Are consumers knowledgeable about neonicotinoid insecticides and pollinator-friendly plants?

Butterfly visits a coneflower. UF/IFAS Photo by Tyler Jones.

What does the general public know about neonicotinoids used in ornamental horticulture and their effects on pollinators? The question is an important one given that home landscapes serve as pollinator habitat and can impact pollinator health. This 5-page fact sheet written by Hayk Khachatryan, Xuan Wei, and Alicia Rihn and published by the UF/IFAS Food and Resource Economics Department summarizes a survey addressing consumer knowledge about neonicotinoids and pollinator plants, as well as their interest in enhancing pollinator health. The survey is part of a larger research project aimed at incorporating pollinator conservation into the ornamental horticulture industry's sustainability initiatives.
https://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/fe1081

How to Measure Leaf Disease Damage Using Image Analysis in ImageJ

An example of image processing techniques for image-based quantification of leaf disease damage using ImageJ.

This new 13-page article introduces simple image processing and analysis techniques to quantify leaf disease damage using ImageJ, an open-source image processing program. These techniques are not meant to replace crop scouting or disease diagnosis by a plant diagnostic laboratory, but rather to provide a supplemental tool for making quantitative measurements of leaf disease damage. Similar techniques are also available for plant growth assessment, including plant height, plant width, and canopy cover area. The image processing and analysis techniques introduced in this article are fairly simple to use and thus can be adopted not only by researchers, but also by producers, crop consultants, Extension agents, and students. Written by Lillian Pride, Gary Vallad, and Shinsuke Agehara, and published by the UF/IFAS Horticultural Sciences Department.
https://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/hs1382

Implementing the Five Rs of Nutrient Stewardship for Fertigation in Florida’s Vegetable Production

Diagram of root zone fertilized with drip fertigation (left) and dry granular fertilization with drip irrigation (right). This diagram illustrates how a fertigation system is able to confine nutrients to the root zone. Because the nutrients are supplied with irrigation and in small quantities, they are less likely to leach and more likely to be taken up by the crop. Conversely, granular fertilization supplies the soil with a larger quantity of nutrients at one time, thereby enhancing the likelihood of leaching. Credits: Mary Dixon, UF/IFAS

The five Rs of nutrient stewardship is a mnemonic device used to emphasize accuracy and precision for nutrient management so as to apply the (1) right source of fertilizer at the (2) right rate at the (3) right time in the (4) right place with the (5) right irrigation. Because the majority of Florida’s soils are sandy, this fifth R is imperative for sustainable nutrient management for commercial crop production. These main points of nutrient management (source, rate, time, place, irrigation) may help enhance sustainability by reducing pollution by eutrophication, nitrogen loss through ammonia volatilization, and climate change from soil greenhouse gas emission. This new 8-page publication of the UF/IFAS Horticultural Sciences Department was written by Mary Dixon and Guodong Liu.
https://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/hs1386

Ocean Acidification: pH Variability across Space and Time

Ocean, horizon, and clouds over the Gulf of Mexico.

The absorption of atmospheric carbon dioxide by the oceans has changed the chemical properties of seawater and made it more acidic all over the world. Florida, with an extensive coastline and deep cultural and economic ties to marine resources, will be directly affected. This 4-page fact sheet written by Lisa Krimsky, Joseph Henry, and Joshua Patterson and published by the UF/IFAS Program in Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences, School of Forest Resources and Conservation focuses on the spatial and temporal variability in oceanic pH and provide an overview of pH variability in Florida's coastal waters.
https://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/fa227

Consumer and Producer Perceptions and Preferences for Pollinator Friendly Labeling Practices in the US Green Industry

close-up of two bees on a yellow flower

Increasing consumer interest in sustainable products and in protecting bees and other pollinator insects may be reducing demand for plants grown using neonicotinoids. This 5-page fact sheet written by Hayk Khachatryan, Xuan Wei, and Alicia Rihn and published by the UF/IFAS Food and Resource Economics Department summarizes consumer and producer perceptions about neonicotinoid-related regulations and labeling practices and identifies discrepancies between consumer and producer preferences for different pollinator friendly labeling phrases.
https://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/fe1083

Homeowners’ Preferences for Smart Irrigation Systems and Features

In this photo released from the University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, extension agent Janet Bargar checks the water flow and direction of a pop-up irrigation system at a home in Vero Beach – Friday, May 25, 2007. Bargar, a water quality expert, suggests residents check with their county extension office about local watering restrictions. She says the ideal time to water is before sunrise and that residents should check irrigation systems regularly to be sure they’re working properly and not watering the sidewalk. Photo Credits: UF/IFAS File Photo

Drought conditions make landscape irrigation and reducing water use top-of-mind for many Floridians. Encouraging wise water use is of particular importance to the smart irrigation industry and water policy makers. This 5-page fact sheet written by Hayk Khachatryan, Alicia Rihn, Dong Hee Suh, and Michael Dukes and published by the UF/IFAS Food and Resource Economics Department pinpoints key attributes and barriers affecting consumers' irrigation purchases and their adoption of smart irrigation technologies.
https://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/fe1080

Biology and Management of Garden Spurge (Euphorbia hirta) in Ornamental Crop Production

Young garden spurge seedlings, approximately 2 weeks after germination.

