Front Cover
 Table of Contents
 A big boost for biofuels
 Top priority
 Partnerships for sustainable...
 Eliminating the evil weevil invasive...
 Defeating resistant roaches
 Biodiesel boon
 User-friendly updates for FAWN
 Flat-out great for the grill
 Laser labeling
 Cashing in on caviar
 Saving water with soil-moisture...
 IFAS development news
 IFAS extension
 Back Cover

Title: Impact
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00044207/00018
 Material Information
Title: Impact
Uniform Title: Impact (Gainesville, Fla.)
Abbreviated Title: Impact (Gainesville, Fla.)
Physical Description: Serial
Language: English
Creator: University of Florida -- Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences
Publisher: The Institute
Place of Publication: Gainesville FL
Publication Date: [1984-
Frequency: three no. a year
Subject: Agriculture -- Research -- Periodicals   ( lcsh )
Agriculture -- Research -- Periodicals -- United States   ( lcsh )
Genre: periodical   ( marcgt )
Statement of Responsibility: IFAS, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida.
Dates or Sequential Designation: Spring 1984-
Numbering Peculiarities: Vol. 2, no. 2 misnumbered as v. 2, no. 22.
General Note: Title from caption.
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00044207
Volume ID: VID00018
Source Institution: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: aleph - 001107412
oclc - 10908183
notis - AFK3775
lccn - sn 84006294
issn - 0748-2353


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Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Page 1
        Page 2
    Table of Contents
        Page 3
    A big boost for biofuels
        Page 4
        Page 5
        Page 6
        Page 7
    Top priority
        Page 8
        Page 9
        Page 10
        Page 11
        Page 12
        Page 13
    Partnerships for sustainable agriculture
        Page 14
        Page 15
        Page 16
        Page 17
        Page 18
        Page 19
    Eliminating the evil weevil invasive pest
        Page 20
    Defeating resistant roaches
        Page 21
    Biodiesel boon
        Page 22
    User-friendly updates for FAWN
        Page 23
    Flat-out great for the grill
        Page 24
    Laser labeling
        Page 25
    Cashing in on caviar
        Page 26
    Saving water with soil-moisture sensors
        Page 27
        Page 28
        Page 29
        Page 30
        Page 31
        Page 32
        Page 33
    IFAS development news
        Page 34
        Page 35
    IFAS extension
        Page 36
        Page 37
        Page 38
        Page 39
    Back Cover
        Page 40
Full Text


er ecte

AS WE ADDRESS THE CHALLENGES OF A NEW YEAR, it is important to note that 2007 was highly success-
ful for UF's Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences. Thanks to our outstanding faculty, students
and staff, new levels of performance were achieved in our statewide teaching, research and extension
For example, more than 5,000 students including record numbers of women and minority
students were enrolled in the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences. Sponsored research and
education awards reached a new high of $93.5 million, and matching support from county governments
for extension education programs was stronger than ever, almost $40 million. Alumni and friends
also continued to play a huge role in the success of IFAS programs. They have given generously to the
Florida Tomorrow Campaign with more than $62 million given to IFAS thus far in the campaign.
Now, with a changing economy, higher energy prices and state revenue shortfalls, we face difficult
times in a growing state. Having faced budget reductions earlier this fiscal year, we expect another
substantial reduction in our budget this year.
Fifty years ago, Florida's population was approximately five million. Today there are more than 18
million people living in the state. In the next 50 years more rural lands will be converted to urban
use, and development may surround land now used for agriculture, forest and natural resources, or
conservation areas. This growth will have an impact on agriculture and the environment, including
greenspace, water and other natural resources, and energy. We are conducting research and extension
programs to inform the discussion and lead to better land and water use decisions for a sustainable
Florida. And we are preparing the next generation of scientists and industry leaders for the agricultural
and natural resources economy.
I am serving on a task force convened by John Hoblick, president of the Florida Farm Bureau. The vi-
sion statement that we have developed for our work is that in 100 years, agriculture will remain a major
economic pillar of Florida's economy and benefit Florida citizens.
While changes present many challenges, IFAS has a unique mission to provide research-based
solutions for issues related to agriculture, natural resources, land use and renewable energy. IFAS is
committed to the future growth and sustainability of Florida's $101 billion agricultural and natural
resources industries in the global economy.
With your continued support, IFAS will meet the challenges and opportunities for generations to
come. Our faculty, students and programs will continue to earn national and international preemi-
nence while serving Florida's needs.


Senior Vice President IFAS
Agriculture and Natural Resources
University of Florida

2 IMPACT | Spring 2008

IMPACT is published by the Univer-
sity of Florida's Institute of Food and
Agricultural Sciences and is
produced by IFAS Communication
Services (Ashley M. Wood, director)
and IFAS External and Media
Relations (Jack Battenfield,

Senior Vice President
Agriculture and Natural Resources
Executive Associate Vice President
Dean for Extension
Dean for Research
Dean of the College of
Agricultural and Life Sciences
To change an address or to be added
to the e-mail distribution list, e-mail
IMPACT is available in alternate
formats. Visit our Web site:



4 A Big Boost for Biofuels

8 Top Priority

14 Partnerships for Sustainable Agriculture



Eliminating the Evil Weevil Invasive Pest

Defeating Resistant Roaches

22 Biodiesel Boon

23 User-Friendly Updates for FAWN

24 Flat-Out Great for the Grill!

25 Laser Labeling



Cashing in on Caviar

Saving Water with Soil-Moisture Sensors


28 Spotlight

34 IFAS Development News

On the Cover
Citrus canker continues to be a serious disease for Florida's $9.3 billion citrus
industry, but citrus greening is now a more worrisome threat and the top
citrus research and extension education priority for UF's Institute of Food and
Agricultural Sciences. The two diseases are an unprecedented challenge for
the industry, and IFAS is responding with expanded research and education

IMPACT I Spring2008 3



Research by UF's Institute of Food and Agricultural
Sciences on ethanol and other biofuels is
attracting international attention. UF's break-
through technology for producing fuel ethanol
from plant waste is being commercialized by
Verenium Corporation in Cambridge, Mass.,
and a new ethanol research and demonstra-
tion facility in South Florida will be operated by
UF in cooperation with Verenium and Florida
Crystals Corp. The bioconversion technology is
also being used by BioEthanol Japan in Osaka. I



Jimmy Cheek, left, UFseniorvice president for agriculture and natural resources; Lonnie Ingram, UFdistin-
guished professor of microbiology; and Tim Eves, vice president for business development atVerenium Corp.,
celebrate the first royalty payment from Verenium to UF for use of cellulosic ethanol technology developed by
Ingram. Speakingat the second annual Farm to FuelSummit in St. Petersburg, Fla. in July 2007, Eves said the
royalty payment represents the beginningof profitability forth technology. PHOTO BYTHOMAS WRIGHT

4 IMPACT I Spring 2008

Florida State Rep. Larry Cretu[, left, and Lonnie Ingram discuss state energy
needs Jan. 28, 2008 at a new biofuels plant located at UF's Institute of Food and
Agricultural Sciences in Gainesville. The research and demonstration facilitywill
improve methods for turning cellulosic biomass, such as crop residues and yard
waste, into ethanol. PHOTO BYTHOMAS WRIGHT


50/ Ethanol

SG governor Charlie Crist and members of the Florida
House and Senate visited the University of Florida
recently to learn more about a breakthrough technol-
ogy that will produce fuel ethanol from biomass at a new $20 mil-
lion research and demonstration facility in South Florida.
During their visits, they met with UF faculty, staff and stu-
dents, including Lonnie Ingram, a distinguished professor of
microbiology in the Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences
who developed the bioconversion technology for creating etha-
nol from plant waste.
Ingram's technology genetically engineered E. coli bac-
teria- produces fuel ethanol from inedible plant biomass,
such as sugarcane residues, rice hulls, municipal green waste,
forestry and wood wastes and other organic materials.
The demonstration plant, funded by the 2006 Florida
Legislature, is designed to further the technology of making
ethanol from biomass. The facility will be owned by UF and
operated in partnership with Florida Crystals Corp. in West
Palm Beach, Fla. and Verenium Corp. based in Cambridge,
Mass. Verenium holds an exclusive license to the UF technology.
Gaston Cantens, vice president of corporate relations for
Florida Crystals, said the plant will be located in Okeelanta, near
Belle Glade, and the facility is expected to be operational within two
years. It will be utilized as a research facility to explore the production
of ethanol from a variety of inedible biomass, including sugarcane and
other crop residues, hardwoods and softwoods as well as new energy crops
being developed in Florida.
"Florida Crystals believes there's a bright future for renewable energy in
Florida that can help alleviate America's dependence on foreign oil," Cantens
said. "Because of the industries native to the state, Florida is the largest pro-
ducer of biomass in the country. Florida Crystals has been using biomass as fuel
to produce renewable energy for more than a decade."
Cantens added, "We believe our cellulosic ethanol partnership with the
University of Florida is an important step in securing clean, reliable energy

IMPACT I Spring2008 5

sources for our country. Using biomass, Florida can be a
leader in renewable fuel production.'
Ingram, who directs the Florida Center for Renewable
Chemicals and Fuels at UF, estimates that Florida pro-
duces as much as 124 million tons of biomass each year -
enough to make 10 billion gallons of ethanol, which is more
than double the 4.8 billion gallons now made mostly from
corn nationwide. Converting biomass to fuel ethanol could
replace half of the imported petroleum in the United States,
he said.
"With the cost of imported fuel reaching record highs, we
can use this new technology to produce ethanol for about
$1.30 per gallon," Ingram said. "Ethanol will stretch the
nation's fuel supply and make gasoline burn more cleanly.
Gasoline-ethanol blends also boost the octane rating of auto-
motive fuel."
Ingram, who briefed President Bush and members of
Congress in April 2007 about the technology, said his genet-
ically engineered bacteria are capable of converting all sugar
types found in plant cell walls into fuel ethanol. Until now,
all of the world's fuel ethanol has been produced from high-
value materials such as corn using yeast fermentations.
A member of the National Academy of Sciences, Ingram
said he genetically engineered the two organisms by clon-
ing the unique genes needed to direct the digestion of sugars
into ethanol, the same pathway found in yeast and higher
plants. These genes were inserted into a variety of bacteria
that have the ability to use all sugars found in plant material,

but normally produce a worthless mixture of acetic and lac-
tic acids as fermentation products. With the ethanol genes,
the engineered bacteria may have the potential to produce
ethanol from biomass sugars with 90 percent to 95 percent
The governor called Ingram a pioneer and said that there
is a real opportunity for Florida to be a national leader in
developing alternative fuels and reducing vehicle emis-
sions. Ingram's work resulted in the first royalty check from
Verenium to UF for the bioconversion technology that was
selected to by the U.S. Department of Commerce to become
landmark U.S. Patent No. 5,000,000 in 1991.
Geoffrey Hazlewood, senior vice president of research at
Verenium, said the firm is on track to complete its 1.4 mil-
lion gallons per year biomass-to-ethanol demonstration
facility in Jennings, La., at the end of March 2008. In addi-
tion, the technology, licensed by Verenium to Murabeni
Corp. and Tsukishima Kikai Corp., Ltd. in Japan, has been
incorporated into BioEthanol Japan's 1.4 million liters per
year (about 370,000 gallons) cellulosic ethanol plant in
Osaka to produce ethanol from wood waste.

Grant Support
In March 2008, IFAS received an $866,576 grant
from the U.S. Department of Energy and Department of
Agriculture for the genetic engineering of sugarcane to
increase its output of fermentable sugar. Required non-
federal matching support, including funds from Florida

6 IMPACT I Spring 2008

Crystals, will boost total funding for the research project to
"The research will support efficient conversion of sugar-
cane residues to ethanol, thereby reducing raw material
costs, enhancing productivity and sustainability," said Fredy
Altpeter, an assistant professor in UF's agronomy depart-
ment and leader of the project. "It will also support the com-
mercial production of biofuels at prices competitive with
fossil fuels."
Faculty working with Altpeter on the project include
Maria Gallo, a professor in the agronomy department;
Wilfred Vermerris, an associate professor in the department,
and James Preston, a professor in the microbiology and cell
science department.
Additional support for biofuels research comes from the
U.S. Department of Energy, which awarded a $750,000
grant in August 2007 to IFAS for developing sweet sorghum
as an ethanol feedstock. Wilfred Vermerris, leader of the
research project, said sorghum a plant species related to
corn and sugarcane is an attractive biomass crop because
it grows well under a lot of different conditions and
has the capacity to produce a lot of sugar. His genetic
research is aimed at identifying and combining desir- "
able plant traits so that sorghum can be used more
efficiently for energy production.

