Florida Land Steward Calendar and News

To sign up for biweekly email updates, which include the latest calendar of events, news and a link to the Florida Land Steward newsletter, send an email to cdemers@ufl.edu.

If you know of an event or news brief that should be included on this page please send an email with the name of the event, date, location, and contact phone or email to cdemers@ufl.edu.



EAST FLORIDA (Madison County, east and south)
June 29 USDA Livestock Indemnity Program Workshop, 6:30 pm ET, Dallas Townsend Ag. Center, 1085 Pratt Blvd., LaBelle, FL 33975. Are you suffering calf loss from Florida Panthers? The USDA Farm Service Agency's Livestock Indemnity Program (LIP) can help. LIP offers compensation specifically for livestock loss from attacks by animals protected by Federal law, such as the FL Panther. Join us to learn more. For more information contact Erin Myers at (239) 370-6302, Erin_Myers@fws.gov
July 12-13 2016 Everglades Invasive Species Summit (link), Long Key Natural Area and Nature Center, 3501 SW 130th Ave, Davie, FL 33330. Provided by Everglades Cooperative Invasive Species Management Area. See link above for details and registration or email honeybee@ifas.ufl.edu
July 15 Summer Cover Crop Field Day, 10 am - 1 pm ET. NRCS Brooksville Plant Material Center, 14119 Broad Street, Brooksville, FL. 34601. Learn about cover crops in Florida and effects on soil health.  Provided by USDA NRCS. Contact Janet Grabowski at (352) 796-9600, ext. 101.
August 12-13 South Florida & Caribbean Bee College (link), UF/IFAS Ft. Lauderdale Research and Education Center, Davie, FL. Calling all beekeepers, new and experienced, growers, gardeners, and anyone interested in learning about bees and beekeeping. See link above for details and registration.
October 4-6 Private Lands Partners Day: The Northern Everglades - The Land, Water and People (link), Chateau Elan Hotel and Conference Center, Sebring, FL. Hosted by The Partners for Conservation, this event brings together landowners and partners from across the nation to interact with conservation agency leadership from across the country, share stories of partnership, and visit ranches that are models for successful public-private partnerships. See link above for more information.


WEST FLORIDA (Jefferson County and west)
June 30 Forestry Seminar (link), 9:45 am - 2 pm CT, UF/IFAS Walton County Extension Office, 732 North 9th St, DeFuniak Springs. Come learn about using forest herbicides to manage your pines, latest on cogon grass control, predicting future growth of southern pines, cost-shares available from FSA, NRCS, and the Florida Forest Service to help offset cost of managing your pines and invasive plants. Also there will be a session on grazing livestock in the pines. Cost $5, lunch provided. See link above for details. To participant in this event, call the Walton County Extension Service at (850) 892-8172 or email haneyc@ufl.edu.
July 13 Advanced Forest Site Prep Herbicide Workshop (link), 9 am to 2 pm ET, July 13, 2016, University of Florida IFAS North Florida Research and Education Center, 155 Research Road, Quincy, FL 32351. Provided by Dr. Patrick Minogue, Professor of Silviculture. 4 FL CEUs, 3.5 CFEs pending. This free workshop is for natural resource managers who are responsible for site preparation decisions or implementation. Call Megan, the University of Florida NFREC receptionist, at (850) 875-7100 to RSV please. Attendance is limited to 80 people due to space constraints.
July 21 Veterans, New, Small Farmer Workshop, 9 am - 2 pm CT, UF/IFAS Okaloosa County Extension Office, 3098 Airport Road, Crestview, FL 32359. Free workshop about agricultural programs and services available to veterans, small and beginning farmers, More information and registration on-line at http://www.farmcredit-fl.com/workshop.aspx or (850) 526-4910.
July 21, August 25, September 15 Principles of Pasture Productivity Workshop Series (link), 6:30 pm CT, UF/IFAS Calhoun County Extension Office, Blountstown, FL. Provided by UF/IFAS, this series will help livestock producers gain a better understanding of pasture productivity. There is a $25 registration fee for the entire series or $10 per session. Light refreshments and printed program materials will be provided. See link above for details and registration or contact Calhoun County Extension Office at (850) 674-8323.
July 12, August 9, September 13 Principles of Pasture Productivity Workshop Series (link), 6:30 pm CT, UF/IFAS Washington County Extension Office, Chipley, FL. Provided by UF/IFAS, this series will help livestock producers gain a better understanding of pasture productivity. There is a $25 registration fee for the entire series or $10 per session. Light refreshments and printed program materials will be provided. See link above for details and registration or contact Washington County Extension Office at (850) 638-6180.
August 27 FAMU Grape Harvest Festival, 8 am - 4 pm ET, FAMU Center for Viticulture and Small Fruit Research, 6505 Mahan Dr, Tallahassee, FL 32317.
September 15 Invasive Exotic Species and Control Workshop (link), 9 am to 3 pm ET, Apalachicola National Estuarine Research Reserve Training Center, 108 Island Drive Eastpoint, FL 32328.  Provided by Apalachicola Regional Stewardship Alliance and Florida Forest Stewardship Program. $10 fee covers materials and lunch. FDACS Pesticide applicator CEUs and SAF CFEs pending approval. Please register on-line at http://www.gulfalliancetraining.org/detail.aspx?Id=118 or you can reserve a space by contacting Anita Grove at the Reserve at (850) 670-7708, Anita.Grove@dep.state.fl.us
September 27 Forest Stewardship Workshop: Use Prescribed Fire Safely and Effectively (link), 8:30 am to 3 pm CT, Blackwater State Forest Bear Lake Pavilion, Munson, FL. This program will provide an overview of the uses of fire in natural resource management and the proper planning necessary for a successful prescribed burn. A burn demonstration will be planned and executed if conditions allow. $10 fee covers lunch and materials. Register on-line at
https://fsp-workshop092716.eventbrite.com/. You can also reserve a space by contacting Bethany at the UF/IFAS Santa Rosa County Extension Office at (850) 675-6654.
October 25-28 Prescribed Fire for Wildlife (link), Tall Timbers Research Station, Tallahassee, FL. Provided by the Florida Wildlife Society, Tall Timbers, and Florida Fish and Wildlfie Conservation Commission. Details to be posted at link above or contact Jim Schortemeyer, schortfire@aol.com, (239) 455-5847.


