4th UF Water Institute Symposium Abstract

Submitter's Name E. Vanessa Campoverde
Session Name Poster Session: Science, stakeholders and decision-making
Poster Number 14
Author(s) E. Vanessa Campoverde,  UF/IFAS Miami-Dade Extension (Presenting Author)
  Shawn Steed,  UF/IFAS Hillsborough Extension
  Edward Skvarch, UF/IFAS St. Lucie Extension
  Paul Fisher, UF/IFAS Environmental Horticulture Dept
  Thomas Yeager, UF/IFAS Environmental Horticulture Dept.
  Educating Environmental Horticulture Producers about Water Quality and Conservation Impacts on Plant Production
  (Application for the UF/IFAS Symposium Scholarship) Conservation and protection of Florida’s water resources are vital to the future of container nursery and greenhouse production. Container plants are grown in small volumes of soilless substrates in which the water is usually replenished daily. Consequently, large amounts of water are applied frequently, often with low application efficiency. To achieve more efficient irrigation applications, a team of state and county UF/IFAS Extension faculty with expertise in irrigation water quality and conservation was formed. The objective of this team was to transfer information and technology about water conservation and water quality impacts on plant production to producers. 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 members. The Water Team has conducted educational programs in central and south Florida since 2012 with 92 attendees. Participants received classroom instruction and applied their knowledge in the field with hands-on exercises such as irrigation uniformity measurement. Pre- and post-survey questions were used to access knowledge gain. Participants reported that their knowledge increased from 24 –71% across educational programs.