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

SOUTH FLORIDA
VEGETABLE PEST AND DISEASE
HOTLINE

October 22, 2004

The first strong cold front of the season pushed through south Florida last weekend bringing a delightful taste of fall and signaling the end of a long hot summer.  Most South Florida locations enjoyed seasonably warm dry conditions over the past few weeks, which allowed planting, and cultural operations to return to normal following the chaotic events of August and September.   Generally favorable growing conditions have helped storm ravaged plants to begin to recover and respondents note that most crops are looking markedly better in recent days.

Although heavy rains inundated Homestead last week dropping up to 10 inches in places, precipitation in most areas was low ranging from .38 inch in Immokalee to just under 2.5 inches in Fort Lauderdale.   Growers in Homestead report that they were fortunate in that most fields drained rapidly and have reported few problems.  Heavy fog and dews in some areas helped keep diseases active. Daytime highs have been in the upper 70’s to mid 80’s with nighttime lows in the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s.

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
Bradenton      
10/8-10/22/04
 54.7
86.8
1.34
0.0
0.0
0.0
2.2
5.0
5.5
24.7
65.7
Ft L'rdale
                     
10/8-10/22/04
62.1
 88.9
2.47
0.0
0.0
0.0
0.0
0.0
13.6
4.0
20.5
Fort Pierce
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
10/8-10/22/04
51.2
85.9
8.94
0.0
0.0
0.0
8.1
1.2
9.4
14.6
74.1
Homestead
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
10/8-10/22/04
62.1
89.2
9.25
0.0
0.0
0.0
0.0
0.0
20.1
11.3
29.2
Immokalee
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
10/8-10/22/04
51.2
88.4
0.38
0.0 
0.0
0.0
14.9
6.6
10.5
5.3
60.6

Field preparation, planting and other cultural activities are going strong across all South Florida growing areas.  Replanting has started in some east coast locales wiped out by Hurricanes Francis and Jeanne. Potato planting has started in Southwest Florida.

Tomato harvesting is starting up around Ruskin with some growers picking color and light supplies of fruit and should commence in the next week or so around Immokalee.  Sweet corn harvesting has started in the Glades.  Okra harvesting continues in Dade County.  Other crops coming to market include cucumbers, snap beans, squash, pepper and eggplant.

The short-term forecast from the National Weather Service in Miami calls for a series of lows to cross the peninsula bringing a chance of shower today and again on Monday and Tuesday. For the extended forecast, high pressure is expected to build over the state later in the week bringing drier air

For additional information, visit the National Weather Service in Miami website at  http://www.srh.noaa.gov/mfl/newpage/index.html

Insects

Worms

Worms are still the big story in most areas.

Around Southwest Florida, with grower finding all types in a range of crops.  Worm pressure has been on the increase, mostly southern and beet armyworms but also tomato fruitworms and tomato hornworms and a few cabbage loopers.  Melonworms and pickleworms have been seen in cucurbits.

Reports from the Homestead area note worm pressure remains heavy.  Growers are battling numerous southern, fall and beet armyworms, tomato fruitworms, hornworms, melonworms pickleworm and loopers depending on the crop.

Fall armyworms pressure remains high in sweet corn around Palm Beach and Hendry Counties.

Around west central Florida growers and scouts report that worms are still around.  Scouts report finding beets, southern, loopers, tomato fruitworms, and hornworms.

Leafminers

Leafminer pressure is picking up in the Manatee/Ruskin area with some growers beginning to apply controls for leafminer.

Growers and scouts in Homestead report that leafminers numbers are sporadic on tomato and eggplants but anticipate a big jump in numbers as bean harvest begins in the next few weeks.

Growers in Palm Beach note that a few leafminers are beginning to show up but mostly remain below threshold numbers.

Around Southwest Florida, a few leafminers are present in beans, tomato and eggplant.  Some reports indicate that they have begun to reach sprayable levels in places.

Whiteflies

Respondents in Homestead indicate that whitefly numbers jumped sharply over the past few weeks in a variety of crops including tomato, squash and beans.

Growers in Palm Beach County report finding a few whiteflies on squash and tomatoes planted on white plastic but note that silver mulch has given good results with essentially no whiteflies present in these crops.

Respondents in the Manatee/Ruskin area report that whitefly numbers are up over the past few weeks but remain relatively low.

Around Southwest Florida growers and scouts note that overall whiteflies numbers remain fairly low but indicate that occasional fields are reaching threshold levels for adults.  Reports indicate that a few nymphs are starting to show up in older fields on both tomato and pepper.

