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CONTENTS

August 2018 VOL. 11 • ISSUE 12

24 THE IMPACT AND IMPORTANCE OF AGRICULTURE IN POLK COUNTY

PAGE 10 Master Gardener

PAGE 31 News Briefs

PAGE 12 Jack Payne

PAGE 32 Citrus Initiative Fund

PAGE 14 Fishing Hot Spots

PAGE 34 Snail Kites

PAGE 16 The Field Foodies

PAGE 36 John Dicks

PAGE 18 Asian Citrus Psyllid

PAGE 34 Recipes

PAGE 22 Rocking Chair Chatter

PAGE 40 Activity

PAGE 26 Literary Time Machine

PAGE 41 A Closer Look

PAGE 28 Endangered Species

PAGE 42 PCSO

PAGE 30 Goumi Berry

PAGE 45 PCCW

Hey Readers!

Hidden somewhere in the magazine is a No Farmers, No Food logo. Hunt for the logo and once you find the hidden logo you will be eligible for a drawing to win a FREE No Farmers No Food Sticker and a FREE In The Field T-Shirt. Send us your business card or an index card with your name and telephone number, the number of the page which you found the logo and where on the page you located the logo to the address below

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InTheField® Magazine P.O. Box 5377 • Plant City, Fl. 33566-0042 *Winners will be notified by phone. You Too Can Be A Winner!

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Polk County Cattlemen’s Association P.O. Box 9005 • Drawer HS03 Bartow, FL. 33831-9005 President – Carlton Taylor 9875 Hancock Road Lakeland, FL 33810 (863) 858-1771 L2brangus@aol.com Vice President – Ray Clark 4484 Swindell Road Lakeland, FL 33810 (863) 640-0719 rclark@tampabay.rr.com Secretary/Treasurer Justin Bunch PO Box 849 Highland City, FL 33846 (863) 425-1121 justin.bunch@cpsagu.com State Director – David McCullers 1000 Hwy 630 W Frostproof, FL 33843 (863) 635-3821 crookedlakeranch57@ gmail.com Donald Conroy 3882 Wolfolk Rd Fort Meade, FL 33841 (863) 412-0790 Kevin Fussell 4523 Fussell Rd Polk City, FL 33868-9676 (863) 412-5876 Mike Fussell 4520 Barush Rd Bartow, FL 33830 (863) 698-8314 fussell.flafarm@gmail.com Moby Persing 3380 Sam Keen Rd Lake Wales, FL 33898 (863) 528-4567 Ken Sherrouse 13475 Moore Rd Lakeland, FL 33809 (863) 698-1834 kensherrouse@yahoo.com Scott Shoupe 6130 Allen Lane Lakeland, FL 33811 (863) 581-7593 Scott_shoupe@hotmail. com

3305 US Highway 92 E Lakeland, FL 33801-9623 (863) 665-5088 J. B. Wynn PO Box 197 Alturas, FL 33820 (863) 581-3255 jbwynn29@gmail.com Standing Committee Chairs: Membership- J.B. Wynn Events- Kevin Fussell Trade Show- Bridget Stice Rodeo- Fred Waters PO Box 463 Alturas, FL 33820 (863) 559-7808 Website – Adam Norman 2115 West Pipkin Rd Lakeland, FL 33811 (863) 944-9293 Adamnorman1977@gmail. com Cattlewomen – President, Megan Atkinson 3970 Gerber Dairy Rd Winter Haven, FL 33880 (863) 559-1228 Megamess007@yahoo. com Extension – Bridget Stice PO Box 9005, Drawer HS03 Bartow, FL 33831 (863) 519-1048 bccarlis@ufl.edu Sheriff’s Dept. – Sgt. Paul Wright 1891 Jim Keen Blvd. Winter Haven, FL 33880 (863) 557-1741 pw5281@polksheriff.org Warner University – Cameron Cato 13895 Hwy 27 Lake Wales, FL 33859 (352) 561-6459 James.cato@warner.edu

Dave Tomkow WWW. ININTHE FIELD MM AGAZINE.COM WWW. THE FIELD AGAZINE.COM


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STAFF Publisher/Photography Karen Berry Senior Managing Editor/ Associate Publisher Sarah Holt Editor-In-Chief Al Berry Editor Patsy Berry Sales Tina Richmond Melissa Nichols Chandler Workman

Letter from the Editor

It is back to school time! Be on the lookout for children walking, biking and boarding buses. Crossing guards will frequently stop traffic, but every corner doesn’t have a guard, so be on the lookout so children arrive safe and sound. A new school year means a new beginning for many. It could mean a new teacher, a new school, new classmates, and hopefully memories that will be cherished and friends made that will last a lifetime. This August in Florida the heat isn’t just about the temperature outside. It is a big election year and the primary is August 28. Whoever you are for, no matter your political preference, do your homework, find the candidates with values you appreciate. Ensure they are an advocate for agriculture and go vote. Don’t think, “This is just the primary why should I vote?” It’s important to get the best candidates for the general election in November. You will read in this month’s magazine of the importance of agriculture and the impact it has locally. We have the freshest food source at our fingertips thanks to the hard work of our farmers and ranchers. We need to do our best to keep it that way. Until Next Month

Sarah Holt The LORD make his face shine upon you and be gracious to you. - Numbers 6:25

Creative Director/Illustrator Juan Alvarez Photography Karen Berry Melissa Nichols Staff Writers Al Berry Sandy Kaster James Frankowiak Sean Green Ginny Mink Breanne Williams Contributing Writers Woody Gore John Dicks

In The Field Magazine is published monthly and is available through local Polk County businesses, restaurants, and many local venues. It is also distributed by U.S. mail to a target market, which includes all of the Greenbelt Property owners, members of the Polk County Catllemen’s Association. Letters, comments and questions can be sent to P.O. Box 5377, Plant City, Florida 33563-0042 or you are welcome to email them to: info@inthefieldmagazine.com or call 813-759-6909 Advertisers warrant & represent the descriptions of their products advertised are true in all respects. In The Field Magazine assumes no responsibility for claims made by advertisers. All views expressed in all articles are those of the authors and not necessarily those of Berry Publications, Inc. Any use or duplication of material used in In the Field magazine is prohibited without written consent from Berry Publications, Inc.

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Published by Berry Publications, Inc.

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Dear PCCA Members, I trust everyone is well and hopefully not underwater. Congratulations to Polk County’s Rhonda Waters for being elected as the President of the Florida CattleWomen’s Inc. As a result of this role, the Polk County Cattlemen and Cattlewomen will host the Florida Cattlemen’s Association/Florida CattleWomen Inc. Fall Quarterly meeting September 6 & 7, 2018 in Bartow.

Membership Feedstock Meeting Youth FCW Executive Meeting - 3:00 p.m. Florida Cattlemen’s Steak Out - 6:00 p.m. held at Waters Cattle (Ned and Rhonda Waters) Friday, September 7th FCA Past Presidents/Executive Committee Breakfast - 7:00 a.m.

2018 Fall Quarterly Meeting Schedule (All meetings will take place at the Polk County Agricultural Center in Bartow)

FCA Board of Directors Meeting - 8:30 a.m. FL Cattle Women Board of Directors Meeting 8:30 a.m.

Thursday, September 6th FCA Executive Board Meeting/Lunch - 8:30 a.m. Allied Committee Meeting -10:00 a.m. FCA Opening General Session - 1:00 p.m. FCA Committee Meetings - 1:45 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. Ag Research Animal Health and Inspection Environmental, Private Lands Management Marketing Public Relations

As we enter election time in August, I encourage you to vote and support candidates that are going to stand up for the agriculture industry and our way of life. Until next time, eat more BEEF!

Carlton Taylor

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Polk County Cattlemen’s Association President

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Fall Heifer & Cow Sale October 19th 1 pm. Expecting 250+/- HD Quality Replacement Cattle

Cross Bred Heifers & Cows (Bred, Open, Pairs) For More Information Please Contact Office: 863-665-5088 Dave: 863-559-3266 Mike: 863-559-5091

Consignments Only INTHEFIELD MAGAZINE

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Master Gardener

The Splendid Hibiscus

By Debra Howell, Florida Master Gardener UF/IFAS Extension Polk County Hibiscus have become one of the most popular and easily recognizable of our tropical central Florida shrubs. These plants are perennials in the Malvaceae genus of mallows. Thought to be native to China, Florida attained these colorful beauties from the Hawaiian Islands and Samoa. Although the hibiscus would like to be subtropical, they also thrive in hardiness zones 9-11 as long as the temperature does not drop below 28 to 30 degrees Fahrenheit. At or below those temperatures, the plants may be killed back to the ground. Established hibiscus in your landscape that get killed back will probably sprout back out in the spring. To help prevent hibiscus from getting cold damage, try to protect them from the north wind.

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Hibiscus flowers occur in yellow, red, orange, lavender and brown, with many variations. They are also available in many color combinations. Although most of the lovely blossoms only last one day, there are a few cultivars that last two days. Many gardeners choose to use the flashy blooms as cut flowers and in arrangements. The blooms may be floated in a shallow dish of water or placed on a runner down the middle of your table. While it is not necessary to place the flowers in water, it is suggested that you keep them in a cool place for best results. If your intent is to use them as a decoration for an evening soiree, then place the cut blooms in your refrigerator in the morning after clipping them. Hibiscus blooms are differentiated as single or double flowers, varied by the petal arrangement. A great asset of including hibiscus in your landscape is the bloom season, which is almost all year long.

