Tag Archive: Mean

What do the Four “H’s” Mean Anyway?


Old 4-H emblem, circa 1908

It happens to me all the time…the stranger standing next to me in line at the post office or grocery store sees the 4-H emblem on my shirt or name tag, and say “I’ve always wondered what the four “H’s” in 4-H stand for.”  Many people would be surprised to find out that originally, there were only three “H’s.”  O. H. Benson designed the first emblem in 1907 as a three-leaf clover with three “H’s” signifying head, heart, and hands. A four-leaf clover design with H’s appeared informally around 1908 with the fourth “H” standing for “Hustle.”  In 1911, during a club leader meeting in Washington, DC, leaders voted to adopt the fourth “H,” Health.  This emblem was patented in 1924, and in 1939 Congress passed a law protecting the use of the 4-H name and emblem.  This emblem continues to be highly valued and recognized on our country today, and because of that it became a federally protected mark, more valuable than a trademark or copyright.  Similarly valued emblems include the Olympic and Presidential Seals.  The “18 USC 707” that is written below the stem of the emblem outlines the United States Code that protects the emblem.

The best way to remember what the “H’s” stand for is by learning our pledge:

Today’s emblem, protected by Congress.

My Head to clearer thinking (life skill development through informal education)

My Heart to greater loyalty (emotional development and positive relationships with screened, trained and caring adults)

My Hands to larger service (growing compassion and civic responsibility through service to others)

And my Health to better living (learning how to make better choices)

For my club, my community, my country and my world.

Watch celebrity Aubrey Plaza explain what the four “H’s” mean by reciting the 4-H Pledge on national television.

Nostalgic about 4-H and want to introduce the next generation of youth to the program?  Consider becoming a 4-H volunteer!  Florida 4-H offers a wide variety of roles to fit both your interests and schedule.  Contact your local UF IFAS Extension Office or visit http://florida4h.org for more information.

History of the 4-H Emblem

Guidelines for 4-H Emblem Use


Author: Heather Kent – hckent@ufl.edu

Heather Kent is the Regional Specialized 4-H Agent in the Northwest Extension District.

Heather Kent

Permanent link to this article: http://franklin.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2017/06/30/what-do-the-four-hs-mean-anyway/

New & Improved Agritourism Law: What does it mean?

New & Improved Agritourism Law: What does it mean?

Buckingham Farms in located in Fort Myers features an atmosphere of rustic elegance for agritourism events. Photo Credit: Seth Henry

Buckingham Farms in located in Fort Myers features an atmosphere of rustic elegance for agritourism events. Photo Credit: Seth Henry

Mary Beth Henry, UF/IFAS Extension Polk County Horticulture Agent

Agritourism marries Florida’s two largest industries, tourism and agriculture, to provide an on farm recreational experience for consumers.  Florida experienced record tourism in 2015, with 105 million visitors spending more than $ 85 billion, according to VISIT Florida.  The number of Florida farms offering recreational experiences more than doubled from 281 in 2007 to 724 in 2012, according to USDA Census of Agriculture data.

2013 Agritourism Law

Florida has recently passed new laws, key to developing agritourism.  A 2013 change in the Florida Statutes reduced the liability for agritourism farms so long as a warning sign is posted indicating participation in agritourism activities involves inherent risks and notifying participants that by choosing to participate they are accepting these risks.  The change does not protect gross negligence, but provides some assurance for farms on the fence about opening their farm to the public.

Included in those changes was language to prevent local authorities from imposing regulations to prevent agricultural operations from engaging in agritourism, however, many questions arose after the ink dried.  Several operations found themselves in difficult circumstances, as local authorities grappled with the new law, which lacked a reference to enforcement of existing local regulations.  The definition of agritourism itself was a point of confusion, especially where the on-farm activities were not clearly related to agriculture.  Rustic on-farm weddings have become a hot trend but were not specifically cited as an agritourism activity.

A farm field day at the North Florida Research and Education Center in Quincy, FL

A farm field day at the North Florida Research and Education Center in Quincy, FL

2016 Improvements

The 2016 edition clarifies these questions with specific language to address the points of contention.  Local governments are prohibited not only from enacting new regulations to limit agritourism but also from enforcing existing regulations.  The concerns of local government were also addressed, however, with the addition of language that allows them power to address “substantial offsite impacts” of agritourism activities.  Language to describe an agritourism activity was expanded and specifically includes civic and ceremonial activities.

