DPI Diary

June 27, 2014

A collection of posts to FDACS-DPI social media this week

Cayman Islands join “Don’t Pack a Pest” next week

The Don’t Pack a Pest program, an initiative to educate the traveling public about the risks associated with bringing undeclared agriculture items into international ports of entry, will be launched next week in the Caymen Handlers&DogsBoatShow13Islands. The islands will become the newest partner in the program that includes major ports of entry into the U.S., Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Jamaica and the Dominican Republic. The Hon. Kurt Tibbetts, the Cayman Islands’ minister for agriculture, will welcome representatives of the partnership and other dignitaries at a ceremony on Wednesday, July 2, at the Owen Roberts International Airport. The outreach program is a partnership comprised of the U.S. Department of Agriculture; the Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Customs and Border Protection; the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services; the Cayman Islands government and the Caribbean Plant Health Directors Forum, which includes representatives from most of the countries in the Caribbean Region. http://www.dontpackapest.com

Winning the battle against GALS in Miami-Dade

GALS digital billboard

Summer rain brings giant African land snails into the open, making it easier for our inspectors to find and nab them. Help eradicate the GALS. If you see a suspect, call the FDACS-DPI Helpline, 1-888-397-1517. http://www.freshfromflorida.com/Divisions-Offices/Plant-Industry/Pests-Diseases/Giant-African-Land-Snail

Lisa takes reins of national Ag in the Classroom organization

Lisa Gaskalla, wife of FDACS-DPI Director Richard Gaskalla and executive director of Florida Ag in the Classroom, is the new National Ag in the Classroom president. Congratulationss, Lisa! Hear the AgNET piece. 

Pollinators=birds, bees, butterflies . . . and bats!

BatPollinatorMany people are campaigning to get rid of flying foxes from New South Wales, Australia. But others say more of the flying mammals are needed to preserve the health of rainforest trees. In fact, the bats are viewed as a keystone species that pollinate rainforest trees, many of which are receptive to pollination only at night. The usual creatures we think of as pollinators are birds and bees, but unlike bats, possums and other nocturnal creatures, they are not active after dark. http://bit.ly/1sBKFGK

Tracing the roots of modern citrus

Researchers Dr. Fred Gmitter of the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agriculture Sciences and the team, which included researchers from the U.S., France, Italy, Spain and Brazil, spent ten years analyzing genome sequences of 10 varieties of citrus. They have traced the origins of the Florida citrus we enjoy today back more than 5 million years to two wild citrus species from Southeast Asia. Read our blog post on the subject here.

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