DPI Diary

January 22, 2016

A collection of social media posts and links we think you’ll enjoy — even find useful — from the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services Division of Plant Industry

Stakeholders should participate in this survey

FDACS has developed the Managed  Pollinator Protection Plan (MP3), to establish a systematic and comprehensive approach to mitigating the risks of pesticides to bees and other pollinators while supporting both crop protection and insect pollination. Key stakeholders, beekeepers, growers/landowners, and pesticide users are asked to participate in a state-wide pesticide-pollinator awareness survey that aims to collect important background information about the current state of knowledge, common practice and, concerns about pesticides and pollinators in Florida. Please participate.

The coming weeks are chock full of big ag events

  • The Florida Strawberry Festival opens its gates March 3 in Plant City. Festivities include strawberries, shortcake, big name concerts, rides, games, shows, animals and exhibits, and the fun won’t stop until The Band Perry’s concert closes out the Festival on March 13.
  • InsectEncounter2015

    Insect Encounters is an extensive display at the Florida State Fair. It is located in the Florida Agricultural Hall of Fame Building.

    There are just 13 days until the Florida State Fair, which runs February 4-15 at the state fairgrounds in Tampa. Staff members from the Division of Plant Industry will be manning Insect Encounters at the Hall of Fame Building. Remember, you can reserve tickets now for the Florida Agricultural Hall of Fame Banquet and Ceremony, Feb. 9 beginning at 5:30 p.m. This year the industry is honoring Thomas H. Braddock of Duval County, Dr. Joseph C. Joyce, Billy Kempfer and Dr. Charles “Chip” Hinton. Reserve tickets now, as a sell-out is anticipated.

  • Our friends at Florida Ag in the Classroom send this reminder: Registration for the 2016 National Agriculture in the Classroom Conference is open! The conference will be held June 20-24th in Litchfield Park, Arizona. Early bird registration is now through April 15th. http://naitcconference.usu.edu/index.cfm

Now is a good time to check in the FAWN


Lee Staudt (top), a field technician for the Florida Automated Weather Network (FAWN), checks a monitoring station in Bronson, 2005. (Photo courtesty UF/IFAS)

With most of the Northeast bracing for a record snow storm and Florida receiving widespread showers , we thought the TBT post by UF/IFAS about the Florida Automated Weather network FAWN) was timely. FAWN was developed in 1997 after a devastating freeze exposed the need for accurate real-time weather information for Florida’s agricultural producers. A network of 44 monitoring stations around the state records temperature, humidity, barometric pressure, solar radiation and other important information, and relays it every 15 minutes to the FAWN website at


It’s not too late to dispose of Christmas trees properly

Some folks don’t get rid of their Christmas trees until the end of January, and a friend of ours at USDA-APHIS reminds us to remind you that there is a right way to dispose of the trees and avoid spreading forest pests or invasive weeds. Short version: take advantage of local tree recycling programs. If you can’t find a local program, take the tree to a local solid waste facility, dump or landfill. There are more details on the Don’t Move Firewood Blog.

Big bugs invade Orlando’s Harry P. Leu Gardens

BigBugVisitors to the popular Leu Gardens in Orlando are invited to use the tag #BigBusatLeu. The gardens are featuring giant sculptures of bugs by artist David Rogers, made from all-natural materials and they will remain in the gardens until April 15. You can see photos and a preview video on the gardens’ Facebook page.

This billboard is “oozing” charm

BeeBillboardWe have posted about this billboard in St. Cloud before. It is continuing to produce honey. Sweet!

Forest Service offering free trees

Florida’s Arbor Day was last Friday, Jan 15, but Florida Forest Service is still offering free trees to homeowners, as long as they last. More information here.




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