Cooperative Extension Service 

Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences

Hendry County Cooperative Extension Office
PO Box 68
Labelle, Florida 33975

      Southwest Florida Vegetable Newsletter

March - April 2002



May 14, 2002                          Spring Vegetable Field Day -10 AM -Noon
                                                 Southwest Florida Research and Education Center
                                                 Hwy 29
                                                 Immokalee, Florida
                                                 Call Sheila at 863-674-4092 to RSVP.

May 15, 2002                         KaPam/Vapam Certification - 4  – 6 PM
                                              Southwest Florida Research and Education Center
                                                Hwy 29
                                                Immokalee, Florida
                                                Call Sheila at 863-674-4092 to RSVP.

May 22-23, 2002                    FACTS - Florida Agriculture Conference and Trade Show
                                                Lakeland Center
                                                Lakeland, Florida
                                                For more information, contact Kathy Murphy, 407-678-5337

June 1, 2002                           Farm Safety Day
                                              Southwest Florida Research and Education Center
                                                Hwy 29
                                                Immokalee, Florida
                                              Call Barbara Hyman at 941-658-3400 for more information.

June 2 - 4, 2002                     Florida State Horticultural Society 115th Annual Meeting
                                               Marco Island Mariott Resort & Golf Club
                                               Marco Island, Florida
                                               For more information contact Kathy Murphy at 407-673-7579 or
                                    or go to

July 10-12, 2002                   70th Annual Florida Fertilizer & Agrichemcial Association
                                               The Breakers
                                               Palm Beach, Florida
                                               Contact FFAA for more information at 863-294-8626 or

September 4-6, 2002            The 26th Annual Joint Tomato Committee and
                                               Florida Tomato Committee Meeting
                                               Ritz Carlton Hotel
                                               Contact Phyllis Gilreath at 941-722-4524

December 8-12, 2002           Cucurbitaceae 2002
                                               Naples Beach and Golf Club
                                               Naples, Florida
                                               Contact Don Maynard at 941-751-7636 ext 239 or
Note from Gene

Gene McAvoy 
Vegetable Extension Agent II 
Hendry County Extension Office 
PO Box 68 
LaBelle, Florida, 33975 

Hope this note finds you all well as we approach the end of the 2001-2002 vegetable season.  Although it has been long season and many folks are undoubtedly looking forward to a well deserved break, it is not too soon to start positioning yourself for a successful crop next season.

Sanitation is an important component of an integrated pest management system that should be implemented immediately at the termination of a crop.  Many insect pests and diseases can survive over-summer on plant debris and volunteers.  By disking this materials under and planting a cover crop or maintaining a clean summer fallow, growers can do themselves a big favor and go a long way towards improving their odds in the battle against pests and diseases next season.

Planning next years soil fertility program should also begin now.  Samples must be taken in adequate time to allow processing of results, decisions to be made and fertilizers and other soil amendments to be ordered.  While this may seem fundamental, it is amazing how every season I am called to look at planting only to find a soil pH around 4.5 and crops suffering the results.

Sampling for suspected nematode problems or to determine the extent of an existing nematode problem is best  done at the end of the crop when nematode populations are at their highest.  In the case of root knot nematodes which are the most commonly encountered nematode problem in vegetables, systematic sampling  and visual examination of plant roots to determine the severity of galling will give a good indication of the extent of  nematode problems allowing a grower plenty of time to plot a strategy aimed at controlling nematode problems.

Weed control is another component of vegetable production that should be tackled starting now.  Chemical fallow is one approach can be implemented over the summer to significantly reduce populations of tough weeds like nutssedge.  Use of other weed control techniques such as cover crops can also help suppress weed populations while providing additional benefits.

Another area that should not be neglected during the off season is your involvement with issues that have the potential to affect the vegetable industry.  Pesticide re-registration, adoption of TMDL’s and other decisions to strengthen water quality standards that may further restrict the way you use water, and proposed immigration reform measures are all issues that can potentially impact your business.  Be sure to take time to familiarize yourself with the issues confronting the industry and educate yourself on how they might affect you.  Don’t stop there but take the time to write letters, call your elected officials and otherwise make your opinion known.  Given the demographic reality that agricultural producers now make up less than two percent of the population, it is important that you speak out.  Involvement in trade organizations like FFVA, Farm Bureau and commodity groups like the Tomato Committee is another important way to increase your leverage in the political arena.

While the temptation to get out of Dodge and beat the heat may be strong, a little attention to detail before heading out can go a long way to determining your potential success or failure next fall.
Return to index
Visitors from D.C. mingle with Florida agriculture
There’s an elite group of congressional aides who have an enhanced understanding of the concerns of one of their most important constituencies.

They gained this understanding during a mid-February two-day tour of agricultural operations in Southwest Florida.  They joined a growing group of current and former colleagues who accepted Florida Farm Bureau’s invitation to come to the Sunshine State and learn firsthand about Florida’s second largest industry.