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In Florida, butterflies such as Gulf fritillaries and cloudless sulfurs enjoy sipping from hibiscus flowers, as do hummingbirds. Hibiscus are utilized for foundation and specimen shrubs, as well as, a free-growing hedge as long as it is not sheared. A popular use of hibiscus is as a standard. A standard is characterized as a plant trimmed and trained to a single trunk. When cultivated in this manner, they may be used as an attractive specimen on a balcony or patio in a container. Be sure to place your plants where they will receive no less than a half day of direct sunlight. Common cultural practices for propagating hibiscus is by budding, grafting, air layering or cuttings. Seeds may also be used, but you may find much variation between the parent plant and the seedlings. When using cuttings, take a clipping of new growth during the spring or summer. Use a well drained rooting soil, keep moist, and plants should begin to root in a few weeks. Professionals usually pre-treat with a rooting hormone, then place it beneath a mist system. Using this method will ensure high humidity in the rooting process. Air layering is an interesting form of propagation. Air layering is accomplished by girdling a branch of about one-half inch in width by removing a one-half to one inch wide band of bark. At this point, you will need to wrap moist sphagnum moss, or Spanish moss, around the band, seal it tightly with a plastic wrapper, then aluminum foil and secure with either rubber bands, twine or tape. At about a month or six weeks, unwrap your little rooting package and check on the progress of your new plant. If you find that your experiment has produced a viable root system, carefully clip the plant WWW.INTHEFIELDMAGAZINE.COM


above the newly-formed root system and proceed with the planting of your new hibiscus. According to UF/ IFAS publication ENH44, Hibiscus in Florida, “the older varieties that grow well on their own roots are the most desirable for use in the landscape. Many of the newer varieties grow well only as grafted plants and are not widely available.” Hibiscus enjoy regular watering, but do not like “wet feet” (continually moist soil). They also require regular fertilization of a light application for optimum blooms. When discussing cultivar types, it may be noted that in the United States there are 35 species of native hibiscus, also referred to as rosemallows. In Florida, one native is called swamp mallow, scarlet rosemallow or marsh hibiscus. These herbaceous perennials may achieve heights of up to eight feet tall and will produce large red blooms in the summer. These plants need full sun to partial shade. Swamp mallow is referred to as a “hardy hibiscus” and is more cold hardy than tropical hibiscus. This designation also includes cultivars like Hibiscus mutabilis, or confederate rose, an old favorite often present at farmsteads. Another popular variety is H.sabdariffa, known by the common names roselle, Florida cranberry and Jamaica sorrel. The calyx part of these plants is used to make jelly, tea, juice and a sort of cranberry sauce. When brewed into tea, the resulting drink has a characteristic red color and high vitamin C content, and is consumed world-wide. In addition, one type of hibiscus, known as kenaf, has been used in the making of paper. Another use of hibiscus is an edible product that is dried and considered a delicacy in Mexico. Hibiscus are flowering perennial shrubs that evoke feelings of a tropical setting. They are versatile plants available in lovely colors and combinations of colors

UF/IFAS Publications: Hardy Hibiscus for Florida Landscapes (http://edis.ifas. ufl.edu/EP245) Hibiscus coccineus, Scarlet Rosemallow (http://edis.ifas. ufl.edu/FP253) Hibiscus in Florida (http://manatee.ifas.ufl.edu/lawn_ and_garden/master-gardener/gardening-manateestyle/h/hibiscus-care.pdf) Hibiscus Pest Insects and Mites (http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/ topic_hibiscus_pest_insects) If you have questions regarding your landscape or becoming a Florida Master Gardener, you may call your local UF/IFAS Extension Service for help to find the answer. You can reach the UF/IFAS Extension Polk County Plant Clinic at 863-519-1041 or online at http:// sfyl.ifas.ufl.edu/polk. The Plant Clinic is open Monday – Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. The Florida Master Gardener Program is a volunteerdriven program that benefits UF/IFAS Extension and the citizens of Florida. The program extends the vision of the University of Florida/Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, all the while protecting and sustaining natural resources and environmental systems, enhancing the development of human resources, and improving the quality of human life through the development of knowledge in agricultural, human and natural resources and making that knowledge accessible. An Equal Opportunity Institution. INTHEFIELD MAGAZINE

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that flower throughout the year. They occur in forms ranging from upright to weeping types. These plants will surely become focal points in your yard with their evergreen foliage and vibrant colors.


GROWING LEADERS

By Jack Payne

I’ve said it time and time again – of the 300 crops we grow in Florida, perhaps the most important is leaders.

Mary Hartney and former member of the Florida House of Representatives Baxter Troutman are also alumni.

That’s why the University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences invests so much in leadership training. Sometimes we sow seeds that need time before they’re ready for harvest. But in the case of Hillsborough County Farm Bureau board member Will Womack, the bloom seemed almost instantaneous.

Hannah was supposed to be in Europe during the FNGLA’s June convention. And she was. But because of Will’s gratitude for Hannah’s service, and her dedication to her crop of leaders, they agreed to delay his swearing in until she could complete a 20-hour transoceanic journey to be there.

Womack will tell you that before he entered the UF/IFAS Wedgworth Leadership Institute for Agriculture and Natural Resources he was a hole digger, and he came out of it on a path to become president of the nation’s largest state nursery and landscape association. Much as I like to believe that Wedgworth director Hannah Carter sculpts masterpieces of leaders from her students, Womack was no lump of clay when he started the program six years ago. Nor is Womack a fluke. Carter has trained five of the last eight presidents of the Florida Nursery, Growers and Landscape Association. Will says he simply wouldn’t be president without having gone through Wedgworth. It did three things for him. It equipped him with tools to sharpen his skills in communications, problem-solving, and decision-making. It gave him the confidence to handle the responsibilities of leadership. And it plugged him into a network of alumni -- a who’s who in Florida production agriculture.

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For example, John Bertram of Lykes Brothers and Sambhav of Driscoll’s graduated from the program just last month (July). Hillsborough County Farm Bureau board member Tony Lopez, Florida Fertilizer and Agrichemical Association President

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Emboldened and inspired by his Wedgworth experience when he graduated, Womack accepted when the FNGLA Nomination Committee approached him to be the secretary/ treasurer nominee. His ascension to that state office put him in the rotation to become president this past June.

The atmosphere Hannah creates in the two-year Wedgworth program develops those kinds of bonds among classmates. She has a now well-honed ability to see leadership potential in ag up-and-comers and to turn their potential into achievement. Hannah’s contributions to fostering the state’s agricultural leaders are so numerous that she is the only person in the history of FNGLA who has never worked for the association yet been recognized as an honorary staff member. If you want to identify the future leaders of the agricultural communities in Hillsborough and Polk counties are, look for locals on the roster of names on the Wedgworth Leadership Institute website. Carter has already identified them, sometimes, as in Womack’s case, even before they identified themselves as leaders.

Jack Payne is the University of Florida’s senior vice president for agriculture and natural resources and leader of the Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences. WWW.INTHEFIELDMAGAZINE.COM


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Tampa Bay Fishing Report-September 2018 Capt. Woody Gore

Like other parts of the south Florida, Tampa Bay fishing also struggles through the summer, especially when water temperatures top out in the nineties. However one good thing is, the fish are still biting, but you never catch the numbers like in the spring and fall. If you’re a die-hard angler and able to withstand the heat, try fishing the stronger tides and currents. So far we’ve been catching a few fish by freelining greenbacks, threadfins, small pinfish, sardines, and shrimp in the deeper cooler water. But if it’s some real early morning excitement you’re after, try tossing artificial topwater’s around a broken bottom grass flat.

Snook During the summer snook are looking for comfortable water. So, as water temperatures rise later in day expect to find them in deeper passes, washes, around deep-water docks, and deep holes close to structure. Around Tampa Bay greenbacks are the bait of choice. Night snook fishing usually proves successful, mainly around docks and bridges, often resulting in a nice surprise when one of the big ones gets hungry. Redfish seem to be on a hit or miss schedule this year. We’re not seeing the larger schools moving around the bay. In talking with other folks about the scarcity of redfish we feel comfortable in contributing it to extreme fishing pressure. Hopefully, they show up this month, so start watching for schooling reds on grass flats with sandy potholes or along mangrove shorelines. The bait of choice is live or cut greenbacks, threadfin herring or pinfish. On the other hand, it’s hard for them to resist anything stinky on the bottom. So, toss out a piece of cut mullet, crab, threadfins, or ladyfish and put the rod in the rod-holder. Remember, using dead bait requires something most anglers never carry in their tackle box and that’s patience. Sea Trout action is showing up on the deepwater flats on strong tide days. They’re eating freelined shrimp, pinfish, and greenbacks. You might try fishing along deeper flats with good moving water. We’re catching the larger fish as they cruise early morning grass flats looking for an easy meal. Cobia seem to be fairly plentiful around the bay this summer. They

usually show up on the backs of large rays or manatees or just cruising open water. They are particularly attracted to structure, especially when it’s holding bait. They also tend to pop up at the most inconvenient time, so always keep a heavier rod rigged and ready.

Tarpon at the Skyway, Gandy and Howard Frankland bridges should still produce in the light lines, especially early mornings or nighttime. A few should still be spotted cruising the deep drops of any grass flat holding bait.

