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DPI Diary

May 9, 2014

A compendium of social media postings and gleanings from the Florida Department of Agriculture Division of Plant Industry

Cayman Islands coming on-board with Don’t Pack a Pest

Members of a delegation that visited the Cayman Islands this week expect the nation will become a partner in the Don’t Pack a Pest Program by July. An effort to stem the international movement of invasive pests and diseases by increasing travelers’ awareness of the importance of declaring agricultural items in their luggage, the program is administered by the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services in partnership with the USDA and Customs and Border Protection (CBP). Full post here.

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Representatives of the Travelers’ Don’t Pack a Pest partnership meet with representatives of the Cayman Ministry of Agriculture, including the islands’ detector dog team.

Florida sweet corn now abundant in stores, markets

corn-with-husksFlorida sweet corn is in stores now and there are many ways to cook it: boiled, steamed, fried . . . and grilled. You probably haven’t had it the way State Chef Justin Timieri suggests here, but it sounds mightly good to us and we are going to try it. A saucy twist on Florida’s world-renowned sweet corn for backyard grill masters.

Surprise finding on citrus greening

Scientists at the University of Florida have come up with a surprise finding: citrus greening affects roots before leaves. That finding may help growers take better care of their trees while scientists work to find a cure. Get the story from Kimberly Moore Wilmoth, university of Florida, printed in Southeast Farm Press.

Dr. Smith talks snail strategy in Barbados and St. Lucia

Dr. Trevor Smith being interviewed by a TV reporter in St. Lucia during his speaking tour.

Dr. Trevor Smith is interviewed by a TV reporter in St. Lucia during his speaking tour.

Our own Dr. Trevor Smith has returned from a whirlwind speaking tour in Barbados and St. Lucia. At the behest of the U.S. Embassy there, he conducted a series of lectures and workshops presenting strategies for the eradication of the giant African land snail and other invasive pests. Dr. Smith is a leader of the efforts to eradicate the GALS from South Florida. The snail poses a serious threat to agriculture in the islands, as it does in South Florida. Details here.

Teacher Appreciation Week flanks Ag Literacy Day

AgLit2014This was Teacher Appreciation Week. Have you thanked a teacher yet? It came on the heels of Ag Literacy Day  That’s the day each year when thousands of volunteers enter classrooms to read a book about agriculture to students. Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services employees, University of Florida IFAS Extension Agents, 4-H Agents and Master Gardeners, Florida Farm Bureau members, Florida Cattlemen and Cattlewomen members, FFA teachers, students and other agriculture industry representatives are invited to read. This year’s book is titled Florida Farms at School.

…and also National Arson Awareness Week

The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services’ Florida Forest Service reminded us this was also National Arson Awareness week. Florida Commissioner of Agriculture Adam H. Putnam reminded Floridians to report any suspicious activity to help prevent arson “Although heavy rainfall has reduced the wildfire danger in some parts of the state, the risk of wildfire is still a real threat in Florida,” said Commissioner Putnam. “Be alert for suspicious fire activity in the woods. With your help, we can stop arsonists and better protect Florida’s people, property and natural resources from devastation.” See the commissioner’s news release here.

Census has eye-opening data on Florida agriculture

The Florida agricultural community is continuing to mine data from the Agricultural Census. One nugget is the fact that 42 counties added farmland, causing the amount of land in Florida dedicated to agriculture to grow for the first time since 1982. Marion and Okeechobee counties had the largest acreage increase. Positive data on the apriary industry shows the number of bee colonies increased by more than 30 percent over the decade. View the summary here or view the 2012 Census of Agriculture yourself.

DPI Celebrates Cinco de Mayo

Employees at DPI Headquarters in Gainesville held their annual Cinco de Mayo event to benefit FSECC. The popular annual celebration takes place in the courtyard of the headquarters complex on 34th street.

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Mike Lloyd and Mary Mccort are an interesting pair of performers at the FDACS-DPI Cinco de Mayo celebration.

 

 

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