Cooperative Extension Service 
Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences
Hendry County Extension Office     P. O. Box 68 LaBelle, Florida 33975-0068    Phone (863) 674-4092


May 12, 2006

Scattered showers bought a few sprinkles to most areas over the past two weeks.  While the showers were welcome relief from the extremely dry conditions that have been affecting South Florida this spring, precipitation totals in most areas was barely sufficient to settle the dust.  Across South Florida, rainfall totals for the year are 5 – 6 inches below normal.

Temperatures have been above normal with many interior locations reaching into the 90’s on a daily basis bringing little relief from the drought that has been affecting the area this.   Nighttime temperatures have been mild in the mid 50’s, and 60’s.

Conditions have been very dry in most areas with daily pan evaporation running 0.15 – 0.20 inches.  Warmer, drier weather conditions in most areas have prompted growers to increase irrigation frequency and have lead to reports of plant stress in some plantings and increased insect pressure.  Despite dry conditions near daily morning fog has blanketed much of the area over the past few weeks.

FAWN Weather Summary
Date  Air Temp °F) Rainfall
 Hours Below Certain Temperature          (hours)
  Min  Max (Inches) 40°F 45°F 50°F 55°F 60°F 65°F 70°F 75°F
4/20 - 5/12//06
Ft L'rdale
4/20 - 5/12//06
Fort Pierce
4/20 - 5/12//06
4/20 - 5/12//06
4/20 - 5/12//06

Watermelon harvest is in full swing across South Florida.  Crops coming to market as the season approaches the finish line include blueberries, celery, cucumbers, eggplant, okra, peppers, radishes, snap beans, sweet corn, squash, tomatoes and variety of specialty items.  Hot weather has begun to affect quality of some leafy items as the season winds down.  Poor prices on peppers have caused growers to leave some fields unharvested.

The short-term forecast from the National Weather Service in Miami indicates a weak front has ushered in high pressure, which will control South Florida weather through the upcoming weekend.  Marginally cooler drier air will help keep temperatures moderate over the weekend with highs in the 80s along with much lower humidity levels.

A trough setting up off East Coast through much of next week will bring another front into South Florida.   Models show the next cold front making it here by early Tuesday then stalling through late Wednesday before clearing the area by late next week. The next chance of much needed rain for South Florida looks to be Tuesday – Wednesday. For additional information, visit the National Weather Service in Miami website at



Around Immokalee, whiteflies are building up rapidly in most remaining crops.  The few remaining tomatoes that are still with us have high whitefly adults and nymphs.  Some crops are being affected honeydew and sooty mold from high whitefly numbers.

Respondents in Palm Beach indicate that whiteflies are building in some locations but overall remain low to moderate in most places.

Growers and scouts in the Manatee area indicate that whiteflies are still a problem and report that adults and nymphs are proving hard to kill.  The reported lack of efficacy of many products is also very troubling.  Reminder:  Dave Schuster is still looking for fields with large populations of nymphs for resistance testing.  His number is 813-633-4124.

I you feel you are having problems controlling whitefly, you may want to submit samples for Q testing.   A minimum of 20 adults should be sampled from different plants.  It would probably be easiest to try and carefully collect leaflets with whitefly adults and put them into a baggie. You can then put them in the freezer to slow them down and then transfer them to vials of 95% ethanol with a q-tip or artist’s paintbrush.  Do not crush the whitefly.  Be sure to label the vial, but use a code so that you will know where the sample came from but the identity of the farm will not be known.  You can request vials from Dr. McKenzie  Vials should be kept out of heat and carefully packaged and sent via priority mail or overnight to the following address:

Dr. Cindy L. McKenzie
Subtropical Insects Research
2001 South Rock Road
Ft. Pierce, FL  34945
Phone:  772-462-5917
Fax:  772-462-5986

For additional information on biology and control information, a good source is Dr. Lance Osborne’s website at   It includes a number of documents that you can click on for information from Florida and other states.
A strong emphasis should be placed on PROMPT destruction, block by block, as harvest is completed, including oil with herbicide for quick burndown and control of existing whiteflies in those blocks, thus minimizing movement out to other blocks.

Growers that have been suffering from heavy whitefly pressure and the accompanying high TYLC incidence this spring are reminded that one of the best cultural controls is a two month crop free window in the summer.


Respondents around Southwest Florida indicate that tomato pinworm numbers are up in many fields reaching moderate to high levels in a number of places.  Some eggplants are also are starting to look rough due to pinworm damage to the foliage.

Reports from the Palmetto/Ruskin area indicate that pinworms are present in scattered locations on tomatoes.
Growers and scouts on the East Coast report that pinworms are widely present in tomato and eggplant in a number of locations.  Pressure is severe in some locations especially in fields adjacent to abandoned crops.


Growers and scouts in the Glades indicate that fall armyworms pressure in corn is at some of the highest levels seen in the last ten years.  Hatches of up to 90% in silks have been seen.  Hatches of 10-25% are not uncommon.  Hatches appear to be are highest in plantings where the ears are a week to ten days before harvest.  Reports note that worm pressure appears to be area specific to some extent with areas north of old S.R. 80 (880) coming under heavy pressure, while pressure in more southern production areas appears to be lighter at this time.

Fall armyworm trap data from UF/IFAS EREC indicates that trap counts have hit high levels with a 1098 trap count reported on 5/4/06.   In addition beet armyworm counts are also up hitting 882 on the same date.

Reports from the Palmetto Ruskin area indicate worm pressure is increasing in tomato.  Worms are also present in pepper and cucurbits.

Around Immokalee, worm pressure is up in a number of places with several new hatches of beet and southern armyworms being reported.

Respondents on the east coast production areas indicate that armyworms are widely present in low to moderate numbers.   A few pickleworms are showing up in cucumbers and squash.


Reports from the East Coast indicate that Thrips palmi are “bad” in a number of places affecting fruit quality in some instances.   Crops affected include cucumbers, peppers and eggplants.  Due to low pepper prices some growers have backed off on spray applications.