Nicotinoid Resistance Management Recommendations

· Reduce overall whitefly populations by strictly adhering to cultural practices including:
· Plant whitefly-free transplants
· Delay planting new crops as long as possible and destroy old crops immediately after harvest to create or lengthen a tomato free period
· Do not plant new crops near or adjacent to infested weeds or crops, abandoned fields awaiting destruction or areas with volunteer plants
· Use UV-reflective (aluminum) plastic soil mulch
· Control weeds on field edges if scouting indicates whiteflies are present and natural enemies are absent
· Manage weeds within crops to minimize interference with spraying;
· Avoid u-pick or pin-hooking operations unless effective control measures are continued

  •  Do not use a nicotinoid like Admire on transplants or apply only once 7-10 days before transplanting; use other products in other chemical classes, including Fulfill, before this time;

  • · Apply a nicotinoid like Admire (16 ozs/acre) or Platinum (8ozs/acre) at transplanting and use products of other chemical classes (such as the insect growth regulators Courier® or Knack® as the control with the nicotinoid diminishes.  Note: Courier and Applaud are the same active: buprofezin.  Courier is labeled for whitefly on tomato and snap bean.  The mode of action is chitinase inhibitor.  Dimilin and
    Knack are juvenile hormone mimics labeled for whitefly control on fruiting vegetables.
    · Never follow an application (soil or foliar) of a nicotinoid with another application (soil or foliar) of the same or different nicotinoid on the same crop or in the same field within the same season (i.e. do not treat a double crop with a nicotinoid if the main crop had been treated previously);
    · Save applications of nicotinoids for crops threatened by whitefly-transmitted plant viruses or whitefly-inflicted disorders (i.e. tomato, beans or squash) and consider the use of chemicals of other classes for whitefly control on other crops.

    Broadmites

    Growers and scouts in Palm Beach report that broadmites damage is starting to be seen in peppers in some places.

    Reports from around Immokalee indicate that broadmites populations have flared up in some pepper fields.

    Aphids

    Low numbers of winged aphids continue to be reported around Southwest Florida.

    Respondents in Homestead continue to report heavy aphid pressure on a variety of crops.  Numbers are  especially high in okra.

    Reports from the Ruskin area indicate that a few aphids are beginning to show up in scattered locations.

    Spider Mites

    Respondents in southwest Florida are reporting a few problems with spider mites in eggplant.

    Thrips

    Respondents around Southwest Florida report finding a few flower thrips in tomato but these have been well below threshold levels.

    Diseases

    Bacterial Leaf Spot

    Around Immokalee, reports indicate that bacterial spot has slowed in most fields but several fields have been seriously hurt by moderate defoliation and some fruit infections in a few older fields.  Incidence varies widely from almost none in later plantings around Naples to a good bit in some locations around Immokalee, where bacteria is progressing rapidly into the upper canopy in places.

    Growers and scouts around Homestead note that recent heavy rains have increased the incidence of bacteria and other foliar diseases in a variety of plantings.

    Respondents in the Ruskin area report that bacterial leaf spot is still widespread on pepper and tomato and continues to spread thanks to wet nights and mornings.

    Reports from the Plant City area indicate that bacterial leaf spot is still a big problem but that plants are looking better in recent days.

    Bacteria is widely present in Palm Beach County on tomatoes that were affected by hurricane Jeanne.

    Respondents in all areas indicate that bacterial spot has affected fruit quality in the most severely infected fields.

    Root rots

    Reports from Homestead indicate that both soil borne and aerial pythium, rhizoctonia and other root rots are present in a number of locations.

    Growers in Palm Beach report significant root related problems causing hurricane holdover tomato and pepper plants to die and note that some of these never did grow out properly after they were transplanted because they were infected with Pythium or other damping off type pathogens.   Respondents also note that a quite few holdover peppers are still succumbing to Phytophthora.

    Rhizoctonia is being seen in a number of locations on snap beans around Palm Beach County.  The reddish-brown cankers are quite evident on the lower stems.   Pythium is also widespread on snap beans, having been favored by the large amount of rainfall, which fell up until a few weeks ago.
    Around Immokalee, pythium remains widespread but has slowed down in recent days.  Rhizoctonia has also been recovered from some storm-damaged plants.

    In west central Florida, respondents continue to report soil borne disease problems including pythium and rhizoctonia in addition to a smattering of phytophthora being reported on pepper.

    Botrytis

    Respondents continue to report botrytis in tomato plantings around the Ruskin area.  Reports note that wet nights and morning are keeping the disease active.

    Scouts in the Immokalee area also report finding low levels of botrytis on tomato.

    Target Spot

    Respondents in West Central and Southwest Florida report finding target spot on tomato.  Reports indicate that in some places target spot lesions are showing up between bacterial spot infections.

    On tomato leaves and stems, the disease first appears as small necrotic lesions with light brown centers and dark margins.  Some varieties display a pronounced yellow halo around these leaf spots.  Individual lesions often coalesce and cause a general blighting of leaves.

    On tomato fruit, lesions are more distinct.  Small, brown, slightly sunken flecks are seen initially and may resemble abiotic injury such as sandblasting.  As fruits mature the lesions become larger and coalesce resulting in large pitted areas.  Advanced symptoms include large deeply sunken lesions, often with visible dark gray to black fungal growth in the center. A zone of wrinkled looking tissue may surround the margins of lesions on mature fruit.   Placing suspect fruit in a moist environment for 24 hours will often induce the growth of dark gray mycelia providing telltale diagnostic evidence of target spot infection.