Garden spurge is a prostrate, herbaceous, short-lived, warm-season annual weed commonly found in Florida landscapes, container nurseries, and other agricultural production areas. This 5-page article is written to aid green industry professionals and others in the identification and management of garden spurge in and around ornamental plants. Written by Thomas Smith, Chris Marble, Shawn Steed, and Nathan Boyd, and published by the UF/IFAS Environmental Horticulture Department, July 2020.
https://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/ep586

Advantages and Disadvantages of Various Dry-off Methods for Dairy Cows

A dairy cow. Photo taken 03-31-18.

This 6-page document reviews advantages, disadvantages, and cost of four dry-off methods and gives recommendations for practical dry-off management. Written by Pornpamol Pattamanont, Marcos Marcondes, and Albert De Vries, and published by the UF/IFAS Department of Animal Sciences, June 2020.
https://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/an360

Bagasse: A Potential Organic Soil Amendment Used in Sugarcane Production

Pile of bagasse collected at the US Sugar processing plant in Clewiston, FL.

Bagasse is an agricultural by-product derived from the sugarcane milling process. It is a dry and fibrous residue left after the extraction of sugar juice from sugarcane. This 5-page document is a preliminary investigation into the possible effects of using bagasse as a soil amendment. Written by Jehangir H. Bhadha, Nan Xu, Raju Khatiwada, Stewart Swanson, and Chris LaBorde, and published by the UF/IFAS Department of Soil and Water Sciences, August 2020.
https://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/ss690

Diet and Chronic Inflammation

Assortment of food and groceries that can be purchased for under twenty-five dollars. Photo taken 11-09-16.

Inflammation is your body’s response to injury and infection—it’s how your immune system helps to protect you from harm. In contrast, chronic inflammation contributes to many diseases, including heart disease, diabetes, and kidney and liver disease. This new 4-page publication of the UF/IFAS Food Science and Human Nutrition Department discusses inflammation and the dietary choices that may help to reduce chronic inflammation. Written by Daniela Rivero-Mendoza and Wendy Dahl.
https://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/fs402

Weight Loss and the Older Adult: Risks and Benefits

Hands sorting peanuts for quality. Consuming more plant-based proteins such as soy, legumes, nuts, and seeds can help manage unintentional weight loss.  Photo Credits:  UF/IFAS Photo by Tyler Jones

Adults who are obese are often advised to lose weight to reduce the risk of chronic disease. However, the health benefits of weight loss change as we become older, and unintentional weight loss is linked to its own set of health risks. This new 3-page publication of the UF/IFAS Food Science and Human Nutrition Department discusses the risks and benefits of planned and unplanned weight loss for older adults. Written by Wendy Gans, Rachelle Savelle, Nancy J. Gal, and Wendy Dahl.
https://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/fs401

Popular Diets: Raw Foods

Strawberries, blueberries, cereal grains, and a banana. Fragaria, fruits, foods, red, sweets, healthy eating. UF/IFAS Photo: Tyler Jones.  Photo Credits:  UF/IFAS Photo by Tyler Jones

The raw foods diet has its roots in a vegetarian movement dating back to the 1800s. As the name implies, a raw foods diet is a dietary pattern composed of mostly or completely raw, unprocessed foods. This new 3-page publication of the UF/IFAS Food Science and Human Nutrition Department explores the potential health benefits and risks of a raw foods diet. Written by Alexa Barad, Daniela Rivero-Mendoza, and Wendy Dahl.
https://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/fs404

Popular Diets: Ketogenic Diet

Fridge food organization.  Photo Credits:  UF/IFAS Photo by Tyler Jones

The ketogenic diet is a high-fat, very low carbohydrate diet. The first documented use of the ketogenic diet was in 1921 to treat epilepsy in children. In the past few years, the ketogenic diet has resurged in popularity as a potential means for weight loss. The ketogenic diet has become popular due to celebrity endorsement and social media influences. This new 4-page publication of the UF/IFAS Food Science and Human Nutrition Department explains the concepts behind this diet, explores the available menu, and examines whether this diet is safe and effective. Written by Kelsey Gemmill, Daniela Rivero-Mendoza, and Wendy Dahl.
https://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/fs403

Production Guide for Choy Sum: An Emerging Asian Vegetable in Florida

Cooked choy sum. A) Flowered choy sum chopped into pieces and stir-fried with dried chili pepper. Credit: Yi Wang; B) Purple choy sum chopped and stir-fried with garlic and Sichuan peppercorns. Credits: Yi Wang, Kaijiang, Sichuan, China

Choy sum, also known as Chinese flowering cabbage, is a leafy vegetable that has been widely cultivated in southern China for more than 1,000 years, and is currently cultivated and consumed by a growing population in the western world. This new 5-page publication of the UF/IFAS Horticultural Sciences Department, written by Yanlin Wang and Guodong Liu, provides a brief overview of choy sum and its cultivation, as well as some suggestions for how to include it in a meal.
https://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/hs1380