Respondents in the Plant City area indicate that thrips numbers have dropped off over the past few weeks.  Reports indicate they are present in low to moderate numbers depending on the location in a range of crops including cucumbers, cantaloupes, peppers and tomatoes.


Growers and scouts in Manatee County indicate that aphid numbers are falling in cucurbits and peppers.

Reports from Palm Beach County indicate some problems with aphids in eggplant and sweet corn.

Spider mites

Growers and scouts in Palm Beach report problems with a few spider mites in eggplant and cucurbits.

Around Immokalee, respondents indicate that problems with spider mites are increasing in almost every crop.

Respondents in the Manatee Ruskin area note that spider mites are active on melons and are also present in low numbers in some tomatoes.


Growers and scouts in Palm Beach indicate that broadmites are present here and there, mostly in pepper.

Around Southwest Florida broadmites are making a serious comeback in a number of pepper fields.

Pepper Weevils

Around Southwest Florida, pepper weevils are widely present and are populations are reaching high levels in a number of locations as the season winds down.

Reports from the East Coast indicate that pepper weevils are a present in high numbers in a few scattered locations.

Reports from the Manatee area indicates some early pepper weevil activity has tapered off in recent weeks.


Growers and scouts in the Palmetto Ruskin area note that leafminer activity and stippling is high in a number of places.   Severity varies by location.


Bacterial Leaf Spot

Growers and scouts on the East Coast indicate that bacterial spot is present in a number of places on peppers and tomatoes and continues to spread slowly aided by foggy mornings and some recent showers.

Growers and scouts in the Immokalee area indicate that bacterial spot won’t seem to stop in some pepper plantings.   Dr Ken Pernezny reports that all the bacteria strains collected recently from a trial outside Immokalee proved to be race 4.

Respondents around Manatee County indicate that bacteria remain mostly low.

Tomato Yellow Leaf Curl Virus

Growers in Manatee County and surrounding areas continue to battle high levels of tomato yellow leaf curl virus with reports of new TYLCV infections showing up in tops of plants which are at the top of the stake.

Phyllis Gilreath indicates that many growers are questioning the value of roguing infected plants.  In some fields, roguing seemed to really pay off when started early and continued until second tie.  In other fields, roguing was heavy early in the season, but many of the remaining plants are now infected.  This is something that needs to be researched more thoroughly.

Reports from the East Coast indicate that TYLCV is increasing in older fields but remains low overall.

Around Southwest Florida of tomato yellow leaf curl virus continues to increase slowly with some places reaching 6 –8 % infection.   A few hotspots with even higher disease incidence have been noted.

Powdery mildew

Respondents on the East Coast are reporting significant problems with powdery mildew on cucumbers and squash and indicate that incidence and occurrence is moderate to high in a number of places.

Powdery mildew is also widely present in eggplant, peppers and tomato.  Reports indicate that powdery mildew has reached high levels in some isolated tomato planting and is also affecting fruit quality on eggplant attacking the stem and calyx in some cases.

Growers and scouts around Southwest Florida report that powdery mildew is high in some squash and is also affecting watermelons.

Powdery mildew of watermelon can be difficult to diagnose.  It appears as yellow blotches on the oldest leaves first.  Later these mosaic-like blotches become bronzed and turn dark brown or purple.  White masses of sporulation that are commonly seen with other powdery mildews is not seen commonly with the powdery
mildew of watermelon.  Some leaves may display the yellowing, bronzing, and a fair amount of white powdery fungal growth but will not be coated with white fungal growth like we see typically in susceptible varieties of cucumbers and squash.   In other samples some mosaic-like yellowing of powdery mildew may be present with no visible white powdery growth.  Microscopic examination is often required to detect the powdery mildew fungus in the yellowed areas.

Low levels of powdery mildew are also being reported on pepper and tomato in a few locations around Southwest Florida.

Powdery mildew of pepper and tomato is caused by Leveillula taurica, which is a very different powdery mildew fungus from that causing powdery mildew on cucurbits. The fungus, which affects cucurbits Podasphaera xanthii (Sphaerotheca fulginea) or, occasionally, Erysiphe cichoracearum, grows on both surfaces of a leaf and forms haustoria within some epidermal cells to absorb nutrients and produces spores on both surfaces.

In contrast, Leveillula taurica grows only within a leaf until it produces spores, a growth habit which is similar to Alternaria and most other foliar plant pathogenic fungi. Additionally, Leveillula taurica only produces spores on the underside of leaves.  Leveillula taurica is a species complex that infects over 1000 plant species in 74 families, including tomato and eggplant as well as pepper.

Detecting powdery mildew on pepper can be difficult. The white powdery growth characteristic of powdery mildew diseases occurs only on the underside of leaves and it will turn brown rather than remaining white. Diffuse yellow spotting often develops on the upper surface. Affected leaves tend to drop off the plant, as occurs with bacterial leaf spot.

Dr Rick Raid, Plant Pathologist at EREC reports that powdery mildew, a rarity on parsley and dill in Florida, has been observed at a single location.  Favored by the dry conditions that persisted through April, growers should keep a lookout for this disease.  It is somewhat subtle and may resemble road dust on the foliage.    Sulfur or strobilurin fungicides are the best bets for controlling this disease.

Downy Mildew

Downy mildew is widely present on cucumber and squash in a number of locations around Palm Beach.  Incidence and severity is moderate to high in some locations especially on cucumbers where growers are stilling battling for control.

Respondents in Southwest Florida indicate that downy mildew is present on a range of cucurbits including cucumbers, cantaloupe, squash and watermelon on a number of farms around Immokalee.

Reports from the Manatee area indicate that downy mildew is present at moderate levels in cantaloupe.

Growers and scouts should look at the underside of the leaves to help make the right diagnosis.  Angular leaf spot will have some water-soaking at the edge of the lesions.  The downy mildew lesions look uniformly dry.   In addition, downy mildew infections typically start away from leaf margins toward the center of the leaf where as some diseases such as gummy stem blight normally begin from the leaf margin.

