Pasco Cooperative Extension

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UF/IFAS Extension Solutions for Your Life Videos

  • 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.  These are two national Farm Bill decision aids developed from the work of two groups awarded $1.5 million in grants to develop such tools.  These tools are not fully functional just yet but they are a resource to start the decision-making process.  Producers using the online tools need to first collect crop production history, including crop insurance records, going back ten years, or to at least 2008.  For more information, contact your local FSA office.  The new tools, along with background information are available at:
    The timeline for landowners and producers to make decisions is as follows:

    1. September 29, 2014 - February 27, 2015:  Owners have a one-time opportunity to reallocate the farm's base acres or update yields.
    2. November 17, 2014 - March 31, 2015:  Producers make election which will remain in effect for the 2014-2018 crops years, of the following:
      1.  PLC or ARC County on a covered commodity-by commodity basis; or
      2. ARC individual for all covered commodities on the farm
    3. Mid-April 2015 - Summer 2015:  Producers sign contracts to participate in ARC/PLC for 2014 and 2015 crop years.
  • The Pumpkin Pie Dilemma
    How many times have you had this conversation across your dining room table over the holidays--- Do you refrigerate pumpkin pie or do you leave it out at room temperature?  Just for fun, I decided to pose this question to my family, friends, and co-workers and was surprised at how many got it right.  What do YOU think?

    The correct answer is that pumpkin pie should always be refrigerated.  Foods made with eggs and milk, such as pumpkin pie, custard pie, and even cheesecake must first be safely baked to a minimum internal temperature of 160 degrees F.  Then, it should be refrigerated.

    The reason why: eggs and milk are high in protein and moisture content so they are considered TCS foods (foods that are “potentially hazardous” because they contain protein, moisture and a neutral or slightly acidic pH) and need time-temperature controls to avoid bacterial growth that could lead to food poisoning.  When these products are not refrigerated but held at room temperature (in the “danger zone” between 40-140 degrees F.) bacteria can grow rapidly and make food unsafe. However, it is not necessary to refrigerate most other cakes, cookies or breads unless they have a perishable filling or frosting.

    So, if you want to make your meal something to remember in a positive way – remember to refrigerate that pumpkin pie!
  • 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
  • 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 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


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Extension Employees - Land O' Lakes
lawn sprinkler watering lawn Irrigation Sprinkler
irrigation timer Irrigation Timer