New Biofuels Pilot Plant

As plans move forward for construction of the $20
million ethanol production facility in South Florida, a
new biofuels pilot plant is expected to become oper-
ational at UF's Institute of Food and Agricultural
Sciences in Gainesville in April 2008. In 2007, the
Board of Governors of the State Universities of
Florida awarded $2 million to establish test facilities
for research and development of biofuel conversion
Located in the agricultural and biological engi-
neering department, the pilot plant will develop
and improve biofuel conversion processes, includ-
ing methods for turning cellulosic biomass into eth-
anol, said Pratap Pullammanappallil, an assistant
professor in the department. He will operate the facil-
ity in cooperation with Ingram and John Owens, a
research scientist in the microbiology and cell science
"The laboratory will provide facilities to engineer
bioprocesses for the conversion of various biomass
feedstocks to biofuels such as ethanol, butanol, bio-
gas, biodiesel and hydrogen," Pullammanappallil said.

Pratap Pullammanappallil inspects biomass hydrolysis equipment
in the new biofuels pilot plant in the agricultural and biological
engineering department in Gainesville. PHOTO BYTHOMAS WRIGHT

"Initially the laboratory will focus on ethanol conversion
technologies, and it will be expanded to include equipment
for production and testing of other biofuels such as bio-
gas and biodiesel. It is expected that funds for its operation
will be provided by the biofuel industry to investigate and
develop technologies," he said. E CHUCK WOODS
FREDY ALTPETER (352) 392-1823
GASTON CANTENS (561) 366-5100
TIM EVES (813) 349-4943
LO N NIE INGRAM (352) 392-8176
KELLY LINDENBOOM (617) 674-5335
WILFRED VERMERRIS (352) 273-8162



I r


- /1




.. %


Bill Dawson, opposite, a pro-
fessorofplant pathology and
eminent scholar at UF's Citrus
Research and Education Center
at LakeAlfred, examines citrus
seedlings to determine how
they respond to the greening
bacterium. Dawson, who is
screening a wide range of citrus
varieties and citrus relatives, has
not found any citrus trees that
are resistant to the bacterium,
but some trees have less severe
symptoms than others. "We are
trying to [learn why these trees
are able to tolerate the bacterium
with a limited amount of disease,
with the hope that this informa-
tion could be used to produce
commercial varieties that
tolerate the disease," he said.
"We also are screening proteins
and peptides for their abilityto
prevent production of the disease
by the bacterium or to prevent its
transmission by theAsian citrus
psyllid insect vector." PHOTO BY Michaels Rogers, left, Tim Spann and Ron Br[ansky examine citrus trees for symptoms of citrus greening
TYLER JONES and the presence of the Asian citrus psyllid that transmits the pathogen. UF/IFAS FILE PHOTO

Citrus canker continues to be a serious

disease for Florida's $9.3 billion citrus

industry, but citrus greening is now a

more worrisome threat- and the top

citrus research and extension education

priority for UF's Institute of Food and

Agricultural Sciences.

n the long term, the Florida citrus industry can live with and manage the canker problem, but cit-
rus greening is a fatal disease that's an even larger threat to the state's signature crop, says Harold
Browning, director of UF's Citrus Research and Education Center in Lake Alfred.
"While our ongoing research and education programs to manage citrus canker are still very impor-
tant, we are launching new and expanded efforts to control greening thanks to support from the
Florida citrus industry, the state legislature and federal sources."
Browning said the citrus greening problem is being attacked on several fronts: by improving early-
detection methods to identify the bacterial disease; developing best management practices for the dis-
ease; testing new pesticides and application strategies for existing pesticides; releasing natural predators
and parasitoids to control the tiny Asian citrus psyllid insect that spreads the disease; developing trans-
genic citrus varieties that resist the pest and greening; and expanding UF extension education programs
for producers and consumers.
The disease slowly weakens and kills all types of citrus trees and, in some cases, causes fruit to become
lopsided and taste bitter. Fruit does not develop the desired color, hence the greening name. Although
greening poses no health threat to humans, there currently is no cure for the disease, Browning said.

IMPACT I Spring2008 9

Transmitted by the Asian citrus psyllid (Diaphorina citri)
now widely distributed throughout Florida, citrus greening
has been found in 27 counties, including most major com-
mercial citrus areas. Browning said it's not practical to erad-
icate citrus greening, but the spread of the disease can be
slowed with an effective integrated pest management pro-
gram that includes limited use of insecticides, beneficial
insects that attack the psyllid and other improved grove
management practices.
"What complicates control of citrus greening is the fact
that symptoms don't begin to show up in trees until several
months after the trees are infected by the psyllid insects,"
said Ron Brlansky, a professor of plant pathology at UF's
Lake Alfred center. "Lack of early detection of the systemic
bacterial disease is a major problem for the citrus industry -
once the symptoms show up, it's too late to save the tree."
He said early symptoms such as leaf mottling and yellow
discoloration may be mistaken for other problems such as
nutritional deficiencies, and improved laboratory tests are
needed to determine if greening is the problem. The disease
can also be identified by cutting open small and poorly col-
ored fruit and looking for aborted seeds.
Brlansky is working with Michael Rogers, an assistant
professor of entomology at the Lake Alfred center, to investi-
gate the interaction between the Asian citrus psyllid and the
citrus greening pathogen (Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus).
They are also determining if the transmission of the green-
ing pathogen can be reduced through the use of insecticides,
particularly systemic insecticides.

Unlike broad-spectrum insecticides that are applied to the
foliage of citrus trees, soil-applied systemic insecticides are
less likely to impact other beneficial insects that control cit-
rus pests in existing biological control programs, Rogers said.
"Recent results in our field trials have demonstrated that
soil-applied systemic insecticides can reduce psyllid popula-
tions on mature citrus trees and provide a significantly lon-
ger period of control than foliar applications," Rogers said.
"These research projects will allow us to manage psyllids
with fewer pesticide applications than growers use in other
regions of the world where greening is a problem."
Brlansky said other projects are also underway to learn
more about the transmission of the greening pathogen by
the psyllids. Researchers are looking for answers to ques-
tions such as: how long must a psyllid feed to acquire the
pathogen from an infected plant, how long must an infected
psyllid feed on a healthy plant before it transmits the patho-
gen to the plant, can the pathogen be passed from mother to
offspring, can the psyllid acquire the pathogen from plants
that are infected but not yet showing disease symptoms, and
what is the percentage of psyllids likely to be infected with
the greening pathogen at different times of the year?
Meanwhile, a new collaborative diagnostic laboratory
operated by U.S. Sugar Corp. and UF in Clewiston is helping
growers improve their ability to detect the disease, and state
funds have been allocated for a new diagnostic laboratory
at UF's Southwest Florida Research and Education Center
in Immokalee. The Immokalee lab, part of the Florida
Extension Plant Disease Clinic, is being managed by Pamela

Immature stages of psyllid feedingon citrus leaves

Chlorosis on citrus leaves infected with citrus greening

oII L Lt, UP lUeU II UlL IIIII U l eelilllg-lllletCLeU tILI Us Llee

Crrus canKer lesions on leaves

Citrus canKer lesions on rruir

10 IMPACT I Spring 2008

Roberts, an associate professor of plant pathology, in collab-
oration with Diana Schultz, an assistant in plant pathology
with advanced training in molecular biology.

Biological Control
In an attempt to reduce populations of the psyllid,
Marjorie Hoy, a professor of entomology and eminent
scholar, and Ru Nguyen, an entomologist with the Division
of Plant Industry (DPI) at the Florida Department of
Agriculture and Consumer Services in Gainesville, imported
and released two natural enemies of the citrus pest from
Taiwan and Thailand in 1998. One of the beneficial wasps,
Tamarixia radiata, is now widely established throughout

Usinga PCR(polymerase chain
reaction) technique, Marjorie
Hoy evaluated the proportion
of Asian citus psyllids in
Florida citrus groves carrying
the greening bacterium and
found a very low incidence of
infected psyllids duringthe fall
and winter of 2005-2006.Jason
Meyer, not pictured, a gradu-
ate student in the entomology
and nematology department,
assisted with the research.
"Our research suggests that
it may be more important to
remove infected trees than to
attempt to kill every psyllid in
an effortto reduce transmis-
sion of greening disease," Hoy

Florida, and the second wasp, Diaphorencyrtus aligharensis,
may be present in very low numbers.
Hoy and her colleagues found that Tamarixia radiata a
host-specific natural enemy that attacks immature Asian cit-
rus psyllids declines during the winter because the psyl-
lid does not reproduce on citrus during cooler weather in
Florida. "As a result, populations of Tamarixia lag behind
the psyllid when it begins to reproduce in early spring," Hoy
said. "Tamarixia increases to higher densities late in the sea-
son August to November reaching parasitism rates as
high as 98 percent."
She said it's unlikely that any host-specific wasp can suc-
cessfully overwinter in high numbers unless the psyllid

continues to reproduce on citrus or on the orange jasmine
plant (Murraya paniculata).
"Unfortunately, the orange jasmine plant has been shown
to be a host for greening disease, so encouraging populations
of psyllids to develop on this common landscape ornamen-
tal plant during the winter is not an appropriate strategy for
increasing populations of host-specific natural enemies of
the psyllid," Hoy said.
She said biological control agents can reduce psyllid
populations if the natural enemies are not killed by pesti-
cides, but no biological control agent can eliminate all psyl-
lids and the possibility of transmission of greening dis-
ease. Unfortunately, this is also true of pesticides, she said.
The effectiveness of the Tamarixia radiata wasp in con-
trolling the psyllid is being evaluated by Phil Stansly, a pro-
fessor of entomology at UF's Southwest Florida Research
and Education Center, in cooperation with Michael Rogers
at Lake Alfred and David Hall, an entomologist at USDA's
Horticultural Research Laboratory in Fort Pierce.
"With the help of participating growers, the study deter-
mined that the beneficial wasp is present in most Florida
citrus groves, but does not provide the level of control
observed in other countries with warmer winter climates,"
Stansly said.

Jim Graham evaluates the susceptibility ofsweet orangevarieties
to citrus canker after seedlings have been inoculated with the pathogen.

"For instance, we saw parasitism that averaged 70 per-
cent reaching nearly 100 percent in Puerto Rico, but
less than 20 percent during spring and summer in Florida,"
Stansly said. "This indicates a need for species or biotypes of
parasitic wasps that are better adapted to Florida conditions."
Stansly, Hall and Eric Rohrig, an entomology graduate
student in UF's College of Agricultural and Life Sciences,
are working with a beneficial wasp from China, a biotype of
Diaphorencyrtus aligarhensis. Field releases of the parasitoid
have started in southwest Florida.
Jim Graham, a professor of soil microbiology at the Lake
Alfred center, said groves should be carefully checked at
least four times a year, particularly during fall and win-
ter months when greening symptoms are most prevalent.
Groves should be sprayed at least five times a year with
a pesticide to control the psyllid population. However,
research needs to be conducted to determine how compati-
ble these products are with natural enemies. When greening
is confirmed, immediately remove the infected tree to pre-
vent the disease from spreading, he said.

Dean Gabriel, a professor of plant pathology and plant
molecular and cell biology, said his work on citrus green-
ing includes detection of reservoir hosts, other than citrus,
where greening may be harbored and accidentally shipped
to citrus growing areas that are currently greening-free. His
research, performed in collaboration with DPI, showed that
the orange jasmine plant can be a carrier host for citrus
greening in Florida.
In a second collaborative effort with DPI, he is working to
determine if heat treatment of budded citrus can be used to
cure greening. If heat can be used to cure greening, it would
help ensure the safety of Florida's nursery stock at low added
cost, Gabriel said.
In a third research project, funded by USDA's Animal and
Plant Health Inspection Service, Gabriel is attempting to
obtain the DNA sequence of the citrus greening bacterium.
"If the genome of the greening organism could be deter-
mined, it would reveal all of the genes that the greening bac-
terium possesses and enable prediction of the organism's
weaknesses and strengths," Gabriel said. "This allows more
rational design of control strategies and also provides poten-
tial molecular targets for chemical controls."
With support from USDA-APHIS, Gabriel is also work-
ing to improve detection of greening. "We are attempting
to determine if Florida has a new and previously unknown
strain of the citrus greening bacterium, in addition to the
known Asiatic strain of greening currently confirmed,"
Gabriel said.

