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Health Benefits and Medicinal Value of Honey

Figure 2. HoneyHoney has been used for medicinal purposes for thousands of years. It is rich in sugars such as glucose and fructose, but it also contains small amounts of vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and antioxidants such as phenolic acids and flavonoids. These nutrients help to make honey a unique, natural health product. Its market niche as a health product is growing, and current research supports the potential of honey as a medicinal product. This 3-page fact sheet describes health aspects of honey deriving from the floral source and color, beneficial compounds, anti-microbial properties and anti-inflammatory properties. Written by Sara Marshall, Liwei Gu, and Keith R. Schneider, and published by the UF Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition, April 2015.

Breast Cancer: Neoadjuvant Chemotherapy

Figure 1. Chemotherapy for breast cancer is an outpatient procedure and may take two to six hours.Neoadjuvant, or preoperative, chemotherapy is the use of chemotherapy to treat breast cancer before surgery. If your doctors have suggested that you consider this treatment, you probably have questions about it. This 4-page fact sheet provides an overview of chemotherapy treatment, potential side effects, and major benefits. Written by Barbara F. Shea and Martha C. Monroe, and published by the UF Department of Family Youth and Community Sciences, April 2015. (Photo: iStock/

Preventing Foodborne Illness: Cyclospora cayetanensis

This photomicrograph of a fresh stool sample, which had been prepared using a 10% formalin solution, and stained with modified acid-fast stain, revealed the presence of four Cyclospora cayetanensis oocysts in the field of view. Cyclospora cayetanensis is a microscopic, spore-forming, intestinal protozoan parasite and a known cause of the gastrointestinal infection cyclosporiasis, often referred to as “traveler’s diarrhea” for its prevalence among visitors to regions where the species is endemic. These organisms have a protective covering that makes them resistant to disinfectants and that gives Cyclospora the ability to survive outside of hosts for extended periods. The incidence of cyclosporiasis has been increasing worldwide, with several documented cases in the United States and Canada. This 4-page fact sheet was written by Keith R. Schneider, Rachael Silverberg, Susie Richardson, and Renée Goodrich Schneider, and published by the UF Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition, March 2015. (Photo: CDC/DPDx – Melanie Moser)

Introduction to Social Network Research: General Introduction and Major Terminology

Figure 1. Whole network map of scientific collaboration at University of Florida in 2012. Adapted from McCarty and Vacca (2013).Social networks play an important role in the functioning of society and have an important effect on the actions of an individual or organization. It is very important for Extension educators to understand the networks of their clientele in order to perform better and develop more impactful Extension programming for their target audiences. This 5-page fact provides a brief description of network concepts and the terminology used in network studies, so that Extension educators may be more comfortable interpreting and using the results of SNA research to improve the efficiency and productivity of Extension organizations. Written by Anil Kumar Chaudhary and Laura A. Warner, and published by the UF Department of Agricultural Education and Communication, February 2015.

Introduction to Social Network Research: Application of Social Network Analysis in Extension

Figure 2. Network map of UM Extension by program area. Viewed from a network perspective, we are all part of a network of relationships that is interwoven like a fishing net, providing both opportunities for and constraints on our behavior. Social network analysis (SNA) is a new approach to defining and describing society and its organizations and to assessing the impact of organizational structures. This 4-page fact sheet introduces Extension educators to possible ways to apply SNA in their work to plan and evaluate programs in a more efficient way. Written by Anil Kumar Chaudhary and Laura A. Warner, and published by the UF Department of Agricultural Education and Communication, February 2015.

Introduction to Social Network Research: Brokerage Typology?

Figure 2. Liaison brokerageBrokerage occurs constantly in our daily lives. You, an Extension educator, want to deliver a financial management program in two neighborhoods, A and B. Neighborhood A needs help immediately, but you have no connections there. You do have connections in the other neighborhood, and you know that a family in Neighborhood A has friends in Neighborhood B. In this example, the Neighborhood A family can be a broker to help you deliver a program in Neighborhood B. Extension educators can use brokerage typology to understand how information and resources flow among their target audiences, and by identifying the brokers in their local communities, to increase the connectedness of communities and expand the reach of Extension programs to a larger population. This 5-page fact sheet was written by Anil Kumar Chaudhary and Laura A. Warner, and published by the UF Department of Agricultural Education and Communication, March 2015.

