by Julie McConnell | Jun 7, 2021
We’re back! After the COVID-19 hiatus, the Gulf Coast Turfgrass Field Day & Expo returns to the normal third Wednesday in June time slot.
Join us June 16, 2021 for a COVID-19 friendly, in-person field day. Due to COVID-19 protocols, ALL ATTENDEES MUST PREREGISTER before June 15th. There will be NO on-site registration, so get your ticket now!
ATTENDEE REGISTRATION: Choose ONLY one of the four ticket options:
- Field Tour, Scouting Insects, Spill Drills
- Field Tour, Scouting Insects, Natural Pesticides
- Field Tour, Spill Drills, Natural Pesticides
- Field Tour ONLY
MORNING RESEARCH FORUM – Everybody is ready to get back to “normal” and so are the University of Florida scientists who are coming to the Turfgrass Field Day in full force – even a few you’ve likely never met in person! Change abounds and this year’s field day is no different. The line-up this year will have four focus areas and will allow greater time for interaction with the researchers.
Future Urban Landscapes – water quality and quantity concerns are major drivers leading to changes in what future landscapes will look like.
- Agustin Boeri, Graduate Research Assistant
- A.J. Reisinger, UF Soil and Water Scientist
- Mark Lusk, UF Soil and Water Scientist
- Michael Dukes, UF Irrigation Specialist
- Adam Dale, UF Turf Entomologist
- J. Bryan Unruh, UF Turf Specialist
Pest Management – pests continue to create challenges when managing turf.
- Billy Crow, UF Turf Nematologist
- Adam Dale, UF Turf Entomologist
- Phil Harmon, UF Turf Pathologist
- Pawel Petelwicz, UF Turf Weed Scientist
Turfgrass Breeding & Cultivar Development – tremendous effort is underway to bring improved turfgrasses (color, quality, reduced water and nutrition) to the market.
- Kevin Kenworthy, UF Turf Breeder
- J. Bryan Unruh, UF Turf Specialist
- Chase McKeithen, UF Turf Biological Scientist
Cultural Management – research on how to better manage turf.
- Jason Kruse, UF Athletic Turf Specialist
- Marco Schiavon, UF Turf Specialist
- J. Bryan Unruh, UF Turf Specialist
VENDOR EXPO – This year’s vendor expo will be an open air “tail-gate” style event to allow for social distancing and COVID-19 safety protocols. Vendors will be stationed in the grassy areas around the perimeter of the turfgrass research plots. Attendees will have opportunity to visit before, during, and after the research tours.
A limited number of tables and chairs will be available for the vendors. Vendors should plan to bring a pop-up tent if you have one!
Please note: To see all ticketing options please do the following: Upon entering Eventbrite site using link below, click “Tickets” link and then “I want to get tickets” “As an individual” to see all ticketing options.
LUNCH – BBQ Buffet lunches aren’t the most COVID friendly so we are changing up the menu and the venue a bit. Box lunches will be provided out on the research plots. Grab your lunch and find a shade tree, huddle under a vendor tent, or head back to your vehicle for a bit (you may want to turn your A/C on to cool off!).
AFTERNOON PESTICIDE LICENSE CONTINUING EDUCATION – Three sessions will be offered this year. All three classes will be available from ~ 12-1 and 1-2; each class will repeat with different audience so attendees can choose to get 2 different core or 1 category and 1 core CEU.
Scouting for Insects in the Landscape. This session will focus on identification of signs and symptoms of common insect pests in landscape plants. 1 Category CEU O&T, LCLM, LLO, Comm L&O will be requested for this session.
Spill Drills. Do you know what to do in an emergency? This session will cover multiple spill scenarios and what action needs to be taken to prevent injury and environmental harm. 1 Core CEU will be requested for this session.
Natural Pesticides for the Landscape. Many property owners are interested in using “natural” or low-risk pesticides but are they really effective? This session will discuss pesticide products that are labeled as natural and/or organic. 1 Core CEU will be requested for this session.
REGISTER NOW: https://2021gcturfgrassexpo.eventbrite.com
by Julie McConnell | Apr 2, 2020
Following the issuance of the Governor’s Executive Order 20-91 we have had a lot of questions from the Green Industry concerned about their status as essential employees. As noted in the excerpt below from the State of Florida Office of the Governor Executive Order Number 20-91 (Essential Services and Activities During COVID-19 Emergency) landscapers are included under the Public Works and Infrastructure Support Services Category.
PUBLIC WORKS AND INFRASTRUCTURE SUPPORT SERVICES
Workers who support the operation, inspection, and maintenance of essential public works facilities and operations, including bridges, water and sewer main breaks, fleet maintenance personnel, construction of critical or strategic infrastructure, traffic signal maintenance, emergency location services for buried utilities, maintenance of digital systems infrastructure supporting public works operations, and other emergent issues.
Workers such as plumbers, electricians, exterminators, builders, contractors, HVAC Technicians, landscapers, and other service providers who provide services that are necessary to maintaining the safety, sanitation, and essential operation of residences, businesses and buildings such as hospitals, senior living facilities, any temporary construction required to support COVID-19 response.
Workers who support, such as road and line clearing, to ensure the availability of and access to needed facilities, transportation, energy and communications.
Support to ensure the effective removal, storage, and disposal of residential and commercial solid waste and hazardous waste, including landfill operations.
