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Repellant Could Keep Dangerous Beetles Away From Avocado Trees

By: Brad Buck, University of Florida/IFAS

avocadoUsing some pleasant-smelling chemicals, avocado growers may soon be able to repel beetles that inject a potentially deadly fungus into their trees, saving fruit and money, University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences researchers say.

When they’re infected with the laurel wilt fungus, redbay trees – a close cousin to the avocado — emit methyl salicylate to repel redbay ambrosia beetles, the very beetles that gave the trees the fungus in the first place, scientists say in a newly published study. Read the rest of this entry »

Sticker Shock: Examining the Economic Impacts of Land Acquisition in the EAA

Published with permission of the James Madison Institute

land

Dr. J. Antonio Villamil

by Dr. J. Antonio Villamil
Founder and Principal of the Washington Economics Group, Inc.

Over the past several years, a policy debate has emerged surrounding the most efficient and effective course of action to address a complex series of challenges regarding the Everglades – its protection, its restoration, and its future. There isn’t a reasonable scientist, economist, or policymaker who would dispute that the issue is complex, complicated, and ultimately involves sensitivities to all stakeholders. Read the rest of this entry »

House Cool to Negron Water Plan

by Jim Turner
The News Service of Florida

water florida rubio Apalachicola bayIt appears doubtful the House will take up, as written, a $2.4 billion proposal by Senate President Joe Negron to buy land south of Lake Okeechobee to ease the impacts of polluted water releases into estuaries on the east and west coasts. Read the rest of this entry »

Agriculture Concerned with Florida Senate Bill 10

Florida senate bill 10
With the Florida Legislative Session set to start March 7, various bills have already been introduced, and one of those is Senate Bill 10. Ernie Barnett, executive director of the Florida Land Council, explains their concerns with this bill. Read the rest of this entry »

UF/IFAS Researchers Find Potential Bugs to Eat Invasive Cogongrass

by: Brad Buck, University of Florida/IFAS

imperata_cylindrica_2308122-cogongrassA few bugs may be able to chew up some cogongrass, a noxious weed that elbows out pasture grass, golf course greens and valuable ecosystems, a University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences  (UF/IFAS) researcher says.

A worldwide research team led by UF/IFAS entomology professor James Cuda and retired entomology professor Bill Overholt found species in Japan, East Africa and Indonesia that might help in the battle against cogongrass. Read the rest of this entry »

Senate Panel Backs Money for St. Johns River

From: The News Service of Florida

senate scott money fight zika grimsleyLooking to tap conservation money approved by voters in 2014, a Senate committee Tuesday approved a plan that would earmark $35 million a year for projects related to the St. Johns River or the Keystone Heights lake region in North Florida. The Senate Environmental Preservation and Conservation Committee unanimously approved the proposal (SB 234), sponsored by Sen. Rob Bradley, a Fleming Island Republican whose district includes areas along the St. Johns River. “It is central to our way of life as Floridians, and it in many ways defines the keystoneheightsarea_map senatecharacter of the region that I represent and come from, along with our springs,” Bradley said. The bill is similar to a measure last year, known as “Legacy Florida,” that earmarked money for the Everglades, Lake Apopka and natural springs. Under Bradley’s proposal, money would be distributed each year from the state’s Land Acquisition Trust Fund to the St. Johns River Water Management District for projects related to the St. Johns and the Keystone Heights lake region. The trust fund is used to carry out a 2014 constitutional amendment that required spending on conservation projects.

Map courtesy of St. Johns River Water management District

Dunn Plan Targets ‘Urgent’ Apalachicola Problem

From: The News Service of Florida

scott money fight zika grimsley dunnWith backing from a dozen other members of Florida’s U.S. House delegation, Congressman Neal Dunn announced Tuesday he has filed a resolution seeking to block the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers from using a water-control plan impacting the Apalachicola Bay region. Read the rest of this entry »

Florida Cattlemen Prepare for Legislative Session Visit

legislativeMany folks are preparing for the 2017 Florida legislative session, which starts in just a couple of weeks, and that includes the Florida Cattlemen’s Association. Southeast AgNet’s Tallahassee intern, Josie Tomko, talked with FCA Director of Governmental Affairs Sam Ard about their big annual event coming in just 3 weeks. Read the rest of this entry »

Application Deadline for Florida Agricultural Land Easements is Friday

signup alabama florida georgia friday csp nrcs application deadlineUSDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in Florida reminds landowners the application deadline for Agricultural Land Easements is this Friday, February 24 for fiscal year 2017 funding. Read the rest of this entry »

Wildfire Season

From: Florida Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam

putnam-polk-county wildfire tourI recently toured damage caused by a wildfire in Polk County that burned 5,500 acres and destroyed more than 10 homes. I was reminded that we can’t underestimate the danger that wildfires pose, and we can’t be more grateful to our heroes who run toward danger to protect us.

Last week, the Florida Forest Service responded to 119 wildfires that burned more than 14,000 acres across Florida. Forecasts predict hotter and drier conditions than normal throughout the state in the coming months, and wildfires are anticipated to increase due to these conditions. Read the rest of this entry »

Florida, Georgia to Split Tab for Special Master

From: The News Service of Florida

split water florida rubioFlorida got hit Tuesday with the latest bill in its “water war” legal battle with Georgia. The U.S. Supreme Court ordered that the two states split a $213,547 tab for the work of court-appointed Special Master Ralph Lancaster from Sept. 1 through Dec. 31. Read the rest of this entry »

Nelson to Try Legislative Route in ‘Water War’

by Lloyd Dunkelberger, The News Service of Florida

scott money fight zika grimsleyU.S. Sen. Bill Nelson said Monday he will file legislation aimed at forcing the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to divert more freshwater into Northwest Florida’s Apalachicola Bay system.

Nelson, who visited Florida A&M University and the state Capitol, said he and U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio will support Senate legislation similar to an effort in the U.S. House led by Congressman Neal Dunn, who represents the Apalachicola Bay area. Dunn has said he will file a resolution under the Congressional Review Act to permanently block a Corps’ rule that regulates water releases in the Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint river system. Read the rest of this entry »

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