices. Written by Brian W. Bahder and Ericka Helmick and published by the UF/IFAS Plant Pathology Department, this article is a revision of an earlier fact sheet by Nigel A. Harrison and Monica L. Elliott.
https://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/pp163

School-Based 4-H Programming: Incorporating Family Engagement into Your Program

family sillouhetted against horizon

Family engagement in 4-H programs allows family members, youth, and the community to become more aware, cohesive, and invested in youth development. This 4-page fact sheet, written by Vanessa Spero-Swingle and published by the UF/IFAS Florida 4-H Youth Development Program, discusses how to incorporate family engagement into your 4-H school programming. For the purposes of Florida 4-H, a school-based program can be defined as school enrichment (offered to groups of youth, taught by Extension staff or trained volunteers, and designed to support the school curriculum), an in-school club following a more traditional club approach during school hours, or an after-school club operating directly after school hours.
https://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/4h401

School-Based 4-H Programming: Middle and High School-Age Youth Programs

Transparent image of 4-H'ers sharing academic project details with adult. Statement in foreground reads, "4-H School Enrichment: A series of well-planned experiences – a minimum of six hours – during regular school hours. (Background image credits: USDA)

All youth, regardless of age, are at risk for engaging in negative behaviors that can get them into trouble during the afterschool hours when parents and other family members are at work. Middle and high school-age youth are at an age where they can most benefit from increasing opportunities to participate in programs with a positive adult role model, gain necessary life skills, and increase their knowledge of accessible opportunities. Middle and high school programs have the potential to support graduation rates and increase post-secondary school success. This 4-page publication of the UF/IFAS Florida 4-H Youth Development Program provides strategies for success in developing these programs in your community. Written by Vanessa Spero-Swingle.
https://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/4h400

School-Based 4-H Programming: Working with Partners Effectively

Two people during an interview. (UF/IFAS photo by Marisol Amador)

Partnerships open a world of possibilities. Partnerships provide an opportunity for multiple organizations to address community challenges while benefiting at the same time through shared resources, funding, personnel, and expertise. Desiring to partner with a school-based site is beneficial, but not always easy to implement. Being professional in your collaboration, prepared in your assessment, and intentional about your needs are ways to increase the likelihood of a successful partnership. This 4-page publication of the UF/IFAS Florida 4-H Youth Development program offers tips and strategies to build healthy, mutually beneficial partnerships in your program. Written by Vanessa Spero-Swingle.
https://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/4h399

Using Interest Approaches in Instructional Design and Delivery

Students in an auditorium classroom.

Most educators know that it can be challenging to get students motivated to learn at the start of a lesson. The importance of student motivation, academic desire, and engagement is well noted as these factors have been directly linked to students’ academic achievement. An interest approach uses a brief activity to stimulate students’ situational interest toward a topic. Although situational interest is typically held by the learner for a short duration, establishing situational interest at the start of the lesson maximizes students’ engagement, motivation, and attentiveness toward the lesson’s topic and student learning objectives. This new 4-page publication of the UF/IFAS Department of Agricultural Education and Communication describes components of interest approaches and techniques for integrating them into a lesson, and provides real-world examples. Written by Brianna N. Shanholtzer, Andrew C. Thoron, J. C. Bunch, and Blake C. Colclasure.
http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/wc334

Florida Blueberry Leaf Disease Guide

'Jewel' SHB

Southern highbush blueberry (SHB) cultivars are commercially grown throughout much of Florida, in both deciduous and evergreen production systems. In both systems, leaves can be damaged by many factors including environmental conditions, chemical applications, insects, and diseases. This new 12-page publication of the UF/IFAS Plant Pathology Department includes basic information to assist growers in determining 1) the likely cause (fungal, viral, algal, or bacterial) of leaf symptoms, 2) when specific leaf spots are likely to occur, 3) characteristic symptoms of common leaf problems, and 4) some of the management options that are available. Written by Douglas A. Phillips, Norma C. Flor, and Philip F. Harmon.
http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/pp348

Identifying and Meeting the Needs of Extension’s Target Audiences

Upfront discussions about expectations could potentially offset or defuse future problems.

This new 4-page article provides an overview of the concept of target audiences as relating to Extension education and briefly presents concepts of audience analysis and educational content selection. In contrast to the general population, a target audience is comprised of people who can take some explicit action to help solve an identified problem addressed by an Extension program. Sometimes they are also those most affected by that problem. An understanding of the concept of target audiences paired with intentional selection of appropriate educational activities and content can support an impactful Extension program. Written by Laura A. Warner, Glenn D. Israel, and John M. Diaz, this article is a publication of the UF/IFAS Department of Agricultural Education and Communication.
http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/wc336

Plant Biostimulants: Definition and Overview of Categories and Effects

Fucus distichus

This new 4-page article provides an overview of a group of crop production materials termed “plant biostimulants,” which are frequently promoted as environment-friendly alternatives to chemical-based products. It explains their regulatory status and presents an overview of the most popular materials (e.g., beneficial fungi, seaweeds, and silicon) and their effects on plants. Written by Ute Albrecht and published by the UF/IFAS Horticultural Sciences Department.
http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/hs1330

Program Evaluation Challenges for Early-Career Extension Professionals: What Can You Do to Reduce the Stress?