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Capt. Woody Gore (www.captainwoodygore.com)

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Mackerel, Bluefish, Snapper action are still strong with giant mackerel and blues chasing any shiny artificial lure or spoon and always taking live sardines or threadfin hearing. Just look for pods of threadfins, tie on your favorite lure or net some live bait, put out a chum bag and hold onto your rod and reel. Tie on some 60 lb. Seaguar fluorocarbon leader with a Daiichi #2 or #3 long shank hooks. Free line the baits in the current with a #3 split-shot weight on the leader. WWW.INTHEFIELDMAGAZINE.COM


“Give Me a Call & Let’s Go Fishing”

813-477-3814

Captain Woody Gore is the area’s top outdoor fishing guide. Guiding and fishing the west central Florida areas for over fifty years; he offers world class fishing adventures and a lifetime of memories. Multi-boat Group Charters With years of organizational experience and access to the areas most experienced captains, Captain Woody can arrange and coordinate any outing or tournament. Just tell him what you need and it’s done.

Visit his website at: WWW.CAPTAINWOODYGORE.COM send an email to wgore@ix.netcom.com or give me a call at 813-477-3814

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Whiffs of BBQ hit you a half block away, and the full aroma of a southern kitchen greets you at the pillars of the century old former post office. The arched brick, 20-feet high exposed wood ceilings, and distinctly U.S. federal heraldry eagle let you know there was history here before brisket and smothered ribs. The federal past merges with the local present through Lakeland themed postage stamp art bright against the brick backdrop. At 5:30pm on a Thursday most stools by the long bar were filled with happy hour patrons enjoying $3 beers and whiskey. Based on my generous pour of Buffalo Trace bourbon, they are there for good reason. We were promptly seated at one of the handful of vacant tables, on the way walking past families, couples, young and old, suits and t-shirts -- it would be a challenge to not feel welcome here. The friendly environment was on full display when the next table chimed in during our order of a sweet potatoes side, “you won’t regret it!”

Kansas City Burnt Ends (Appetizer $11)

There’s no place like the home of dry-rubbed BBQ. Each piece is part crispy outside and all tender inside. As any legitimate BBQ place should, each table has a selection of sauces: Sweet, vinegar, chipotle, MOJO, and mustard. The mustard is perfectly tangy. Sweet will make you wish it was served by the glass. This is the ideal appetizer to sample them all.

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MOJO Club (Entree $11.50) Club sandwiches are typically the boring, Volvo-driving cousin of the sandwich family. But when you beef up your turkey cuts to one-quarter inch slices, insert pulled pork that gushes farther outside the crust with each bite, and use pickles crunchy enough that you can hear them crack -- it is no longer a typical club sandwich. The portions of meat in each bite taste like MOJO’s Club went through a midlife crisis and traded in his Volvo for a Corvette. Throw in a side of sweet potato

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mash loaded with butter, sugar and walnuts and you have as close to a dessert as you can get from the Sides menu.

MOJO Smokehouse Chicken (Entree $16) The server was quick to recommend the smoked chicken breast. It’s topped with bacon, sauteéd onions and jack and cheddar cheeses. To be clear, this is not simply smoked chicken smothered with extras on top -- everything is smoked together. Your mouth is overwhelmed with smoky flavor, in a good way. At first bite the side of mac and cheese appeared average, then the kick of breaded delight hit and stepped it up a notch. The second side of garlic cheddar grits take a common southern delicacy and do them uncommonly well. The garlic and cheddar are balanced, but impactful; you might think Emeril stole your grandma’s recipe and added a subtle twist. Homemade Banana Pudding (Dessert $5)

After such large entrees the dessert was smaller than expected, which means it was a normal size. Banana pudding is not rocket science, but details matter. The pudding to wafer to banana ratio was spot on. And the art of placing the wafers below the pudding, yet keeping them crunchy was perfectly executed.

Open: Lunch and dinner Price: $$ (moderate) Noise Level: Moderate, allows for easy conversation Happy Hour: Every day 4:00 - 7:00pm | Beer $3, Liquor

$3, Wine $5, Cocktails $6

Pet Friendly: Yes, on the patio Reservations: Only for large parties WWW.INTHEFIELDMAGAZINE.COM


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UF/IFAS Scientists Use Fungus to Manage Asian Citrus Psyllid By Robin Koestoyo

Fighting plant disease with jet blast sprays is standard practice for citrus growers. But, to spray a fungus to control a single insect that carries a disease-causing pathogen is uncommon.

reduce the problem we have in managing the psyllid populations,” said Avery. “The fungus kills the psyllid but is compatible with beneficial insects like lady beetles, lacewings and parasitic wasps, which also control the psyllid.”

University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences and Florida Research Center for Agricultural Sustainability researchers have begun to test an insect-killing fungus applied with horticultural oil sprays in a Vero Beach, Florida, citrus grove. The scientists are targeting an invasive insect, the Asian citrus psyllid, that attacks the state’s $8.63 billion citrus industry.

Because the psyllid is invasive, its natural enemies are not present in Florida’s groves, and this factor enabled the pest to spread quickly throughout the state’s citrus-producing areas, Avery said. And, there is a need to distribute the fungus in a wide-scale scenario that would treat large areas where the psyllid attacks large tracts of commercial citrus.

“Applied biological control is an integral and sustainable component of managing all insect pests in citrus groves,” said Ronald Cave, director of the UF/IFAS Indian River Research and Education Center (IRREC) near Fort Pierce. The fungus, Isaria fumosorosea, occurs naturally in citrus groves. Lance Osborne, a professor of entomology at the UF/ IFAS Mid Florida Research and Education Center, first discovered the fungus attacking mealybugs in a greenhouse in the mid-1980s. Cave said the scientists are interested in using the fungus because it kills and changes the feeding behavior of the psyllid that has devastated the state’s signature crop, citrus. A biological scientist at IRREC, Pasco Avery, tested the fungus against the psyllid under laboratory conditions, using leaf disk bioassays in Petri dishes. Avery has published his laboratory results in the journals Insects, Biocontrol Science and Technology and Florida Entomologist. His findings document the fungus’ promise as an effective biological control agent against the Asian citrus psyllid.

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“The fungus is not a panacea, but it is expected to greatly

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Bob Adair, executive director at the Florida Research Center for Agricultural Sustainability in Vero Beach, heard about Avery’s work with the fungus and approached him about using commercial sprayers to distribute the fungus in his groves. Adair often partners with UF/IFAS research professors to conduct agricultural research. “Five years ago, Avery and I talked about how the fungus may enhance the effectiveness of horticultural oil sprays in controlling the insect in groves,” said Adair. “Our work now is to add mass quantities of the fungus with horticultural oils that have been used in groves for decades and apply it to groves.” Avery carried out experiments in his laboratory to determine if the oils were compatible with the fungus and published the results in the Insects journal in 2017. He found that the oils sustained the fungus and helped it to grow and thrive, he said. “What we found in the laboratory was that with the addition of the oils to the fungal suspension, it killed the insects faster and extended its efficacy,” said Avery. Adair said the next step was to determine its efficacy in field trials in citrus groves. The fungus needs to be tested in outdoor groves to determine whether it can suppress the Asian citrus psyllid population to the point where trees will be proWWW.INTHEFIELDMAGAZINE.COM


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P: 813-754-8507 • 800-962-4999 www.siegers.com tected and that the psyllid will not become resistant to the sprays. Avery and Adair conducted a first field spray trial in mid-June. About 1 acre of trees was sprayed on one side of the row. The scientists mixed 1 percent of a commercial product containing the fungus, Isaria fumosorosea, with stylet oil for 65 pounds of spray. The spray was applied to the trees at dusk with a pull air blast sprayer hitched to a tractor. Avery said the fungus was effective in suppressing the psyllid population and that it lasted for up to 14 days after application. The first field trial was conducted to confirm what the scientists had determined in the laboratory. A second field trial is scheduled for September, to gather more data. For the second field trial, both sides of the trees in the same grove will be sprayed with fungus added to the horticultural oil, said Avery. “What we found with this first experiment was that the fungus was as effective as the active ingredient of the insecticide spinosad,” said Adair. “We tested the fungus for psyllid control, the effect on beneficial insects and resistance management. Now we need to conduct more tests to determine its effectiveness on a wider scale and time range.”

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INTRODUCING THE BEST-IN-CLASS

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• An area of the brain known as the bilateral vomitation center notices when our stomach is upset and makes the final decision on barfing. • Squid is the number one pizza topping in Japan. • Coca Cola has never been patented because to do so the secret formula would have to be revealed. • Your typical hen lays 300 eggs per year. • World Wide Web is three syllables when spoken. Its abbreviation, “www,” is nine syllables. • Iceberg lettuce derived its name from the 1920s when it was shipped from California packed in ice. • Bobby Leach was the second person to go over Niagara Falls in a barrel. He survived that fall but later died as a result of slipping on a piece of orange peel.

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For the life of me I could not come up with anything special to write about for this month, so I decided just to go back through my notes and see what I could find.

Bruce, I arrived home safely without incident, which was a real surprise as I have never driven a cab before and am not sure where I got it or what to do with in now that it’s in my garage.

The first one was an email from my friend Bruce Rodwell. He said he had a close friend before he moved from Clarks Summit, Pa. to Plant City that had a drinking problem. Bruce said he tried his best to get him to go to AA. Nothing seemed to work until one night his friend spent the evening with some friends and had a few cocktails.