Getting Started in the 4-H Embryology Project: Tips for 4-H Agents and Teachers

Figure 1.  Children can learn the science of life through the 4-H Embryology Project. Credit: Marcus Boston, UF/IFASUsually considered an enrichment project for classrooms, the 4-H Embryology Project can also be modified for club or individual use. In it, young people use an incubator to grow avian embryos (inside fertile eggs) through the hatching process. Students learn basic biology and life science while they eagerly look forward to hatching chicks. This 5-page fact sheet describes the necessary equipment and other resources and provides tips and suggestions to increase the hatchability of fertile avian eggs. Written by Marcus Boston, Chris Decubellis, and Judith Levings, and published by the UF Department of 4-H Youth Development, April 2015. (Photo: Marcus Boston, UF/IFAS)

Understanding Nitrogen Availability from Applications of Anaerobically Digested Beef-Cattle Manure in Florida Sandy Soil

Figure 1. Beef cattle in a confined feeding operation will produce manure that can be easily collected and digested anaerobically. Credit: George Hochmuth, UF/IFASAnaerobic digestion of livestock manure is a microbe-mediated process carried out in vessels or tanks, where the livestock wastes are digested slowly in environment absent of oxygen. The main products are biogas, anaerobically digested liquid (ADL), and solid (ADS), which can be land-applied as an organic soil amendment or a source of plant nutrients. This 4-page fact sheet provides research-based information about using anaerobically digested beef-cattle manure as an organic source of nitrogen for supplementing crop nutrition in Florida sandy soils, including initial N concentration, application timing, rate of application, and method of application. Written by Rishi Prasad and George Hochmuth, and published by the UF Department of Soil and Water Science, April 2015. (Photo: George Hochmuth, UF/IFAS)

Not All Landscape Palm Fertilizers Are Created Equal

Figure 1. A sample of an 8-2-12-4Mg landscape palm fertilizer showing the conspicuous granules of kieserite, a slow release form of magnesium sulfate. Credit: T.K. BroschatPalms are widely planted in Florida landscapes. Their bold leaf textures create a tropical or Mediterranean look that is highly desired by residents and tourists alike. But palms have very high nutritional requirements, and deficiencies of any element can result in conspicuous and unattractive symptoms on their large leaves. UF/IFAS research shows that the most effective fertilizer has 100% of the N, K, Mg, and B sources in slow-release or controlled-release form and that all of the Mn, Fe, Zn, and Cu sources should be water soluble. This 4-page fact sheet explains the reasons for this recommendation and how to ensure that you have a formulation that will be effective. Written by Timothy K. Broschat, and published by the UF Department of Environmental Horticulture, March 2015. (Photo Credit: T.K. Broschat)

Butia odorata: Pindo Palm

Figure 1. A 35-year-old pindo palm (Butia odorata). Credit: T. K. BroschatThe pindo or jelly palm is a small, single-stemmed, feather-leaved palm widely grown in warmer parts of the US due to its unusual cold tolerance. It is considered hardy down to about 10°F (USDA zone 8A). The palm is slow-growing, eventually reaching 15 to 20 feet, making it suitable for planting under power lines. This 2-page fact sheet was written by Timothy K. Broschat, and published by the UF Department of Environmental Horticulture, February 2014.

Pepper Production in Miami-Dade County, Florida

Figure 12. Bhut Jolokia pepper. Credit: Qingren WangPepper is an important vegetable crop in Miami-Dade County. Unlike other vegetable crops, peppers are relatively more adaptable to the environment, especially the heat, and are relatively easier to grow. But to be successful, careful attention must be paid to maintain healthy plants and high productivity with efficient management of soil and water for the particular needs of each variety or cultivar. This 7-page fact sheet provides general information and guidelines for pepper growers in Miami-Dade County, including major pepper varieties, and their horticultural traits, and fundamental soil and water management requirements. Written by Qingren Wang, Shouan Zhang, Yuncong Li, Dakshina Seal, Waldemar Klassen, and Teresa Olczyk, and published by the UF Department of Horticultural Sciences, February 2015.

Tree Assistance Program for Florida Citrus Greening

replacement trees in a nurseryIn September 2014, the USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) announced additional support for commercial Florida citrus growers to manage greening, in the form of an expansion of the Tree Assistance Program (TAP). The original program assisted growers in the event the loss occurred within a single year due to a natural disaster such as a hurricane. The expanded TAP recognizes citrus greening (Huanglongbing, or HLB). The program provides growers cost-sharing financial assistance to replace trees that meet a mortality criterion within a time period of up to six years. This 4-page fact sheet describes eligibility requirements, how the program works, and how to calculate payments. Written by Ariel Singerman and Fritz Roka, and published by the UF Department of Food and Resource Economics, April 2015.

Managing Nitrogen Inputs and Outputs on a Dairy Farm

Figure 1. Nitrogen flows of a dairy forage system. Credit: R. HellmuthIn dairy production systems, nitrogen flows through both the forage crops and the dairy cows. Forage crops use nitrogen mineralized from manure for plant growth. Harvested crops are then fed to dairy cows that, in turn, use the nitrogen for their growth and milk production. When the cows excrete a portion of the consumed nitrogen as manure the cycle is renewed. This 5-page fact sheet focuses on the forage production aspect of the nitrogen cycle at a dairy farm. Written by Rebecca Hellmuth and George Hochmuth, and published by the UF Department of Soil and Water Science, March 2015. (Image credit: R. Hellmuth)