    In trials, wounding was essential for reproduction of the fruit symptoms.  Wind-blown sand is probably important in outbreaks of target spot on tomato fruit in the field.  Target spot symptoms, especially in the early stages, can be readily confused with two other tomato diseases, bacterial spot and early blight and should be submitted for diagnosis if necessary.

    Several outbreaks of target spot of tomato have been correlated with frequent use of copper/maneb tank-mixes for bacterial spot control to the exclusion of other fungicides.  This underscores the importance of correct diagnosis in implementing a disease control program in tomato.

    Currently, target spot is controlled primarily by applications of protectant fungicides.  It should be noted that tank-mix sprays of copper fungicides and maneb do not provide acceptable levels of target spot control.  Recommended fungicides include various chlorothalinil formulations (Bravo, Echo, Bravo Ultrex, Bravo Weather Stik and Ridomil Gold/Bravo) in addition to the new DuPont fungicide Tanos, which has given good results and can also provide good control of bacterial spot as well.  Note: that optimal disease control is achieved when tank mixed with another fungicide of different mode of action such as mancozeb or chlorothalonil.

    Tomato Yellow Leaf Curl Virus
    Despite some early finds of TYLCV in the Manatee/Ruskin area respondents indicate that the incidence of virus remains low.

    Growers and scouts around Immokalee report finding TYLCV in a few scattered locations around Immokalee.  Incidence in some hotspots has reached the 5% level.

    Respondents in Homestead report they are beginning to see scattered TYLCV infections currently isolated to a few fields but note that they have not yet detected Bean Golden Mosaic.

    Southern Blight

    Low incidence of southern blight continues to be reported on tomatoes in both Southwest and West Central Florida.

    Gummy Stem blight

    Gummy stem blight is present on cucurbits around Southwest and West Central Florida and has taken a severe toll on some fall watermelons.  Incidence is high in some fields that were affected by multiple hurricanes.

    Powdery Mildew

    Powdery mildew is starting to be seen on squash around Southwest Florida.

    Downy Mildew

    Reports indicate that downy mildew is starting to show up in squash in scattered locations around Southwest Florida.

    New You Can Use

    Florida Hurricane Agricultural Disaster Assistance Programs

    Overview
    Three USDA programs will provide special disaster relief to producers who suffered from crop damage and tree losses and must perform related cleanup in certain areas from Hurricanes Charley, Frances and/or Jeanne during August and September of 2004. These three programs are the Florida Citrus Disaster Program; the Florida Nursery Crop Disaster Program; and the Florida Vegetable, Fruit and Tropical Fruit Disaster Program, consisting of plasticulture, other vegetables and tropical fruit.

    Payments for this assistance are authorized under Section 32 of the Agricultural Adjustment Act of August 24, 1935, which allows the Secretary of Agriculture to implement programs to help restore producers’ purchasing power.   Losses due to reduced market prices or other adverse weather conditions are not covered under these programs.

    Eligible Producers
    Producers in Presidential disaster-declared counties may be eligible for payments depending on the type of losses due to Hurricanes Charley, Frances and/or Jeanne.  The following counties have received Presidential disaster declarations (if other counties receive the same declaration for these storms, they will also become eligible):

    Counties Designated
    Alachua, Baker, Bradford, Brevard, Broward, Charlotte, Citrus, Clay, Collier, Columbia, DeSoto, Dixie, Duval, Flagler, Gadsden, Gilchrist, Glades, Hamilton, Hardee, Hendry, Hernando, Highlands, Hillsborough, Indian River, Jefferson, Lafayette, Lake, Lee, Leon, Levy, Liberty, Madison, Manatee, Marion, Martin, Miami-Dade, Monroe, Nassau, Okeechobee, Orange, Osceola, Palm Beach, Pasco, Pinellas, Polk, Putnam, Sarasota, Seminole, St. Johns, St. Lucie, Sumter, Suwannee, Taylor, Union, Volusia, Wakulla.

    Sign-up Period
    Florida Citrus Disaster Program: Sign-up began October 5, 2004.
    Florida Nursery Crop Disaster Program: Sign-up began October 20, 2004.
    Florida Vegetable, Fruit and Tropical Fruit Disaster Program: Sign-up began October 20, 2004.

    The end of the sign-up periods will be announced at a future date.

    Florida Vegetable, Fruit and Tropical Fruit Disaster Program: Sign-up begins October 20, 2004.

    Plasticulture refers to production practices for fruit or vegetables where the soil has been bedded, fumigated, fertilized, drip tape or other irrigation systems installed, and covered with plastic mulch. Producers must have suffered a minimum of 50 percent loss to be eligible for payments.

    The Florida Vegetable, Fruit and Tropical Fruit Disaster Program provides assistance for vegetable, fruit and tropical fruit producers. A producer must certify to a minimum of 50 percent loss in production or plant population, as applicable, to be eligible for payments. Eligible disaster losses under this program are:
    · plasticulture (fruit and vegetable)
    · tropical fruit (carambola, longan, lychee, and mangos)
    · vegetables (other than plasticulture).

