Florida research helps vegetable farmers manage weeds

in Southeast Farm Press

by Brad Buck

By using a combination of fumigants, University of Florida scientists believe they can surgically strike out some weeds that otherwise get in the way of vegetable growth.

Researchers with the UF Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences have shown that farmers can place fumigants in specific zones, rather than using a single treatment for every situation. For example, fumigants applied to a specific area where weed seeds germinate can reduce the number of weeds that grow. Researchers say this will help growers as they try to manage pests in areas where they cause the most trouble. Continue reading

Cover Crops Acting as Trap Crops Protect Vegetables from Pests

From Southern SARE

For farmers in central Florida, planting cover crops in strips as a trap crop alongside cash crops is proving to be a highly effective method for attracting beneficial insects and controlling pests. Farmers have been so pleased with the results that they have fully adopted the Integrated Pest Management (IPM) strategy as an alternative to using chemical insecticides.

In a Southern Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SSARE) On-Farm Research Grant, two small organic farms teamed up with the University of Florida to test the prevalence of beneficial and predatory insects in strip plantings of selected annual cover crops, such as sunflower, rye, triticale, sunn hemp and buckwheat. Continue reading

Southern SARE research shows cover crops reduce pest populations

Preliminary research from University of Florida has found that incorporating root-knot nematode-resistant cover crops in a perennial peanut rotation reduces pest numbers in the cash crop and improves yields.

The results may be helpful for producers who choose top-yielding, yet susceptible, peanut cultivars, as well as resistant cultivars that historically carry a lower yield. Root-knot nematodes, soil parasites predominant in areas with hot climates and short winters, can reduce perennial peanut yields and affect plant health by feeding on plant roots. Continue reading

Assistant Professor of Plant Pathology

Location: Tropical Research and Education Center (TREC), University of Florida, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (IFAS), Homestead, Florida

Deadline: For full consideration, candidates should apply and submit additional materials by April 17, 2017. The position will remain open until a viable applicant pool is determined. Continue reading

Pollination Ecologist position University of Florida

The Entomology and Nematology Department at the University of Florida is accepting applications for an Assistant Professorship focused on pollination ecology in natural areas and crop systems. This is a 12-month, tenure-accruing position that will be 60% research (Florida Agricultural Experiment Station), 25% Extension (UF/IFAS Extension Service), and 15% teaching (College of Agricultural and Life Sciences). The position is based in Gainesville, FL, USA. The primary focus within the research assignment is the pollination ecology and/or conservation of non-Apis bees. The Extension responsibilities will include developing and implementing an effective statewide Extension education program to support conservation efforts and stakeholders who rely on the pollination services that non-Apis bees provide. The teaching responsibilities will include developing an undergraduate/graduate course in pollinator ecology/conservation and participation in revolving topic seminars in the candidate’s area of expertise. 

More information about the position can be found at http://explore.jobs.ufl.edu/cw/en-us/job/501323. The University of Florida is an Equal Opportunity Institution.    

University of Florida works with snake hunters to remove invasive pythons

In Southeast Farm Press

The University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission are working together on unique projects to target Burmese pythons in Florida. Two projects include using detection dogs and Irula tribesmen to help remove pythons from environmentally sensitive areas.

In their first eight days on the job, the Irula tribesmen — world-renowned snake catchers from India — removed 13 pythons, including four on their first visit to Crocodile Lake National Wildlife Refuge on North Key Largo in partnership with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Traditionally, the main occupation of the Irula tribe has been catching snakes. They have successfully hunted and captured Indian pythons in their home province of Tamil Nadu. Continue reading

Feed the Future Innovation Lab For Livestock Systems: Call for Grant Applications

The Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Livestock Systems (LSIL) is based at the Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences <http://ifas.ufl.edu/> at the University of Florida, and it works in partnership with the International Livestock Research Institute <http://www.ilri.org/> (ILRI). The LSIL is funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) through a five-year Leader with Associates Cooperative Agreement Award No. AID-OAA-L-15-00003. Continue reading