12 IMPACT I Spring 2008

"This work is a result of the observation that a substantial
number of citrus trees that exhibit symptoms of greening
appear to be negative for greening by the current DNA-based
PCR tests," he said. "Introduction of a new citrus greening
strain into Florida in addition to the Asiatic greening strain
would not be surprising, since the level of genetic variation
within the pathogenic species is unknown, and current tests
may be too limited to detect all strains."
Meanwhile, Gabriel said his research on citrus canker is
aimed at trying to anticipate new disease variants that may
arise in Florida, now that the canker organism has become
established and persistent. "When a new bacterium becomes
established in an area where it previously did not exist, it
has new opportunities to interact with and combine DNA
with other microbes, sometimes resulting in the emer-
gence of new diseases," he said. "Anticipating new citrus dis-
eases allows more rapid detection and appropriate regula-
tory and disease control responses."

Extension Education
In addition to expanded research on citrus canker and
greening, the UF Extension Service is providing information
on these diseases and their management.
Beginning with information available from other citrus
growing regions around the world that have experience with
greening, UF extension specialists are developing training
tools for detection of greening, scouting methods and proce-
dures, and they are providing training to growers, harvesters
and fresh fruit packing operations, said Tim Spann, an assis-
tant professor of horticulture at the Lake Alfred center.
Information from research on psyllid suppression strat-
egies and other production practices is being delivered to

industry clients and homeowners through field days, sem-
inars, and electronic and printed materials. "During this
period of adjustment to the presence of these diseases in
Florida, it is vital that growers and others involved in Florida
citrus are apprised of the most current information," Spann
The expanded education effort also includes a new
monthly e-mail newsletter, "Citrus Industry Update," to
improve communication with the citrus industry about UF
research on citrus canker, citrus greening and other issues.
The newsletter is available at www.crec.ifas.ufl.edu/publi-
cations/ciu/index.htm. Or, go to www.crec.ifas.ufl.edu and
click on "Citrus Industry Update." E CHUCK WOODS
RON BRLANSKY (863) 956-1151
HAROLD BROWNING (863) 956-1151
BILL DAWSON (863) 956-1151
DEAN GABRIEL (352) 392-7239
JIM GRAHAM (863) 956-1151
MARJORIE HOY (352) 392-1901
PAMELA ROBERTS (239) 658-3400
MICHAEL ROGERS (863) 956-1151
TIM SPANN (863) 956-1151
PHIL STANSLY (239) 658-3400

IMPACT I Spring 2008 13


IL .

The Everglades ecosystem extends from the Kissimmee River Basin to Lake Okeechobee and Florida
Bay. Lake Okeechobee- South Florida's "liquid heart" is the critical link between rivers north of the
lake and estuaries and wetlands south of the lake. PHOTO BYTHOMAS WRIGHT

As economic and environmental sustainability become key issues in
one of the nation's fastest growing states, researchers at UF's Institute
of Food and Agricultural Sciences are working with ranchers, other
state and federal agencies and World Wildlife Fund to improve water
resources and natural habitats in South Florida. The new Florida
Ranchlands Environmental Services Project is designing and testing
a program that will compensate ranchers who protect the water
resources, wetlands and wildlife habitats in the vast Everglades
ecosystem that extends from the Kissimmee River Basin to Lake
Okeechobee and Florida Bay. These partnerships with ranchers will
also create economic incentives for land to remain in ranching instead
of being used for urban development land uses that could further
aggravate water quality and other environmental problems.

Patrick Bohlen, opposite, and Sanjay Shukla inspect one
of the culverts at Buck Island Ranch being used to retain

IMPACT I Spring 2008 15

Benita Whalen, left, and Joe Collins,
engineering manager for Lykes Bros. Inc.,
check equipment used to pump water into
a reservoir at the firm's property in Glades

South Florida ranchers could
increase their income, thanks
to a "pay-for-environmental-
services" program that will reward
those who help restore and protect one
of the nation's largest and most endan-
gered ecosystems.

Over the next two years, the Florida
Ranchlands Environmental Services
Project will design and test a program
that will complement existing state
and federal initiatives such as the
Comprehensive Everglades Restoration
Plan and the Lake Okeechobee

Protection Plan by paying ranchers
to retain water on their land, reduce
nutrient runoff and enhance wetland
vegetation for wildlife.
"Existing state and federal initiatives
are using public funds to buy land and
build large treatment wetlands that

remove phosphorus and other nutri-
ents from water on farms, construct
large reservoirs to capture rainwater
north of the lake and slow its south-
ern movement, and drill wells to store
excess water underground," said Sarah
Lynch, project director with World
Wildlife Fund based in Washington,
"Now, in an innovative program
that would complement these exist-
ing restoration efforts, we are trying a
new concept- paying ranchers to pro-
vide important environmental services
that are desperately needed in South
Florida," she said. "The pilot project
will not pay ranchers to comply with
water quality standards already man-
dated by state and federal programs,
but compensates them for retaining
water and removing phosphorus above
and beyond the required standards"'
She said the 5-year research project
will develop ways for measuring and
documenting the value of these envi-
ronmental services in order to estab-

lish contracts with state agencies and
other willing buyers.
Lynch, whose global conservation
organization led the development of
the project, said a 2005 study showed
that buying environmental services
directly from ranchers can save taxpay-
ers money and be implemented more
quickly than regional treatment facili-
ties and large reservoirs.
"And ranchers, who often face low
profit margins and fluctuations in the
price of beef, will have another source
of stable income, creating a finan-
cial incentive for their land to remain
in ranching instead of more intensive
development," she said. "By sustain-
ing ranches, the project will also sus-
tain rural communities that depend on
She said "environmental services"
include many of the benefits that peo-
ple and the planet receive from natu-
ral ecosystems. For the Everglades and
Lake Okeechobee, this means water

purification, water control and wild-
life habitat.
"Because we often take these ser-
vices for granted and they are often
considered to be 'free, the value of
this natural capital is not captured in
markets or by most economic indica-
tors," she said. "The urgent need to
protect and enhance the natural capi-
tal that provides these services is driv-
ing pay-for-services initiatives such as
the Florida Ranchlands Environmental
Services Project."
Funding for the $5 million project
is coming from the U.S. Department
of Agriculture's Natural Resources
Conservation Service, the Florida
Department of Agriculture and
Consumer Services, the South Florida
Water Management District and
World Wildlife Fund. Other part-
ners include the Florida Department
of Environmental Protection and the
MacArthur Agro-Ecology Research

The Florida Ranchlands Environmental Services Project is designingand testing program thatwill compensate ranchers
who protect the water resources, wetlands and wildlife habitats in the Everglades ecosystem. PHOTO BY THOMAS WRIGHT


Mark Clark, left, discusses the installation of water
quality sampling equipment at Williamson Cattle
Co. with Sarah Lynch, SonnyWilliamson and his
grandson,John Williamson. PHOTO BYTHOMAS

Technical expertise in measuring
and documenting the environmental
services is being provided by research-
ers in UF's Institute of Food and
Agricultural Sciences.
Patrick Bohlen, director of research
at the MacArthur Agro-Ecology
Research Center at Buck Island Ranch
in Lake Placid and a courtesy assis-
tant professor in UF's soil and water
science department, is helping design
and implement water quantity and
quality monitoring systems at all par-
ticipating locations.
He said Lake Okeechobee South
Florida's "liquid heart" is the crit-
ical link between rivers north of the
lake and estuaries and wetlands south
of the lake.
"The lake currently suffers from
excessive levels of phosphorus caused
in part by rapid runoff from its exten-
sively drained watershed," Bohlen said.
"In 2000, the Florida Department of
Environmental Protection established
a total maximum daily load of 140
metric tons of phosphorus for the lake,
but current loads average 433 to 709
metric tons, requiring a 68 to 80 per-
cent reduction in phosphorus to meet
a 2015 target set by EPA."

Mark Clark, an assistant professor
in UF's soil and water science depart-
ment, is monitoring and document-
ing water management programs at
the various sites, including water stor-
age, nutrient retention and wetland
Sanjay Shukla, an associate profes-
sor of agricultural and biological engi-
neering at UF's Southwest Florida
Research and Education Center in
Immokalee, is helping design the
water monitoring systems, as well as
developing methods to quantify water
and phosphorus storage at the sites.
"Storing water on agricultural land
can increase ground water recharge
and reduce peak flows of phosphorus
to Lake Okeechobee and other down-
stream areas," Shukla said. "We are
developing hydrologic models that
will be used in conjunction with water
quality data such as rainfall, surface
water flows and groundwater levels to
determine the amount of water and
phosphorus that can be stored at each
Four South Florida partners in the
lake's watershed have been involved
with the project since its 2005 incep-
tion: Alderman-DeLoney Ranch in
Okeechobee County, Buck Island

Ranch in Highlands County, Lykes
Bros. Inc. in Glades County and
Williamson Cattle Company in
Okeechobee County.
In August 2007, four more part-
ners joined the project: C.M. Payne
& Son Inc. in Highlands County,
Lightsey Cattle Co. in Polk County,
Rafter T Ranch in Highlands County,
and Syfrett Ranch West in Okeechobee
County. All are within the Lake
Okeechobee, Caloosahatchee and St.
Lucie estuary watersheds.
At the Alderman-DeLoney and
Williamson properties, water con-
trol structures have been constructed
to rehydrate historic wetlands. At the
Buck Island Ranch, 41 water control
structures have been installed in drain-
age ditches to retain more water on
3,700 acres of pastureland and thereby
reduce phosphorus runoff in the Lake
Okeechobee watershed. A 2,500-acre
marsh at the Lykes Bros. property,
originally created to provide citrus
frost protection, will now be used to
filter water pumped from the Indian
Prairie canal to remove phosphorus
before the water is returned to the
public canal.
Wes Williamson, who co-owns
Williamson Cattle Company with his

18 IMPACT I Spring 2008

father, Sonny, said they have installed
a structure that will hold water in a
250-acre former marsh that drains an
additional 650 upland acres. "Slowing
the drainage will help assimilate
much of the phosphorus and store
water that would normally enter Lake
Okeechobee," he said.
UF researchers are measuring the
value of three different environmen-
tal services and developing practi-
cal methods that are acceptable to the
buyer and seller, Clark said.
The water retention service will
hold water in ranch soils, low-lying
areas and ditches during high rain-
fall. The service has value because
it changes the volume, pattern and
timing of water flow in the Lake
Okeechobee watershed, thereby
reducing peak discharges into coastal
"The phosphorus load retention
service will help address phosphorus
loading targets and has value because
it will increase oxygen levels in the
lake, limit algal blooms and protect
fish," he said.
"The wetlands habitat expansion
service often comes in conjunction
with practices to retain more water
and has value because it helps reverse

the loss of wetlands to drainage,
thereby improving the habitat for wild-
life," Clark said.
Shukla said the first step in the
design of a pay-for-environmental-
services program is assuring that state
agencies and others who buy the ser-
vices and the ranchers who sell
them agree on the definition of
"Once these services are defined,
knowing what to measure and what
to do with the data becomes critical,"
he said. "We can collect all sorts of
data from these sites, but the key to an
eventual large-scale application of this
concept will be to develop a method
that can quantify the environmental
services with reasonable accuracy and
do it at a relatively low cost."
Richard Budell, director of the office
of agricultural water policy with the
Florida Department of Agriculture and
Consumer Services, said the pilot proj-
ect will also help address important
questions such as how to establish a
dedicated, multi-year funding source
to pay for environmental services pro-
vided by ranchers, how to establish
what prices will be paid for services
and how to integrate the new pay-for-

services program with other state and
federal programs in the Everglades
Benita Whalen, director of the
South Florida Water Management
District's Okeechobee Service Center,
said the projects will allow water stor-
age on private land north of Lake
Okeechobee, thereby helping reduce
inflows to the lake and discharges into
coastal estuaries, which is one of the
northern Everglades initiative goals.
"The water management district is
committed to developing innovative
solutions that will provide benefits to
the environment," she said. E
PATRICK BOHLEN (863) 699-0242
RICHARD BUDELL (850) 617-1704
MARK CLARK (352) 392-1803
SARAH LYNCH (202) 778-9781
SANJAY SHUKLA (239) 658-3400
BENITA WHALEN (863) 462-5260
WES WILLIAMSON (863) 634-7151