What if I’m not Greenbelted?

One point that has not changed is that these activities are regarded as agritourism only when conducted on land that is classified as agricultural, i.e. land granted agricultural assessment value with the local property appraiser.  Operations conducting similar activities on non- agriculturally classified land were hoping for a change here, however many fear this could result in issues down the line.

Change = Less Uncertainty

The bottom line here is that local governments now have more specific legal guidance on agritourism which should make for a smoother path for farms looking to open their farms to the public.  Hosting weddings seemed to be a common issue of concern so having them and other ceremonies specifically included in agritourism activities should remove uncertainty for governments and make it easier for farms to offer these services.

Rows of blackberries maturing at Rooney’s Front Porch Farm, a U-pick farm in Live Oak, FL

Rows of blackberries maturing at Rooney’s Front Porch Farm, a U-pick farm in Live Oak, FL

Make Friends with your Neighbors

Removing the enforcement of existing local ordinances from the equation should help farms better anticipate regulations, even as local governments preserve their ability to get involved when substantial off site effects are expected.  Inconsistency among local regulation policies makes it difficult to predict how widely this part of the new language will come into play.  Discussions with local regulators thus far suggest the phrase “substantial off site impacts” is most often determined by what the farm neighbors think.  The scale and frequency of agritourism activities can also play a role, as governments seek to protect the rights of neighbors as well as agritourism operations.  The potential for off-site impacts, and thus local regulation, increase with scale and frequency of events.  Common courtesy and open communication can go a long way in cultivating tolerance for what some neighbors might consider nuisance effects, such as increased traffic and noise.

Read the law yourself!

2016 Florida Statues 570.85- 89

570.85 Agritourism.

  1. It is the intent of the Legislature to promote agritourism as a way to support bona fide agricultural production by providing a secondary stream of revenue and by educating the general public about the agricultural industry. It is also the intent of the Legislature to eliminate duplication of regulatory authority over agritourism as expressed in this section. Except as otherwise provided for in this section, and notwithstanding any other provision of law, a local government may not adopt or enforce a local ordinance, regulation, rule, or policy that prohibits, restricts, regulates, or otherwise limits an agritourism activity on land classified as agricultural land under s. 193.461. This subsection does not limit the powers and duties of a local government to address substantial offsite impacts of agritourism activities or an emergency as provided in chapter 252.
  2. The Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services may provide marketing advice, technical expertise, promotional support, and product development related to agritourism to assist the following in their agritourism initiatives: Enterprise Florida, Inc.; convention and visitor bureaus; tourist development councils; economic development organizations; and local governments. In carrying out this responsibility, the department shall focus its agritourism efforts on rural and urban communities.

570.86 Definitions.As used in ss. 570.85-570.89, the term:

  1. “Agritourism activity” means any agricultural related activity consistent with a bona fide farm, livestock operation, or ranch or in a working forest which allows members of the general public, for recreational, entertainment, or educational purposes, to view or enjoy activities, including farming, ranching, historical, cultural, civic, ceremonial, training and exhibition, or harvest-your-own activities and attractions. An agritourism activity does not include the construction of new or additional structures or facilities intended primarily to house, shelter, transport, or otherwise accommodate members of the general public. An activity is an agritourism activity regardless of whether the participant paid to participate in the activity.
  2. “Agritourism operator” means a person who is engaged in the business of providing one or more agritourism activities, whether for compensation or not for compensation.
  3. “Farm” means the land, buildings, support facilities, machinery, and other appurtenances used in the production of farm or aquaculture products, including land used to display plants, animals, farm products, or farm equipment to the public.
  4. “Farm operation” has the same meaning as in s. 823.14.
  5. “Inherent risks of agritourism activity” means those dangers or conditions that are an integral part of an agritourism activity including certain hazards, such as surface and subsurface conditions; natural conditions of land, vegetation, and waters; the behavior of wild or domestic animals; and the ordinary dangers of structures or equipment ordinarily used in farming and ranching operations. The term also includes the potential of a participant to act in a negligent manner that may contribute to the injury of the participant or others, including failing to follow the instructions given by the agritourism operator or failing to exercise reasonable caution while engaging in the agritourism activity.