Early Blight

Reports from growers around South  Florida indicate that early blight is widely present at low levels in tomato at a number of locations.

Common rust

Reports from the Glades indicate that common rust, caused by Puccinia sorghi, is widely present in corn.  Common rust typically likes to infect young, expanding tissues and plants For this reason, during the spring corn season in Florida, rust is usually the disease of primary concern during the early part of the season, and NCLB is the disease of primary concern later in the season.  Both can be controlled with timely applications of strobilurin or sterol inhibitor fungicides.  These should be tank-mixed with an EBDC fungicide and also alternated as a strategy for slowing the development of fungicide resistant strains of the pathogens.  Scouts indicate incidence remains lower than normal for this time of year.

Bean Rust

Rust caused by Uromyces appendiculatus has finally appeared on beans but hot temperatures have definitely limited its impact this spring.  Research trials reveal that strobilurin fungicides are the compounds of choice for this disease, followed by the sterol inhibitors.  However, a majority of the most widely grown varieties are currently resistant to rust and the disease may be of little concern.

Bean Red Node Virus

During the past few weeks, bean red node, caused by the Tobacco Streak Virus, has been detected in almost every field surveyed in the Belle Glade area.   This disease is characterized by red, sunken lesions on the pods themselves and therefore should be a major concern for growers and packers.  A high incidence of red node can result in much higher cull rates on the bean line, adding significantly to labor costs.

Bean Red Node Virus has also been diagnosed in the Devils Garden area.

Northern corn leaf blight

Northern corn leaf blight, caused by Exserohilum turcicum, is also starting to heat up in the Glades.  While common rust typically likes to infect young, expanding tissues and plants, northern corn leaf blight usually starts with older, fully expanded foliage.  For this reason, during the spring corn season in Florida, rust is usually the disease of primary concern during the early part of the season, and NCLB is the disease of primary concern later in the season.  Most growers have been able to keep foliar diseases in check with well-timed fungicide applications.

 Fusarium Crown Rot

Around Southwest Florida fusarium crown rot continues to wilt down plants in some locations especially romas and susceptible round varieties like Fl 47.


Fusarium has been diagnosed on watermelon in several locations around southwest Florida.

Fusarium wilt of watermelon usually occurs without plant yellowing; usually the entire plant wilts quickly becomes brown and dies.  Occasionally, wilting of vines on one side of the plant occurs, particularly on older plants.  Slicing the tap root lengthwise into two equal halves will reveal two streaks of vascular tissue that are dark yellow-brown, orange brown or reddish brown.  In Florida, Fusarium wilt is likely to occur prior to fruit set.

Bacterial wilt

Reports from Manatee County indicates some scattered problems with Bacterial wilt in tomato.

Southern blight

Southern blight is affecting tomato in some fields in the Manatee/Ruskin area.


Around Immokalee, reports indicate that phytophthora is still causing scattered problems in some eggplant and pepper fields.


Reports from Southwest Florida indicate that anthracnose is beginning to show up on older pepper in scattered locations.

Anthracnose is also present on pepper at mostly low levels on the East Coast.

Resistance is available in some varieties of chili peppers but not in bell peppers. For bell pepper production, choose cultivars that bear fruit with a shorter ripening period, which may allow the fruit to escape infection by the fungus. Wounds in fruit from insects or other means should be reduced to the extent possible because wounds provide entry points for Colletotrichum spp. and other pathogens like bacteria that cause soft rot.  The disease can be controlled under normal weather conditions with a reasonable spray program. At the end of the season, remove infected plant debris from the field or deep plow to completely cover crop diseases.

Blossom End Rot

Growers across South Florida report higher Blossom End Rot (BER) incidence than usual.   There are also reports of low calcium levels in tissue, which would be expected if there were a problem with calcium uptake.

BER is caused by a lack of calcium in the developing fruit that is often due to stress on the roots that impedes water uptake.  Since calcium moves in the transpiration stream, anything that slows or impedes transpiration slows calcium uptake.  Some common causes include excess soluble salts in the soil, too wet or too dry soil conditions, or some other stress on the root system, including nematodes or soil borne pathogens.  Dry, persistent winds and low humidity can also contribute to water stress and cause problems.  BER can also be triggered under conditions of cool, overcast weather, when plants are not transpiring enough to supply sufficient calcium to young, developing fruit.

Before spraying calcium, which is usually too little/too late, growers should look at their water management practices or other factors such as weather events earlier in the season or soil characteristics or previous topography prior to cropping.

Sanitation, Sanitation, Sanitation...

As we near the end of another season growers are reminded of the importance of sanitation in an integrated pest management program.  Disease and insects do not magically materialize to plaque growers.  Many require a living host to carry them from one season to another.

Field sanitation is one of the most important tactics in vegetable pest and disease management.  One of the best things that growers can do for themselves and their neighbors is to clean up crop residues promptly after harvest. Sanitation is an important IPM technique that should not be over looked as an effective, preventative tool against many vegetable pest and disease problems.  Sanitation includes any practice that eradicates or reduces the amount of pathogen inoculum, pests, or weed seeds present and thus helps reduce or eliminate subsequent pest and disease problems.

Prompt crop destruction at the end of the season will immediately end the production of disease inoculum and insects and eliminate the spread of diseases and pests to any other host plants in the vicinity. Downy and powdery mildew on melons can spread via wind from older, diseased plants to plants in surrounding fields that are still maturing. These diseases are obligate parasites.  This means that they can only grow and multiply on living host tissue. Some plant pathogens, such as the bacterium that causes bacterial spot of tomato and pepper, are unable to survive for extended periods of time outside of the host tissue.  Plowing or disking under infected plant debris helps not only by covering up the inoculum but also speeds up the disintegration of plant tissue and kills the pathogen. Good sanitation will help control a number of important vegetable pathogens.

Cull piles should not be neglected as I have heard from several scouts over the past few years that have found both insects and diseases such as TYLCV, late blight, whiteflies and others in volunteer plants springing up around cull piles.