    Payments for plasticulture losses will be made in 3 categories (Practices I, II, and III), based on the amount of investment and require a minimum of a 50 percent loss in plastic/plant population. The payment rates are as follows.
    Practice I: Plasticulture with plants with >50 percent loss of plastic$2300 for production/plant loss subject to payment limit and AGI ,$200 for cleanup not subject to payment limit or AGI

    Practice II:  Plasticulture without plants with >50 percent loss of plastic Plasticulture with plants with >50 percent loss in plant population; no re-plants $1,800 for production/plant loss subject to payment limit and AGI $200 for cleanup not subject to payment limit or AGI

    Practice III: Double-crop Plasticulture without plants with 50 percent loss of          plasticNew plasticulture with 50 percent loss of plants and replanted $800 for production/plant loss subject to payment limit and AGI $200 for cleanup not subject to payment limit and AGI

    Practice IV 50 percent loss in plant population for conventional row-cropped practices$250 per acre, subject to payment limit and AGI

    Practice V Tropical fruit (carambola, longan, lychee, mango) with >50 percent production loss in Lee county or Citrus Bands I and II $5,000 per acre subject to payment limit and AGI

    Payment Limitation
    Each producer’s payment is limited to one $80,000 limitation for payments subject to limitation under these programs. Payment rates will be 5 percent less for producers who did not obtain Federal Crop Insurance, which is available from the Risk Management Agency, or on coverage under NAP, which is available from the Farm Service Agency. Similar to a number of other USDA programs, payments will not be available for producers whose adjusted gross income is $2.5 million or higher, unless 75 percent or more is derived from farming and forestry. In addition, producers will be required to agree to purchase crop insurance or NAP coverage for next available coverage period for the crop. Other conditions will apply.

    What Other FSA Disaster Programs are Available?
    FSA also has the following programs to assist producers in the hurricane-ravaged areas of Florida:
    Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program;
    Disaster Debt Set-Aside Program
    Emergency Loans
    Emergency Conservation Program

    Where Can I Get More Information?
    Producers in any of the eligible counties are encouraged to visit their local Farm Service Agency (FSA) County Office to begin the sign-up process or to inquire about additional programs offering emergency assistance to agricultural producers. If you are unable to reach an FSA county office due to office closure, call the Florida State Office at 352-379-4500.

    2005 Environmental Quality Incentive Program  (EQIP)

    The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is now accepting applications for the Environmental Quality Incentive Program (EQIP).  This program is competitive. Farms and nurseries will be ranked and cost-share and incentive funds will be allocated based on highest to lowest ranking until available funds run out. There is no acreage minimum or maximum. Qualified projects may receive up to $450,000.

    The EQIP program could be used to assist with reorganizing an existing inefficient irrigation system or to convert from seep to drip irrigation or to install a tailwater recovery system. The program can also be used to assist with the control of invasive exotic weeds such as cogon grass or tropical soda apple. The EQIP program has certain eligibility rules and restrictions.

    Applications are accepted throughout the year, however, only those applications received by December 15, 2004 will be considered for 2005 funding. For more information contact your local NRCS office or visit the USDA Farm Bill web site at: http://www.nrcs.usda.gov/programs/farmbill/2002/products.html

    Vegetable and Agronomic Row Crop BMP Rule Development Workshops Announced

    The Office of Agricultural Water Policy (OAWP) was established in 1995 by the Florida Legislature to facilitate and improve communications between federal, state, local agencies, and the agricultural industry on water quantity and water quality issues involving agriculture. The OAWP is actively involved in the development of Best Management Practices (BMPs) on a site specific, regional, and watershed basis.

    Best Management Practices are good thing in that they are aimed at protecting the environment and their adoption by growers will provide them with a presumption of compliance in the event that there is legal action surrounding an impaired water body.

    The BMP Manual For Vegetables and Agronomic Crops has been in the process of being developed for over a year and workshops have been announced to solicit grower comment and suggestions.  The proposed BMP manual currently runs 167 pages and covers all aspects of crop production.  It can be seen at the Florida Ag Water Policy website http://www.floridaagwaterpolicy.com/PDFs/BMPs/vegetable&agronomicCrops.pdf.

    Growers and agricultural interests would be well advised to familiarize themselves the proposed BMP’s and to attend these meetings to make constructive comments as the adoption of Vegetables and Agronomic Crop BMP’s as rule has the potential to fundamentally affect the vegetable industry does business.  By definition BMPs must be: technically feasible, economically viable, socially acceptable, and based on sound science.  Scientists are good at the sound science part but sometimes need your help especially on the technically feasible and economically viable aspects.

    October 26, 2004  1:30 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.

    Jackson County Agricultural Office Complex
    2741 Pennsylvania Avenue
    Marianna, FL 32448
    850.482.9620

    October 27, 2004 1:30 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.