570.87 Agritourism participation impact on land classification.

  1. In order to promote and perpetuate agriculture throughout the state, farm operations are encouraged to engage in agritourism. The conduct of agritourism activity on a bona fide farm or on agricultural lands classified as such pursuant to s. 193.461 does not limit, restrict, or divest the land of that classification as long as such lands classified as agricultural remain used primarily for bona fide agricultural purposes.
  2. Local governments and agricultural representatives shall meet for the purpose of discussing the benefits of agritourism to local economies and opportunities for cooperation, conflict resolution, regulatory streamlining, and incentives.

570.88 Liability.

  1. Except as provided in subsection (2), an agritourism operator, his or her employer or employee, or the owner of the underlying land on which the agritourism occurs is not liable for injury or death of, or damage or loss to, a participant resulting from the inherent risks of agritourism activities if the notice of risk required under s. 570.89 is posted as required. Except as provided in subsection (2), a participant, or a participant’s representative, may not maintain an action against or recover from an agritourism operator, his or her employer or employee, or the owner of the underlying land on which the agritourism occurs for the injury or death of, or damage or loss to, an agritourism participant resulting exclusively from any of the inherent risks of agritourism activities.
  2. In the event of the injury or death of, or damage or loss to, an agritourism participant, subsection (1) does not prevent or limit the liability of an agritourism operator or his or her employer or employee or the owner of the underlying land on which the agritourism occurs if he or she:
    1. Commits an act or omission that constitutes gross negligence or willful or wanton disregard for the safety of the participant, and that act or omission proximately causes injury, damage, or death to the participant; or
    2. Intentionally injures the participant.
  3. The limitation on legal liability afforded by this section to an agritourism operator or his or her employer or employee or the owner of the underlying land on which the agritourism occurs is in addition to any limitations of legal liability otherwise provided by law.

570.89 Posting and notification.

  1. Each agritourism operator shall post and maintain signs that contain the notice of inherent risk specified in subsection (2).
    1. A sign shall be placed in a clearly visible location at the entrance to the agritourism location and at the site of the agritourism activity. The notice of inherent risk must consist of a sign in black letters, with each letter a minimum of 1 inch in height, with sufficient color contrast to be clearly visible.
    2. Each written contract entered into by an agritourism operator for the provision of professional services, instruction, or the rental of equipment to a participant, regardless of whether the contract involves agritourism activities on or off the location or at the site of the agritourism activity, must contain in clearly readable print the notice of inherent risk specified in subsection (2).
  2. The sign and contract required under subsection (1) must contain the following notice of inherent risk:
      1. WARNING

        Under Florida law, an agritourism operator is not liable for injury or death of, or damage or loss to, a participant in an agritourism activity conducted at this agritourism location if such injury, death, damage, or loss results from the inherent risks of the agritourism activity. Inherent risks of agritourism activities include, among others, risks of injury inherent to land, equipment, and animals, as well as the potential for you to act in a negligent manner that may contribute to your injury, death, damage, or loss. You are assuming the risk of participating in this agritourism activity.

  3. Failure to comply with this section prevents an agritourism operator, his or her employer or employee, or the owner of the underlying land on which the agritourism occurs from invoking the privileges of immunity provided by this section.


Author: admin – webmaster@ifas.ufl.edu


Permanent link to this article: http://franklin.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2016/06/25/new-improved-agritourism-law-what-does-it-mean/

What TS Colin’s Rainfall will Mean for Peanut Diseases?

What TS Colin’s Rainfall will Mean for Peanut Diseases?

Dufault Wet Leaves

Peanuts with water droplets on leaves after a rainfall event providing free moisture for infection by diseases.

Nicholas Dufault and Rebecca Barocco,  UF-IFAS Dept. of Plant Pathology

Back in 2013, the Suwannee Valley as well as other parts of the southeastern U.S. were hit with 10 to 25 inches of rainfall in the month of June, which was partly related to Tropical Storm Andrea. Now that Tropical Storm Colin (Fig. 1) has passed leaving rainfall amounts up to 10 inches in its wake, we are well on our way to another wet June here in Florida. So, what does all the moisture mean for our peanut growers? It means that the environment has become more conducive for disease, but more specifically, that:

  • Moisture, especially excess rainfall, creates an environment optimal for fungal pathogens (e.g. early and late leaf spot, rust and white mold) to grow, infect, and spread.
  • Too much water can stress peanut plants, and this stress can make the plant more susceptible to infections.
  • One of the big things a system like Colin does is spread fungal spores over short and long distances very effectively. Rain splash as well as wind-blown rainfall are efficient means for local dispersal of fungal spores in a field, but these factors are also critical to the release of spores into the atmosphere for long distance movement to fields miles away.
  • Too much rain creates problems for growers by limiting access to fields for fungicide sprays and other management practices needed for healthy peanuts.
Tropical Storm Colin
Fig. 1. The path of tropical storm Colin on June 6, 2016 from the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/).