Wastewater and Septic System Management for the COVID-19 Virus: Frequently Asked Questions

The virus that causes COVID-19

This new 3-page publication of the UF/IFAS Department of Soil and Water Sciences answers common questions about the potential role of wastewater and septic systems in transmission of COVID-19. It is intended as guidance for the general public. Written by Mary G. Lusk.
https://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/ss692

Recomendaciones para el Control y Mitigación de la Marchitez del Laurel y sus Vectores, los Escarabajos Ambrosia, en Arboledas Comerciales de Aguacate en Florida

Avocado. UF/IFAS Photo: Thomas Wright.

This is the Spanish translation of Recommendations for Control and Mitigation of Laurel Wilt and Ambrosia Beetle Vectors in Commercial Avocado Groves in Florida (HS1360). Laurel wilt and the ambrosia beetle vectors that transmit this lethal disease have and will continue to affect avocado production in Florida. At least 50% of the commercial producers are Hispanic Americans and some are more comfortable with publications in Spanish. The translator, Rubén Regalado, and reviewer, Carlos Balerdi, are both previous employees of UF/IFAS.
https://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/hs1379

Irrigation System Descriptions for Tropical and Subtropical Fruit Crops in Florida

Irrigation. The Fort Lauderdale Research Addresses the unique concerns of the highly urbanized commercial horticulture and pest control industries and related urban/suburban consumer population of subtropical Southern Florida and agricultural producers, land and water managers , and consumers throughout Florida.  Photo Credits:  UF/IFAS File Photo

Florida’s tropical and subtropical fruit crop industries use various irrigation systems, including high-volume systems designed for irrigation and freeze protection, drip systems for herbaceous fruit crops (papaya, banana), and microsprinkler types, mainly for irrigation and fertigation. There continues to be a steady stream of potential tropical and subtropical fruit producers in Florida, many with little to no knowledge of the various types or purposes of various irrigation system that have been used successfully for the past 60 years. This new 9-page publication of the UF/IFAS Horticultural Sciences Department includes potential producers, Extension faculty and agents, and irrigation companies. Written by Jonathan Crane, Haimanote Bayabil, Edward A. Evans, and Fredy Ballen.
https://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/hs1375

Selection and Preparation of Planting Material for Successful Hop Production in Florida

‘Cascade’ hop tissue-cultured liners. These liners need to be transplanted and grown in pots until they reach a suitable size for field setting. Credits: Shinsuke Agehara, UF/IFAS

Hops (Humulus lupulus L.), an essential ingredient in beer, have potential to develop as a viable alternative crop in Florida. In our surveys, many breweries have expressed strong interest in using locally grown hops. However, hop production is plagued by many diseases, most of which were inadvertently introduced through the movement of contaminated planting material. The primary purposes of this new 7-page article are to prevent the introduction of these diseases into the state and to provide recommendations for selecting and preparing planting material for successful hop production in Florida. This publication of the UF/IFAS Horticultural Sciences Department is part of a larger series that will review the challenges of hop production, based on research experience at the UF/IFAS Gulf Coast Research and Education Center (UF/IFAS GCREC) in Balm, FL.
https://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/hs1381

Biofuel: Concepts and Considerations

Flasks and containers of sorghum pulp representing sorghum based ethanol production. Biofuels, chemistry. Image used for the 2012 Annual Research Report.  Photo Credits:  UF/IFAS Photo by Tyler Jones

Biofuels are combustible fuels derived from recently produced biomass, as opposed to ancient biomass, which is the source of petroleum products. The term biofuel usually refers to liquid fuels used as replacements for or additives to petroleum-based liquid fuel. This new 6-page publication of the UF/IFAS Department of Soil and Water Sciences serves as an introduction to biofuels for Extension educators and anyone interested in learning basic terminology, concepts, and impacts of biofuels as a replacement for fossil fuels. Written by Tanumoy Bera, Kanika S. Inglett, and Ann C. Wilkie.
https://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/ss688

Best Practices for Communicating about Outdoor Residential Water Conservation

In this photo released from the University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, extension agent Janet Bargar checks the water flow and direction of a pop-up irrigation system at a home in Vero Beach – Friday, May 25, 2007. Bargar, a water quality expert, suggests residents check with their county extension office about local watering restrictions. She says the ideal time to water is before sunrise and that residents should check irrigation systems regularly to be sure they’re working properly and not watering the sidewalk. Photo Credits:  UF/IFAS File Photo

Extension communication efforts can be made more effective when following a strategic communication plan. To guide a strategic communication effort, it is imperative to have purposeful messaging along with an understanding of your target audience and communication channel. This new 3-page document, published by the UF/IFAS Department of Agricultural Education and Communication, presents a synthesis of literature highlighting best communication practices in regard to water conservation efforts. Written by Jacqueline Aenlle and Laura A. Sanagorski Warner.
https://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/wc366