UF/IFAS Extension sign sitting on peanuts Photo Credits: UF/IFAS Photo by Amy Stuart

This article outlines meaningful strategies to overcome the program evaluation challenges that early-career Extension professionals face. The strategies outlined in this article are grounded in the experiences of Extension professionals in three states (Florida, North Carolina and Pennsylvania) and center on providing solutions to the challenges that newer Extension professionals felt were the most important to address, in order to provide a manageable framework for agents to use. This new five-page publication of the UF/IFAS Department of Agricultural Education and Communication was written by John Diaz and Laura Warner.
http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/wc335

Butterfly Pea (Clitoria ternatea) Flower Extract (BPFE) and Its Use as a pH-Dependent Natural Colorant

BPFE extract at normal pH (blue), lowered pH (green), and raised pH (purple)

Butterfly pea (Clitoria ternatea), a twining vine native to Southeast Asia, produces deep blue to purple flowers that bloom nearly year-round in ideal conditions. When extracted in a liquid, the addition of a mild acid such as lemon or lime juice turns the naturally deep blue to purple color into a much lighter pink or purple color, giving the extract its color-changing ability. This new 5-page publication of the UF/IFAS Environmental Horticulture Department outlines the use of butterfly pea flower extract (BPFE) as a pH-dependent natural colorant, including an explanation of the science behind the color change, detailed parameters for flower extraction, instructions for storage and processing of the extract as well as a discussion of some of the other benefits of using BPFE. Written by Sean Michael Campbell and Brian Pearson.
http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/ep573

Key Plant, Key Pests: Juniper (Juniperus spp.)

Dwarf Japanese juniper (Juniperus horizontalis) (also called creeping juniper) is used as a groundcover.

This series of Key Plant, Key Pests publications is designed for Florida gardeners, horticulturalists, and landscape professionals to help identify common pests associated with common Florida flora. This seven-page publication, the ninth in the Key Plant, Key Pests series, helps identify the most common pests found on Juniper, with information and general management recommendations for bagworms, eriophyid mites, scale, spider mites, webworm, mushroom root rot, needle blight, Rhizoctonia web blight, tip blight, and wet root rot diseases. Written by Juanita Popenoe, Jacqueline Bourdon, Caroline R. Warwick, and Alfred Huo and published by the UF/IFAS Environmental Horticulture Department.
http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/ep570

La Granada en Florida: Una fruta de arbol para Florida?

Árbol de granada ('Wonderful' cv.)

El potencial económico en la producción comercial para el cultivo de granadas en Florida es actualmente desconocido en este momento. La investigación científica continúa sobre la posibilidad de encontrar variedades de granadas que puedan crecer en Florida. Las condiciones ambientales, con una alta temporada húmeda en la Florida, y un clima caluroso, son factores que son favorables para las enfermedades en las granadas y eso reduce la calidad de esta fruta, especialmente para las variedades de temporada tardía como la variedad ‘Wonderful’. ‘Wonderful’ es el principal cultivar comercial que se originó en la Florida. Para reducir las enfermedades y evitar la competencia de comercialización con las granadas de California, la investigación para la producción de granadas en la Florida debe centrarse en buscar variedades de temporada temprana que puedan cosecharse en julio y agosto. This six-page document is the Spanish translation of HS44, The Pomegranate. Written by Ali Sarkhosh and Jeff Williamson, translated by Eva Pabon, and published by the UF/IFAS Horticultural Sciences Department.
http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/hs294

Food Safety on the Farm: Good Agricultural Practices and Good Handling Practices: an Overview

Workers picking and loading lettuce onto a conveyor belt UF/IFAS Photo by Tyler Jones.

Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs) and Good Handling Practices (GHPs) encompass the general procedures that growers, packers and processors of fresh fruits and vegetables should follow to ensure the food safety of their product. GAPs usually deal with preharvest practices (i.e., in the field), while GHPs cover postharvest practices, including packing and shipping. We will use the term GAPs in this fact sheet to generally cover pre- and postharvest practices associated with the safe handling of produce, both fresh and minimally processed. This five-page introduction to the Food Safety on the Farm series provides an overview of GAPs and GHPs, summarizing major principles and recommendations of later documents in the series. Written by Jaysankar De, Christopher R. Pabst, Jessica Lepper, Renée Goodrich Schneider, and Keith R. Schneider and published by the UF/IFAS Food Science and Human Nutrition Department.
http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/fs135

Protecting Perishable Foods During Transport by Truck and Rail

Airfoil accessories to increase fuel efficiency: underbody fairings

The importance of protecting perishable foods from loss of quality during transport has long been recognized. Increased recognition of the importance of the transport link in the food distribution cold chain in securing the safety of perishable foods has more recently become as well recognized.
This updated edition reflects the dynamic changes and innovations in the handling and transportation of perishable foods. Some of these include improved insulation and air movement, microprocessors for more efficient refrigeration, expert systems to control the transport environment and conserve fuel energy, and the use of telematics to monitor and control the performance of refrigerated vehicles during transit. This edition includes descriptions and recommendations for food transported over the road and by rail in marine containers, as well as in railcars. This 214-page revision was written by J. K. Brecht, Steven A. Sargent, Patrick E. Brecht, Jorge Saenz, and Leonard Rodowick and published by the UF/IFAS Horticultural Sciences Department in cooperation with the USDA AMS Transportation Services Division.
http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/hs1328