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Commentary: Is there gold in learning to farm the Pacific blue tang?

By Jack Payne, Senior Vice President UF Institute of Food and Agricultural Science

Ohs and Watson are University of Hockey legend Wayne Gretzky is often quoted in business circles as saying, “I skate to where the puck is going to be, not where it has been.” Cortney Ohs in Fort Pierce and Craig Watson in Ruskin see where the puck is going, though their milieu is water, not ice. They see opportunity headed toward a fish called the Pacific blue tang.

Ohs and Watson are University of Florida/IFAS scientists who specialize in aquaculture. That means they’re research and development leaders for the state’s fish farmers. Simply put, they figure out how to grow cash in tanks.

But Watson and Ohs figure a whole lot of people are going to want it in their tanks next year. The scheduled movie release of “Finding Dory” will suddenly introduce millions of Americans to the iridescent blue fish with the yellow tail, and a portion of those moviegoers undoubtedly will want to take one home with them.

But no one has yet figured out how to raise them in a tank. That’s a lost opportunity for ornamental fish producers along the Treasure Coast, in Tampa, and statewide who are depending on Watson and Ohs to figure it out so they can meet the anticipated spike in demand.

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

Millipede Invasion!

You may have noticed large numbers of millipedes seemingly invading homes and businesses this year. During this particular time of year the Palm Beach County Extension office receives many complaints about millipedes. Download the fact sheet to learn more about millipedes.

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Tips to Reduce and Repel Mosquitos

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends the use of certain products containing active ingredients which have been registered by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for use asrepellents applied to skin and clothing. EPA registration of repellent active ingredients indicates the materials have been reviewed and approved for efficacy and human safety when applied according to the instructions on the label.

CDC evaluation of information contained in peer-reviewed scientific literature and data available from EPA has identified several EPA registered products that provide repellent activity sufficient to help people avoid the bites ofdisease carrying mosquitoes. Products containing these active ingredients typically provide reasonably long-lasting protection:

DEET (Chemical Name: N,N-diethyl-m-toluamide or N,Ndiethyl-3-methyl-benzamide)

Picaridin (KBR 3023, Chemical Name: 2-(2-hydroxyethyl)-1-piperidinecarboxylic acid 1-methylpropyl ester )

Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus* or PMD (Chemical Name: para-Menthane-3,8-diol) the synthesized version of oil of lemon eucalyptus

IR3535 (Chemical Name: 3-[N-Butyl-N-acetyl]-aminopropionic acid, ethyl ester)

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Source: Florida Resident's Guide to Mosquito Control, University of Florida EDIS

Sugarcane Mosaic Virus on St. Augustine grass in Palm Beach County

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The Cattle Identification Rule (Chapter 5C-31, Florida Administrative Code) has been published with an effective date of September 4, 2014. This rule is intended to improve our ability to respond to serious disease outbreaks and to help the industry maintain out-of-state markets.
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Every drop of water that exits your landscape eventually moves on, and may take with it residues resulting from landscaping practices. Water that runs off of your property makes its way to our ground and surface waters, including the Lake Worth Lagoon, the Everglades and the Atlantic Ocean. Click here to view our newest brochure, Protect Palm Beach County’s Water and Environment, which explains how you can use Florida-Friendly Landscaping™ principles to achieve a beautiful, low-maintenance landscape while protecting and preserving our precious environment, ground, and surface waters.

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Article Archives

Cleaning UpYour Cold Damaged Plants
Attracting our Feathered Friends
Bee Cautious, Be Proactive
Cloning Your Fruit Trees
Cold Protection
Home Composting
Easy Houseplants
Edible Landscapes
Flooded Landscapes
Florida Friendly Irrigation Tips
Fragrant Plants
Garden Gifts
Ground Covers
Growing Bananas
Grow Your Own Backyard Veggies
Healthy Palm Pointers from the University of Florida
Herb Gardening in Southern Florida
Holiday Plant Care
Hurricanes Have Taught Us a Lesson
Gardening to Attract Hummingbirds
Non-Aggressive Rooted Trees
Patio Fruit Trees
Pineapple Growing in the Home Landscape
Selecting the Perfect Holiday Tree
Shade Your House, Save Money
Scary Spiders in Mounts Botanical Garden
Spring Flowering Vines
Spring Tree Maintenance
Summer Lovin’ Flowers
Summer Roses
Tomatoes in the Florida Garden
Trees With Benefits- Selecting a Small Tree for the Home Landscape
Tropical Flowering Bulbs for South Florida
Tropical Vegetables for the South Florida Garden
Why is it so important to plant native species?
Cactus and Succulent Container Gardens



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