Last week I pulled off I-4 at the Stingray Chevrolet exit. Seeing all the new cars reminded me of the old “fender skirts” that were a status symbol in high school. Going south on Park Road I stopped for the red light, and to my right was Jarrett-Scott Ford. That made me think of some other things we never hear about anymore. Like “curb feelers” and “steering knobs.” Any kid today will most likely have to find some adult over 55 to explain some of these terms.

He emailed Bruce that after that evening he has completely stopped drinking. The email read as follows: Dear Bruce, as you well know many of us at one time or another have had brushes with the authorities on our way home from an occasional social session. Last Friday I had one to many cocktails, and a couple of glasses of red wine at a small party on the west side of town with Mike Townsend who works in the same department with me at the metal shop.

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Knowing full well I may have been slightly over the limit, I did something I’ve never done before. I took a cab home. Sure enough, I passed a police roadblock but, since it was a cab, they waved it past.

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Remember “Continental kits?” They were rear bumper extenders and spare tire covers that were supposed to make any car as cool as a Lincoln Continental. The light changed and as I pulled away I thought about the “emergency brake.” No such thing any more, it’s a “parking brake.” What we called a foot feed is now called the accelerator. My dad always used the phrase “store-bought.” Never hear that any more, because everything is store bought these days. When dad used those WWW.INTHEFIELDMAGAZINE.COM


words it was bragging material to have a storebought dress or a store-bought bag of candy from McCrory’s Five and Dime in Plant City, managed by Otis Andrews. We have a couch now. What ever happened to the davenport? Now we’re going to a “luncheon.” When I was coming up we were going to lunch. Let’s close with a lesson from a great old girl. The 92-year old, petite, well-poised and proud lady, who was fully dressed each morning by eight o’clock, with her fashionably combed hair and makeup perfectly applied, even through she was legally blind, moved to a nursing home. Her husband of 70 years recently passed away, making the move necessary. After many hours of patiently waiting in the lobby of the nursing home, she smiled sweetly when told her room was ready. As she maneuvered her walker to the elevator, the nurse provided a visual description of her tiny room, including the eyelet sheets that had been hung over her window. “I love it,” she stated with the enthusiasm of an eight-year-old having just been presented with a new puppy. “Mrs. Jones, you haven’t seen the room…just wait.” “That doesn’t have anything to do with it.” She replied. “Happiness is something you decide on head of time. Whether I like my room or not doesn’t depend on how the furniture is arranged, it’s how I arrange my mind. I already decided to love it. It’s a decision I make every morning when I wake up. I have a choice; I can spend the day in bed recounting the difficulty I have with the parts of my body that no longer work, or get out of bed and be thankful for the ones that do. Each day is a gift, and as long as my eyes open I’ll focus on the new day and all the happy memories I’ve stored away just for this time in my life. You see, old age is like a bank account…you withdraw from what you’ve put in. So, my advice to you would be to deposit a lot of happiness in the bank account of memories.” As they entered her room she said to the nurse, “Thank you for your part in filling my memory bank. I am still depositing.” I hope you will remember these five simple rules to be happy: 1-Free your heart from hatred. 2-Free your mind from worries. 3-Live a simple life. 4- Give more. 5- Expect less. INTHEFIELD MAGAZINE

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THE IMPACT AND IMPORTANCE OF AGRICULTURE IN POLK COUNTY By Jim Frankowiak

You’ve probably seen posters and bumper stickers with the phrase, “No Farmers, No Food.” While you can’t argue with that, it’s only part of the story of agriculture, though a very important part as we all partake of our meals every day. Agriculture is the cultivation of animals, plants, fungi and other life forms for food, fiber, biofuel, medicinal and other products used to sustain and enhance human life. Here in the Sunshine State, agriculture, natural resources and related industries are an economic “powerhouse,” according to the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS). Florida agriculture provides more than 2 million jobs, over $106 billion in direct output or revenues, $132 billion in value added contributions and accounts for 14.7 per cent of total economic activity in the state. This is according to the latest available statistics. As of 2016, the U.S. Department of Agriculture ranks Florida number one in the production of oranges, grapefruit, sugar and cane seed and watermelon. Our state is second-ranked for bell peppers, cucumbers, strawberries and tomatoes, coming in third for cantaloupes. Florida is ranked fourth in the U.S. for production of cabbage, peanuts and squash, while we come in fifth for honey, snap beans and sweet corn, as well as eighth nationally for the production of blueberries.

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In terms of cash receipts, Florida is number one nationally for miscellaneous crops, second for oranges, number three for sugarcane for sugar and seed, fourth for cattle and calves, fifth for dairy products-milk, sixth for strawberries, seventh for tomatoes, eighth for all other animals and products, ninth for bell peppers and tenth for broilers (chickens raised for meat production).

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In early 2015, Extension scientist Alan W. Hodges, Ph.D. and research associate Thomas J. Stevens, Ph.D., both with UF/ IFAS, Food and Resource Economics Department, provided the results of a study they conducted entitled “Economic Contributions of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Related Food Industries in Polk County, Florida.” It was a comprehensive assessment of the role and importance of these industries in the county commissioned by Polk County Farm Bureau. Polk County has a long heritage of economic development associated with these industries that dates back to the 1800s, primarily in citrus, cattle and phosphate mining. But just as within other areas of Florida, Polk County has experienced rapid population growth over the last 60 years. From 2000 to 2012, the number of residents in the county increased by nearly 23 percent to over 616,000. At the same time, the number of farms decreased from 3,114 to 2,415 and land in farms dropped by 105,735 acres, nearly 17 percent, to 520,899 acres. Associated development pressures tended to lead to higher land prices, fragmented patterns of land use and higher incidences of conflicts between residents and farmers. The impact study was undertaken, in part, to help provide a clearer picture of the future role and importance of agricultural and natural resources related industries for the county’s economy thereby helping county stakeholders, decision makers and the public at large make informed choices with regard to prioritizing the use of limited resources and tax revenues. While Polk County has experienced high population growth, a relatively high number of its residents are over 65 years of age and a significant proportion of residents commute outside of the county to work. Job growth in the county has not kept pace with population growth. Approximately 25 percent WWW.INTHEFIELDMAGAZINE.COM


of business revenues and 18 percent of the jobs in the county are derived from agriculture, natural resources and related food industries. Between 2001 and 2012, revenues and employment by production agriculture, mining and naturebased recreation industry groups declined in Polk County, while activities related to agricultural inputs and services, food manufacturing and food distribution grew. The employment contributions of agriculture and natural resources related industries in the county in 2012 were estimated at 86,023 fulltime and part-time jobs, representing over 33 percent of the county’s total employment, some 258,938 jobs. Industry revenue contributions were estimated at $14.38 billion plus value added contributions estimated at $5.7 billion equaling 30.5 percent of Polk County’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in 2012. Total labor income contributions, including employee wages, salaries, benefits and proprietor income, were estimated at $3.45 billion and other property income contributions, including dividends, interest payments, rents and corporate profits, totaled $1.65 billion. Total impacts on taxes on production and imports were estimated at $600 million. The study characterized Polk County as being in a “unique position” given its strong heritage of agriculture and natural resource related industries combined with high population growth and proximity to the Tampa Bay and Orlando metro areas. Two of the county’s traditional production industries, agriculture and phosphate mining, have been declining in recent years, but fertilizer manufacturing has remained steady. Production agriculture in the county is dominated by citrus

UF/IFAS compiled more recent economic impact figures for agricultural and related industries in Polk County. According to those 2016 statistics, 28.9 percent of all jobs in the county are tied to agricultural and related industries that collectively generate $6.12 billion in Gross Regional Product, which is 28.4 percent of the Gross Regional Product. So while we can all agree on the importance of farmers and ranchers as we enjoy breakfast, lunch and dinner plus snacks every day, the overall impact of agriculture and related industries on the economy of Polk County continues to be of major significance and cannot be overlooked. INTHEFIELD MAGAZINE

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and this crop has experienced significant challenges from citrus greening disease, changing consumer preferences and competition with other products. At the same time, food related manufacturing and distribution industries have been growing. Some of these industries generate a significant level of domestic and international exports, bringing new revenue to the county’s economy, which generates multiplier effects. An additional and noteworthy value-added segment of agriculture that is growing in Polk County is agritoursim. It has become a recognized growth industry by the Central Florida Development Council. Broadly defined, agritourism involves any agriculturally based operation or activity that brings visitors to a farm or ranch. These activities may include buying produce direct from a farm stand, navigating a corn maze, slopping hogs, picking fruits or vegetables, feeding animals or staying at a bread and breakfast (B&B) on a farm, to name just a few.