So, what can one do about the headaches excess rainfall causes? There is no simple answer to this question, but the first thing would be to assess your risk for disease. Peanut-Rx is a powerful tool for preseason risk assessment and can tell you a lot about how your variety, planting date, and other cultural practices affect disease development. Understanding your risk is an important step to deciding how to respond to environmental events like tropical storm Colin. Peanut-Rx is available at the University of Georgia extension website:  2016 PEANUT Rx or as an app on android and apple mobile devices.

Now that I know something about my preseason risk, how does environment/weather change this risk value? This is also a complicated answer that will depend a lot on the grower’s specific situation. For example, if you have high risk peanuts that are 45 to 50 days old and they have not been treated with a fungicide then the risk for disease would be higher, especially if the pathogen is present. Currently, observations of peanut leaf spots and rust diseases in Florida is low. This means that now would be a good time for a protectant fungicide spray with chlorothalonil (e.g. BravoWS®). However, since it is possible infections have increased since tropical storm Colin, adding a penetrant product like Alto®, Priaxor® and/or tebuconazole (e.g. Tebuzol®) to the spray would be beneficial, especially in high risk fields. There are many other products available for foliar disease control, and the important thing to keep in mind when mixing is to use 2 separate classes of fungicides based on their FRAC numbers.

Another factor to consider when selecting products would be the risk for soilborne diseases (Fig. 2). Some products to consider for both foliar and soilborne disease control would be Provost® and Fontelis®. Each situation will be different, but for high risk fields when environments become favorable it is good to consider using multiple fungicide chemistries and think about switching to a shorter spray interval during that period.

Dufault WM risk map 6-1-16 Dufault WM risk map 6-9-16
Fig 2. Risk level for white mold (stem rot) development based on soil temperatures before (6/1/16) and after (6/9/16) tropical storm Colin. These values only indicate optimum temperatures are present based on data from the station indicated, and do not account for the presence of the pathogen or moisture. (Click on the photos to enlarge on your screen)

What if the field has a low risk for disease? The environment right now is highly conducive for disease, and it is likely that many foliar pathogens were spread across the region through Tropical Storm Colin. This means that the risk probably increased in low risk fields, but it will be important to pay attention to the variety’s susceptibility to various diseases as you consider adjusting your management program. This does not mean you will have to spray 2 or 3 more times this year, but it is always important to pay attention to how weather impacts our diseases. In this case, the first step would be scouting your fields for the presence of disease and talking with extension personnel and consultants about what diseases are present in the region. In the absence of the pathogen, a protective chlorothalonil spray may be all that is needed in a low risk field. However, if the pathogen is present and you have a susceptible host planted, it would be a good time to mix 2 chemistries as described above and continue scouting to see if the pathogen spreads.

Ultimately, each situation will be unique and nothing makes up for experience when dealing with diseases. The Disease Issue of the Southeastern Peanut Farmer provides some good information on how to handle many diseases and what to consider when selecting fungicide products. If after assessing your risk you have more questions than answers related to your spray decision, it is time to seek advice from extension specialists. It is likely, with the way our season is shaping up, that we will see problems from leaf spots, rust, white mold and Rhizoctonia limb rot this year. The important thing will be to stay ahead of these diseases and adjust your program accordingly to the disease and environment present.

Note: Reference to products in this publication is not intended to be an endorsement to the exclusion of others that may be similar. Products listed are not meant to be a complete list of products.



Author: Nick Dufault – nsdufault@ufl.edu

Extension Plant Pathologist for Vegetable and Row Crops

Nick Dufault

Permanent link to this article: http://franklin.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2016/06/10/what-ts-colins-rainfall-will-mean-for-peanut-diseases/

Saving Just $50 of Your Tax Refund Could Mean Winning Big

Saving Just $  50 of Your Tax Refund Could Mean Winning Big

SaveYourRefund-without-D2D-300x83As W-2 forms and other receipts start rolling in, we’re reminded that tax season is upon us once again. It’s exciting to get back some of your own hard-earned money in the form of a tax refund! Saving a portion of your tax refund can be a big step toward meeting your savings goals, so it’s no surprise that a 2015 tax season survey found that a majority of those who receive a refund planned to save it.