    Suwannee County Extension Office
    1302 11th Street SW
    Live Oak, FL 32064
    386.362.2771

    October 28, 2004 1:30 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.

    Putnam County Extension Service
    111 Yelvington Road, Ste. 1
    East Palatka, FL 32131
    386.329.0318

    November 3, 2004 6:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.

    Miami-Dade County Extension Service
    18710 SW 288th Street
    Homestead, FL 32030
    305.248.3311

    November 4, 2004 1:30 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.

    Southwest Florida Research and Education Center
    2686 State Road 29N
    Immokalee, FL 34142
    239.658.3400

    November 5, 2004 9:30 a.m. to noon

    Indian River Research and Education Center
    2199 South Rock Road
    Ft. Pierce, FL 34945
    772.468.3922

    December 7, 2004 2:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.

    Hillsborough County Extension Service
    5339 County Rd 579 South
    Seffner, FL 35584-3334
    813.744.5519

    December 8, 2004 9:30 a.m. to noon

    Manatee County Extension Service
    1303 17th St West
    Palmetto, FL 34221-2998
    941.722.4524

    The Society of St. Andrew - Gleaning America's Fields ~ Feeding America's Hungry

    In the aftermath of the recent hurricanes, the work of the Society of St. Andrew in Florida has increased.  More Floridians are unemployed and depending on food banks and assistance programs than ever before and they can use your help.

    Every fruit and vegetable grower has produce that's culled out, whether for market conditions, blemishes or size.  The Society of St. Andrew would like to recover that produce before it's disposed of or plowed under.  They can recover small amounts through our gleaning project or large amounts through connections with feeding agencies or sending tractor-trailers to transport it.
    The Society of St. Andrew does not ask for the donation of products that are commercially marketable.  They seek only the excess, which is not economically or cosmetically marketable, yet is still consumable if recovered quickly.

    If you would like to help the Society of St. Andrew combat hunger in Florida, or need more information or have questions, please call Dick Mead, Society of St. Andrew - Florida Regional Director, or Kathy Forth, Society of St. Andrew - Florida Program Coordinator, toll free at 1-800-806-0756, or by e-mail at: sosafl@endhunger.org  The Society of St. Andrew’s web site is: www.endhunger.org

    Does This Sound Something Like Pin-Hookers?

    A significant health threat is, according to this story, being posed by an underground market in which as many as 125 tons of processing tomatoes from the central San Joaquin Valley daily are being diverted for sale as fresh tomatoes in Southern California and Mexico.

    The story says that most of the tomatoes are hastily picked and packed into used boxes in the fields, usually by crews who do not have access to portable toilets or any means for washing the fruit. Tomato industry leaders say the diversion of the tomatoes skirts numerous restrictions on inspection and leaves them vulnerable for blame in case of an outbreak of a foodborne illness.

    Nate Esformes, president and co-owner of Triple E Produce in Tracy, who grows fresh tomatoes, was quoted as saying, "If tomatoes go into the marketplace and cause you to get sick and that's on the evening news and people stop buying tomatoes because of that report, shame on all of us."

    The story explains that growers and shippers of California's Roma tomatoes, a popular retail variety, are talking with representatives of the California Department of Food and Agriculture about forming a new marketing order to tighten standards on packing of the fresh tomatoes, make it easier to trace tomatoes back to the farm and increase surveillance to thwart the underground operations.

    Ed Beckman, president of the California Tomato Commission in Fresno, was cited as saying the move is linked to a directive from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to the fresh tomato industry to strengthen "good agricultural practices" to guard against such threats as salmonella, and that the threat of salmonella from unwashed Roma tomatoes is real. Hundreds were sickened with the illness in July in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Maryland, West Virginia and Virginia. The illnesses were blamed on Roma tomatoes that were field packed in Florida and South Carolina.
    Beckman was further quoted as saying that,"Roma tomatoes are not field packed in California. They are first washed in warm, chlorinated water to avoid pathogens entering the fruit through the point where the stem is removed."

    Beckman explained that fruit that goes into the processing tomato market and the fresh market are distinctively different. A processing tomato "does not make a good fresh tomato. They have little of the watery gel inside that provide the flavor."

    The story adds that growers of processing tomatoes can find themselves with acres of the fruit still in the fields and no way to sell it because demand from processing plants has already been met.

    Beckman was further cited as saying that's the point at which farmers may be drawn into the underground scheme as a way of getting at least some money for their unharvested crop, adding, "Someone will approach a grower and say, 'Fresh tomatoes are selling at $20 a box. Instead of going through a shipper, I'll work a deal with you. I'll provide the boxes and the crew and we'll pay you for the tomatoes.'"
    Beckman said the farmer will likely get only $1 or $2, but the deals are in cash and that he believes there are at least 40 farmers who have participated in the paperless, for-cash scheme in Fresno, Stanislaus and San Joaquin counties. Fresno County is the state's leading processing tomato producer with a 2003 value at $272 million, almost half of the $571 million statewide.