Part 47 By Ginny Mink

Ornamental Gardening in Florida When last we ventured on our literary time machine we were focusing on exotic conifers. We move now on to exotic shrubs. We love the ability to look back in time and revisit the advice from Mr. Charles Torrey Simpson as he penned it in his 1926 book. Antique books hold a special place in our heart and time travel is always exciting and educational. The first exotic shrub that stands out in Mr. Simpson’s writings is the Ardisia crenulata. He writes it, “…is a fine shrub, probably from India, with thick, lance-ovate, wavy, margined leaves. It has drooping panicles of small sweet flowers followed by beautiful, coral red berries which last a long time. It is somewhat tender and does better in partial shade. There is a white fruited form. A. polycephala, a handsome shrub of stronger growth than crenulata the young leaves being wine colored and the fruit shining black.”¹ Initially we envisioned something similar to the holly tree, mostly due to the red berries. Of course, further research revealed that according to IFAS, it is now called the A. crenata, or Coral Ardisia, and is often referred to as the Christmas berry. So, we weren’t too far off in our initial visualization. Though Mr. Simpson wasn’t certain of its origin, IFAS states that its native range includes northern India and areas of Japan. One piece of interest is, “Ardisia escaped cultivation in 1982, spreading into wooded areas.” It’s possible then that this is a runaway shrub (or invasive species) and it is established in many areas of north and central Florida.² Mr. Simpson moves on to discuss the Aucuba japonica variegata. He explains, “This beautiful shrub has repeatedly and completely failed for me but I should think it might be grown in half shaded situations up the state.”¹ When reading his words here one can almost feel the disappointment in his tone. Which of course makes us wonder what’s so beautiful about this particular shrub since he was willing to try multiple times to get it to grow?

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A visit to Dave’s Garden gave us a little insight. Apparently, this is also known as the Gold Dust Plant or the Japanese Laurel. Though there are a number of pictures on this site, we don’t see Mr. Simpson’s excitement. The leaves are kind of spiky and speckled. It, too, has red berries. The most interesting part of this particular plant is that it blooms with a tiny purple flower. We happen to like purple so that’s a win for it. But, we did discover that it grows best in zones 6-10 and since Florida is zones 8a-11a, it’s easy to see why his attempts were futile.³ While that was a disappointment for us as well, imagine our thrill when we discovered another plant with purple flowers, the azalea, on his list. He writes, “By one of the tricks of the systematists this well known and loved genus has been placed in Rhododendron. A. indica with its varieties which is extensively cultivated in greenhouses in the north does very

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well in the northern part of our state. The plants should be grown in partial shade and if the soil is not rich leaf mold and peat mixed in will be found beneficial…none of them do well in the more tropical part of Florida.”¹ We never really considered our area northern Florida, but we are certain that azaleas do well here. Unfortunately, we have also discovered that they do not do well in the unshaded swampy area in which we live. But, this makes us wonder if some leaf mold and peat mix would have been useful for sustaining these gorgeous shrubs. Of course, that requires us to understand what leaf mold is. For help with that concept we visited Fine Gardening’s website. In an article entitled, “Making Leaf Mold,” by Lee Reich, the concept became clear. Leaf mold is apparently nothing more than composted leaves. Reich writes, “Although not particularly rich in nutrients itself, when incorporated into the soil, this organic amendment physically alters the soil so that it becomes spongier, holding both moisture and air – a heavenly environment to plant roots.”⁴ Reich also suggests that when it is used on the surface it helps the soil keep an even temperature, allows water to penetrate more readily, and slows the evaporation process. We know lots of people use compost to grow healthier gardens, but we would have never thought to call that leaf mold. It sounds more like a disease you don’t want your plants to get. Yet, now that we know what it is we are not at all surprised by Mr. Simpson’s recommendation. So, if you are planning on planting some azaleas, or perhaps some Coral Ardisia, don’t forget the leaf mold. Just don’t waste your time on the Gold Dust Plant. Until next time, happy gardening! Resources: ¹ Simpson, Charles T. (1926). Ornamental Gardening in Florida. Published by the Author; Little River, FL. Printed by J.J. Little and Ives Company, New York. (p. 165-166). ²Center for Aquatic and Invasive Plants. UF/IFAS. Coral ardisia. https://plants.ifas.ufl.edu/plant-directory/ardisia-crenata/ ³Dave’s Garden. (2005). Gold Dust Plant, Variegated Japanese Aucuba, Japanese Laurel ‘Variegata’ (Aucuba japonica). https://davesgarden.com/guides/pf/showimage/93691/ ⁴Reich, L. (2017). Making Leaf Mold. Fine Gardening. https:// www.finegardening.com/article/making-leaf-mold Photo Credits: Bernard Spragg. NZ.(2008). Aucuba Japonica. Flickr (https:// flic.kr/p/dhJ7T6) Slgckgc. (2009). Azalea Close-up. Flickr (https://flic.kr/ p/6rwSAR) T-mizo. (2011). Coral Bush (Matsudo, Chiba, Japan). Flickr (https://flic.kr/p/b34eC2) WWW.INTHEFIELDMAGAZINE.COM


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E n d a n g e r e d S p e c i es PAGE

Dire Situation: Short-Leaved Rosemary By: Ginny Mink

With all the focus on essential oils, the following plant got our attention. We are not saying that it is connected to the much beloved essential oil that bears a part of its name. We are only stating that the short-leaved rosemary (Conradina brevifolia) caught our eye as it is on the endangered list for native Florida plants.

the C. brevifolia and the C. canescens are indeed the same plant. However, the writer at the Hawthorn Hill site states, “I have almost never found a short-leaved rosemary with a lower lip as richly lavender as that almost always found in its close relatives…I have grown both species for years and they are distinct.”³

Fish and Wildlife Services says it is a shrubby mint of which only five are found in the scrub of central Florida. Two counties call this petite flower home, Highlands and Polk. And, it can only be found on 30 sites which is why it is in desperate danger of extinction. There are some similarities between the short-leaved rosemary and the C. canescens found in Mississippi, Alabama and the Florida panhandle. As well as the C. glabra (another endangered species) located in the Apalachicola bluffs. But, it has more flowers and shorter leaves which helps differentiate it from these two.¹

Additionally, that writer adds that the short-leaved rosemary grows in a more sprawling way than wild rosemary which makes it less attractive. Flowers might be produced as late as early winter though they are most proliferate in the spring. Late fall rains are the determining factor behind the lengthened blooming season.³

The flowers of this endangered native plant are typically white with a lower lip that is speckled purple. They cannot handle shade or having their soil disturbed. This makes them particularly susceptible to harm when people begin to develop the areas they call home. The white sands of pine-oak scrub seem to be their preferred place of habitation.²

The Fish and Wildlife Services’ site reveals that they are uncertain as to the process of reproduction in the short-leaved rosemary. But, because it is dependent upon fire-necessary scrub habitats, they believe that it will either sprout after a good fire, or will “recruit from seed that is stored in the sand.” However, there is some research that suggests it doesn’t do well when defoliated, clipped, or burned. This leads them to believe that “sprouting and other forms of asexual reproduction are unlikely.” Of course, that means it is even more challenging to encourage continual growth and protect this species. ¹

Hawthorn Hill Wildflowers brings up an important issue. There are some taxonomists who have decided that

The numbers revealed by Nature Serve illuminate just how dire the situation is for this endemic Florida

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species. Apparently, 10 of the 30 occurrences are all housed within a five square mile space. And, most of the populations that have been observed and recorded have less than 25 plants within them. To make that all the more dire, 25 of the 30 sites are potentially going to be developed and the habitat converted.²

In fact, the Fish and Wildlife Services specifically recommends, “In order to effectively conserve C. brevifolia… management of protected lands must restore and maintain scrub communities…If adequate fire management programs are developed for protected lands, C. brevifolia is likely to persist in the wild.”¹

Additionally, that same site reveals that in the shortterm they expect a 10-50% decline in the population. But, the long-term looks more like 30-50%! The destruction and conversion of the short-leaved rosemary’s habitat has been consistently going on since 1980. And, it achieved a threatened or endangered status as long ago as 1991.²

There is the potential for these plants to be introduced into suitable, yet currently unoccupied, habitats. The research provided did not, however, suggest that this was something scientists and conservationists had already attempted to do. So, what is our job? Like we say in almost every one of these articles, we are put here by God to be good stewards of His land. Thusly, our job is to protect plants and animals that are in danger of extinction. Contact your local Ag extension office and see what they know about how you can help ensure the short-leaved rosemary remains.

To give more insult to injury, the Fish and Wildlife Service states that, “Overall, scrub habitat has declined in total area from an estimated 32,000 ha prior to human settlement to about 11,000 ha.” By 1981 roughly 74% of the scrub habitat in Highlands County was lost. Certainly that loss is much greater at this point. Sadder still, is the fact that, “Upon completion of land acquisition efforts, C. brevifolia will probably only be protected at five of the 30 scrub sites where it is currently found.”¹ Periodic and high intensity fires are absolutely necessary for the protection and preservation of this plant. These fires are only required every 15 to 20 years, but the suppression of the fires has contributed to the loss of these cute plants that can grow up to three feet tall.

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Resources: ¹https://www.fws.gov/verobeach/MSRPPDFs/ShortLeaved. PDF ²http://explorer.natureserve.org/servlet/NatureServe?searchN ame=Conradina+brevifolia ³http://hawthornhillwildflowers.blogspot.com/2009/10/shortleaved-rosemary-conradina.html Photo Credits (note these images are of common rosemary): Sara Stasi. Rosemary (2008). Flickr (https://flic.kr/p/4uboCo) Kristopher_Fitters Hamilton. Wild Rosemary (2007). Flickr (https://flic.kr/p/CPYBP) Cynthia Cheney. Rosemary in bloom (2011). Flickr (https://flic. kr/p/9sGjPa).


