INCORPORATION OF HANDS-ON STATIONS IMPROVE OUTCOMES IN IRRIGATION BEST MANAGEMENT PRACTICES.
Environmental Horticulture Production Extension Agent
Hillsborough County Extension Service
Nursery container plants are grown in small volumes of soilless substrates in which the water is usually replenished daily often with low application efficiency. A team of state and county UF/IFAS Extension faculty was formed to assist container nursery growers with irrigation practices. The objective of this team was to transfer information and technology about water conservation and water quality impacts on plant production to producers. Workshops were made to incorporate hands-on education and visualization of proper irrigation calibration to increase irrigation efficiency and minimize fertilizer run-off. Hands-on stations such as a field catch-can application test, pH use, blue dye leaching, pour-thru water analysis, and media pore size displays were incorporated into the teaching curricula to supplement typical classroom learning. The Water Team worked with educational partners such as Water Management Districts, County Agencies, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service Mobile Irrigation Lab, South Dade Soil & Water Conservation District Mobile Irrigation Lab, UF/IFAS BMP Implementation Team and Florida Nursery Growers and Landscape Association (FNGLA) members. To date the Water Team has conducted three educational programs in central and south Florida with 92 attendees. Surveys and pre- and post-evaluations were conducted to measure changes. Participants reported knowledge increased from 24 –71% across educational programs. Six month follow up survey respondents from one regional program reported 8 out of 12 (67%) changing production practices with the knowledge from the workshop. 6 out of 10 (60%) increasing production or saving money as a result of attending the UF/IFAS Extension Irrigation BMP Workshop.
Poster has NOT been presented at any previous NACAA AM/PIC
This poster is being submitted for judging. It will be displayed at the AM/PIC if not selected as a State winner. The abstract will be published in the proceedings.
A poster file has not been provided
Authors: S.T. Steed, V. Campoverde., E. Skvarch, T. Yeager, P. Fisher
Steed, S. Environmental Horticulture Production Extension Agent, Hillsborough County Extension Service, Florida, 33584
Campoverde., V. Commercial Ornamental Production Extension Agent, Miami-Dade County Extension Service, Florida, 33030
Skvarch, E. Commercial Horticulture Extension Agent, St. Lucie County Extension Service, Florida, 34945
Yeager, T. Professor, UF/IFAS Environmental Horticulture, Florida, 32611
Fisher, P. Professor, UF/IFAS Environmental Horticulture, Florida, 32611