    The story says that often the fruit is put into unclean boxes previously used by growers like Esformes with Triple E. In fact, many of his used boxes were seized when San Joaquin County agricultural inspectors raided a tomato diversion effort in Tracy, dumping the fruit and calling for destruction of the boxes.
    Esformes said that his boxes apparently wound up in the hands of the underground crew after a recycling operation sold them. They had been used in shipments he sent to various supermarkets.

    Esformes said that he could wrongfully be linked to an illness caused by someone eating unwashed fruit from one of his used boxes.

    Beckman was cited as saying there have been at least eight operations raided by agricultural inspectors in Fresno, San Joaquin and Stanislaus counties this year. Steve Lyle, a spokesman for the California Department of Food and Agriculture, was cited as saying at least seven citations have been issued for alleged non-compliance with the department's standards on packing and shipping of tomatoes.

    Beckman said members of the California Fresh Growers Exchange, a cooperative that is separate from the commission, are considering taking legal actions against the growers who enter into the underground agreements, those who oversee such harvests and what he termed "processors," at least two of them in Los Angeles and one in Mexicali, Mexico.
    The story says that "Gunny sackers" is the deceptively quaint -- though sarcastic -- term that growers of fresh tomatoes use to describe people who work the underground market. It's a name taken from a time when someone with a burlap sack might appropriate a few tomatoes, perhaps stealing them.

    Fred Leavitt, tomato crop manager for Sun Pacific Farming in Exeter, was cited as saying purchasers of the processing tomatoes sometimes tell farmers the fruit is going for use in fresh salsa, adding, "But then at the wholesale produce terminal, they see how many (tomatoes) they can sell to food service, stores and other outlets."

    Excerpted from the Fresno Bee, 10.19.04

    Pesticide News

    Pesticide Applicator Recertification Requirements Changes in 2005

    Effective January 1, 2005, all applicators recertifying by means of CEUs must earn 4 CEUs approved for the general standards of pesticide use and safety (core material) plus the following number of CEUs approved for each specific license category to be renewed:

    PRIMARY CATEGORIES       CEU’S REQUIRED
    Category 1A1 - Agricultural Row Crop Pest Control    8
    Category 1A2 - Agricultural Tree Crop Pest Control    8
    Category 1B - Agricultural Animal Pest Control      4
    Category 1C - Private Applicator Agricultural Pest Control    8
    Category 1D - Soil and Greenhouse Fumigation      4
    Category 1E - Raw Agricultural Commodity Fumigation     4
    Category 2 - Forest Pest Control        8
    Category 3 - Ornamental and Turf Pest Control     12
    Category 4 - Seed Treatment         4
    Category 5A - Aquatic Pest Control      16
    Category 5B - Organotin Antifouling Paint Pest Control     4
    Category 6 - Right-of-Way Pest Control       8
    Category 7A - Wood Treatment        4
    Category 7B - Chlorine Gas Infusion       4
    Category 7C - Sewer Root Control        4
    Category 9 - Regulatory Pest Control      12
    Category 11 - Aerial Application       16
    Category 20 - Regulatory Inspection and Sampling      4
    Category 21 - Natural Areas Weed Management     16

    SECONDARY CATEGORIES      CEU’S REQUIRED
    Category 10 - Demonstration and Research     4

    Intrepid Label Update

    Note: the 2004 –2005 Vegetable Production Guide for Florida erroneously failed to list Intrepid (methoxyfenozide) as an approved insecticide for use on cucurbits.

    Intrepid is approved for use on all cucurbits for control of armyworms  (including beet and southern), pickleworm and melonworm, and cabbage looper.

    There is a 3-day preharvest interval and a maximum of 4 applications per year at a rate of 4 to 10 ounces per acre. The re-entry interval for this insect growth regulator is 4 hours.

    This will be a good material to use in rotation with SpinTor.

    Fulfill Label Change

    On August 12, 2004, the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services issued a special local needs registration (SLN FL-0400006) to Syngenta Crop Protection for the use of Fulfill insecticide (pymetrozine) on tomato to manage whitefly.  Applications have been increased from two to four per crop.

    Topsin M WSB Section18 Emergency Exemption Extended

    Based on requests from Florida tomato, pepper, and eggplant growers and efforts by the Florida Fruit and Vegetable Association on their behalf, the EPA has renewed the Section 18 Emergency Exemption for Topsin M 70WSB Fungicide for use on tomatoes, peppers, eggplants for control of Sclerotinia white mold for the 2004 fall and 2005 spring growing seasons.
    Application rate is 0.5 –1 lb of product per acre.  A maximum of 4 applications are permitted at 7-14 day intervals.  PHI is 2 days and REI is 12 hours.  Exemption is for ground application only, chemigation and/or aerial application is not permitted.  Total application must not exceed 3.5 lbs of product per acre per crop.

    Growers are reminded that when using any Section 18 labeled product, the label must be in the possession of the use at the time of application.