Soil tillage can destroy insects and expose them to birds and other predators. It can also speed the breakdown of plant residues that harbor insects and plant pathogens. By either allowing the organic matter in a field to decompose completely before you plant the next crop and /or allowing a fallow period between crops, you can enhance the control of a number of insects and diseases.

Destruction of tomato vines will kill off white fly populations and eliminate transmission of the tomato yellow leaf curl virus to subsequent crops and also eliminate inoculum from late blight and other fungal diseases.  This is particularly important in the case of TYLCV, as sanitation and whitefly control are the only tools currently available for the management of this disease. A crop-free period is also considered a necessity for the control of a number of other important vegetable pests such as pepper weevil, tomato pinworm, and Thrips palmi and is recommended for management of all vegetable pests.

A little extra effort spent in cleaning up old fields at the end of the season may well prevent or reduce a number of potential problems next fall!

Summer weed management can be a challenge.  Growers should check field margins to make sure that pest species are not building up there and migrating out into cropping areas.  Many insects over summer on weeds, so efforts to control them can be profitable by reducing their movement into the crops next growing season.

Weeds are also known reservoirs of nematodes as well as a number of viral, fungal and bacterial pathogens.  Weeds and volunteers should be removed to prevent the survival and over-summering of pathogens that could serve as inoculum reservoirs for the next crop.  Techniques such as mowing off pepper should not be relied upon as this often results in re-sprouts, which can harbor pests and disease problems over summer.

The use of cover crops and summer fallowing of fields are also effective tools in reducing weed populations that can cause problems in the subsequent crop.  The role of summer fallow in weed management is often overlooked. Summer fallow keeps new weed seeds from being added to the soil seed-bank. It also reduces the increases in asexual propagated plants such as nutsedge. Yellow nutsedge can put out 70 new tubers (nuts) every two months. Keeping the weeds from propagating will reduce the weed problems encountered during the next cropping season and help reduce insects and diseases that may over summer in weedy fields.

Chemical fallowing is a twist on the traditional method of fallowing that depends on disking fields through out the summer period to reduce weed pressure in subsequent crops.  One approach uses Roundup to kill weeds during the crop free period.

Cover crops planted prior to the main cash crop can also improve soil fertility and provide a valuable source of organic matter.

When devising a crop rotation strategy, a grower should also be aware of which crops and cover crops might increase disease problems. Sunn hemp can increase soil populations of Pythium and Rhizoctonia damping-off fungi. Some varieties of cowpea may host of root-knot nematode. These factors should be considered before selecting a cover crop.

Soil solarization is the use of plastic tarps placed on the soil surface to increase soil temperatures to a level that kills soilborne pathogens, weeds, and other crop pests. Soil solarization works best when summer temperatures are uniformly high. These conditions don’t always occur in Florida.  Soil solarization will not eradicate a pathogen from a field, but it may lower pathogen populations.

Soil flooding is a related means of creating conditions—in this case, saturated soil over an extended period - that might result in a decline of soil-borne pathogens.
Integrated pest and disease management is a year round commitment that should incorporate a combination of cultural, biological and chemical pest management techniques.

Be a good neighbor and clean up!

News You Can Use

Hurricane Disaster Program Sign-Up Begins May 17

The USDA has announced hurricane disaster program sign up will begin May 17 at Florida county Farm Service Agency offices. The announcement included two newly developed programs funded through Section 32, the Hurricane Indemnity Program (HIP) and the Tree Indemnity Program (TIP) and one existing program funded through the 2006 Defense Appropriations Act, the Emergency Conservation Program (ECP) that are available to citrus growers. Although full details have not yet been made available the outline of the programs is below.

Hurricane Indemnity Program – This program will provide payments to eligible producers who suffered crop losses and received a Federal Crop Insurance Corporation crop insurance indemnity payment due to hurricane damage and who’s crop was in an eligible county. For most growers, the payment will be calculated by multiplying the crop insurance payment times 30%.

More information on HIP is available at

Tree Indemnity Program – This program will provide flat payments per acre for eligible producers based on the groves’ proximity to the hurricanes’ bands of severity. FSA has established four tiers using the maximum sustained wind speeds recorded by the U. S. Weather Service, although only Tiers 2 through 4 are established for Florida losses – Tier 1 is for the Gulf Coast states impacted by Hurricane Katrina. The per acre payments by Tier for Florida are: Tier 2, $300; Tier 3, $200; Tier 4, $90.

 More information on TIP is available at

The rules for both HIP and TIP also state that no “person” may receive more than $80,000 in payments from each program, and an individual or entity whose average adjusted gross income exceeds $2.5 million is ineligible for benefits unless 75% or more of their income is derived from farming, ranching, and/or forestry.

Emergency Conservation Program – The ECP provides a cost share program for eligible producers to carry out emergency conservation practices such as debris removal and fence repair. The program will provide eligible producers up to 100% cost share for expenses related to those practices as a result of hurricane damage. Requests for cost sharing of $50,000 or less are approved at the FSA county committee level. Cost sharing from $50,001 to $100,000 is approved at the FSA state committee level and cost-sharing $100,001 to $200,000 must be approved by FSA’s national office. Sign up for this program is available immediately. The $2.5 million adjusted gross income exclusion does not apply to the ECP.

Sign up for all three of these programs is done at your county Farm Service Agency offices.

The USDA published in the Federal Register interim final rules for the Section 32 Hurricane Disaster Programs.  The programs apply to producers in counties affected by Hurricanes Dennis, Katrina, Ophelia, Rita and Wilma that received a primary Presidential or Secretarial disaster declaration.  Contiguous counties are not eligible.  This link will take you to the full rule but I have also linked the FSA webpage (below) that has the fact sheets for each program.

No Legs to Stand On

In early March, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. circuit denied a Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) petition for review of EPA’s 2004 methyl bromide rule.  The panel of three judges stated that the chance of any NRDC member incurring any injury as a direct result of the rule, a primary criteria for showing standing, is “infinitesimal.”