June 29 Webinar: Legal Liability for Prescribed Fire Accidents in the Southeast (registration link - free), 1-2 pm ET, See link for details.
July 12 Webinar: Biological Indicators of Soil Health (link), 2 pm ET, See link for details.
July 20, August 17, September 21, October 19, November 16 Wildlife Wednesday Webinar (link), 12:15 - 1:00 pm ET, provided by Pinellas and Polk UF/IFAS Extension. See link above for details and registration.
July 28, Aug 25, Sep 22, Oct 27, Nov 17, Dec 15 Your Legacy, Your Land Monthly Webinar Series (link), provided by American Forest Foundation. See link for details.
August 2 Webinar: Residue and Tillage Management in Organic Farming Systems: Eastern States (link), 3 pm ET, See link for details.

Timber Price Update

Timber Price Update, 1st Qtr 2016

News Briefs


By Jeffrey Eickwort, Forest Health Section Supervisor
Southern pine beetle (Dendroctonus frontalis, or SPB) can be one of the most destructive insects in southeastern pine forests, but in most years it is rarely encountered.  The last major SPB outbreak years in Florida occurred from 1999 to 2002.  At the peak of that outbreak, 2,892 infestations (or “spots”) were documented in a single year, killing pines across nearly 17,600 acres.  By comparison, only 175 SPB spots (covering a total of 1,129 acres) were detected in Florida during the entire thirteen years that followed.  As SPB outbreaks have historically occurred on a 7-12 year cycle, it seems that our state is “overdue” for an outbreak year.

The SPB activity for 2016 got off to a very early start. The first active spots were found in January, following a period of unusually warm winter temperatures. As we’ve moved into the spring and summer, new spots have been detected in new areas at an increasing rate. As of this writing, 105 infestations have been documented, covering over 420 acres in twelve counties, and more possible locations are being investigated. The recent temperatures have been ideal for rapid SPB development, which peaks at 85-90° F. County Foresters, Pilots, Forest Health Section staff, and other FFS field personnel are actively conducting aerial surveys and ground checks, and landowners in many locations are conducting suppression/salvage harvests. See map here.