Contaminants in the Urban Environment: Perfluoroalkyl Substances

Figure 2. Examples of common sources of perfluoroalkyl substances in the environment. Clockwise from top left: (1) non-stick pan, (2) waterproof textile, (3) fire-fighting foam, (4) food wrap papers. Credit: iStock/ (non-stick pan, waterproof textile, and fire fighting foam)/Digital Vision/ (fast food)Perfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) or perfluorochemicals (PFCs) are the most widespread and persistent manmade chemicals on earth. Common products that contain PFASs are Teflon pans, non-stick cookware, rain/waterproof jackets (like Gore-Tex), fire-fighting foams, food packaging, carpets, and furniture fabrics. PFASs stay in the environment for a long period of time, which means they can accumulate in organisms to levels that cause harmful effects. This 9-page fact sheet discusses the occurrence, use, exposure, and potential harmful effects of PFASs to humans and the environment, and suggests ways to reduce your exposure to PFSAs. Written by Ignacio A. Rodriguez-Jorquera and Gurpal S. Toor, and published by the UF Department of Soil and Water Science, March 2015. (Photos:

Contaminants in the Urban Environment: Pharmaceuticals and Personal Care Products (PPCPs), Parts 1 and 2

Figure 1. Common pharmaceutical and personal care products (PPCPs) in households Credit: iStock/Thinkstock.comPharmaceuticals and personal care products contain a variety of chemical substances that enter household wastewater from bath and shower, sinks, and washers and ultimately find their way into the environment. Continuous discharge of wastewater contributes to the accumulation of these substances in the environment — where they can be harmful to organisms. These fact sheets were written by Yun-Ya Yang and Gurpal S. Toor, and published by the UF Department of Soil and Water Science, March 2015. (Photo: iStock/
Part 1 provides an overview of the use and sale of PPCPs in the United States and the world:
Part 2 discusses the sources and impacts of PPCPs and offers common-sense ways we can protect our environment from PPCPs.

Floridian Consumer Perceptions of Local versus Organic Ornamental Plants

flowerHorticultural consumers in Florida are interested in local and organically produced plants. But these terms can mean different things in different regions. UF/IFAS researchers conducted a survey last summer which suggests that consumers in central Florida define local as plants that are grown near where they are sold and identify the most important local benefits as product safety, quality, and community support. Organic plants are perceived as requiring fewer chemical additives and being healthier for the environment. The importance of these traits varies by plant type. This 5-page fact sheet was written by Hayk Khachatryan and Alicia Rihn, and published by the UF Department of Food and Resource Economics, February 2015.

Congratulations to CALS Award Recipients

Congratulations to the following EDIS authors who were recognized with awards at this year’s UF/IFAS College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Scholarship and Leadership Awards Banquet:

  • Rebecca Baldwin, Entomology and Nematology – Undergraduate Adviser of the Year
  • Andrea Lucky, Entomology and Nematology – Undergraduate Teacher of the Year
  • Martha Monroe, Forest Resources and Conservation – Graduate Teacher/Adviser of the Year
  • Amanda Ford, Nutritional Sciences – Jimmy G. Cheek Graduate Student Medal of Excellence

Chicken Mite (other common names: poultry red mite, roost mite) Dermanyssus gallinae (De Geer) (Arachnida: Acari: Dermanyssidae)

Figure 1. Adult chicken mite, Dermanyssus gallinae (De Geer). Credit: Lyle J. Buss, University of FloridaThe chicken mite affects egg-laying hens in many parts of the world, including Europe, Japan, China, and the United States. Although Dermanyssus gallinae affects birds in many regions, it is most prevalent in European countries, where egg industry losses are estimated at $177 million per year. It is a known vector for the St. Louis encephalitis virus, as well as other illnesses, such as fowl pox virus, Newcastle virus, and fowl cholera. In the United States, Dermanyssus gallinae is rarely found in caged-layer operations and is more commonly found in breeder farms. This 3-page fact sheet was written by Ethan Carter and Jennifer L. Gillett-Kaufman, and published by the UF Department of Entomology and Nematology, December 2015. (Photo credit: Lyle J. Buss, University of Florida)

Women's Nutrition: Folate/Folic Acid

FS265To decrease a baby’s chances of having certain types of births defects, mothers need to have already been consuming enough of the vitamin called folate, or folic acid, before they become pregnant. This article provides information about the folate/folic acid needs of women who are capable of becoming pregnant, including its role in preventing birth defects, sources, and strategies for meeting the recommended intake. This 4-page fact sheet was written by Caroline Dunn and Gail Kauwell, and published by the UF Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition, February 2015. (Photo Credit: Mike Watson Images/moodboard/

Using Heat Maps to Determine the Usability of Extension Communication Materials

WC198This heat map from a website usability test shows that more people click on the banana image than anywhere else on the computer screen, followed by the button at the top of the screenshot. This tool allows Extension faculty to determine the ease of respondent use of the communication material. This 6-page fact sheet explains how to use heat maps and how to develop heat map questions in Qualtrics. Written by Laura M. Gorham, Shuyang Qu, Ricky Telg, and Alexa Lamm, and published by the UF Department of Agricultural Education and Communication, February 2015.

2014 ROA information

Annual Statistics for 2014 reports will be available November 17th. More...

What is EDIS?

EDIS is the Electronic Data Information Source of UF/IFAS Extension, a collection of information on topics relevant to you. More...

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