    Business Opportunity

    McCall Farms a processor from North Carolina is interested in locating large amounts of red ripe Roma tomatoes this season.  They are interested in buying culls and or the rights to fields where commercial harvest for the fresh market is past.  For information, contact Sean Lennon.  Office number is 1-800-277-2012 ext. 112.  Cell phone is 706-975-7578.

    The 17th International Pepper Conference Comes to Naples on November 14 –16, 2004

    Hope you are making plans to join us for this premier event. For the past 25 years, the International Pepper Conference has attracted prominent scientists, researchers, breeders, horticulturists, pathologists, entomologists, geneticists, physiologists, virologists, extension agents, seed and chemical company representatives, major
    processors, growers, and chile aficionados from around the world and is now recognized as the premier venue for the dissemination and exchange of information on Capsicum. All pepper types including bell, long
    green/red chile, high color paprika, ancho, pimiento, cayenne, tabasco, jalapeno, yellow pickling, serrano, and cherry peppers will be a focus of the conference.

    The conference is scheduled November 14-16, 2004 at the Naples Beach Hotel and Golf Club in Naples, Florida USA.

    We look forward to your participation in the conference, and if you have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact me personally. Meanwhile, stay tuned to the web site for updated information at:
    http://conference.ifas.ufl.edu/pepper

    Up Coming Meetings

    Manatee County

    December 8, 2004   Row Crop Draft BMP Manual Workshop   9:30 AM

    Manatee County Extension Office
    1303 17th Street W
    Palmetto, Florida.

    Row Crop Draft BMP manual can be accessed at www.floridaagwaterpolicy.com

    December 14, 2004  CORE/Private Applicator Ag License Training and Test   9 AM, 2 CORE CEUs offered.

    Manatee County Extension Office
    1303 17th Street W
    Palmetto, Florida

    Contact Phyllis Gilreath at 941-7724524 ext 237

    Palm Beach County

    October 27, 2004  DuPont Crop Protection Update - Sandland Vegetables 11:30 – 1:00 pm

    Richard’s Steakhouse
    Boynton Beach
    Contact Darrin Parmenter at

    November 3, 2004  DuPont Crop Protection Update - Sugarcane, sweet corn, and muck crops
    11:30 – 1:00 pm

    UF/IFAS Everglades Research and Education Center
    3200 East Palm Beach Ave
    Belle Glade, Florida

    Contact Curtis Rainbolt at 561-966-1656 or Darrin Parmenter at 561-233-1725

    November 10, 2004  General Standards/Core Test Review   8 AM - 12 AM 4 CEUs
    Private Applicator Test Review    1 PM - 3 PM  2 CEUs

    Belle Glade Extension Office
    976 State Road 15
    Belle Glade, Florida

    Contact Laura Powell at 561-996-1655.

    Southwest Florida

    October 26, 2004  WPS - Train the Trainer Class  8 AM – 12 Noon

    Hendry County Extension Office
    1085 Pratt Boulevard
    LaBelle, Florida 33935

    Contact Gene McAvoy at 863-674-4092 for details

    October 26, 2004  Vegetable Growers Meeting     6 PM

    UF/IFAS - SW Florida Research and Education Center
    Hwy 29 N
    Immokalee, Florida

    Contact Gene McAvoy at 863-674-4092 for details
     

    October 29, 2004   WPS Handler Training

    Hendry County Extension Office
    1085 Pratt Boulevard
    LaBelle, Florida 33935

    Contact Gene McAvoy at 863-674-4092 for details
     

    November 4, 2004   Row Crop Draft BMP Manual Workshop   1:00 PM

    UF/IFAS - SW Florida Research and Education Center
    Hwy 29 N
    Immokalee, Florida

    Sponsored by FDACS Office of Ag Water Policy.  For your reference, the Row Crop Draft BMP manual can be accessed at www.floridaagwaterpolicy.com under Best Management Practices.

    Other Meetings

    October 27, 2004   Production and Utilization of Compost Workshop 8:00 AM

    Sumter County Solid Waste Facility
    835 County Road 529
    Lake Panasoffkee, Florida

    Contact Dr. Monica Ozores-Hampton – 239 - 658-3400 or email Ozores@mail.ifas.ufl.edu

    November 14 –16, 2004  17th International Pepper Conference

    Naples Beach Hotel and Golf Resort
    Naples, Florida

    For more information, contact Gene McAvoy at 863-674-4092

    Websites

    Handbook of Florida Agricultural Laws – assembled by the University of Florida IFAS Ag Law Center can be accessed on line at http://www.aglawcenter.ifas.ufl.edu/EDISPubs/EdisPubs.html. This site provides access to a number of laws affecting ag producers of all types.