Although this year’s numbers are still very small compared to 2000-2002, they raise the question: does the increase signal the beginning of a new outbreak period? That is still impossible to predict with any confidence, because much is still unknown about the factors that influence the timing of SPB outbreaks. The best science-based prediction tool available is the annual SPB Spring Pheromone Trapping Survey, which estimates the likelihood of SPB activity in the coming year, based on the February-March abundance of SPB as compared to the predatory beetles which feed on them.  The Forest Health Section already has plans to increase the number of trap locations for this survey in 2017.

When SPB activity is occurring, there are well-known factors that influence the risk of losses at the stand level.  Densely-stocked pine stands (>80 ft2/acre basal area), particularly consisting of mature loblolly or shortleaf pine, are most at risk.  However, other pine species and age classes are often infested when the local SPB population is high.  In the region of North Florida where SPB has historically occurred, the FFS Southern Pine Beetle Assistance and Prevention Program offers cost-share reimbursements and incentive payments to private landowners who conduct practices which can prevent losses due to SPB, such as thinning of overstocked stands, prescribed burning, and planting less-susceptible pine species (longleaf or slash).  This program is currently accepting applications through July 29.  In Florida, SPB activity has never been documented south of the natural range of loblolly pine, which extends down to Pasco and Orange Counties. 

Applications for the program will be accepted until July 29, 2016.
The Southern Pine Beetle Assistance and Prevention Program is offered to eligible non-industrial private forest landowners by the Florida Forest Service (FFS) through temporary grants from the USDA Forest Service.

Periodic southern pine beetle (SPB) outbreaks in Florida have resulted in millions of cubic feet of pine timber killed on thousands of acres. The goal of this program is to minimize SPB damage in Florida by helping forest landowners conduct management practices that can make their pine stands less susceptible to this destructive insect pest. Forest management practices such as thinning, prescribed burning, other competition control, and use of less-susceptible pine species can improve the health of pine stands and decrease their likelihood of developing SPB infestations.

For more information on the SPB Prevention program, see the SPB Prevention Program web page and contact your Florida Forest Service County Forester office.

Applications for the program will be accepted until July 29, 2016.
The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services has announced that the Florida Forest Service is now accepting applications for the Cogongrass Treatment Cost-Share Program. Applications for the program will be accepted through July 29, 2016.

“Cogongrass is one of the most aggressive weeds in Florida and is capable of rapidly choking out and displacing our native plant species,” said Commissioner of Agriculture Adam H. Putnam. “Through the Cogongrass Treatment Cost-Share Program, landowners can help stop the spread of this harmful pest in Florida.”

Cogongrass is an invasive, non-native grass that occurs in Florida and several other southeastern states. Cogongrass infestations negatively affect tree regeneration, growth and survival, as well as wildlife habitat, native plant diversity, forage quality and property values. They also increase the risk of wildfires and alter fire behavior.

“Left untreated, invasive cogongrass can spread quickly, causing long-term problems,” said State Forester Jim Karels. “In addition to reducing the productivity and value of forests and rangelands, it can greatly increase the risk and severity of wildfire.”

The Cogongrass Treatment Cost-Share Program, which is supported through a grant from the USDA Forest Service, is offered for non-industrial private lands in all Florida counties. It provides reimbursement of 50 percent of the cost to treat cogongrass infestations with herbicide for two consecutive years.

To obtain an application form or to learn more about program requirements, contact a local Florida Forest Service county forester or visit the Cogongrass Treatment Cost-Share Program webpage. All qualifying applications will be evaluated and ranked for approval.

Do you have pests or a disease in your trees? Leaves or needles wilting, and you don’t know why? Sawdust falling out of your trees, and you don’t know how to save them? There is help: ask your question at the free Forest Health Diagnostic Forum: http://sfrc.ufl.edu/treehealth/forum/.

All the latest videos are on the Florida Forest Stewardship Program home page:

Go to floridainvasives.org for information, assistance and partnership opportunities.

Check the vast array of extension publications available through UF/IFAS on the EDIS publication site:  http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/  Wow, there’s a publication about that?


See http://sfrc.ufl.edu/extension

For a calendar of upcoming webinars in a variety of land management topics see:

See http://conted.warnell.uga.edu/ for the latest offerings.

See http://www.aces.edu/natural-resources/forestry/

Your contribution will help support Forest Stewardship Program outreach events across Florida. More information

Other Events Listings

Additional UF/IFAS Extension Events

UF/IFAS School of Forest Resources and Conservation Events

Florida Forest Service

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission

Southern Region Extension Forestry

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