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DPI Diary, March 8, 2013

March 11, 2013

Plant history blog concentrates on citrus

PrintThis week our FDACS-DPI blog continued a series of posts on citrus. “Citrus Canker: A Blemish of Epic Proportions” describes the citrus industry’s struggle to eradicate citrus canker, which was first discovered in Florida in 1912. The discovery of canker in Florida led to the formation of the Plant Board, predecessor of the Division of Plant Industry. Hurricanes in 2004 and 2005 put an end to eradication efforts when the USDA declared canker endemic to the state. Next week we will chronicle that nemesis of Florida citrus, the Mediterranean fruit fly. The yearlong series, “Five Hundred Years of Florida Flora Firsts,” will run through 2013 and supports the VIVA 500 celebration marking the landing of Ponce de Leon in Florida in April 1513.

Nominations Sought for Agriculture Environmental Leadership Award

AgenvirontLogoCommissioner of Agriculture Adam Putnam is seeking nominations for his Agricultural-Environmental Leadership Award, which has been presented annually since 1994. The program spotlights the environmentally innovative farming practices of the state’s growers and ranchers. Nominees share a commitment to protect and preserve Florida’s resources while continuing to provide agricultural products for society. The deadline for submitting nominations is May 1.  Click Here  for a nomination form and additional information.

Volunteers Sought to read on Ag Literacy Day

2013AITCBookFlorida Agriculture in the Classroom, Inc. is inviting volunteers to register now — or at least by the April 16 deadline — to read in classrooms on Ag Literacy Day,  April 30.  Volunteers can register, teachers can request a reader, and books can be requested and downloaded at: http://www.flagintheclassroom.com/agliteracyday.html

This will be the tenth year the Florida agricultural community has rallied to tell its story to elementary school students.

“Open Lines” Published

The FDACS department-wide employee newsletter, “Open Lines,” was published online. Read it at: http://myfdacs/marketing/OpenLines/winter_12.html

Redbay Ambrosia Beetle Still Spreading Laurel Wilt Disease in Florida

savetheguaciconcopyLaurel wilt is now confirmed in 41 Florida counties. The most recent discoveries were in Glades, Monroe and Manatee. Most detections are the result of an extensive trapping program as wel las ground and air surveys conducted by the Cooperative Agricultural Pest Survey program. Efforts involve resources from the FDACS/DPI, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the University of Florida. Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services Division of Plant Industry (FDACS/DPI) in Gainesville and the University of Florida Tropical Research and Education Center (TREC) in Homestead process suspect laurel wilt and redbay ambrosia beetle samples. While the labs continue to diagnose positive samples from avocado trees, most of the recent samples testing positive are from redbay trees throughout the state. Scientists continue to examine samples from the commercial avocado groves in Miami-Dade County. As a result, approximately 350 more avocado trees have been destroyed due to laurel wilt. Two outreach programs support continue to enlist public support for efforts keep laurel wilt disease from spreading further: “Save the Guac” and “Don’t Move Firewood.”

Submit specimens to FDACS-DPI on-line

We posted a form for on-line specimen submission here. Contact Dr. Greg Hodges if you have questions.

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