    FSA Disaster Programs - FSA also has the following programs to assist producers in the hurricane-ravaged areas of Florida:  Check them out at
    · Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program; http://disaster.fsa.usda.gov/nap.htm
    · Disaster Debt Set-Aside Program: http://www.fsa.usda.gov/pas/publications/facts/html/debtset02.htm
    · Emergency Loans: http://disaster.fsa.usda.gov/emloan.htm
    · Emergency Conservation Program: http://disaster.fsa.usda.gov/ecp.htm

    Chemically Speaking  – stay abreast of the latest news on pesticides and pesticides related issues with the popular UF/IFAS monthly publication at http://pest.ifas.ufl.edu/news.htm

    Quotable Quotes

    A woman drove me to drink ... and I hadn't even the courtesy to thank her. - W.C. Fields

    I never drink water because of the disgusting things that fish do in it. - WC. Fields

    It takes only one drink to get me drunk...the trouble is, I can't remember if it's the thirteenth or the fourteenth. - George Burns

    Don't worry about avoiding temptation ... As you grow older, it will avoid you. - Winston Churchill

    By the time a man is wise enough to watch his step, he's too old to go anywhere. - Billy Crystal

    Life may not be the party we hoped for, but while we are here we might as well dance.

    On the Lighter Side

    Hollywood Squares

    If you remember the original Hollywood Squares and its comics, this may bring a tear to your
    eyes. These great questions and answers are from the days when Hollywood Squares game show
    responses were spontaneous and clever, not scripted and (often) dull, as they are now. Peter Marshall was the host asking the questions.

    Q. Do female frogs croak?
    A. Paul Lynde: If you hold their little heads under water long enough.

    Q. If you're going to make a parachute jump, at least how high should you be?
    A. Charley Weaver: Three days of steady drinking should do it.

    Q. Which of your five senses tends to diminish as you get older?
    A. Charley Weaver: My sense of decency.

    Political Strategy

    A stranger seated next to little Johnny on the plane, turned to the boy and said lets talk, I’ve heard that the flight will go quicker if you strike up a conversation with your fellow passenger.
    Tommy, who had just opened up a book, closed it slowly and said to the stranger, “What would you like to discuss?”

    “Oh, I don’t know,” said the stranger.  “How about politics? Should we keep Bush or elect Kerry?”

    “Ok”, said little Tommy.  ‘That could be an interesting topic but let me ask you a question first.”  “A horse, a cow and a deer all eat grass. The same stuff.  Yet a deer excretes little pellets, while a cow turns out a flat patty and a horse produces clumps of manure.   Why do you suppose that is?”

    “Jeez”, said the stranger, “I have no idea.”

    “Well then”, asked little Tommy, “How is it you feel qualified to discuss the country when you don’t know shit?  Now, if you don’t mind I would like to finish reading my book!”

     One Nation, "Under God"

    One day a 6 year old girl was sitting in class.   The teacher was going to explain evolution to the children.

    The teacher asked a little boy:  Tommy do you see the tree outside?
    Tommy: Yes.
    Teacher: Tommy, do you see the grass outside?
    Tommy: Yes.
    Teacher: Go outside and look up and see if you can see the sky.
    Tommy: Okay. (He returned a few minutes later)  Yes, I saw the sky.
    Teacher: Did you see God?
    Tommy: No.
    Teacher: That's my point. We can't see God because he isn't there. He just doesn't exist.

    A little girl spoke up and wanted to ask the boy some questions.  The teacher agreed and the little girl asked the boy:  Tommy, do you see the tree outside?

    Tommy: Yes.
    Little girl: Tommy do you see the grass outside?
    Tommy: Yes!
    Little girl: Did you see the sky?
    Tommy: Yes!
    Little girl: Tommy, do you see the teacher?
    Tommy: Yes.
    little girl: Do you see her brain?
    Tommy: No.
    Little girl: Then according to what we were taught today in school she must not have one!
     

    Contributors include: Joel Allingham/AgriCare, Inc, Karen Armbrester/SWFREC, Kathy Carbiener /Agricultural Pest Management, Jim Connor/SWFREC, Bruce Corbitt/West Coast Tomato Growers, Dr. Kent Cushman/SWFREC, Dr. Phyllis Gilreath/Manatee County Extension, Fred Heald/Farmers Supply, Sarah Hornsby/AgCropCon, Cecil Howell/H&R Farm, Loren Horsman/Glades Crop Care, Bruce Johnson/General Crop Management, Dr. Mary Lamberts/Miami-Dade County Extension, Leon Lucas/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/ F& F Farm, Ken Shuler/Stephen’s Produce, Ed Skvarch/St Lucie County Extension, John Stanford/LNA Farm, Mike Stanford/MED Farms, Dr. Phil Stansly/SWFREC, Eugene Tolar/Red Star Farms, Dr. Charles Vavrina/SWFREC, Mark Verbeck and Donna 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
    Web:http://hchort.ifas.ufl.edu/                          GMcAvoy@ifas.ufl.edu
    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.
    COOPERATIVE EXTENSION WORK IN AGRICULTURE, FAMILY AND CONSUMER SCIENCES, SEA GRANT AND 4-H YOUTH, STATE OF FLORIDA, IFAS, UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE, AND BOARDS OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS COOPERATING