Florida

Goumi Berry By Sandy Sun, M.S. Clinical Medicines, B.S. Nutrition Science

Berry season is in full swing right now during the summer months of Florida! In addition to the popular blueberries, strawberries, and raspberries grown in Florida, goumi berries are equally delicious and nutritious, and very easy to grow. Goumi berries are delicious eaten out-of-hand when fully ripe, with both sweet and acidic notes. Before ripening, the fruit is somewhat astringent but can be made into jams, jellies, or pies. They can also be pickled. The goumi tree is extremely hardy and tolerant to frost, hot weather, drought, and salt air. Each berry is about one centimeter wide, bright red, and shaped like a grape. Peak season is during the summer months.

Nutritional Profile The goumi berry is reported to be very high in vitamins A, C, and E. These same vitamins also act as antioxidants in the body, protecting cells from oxidative stress. This berry is said to have the highest lycopene content of any food, including tomatoes! Lycopene is an antioxidant and carotenoid which may offer protection from heart disease, sun damage, cancer, and macular degeneration. It’s role in different disease states is still being studied. Some sources report that goumi berries may also cure cough and lower cholesterol.

Vitamin C

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Goumi berries are very rich in vitamin C, which has many important functions in the body. It plays a vital role in forming collagen, skin, blood vessels and muscles. Additionally, it helps heal wounds and keeps bones and teeth healthy. The National Institutes of Health recommends regularly consuming foods high in vitamin C content, since it is a water-soluble vitamin that is not stored in the body. You can meet your entire daily needs for vitamin C in just a couple of berries!

known antioxidants, both of which are abundant in goumi berries. Additionally, these fruit contain compounds called anthocyanins, which also have antioxidant properties. Anthocyanins may help lower the risk of heart disease, enhance memory function, protect developing fetal brain tissue, and have anti-inflammatory effects.

Potassium: For blood pressure control

Goumi berries and other berries are high in potassium, a mineral that promotes healthy heart functioning and protects against high blood pressure. Potassium helps regulate fluids and mineral balance, aids in muscle contraction, and helps transmit nerve impulses. This mineral is also critical in maintaining cell membranes, and balances with other minerals in the blood to regulate heartbeat and blood pressure.

How to select and store Choose ripe berries that have deep red-colored skin. They should have a slight give when squeezed. Consume them as soon as possible or refrigerate for up to three days.

How to enjoy Ripe goumi berries are delicious eaten out-of-hand or squeezed into juice. They can also be stewed, or made into juice, puree, or fruit sorbet. The puree can be used as a delicious topping for cake, waffles, oatmeal, or yogurt. Goumi berries can also be tossed into any fruit or vegetable salad. Additionally, these berries may also be made into syrup, jelly, jam, and other preserves. Enjoy this beautiful, nutritious fruit during Florida’s peak season today. Eat it out of hand or combine with other fruits for a healthy treat.

Antioxidant Properties

Selected References

Goumi berries are full of health-promoting antioxidants, powerful compounds that help fight free-radical damage. Free radicals damage healthy cells, which leads to problems such as inflammation and heart disease. Vitamins C and A are well-

http://www.floridagardener.com/ http://www.hort.purdue.edu http://uncommonfruit.cias.wisc.edu/goumi-gumi/

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NEWS BRIEFS Compiled by Jim Frankowiak

UF LAUNCHES NEW, SINGLE SOURCE WEBSITE FOR DISASTER PREP & RECOVERY Floridians have a new, single source website for disaster preparation and recovery thanks to the University of Florida (UF). The site – http://disaster.ifas.ufl.edu –includes an updated UF Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) Extension Disaster Handbook; Tip sheets for preparing your home, farm, boat and more; How-to videos and infographics; the latest blog posts by UF/IFAS faculty on disaster preparation and a director of UF/IFAS Extension county offices.

USDA’s NRCS OFFERS ONLINE SERVICE CAPABILITY Clients of the USDA’s Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) have a new online portal for conducting business with the agency. The Conservation Client Gateway is a secure online portable for requesting technical assistance, applying for financial assistance, executing applications and contracts and tracking payments. For access and more information, visit: https://www.nrcs. usda.gov/wps/portal/nrcs/main/national/cgate.

WHIP SIGN-UP OPEN; CONTINUES THROUGH NOVEMBER 16 Agricultural producers affected by hurricanes and wildfires in 2017 may apply for assistance to help recover and rebuild their farming operations under the 2017 Wildfires and Hurricanes Indemnity Program (2017 WHIP). The deadline for signing up is November 16. Added information is available at the U.S. Department of Agriculture service center in Plant City or by visiting: www.farmers. gov/recover/whip.

EWP HELPS FLORIDA LANDOWNERS AFTER STORMS The USDA’s Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) is reminding Florida landowners that if their area suffers damage from a natural disaster, the Emergency Watershed Protection Program (EWP) can help relieve imminent hazards to life and property caused by floods, fires, windstorms and hurricanes. For information, visit: https://www.nrcs.usda.gov.

SBA ECONOMIC INJURY DISASTER LOANS AVAILABLE IN FLORIDA The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has announced

Applicants may apply online using the Electronic Loan Application (ELA) via the SBA’s secure website: disasterloan/sba/ gov. Information and application forms may also be obtained by call the SBA’s Customer Service Center at 800-659-2955 or by emailing disastercutomerservice@sba.gov. Completed applications must be submitted to the SBA no later than March 4, 2019.

USDA SEEKS COMMENTS ON e-CONNECTIVITY PILOT PROGRAM The USDA is seeking comments on the implementation of the e-Connectivity Pilot Program designed to bring broadband to unserved rural areas of the country that is both “reliable and affordable.” Targeted rural areas for the pilot program have a population of 20,000 or less. Comments may be submitted via www.regulations.gov (search regulations and federal action box, select “Rural Utilities Service” from the drop-down menu, then click “submit.” Comments may also be submitted by mail to Michele Brooks, Rural Development Innovation Center, Regulations Team Lead, U.S. Department of Agriculture, 1400 Independence Ave., S.W., Stop 1522, Room 1562, Washington, DC 20250. Refer to Docket No. RUS-18-TELECOM-0004. The deadline for submissions is September 18, 2018.

USDA OFFERING EMERGENCY SUPPORT TO PRODUCERS IMPACTED BY HURRICANE IRMA Hillsborough County agricultural producers who suffered losses and damage due to Hurricane Irma may be eligible for USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) emergency loans. Producers have until March 4, 2019 to apply for emergency loans to help cover part of their actual losses. Other FSA programs that can provide assistance, but do not require a disaster declaration include: Operating and Farm Ownership Loans; the Emergency Conservation Program; Livestock Forage Disaster Program; Livestock Indemnity Program; Emergency Assistance for Livestock, Honeybees and Farm-Raised Fish Program and the Tree Assistance Program. Interested farmers may contact their local USDA service center for information on eligibility requirements and application procedures. Added information is also available at: https:// www.farmers.gov. INTHEFIELD MAGAZINE

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the availability of Economic Injury Disaster Loans to small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, small businesses engaged in aquaculture and private non-profit organizations in Florida as a result of Hurricane Irma.


UF/IFAS researchers search for solutions to citrus diseases with Citrus Initiative funds By Ruth Borger

“We focused on both short- and long-term research that moves us closer to viable grove management as well as possible tactics that a grower might experiment with immediately,”

From nutritional supplements to managing irrigation to grower outreach and education, UF/IFAS researchers are finding additional ways to support Florida citrus growers in their fight against citrus greening disease. Twelve projects were funded by the state legislature-funded Citrus Initiative program in 2017-2018 that looked at possible short- and long-term solutions that growers might implement now, that could impact fruit growth, reduce production costs and result in more HLB-tolerant trees. Citrus greening disease is also known as Huanglongbing, or HLB.

“We focused on both short- and long-term research that moves us closer to viable grove management as well as possible tactics that a grower might experiment with immediately,” said Michael Rogers, UF/IFAS statewide

director of citrus programs and director of the Citrus Research and Education Center at Lake Alfred, Florida. For example, one project studied the use of Homobrassinolides on HLB-infected trees. While work on this project continues, the preliminary results have shown improvements in the health of HLB-affected trees including an increase in fruit size. “This is a new product that is registered for use on citrus and is something that a grower might want to experiment with on a small number of acres,” Rogers shared.

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Projects were funded at three UF/IFAS research and education centers: the Citrus REC in Lake Alfred, the Southwest Florida REC in Immokalee and the Indian River REC in Ft. Pierce.