At the Lykes Bros. Inc. property in Glades County,water is pumped from the Indian Prairie canal into a
2,500-acre marsh,which filters theater and removes phosphorus before theater is returned further
downstream to the public canal. PHOTO BYTHOMAS WRIGHT

IMPACT I Spring2008 19

bug known as the evil weevil" may have met its
Since 1989, the invasive Mexican bromeliad
weevil (Metamasius callizona) has wreaked havoc on the
state's native bromeliads, but researchers with UF's Institute
of Food and Agricultural Sciences have released a para-
sitic fly (Lixadmontia franki) that kills the weevil's larvae and
could help save the tree-dwelling airplants, many of which
are threatened or endangered.
In the first of several releases, 56 adult flies were recently
set free at Northwest Equestrian Park in Hillsborough
County, where the Mexican bromeliad weevil is attacking
four species of airplants unique to Florida, said Ron Cave,
an associate professor of entomology at UF's Indian River
Research and Education Center in Fort Pierce.
Cave discovered the beneficial insect in the mountain for-
ests of Honduras in 1993. After 14 years of study, research-
ers will learn if it can survive Florida's hot, humid climate.
"I think the chances are good that it can, because insects
are very adaptive," he said. "We hope that the flies will be
able to find cool, shady and moist conditions in the can-
opy of an oak hammock, down amongst the leaves of a bro-
meliad holding water little microhabitats where they'll be
able to survive very well."
It's the first release of an organism reared at UF's
Biological Control Research and Containment Laboratory in
Fort Pierce, Cave said. The facility opened in 2004.
Teresa Cooper, a graduate student in UF's College of
Agricultural and Life Sciences, built traps from wooden
trays with wire-mesh bottoms that are baited with pineapple
tops, each containing a weevil larva to attract the flies, said
Howard Frank, a professor of entomology in Gainesville.
The traps were put out six weeks after the initial release
of the flies, he said. The results have shown that the sec-
ond generation of flies can find and parasitize the weevils

Invasive Pest

in the Florida environment. Follow-up releases have been
done at the Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge in Palm
Beach County, Enchanted Forest in Brevard County, Big
Cypress National Preserve in Collier County and Highlands
Hammock State Park in Highlands County.
To breed the fly, researchers first had to raise large num-
bers of the weevils. But finding a food source for them was a
major hurdle.
"We've tried various ways of rearing the larvae," Frank
said. "We can't take bromeliads from nature to rear the wee-
vils because they're protected. But pineapple tops are trash,
they're thrown away. So we have to persuade grocery store
managers to save them for us."
Pineapples are part of the bromeliad family, though not
native to Florida, he said. The state is home to 16 species of
bromeliads, all of which grow in trees. Larger plants are at
risk because they have bigger stems that the weevil larvae
mine, killing the plants.
The weevil, native to Mexico and Guatemala, was
detected in Fort Lauderdale in 1989, where it is believed to
have arrived in a shipment of Mexican bromeliads.
In some South Florida areas, such as Myakka River State
Park, the weevil has nearly eliminated the endangered giant
airplant. Researchers are most concerned about Fakahatchee
Strand Preserve State Park, which contains the state's dens-
est concentration of bromeliads, said park manager Dennis
Giardina. So far, the weevil has had minimal impact at the
park, home to 14 native species.
"We haven't seen the kind of wholesale die-offs that have
been seen in other areas," said Giardina, who funds expedi-
tions to Central America with Frank to seek more natural
enemies to fight the weevil. "So it wouldn't be a good idea to
release the flies here right now because they might not find
enough weevil larvae to feed upon and perish."
If the fly is effective, researchers will need to keep breed-
ing and releasing the insect to ensure it gets distributed
throughout South Florida as quickly as possible, said Jay
Thurrott, president of the Florida Council of Bromeliad

Societies, which has supported the research for years. E
RON CAVE (772) 468-3922
HOWARD FRANK (352) 392-1901
DENNIS GIARDINA (239) 695-4593

Ron Cave examines a vial containing larvae of
the Mexican bromeliad weevil to distinguish
them from larvae of the native Florida bromeliad





Irl-- a..r ,, ,,, .... ,,",1 ,. 1 ,, I ,t ,
the most common and hated
I household pests, is winning
the war against some of the newest
insecticides and baits.
"Whatever you throw at them, they
have an amazing ability to quickly
adapt and overcome adversity," said
Phil Koehler, a professor of entomol-
ogy with UF's Institute of Food and
Agricultural Sciences. "We know that
they have developed resistance to
many of the most widely used insec-
ticides, and now they are turning up
their noses at baits, including some
that were very effective just a few
years ago."
He said the bait-avoidance problem
was first noticed about five years ago
in Florida, where the state's warm cli-
mate is ideal for roaches, and in recent
months has spread to other states as
far north as Michigan. "In Florida,
pest control operators say that 60 per-
cent of their customers have German
cockroaches (Blattella germanica) that
are refusing to eat most commercial
baits, indicating there is something in
the baits that roaches do not like," he
Koehler and Barbara Bayer, a grad-
uate research assistant in UF's College
of Agricultural and Life Sciences, are
working with pest control operators
and product manufacturers to develop
and test more effective baits for the
German cockroach. "It's the roach
that gives all other cockroaches a bad
name," Koehler said. "It's also the
most common cockroach species in
homes, apartments, restaurants, hotels
and other institutions in the United

Phil Koehler, left, and Barbara Bayer, check
the effectiveness of different bait pest control
products on German cockroaches in a laboratory
experiment. UF/IFAS FILE PHOTO

' rr- r. and in most parts of the civi-
lized world."
As a result of their research, new
bait products designed for use by pest
control operators have been shown to
kill cockroaches that are refusing to eat
existing baits, and the UF researchers
are monitoring their effectiveness. The
new products are Advion roach bait
manufactured by Dupont, Max Force
FC Select roach bait made by Bayer
Environmental Sciences and Advance
roach bait from Whitmire Micro-Gen
Laboratories Inc.
"It remains to be seen how long
these new products will be effective,"
said Bayer, who is not affiliated with
the bait manufacturer. "Ten years ago,
German cockroaches began avoiding
baits that contained glucose sugar, and
now they are developing an ability to
avoid other ingredients in some of the
newest baits on the market. We need
to learn more about which chemicals
they like and do not like."
"Often measured in weeks, the
roach's rapid reproductive cycle allows
the pest's population to double every
two weeks," Koehler said. "One female

roach and her offspring can pro-
duce more than 100 million roaches
in a year. Female roaches only need
to mate once to lay eggs for the rest
of their lives. And, if they are able to
avoid baits, then you've got a real seri-
ous roach problem in no time":
Koehler, who directs UF's Urban
Entomology Laboratory, said cock-
roaches are one of the toughest insects
on the planet, and some are capable
of living for a month without food or
staying alive without their head for up
to a week. They can also survive under
water for about 45 minutes.
Besides avoiding certain chemi-
cals in baits, roaches leave chemical
trails in their feces, and other cock-
roaches follow these trails to discover
sources of food, water and hiding
places, Koehler said. "Based upon this
research, we might be able to develop
new techniques for controlling cock-
roaches," he said. "It might be possible
to get rid of them by leaving a chemi-
cal trail that leads them away from the
PHIL KOEHLER (352) 392-2484



Biodiesel BOON

rowing plants for fuel might be an engine-
revving idea for some South Florida farmers who
feel their crops have stalled, according to a UF
extension agent.
Jatropha curcas, a tree native to Mexico, is being widely
grown for fuel and medicine in some parts of the world.
Inside its golf-ball-sized fruit are three seeds full of oil that
can be pressed to make biodiesel.
"For maybe a year and a half now, I have been working
on an idea that here in South Florida we can grow a biod-
iesel crop that does not conflict with food and that we have
a comparative advantage in growing," said Roy Beckford, a
Lee County extension agent in Fort Myers who specializes in
sustainable farm development.
Beckford, who works for UF's Institute of Food and
Agricultural Sciences, has been pushing Jatropha as an alter-
nate crop for South Florida farmers the past couple years
through IFAS newsletters.
Biodiesel is a fuel made from natural sources, such as new
and used vegetable oils and animal fats, for use in diesel
engines. It is safe, biodegradable and contains fewer pollut-
ants than gasoline.
Jatropha, also called Barbados nut or physic nut as
well as several other names, including black vomit nut for
its use as a purgative also contains glycerine that must
be extracted from the fuel. Early Central American settlers
lit the long-burning seeds in a bowl as makeshift candles,
Beckford said.
A company called Dream Fuels recently donated some
1,500 Jatropha curcas seedlings worth about $6,000 to
Lee County. Following the ceremonial planting of about
100 seedlings attended by Lt. Gov. Jeff Kottcamp and
other officials, the rest of the seedlings were planted on

a 1-acre demonstration farm at Orange River Park in the
Buckingham area of Lee County.
The planting is part of a much larger effort by county offi-
cials to reduce reliance on petroleum-derived fuels. They
plan to build a biodiesel plant at the site of a closed landfill
and to use Jatropha and restaurant grease to fuel at least part
of the county's fleet, said Lee County Commissioner Ray
Judah. "We think it's doable," he said.
The trees can grow to 20 feet tall, can thrive up to 50
years and can be harvested twice a year as quickly as 18
months after planting, under ideal conditions. It does well
in both good and poor soil and doesn't require heavy cultiva-
tion, fertilization or irrigation.
One acre of Jatropha can yield between 600 to 1,000 gal-
lons of oil per year, although at least two companies market-
ing the plant say they have varieties that yield much more.
Beckford said he believes farmers trying to recover from
citrus canker or greening might want to give Jatropha a look.
Because it fares well in bad soil, he also says the crop might
be helpful for landowners whose property is unsuitable for
traditional agriculture.
He also suggests that Jatropha be used as a replacement
in cases where invasive plants such as Brazilian pepper and
Melaleuca are removed from the landscape.
Besides the donated seedlings that are now being planted,
Beckford said a handful of Lee County growers are on
the verge of planting as well. Also in Lee County, a non-
profit group called Educational Concerns for Hunger
Organization, or ECHO, has been growing a half-acre of the
trees for more than five years.
ECHO specializes in finding alternative crops for under-
developed countries and is currently using the trees as a "liv-
ing fence." Some underdeveloped countries plant a line of
trees as a fence to keep animals from grazing on their farms.
Martin Price, one of ECHO's co-founders, said although
the trees appear to be doing well there, his group is hesitant
to lead the cheers without more feasibility studies in place.
"We are not promoters at this point," he said. "But we're a
big believer of the potential in underutilized crops.
But with other countries, such as China, India and Brazil,
investing heavily in Jatropha, Beckford says time is of the
essence, especially with federal goals for renewable fuels.
"I'll keep plugging it, because I want to make sure that
something comes from it," he said. "If we don't do it, some-
one else will'." MICKIE ANDERSON


