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DPI Diary

November 22, 2013

A summary of social media activity this week at the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services Division of Plant Industry

We’re in the holiday spirit here at FDACS/DPI. Witness the large cache of food our employees have donated as part of Commissioner of Agriculture Adam Putnam’s holiday initiative. Online, we’ve been reminding folks to be make sure their holiday travels do not result in the movement of pests and diseases.

There are rules governing shipping citrus

CitrusCanker2

Fruit displaying citrus canker.

If you have dooryard citrus you would like to share with friends and relatives out of state, remember your citrus must move through a commercial packinghouse before it can be shipped. The entire state is under quarantine for citrus canker and sweet orange scab. Portions of Hendry, Collier and Polk Counties are also quarantined for citrus black spot. The quarantines are to prevent movement of these serious plant diseases out of Florida or, in the case of those portions quarantined for citrus black spot, to other regions of the state. Check our blog entry here for details and a list of packinghouses that have agreed to process citrus fruit for homeowners.

Snails still a real threat to Miami-Dade

BusBenchThis week people in Miami continue to see and hear about the giant African land snail on radio, cable TV, bus benches and billboards. As you’re out and about in Miami-Dade this holiday season, watch for these snails and report suspects to our Helpline, 1-888-397-1517. Do not touch them except with gloves. The snails are known to carry a parasite that can transfer a form of meningitis to humans. Details here.

LinusCard

Linus gets his own fan card

 The Don’t Pack a Pest travelers program is important every day of the year but as international travel increases for the holidays, the agriculture detector dogs at international airports will be greeting travelers and giving their bags a thorough sniffing to detect contraband agricultural products. Agriculture Detector Dog Linus and his handler are one of the teams from Customs and Boarder Protection that seize thousands of pounds of dangerous contraband every day. Linus is also the face of the Don’t Pack a Pest campaign, which is aimed at convincing international travelers to declare agricultural items at customs, rather than waiting for Linus and his cohorts to sniff them out

Now those hard-working beagles have their own fan cards. If you meet Linus or one of his counterparts during your travels, ask the handler for a card — a wonderful souvenir of your trip.
Enjoy the balmy weather and Florida seafood at the Yankeetown festival
The department’s Fresh from Florida Blog this week featured the Yankeetown Seafood Festival, November 23-24, which sounds like a very good time to us.  The festival is held on the tree-lined boulevard of Riverside Drive in Yankeetown – an “old Florida” coastal village on Florida’s Nature Coast. Yankeetown is located on the banks of the lower Withlachoochee, just three miles from the Gulf.
What’s in Stores?
By the way, the Fresh From Florida blog is now listing the fresh Florida produce that is available in supermarkets across the state, along with prices, every week. They’ve also posted a host of recipes using Florida agricultural products that are sure tl enhance your holiday feasts.

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