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DPI Diary

August 7, 2015

A quick summary of the week’s social media activities by the FDACS Division of Plant Industry

Get the bad stuff out of your shed

Leaking_Drum_of_2,4,5-T_HerbicideThis week, we remind agricultural producers and others that Florida has an on-going program to help commercial operations safely dispose of cancelled, suspended and unusable pesticides. Operation Cleansweep provides a mobile pesticide collection program that picks up and disposes of such chemicals from farms, groves, greenhouses and nurseries, golf courses and pest control services. For more information, contact Shannon Turner, FDACS, 1-877-851-5285, email: Cleansweep@FreshFromFlorida.com

Get acquainted with our corps of canine inspectors

Kojak-01The department is brightening the dog days of summer by spotlighting our five DPI detector dogs. All of them are rescues, and their mission is to protect Florida’s $120 billion agriculture industry. Learn how these dogs’ keen noses, special training and dedication to detecting pests keep invasives from endangering our crops and landscapes. There’s an excellent video included. http://bit.ly/1EdnSlE

USDA: Rural land value is up in Florida

Value of cropland in Florida increased 0.9 percent ($60/acre) in 2015 over 2014, according to a USDA survey in a report that pegs the average value of cropland per acre at $6,560. The United States farm real estate value, a measurement of the value of all land and buildings on farms, averaged $3,020 per acre for 2015, up 2.4 percent from 2014 values. The 2015 summary of land values contains a series of tables summarizing the date by region and state.

Commissioner Adam Punam’s Consumer Tip for August: Protect your children from identity theft

By the end of August most chidlren will be back in school. Commissioner Putnam reminds everyone that each year more than 50,000 children in Florida become victims of identity theft. Thieves target kids because they usually have clean credit histories and years will pass before the thefts are detected.

Ag research is a great investment

What is the value of publicly funded agricultural research? We re-tweeted a link to a guest commentary by UF-IFAS Vice President Jack Payne that cites a 20-to-1 return on investment from such research.

“Respected academics estimate a 20-to-1 return on investment in publicly funded agricultural research,” Payne observes in a Naples Daily News op ed hailing expansion of a lab at the UF-IFAS Southwest Florida Research and Education Center in Immokalee. That is part, he said, of a statewide strengthening of IFAS. #AgResearch!

(Incidentially, we recently began following Dr. Payne on Twitter, drawing this shout-out from him to our director, Dr. Trevor Smith: “Thanks for the follow, neighbor. Glad to see a Gator appointed head of the division in May.”)

Keep in mind our initiatives to protect Florida agriculture:

  • DPAP postcardBack-to-school shopping may mean Miami residents will visit the Dadeland Mall, and when they do they will come face-to-face with the giant African land snail on six-foot-tall display signs. It’s part of our continuing efforts to focus attention on the invasive snail, which our dedicated teams have been working to eradicate for the past four years. Watch for it! Report it! If you see a suspect, call the Helpline, 1-888-397-1517.
  • Planning to travel internationally? Check www.DontPackaPest.com to make sure you are not packing illegal materials in your luggage.
  • savetheguaciconcopyEnjoy Florida avocados, but if you camp, don’t move firewood. Moving firewood can also transport invasive pests that threaten agriculture, including Florida avocados, as well as the environment and public health. Learn more at www.savetheguac.com

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