(239) 461-7512

Roy Beckford displays seeds fromratropha curcastrees being grown in Lee

User-Friendly Updates or FAWN

The Florida Automated
Weather Network, which pro-
vides weather data 24 hours
daily to farmers and consumers via the
Internet and toll-free numbers, has
added new monitoring stations and
redesigned its Web site for faster and
more reliable service.
"Launched in October 2007, the
improved site has a new user interface
for streamlined navigation, new data
servers and a more efficient database
that will be monitored around the
clock by UF staff," said Rick Lusher,
director of the Florida Automated
Weather Network (FAWN) oper-
ated by UF's Institute of Food and
Agricultural Sciences. "We have also
added new tools as well, such as an
urban irrigation scheduler to aid
homeowners with water usage."
In addition to the redesigned Web
site, FAWN has installed new monitor-
ing stations in Clewiston and in North
Port near Venice, bringing the total
number of stations around the state
to 35. Each solar-powered station col-
lects weather data and transmits it to
a computer at UF in Gainesville every
15 minutes.
Lusher said the stations measure
air temperature at two, six and 30 feet
above the ground; soil temperature;
wind speed and direction; rainfall; rel-
ative humidity; barometric pressure;
leaf wetness; and solar radiation. Real-
time weather data from the network is
available at (352) 846-3100 or (866)
754-5732 and at the FAWN Web site:
"Observations from our monitoring
stations are more applicable to grow-
ers than those taken at conventional

sites, because our stations are typically
located in more rural areas," Lusher

He said growers use
FAWN as a source of rel: i.I -

information not only for ..1 I
protection, but also for dlI1 -
control, irrigation schedil .... t -
tilizer application and o-1- ..
management programs.
FAWN is also working I,, I. r-- i
-.i,- .Climate forecastii r. r- r..
provide monthly climate I". It .- I
other management tools
Jim Jones, a distin-
guished professor in
UF's agricultural and
biological engineer-
ing department, said
AgClimate includes fore
casts combined
with risk man-


the University of Alabama in
The UF Extension Service
r.rted FAWN in 1998 after the
N .tional Weather Service dis-
.. tinued special forecasts for
..i culture in 1996. The site is
-. -d mostly by farmers. Other
,- rs include emergency man-
.i _ment officials, who use the
. I.a to monitor the progression
. cold temperatures during win-
r-r and wind speeds during hur-

Slie data to help monitor smoke
plumes during forest fires or
-prescribed burns. U
RICK LUSHER (352) 392-0900

Rick Lusher, standing, and George Braun, field
site supervisor for FAWN, install a tempera-
ture sensorata monitoring station located at
UF's Plant Science Research and Education
Unit in Citra, Fla. UF/IFAS FILE PHOTO



Sales of a new flat-iron steak
which has carved out
a growing portion of the
nation's $74-billion beef market over
the past two years now top 90 mil-
lion pounds a year, elevating the value-
priced cut to the fifth best-selling
"It's flat-out great for the grill," said
Dwain Johnson, a professor of meat
science with UF's Institute of Food
and Agricultural Sciences who helped
develop the steak in 2002. "The cut
is as tasty and tender as more expen-
sive steaks, yet affordable enough for
the average family to enjoy on a regu-
lar basis, and it costs a lot less than a
choice filet or strip steak. Some peo-
ple say it tastes better than a New York
Steve Wald, director of new prod-
uct development for the National
Cattlemen's Beef Association in
Centennial, Co., said 47 million
pounds of flat-iron steak were sold in

2005, increasing to 92 million pounds
in 2006 and 2007. He said the sales
data was compiled by Technomic Inc.,
a Chicago-based research firm.
"In the food service industry, which
includes restaurants, the flat-iron steak
outsells T-bone and Porterhouse steaks
combined, making the new cut the
nation's fifth best-selling steak after
sirloin, filet, ribeye and strip steaks,"
Wald said. "Strong consumer demand
prompted several national retailers to
introduce the steak during the sum-
mer of 2007."
Johnson, who developed the steak
in cooperation with the University of
Nebraska and the cattlemen's associa-
tion, said their research was aimed at
identifying undervalued portions of
the beef carcass. In the largest "mus-
cle profiling" study of its kind, the
researchers evaluated more than 5,600
muscles for flavor and tenderness.
He said the flat-iron steak- also
known as the top blade steak is cut
from deep within the shoulder mus-
cle known as the chuck, which
traditionally is used for roasts or
ground beef.
"Although the cut is flavor-
ful and relatively tender, the flat
iron steak has a serious flaw in
the middle of it," Johnson said.
"There is a tough piece of con-
nective tissue running through
the middle, but it can be removed
to create an amazing cut of beef."
By developing a method for
cutting the connective tissue -
similar to filleting a fish the
researchers created a steak that
has the tenderness of a ribeye or
strip steak with the full-flavored
character of a sirloin or skirt
steak. It's also perfect for grilling
over medium-high heat, he said.

"Supposedly named because it
looks like an old-fashioned metal flat
iron, the flat-iron steak is uniform in
thickness and rectangular in shape,"
Johnson said. "The only variation is
the cut into the middle where the con-
nective tissue has been removed."
Johnson said the research to pro-
duce leaner and more convenient beef
products was initiated when demand
for chuck, round and "thin cuts" -
which make up 73 percent of total beef
carcass weight- declined by more
than 20 percent from 1980 to 1998.
"The Cattlemen's Beef Board real-
ized that a more concentrated effort
was needed to study the cause for the
decreased demand in products from
these carcass locations," he said. "They
also wanted to find out what could be
done to reverse the trend and increase
the demand for the chuck and round
He said other "value cuts" such as
the Petite Tender and Ranch Cut are
starting to be used by the food ser-
vice sector. Muscle profiling has also
recently been expanded to dairy cow
beef and veal to find new opportu-
nities for this segment of the beef
The research resulted in a publi-
cation by the cattlemen's association
entitled "Muscle Profiling" that serves
as an encyclopedia of information for
meat packers, processors and purvey-
ors, Johnson said. The 100-page doc-
ument, available in six different lan-
guages, is available on the Bovine
Myology Web site maintained by the
University of Nebraska:
http://bovine.unl.edu E CHUCK WOODS
DWAIN JOHNSON (352) 392-1922
STEVE WALD (303) 850-3315

Dwain Johnson selects beef cuts at the University of Florida's meats laboratory in Gainesville. He
said the goa of their research was to find better, more efficient cuts from the chuck and round for
both retail and food service uses. PHOTO BY THOMAS WRIGHT


ay good-
bye to
r stubborn little
stickers on fruits and vegetables at the
In the next few months, consum-
ers might see a new type of label on
fresh produce branding that is
etched directly onto the skin of fruits
and vegetables by a new laser-beam
Greg Drouillard, a former University
of Florida researcher who developed
the laser marking system, said inde-
pendent research throughout the
United States shows that consumers
like laser-imprinted identification on
"Many consumers complain about
the difficulty of removing stickers from
fruit, especially edible-skin fruit," he
said. "When they first see the laser
marking on fresh produce, they want
to know if it's safe to eat, and research
shows that it is."
Ed Etxeberria, a professor of horti-
cultural sciences at UF's Institute of
Food and Agricultural Sciences who
has been testing the technology on
oranges and other fresh produce, said
the laser-beam system which is
almost like tattooing fruits and vegeta-
bles with brand names, price codes and
other information eliminates the
need for stickers that have to be picked
or scraped off.
"Instead of going through the trou-
ble and expense of attaching thou-
sands of little labels to fruits and vege-
tables in the packinghouse, each item
can be marked or branded with a quick
burst of laser light, producing legible
words, logos and price-look-up codes,"
Etxeberria said.
He said that the laser-etching tech-
nology, which does not affect the taste

Ed Etxeberria, left, and Greg Drouillard adjust
laser-labeling equipment at UF's Citrus Research
and Education Center in Lake Alfred. PHOTO BY

or quality of fruits and vegetables,
cuts a few millionths of an inch or
microns into the skin of fresh pro-
duce, creating a pinhole dot. These tiny
pinhole depressions form dot-matrix
alphanumerical characters that show
price-look-up or PLU codes required
for electronic scanners in stores. The
laser can also add other readable or
coded information to improve food
safety, security and traceability, such
as harvest date, country of origin and
brand identification.
Etxeberria's studies at UF's Citrus
Research and Education Center in Lake
Alfred are aimed at refining the tech-
nology for citrus, lemons, tomatoes and
avocados as well as apples, peaches,
peppers, potatoes and other produce.
Preeti Sood, a UF graduate student in
the horticultural sciences department,
is assisting with the research.
"We are refining the laser technology
to reduce any potential problems such
as water loss, decay or damage during
shipping and storage," Etxeberria said.
"Tests in our lab, packing house and at
the retail level show that the laser tech-
nology can be used on fruits and vege-
tables without any problems. The laser
system offers producers many advan-
tages over the use of old-fashioned
adhesive tags that can foul processing
equipment or come off produce at any
stage of the post-harvest process.

Drouillard, who is now director
of laser technology for Sunkist Growers
Inc. in Fontana, Calif., said the laser
marking system could eventually
replace many of the 20,000 label-
ing machines now being used in the
United States. Sunkist is providing
equipment for Etxeberria's research at
UF's Lake Alfred center.
The vacuum motor used on current
labeling machines uses enough power
to run 12 lasers, and each laser unit can
apply marking to fresh produce at the
rate of 17 pieces per second or 1,200
per minute about double the fastest
sticker machines. He said the switch
to lasers will reduce labeling costs by
more than half while also improving
food safety and speeding up scanning
at the check-out counter.
"The Food and Drug Administration
is reviewing Sunkist's petition for
approval of the laser labeling process,
following more than two years of test-
ing to certify the technology is safe and
effective," Drouillard said. "We hope to
have their approval in the near future."
ED ETXEBERRIA (863) 956-1151
GREG DROUILLARD (909) 782-6282


Mention sturgeon to a Floridian these days, and
they might flinch. The armor-plated fish have
made news recently by body-checking boaters,
but the animals might soon develop a new reputation as
cash cows.
Sturgeon farmers across the Sunshine State say market-
able yields of caviar could begin within the next year. It's an
effort almost 20 years in the making, but could be a multi-
million dollar boon in just a few more, according to the
man who instigated much of the work, Frank Chapman, an
associate professor of fisheries and aquatic sciences at UF's
Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences.
"This year and next will show you the proof that this will
be a big thing here," Chapman said. "Soon, it's going to be a
big thing everywhere."
Historically, caviar has been harvested from sturgeon
found in the wild. However, overfishing for the pricy del-
icacy drove populations to dangerously low levels world-
wide early in the last century. While some populations
have rebounded, harvesting wild caviar is still outlawed or
severely restricted in many areas of the United States.
"So now, we say 'why don't we just raise them on farms?'
And that's what we have done," Chapman said.
The idea has its roots in California, where Serge
Doroshov, a professor at the University of California, Davis,
and a few of his students, including Chapman, began rais-
ing white sturgeon in the 1980s. Since then, the idea has
spawned a profitable business, but one that's limited because
California law restricts species raised for commercial use to
those native to that state.


"We can grow many varieties here in Florida, especially
those that people want to eat," said Ricardo Armelin, the
operator of Rokaviar Sturgeon Farm near Homestead. His
facility is setting up methods to process and package its first
yield of highly desirable Siberian sturgeon caviar by the end
of this year.
Rokaviar, like several other farms, began much of its stock
with fish supplied by Chapman. Collaborating with these
farms, Chapman also developed husbandry techniques that
help the fish mature in as little as six years nearly four to
10 years faster than their wild counterparts.
Jim Michaels, manager for Sarasota's Mote Marine
Laboratory's Sturgeon Aquaculture Project, said his test
facility has already produced two small batches of caviar.
"Our hope is and we're well on our way is to work over
the next several years to hit 2.5 tons a year," he said.
The nature of caviar production makes upcoming yields
difficult to predict. However, Chapman estimates that cav-
iar, if well accepted by investors, could become a $100
million statewide industry in the next 10 to 20 years,
which would likely make it Florida's largest aquaculture
However, the Sunshine State won't be the only major cav-
iar producer in the United States at least not for long.
Chapman is helping develop programs at the University of
Hawaii and the University of Georgia. The growing popular-
ity, he said, is a sign that people are starting to get the right
idea about a misunderstood fish.
Gulf sturgeon swam into the spotlight this summer after
several incidents where the leaping fish-which can grow
to 8 feet and have hard plates along their backs -
collided with and injured boaters.
"People hear all about these crazy fish, and
they say, 'why would you want to raise those
things?'" Chapman said. "And I tell them, they
are beautiful animals that give us beautiful food.
Besides, they're very nice and docile. When they
swim up, I can touch them." : STU HUTSON
FRANK CHAPMAN (352) 392-9617

