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DPI Diary

November 15, 2013

A look at the week’s social media activities at FDACS/DPI

Public outreach calls attention to giant African land snail eradication

BusBench

One of the many bus benches that call public attention to the giant African land sanil eradication program.

This month, Miami residents will be hard-pressed to avoid hearing or seeing information about giant African land snails.  The snails are known to consume more than 500 kinds of plants, as well as stucco and concrete. They  threaten human and animal health, because they are known to harbor the rat lungworm, a microscopic parasite that can cause a form of meningitis in humans and animals that are exposed to the snails’ slime.  Folks who walk or ride the bus in any of the 22 core areas where the snail has been found are seeing signs on bus benches. The snail eradication program is also being featured on channels on Comcast Cable and in ads on WIOD Radio. There’s also a new billboard on N.E. 54th Street just west of N.E. Second Avenue, an area where thousands of the snails have been collected.  More than 50 employees from the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services are dedicated to this eradication effort.  Following a recent, encouraging program audit by an international snail expert, state and federal agriculture officials are optimistic the program is on the right track for a successful eradication. The giant African land snail. Look for it! Report it! Our Helpline number is 1-888-397-1517, and as they say on TV, “Operators are standing by.”

Plant Professionals have new Tools for Identifying Organisms in the Field

New, free apps for Android mobile devices are available to Extension agents, inspectors and other plant professionals and anyone else interested in identifying biological organisms in the field,.Similar apps for Apple mobile operating system will be available early in 2014. The United States Department of Agriculture has announced the first release of LucidMobile apps to support plant pest identification for Android smartphones and tablets. The 10 apps, which do not require internet access, are now available for download, at no cost, from Google Play USDA APHIS ITP. The species lists were generated based on scholarly publications and data from the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Serivces Division of Plant Industry, USDA/APHIS, and other sources. They include three keys for citrus pests and diseases, one for dried botanicals, one for federal noxious weeds, three for palms and palm pests and diseases, one for terrestrial mollusks and one for tortricids (a family of moths of agricultural importance). Click here for more details.

Florida Trend profiles Top Chef Timineri

We passed along a link to a nice article  about State Chef Justin Timineri, courtesty of Florida Trend. The peripatetic chef has traveled the world spreading the word about Florida’s agricultural bounty. Did you know he is the only state agriculture culinary ambassador in the nation?

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