EPA’s rule authorizes new production and consumption of methyl bromide, as well as the use of existing stocks, as dictated by the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer.  NRDC argued that the EPA’s final rule violated the critical use exemptions of the Protocol by failing to properly take into account existing U.S. stocks of methyl bromide.  However, the judges did not rule on this argument, focusing rather on whether NRDC has “standing” to bring the case in the first place.

Under Article III of the U.S. Constitution, a plaintiff has standing only if they - or in this case one or more NRDC members - have incurred an actual injury as a result of the defendant’s action and only if a decision in the plaintiff’s favor has the potential to redress that injury.  NRDC claimed its members (490,000 people) have standing since EPA’s final rule, by slowing down the phase out of an ozone depleting substance, increases their risk of getting skin cancer and cataracts.

However, the judges severely criticized the NRDC’s argument, which was based on an affidavit from a staffer at the National Center of Atmospheric Research.  The staff member said it is reasonable to expect more than 10 deaths, 2,000 non-fatal cases of skin cancer and 700 cataract cases to occur in the U.S. as a result of the rule.  These negative effects of the phase out were questioned by the court, and it determined that the chance of any single NRDC member suffering harm was almost non-existent.

The court also analyzed what exactly “injury” means, and referenced several Supreme Court rulings.  That court has established that injury must be actual or imminent, not conjectural or hypothetical, writing “The chance that one may develop cancer can hardly be said to be an ‘actual’ injury - the harm has not yet come to pass.  Nor is it imminent in the sense of temporal proximity.”

The ruling also notes that several other courts of appeals have suggested that any increase in the probability of injury due to governmental action or inaction constitutes “injury” for the purpose of showing standing.  “Strictly speaking, this cannot be correct,” stated the ruling.  “For example, if the original probability of harm is 1 in 100 billion per persons per year, doubling the probability to 2 in 100 billion would still leave an individual with a trivial chance of injury...  The law of this circuit is that an increase in the likelihood of harm may constitute injury in fact only if the increase is sufficient to ‘take a suit out of the category of hypothetical’ and that is not the case here.”  (Pesticide & Toxic Chemical News, 3/13/06).

Pesticide Registrations and Actions

On March 21, the FDACS issued the Special Local Needs registration SLN FL-060004 to Syngenta Crop Protection for Gramoxone Inteon® herbicide (paraquat) use in cabbage (including Chinese tight head cabbage) for broadleaf weeds and grasses and for top kill and suppression of emerged perennial weeds.  This SLN replaces the SLN FL-010002.

 The EPA registration number for the product is 100-1217.  (FDACS letter of 3/21/06).
On March 21, the FDACS issued the Special Local Needs registration SLN FL-060005 to Syngenta Crop Protection for Gramoxone Inteon® herbicide (paraquat) use in lettuce for broadleaf weeds and grasses and for top kill and suppression of emerged perennial weeds.  This SLN replaces the SLN FL-010004.  The EPA registration number for the product is 100-1217.  (FDACS letter of 3/21/06).

On March 21, the FDACS issued the Special Local Needs registration SLN FL-060006 to Syngenta Crop Protection for Gramoxone Inteon® herbicide (paraquat) use in melon for broadleaf weeds and grasses and for top kill and suppression of emerged perennial weeds.  This SLN replaces the SLN FL-010005.  The EPA registration number for the product is 100-1217.  (FDACS letter of 3/21/06).

On March 21, the FDACS issued the Special Local Needs registration SLN FL-060007 to Syngenta Crop Protection for Gramoxone Inteon® herbicide (paraquat) use in strawberry for broadleaf weeds and grasses and for top kill and suppression of emerged perennial weeds.  This SLN replaces the SLN FL-010003.  The EPA registration number for the product is 100-1217.  (FDACS letter of 3/21/06).

BHN Research has requested an experimental use permit (EUP) for the plant-incorporated protectant Bacillus thuringiensis subsp. kurstaki, Cry1A(c) protein in tomato.  The permit would allow for 500 acres of planting in the states of CA, FL, GA, IL, MO, VA, and PR.  A docket has been opened for comments to this request.  (Federal Register, 3/8/06).

Arysta LifeSciences recently reported that methyl iodide will not be registered until 2007.  They have applied for an experimental use permit to treat 800 acres over the eastern seaboard.  (The Grower Newsletter, 4/6/06).

Gator Takes Bite Out Of Realtor
LABELLE - A real estate tycoon who owns a nature preserve tried to show off for visitors by jumping on an alligator's back for a ride, but the reptile bit his hand and dragged him into 15 feet of water. The 8-foot alligator let go of Ronald Bergeron after witnesses pulled its tail. Bergeron, 62, suffered a shattered pinky, a broken ring finger and puncture wounds in his palm.

The multimillionaire developer tried the stunt Sunday while giving a tour of his 5,000-plus-acre preserve to weekend guests who had made large donations to the Boys & Girls Club.

"I always tell them I'm going to wrestle an alligator," Bergeron said Wednesday. "It's part of my Florida cracker culture. My grandfather was a game warden in the Everglades, and I grew up around alligators."

Bergeron was pulled under the water before guests grabbed the alligator and pulled it out. Bergeron was driven to a hospital.

Brazilian Pepper Eradication

An invasive species, Brazilian Peppertrees have been targeted for removal throughout the State of Florida.

However, it has been observed in the EAA due to the scarcity of native species that many wading bird species use Brazilian Pepper, when located along waterways, for nesting.  In an effort to conserve these nesting sites, researchers are investigating the feasibility of replacing some Brazilian Peppertrees with native species, such as custard apple (pond apple), wax myrtle, or willow.

If you, as a grower and landowner, are interested in participating in a study to preserve wading bird nesting in the EAA, contact Dr. Richard Raid at or call him at 561-993-1564.

