The National eXtension Conference 2016 coming soon

Outstanding professional development. National speakers offering innovative thinking and methods for conducting Cooperative Extension work. Many opportunities to engage with other Extension professionals from across the U.S.

If you are thinking of coming and haven’t registered already, please go to the NeXC 2016 website and begin, at least, by making your hotel reservations this week. The conference hotel block ends on February 29. After February 29, rooms will be available on a first-come basis at the hotel’s regular rate, not our conference rate. Continue reading

National Zika Virus Pest Alert released

In response to the emergence of the Zika virus in the Americas, a national pest alert has been developed by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture funded Regional Integrated Pest Management Centers. The pest alert and links to additional resources are available at http://ncipmc.org/action/alerts/zika.php to assist individuals in reducing their exposure to mosquitoes as well as discussing ways to eliminate mosquito larval and pupal development sites. The pest alert can be downloaded, printed and distributed as needed.   Continue reading

Lifting of fruit fly quarantine spells victory in Florida

In Southeast Farm Press

by Tom Nordlie, University of Florida

The lifting of an agricultural quarantine in Miami-Dade County Feb. 13 signaled victory over the invasive Oriental fruit fly and a return to business as usual for growers within a 99-square-mile area that includes vegetable farms, nurseries, packing houses, residential neighborhoods and much of the state’s commercial tropical fruit acreage.

The fruit fly, known scientifically as Bactrocera dorsalis, is known to feed on more than 400 crops, including scores grown in Florida, Payne said. Once established, the insect may cause 25 to 50 percent losses in food-crop harvests. In August 2015, specimens began to appear in south Miami-Dade County fruit fly monitoring traps, prompting FDACS to impose a temporary quarantine on 99 square miles that include an agriculture-dependent area known as The Redland. Altogether, the county’s agricultural activities generate $1.6 billion in revenues each year. Continue reading