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Funds supported further research on the Citrus Under Protective Screen (CUPS) growing strategy for fresh fruit. The project has produced results that confirm strong fruit production with high quality in systems of screen house-grown citrus. The screen house-grown citrus (in houses of approximately 20 acres) remained free of the Asian citrus psyllid (ACP) – the insect that transmits the bacterium that causes greening -for every weekly inspection in 2017-2018. There were no detectable cases of HLB disease in the screen house both by visual or DNA-amplication testing after nearly four years. This is a viable alternative for fresh fruit growers. Citrus initiative funds also supported numerous trainings and educational materials provided to citrus growers and residents. These materials are resources for the identification and management of canker, HLB, black spot and exotic diseases. Nearly 3500 people were trained to identify canker, HLB and black spot or other citrus related issues. Tens of thousands of identification and managements heats, field identification pocket guides and other instructional materials were distributed throughout the state. UF/IFAS researchers also engaged in a multi-year project that will revise the fertilizer recommendations for HLB-affected trees. The nutrient needs of HLB-affected trees are much different than the past guidelines for citrus fertilization developed before the presence of HLB in Florida. Researchers are conducting field trials in three parts of the state to develop new guidelines for fertilizing round orange and grapefruit trees on the ridge and flatwood soils in Florida. This will generate valuable data for refining nutritional guidelines for HLBaffected trees in the different regions of the state. Many of the initiative projects results will be presented at 2018 Citrus Expo in Fort Myers, Florida, Aug. 15 and 16 as well as at upcoming field days and in industry publications. WWW.INTHEFIELDMAGAZINE.COM


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UF Study: Snail Kites Must Do More Than Move to Thrive By Brad Buck

Among its many useful traits, the federally endangered snail kite helps wildlife managers gauge whether the Florida Everglades has sufficient water. That’s one reason University of Florida scientists closely monitor the birds’ activity – and to make sure it’s surviving. Like other animals, snail kites need to move in order to spread their genes to new places, which is important for species’ survival. But movement alone is not enough. Once animals arrive at new destinations, they also need to reproduce, say UF Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences researchers. For a new study, UF/IFAS researchers used nine years of data to find out whether snail kites are reproducing after they move, and how these findings might change conservation strategies. Ellen Robertson, a post-doctoral researcher and Robert Fletcher, a UF/IFAS associate professor of wildlife ecology and conservation, co-authored the study in which scientists wanted to discover the factors that most limit snail kites from spreading their genes: movement or reproduction.

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In the study, researchers showed the snail kite moves frequently across the Everglades and other wetlands in southcentral Florida, but 90 percent of the birds that moved did not reproduce.

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The study’s findings will help guide UF/IFAS researchers’ efforts to recover the snail kite’s population in Florida – and water management, Robertson said. “Snail kite reproduction is closely tied to hydrology,” she said. “Monitoring snail kites helps us understand whether water management across Florida is working for snail kites and other wetland species.” Florida’s snail kite population decreased from 3,500 in 2000 to 700 in 2007. Since then, the number of birds has rebounded back to more than 2,000, say UF/IFAS researchers. Despite the recent uptick in the population, UF/IFAS researchers remain watchful over the snail kites’ survival. Many conservation strategies promote animal movement, said Robertson. These strategies also need to ensure that animals are reproducing after they move. For snail kites, conservation efforts should focus on managing water levels and habitat in ways that benefit snail kite reproduction, Robertson said. The study is published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. WWW.INTHEFIELDMAGAZINE.COM


Prepare Now. Sign up for an On-Farm Readiness Review.

Are you FSMA compliant? The ďŹ rst Food Safety Modernization Act Produce Safety Rule (PSR) compliance dates have arrived. Very large farms with average annual sales exceeding $500,000 in the last three years were required to be compliant with the PSR as of Jan. 26, 2018, with the exception of the water requirements. Sign up now to request a Free On-Farm Readiness Review, offered in partnership by the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services and University of Florida IFAS. The OFRR is an opportunity to receive on-farm education and technical assistance to help farms align practices with the PSR regulatory requirements.

For more information on FSMA and to sign up for an OFRR, visit FreshFromFlorida.com/FSMA or call (863) 578-1900.

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Al Berry - A Friend Remembered

I never knew anyone who didn’t like Al Berry. That’s just the kind of guy that Al was. To meet him, was to love him. He was charming to both friends and strangers. People simply loved to chat with Al and be entertained by his seemingly endless supply of stories and anecdotes. Regular readers of this magazine might already know that Al recently passed away. Even those who personally never knew him, already miss him. Al’s magazine column was by far each month’s most popular piece that devoted followers loved to devour. Loyal fans loved reading his monthly musings of wit and wisdom in his beloved, Rocking Chair Chatter. Al, though, was very much, much more than just the prolific, witty writer. To say that Al was an integral part of the magazine would frankly be an injustice to his involvement. He was, after all, the father of the Publisher, Karen, and mentor to Sarah, the Senior Managing Editor / Associate Publisher. Lest we not think that Al Berry was slacking off in his early 80’s, I should point out, too, that he was also busy at the magazine with his responsibilities for sales and photography. He’s greatly missed by everyone at the magazine; and of course by his family, his many friends, and frankly, by any and everyone whom he ever met. That’s why I said at the beginning, “I never knew anyone who didn’t like Al Berry.” Al had a quick wit; he was a wonderful storyteller, and a masterful promoter of ideas and events for which he had a passion to share. Most people remember Al with his great radio voice and persona. He spent more than 40 years in radio broadcasting, starting when he was still in college.

Along with his good friend, and business partner, Ercelle Smith, Al became a part owner of WPLA, the radio station once located in Plant City. Together they created and hosted for years their signature talk show, This and That, which was listened to by everyone in town, or so it seemed to me as a young boy growing up and mesmerized by the power of the spoken word. Al was a master at choosing just the right words to use whether it was broadcast through the airwaves or published in print. He was a very gifted writer and knew that using the right words would weave a story into one that people longed to listen to and readers would relish. Many people, myself included, were blessed with having Al Berry, not only as a friend, but also as somewhat of a “coach” on whom we could count on. When I was Mayor and gave many speeches, Al was often present. He always listened intently and politely applauded, but I found him focused more on how I gave the presentation than he was on the subject matter itself. Al never found fault with the opinions that I shared, nor the decisions that I made. That was true even when it was on matters that we might otherwise disagree. Instead, Al cared enough to focus on the nuances of my delivery. He would constantly remind me to smile more often and to laugh at my own jokes. Like so many others within his circle of influence, Al wanted me to do well and succeed in my endeavors. We’d all do better in life with someone like Al, coaching and cheering us on. Thanks, Al Berry, for so many years of selfless service to our community and for the influence, encouragement and words of wisdom that you shared with us and cared about doing so. You’re missed already and will continue to be so.

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John Dicks is both a Lawyer and Businessman, including an interest in farming. He and his family have owned a blueberry farm and have agricultural lands which they lease for cattle operations, as John says, “to someone who knows and handles cattle much better than I do!” John is both a Gator, having received his undergraduate degree from the University of Florida, and a Seminole, with his law degree from Florida State University. He and his wife, Sharon, live in Plant City, where he served nine years as City Commissioner, including three terms as Mayor.

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Fueling progress through the power of STEM Mosaic partners with schools to connect students with innovative learning opportunities in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). From the Science Spectacular to Solar Go Karting, we’re invested in preparing today’s students to solve tomorrow’s challenges. // Learn more at MosaicCo.com

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s e p i c e R

Courtesy of the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.

Chef Justin Timineri

Florida Citrus Tea

Florida Mango Upside Down Cupcake q Ingredients q

2 cups Florida mango, diced small ½ cup light brown sugar 2 tablespoons unsalted butter 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup whipped cream (store bought or homemade) Fresh mint, for garnish (optional) 1 cake mix (store bought or homemade)

INGREDIENTS 1 cup Florida orange juice 1 Florida orange, cut into rounds 1 Florida grapefruit, cut into rounds (optional) 1 lime, cut into rounds 1 gallon sweet tea, home made or store bought

DIRECTIONS Combine all of the ingredients and store in the refrigerator. Serve over ice.

DIRECTIONS Preheat oven to 375 degrees if using the homemade recipe (if using store bought, follow package instructions). Prepare cupcake batter using box mix or homemade recipe provided. Once the batter is prepared, place cupcake liners in the cupcake pan and set aside. In a small sauce pan over low heat combine the brown sugar, butter, vanilla and mix until smooth. Add the diced mangos and stir to combine. Remove from heat and

allow to cool for 5-10 minutes. Once cool, add a tablespoon of mango mixture to each cupcake liner. Using an ice cream scoop, evenly divide the batter into the liners (about 2/3 full) do not overfill. Bake for about 16-18 minutes (if using the scratch made recipe) or until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted. Set aside to cool completely. Top with whipped cream and mint sprig, if desired.

Homemade Cupcake Batter q Ingredients q

DIRECTIONS

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1 ½ cups unbleached all-purpose flour 1 cup Florida cane sugar 1 teaspoon baking powder 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened 2 large eggs ½ cup milk 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract ¼ teaspoon salt

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Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place the cupcake liners in the cupcake pan and set aside. To prepare the batter sift all the dry ingredients in a medium-size bowl. Mix in the softened butter until it looks crumbly (the butter does not have to be fully incorporated). In a separate bowl, whisk the wet ingredients together and add this mixture to the dry ingredients, stirring to combine. Using an ice cream scoop, evenly divide the batter into the liners (about 2/3 full) do not overfill. Bake for about 16-18 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted. Cool completely before frosting.

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A Closer LookAmazing Activities Naturally

by Sean Green | Photos by April Green

Hidden Jewelry Safe Long ago, anything of value that needed to be saved, such as money, jewelry, or important documents, was hidden somewhere in the house, or buried somewhere on the property. A common “safe� was a picture frame safe. Though often used for thin treasures such as cash or documents, the right size frame can be used for jewelry. This month we will walk you through creating a simple jewelry box that is disguised as a painting and actually saves room and help to declutter the home.