Frank Chapman holds a shortnose sturgeon at UF's fisheries
and aquatic sciences department in Gainesville. He said the
fish,which is native to Florida and currentlyan endangered
species, has ideal characteristics for culture and produces a
high numberof eggs- up to 30 percent of its body weight.
The caviar is large, similarto preferred sturgeon species such
as Beluga, Osetra and Sevruga. PHOTO BY THOMAS WRIGHT

with Soil-Moisture Sensors

oil-moisture sensors hooked
to sprinkler systems could
put a huge dent in homeown-
ers' utility bills and help conserve
much-needed water, a new University
of Florida study says.
Researcher Michael Dukes found
that for three of four rain sensors
tested, water savings ranged from
69 percent to 92 percent, compared
to grass watered without the help of
"The savings turnaround could be
pretty rapid," said Dukes, an associ-
ate professor in the agricultural and
biological engineering department,
part of UF's Institute of Food and
Agricultural Sciences.
That's partly because in recent
years, soil-moisture sensors have
become less expensive, smaller and
more accurate, he said.
"The cost is changing rapidly. A few
years back, a $400 list price and about
$100 to install was common, but now
we're seeing products in the $100 to
$200 range," he said. A typical Florida
yard would require one sensor, though
larger landscapes would likely need
more. To get the biggest savings, the
irrigation system and the sensors must
be in good repair, well designed and
properly installed, Dukes said.
The sensor, buried ideally in the
driest part of the lawn, overrides the
automatic irrigation system if the lawn
doesn't need water.
In the study, accepted for publi-
cation in the Journal of Irrigation and
Drainage Engineering, UF researchers
tested four types of rain sensors. The
more recent study dovetails with an
earlier one by the same researchers -
published in the journal's September-
October issue that showed
homeowners could reduce water con-
sumption by a third simply by setting

Michael Dukes holds a soil moisture sensor and
data logger used for motnitoringsoilwater content
in turfgrass research plots at the University of

their lawn-watering systems to more
closely match plant needs, according
to the season.
In the most recent study, each sen-
sor was tested at irrigation frequencies
of one, two or seven days a week. The
one- and two-day watering frequencies
most closely resemble typical watering
restrictions in Florida. Data was col-
lected from July 20 to Dec. 14 of 2004
and March 25 to Aug. 31 in 2005.
On average, studies have shown that
U.S. homeowners use about 50 percent
more water outdoors than indoors.
And water officials say lawn irrigation
accounts for nearly half the potable
water used in South Florida.
Taking the human component out of
the watering process certainly seems
to help reduce overwatering, said
Kathy Scott, section manager for con-
servation projects with the Southwest
Florida Water Management District,
which sets water policy for some 4.5
million residents.
But Scott said her agency remains
cautious and not quite ready to urge
homeowners to run out and buy a soil-
moisture sensor just yet. That may
happen, though, after more study of
homeowners' watering habits.

"We are going to end up with a
whole list of best management prac-
tices, so that we'll be able to tell peo-
ple exactly how to use the sensors," she
said. "We know they save water, we
know that. But what we don't know is
what happens when the dial is in the
homeowner's hands"'
Many residents don't realize how
little irrigation most lawns need, she
said. Often, those trying to start a new
lawn take advantage of less-restrictive
watering rules unwittingly giving
their new lawn a poor start.
"If you water too much, the roots
don't have any incentive to grow deep,
so you end up with a lawn that's weak,
susceptible to pests, disease and has
shallow roots," Scott said.
It just seems to be human nature to
overdo it, she said.
"My sense, from talking to people
about this, is that they think if a little
water's good, a lot is better." '
MICHAEL DUKES (352) 392-1864
KATHY SCOTT (800) 423-1476

Jefferson Science Fellow

Janaki Alavalapati, left, who is on a 12-month fellowship at the U.S.
Department of State in Washington, D.C., met with Secretary of State
Condoleezza Rice on Oct. 4, 2007. U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE PHOTO

Janaki Alavalapati, a professor in UF's School of
Forest Resources and Conservation, is serving as a 2007
Jefferson Science Fellow at the U.S. Department of State
in Washington, D.C. He began the 12-month fellowship in
August 2007, and he is serving as a senior adviser for inter-
national energy affairs.

Family Album Radio Award

Suzanna Smith, left, and Donna Davis prepare to record Family Album Radio
in the studios of WUFT-FM in Gainesville. UF/IFAS FILE PHOTO

"Family Album Radio," a daily, two-minute radio pro-
gram produced by UF's Institute of Food and Agricultural
Sciences in cooperation with UF's College of Journalism and
Communications, received the 2007 Media Award from the
Council on Contemporary Families (CCF) at its 10th anni-
versary conference in Chicago.
The award for coverage of American families was pre-
sented April 18, 2007 to Suzanna Smith, an associate pro-
fessor, and Donna Davis, senior producer and host of Family
Album Radio. Both are part of UF's family, youth and com-
munity sciences department. Smith also serves as executive
producer of the program for the UF Extension Service.
Davis said Family Album Radio presents "snapshots of our
changing families" based on current academic peer-reviewed

He is one of eight scientists and engineers nationwide
selected for the position, and the first faculty member from
any Florida institution to be named a Jefferson Science
Fellow. Alavalapati specializes in researching market solu-
tions to natural resources, environmental and energy con-
servation problems.
As a fellow, he will work with senior diplomats and policy
makers providing scientific advice on complex U.S. foreign
policy and international relations. He will return to UF in
August 2008, but remain available to the government as an
expert consultant for short-term projects for an additional
five years.
Individuals are selected for the program through a com-
petition administered by the National Academy of Sciences
and the Office of the Science and Technology Adviser to the
Secretary of State. Fellows are selected on the basis of scien-
tific achievements, communication skills and interest in sci-
ence and engineering policy. E TOM NORDLIE
alavalapatijr@state.gov or janaki@ufl.edu

family social science research. She said judges liked the
excellent choice of topics and the program's fit with the
goals of CCF.
The program is distributed nationally via National Public
Radio, commercial radio stations and the Internet at
www.familyalbumradio.org. In North Central Florida, the
program is aired on WUFT-FM in Gainesville and WJUF-FM
in Inverness.
The CCF media awards were established in 2002 as part
of the council's commitment to enhancing the public under-
standing of trends in American family life. "All too often,
changes in U.S. family patterns are painted in stark, better-
or-worse terms that ignore the nuanced and complex reali-
ties of family life today," Smith said.
Smith said the awards committee looked for radio pro-
grams that put individual family issues in larger social con-
text. This kind of coverage offers the public a balanced pic-
ture of the trade-offs, strengths and weaknesses in many
different family arrangements and structures, she said.
Family Album Radio was one of five award winners rec-
ognized by CCF. The outstanding print coverage award
was presented to Time magazine, and a PBS production by
Thirteen/WNET in New York was recognized for outstanding
video coverage. E CHUCK WOODS
SUZANNA SMITH (352) 392-1778


(352) 392-1778

28 IMPACT I Spring 2008

UF Awards for Agricultural Leaders






Four alumni from UF's College of Agricultural and Life
Sciences (CALS) and a UF honorary alumnus recently
received awards for outstanding contributions to the col-
lege and university as well as the state's agriculture, natural
resource and life science industries, and related professions.
During UF's Sept. 15, 2007 "Tailgator" celebration,
Kathleen Eubanks and Rick Minton Jr. each received the
CALS Alumni and Friends Award of Distinction, and James
Stice received the CALS Alumni and Friends Horizon
Award. The Horizon Award is presented to CALS alumni
who have completed their most recent UF degree during the
past 10 years. The awards were given to Eubanks, Minton
and Stice by Kirby Barrick, dean of the college.

At Tailgator, the UF Alumni Association presented its
Honorary Alumnus Award to U.S. Rep. Allen Boyd for
his significant contributions to the university. Boyd, who
attended UF from 1963 to 1965, served in the Florida House
of Representatives from 1989 to 1996. Jimmy Cheek, UF
senior vice president for agriculture and natural resources,
presented the award to Boyd.
During the Aug. 11 summer commencement program,
the UF Alumni Association also recognized Charles "Chip"
Hinton with its Distinguished Alumnus Award one of the
association's most prestigious accolades. Barrick presented
the award to Hinton.
Eubanks received her bachelor's and master's degrees in
animal science in 1974 and 1976, respectively. Her lifelong
career includes managing her family's 2,400 acre cow-calf
operation in Micanopy, Fla.
Born and raised in Fort Pierce, Fla., Minton received
his bachelor's degree in horticultural sciences and master's
degree in agricultural management and resource develop-
ment in 1972 and 1973, respectively. In 1992, he was elected
to the Florida House of Representatives where he served
District 78 for eight years. Minton continues his involve-
ment with many agriculture-related and community organi-
zations. His contributions to UF include serving as a mem-
ber of the IFAS Development Program and as chairman
of the advisory board for UF's Indian River Research and
Education Center in Fort Pierce.
A native of Marianna, Fla., Stice received dual bachelor's
degrees in animal science and agricultural operations man-
agement in 1997. He is currently employed with U.S. Sugar
Corporation and is a member of the Florida Cattlemen's
Association and National Cattlemen's Beef Association. In
2005, Stice was recognized by UF Block and Bridle as an
Honorary Alumni Member.
Hinton, who received his bachelor's, master's and doc-
toral degrees from CALS, served as executive director of the
Florida Strawberry Growers Association from 1982 to 2006.
He is a past president of the Florida Agricultural Council,
an industry group that assists UF in the Florida Legislature.
Hinton also serves on many other organizations, including
the board of the Florida Fruit and Vegetable Association, the
Florida Agricultural Hall of Fame, the Florida Ag Institute,
the Southwest Florida Water Management District and the
Florida 4-H State Leadership Advisory Committee. U



(352) 392-1961
(352) 392-1963

IMPACT I Spring 2008 29

J. Paul Getty Award

A former graduate student in
UF's wildlife ecology and conserva-
tion department has been awarded
the 2007 J. Paul Getty Award for
Conservation Leadership.
Ullas Karanth, who earned his mas-
ter's degree in 1988 from UF's College
of Agricultural and Life Sciences, now
works in India, where he earned his
doctoral degree in applied zoology at
Mangalore University in 1993.
He has worked toward the conser-
vation of Asian elephants and tigers,
helped create three protected land
areas in the Western Ghats and done
innovative work on voluntary resettle-
ment to benefit both people and wild-
life. He is currently director of the

Wildlife Conservation Society in India
and oversees a postgraduate program
in wildlife biology and conservation
at the National Centre for Biological
Sciences in Bangalore.
The J. Paul Getty Award for
Conservation Leadership is given to a
single recipient each year and estab-
lishes a $200,000 fellowship in the
recipient's name to support conserva-
tion-related education and training.
He received the award Oct. 16 at a cer-
emony in Washington, D.C. E
JOHN HAYES (352) 846-0552
ULLAS KARANTH ukaranth@gmail.com


Neil Shay, a leading nutritional sci-
entist with Kellogg Company and UF
alumnus, began serving as the new
chairman of the university's food sci-
ence and human nutrition department
on Nov. 3, 2007.
In announcing the appointment,
Jimmy Cheek, UF senior vice pres-
ident for agriculture and natural
resources, said Shay is an exceptional
scientist and scholar with an outstand-
ing record of achievements.

