Wastewater carries pathogens, nutrients (nitrogen and phosphorus), and trace organic chemicals that may be harmful to human health and ecosystem functioning. Thus, proper treatment of wastewater is crucial. While septic systems can be one means of effective wastewater treatment, there are some special considerations for their use in Florida because of unique geography and sandy soils. The purpose of this new 6-page publication of the UF/IFAS Department of Soil and Water Sciences is to explain the basics of how septic systems work and how they can affect springs water quality in Florida, with a special emphasis on potential N loading from septic systems. This document is intended for homeowners, the general public, and county, city, and other local personnel tasked with managing water quality in areas with septic systems. Written by Mary Lusk, Andrea Albertin, Whitney Elmore, William Lester, and James Moll.
Pestalotiopsis-like fungi cause diseases on many different species of plants worldwide, including strawberry. The pathogen is not necessarily new to strawberry and was first reported causing fruit rot in Florida and Israel in the 1970s. However, during the 2018–19 and 2019–20 strawberry seasons, severe and unprecedented outbreaks were reported in Florida, characterized by symptoms on nearly all plant parts including roots, crowns, petioles, fruit, and leaves. This new 4-page publication of the UF/IFAS Plant Pathology Department describes the disease and its causal agent and briefly covers what is known about disease development and control practices. This document will provide valuable information to strawberry nursery and fruit production growers. Written by Juliana S. Baggio and Natalia A. Peres.
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.
Hops (Humulus lupulus L.) are an emerging crop in Florida. Florida’s craft beer industry has experienced significant growth over the last 10 years, with 285 breweries producing 42.6 million gallons of beer and generating an economic impact of $3.6 billion in 2018. To respond to their strong demand for locally grown hops, an interdisciplinary hops research team is currently studying optimum crop management practices at the UF/IFAS Gulf Coast Research and Education Center (UF/IFAS GCREC). In Florida, the major yield-limiting factor is premature flowering induced by inadequate day length. This new 4-page article, written by Shinsuke Agehara and published by the UF/IFAS Horticultural Sciences Department, provides guidelines for supplemental lighting to control flowering of hops in Florida.
Hops (Humulus lupulus L.) are an essential ingredient in brewing, adding bitterness and flavor to beer. Driven by the recent craft beer movement, hop production is expanding into nontraditional hop-producing states. In Florida, while commercial hop production is almost nonexistent, the number of craft breweries in Florida increased from 45 in 2011 to 285 in 2018, and the economic impact of Florida’s craft beer industry exceeds $3 billion. This new 7-page article, written by Shinsuke Agehara, Aleyda Acosta-Rangel, Zhanao Deng, Jack Rechcigl, and Simon Bollin and published by the UF/IFAS Horticultural Sciences Department, provides guidelines and considerations for building a hop yard in Florida, using the UF/IFAS Gulf Coast Research and Education Center’s research hop yard as a model.
Florida strawberry growers primarily utilize cultivars developed by the UF/IFAS Strawberry Breeding Program. These cultivars are bred to provide the yield and quality traits needed by the Florida industry. Yet if a new cultivar has the traits that Florida growers need but pathogen-tested planting stock is not available to growers, the cultivar’s impact will be limited. The Clean Plant Program generates the pathogen-tested planting stock that nurseries and growers require. This new 5-page publication of the UF/IFAS Horticultural Sciences Department, written by Catalina Moyer, Natalia A. Peres, and Vance M. Whitaker, is intended to educate both the industry and the public on the importance of the Clean Plant Program and the methods used to produce planting stock of new cultivars.