This tax season, reward yourself for saving some of your refund by entering for a chance to win $ 25,000 through SaveYourRefund. SaveYourRefund has 101 cash prizes, including 100 weekly prizes of $ 100 and one grand prize of $ 25,000. Making smart financial decisions isn’t always easy, but splitting your refund couldn’t be simpler. Follow these quick and easy steps to enter to win in 2016:

  • Use Form 8888 to split your refund. Entry to win with SaveYourRefund starts with splitting your refund into savings.
  • Save $ 50 or more of your tax refund. In order to enter, use Form 8888 to save at least $ 50. There are a number of accounts you can save into including a savings account, a U.S. Treasury Direct account (savings bond), and a myRA retirement account.
  • Visit SaveYourRefund.com to enter. You will automatically be eligible to win one of ten $ 100 prizes that will be given away every week from the start of the contest until the end of tax season.
  • Upload a picture here that represents your savings goal or motivation, and you’ll be entered to win the $ 25,000 grand prize!

Need tax assistance? Take advantage of a Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program. VITA programs offer free tax help to those who generally make $ 53,000 or less, persons with disabilities, the elderly, and limited English speakers.

Get ahead of your financial goals by splitting your tax refund into savings, and reward yourself with SaveYourRefund!

Source:  Tammy Greynolds, AmericaSaves.org.



Author: Judy Corbus – jlcorbus@ufl.edu

Judy Corbus is the Family and Consumer Sciences Agent in Washington and Holmes Counties.

Judy Corbus

Permanent link to this article: http://franklin.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2016/02/10/saving-just-50-of-your-tax-refund-could-mean-winning-big/

Fall Season Can Mean More Snake Encounters

Fall Season Can Mean More Snake Encounters

In the last few weeks we have received an increase in calls about snake encounters. Most of these have dealt with small juvenile snakes folks are finding on their property, or in their homes, but we are also hearing about large ones.

Corn snakes are excellent climbers and consume a lot of rodents.   Photo: Nick Baldwin

Corn snakes are excellent climbers and consume a lot of rodents.
Photo: Nick Baldwin


Most of the 56 species of snakes found in the southeastern United States breed in spring or summer and this time of year people begin to encounter the juveniles from this year’s brood. The Southern Black Racer has been the most common encounter we have heard from and this is because the young do not resemble the adults at all. But panhandle residents should be aware that there are several species who do breed in the fall and the adults will be seeking each other this time of year increasing your chances of an encounter. Of those that do breed in the fall 16 can be found in the panhandle.


Three of these species are small terrestrial snakes. They would include the Florida Red-Bellied Snake, the Southeastern Crown Snake, and the Southern Ringneck Snake. These are typically less than 15” in length and move at night. They frequent the underbrush where they hunt for insects and small amphibians and are no threat to people or pets.


There are 4 species of local mid-sized snakes that are fall breeders. The Rough Green Snake, Eastern Garter Snake, Eastern Hognose Snake, and the Scarlet Snake are all very common and pose no threat to people and pets. The Green Snake and Scarlet Snake can be found in around trees this time of year and the Eastern Hognose is often confused with the Pygmy Rattlesnake. Hognose differ in that they have round pupils and an upturned nose; of course they lack a rattle as well. Scarlet snake is confused with the Eastern Coral Snake but can be distinguished but their red head (instead of black).

Gray rat snake crossing a driveway.  Photo: Carrie Stevenson

Gray rat snake crossing a driveway.
Photo: Carrie Stevenson


Of the 8 species of large terrestrial snakes only 2 are known to breed in the fall locally. These would be the Gray Rat Snake and the Eastern Indigo. Both of these snakes can easily reach 6 ft. in length and tend to terrify people but in reality these are both rather docile and consume a significant number of disease carrying rodents; Indigos will actually feed on venomous snakes helping to control their populations. The Eastern Indigo Snake has not been seen in the Florida panhandle since the late 1990’s and is current listed as an endangered species in our state.


We have 15 species of non-venomous water snakes in the southeastern U.S. but only 1 local is a fall breeder; the Queen Snake. This snake is found in all panhandle counties except those along the coastal portion of the Apalachicola River; Bay, Gulf, Franklin, and Wakulla counties. As a group water snakes tend to be aggressive, and some can be quite large, but they pose no danger to people and pets.


