DPI Diary: A Summary of the Week’s Activities at FDACS-DPI

February 22, 2013

Thousands enjoy Insect Encounter at the Florida State Fair!

ImageThe Florida State Fair closed its gates for this year. Fair officials estimated some 68,000 visitors saw our FDACS-DPI “Insect Encounter” display at the Ag Hall of Fame Building, which also housed the FDACS Viva Florida 500 “Florida Agriculture: Then and Now” traveling display and a historic display sponsored by the Florida Cattlemen’s Foundation. We continued with our Viva Florida 500 series on plants and their impact on Florida’s history with a history of Strawberries, courtesy of the Florida Strawberry Association.

. . . and are reminded, “Don’t Pack a Pest!”

ImageMeanwhile, a team representing cooperators in the “Don’t Pack a Pest” Traveler’s Program manned an exhibit at the Miami International Boat Show and Strictly Sail. While the “Don’t Pack a Pest” traveler’s campaign concentrates heavily on reminding international airline and cruise line passengers of the importance of declaring agricultural articles in luggage, we want all international travelers to get the message. The goal to to keep exotic, invasive pests from entering the country.

Cable TV ads Got Plenty of Attention in Miami

The dramatic cable TV ad we ran in the Miami market to encourage the public to Look For and  Report giant African land snails (see the ad here) compelled a couple of folks to call our Helpline,  1-888-397-1517, to ask if the snails are “real.” The snails are indeed real, and so are the threats they pose to homes, gardens, landscapes, agriculture and public health. (Full story here.)

Dania Residents asked to be on Alert for Conehead Termite

5371577-tree termitePlant inspectors from the Florida Department of Agriculture Division of Plant Industry are surveying in the Dania area of Broward county for the  Conehead termite, Nasutitermes corniger, which was recently rediscovered in Dania beach. The termite attacks structures as well as wood and paper products and is capable of causing widespread damage to homes and other buildings, as well as furniture. Residents should look for and report termite tunnels, nests or swarms to the FDACS-DPI Helpline,  1-888-397-1517. (See tree termite doorhanger here.)

Finally, these Brief but Important Items . . .  

  • Next week our 2013 blog series, “Five Hundred Years of Florida Flora Firsts,” will feature a history of the citrus industry, beginning with an account of the impact of freezes on the geography of the fruit in the Sunshine State.
  • Florida bees are hard at work pollinating California’s almond groves. The almond industry is experiencing a crisis-level shortage of bees. Growers need 1.6 million colonies to ensure proper nutting but this year their state has only 500,000 colonies. Florida is providing 90,000-100,000 more.
  • Rep. Ted Yoho, who represents Florida’s Third District, visited the FDACS/DPI at the Doyle Conner Building in Gainesville Friday for a briefing on the division’s mission and a tour of our labs.  Yoho is the only representative from Florida serving  on the House Agriculture Committee. He serves on the Subcommittee on Horticulture, Research, Biotechnology and Foreign Affairs and the Subcommittee on Livestock, Rural Development and Credit.
  • And finally, we learned how Canadian bees spend the winter while Canadian snow-birds are sunning it up in Florida. 



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: