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Extension Director's Welcome


Master Gardeners Butterfly Release


    Edited and provided courtesy of their Media Tech, Susan Forgas.
    The Master Gardeners have done an incredible job reaching out to the Pasco County Community and providing unique opportunities for our students. They recently attended a local elementary school to show how they release Butterflies. If you would like to get involved with Master Gardeners, please contact Extension Director, Dr. Whitney Elmore, for more information.
    A speacial thanks to Dorothy Moore for providing several of the photos of the Butterflies and Blooms event.


Register Now for AGRItunity 2015!


    The AGRItunity Conference and Trade Show 2015 is on it's way! Saturday, April 11th, 2015 from 9AM-4PM, learn how to make your Ag business more profitable! You can Pre-Register no later than Monday, March 30th, 2015 by calling 352-527-5700 or visit http://citrus.ifas.ufl.edu. The cost is $35 for adults and $15 for youth and this includes a catered lunch. For more information, please contact your local AG agent, Ed Jennings.




Grace Reich receives Star Performer Award


    Congratulations to Grace Reich for receiving the Star Performer Award by Pasco County Government for her leadership and innovative ideas at the Extension Office.




2015 Farm Bill Updates—Yield History and Reallocating Base Acres


    Secretary of Agriculture Vilsack has announced that farm owners can update their yield history and reallocate base acres through their local Farm Service Agency (FSA) office.  There is a timeline for landowners and producers, which will affect decisions regarding updates to program yields, ARC or PLC program election and program signup and reallocation of base acreage.  Secretary Vilsack also announced the availability of the ARC/PLC web-based decision tools.  Read More...

    USDA Launches New Local Food Hub Directory


    If you're interested in finding healthy, locally grown and sold food but don't know where to look, check out the new USDA's National Farmers Market Directory offered through the Agricultural Marketing Service.  Check out this article from Anne Alonzo about the service along with links to various directories.  Easiest Way to Find Local Foods

    Important Reminder for Citrus Growers!


    The 2014 Farm Bill authorized the Tree Assistance Program (TAP) to offer financial assistance to qualifying Florida orchard and nursery citrus growers in response to the citrus greening (HLB) epidemic, as well as other eligible trees, bushes and vines affected by natural disasters, which includes disease.  The program is a permanent and retroactive assistance available to offset damages dating back to October 1, 2011.  The service, administered through the Farm Service Agency (FSA) within the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), determines qualifying events and does have some eligibility requirements.  For complete eligibility information, a payment calculator, and to enroll in the program, please visit:  Tree Assistance Program - Florida Citrus Greening.  Also note, there is a deadline to enroll. The final date to submit an application and supporting documentation is January 31, 2015 to cover losses sustained on or after October 1, 2011, through the end of 2014 calendar year. To find out more information about FSA program, visit FSA online at www.fas.usda.gov.

    Pasco County Recycling Program Changes


    The “Blue Bag” curbside recycling program has changed to “Choose and Use Your own Container.” Blue bags are still acceptable along with clear bags, and now you can use a bin, cart or can. Blue or clear bags don’t need a sticker, but bins, carts or cans will need a reflective sticker to designate the contents as recyclables. Consider recycling something from around the house to use as a recycling bin. As long as you use a reflective recycling sticker on the container, you’re all set! Simply place your bags or bins out the night before your recycling pick-up date. Your trash collector can provide you with a recycling schedule if you aren’t sure of your neighborhood’s day of the week. Even if you don’t have curbside trash service, please consider recycling at the many locations available for drop off. While the service does not pick up paper or cardboard, you can drop these off in the GreenFiber paper bins located at more than 100 locations throughout the county. Most all county schools have a paper bin and the program earns revenue for local libraries, parks, fire stations and schools.  Visit www.pascocountyutilities.com for information and locations concerning recycling and paper drop-offs and for a list of acceptable items to recycle. As a general rule of thumb, you can recycle: metal food cans, glass containers that are clear, brown or green, plastic containers with numbers 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 or 7 resin codes, and aluminum cans. Just remember to remove caps and lids and to rinse the item before dropping it into the bin or bag. For recycle bins stickers, you can call Recycling and Education at 727-856-4539 or drop by the UF/IFAS Pasco County Extension Office Monday-Friday from 8:00-5:00.

    The Pasco County Reclaimed Water System Reuses 22 Million Gallons of Water Every Day


    With statistics like that, it’s not surprising that The Pasco County Reclaimed Water System is saving approximately 7 billion gallons of potable water (drinking/well water) every year. Pasco County reclaimed water reservoirs, which include a 100 million gallon reservoir and a 500 million gallon one in design, store irrigation water during low demand periods of wet weather and supply water for periods of high demand during dry weather. Reclaimed water can safely be used for irrigation on golf courses, school grounds, agricultural lands, industrial complex grounds, and rapid-rate infiltration basins (RRIBs) based on Florida Department of Environmental Protection rules and guidelines. While reclaimed water is great for irrigation, it is not suitable for consumption by humans, bathing, cooking or flushing toilets in homes, recreational use such as swimming or outdoor showers, irrigation of vegetables or other edible crops that are not peeled or cooked prior to consumption, interconnection with other water sources, or in areas where above-ground hose connections might be used or confused with hoses used for any of the above. With drinking water levels at a critical low point, alternative sources of water must be efficiently employed. The use of reclaimed water for irrigation is obviously an important alternative. However, we all must do our part to eliminate wasteful use of drinking water. The most important thing you can do is to use the following watering guide, and always keep in mind that irrigation is prohibited between 8:00 AM and 6:00 PM. If you have a property with two or more acres and use reclaimed water irrigation sources, you may irrigate between the hours of 12:01 AM to 10:00 AM or 4:00 PM to 11:59 PM using the schedule below. Remember to only water once on your designated day. WATERING DAYS AND TIMES