Finally the ones most are concerned with. There are 6 species of venomous snakes in the southeastern U.S. All 6 can be found in the panhandle and all 6 breed in the fall. This means that males will be out seeking females and encounters could occur. Copperheads are rare in Florida but are most often encountered along the region of the Apalachicola River. These snakes tend to be cryptic and move very little. They will release a musk to warn that you are getting to close. There are 2 subspecies of Cottonmouths in the panhandle. The Florida Cottonmouth is found in the coastal counties of the Apalachicola River (mentioned) and the Eastern Cottonmouth is found elsewhere. They prefer water but will move upland during the cooler months. They have a reputation of being aggressive but are actually no more aggressive than other snakes. Like most, they are trying to avoid you. The Eastern Coral Snake is the only neurotoxic snake in our state. This animal moves through the underbrush seeking prey, including other snakes. They are rarely encountered but are quite common. 


The familiar face of an Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnake. Photo: Nick Baldwin

The familiar face of an Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnake.
Photo: Nick Baldwin

Then there are the most feared of the group – the rattlesnakes. The Timber Rattlesnake is actually not that common in Florida but many travel to Georgia and Alabama during deer season where they are common. The Eastern Diamondback and the Dusky Pigmy Rattlesnakes are common here. All three species breed in the fall and could be encountered this time of year.


Many of our local snakes will den during these cooler months and some in groups. All should be aware of this when exploring stump holes and such while visiting the outdoors. Also know that on warm sunny days they may venture out to bask in the sun; another chance to encounter them.


For more information on how to handle an encounter or a snake bite visit the Escambia County Extension website ( http://escambia.ifas.ufl.edu ) or contact Rick O’Connor at 850-475-5230; roc1@ufl.edu .


Author: Rick O’Connor – roc1@ufl.edu

Sea Grant Extension Agent in Escambia County

Rick O’Connor

Permanent link to this article: http://franklin.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2014/10/10/fall-season-can-mean-more-snake-encounters/

What Does the Launch of New Generic Fungicides Mean for Plant Disease Management in 2014?

The 2013 foliar peanut disease fungicide trial from Marianna, FL. It is important to monitor products for reductions in their efficacy when managing for fungicide resistance.

The 2013 foliar peanut disease fungicide trial from Marianna, FL. It is important to monitor products for reductions in their efficacy when managing for fungicide resistance.

Early in 2014 the patent for the popular strobilurin fungicide (FRAC group 11) azoxystrobin will expire. Azoxystrobin is the active ingredient in the Syngenta® fungicides Quadris®, Abound® and Heritage® as well as a component of many other premixes (e.g. Quadris Top® and Quilt®). There have been press releases indicating that the fungicide companies MANA and Cheminova will be releasing products containing azoxystrobin in 2014. As these new products are released into the market, understanding their active ingredients and mode of action will be important to prolonging their effectiveness.

The Fungicide Resistance Action Committee (FRAC) developed a letter and number system that can be used to determine how a fungicide works based on their mode of action and active ingredient. This FRAC code can be found on every fungicide label and more information about this subject is available at EDIS. Because resistance to azoxystrobin has already been reported in multiple pathogens, it is critical that we maintain proper stewardship of this fungicide. A fungus exhibiting resistance to a specific fungicide may also be resistant to many or all of the fungicides with the same FRAC code. Proper fungicide rotation will help reduce the selection pressure placed on a single pathogen population.

Tank mixing fungicides or using premixes, products with two or more fungicides, will also aid in fungicide resistance management. This helps reduce selection pressure because if a fungus develops resistance to one fungicide, it will be killed or limited by the other fungicide in the mix. However, this only works when the mixed fungicides both actively manage the fungal pest of interest. In general, it is good to not apply more than two sequential applications of a specific product and to add protective multisite fungicides (e.g. chlorothalonil and mancozeb) to the spray program when appropriate. It is critical that a fungicide is applied only when necessary.

Two other guidelines that can help reduce the development of fungicide resistance are maintaining healthy crops and monitoring product efficacy. Healthy crops are often less susceptible to fungal diseases and thus can reduce the need for a fungicide application. When a fungicide is applied, it is useful to monitor the efficacy of that spray. Ineffective control by a fungicide labeled for a disease may indicate the development of a resistant population. It is important that users contact their local extension office about products exhibiting ineffective control so researchers can examine the isolates for resistance. The sooner a resistant population is identified the quicker programs can be adjusted to limit this problem.