Job Opportunity


Harris Moran Seed Company is a leader in the production of vegetable seed for commercial growers.  We are looking for a Plant Breeding Research Assistant to work with our cucumber breeder on all aspects of the cucumber-breeding program, including planting, pollinating, evaluating and harvesting field and greenhouse plots.  The position is based near Immokalee, in southwest Florida.  Other responsibilities include data entry, plant disease screenings, seed treating and seed inventory management.  Some lab work will be required.  The cucumber technician will assist with other crops as needed.  Occasional travel is required.  Working environments include field, lab, greenhouse and office.  Candidates should have a BS in a plant science discipline or equivalent experience.  Spanish fluency is an advantage.

We offer an excellent benefits package and salary commensurate with experience.  Send resume and salary history to:

Harris Moran Seed Company
P.O. Box 4938
Modesto, CA 95352
Attn: Human Resources
Or to:
Equal Opportunity Employer

Help Wanted - Progressive grower, packer, and shipper of specialty vegetables in Southwest Florida is seeking grower(s) and office personnel to assist in the management of a growing operation.  Must be motivated, self directed and willing to learn and grow with the operation.  Education and experience is a plus but the right individual will be considered for all positions.  Contact Chuck Obern, C&B Farms at 239-250-0551 for more information.

Up Coming Meetings

Manatee County

    May 16, 2006      WPS Train-the-Trainer Workshop   10 AM

    Manatee County Extension Service
    Palmetto, Florida.

    For information, call 941-722-4524.

    June 13, 2006   General Standards/Private Applicator Ag License Training and Testing

    Manatee County Extension Service
    Palmetto, Florida

    For more information, please contact Phyllis Gilreath at 941-722-4524 or   2 CORE CEUs offered.

Miami Dade County

        May 24, 2006   General Standards (CORE) Training

        Dade County Extension Auditorium
        18710 SW 288th Street
        Homestead, Florida

        For more information, please contact Mary Lamberts at 305-248-3311

Palm Beach County

        June 5, 2006   General Standards/CORE Test Review 8 AM – 10 AM
        Aquatic Weed Control Test Review  1 PM – 3 PM
        Clayton E. Hutchinson Agricultural Center
        559 N Military Trail
        West Palm Beach
        Contact 561-233-1700

        June 7, 2006   General Standards/CORE Test Review 8 AM – 10 AM
        Private Applicator Test Review  1 PM – 3 PM

        Belle Glade Extension Office
        2976 State Road 15
        Belle Glade

        Contact 561-996-1655

Southwest Florida

        May 25, 2006   Aquatic Weed Control Seminar.    9 AM – 3 PM

        Lee County Extension Office
        Ft. Myers, Florida

       For more information go to or call 239-461-7514.

      May 31, 2006   UF/IFAS Nitrogen BMP Project Update  6:00 PM

        Hwy 29 N
        Immokalee, Florida
        Contact Gene McAvoy at 863-674-4092 for details

        June 3, 2006   UF/IFAS Farm Safety Day 8:00 AM

        Hwy 29 N
        Immokalee, Florida
        Contact Dr Mongi Zekri at 863-674-4092 for details

Other Meetings

        May 21 - 23, 2006  18th International Pepper Conference
        Palm Springs, California
        Go to for details

        June 4 – 6, 2006  Florida State Horticultural Society Annual Meeting

        Marriot Tampa Westshore
        Tampa, Florida

        For more information, go to

        July 19  -21, 2006  1st International Tomato Congress

        Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico

        For more information, go to

        September 17- 21 2006 Cucurbitaceae 2006

        Asheville, North Carolina
        For more information visit

        December 3-6, 2006  4th International Bemisia Workshop
        December 6-8, 2006  International Whitefly Genomic Workshop

        Hawk’s Cay Resort
        Duck Key, Florida

        For more information, go to
The Sixteenth Annual Farm Safety Day

Saturday, 3 June 2006


Safe and competent equipment operators are important to you as an employer.  Accidents, which cause damage, injury or death to employees, equipment and crops are costly.  We believe all types of accidents can be reduced with proper employee training.  Our training has been designed to help your employees perform better, operate safely to prevent accidents, fulfill necessary training requirements and build pride in themselves and their farm company.

The 2006 Southwest Florida Farm Safety Day is almost here.  Farm Safety Day is an educational event designed to emphasize the importance of farm/equipment safety.  Each participant is presented with a certificate of attendance and the employer will be provided with a certificate of training that can be placed into the employees file.

Registration Info
The deadline for registration is May 26th.  It is the employer=s responsibility to assure that the employee is present at 7:45 a.m. on June 3rd to receive their nametag.   Upon arrival each participant will check in at the registration table and receive a packet containing their nametag, instructions (in both English and Spanish) session handouts, an evaluation form, lunch ticket, rodeo cap and pencil.  They will be directed to their respective course sessions.
In the event of a substitution, the substitute employee must let the registration desk know the name of the person they are replacing. A new nametag with the same color coding will be issued.

Language Preference
The courses will be marked by color-coded signs.  The signs will rotate throughout the morning session and the employee will follow the color sign that matches their nametag.  Courses will be offered in both Spanish and English so it is very important to either check an AE@ for English or an AS@ for Spanish on the registration form.

Tractor Rodeo
Participation in the rodeo will be on a first come/first serve basis and a driver must be designated. Only one driver per farm will be allowed.   You must have your participator registered prior to the day of the rodeo to insure your company=s participation.  If company checks are issued from somewhere other than your local office, please contact Barbara and arrangements will be made to proceed with pre-registration.

If there are any questions, please feel free to contact Barbara Hyman at 239 658 3415.

The 2006 Southwest Florida Farm Safety Day - CONTEST RULES

Each farm location may select one representative to participate in the tractor driving equipment safety rodeo contest planned as part of this training.  Farm contestants will be competing for first, second and third place prizes.  The prizewinners will be given special recognition and awards following the completion of the rodeo.  The farm with the winning contestant will hold the rotating trophy, which will be passed along to the winning farm each year of the event.  Only one individual may be selected to represent a farm.  Only 10 contestants will be accepted for competition so register early!