"Dr. Shay's expertise lies in under-
standing how the availability of nutri-
ents affects gene expression and
metabolism," Cheek said. "We are for-
tunate to have successfully recruited
him to UF's Institute of Food and
Agricultural Sciences, and we look for-
ward to his leadership and continuing
Shay said he is pleased to return
to UF, where he earned his doctor-
ate in biochemistry and molecular
biology in 1990 and did postdoctoral
research work from 1990-92 with the
Center for Nutritional Sciences and
the food science and human nutrition
As chair, his goals for the depart-
ment include modernizing research
and teaching laboratories, making new
hires to replace retiring longtime fac-
ulty, finding ways to better serve the
increasing numbers of students pursu-
ing the undergraduate nutrition major,
and expanding linkages to the health
sciences and engineering.
Shay worked for Kellogg from 2005
until he joined the UF faculty. At
Kellogg, he became the company's lead

scientist responsible for evaluating
bioactivity and efficacy of novel func-
tional food ingredients.
From 2000 to 2005 he was an asso-
ciate professor of biological sciences
with the University of Notre Dame,
and from 1993 to 1999 he was a faculty
member with the University of Illinois
at Urbana-Champaign, where he held
several positions.
At UF, he was a National Institutes
of Health-National Research Service
Award postdoctoral research fellow in
1991-92 and a postdoctoral research
associate in 1990-91. Shay was a grad-
uate research assistant in the UF
College of Medicine's biochemistry
and molecular biology department
from 1985 until he earned his doctor-
ate in 1990.
Shay received a master's degree
in physics and education from the
University of Massachusetts Amherst
in 1979 and a bachelor of science
degree in zoology from Amherst in
JIMMY CHEEK (352) 392-1971

30 IMPACT I Spring 2008


New Department Chair

Entomological Society Fellow

The Entomological Society of
America has selected Nan-Yao Su, a
professor of entomology at UF's Fort
Lauderdale Research and Education
Center, as an ESA Fellow for his out-
standing research, teaching and

extension contributions. He was rec-
ognized Dec. 9, 2007 in San Diego,
Calif., at the society's annual meeting.
Su is an international author-
ity on termites, including the highly
destructive Formosan termite. His
research led to the development
of the Sentricon Termite Colony
Elimination System marketed by Dow
AgroSciences LLC in 18 countries. The
product has reduced pesticide use by
more than 6,000 metric tons.
"Conventional pesticide treatments
may keep termites out of buildings,
but they don't control termite colo-
nies in the ground," Su said. "Unlike
traditional barrier control methods,
our new system eliminates under-
ground colonies of both subterranean
and Formosan termites a first for the
pest control industry."

Su's expertise prompted the
National Park Service to seek his help
in stopping termite infestations at his-
toric landmarks such as the Statue of
Liberty, the Cabildo and Presbytere
in New Orleans' French Quarter, San
Cristobol in San Juan, Puerto Rico, and
the Christiansted National Historic
Site in St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands.
He joined the faculty of UF's
Institute of Food and Agricultural
Sciences in 1984. Su completed his
bachelor's and master's degrees in seri-
cultural science at Kyoto Institute of
Technology in Japan, and received his
doctoral degree in entomology from
the University of Hawaii. E


(954) 577-6339

Distinguished Mentor Award


Kevin Folta, an assistant professor
in the horticultural sciences depart-
ment, is the first faculty member in
UF's Institute of Food and Agricultural
Sciences to receive the Howard
Hughes Distinguished Mentor Award.
The award was presented to him in
March 2007.
Now in its second year, the pro-
gram recognizes researchers who

extend their research to undergrad-
uate students. During the past four
years, Folta has hosted research
appointments for 17 undergraduate
students, and five of them have con-
tributed to peer-reviewed scientific
journals. Overall, the undergraduate
research findings have been presented
in more than 20 abstracts and poster
sessions at national and international
The award is funded by the Howard
Hughes Medical Institute as part of
the UF's Science for Life program.
Each winner receives approximately
$10,000 in funding to help develop
and promote undergraduate research.
Folta's award has been earmarked for
summer undergraduate internships to
foster interest in graduate opportuni-
ties in plant science, such as those in
UF's plant molecular and cellular biol-
ogy graduate program.
Folta, who joined the UF faculty in
2002, has a dual research focus. He

studies how various quantities, colors
and durations of light treatment can
affect important plant traits, such as
stature, yield, or the timing of flower-
ing. He also directs an internationally
recognized strawberry genomics pro-
gram and is the editor for the forth-
coming book, Genetics and Genomics of
the Rosaceae.
He received his bachelor's degree
in biological sciences from Northern
Illinois University in 1989 and his doc-
toral degree in molecular biology from
University of Illinois in 1998.
The Howard Hughes Medical
Institute, headquartered in Chevy
Chase, Md., is a nonprofit medical
research organization and one of the
nation's largest philanthropies that
helps advance biomedical research
and science education in the United
KEVIN FOLTA (352) 392-1928

IMPACT I Spring 2008 31

Friends of Agricultural Economics

U.S. Rep. Adam Putnam was rec-
ognized Sept. 18 as one of two 2007
Friends of Agricultural Economics
for his appreciation of economics
as applied to policy issues involving

agriculture, natural resources, food
and nutrition.
The Council on Food, Agricultural
and Resource Economics (C-FARE)
also honored Connecticut Rep. Rosa
The awards were announced at a
reception in Washington, D.C. Tom
Spreen, chairman of UF's food and
resource economics department,
and vice president of the National
Association of Agricultural Economics
Administrators (NAAEA), nominated
Putnam for the honor. The recep-
tion was held in connection with the
NAAEA's biannual meeting on eco-
nomics policies and funding issues
important to researchers and agricul-
tural producers.
Elected to Congress on November
7, 2000, Putnam is a native of Bartow,

Fla., and received a bachelor's degree
in food and resource economics from
UF's College of Agricultural and Life
Sciences in 1996. He currently serves
on the Capital Markets, Insurance and
Government Sponsored Enterprises
subcommittee of the U.S. House
Financial Services Committee. Before
being elected to Congress, he worked
in his family's citrus and cattle busi-
ness. He also served four years in the
Florida House of Representatives.
C-FARE is a nonprofit organiza-
tion dedicated to strengthening the
national presence of the agricultural
economics profession. E
TOM SPREEN (352) 392-1826

Florida Agricultural Hall of Fame

Alto Straughn, a former assistant
director of UF's statewide extension
service, was inducted into the Florida
Agricultural Hall of Fame in February
2008 in recognition of his many con-
tributions to Florida agriculture.
Straughn's career in agricultural
research, education and commercial
farming spans more than 50 years,
and his leadership in blueberry and
watermelon farming continues to

strengthen agriculture in the Sunshine
Born in Walton County in 1934,
Straughn attended UF's College of
Agricultural and Life Sciences, where
he earned bachelor's degrees in ani-
mal science and vocational agriculture
with high honors. In 1957, he com-
pleted a master's degree in animal sci-
ence at UF, also with high honors.
Upon graduation, Straughn began
raising cattle and growing watermel-
ons. In 1959, he also began working
as a UF extension agent in Marion
County. Three years later, with the aid
of a Kellogg Foundation grant, he went
to the University of Wisconsin where
he completed his doctorate in exten-
sion administration in 1963.
Straughn then became an assistant
professor and extension program spe-
cialist with UF's Institute of Food and
Agricultural Sciences. In 1969, he
became assistant director of the exten-
sion service, and he was named direc-
tor of program evaluation and orga-
nizational development in 1971.
Throughout his career, Straughn also

has been actively involved in the 4-H
youth development program.
After his retirement in 1989 from
UF as professor emeritus in the agri-
cultural education and communica-
tion department, Straughn continued
to expand his cattle, blueberry, timber
and watermelon farming operations to
more than 2,000 acres in three loca-
tions near Gainesville.
Straughn's innovation and leader-
ship in blueberry production has been
crucial to the success of the $40 mil-
lion industry in Florida. He now pro-
duces about one-third of all blueber-
ries in Florida, and works closely with
UF researchers to conduct blueberry
variety trials and demonstrate new
production technologies at his farms.
He also has been an innovator for
the Florida watermelon industry -
one of the early adopters of new water-
melon production technologies on his
farms, including polyethylene mulch
and drip irrigation. CHUCK WOODS
JIMMY CHEEK (352) 392-1971

32 IMPACT I Spring 2008

Remembering a Leader

Kenneth Ray Tefertiller, head of
UF's Institute of Food and Agricultural
Sciences from 1973 to 1988, died Nov.
13, 2007 at the age of 77.
He joined the UF faculty in 1965
when he became chairman of the
food and resource economics depart-
ment. He retired in 2000 as professor
Tefertiller will be remembered for
his successes in keeping Florida agri-
culture competitive nationally and
internationally, yet compatible with the
state's environment. He took leadership

AAAS Fellow

Peter Hansen, a professor of ani-
mal science in UF's Institute of Food
and Agricultural Sciences, has been
named a 2007 Fellow in the American

of IFAS as Florida agriculture began
confronting challenges from urban
growth, environmental concerns and
dramatically rising fuel costs. He also
initiated new programs in biotechnol-
ogy, energy efficiency, integrated pest
management and water conservation.
Born in Noble, Okla., Tefertiller
earned a bachelor's degree in agricul-
tural sciences from Oklahoma State
University in 1952. He served in the
U.S. Army from 1952-54, where he
attained the rank of major.
In 1955 he began his teaching career,
working as an instructor at Oklahoma
State and earning a master's degree
in agricultural economics there in
1957. He earned a doctorate in agricul-
tural economics from the University of
Illinois in 1959. Then he joined Texas
A&M University, where he became an
associate professor and chairman of the
production economics section of the
agricultural economics and sociology
During his academic career,
Tefertiller held numerous leader-
ship positions, including posts as pres-
ident of the Southern Agricultural
Economics Association in 1971-72 and

Association for the Advancement of
Science. He was recognized for his
contributions in reproductive biol-
ogy in February 2008 in Boston at the
association's annual meeting.
His research focuses on the effects
of elevated temperature on early
embryonic development, embryo
transfer as a reproductive management
strategy to overcome infertility in
dairy cows, and interactions between
the immune system, the reproductive
tract and the embryo. He also teaches
graduate courses in reproductive phys-
iology and environmental physiology.
Hansen has published more than
190 refereed papers and received
many awards, including the Herr
Award from the American Society for
Reproductive Immunology and the

president of the American Agricultural
Economics Association in 1974. In 1995
he served as a delegate to the White
House Conference on Small Business.
His many honors included a Man
of the Year award from Progressive
Farmer magazine, the Distinguished
Alumni Award from Oklahoma State
University, the Distinguished Service
Award from the Florida Fruit and
Vegetable Association and a White Hat
Award from the Agribusiness Institute
of Florida.
He also received an Honorary
Lifetime Achievement Award from
the Southern Agricultural Economics
Association in 1998, the E.T. York
Distinguished Service Award from UF/
IFAS in 2000 and was inducted into
the Florida Agricultural Hall of Fame
in 2003.
Through the University of Florida
Foundation, Tefertiller and his wife
established the Kenneth R. and
Waynell Tefertiller Endowment, pro-
viding financial assistance to students
in UF's College of Agricultural and Life
JIMMY CHEEK (352) 392-1971

Physiology and Endocrinology Award
from the American Society for Animal
Science. He is a past-president of the
American Society for Reproductive
Immunology and has served on the
editorial boards of several publica-
tions, including the Journal of Dairy
Science and Biology of Reproduction.
He joined the faculty in UF's animal
sciences department in 1984. Hansen
received his bachelor's degree in agri-
cultural sciences from the University
of Illinois. He also completed his mas-
ter's and doctoral degrees in endocri-
nology-reproductive physiology at the
University of Wisconsin. E
PETER HANSEN (352) 392-5590

IMPACT I Spring 2008 33


Tom and Mary Braddock. PHOTO COURTESY OF

Thomas H. and Mary J. Braddock
Thomas H. and Mary J. Braddock
included a charitable bequest in their
estate plans currently valued at $1.7
million designated for UF's Institute
of Food and Agricultural Sciences.
Their bequest will one day estab-
lish "The Thomas H. and Mary J.
Braddock Eminent Scholar Chair for
the Department of Animal Sciences."
Their future gift will also create two
additional endowment funds entitled
"The Thomas H. and Mary J. Braddock
4-H Leadership Program Fund" as
well as "The Thomas H. and Mary J.
Braddock Duval County 4-H Fund:'
Tom retired from IFAS extension in
Duval County after more than 39 years
of service as county extension direc-
tor and remains actively engaged in
raising timber and beef cattle. He and
his spouse, Mary, reside in Fernandina
Beach, Fla.

Marion County Farm Bureau
Establishes Endowment
The Marion County Farm Bureau
established a $100,000 scholarship
endowment to benefit undergraduate
students in the College of Agricultural

Jimmy Cheek, left, UFseniorvice presidentfor
agriculture and natural resources, accepts a
$100,000 check from Richard Barberofthe
Marion County Farm Bureau.Also presentforthe
ceremony were Todd Dailey, Marion County Farm
Bureau scholarship chairman, and Ken DeVries,
assistantvice president for IFAS development.

and Life Sciences who hail from
Marion County and pursue agricul-
tural careers. The endowment is eligi-
ble for up to $50,000 in state match-
ing funds.