Examples of fungicide sensitivity assays using different fungicide concentrations. These tests are used to determine fungicide resistance for (A) powdery mildew of cucurbits and (B) white mold/stem rot of peanuts.

Examples of fungicide sensitivity assays using different fungicide concentrations. These tests are used to determine fungicide resistance for (A) powdery mildew of cucurbits and (B) white mold/stem rot of peanuts.

So, what does this mean for 2014? It means that as the new generic azoxystrobin products are released, it will be important to monitor and plan how to use these fungicide products. It is likely that these products will fit into many spray programs and will provide effective control at a reduced cost. However, the overuse of these products can lead to the development of fungicide resistance, and lead to the loss of effective disease management tools. More general information about fungicides can be found in the book Fungicides for Field Crops available at APS Press, Amazon and online.



Author: Nicholas Duafult – nsdufault@ufl.edu

Extension Plant Pathologist for Vegetable and Row Crops

Nicholas Duafult

Permanent link to this article: http://franklin.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2014/01/31/what-does-the-launch-of-new-generic-fungicides-mean-for-plant-disease-management-in-2014/

All Reasonable Efforts: What does it mean to me?


It is important to ensure that our programs are open to everyone.

It is important to ensure that our programs are open to everyone.

Federal affirmative action guidelines require that a 4-H club’s membership reflect that of the community which it serves.  So, if your club serves the whole county, and your county is 54% white 36% black, 6% Hispanic, and 3% other, then your club membership should be 54% white 36% black, 6% Hispanic, and 3% other.  However, this is not always the case.  In such instances we use All Reasonable Efforts (ARE)  to show that we are making our clubs available to everyone.

ARE are documented efforts that club leaders and members make to diversify their club populations.  There are a number of things that you can do, but the following three are required each year by each club who’s membership doesn’t reflect that of the community which it serves:


  • ·         Mass media
  • ·         Personal letters
  • ·         Personal invites


With more than a quarter of the 4-H year over already, it’s time to get ARE documented for your club a

nd reported to your 4-H agent so that he/she can file it in your club folder.

If you are unsure of the demographics of your community or have other questions regarding affirmative action and/or ARE, please feel free to contact your county’s 4-H agent(s). 


Follow these links for a helpful ARE reporting tool and a sample personal letter:

ARE Reporting Tool (developed by Heather Kent Northwest District RSA)

Sample Invite Letter – paste on your county letterhead and edit to fit your club



Author: Whitney Cherry – cherryw@ufl.edu

Whitney Cherry is a 4-H Extension Agent in the NW District.

Whitney Cherry

Permanent link to this article: http://franklin.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2013/02/22/all-reasonable-efforts-what-does-it-mean-to-me/

Leaf spots may mean a fungal disease

As the hot weather abates just a bit, gardeners find themselves back in the landscape only to find an outbreak of spots on their plants. Hot, humid and rainy weather are perfect conditions for the development of fungal diseases.

One of the most common leaf spot diseases seen in the landscape during late summer is Cercospora leaf spot. While it affects many different landscape plants, it is most commonly seen on hydrangeas. It affects smooth, panicle, oakleaf and bigleaf types of hydrangea. However, this year, there have been numerous occurrences on crape myrtles.


On bigleaf hydrangea, the spots are small, circular and have a purplish halo surrounding them. The centers of these spots eventually turns tan to light gray in color. In contrast, the leaf spots on oakleaf hydrangea appear angular in shape and are dark brown in color. Leaves that are severely affected often become a yellow-green color.

Initial symptoms on crape myrtles are the appearance of dark brown spots that develop first on the lower leaves and progress upward in the canopy from mid-summer through fall. Infected leaves develop a yellowish to orangey-red coloration because of the production of a toxin by the pathogen. These leaves then fall prematurely, particularly in highly susceptible varieties.

Numerous infectious spores are produced in the center of each fungal spot. These spores can be spread by wind, splashing water and can hitch a ride on pruning tools. Frequent late summer rain showers will not only greatly increase the rate of disease spread, but also intensify the level of leaf spotting and defoliation. Extended periods of drought will usually suppress disease development and spread.

