St. Augustine grass with LIV.

St. Augustine grass with LIV.         

Florida’s most popular lawn is St. Augustinegrass – a favorite for producing a lush green to dense blue-green turf well-adapted to most soils and regions throughout the state.

But in South Florida, a silent killer known as Lethal Viral Necrosis (LVN) is taking over St. Augustinegrass in Palm Beach, Broward, Miami-Dade, and other counties. The disease leaves lawns with dead or yellowish patches and dead spots streaking on leaf blades and requires expensive resodding in many cases if not controlled.

On February 7, the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) will host a free webinar from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. to address the problem plaguing lawns and in hopes of controlling the spread. UF/IFAS scientists and Extension agents will provide the latest information about the spread of the virus, detecting its signs, how and where to test for the virus , what to do about replacing the damaged turf and keeping the virus from spreading.

The webinar is designed for an open to the general public, landscapers, cities, pest control companies and homeowners associations impacted by this disease. Continuing education credits (CEU) are also available for pest control and landscape industry professionals. To participate, register at https://go.ufl.edu/p6hxevr to gain access to the webinar.

“There are no pesticide treatments that can prevent or cure this fatal disease,” said Henry Mayer, a commercial horticulture agent at UF/IFAS Extension Miami-Dade County. “Residents and community associations have already spent millions of dollars in sod replacements.”

UF/IFAS experts will be on hand to answer audience questions during the Zoom webinar. Phil Harmon, a UF/IFAS plant pathology professor specializing in turfgrasses will discuss the general characteristics of the disease and the latest research updates. Kara Krueger, an environmental horticulture agent, John Roberts, a commercial horticulture agent from UF/IFAS Palm Beach County, and Mayer will discuss the disease’s prevalence and its impacts in South Florida. The speakers will answer questions from the public.

For inquiries on the webinar or CEUs, please contact John Roberts at jwr.09@ufl.edu or Mayer at hmayer@ufl.edu.

For additional resources on the virus, reach out to your local UF IFAS County Extension offices:

• UF/IFAS Extension Broward County (954) 756-8519

• UF/IFAS Extension Miami-Dade County (305) 248-3311

• UF/IFAS Extension Palm Beach County (561) 233-1748

• Henry Mayer, para información en español, hmayer@ufl.edu.

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