Materials: Stretched Canvas Picture Peg Board Pegs Wood Screws Wood Glue Wall Anchors (drywall, concrete, wood) Drywall Screws

The Frame: Measure the inside area of the picture frame Create a rectangular frame to fit the INSIDE area of the picture frame Cut pegboard to fit the inner frame Glue and screw the pegboard to the inner frame (allow to dry 24 hrs) *predrill holes for screws Sand the frame and pegboard together for a snug fit within the picture frame. Drill out and set wall anchors Secure the inside frame to the wall with screws Cut pegs to size slightly shorter than the depth of your inside frame (this is what you hang the jewelry on.) Arrange the pegs to your liking, hang jewelry. Press the picture over the inside frame to hide the jewelry behind a decorative painting (nobody will know)

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This project can become as intricate as desired and can include carved framework, stained or painted wood, hinged or Soak Leatheretc. Mold Leather slide openings,

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Trim Leather

Glue Felt WWW.INTHEFIELDMAGAZINE.COM


A Closer Look

by Sean Green | Photos by April Green

Book Scorpion (Pseudoscorpionida)

Imagine dusting off an old book and opening it only to find dozens of scorpions within. It’s conceivable that Aristotle, one of History’s Greatest thinkers, may have experienced this or something similar hundreds of years ago while thumbing through scrolls. Considering Aristotle’s characteristic curiosity about the world around him it’s no surprise that rather than smash the tiny insect, he took a closer look and was the first to describe what is now commonly called the book scorpion. These arachnids are nothing new, in fact, their natural history dates back to the Devonian period some 380 million years ago. They have not changed significantly in their natural history, so if you should find one, realize you are looking back in time at an insect that you would have seen millions of years ago had you been around to do so. You have to have a good eye to spot them because they are rarely larger than 3 mm. This month we’re going to take a closer look at pseudoscorpions, very tiny arachnids that are easy to miss but hard to forget. Because pseudoscorpions are so small they don’t get a lot of attention in the world of biology. There are over 3000 known species and more are being discovered worldwide every year. Despite having no wings, these tiny insects are the Master of International travel and have come to inhabit literally every habitat on the planet. Their success in dispersion is mainly attributed to their habit of hitching a ride on other insects or animals in a process biologist call phoresy. These tiny predators provide a valuable service in return for hitching a ride. Some species are phagophilous, meaning they feed on mites and other organisms found in the nests and guano of other animals such as birds or bees. Other species are synanthropic, found in houses, books, furniture, aging wood, and chicken coops. The main diet for the pseudoscorpions are soft body invertebrates such as booklice, springtails, thrips, beetle and moth larvae and even other predators such as the varroa mite that threatens our honey bee population. Pseudoscorpions don’t have a tail with a stinger like a true scorpion but resemble true scorpions in every other way. They do have venom glands, but rather than have them in a tail like structure, the pseudoscorpions inject venom through their claw-like pedipalps, which are also used to grasp their prey. Once captured and subdued with venom, the pseudo-

This time of year, when it is warm and wet, is a great time to look for pseudoscorpions. There are abundant populations of insect larvae that come with the warm weather. The rainfall produces mold and mildew under rocks and in crevices such as aging wood, tree bark, which attract small detrivores of which the pseudoscorpion can feed on. The photographs of this species were taken along the boardwalk of Eureka Springs, a local park in Hillsborough County. Look for them in the crevices of the boardwalk in the shaded areas that are slightly damp, this is where you will also find small flies, larvae, and other food sources for the pseudoscorpion. These insects are completely harmless, they are not easy to pick up without injuring them, but if you can gather a few, they would make a great pet for a young student that is interested in observing insects. Finding food will be a challenge and I would suggest finding a small rotting chunk of termite infested wood as a start. If nothing else, put the insect in a jar and take a closer look before releasing it back into the wild.

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scorpion slurps the insides out of their victim, much in the same manner a spider “drinks” it’s food. Pseudoscorpions are designed to prey on small soft body invertebrates and are consequently too small and weak to be any danger to human beings or any other vertebrate; they simply cannot penetrate thick skin to be a danger. Most species have two or four eyes at the front side of the carapace however some have no eyes at all and are completely blind. The pseudoscorpion’s chelicerae (mouth) is shaped like pinchers, complete with teeth similar to what you would see on a crab or crawfish claw but also have an end segment that produces silk during it’s pupation stages. For such a tiny insect, they are long lived with an average span of several years. Their life begins when a protonymph hatching from the brood sac and remain free living for the first year. The protonymph will spin a silken igloo shaped chamber when it is ready to molt and develop into a deutonymph, the second stage of its journey to adulthood. It emerges again for a period of up to a year before molting into a tritonymph it’s final pre-adult stage. The full-on adult emerges never to molt again but remains alive for another year or two continuing to spin silk igloos in which they lay their eggs and overwinter.


By Grady Judd, Polk County Sheriff

Did You See the Saw Palmetto Law?

From time to time, the media likes to do stories on strange laws which are actually on the books in some states. Most of these strange laws were passed a long time ago, and are no longer enforced; they simply remain laws because the state legislators never took the time to repeal them. I wanted to point out a new law that went into effect this year, and at first glance to some, might sound like a strange law, but it was passed for good reason. In Florida, if you take the berries or fruits from someone’s saw palmettos without permission, you could be facing a misdemeanor. If you plan to harvest your own saw palmetto berries, you must get a permit (no charge) fourteen days in advance. Again, might sound odd, but it’s for good reason, and a lot of research went into this new law. The Endangered Plant Advisory Council received input from public and private landowners and conservation interests, then unanimously recommended adding saw palmetto to the Department’s commercially exploited plant list.

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Saw palmetto is believed to have health benefits, so there is a market for it. Because of that, we have people going around collecting the berries, often illegally, and selling them. One particular case a few years back comes to mind. Nine people were arrested as they were stealing the berries from a prop-

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erty in Lake Wales. In all, they harvested 497 pounds of berries, worth more than $820. It should go without saying, you must have permission from the owner of the property before you can start picking their berries. In fact, you must have written permission from the landowner or the legal representative prior to harvest. You must also possess a Native Plant Harvesting Permit from the Department prior to harvest. If you are someone who harvests saw palmetto, you’re probably already aware of these new regulations. If you are someone who has been taking saw palmetto without permission, you might want to stop. The rural areas of our county have much to offer – for some, they provide a living; for others, they provide leisure and activity. Our Agricultural Crimes deputies are committed to preserving your way of life, and enforcing Florida State Statutes. We will continue to proactively patrol all areas of our county, and arrest those who break the law. To some, “picking berries” may not seem like the crime of the century, or worth our efforts to enforce the law. But to us, the lesson you heard growing up still applies – if it doesn’t belong to you, leave it alone. And remember – you are our eyes and ears out in the community. If you see something – say something. WWW.INTHEFIELDMAGAZINE.COM


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*0% A.P.R., 20% down, financing for 84 months on purchases of new Kubota L2501DT plus an LA525 loader with 66" square-back quick attach bucket from participating dealers’ in-stock inventory is available to qualified purchasers through Kubota Credit Corporation USA; subject to credit approval. Example: 84 monthly payments of $11.90 per $1,000 financed. Example amount based on sales price of $17,325.00. Each dealer sets own price. Prices and payments may vary. Offer expires 8/31/18. Optional equipment may be shown. **Only terms and conditions of Kubota’s standard Limited Warranty apply. For warranty terms see your Kubota dealer or go to KubotaUSA.com.

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KubotaUSA.com

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Polk County Cattle Women

Most of us are in full on back to school mode during August. There is no more time for sleeping in and leisurely days on vacation. We’re all getting back in the swing of routines and schedules. For the Cattlewomen, school being in session means we are gearing up for numerous fall activities that lead into the busiest time of year…fair season! There are several important events coming up including the FCA/FCW State Quarterly on September 6 and 7. The meetings will be held locally at the extension office in Bartow. Thursday night’s Steak Out Dinner will be held at Whippoorwills.

best of the best from each county’s ranch rodeo. Florida Cattlewomen are currently looking for volunteers to help in the concession stands for the event. If you are interested please contact Sarah Childs at sarahchilds47@gmail for more information. Also, as a reminder don’t forget to get out there and vote for David Byrd and other worthy candidates in the Primary Elections on Tuesday August 28! If you are interested in joining us our next meeting is Tuesday September 11. We will meet in the Clover Room at the Polk County Agriculture Complex 1702 US Hwy 17 S, Bartow. The meeting will start at 6:30 p.m. I hope to see you there!

The Florida Cattlewomen will be hosting the Beef Short Course and the first ever “MasterBEEF” Cooking Competition among each county on September 22 at Southern Grace in Fort Lonesome. The competition will be judged by Masterchef Whitney Miller. Just like on the show each team will receive a basket of ingredients (including beef of course) to incorporate in their dish. Polk County is ready to bring the heat and show our skills in the kitchen!

Be good and do good deeds,

The Ranch Rodeo Finals will also be during September on the 29 and 30 at the Silver Spurs Arena at Osceola Heritage Park in Kissimmee. This event features the

Polk County Cattlewomen President

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Megan Atkinson


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TRADE • BUY • SELL? Since 2004 In The Field has been Hillsborough and Polk Countys #1 Agriculture Magazine. Call Us at 813-759-6909 to place your Ad Today!

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Grease Traps Fill Dirt Culvert Pipes Septic Inspections

“Your Septic Specialists”

www.southeasternseptic.com

INTHEFIELD MAGAZINE

August 2018

47

PAGE

WWW.INTHEFIELDMAGAZINE.COM

Septic


PAGE

48

INTHEFIELD MAGAZINE

August

2018

WWW.INTHEFIELDMAGAZINE.COM

In The Field magazine Polk County edition  

Agriculture magazine covering Polk County in Florida.

In The Field magazine Polk County edition  

Agriculture magazine covering Polk County in Florida.

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