Miami-Dade County Water & Sewer Department provides 300 million gallons of water to 2.5 million people every day. When it became apparent that the amount of water allocated to the department would not be enough to meet the needs of the county’s growing population, UF/IFAS Extension Miami-Dade County helped the county develop the Landscape Irrigation Evaluation Program, a water conservation program that focuses on efficient outdoor water use and allows homeowners to receive free assessments of their landscape irrigation systems from Extension specialists. Partnering with UF/IFAS Extension helped Miami-Dade County reduce the needs for new water treatment plants by 50%. As of September 2016, the implementation of the water conservation program has saved over 14 million gallons of water per day. This video explains how the program works.
UF/IFAS File Photo
About 500 growers produce Florida’s avocado crop annually, and more than 98 percent of the fruit is grown in Miami-Dade County. However, UF/IFAS researchers estimate that laurel wilt, a deadly pathogen, could severely reduce Florida’s $100 million-a-year avocado industry in the absence of control strategies for the pathogen and ambrosia beetles.
Laurel wilt is spread by ambrosia beetles and among avocado trees through the trees’ interconnected roots. The time from infection to tree mortality ranges from four to eight weeks. To prevent spread of the disease, it is important that trees be destroyed as soon as they are affected.
UF/IFAS researchers have found an algorithm to help them detect laurel wilt before symptoms become visible to the naked eye. The study, conducted by researchers from the UF/IFAS Tropical Research and Education Center in Homestead and the UF/IFAS Citrus Research and Education Center in Lake Alfred, determined necessary image parameters as well as required factors to develop and use the algorithm. Researchers will take aerial photos and use the algorithm to analyze the images and create a map that shows the infected avocado trees.
Photo: UF/IFAS researchers Edward “Gilly” Evans, left, and Jonathan Crane examine avocados in a research grove at the UF/IFAS Tropical Research and Education Center in Homestead, FL. UF/IFAS File Photo