Purpose: The rodeo is an educational and competitive event designed to emphasize the importance of farm/equipment safety.  It allows designated participants the opportunity to demonstrate their skills in equipment operation and to practice the safety techniques they have learned.

Contest Rules:  Only one contestant per farm, ranch or grove is allowed to participate in the rodeo contest.  A maximum of 10 total participants will be allowed to compete due to time restraints.  Registration will be on a first come/first serve basis.  It is up to the farm to designate their equipment rodeo contestant when registering.  Each contestant must participate in all three events, which make up the rodeo. Awards will be given to the top three scores in the overall rodeo competition.

Rodeo Events:

(1) Equipment Safety Check - Tractor and implement must be properly inspected for safety prior to starting and during the operation of equipment.  Safety checks must be verbally called out to the judge.  Failure to practice safety will result in a loss of points.

(2)  Backing - After the safety inspection of the equipment, the implement must be backed into a Astall@ from a 90 degree angle.  Once the tractor is in reverse - it must stay there.  Operation of equipment must be at a safe and proper speed.  Scores are determined by (1) the number of scrapes and/or knock down of markers, (2) utilization of clutch, and (3) distance from back of Astall@.  The driver must back the equipment all the way to the back of the stall, regardless of how many markers are hit.

(3)  Driving Course - Once the backing event is complete, the contestant will proceed (on the same equipment) directly in to the driving course.  Operation of equipment must be at a safe and proper speed.  The course will consist of several challenging angles and widths.    Scores are determined by (1) number of scrapes and/or knock down of markers, (2) utilization of clutch, and (3) time to accomplish event safely.


Saturday, June 3  2006
Southwest Florida Research and Education Center
2686 S.R. 29 N., Immokalee, FL

7:45-8:10 Check In and Coffee
8:10-9:00 Sessions 1, 2, 3, 4 (Begin sessions by group no.)
9:00-9:10 Break (change session)
9:10-10:00 Sessions 1, 2, 3, 4
10:00-10:10 Break (change session)
10:10-11:00 Sessions 1, 2, 3, 4
11:00-11:10 Break (change session)
11:10-12:00 Sessions 1, 2, 3, 4
12:00-12:30 Lunch
12:30-2:30 Rodeo
2:30-3:00 Awards Presentation


1. Recognizing and Avoiding Africanized Bees – Dr. Phil Stansly

2. Working Safely Around Lightning and Electrical Hazards – Mr. Cesar Asuaje and Mr. Gene McAvoy

3. Avoiding Heat Stroke and Heat Related Illness – Mr. Paul Midney

Eye Safety for Agricultural Workers and Preventing Eye Injuries – Dr. Paul Monaghan


Please give us the names of those who will be attending our 16th Farm Safety Day on Saturday, 3 June 2006.  The cost is $15.00 per person, which will include educational sessions, handouts, refreshments, lunch, the rodeo, and a cap.

Make checks payable to:     Mail registration and checks to:
SW Florida Citrus Advisory Committee   University of Florida, IFAS, SWFREC
Attention: Barbara Hyman
2686 State Rd. 29 North
Immokalee, FL 34142
Or fax registration to: 239 658 3469
Entry Deadline is Friday, May 26, 2006

Company Name:

Administrative Contact Person:

E-mail address:

Mailing Address:

Telephone:                                    Fax:                                County:_______________

Name of authorized driver for tractor rodeo contest, one per farm:                   ________________________Alternate/second choice:______________________________
(Any driver substitutions made the day of the event will require authorization by his/her company.)
Please list the employees who will be attending our safety training and rodeo and please check their language preference.* If there is not enough space to fill in all attendants, please attach an additional sheet with the necessary information.

*Please Note:  It is very important that we know the language capabilities for each attendee.
Next to each attendee's name please mark in which language they are more fluent.
Sponsorship for the Annual Farm Safety Day

The Southwest Florida Farm Safety Day has been conducted annually since 1991.  The program is strongly supported by area citrus, vegetable, sugarcane, and sod growers.  Southwest Florida agricultural employers collectively send between 160 to 200 employees annually to receive training on various safety related topics.  The Sixteenth Annual Farm Safety Day will be held on Saturday, June 3, 2006 and will feature a very comprehensive farm safety program.

We ask you to consider sponsorship of the Fifteenth Annual Farm Safety Day to help make it a success.  Any profits generated will support extension and other farm safety related programming, such as WPS training, agent in-service-training, teaching tools and related equipment, and travel for extension agents to approved conferences and meetings.

Annual expenses are estimated to be approximately $3,000.  Costs include lunches, refreshments, handouts, hats, awards (trophies, plaques, door prices), tent rentals, travel expenses for out-of-town speakers, and other supplies.  Participants receive certificates of attendance and employers receive certificates of training that can be placed into the employee’s file.  The highlight of the Farm Safety Day is farm/equipment safety education and a tractor-driving contest.  Trophies are provided to the winners along with display plaques for their respective companies.

We hope you will be able to help sponsor the Sixteenth Annual Farm Safety Day.  We have enclosed a sponsorship form for your use.  Please return the form and your sponsorship check as indicated on the form no later than May 26, 2006.  As a sponsor, you will be recognized during the Farm Safety Day at the Master of Ceremonies and in the southwest Florida extension newsletters,  “Flatwoods Citrus” and the “South Florida Pest and Disease Hotline.”  You will also receive a “Thank you” certificate.

Thank you for your support!

Dr. Mongi Zekri
Farm Safety Day Coordinator
Multi-County Citrus Agent, SWF
Hendry County Extension Office
P.O. Box 68
LaBelle, FL 33975
16th Annual Farm Safety Day

WHEN: Saturday, June 3, 2006

WHERE: Southwest Florida Research & Education Center, Immokalee

AUDIENCE: Anticipate 160 farm workers, managers, equipment operators, and crew
                        leaders from the 5-county area of Southwest Florida.

COST: Sponsorships:           $300 Platinum
          $200 Gold
          $100 Silver

Sponsorship goes to support awards, expenses, and other extension programs.