Workers who support the operation, inspection, and maintenance of essential dams, locks and levees.
Workers who support the inspection and maintenance of aids to navigation, and other government provided services that ensure continued maritime commerce.
Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) recommends that all essential employees carry a letter from their employer that describes their role as an essential employee.The Governor’s Office has provided a template that can be found at the following link. Download and modify to fit your business role. http://blogs.ifas.ufl.edu/nfrecsv/files/2020/03/2020-04-01-Essential-Worker-Movement-Letter-DRAFT-2.0-2.pdf
Please be mindful that although the landscape industry can continue working, it is imperative that all citizens follow CDC recommendations to prevent the spread of COVID-19. These can be found here https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/prevention.html
In addition to this resource, consider incorporating recommendations from The Urban Ag Council of Georgia where appropriate.
*Stagger start times so that each manager will only work with their team. No more than 5-person crew.
* Employees are required to keep 8-foot separation between colleagues and/or any other people. Focus on social and work distancing.
*No more than 2 people per single cab truck and 4 people per crew cab truck (exceptions are made for employees who need to use personal vehicles to accomplish this).
*Wear dust masks when in vehicle and outside.
*Trucks are to be thoroughly cleaned at the end of every day.
*Crew leaders must clock in their crew. Do not pass phone around for them to clock-in.
*Daily – every employee (office and field) is screened with questions before starting work.
- Do you currently have a fever? Or have you had a fever in the last week?
- Do you have a cough?
- Do you have shortness of breath?
- Do you have vomiting/nausea?
- Do you have diarrhea or stomach issues?
- Have you been in contact with anyone with a confirmed or suspected case of the COVID-19?
Any employee that answers yes to any question will be asked to return home and HR will be notified to receive additional instructions.
Please be safe and let us know if we can assist in any way.
Your UF/IFAS Panhandle Commercial Horticulture Team
Bay – Julie McConnell email@example.com
Escambia – Beth Bolles firstname.lastname@example.org
Okaloosa – Sheila Dunning email@example.com
Santa Rosa – Matt Lollar firstname.lastname@example.org
Walton – Evan Anderson email@example.com
Washington – Matt Orwat firstname.lastname@example.org
Calhoun – Daniel Leonard email@example.com
Leon – Mark Tancig firstname.lastname@example.org
by Julie McConnell | Aug 9, 2019
Kenny Stokes, a courier for the University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, battles summer heat the old fashioned way. Stokes, whose van has no air conditioning, cooled off after his mid-morning deliveries. With temperatures hovering around the century mark and a heat index of 108, he decided to take matters into his own hands.
Triple digit heat indexes make it more than unpleasant to work outside, it can be life threatening. Understanding how to prevent and recognize heat injury is critical for people who work outdoors in Florida.
For horticulture and agriculture professionals who also apply pesticides, recognizing heat injury can be further complicated by the similarities of symptoms to pesticide exposure.
To learn more about preventing workplace heat related illness, read the article below by UF/IFAS Extension Hillsborough County Commercial Horticulture Agent Susan Haddock.
by Julie McConnell | Apr 10, 2018
In December of 2017, a new Commercial Lawn & Ornamental Pest Control Operator exam was launched in Florida. This updated exam covers materials found in two new manuals not previously recommended as study guides: “Identification Guide to Common Florida Lawn and Ornamental Weeds,” and “Lawn and Ornamental Pest Management.”. Photographic pest identification including knowledge of life cycle have nearly tripled when compared to the prior exam.
Because this exam is a statewide license, many pests may not be familiar to industry professionals in NW Florida if they are more commonly found in peninsular or South Florida.
The new exam also includes Green Industries Best Management Practices (GI-BMP) topics, Florida Statutes, Administrative Rules, safety concepts from “Applying Pesticides Correctly” and label reading – both fertilizer and pesticide calculations and label interpretation.
The paper exam has been offered twice in Apopka since the launch last year with pass rates below 50% at both sessions.
Panhandle Horticulture Agents in partnership with FDACS (Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services) will be holding a review class May 10-11, 2018, in Panama City. This class is designed to reinforce lawn and ornamental pest control concepts with a focus on newly introduced material for the CPO Commercial Lawn & Ornamental exam, but is not a replacement for independent study.
Exams will not be given in conjunction with this class. Anyone interested in taking the CPO Commercial Lawn & Ornamental exam is still required to meet all mandated qualifications of education and/or experience. Applicants must then apply online https://aesecomm.freshfromflorida.com/ with FDACS to obtain a voucher and schedule the test with a local Extension office.
This class will also provide CEUs for current license holders in the following categories (please check 2018 CEU Commercial L&O Flyer for dates – not all CEUs available both days): Commercial L&O, Limited L&O, LCLM, O&T, Private Ag, Limited Urban Fertilizer. Core CEUs will be available both days.
Registration is customized based on attendees needs as one-day of your choice or two-day. If you plan to take the Comm. L&O Exam, it is strongly encouraged that you attend both days.
For questions about the class, please contact Julie McConnell at email@example.com
by Julie McConnell | Feb 23, 2017
Please check out our Upcoming Events page to see what classes are offered in the Panhandle for Green Industry Professionals.
If you’d like to have emails about upcoming events sent directly to your inbox, sign up for our newsletter at Subscribe UF/IFAS select “Green Industries in the Panhandle” under the “Lawn & Garden” tab.