Joye Giglia Endowment Fund
The Lake Region Chapter of the
Florida Nurserymen, Landscape
and Growers Association pledged
$100,000 to benefit "The Joye Giglia
Endowment Fund." Frank Giglia, Lake
Region Chapter's president, spear-
headed the endowment, which was
established in memory of his wife,
Joye. The fund will support innovative
agricultural research at UF/IFAS.

The W. Bernard and Elaine P
Lester Student Development
W. Bernard and Elaine P. Lester
pledged $100,000 to establish "The W.
Bernard and Elaine P. Lester Student
Development Endowment." Income
generated from their endowment gift
will support College of Agricultural
and Life Sciences student participa-
tion in the National Agri-Marketing
Association, Quiz Bowl, and other

Alto and Patrecia Straughn. PHOTO COURTESY OF

competitive and personal skill
enhancement activities.

The Alto and Patrecia Straughn
Extension Professional
Development Center
Alto Straughn and his wife, Patrecia,
have given $600,000 toward the con-
struction of the new "Alto and Patrecia
Straughn Extension Professional
Development Center," which will
serve as a home for all professional
development activities of IFAS exten-
sion professionals throughout the
state of Florida. Straughn was a driv-
ing force behind professional devel-
opment efforts for county faculty in
Florida. He dedicated much of his pro-
fessional career to assisting county and
state extension faculty members with
improving their effectiveness as edu-
cators. He and Patrecia stay busy with
their beef cattle, blueberry, water-
melon and timber farming operations,
which cover more than 2,000 acres
around Gainesville. The Straughn's
gift is eligible for a 100 percent state
match from the Alec P. Courtelis
Facilities Enhancement Challenge
Grant Program.

34 IMPACT I Spring 2008


"Private Gifts Providing the Margin of Excellence"

The IFAS Development program serves as the cen-
tral fundraising effort to secure private support for the
University of Florida's Institute of Food and Agricultural
Sciences in partnership with the SHARE Council direct sup-
port organization and the University of Florida Foundation
Inc. Charitable gifts provide the "margin of excellence" for
IFAS academic programs, research, extension and facilities.

There are several ways to support IFAS:
Charitable Bequests (wills and trusts)
Real Estate (residential or farmland)
Life Income Gifts (charitable remainder trusts, annuities,
retained life estates and retirement planning)
Stocks (especially appreciated stocks)
Life Insurance (new or existing policy)

Endowments are named, permanent funds that pro-
vide annual renewable support for donor-designated IFAS
programs. Endowments are managed and invested by the
University of Florida Foundation. As of December 31, 2007,
there are more than 250 UF/IFAS endowments valued at
more than $93 million established by individual College of
Agricultural and Life Sciences alumni, businesses, associa-
tions and friends of UF/IFAS.

* IFAS Endowment Values
(as of 12/31/2007)




2003 2004 2005 2006 2007

The state of Florida currently provides generous
matching funds for endowed gifts of $100,000 or more
through its Major Gifts Trust Fund, according to the
following state matching gift levels:
$100,000 to $599,999............................... ....... 50%
$600,000 to $1,000,000................................. 70%
$1,000,001 to $1,500,000........................... 75%
$1,500,001 to $2,000,000 ...............................80%
$2,000,001 or more....................................... 100%

The Alec P. Courtelis Facilities Enhancement Challenge
Grant Program provides 100 percent matches for gifts to
construct or renovate UF/IFAS academic buildings.

In July 2005, the University of Florida initiated its third
and largest ever comprehensive campaign with a goal to
raise $1.5 billion in private gifts. To enhance support for its
teaching, research and extension programs and facilities,
IFAS has set its unit campaign goal at $100 million.

Faculty Support ......................................... $42,500,000
Graduate Support ........................................ $9,000,000
Undergraduate Student Support ..................$8,000,000
Program Support and Research.................. $29,500,000
Campus Enhancement............................... $11,000,000
Total ......................... ........................... $100,000,000

IFAS Florida Tomorrow
Campaign Totals
(07/01/2005 -12/31/2007)
90,000,000 . .
70,000,000 62,907,249


13 82005.



IMPACT I Spring2008 35

Ken DeVries, assistant vice president for IFAS Development (352) 392-5424
Josh McCoy, director of development (352) 392-5427
Joe Mandernach, director of development (352) 392-5457
OFFICE: (352) 392-1975 FAX: (352) 392-5115
WEB SITE: http://share.ifas.ufl.edu

* Agricultur
Aquac ijuuro. CrJ.un. Crops. r Dore-i
AResfIot. Liveblock NLricvry
Sreatuei. Orgarc S afery
S inll Fral'. Turl Scuo

* Environment
Etcaysle-rra A Spces. t,'a'r,
RK. I~anr.t E".r m I ., r* Ce

* Families & Consumers
Agrg & CGaf.gJ r.g. rnclrnr.
rcod Salea, Healr.A& hutrcwr. Iiouse
HCOlO. Morey Morncl. Roolicrnos..

P Lawn & Garden
Cat,-aor, Glrg sblaynec. IMar-rra.cee
Caw. Pal:I C. G'assne R otwte*.
Types clGarOcr'a irusir
FPolonec.0 A *Z rPde

* Sustalnablo Living
Aqculaic, EI riorwn-e-l. LA*r &
Gnrrer Corsuurcrs. I.-volvad Cl.a"s.
Glofrirrtur; .isuOS. OBkcrg &
CrcrtnuxLor, Larc Usan c-. elOnrr-

* Disaster Prep & Recovey

S4-H Youth Development



Valentine's Day Flowers Upcoming Events

Keep 'your freh flowers alii Io ger-and
ex*ra your good feelings-Dy folil-ing
these easy seeps MW->r

Heart Health: Show Your Love
Celebrate Nalional Heart Moilh with our
top bsn ups for hearthealmy acavioei.
meals and snacks *'.*'*

Bats in Florida
Bats-Eie only flying rrnaimmals-progOe a
valuable service by eanng rosquites
and o er night-flying insects iA..

Weight Loss & Healthy Living
Start ao the new year by making healthy
Iiestye changes. Use our nos to rrake
yo I resolutions stck.' YVnr

Keep Plants Safe from the Cold
Even mild winlers can te t ugth on
omamen'als Learn hoI m protect your
plants and leril them recover Yj ,

Citrus Greening Disease
Hu-r.glongbing (HLB) is a senous ctrus
disease Mii affects all cmrus culvvars and
causes. tre decline vor

* Featured E.ven'.

* LxAensi'" Events Calenda'
* Con-ur.g Eouca':="
Tra:ning & CEOs

IFAS Resources

* EIS I'-AS PubhliGaCLns
* Ehten5C'c 82c2sE'fl
* IFA5 News

SFA~''IN lo3 a 4~lpmaIe
Wealrer Ne?;ork4
Thr D. s-sar', andbrio*

Main IFAS Units

Ir.n:iLIe o' FoC and
A.g.ulrcural Sic.ences iFAS:
S\IFAS RespearCP.

College c- AgrlceulLral ana
Lre Sci -ces .CALS:

Q2 RSS Foods

M Varr r.-*- Tap'c"

36 IMPACT I Spring2008

. v e rs ty 4 l o ri d

Solutions for Your Life

R ound-the-clock access to
useful, research-based
information from the
University of Florida is now just
a few clicks away!
Launched by the UF Extension
Service in May 2006, the
www. SolutionsForYourLife.com
Web site offers a wide range of
information from UF's Institute
LARRYARRINGTON of Food and Agricultural
Sciences, as well as partnering
agencies and institutions.
"Solutions For Your Life isn't meant to replace direct
contact with our extension offices in all 67 Florida
counties, but it supplements what our offices can do:'
said Larry Arrington, dean for extension. "Because
the Web site is available 24/7, it lets users browse or
research information on their own schedule. And it
links our clientele with all three branches of IFAS -
the Florida Cooperative Extension Service, Florida
Agricultural Experiment Station and the College of
Agricultural and Life Sciences."
With thousands of how-to publications, educa-
tional programs, technical reports and other materi-
als, Solutions for Your Life helps UF extension fac-
ulty serve their clients more effectively. The Web site,
which receives about 1,000 visits daily, is one of the
largest and most sophisticated extension Web sites in
the nation, Arrington said.
The home page contains six permanent topics -
agriculture, community development, environment,
families and consumers, 4-H youth development, and
lawn and garden. Each topic has its own Web page to
help users find specific information.
In the popular lawn and garden category, for example,
two new online gardening tools were added recently to

the Solutions For Your Life site a Florida gardening
calendar and a guide to IFAS demonstration gardens
around the state.
The online calendar provides gardeners across the
state with a monthly guide of what to plant and do in
their gardens, all based on IFAS research and expertise.
It was developed in response to common gardening-
related questions that county extension agents receive.
The calendar is available in three editions North
Florida, Central Florida and South Florida-and
provides visitors with links to useful IFAS Web sites
and related publications.
"A lot of people don't know what to do when," said
Sydney Park-Brown, an extension associate professor
of environmental horticulture at the Plant City cam-
pus of UF's Gulf Coast Research and Education Center.
"Each calendar is different and is customized for that
particular area. Plus it also links them to more infor-
mation on the topic or task."
The other new online gardening tool is a guide to the
IFAS-affiliated demonstration gardens throughout
the state. Floridians can visit these gardens to relax,
to learn more about gardening and even to get their
hands dirty during hands-on demonstrations.
"I think anybody that's interested in plants loves to go
to gardens," Brown said. "And the great thing about
the demonstration gardens is that everything is usually
labeled and they offer practical, Florida-friendly land-
scape tips."
Best of all, most of the IFAS extension gardens are
open year-round and are free to the public. "It's nice
to know you've got these resources in your backyard,"
Brown said. U
LARRY ARRINGTON (352) 392-1761


(813) 757-2286

IMPACT I Spring 2008 37

Place Orchid
Video here.

you can make
sense of


IFAS Bookstore products are the results of collaborations be-
tween research scientists and educators from the UF campus,
16 Research and Education Centers and 67 Cooperative Exten-
sion Service offices. We offer books, CDs, DVDs, identification
decks, posters, training and certification manuals, and continuing
education units.

38 IMPACT I Spring 2008




300+ color
210 pp.
SP 257, $24.

172 pp.
3 SP 45, $19.95

Florida Citrus
A Comprehensive Guide
S- .-- 91 color and
51 b/w
413 pp.
SP 278, $30.

Orchids to Know and Grow
64 color and
296 b/w
320 pp.
SP 432,

A Gardener's Guide to
Florida's Native Plants
346 pp.
SP 433,

Florida's Best Native
Landscape Plants
432 pp.
SP 434,

Weeds of Southern
..--... 427 color
208 pp.
SP 79, $14.

Pests That Wreck Your Grass
and Ruin Your Weekend!
S SP 327, $5.

Growing Orchids
SEasier Than
You Think!
60 minutes.
DVD 095,



Natural Areas

152 pp.
SP 43, $15.

IMPACT I Spring2008 39

_~---"I .
j puirr

The University of Florida
Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences
PO Box 110180
Gainesville, FL 32611-0180

T om Emmel, left, an affiliate professor of entomology
with UF's Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences,
and Matt Lehnert, an entomology graduate stu-
dent in UF's College of Agricultural and Life Sciences, look at
a preserved specimen of the Homerus swallowtail butterfly
(Papilio homers) at UF's McGuire Center for Lepidoptera and
Biodiversity in Gainesville.
With a six-inch wingspan, the Homerus is the largest butter-
fly in the Western hemisphere, but it is endangered and found
only in two parts of Jamaica. Lehnert recently published a study
in The Journal of Insect Conservation estimating the size of the
population in western Jamaica to be about 50 adults, requir-
ing conservation and captive breeding to save the insect. The
good news is that the population was larger than expected, said
Emmel, who is Lehnert's graduate advisor. He said only a few
butterflies in the world are bigger. The largest is Papua New
Guinea's Queen Alexandra's birdwing, which has a 12-inch
I Emmel previously helped rescue the endangered Schaus
swallowtail and Miami blue butterflies native to Florida. U
TOM EMMEL (352) 494-7402
I ) MATT LEHNERT (352) 870-4002

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