Although this disease can be visually alarming, it is generally an aesthetic problem for homeowners because the disease rarely kills the plant. However, if this disease is severe, it can reduce the overall plant vigor by repeated defoliation.

Control strategies

There are some fungicides available to help manage Cercospora leaf spot, but for the homeowner, disease management with fungicides is often not warranted because symptoms usually occur so late in the season. This does not mean, however, that you should ignore the problem. Once this disease is found in a planting, yearly outbreaks are likely to occur.

The fungus easily survives on fallen leaves. Sanitation is perhaps the most important tool in disease management. Be sure to remove and destroy these leaves to help prevent future infections and disease outbreaks.

Another important cultural practice includes surface watering. Because moisture on the leaves allow disease spores to germinate, avoid getting the leaves wet with overhead irrigation. Also be sure to apply enough nitrogen to maintain a moderate growth rate. It is also helpful if your plants are not crowded. Good air circulation permits the leaves to dry quickly after a rain, which helps prevent leaf spot diseases.

This fungal disease creates circular leaf spots. The spot’s center will turn tan or light gray.

However, the use of fungicides may be justified for high-value landscape plantings that develop severe cases of the disease each year. Products containing chlorothalonil, myclobutanil or thiophanate-methyl are recommended. For effective control of Cercospora leaf spot with a fungicide, begin applications when spotting of the leaves is first seen and continue applying that treatment as needed. Be sure to follow label directions!

Theresa Friday

Permanent link to this article: http://franklin.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2012/07/14/leaf-spots-may-mean-a-fungal-disease/

How Much Does the Gulf of Mexico Mean to You?

Brooke Saari
Florida Sea Grant Extension Agent
Okaloosa & Walton Counties

Have you ever considered what the Gulf of Mexico means to you?  Is it important to you?  Putting a value on an ecosystem or the services it provides is very difficult.  However, it is done all the time on smaller scales, like the selling of land.  The recent oil spill placed a new focus on the Gulf of Mexico and what it means to us. 

Planting sea oats to protect dune systems and increase habitat. Photo Credits: Robert Turpin, Escambia County

Each of us may place a different value on the Gulf of Mexico, but the economic value is clear.  According to the National Marine Fisheries Service 2008 Fisheries Economics of the United States regional report the gross domestic product for the Gulf of Mexico totaled $ 2.35 trillion in 2007.  In 2008, Florida generated over $ 5.7 billion sales, 108,600 jobs, and $ 3.1 billion income impacts due to the fishing industry of the Gulf.  Over 54,600 jobs were supported in West Florida alone as part of the recreational fishing industry.  These figures represent some of the easily tracked and quantified services that the Gulf of Mexico provides.  However, there is more than fishing that makes this water body important.  The Gulf of Mexico also provides protective and regulating services.  Coastal wetlands in the U.S. provide over $ 23 million in protection for the mainland.  These protections are in the form of sand bars, barrier islands, coastal dunes, and sea grass beds.  All of these natural features provide a line of defense against extreme storms, surge, waves and winds which would otherwise need to be provided artificially.  These areas also provide essential habitat that supports many of our sport fish, as well as a variety of threatened and endangered species.  The currents help fuel weather patterns and climate which are defined by oceans.  These massive water bodies are the basis for precipitation which directly impacts and feeds our water supplies, agricultural production and transportation. 

Sharing the natural resources of the Gulf. Photo Credits: Andrew Diller

Oceans also provide opportunities for medical advances and educational focus due to the tremendous biological diversity.  Cultural services are the ones that most view as valuable on different levels.  These services include providing area for bird watching (over 7 million participants), habitat for migrating shorebirds and waterfowl, and a top destination for tourism.  Florida ranks in the top ten destinations to fish, swim, dive, and enjoy the beaches and wetlands.  The Gulf of Mexico region also contains two of the ten National Seashores of the National Park Service and seven of the twenty-eight estuaries of national significance.  Eco-tourism is a way to enjoy these natural areas in a nature friendly way and is a common occurrence in the Gulf of Mexico and surrounding areas. 

Kayaking along the Gulf coast. Photo Credits: Andrew Diller

So again, how much does the Gulf of Mexico mean to you?  Get out there and enjoy what we have in our own backyard.

Panhandle Outdoors

Permanent link to this article: http://franklin.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2012/02/03/how-much-does-the-gulf-of-mexico-mean-to-you/