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DPI Diary

December 5, 2014

Division of Plant Industry

Division of Plant Industry

Tasty tidbits from FDACS-DPI’s social media activities this week

SpaceX has a job opening for a farmer!

SpaceX and its CEO Elon Musk have posted a job offer for a farmer to work with the company’s Texas Rocket Development and Test Group. It’s not clear what the successful applicant will be doing, or what planet he or she might be doing it on. But we do know Musk has set a goal of sending humans to Mars and if he does, someone will obviously have to feed those humans. Kim Flottum offers more details in her “Catch the Buzz” blog.

Congratulations, Sir

Dr. Leroy Whilby, biological administrator with FDACS Division of Plant Industry, is now commissioned a First Lieutenant. He will start his first monthly weekend duty as a reserve officer in the U.S. Army this weekend.  His appointment is as a Medical Entomologist in the Medical Corps.  “Not only is he an exceptional asset to FDACS-DPI as it is, but I suspect this will be the case with our armed services as he obtains additional training,” said Dr. Wayne Dixon, assistant division director.

Citrus growers sound off

blackspot

Citrus blackspot

Florida citrus growers are contending with citrus greening and other issues, but a common note of determination and confidence in the research community runs through the comments of a group of leading growers interviewed by Growing Produce magazine.

Follow the rules when shipping dooryard citrus

This time of year folks begin calling our Helpline (1-888-397-1517) asking about the procedures for shipping citrus out of state. There are some very specific requirements, among them that the citrus be processed in a commercial packinghouse, packed in containers marked with a USDA-APHIS certificate and be free of leaves and other plant material. This link to our blog has specifics and a list of participating packinghouses.

What’s that growing in my yard?

Our friends at UF-IFAS have unveiled a new website that will help homeowners identify good and bad plants that show up in their yards. Some of the plants, like the air potato, are invasive and can take over. Others, although they may not be native to Florida, can be beneficial. This handy web tool can be accessed here: http://bit.ly/1ymrGgo

Strawberry Festival tickets on sale

It’s time to plan for the 2015 Florida Strawberry Festival. Tickets for all of the headline artists are on sale now. There will be 22 concerts over the 11 days on the Wish Farms soundstage. Hint: Tickets make great Christmas gifts. Watch the promotional video.

WorldSoilDay2014This is World Soil Day

Facebook friend Gene McAvoy reminds us that today is World Soil Day and next year will be the UN International Year of the Soils, suggesting we take a minute to view Symphony of the Soil.

It’s also National Cookie Day

Today is National Cookie Day and the National Honey Board suggests you celebrate with these Oatmeal Honey Chocolate Chip Cookies. No arm twisting needed!

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