Business___________________________________________________________________ Name:____________________________________________________________________
City:                                           Zip Code: FL___________________________________
Contact Person:_____________________________________________________________
Phone:_______________________________      Fax:_______________________________
__Check here if you are a $300 sponsor and desire an outdoor exhibit space.

Please make checks payable to: SW Florida Citrus Advisory Committee

Mail to:
Dr. Mongi Zekri
Multi-County Citrus Agent
Hendry County Extension Office
PO Box 68
LaBelle, FL 33975-0068


UF/IFAS Chemically Speaking - A monthly report on pesticide, regulatory, and environmental issues.  Go to 

USDA Farm Service Agency Disaster Relief – for more information on Federal disaster relief programs, visit

Quotable Quotes

"Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards." – Unknown

"Life is hard. It’s even harder if you’re stupid." – Anonymous

"If you really want to do something, you will find a way. If you don't, you will find an excuse." – Anonymous

"Continuous effort - not strength or intelligence - is the key to unlocking our potential." - Winston Churchill

We cannot direct the wind but we can adjust the sails. --Vince Lombardi

God writes the gospel not in the Bible alone, but on trees and flowers, and clouds, and stars. --Luther

On the Lighter Side

School Daze

A Sunday school teacher was testing the children in her Sunday school class to see if they understood the concept of getting to heaven.

She asked them, "If I sold my house and my car, had a big garage sale and gave all my money
to the church, would that get me into Heaven?"   "NO!" the children answered.

"If I cleaned the church every day, mowed the yard, would that get me into Heaven?"   Again, the answer was, "NO!"

"Well, then, if I was kind to animals and gave candy to all the children, and loved my husband, would that get me into Heaven?"  She asked them again.  Again, they all answered, "NO!"

"Well," she continued, "then how can I get into Heaven?"

A five-year-old boy shouted out, "YOU GOTTA BE DEAD."

The Drug Problem in America
The other day, someone at a store in our town read that a methamphetamine lab had been found in an old farmhouse in the adjoining county and he asked me a rhetorical question, ''Why didn't we have a drug problem when you and I were growing up?''
I replied: "I had a drug problem when I was young":
I was drug to church on Sunday morning.
I was drug to church for weddings and funerals.

I was drug to family reunions and community socials no matter the weather.
I was drug by my ears when I was disrespectful to adults.
I was also drug to the woodshed when I disobeyed my parents, told a lie, brought home a bad report card, did not speak with respect, spoke ill of the teacher or the preacher, or if I didn't put forth my best effort in everything that was asked of me. I was drug to the kitchen sink to have my mouth washed out with soap if I uttered a profane four-letter word.
I was drug out to pull weeds in mom's garden and flowerbeds and cockleburs out of dad's fields.
I was drug to the homes of family, friends, and neighbors to help out some poor soul who had no one to mow the yard, repair the clothesline, or chop some firewood; and, if my mother had ever known that I took a single dime as a tip for this kindness, she would have drug me back to the woodshed.
Those drugs are still in my veins; and they affect my behavior in everything I do, say, and think. They are stronger than cocaine, crack, or heroin; and, if today's children had this kind of drug problem, America would be a better place.

This will be the last regular Pest and Disease Hotline issued for this season.  Publication will resume with the start of the 2006 –2007 vegetable season.  I would like to acknowledge and extend my sincerest thanks to all of the many contributors who graciously shared valuable information, which has made the hotline so successful and also for the generous support of all our sponsors with out which publication of the hotline would not be possible.

Hope that you all have a great summer and get some well-deserved rest and relaxation.


Contributors include: Joel Allingham/AgriCare, Inc, Karen Armbrester/SWFREC, Kathy Smith/Agricultural Pest Management, , Bruce Corbitt/West Coast Tomato Growers, Dr. Kent Cushman/SWFREC, Dr. Phyllis Gilreath/Manatee County Extension, Michael Hare/Drip Tape Solutions, Fred Heald/Farmers Supply, Sarah Hornsby/AgCropCon, Cecil Howell/Taylor &Fulton, Loren Horsman/Glades Crop Care, Keith Jackson/SWFREC, Bruce Johnson/General Crop Management, Dr. Mary Lamberts/Miami-Dade County Extension, Leon Lucas/Glades Crop Care, Bob Mathews, Glades Crop Care, Gene McAvoy/Hendry County Extension, Alice McGhee/Thomas Produce, Jimmy Morales/Pro Source One, Tim Nychk/Nychk Bros. Farm, Chuck Obern/C&B Farm, Teresa Olczyk/ Miami-Dade County Extension, Darrin Parmenter/Palm Beach County Extension, Dr. Ken Pernezny/EREC, Dr. Pam Roberts/SWFREC, Dr. Nancy Roe/Farming Systems Research, Wes Roan/6 L's, Kevin Seitzinger/Gargiulo, Jay Shivler/ C&B Farm, Ken Shuler/Stephen’s Produce, Ed Skvarch/St Lucie County Extension, John Stanford/Thomas Produce, Mike Stanford/MED Farms, Dr. Phil Stansly/SWFREC, Eugene Tolar/Red Star Farms, Mark Verbeck/GulfCoast Ag, and Alicia Whidden/Hillsborough County Extension.

The SW Florida Pest and Disease Hotline is compiled by Gene McAvoy and is issued on a biweekly basis by the Hendry County Cooperative Extension Office as a service to the vegetable industry.

Gene McAvoy
County Extension Director and Extension Agent III
Regional Specialized Agent - Vegetables/Ornamental Horticulture
Hendry County Extension Office                863-674-4092 phone
PO Box  68                                                     239-673-5939 mobile  - Nextel 159*114449*2
LaBelle, Florida 33975                                   863-674-4098 fax
The Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences is an Equal Employment Opportunity - Affirmative Action Employer authorized to provide research, educational information and other services only to individuals and institutions that function without regard to race, color, sex, age, handicap or national origin.