Florida Farm Bureau National Affairs Coordinator Ray Hodge says the exercise fits perfectly with the organization’s reliance on grassroots involvement to raise awareness and accomplish legislative priorities.

“Nothing we do is more effective in helping our elected representatives in Congress understand the issues critical to having a healthy Florida agriculture,” said Hodge in describing the tour.  “These congressional aides talked face-to-face with our growers and saw Florida agriculture up close and personal with their own eyes.”

If a picture can paint a thousand words, then the real life images the aides experienced should fill up several volumes.

It’s one thing to read about the enormous threat that canker poses to Florida’s multi-billion dollar citrus industry.  It takes it up a notch when you’re standing in front of a burned and bulldozed commercial grove that, just a short time earlier, consisted of two hundred acres of otherwise healthy trees that had been exposed to citrus canker.

One can read the arguments, pro and con, about the planned phase-out of the soil fumigant, methyl bromide.  One’s understanding, however, of methyl bromide’s importance to agriculture becomes crystal clear when viewing a test plot of side-to-side tomato plants grown with and without the soil fumigant.

Tomato plants grown in soil treated with methyl bromide were bushy and over a foot tall. Plants grown in untreated soil were scrawny and just a few inches high.

Not only did the visiting congressional aides see sights like those described above, they were able to converse with several hardworking Floridians willing to share with them the joys and challenges of farming.

The final stop on the tour was at West Coast Tomato in Felda.  West Coast is working with IFAS researchers to test the effectiveness of methyl bromide alternatives as the search continues to come up with a replacement that will serve as an effective soil fumigant.

The aides were amazed at the differences between tomatoes planted in soil treated with methyl bromide and those planted in soil treated with Telone 33 which is being tested as an alternative.  The “methyl bromide” plants were much larger and healthier.

Again, the point was made as to how international agreements, governing items like methyl bromide use, can have a dramatic effect on American agriculture’s ability to compete in the world market.

“This tour was an outstanding opportunity to discuss issues that affect people.  I couldn’t imagine a better way for us to understand what our farmers go through.” said Casey Welch, aide to Rep. Adam Putman.

The Kyoto Protocol would give Mexico until 2015 to phaseout the use of methyl bromide, while U.S. growers would have to find alternatives by 2005.  West Coast Tomato’s Bruce Corbitt and Cecil Howell said that such an arrangement would just not work.

On Wednesday, the congressional aides headed back to Washington D.C. with an improved perspective on the challenges and uncertainties that Florida Agriculturist face on a daily basis.  And those improved perspectives may be just what it takes to give their bosses the ammunition they need in looking out for the interests of their home constituencies.  We hope so.

Ed Albanesi
April 2002
Return to index
ITC Rules No Injury to U.S. Tomato Industry
The International Trade Commission (ITC) ruled this week that the U.S. tomato industry has not been materially threatened or harmed by imports of tomatoes from Canada.  Consequently, no antidumping duties will be assessed against Canadian tomato imports.

The ITC decision is final, and ends the case brought against the Canadians by U.S. tomato growers.  Earlier this year, the Department of Commerce International Trade Administration (ITA) found that Canadian tomatoes were entering the U.S. market at “less than fair value” and were likely to threaten injury to U.S. tomato growers.  As a preventative measure, the ITA assessed antidumping duties from 1.53% to 18.21% and, pursuant to U.S. law, referred the case to the ITC, an independent agency established to determine if U.S. industry sectors are actually damaged from imports.

The combined ITA/ITC determinations conclude that while Canadian tomatoes have been imported into the U.S. at less than fair value, those low-priced imports did not cause material harm to the U.S. tomato industry.  Under U.S. law, duties cannot become permanent until after it is proven that an industry sector has been damaged or injured as a direct result of imported products.

A similar antidumping case was launched last month in Canada by Canadian tomato growers against U.S. tomato growers.  The Canadian growers must now decide whether to continue or terminate that case.

Dick Newpher, Executive Director
Washington Office
Return to index
New Poison Control Number
 A new nationwide number has been established for the American Association of Poison Control Centers.  The new number is 800-222-1222
Return to index
Acephate Interim Document Issued
 EPA has issued the interim risk management decision document for the organophosphate (OP) pesticide acephate (Orthene®).  Acephate is an insecticide currently registered for use on a variety of field, fruit, and vegetable crops (e.g. cotton, tobacco, cranberry, mint, sod); on ornamental plants both in greenhouses and outdoors (e.g. nonbearing fruit trees, Christmas trees, and cut flowers); on golf courses; and in food-handling establishments, hospitals, hotels and other public areas for pest control.  Based on risk assessments conducted on this pesticide, EPA has concluded that acephate does not pose risk concerns in food or drinking water.  By eliminating indoor residential uses and all turf uses except golf courses and sod farms, the aggregate risk from acephate fits in its own risk cup.  Other risk mitigation measures will be implemented to reduce worker and ecological risks below levels of concern for re-registration.  For example, for certain uses, application methods will be eliminated and application rates will be lowered.  Labeling to protect honey bees will be required, as will labeling to reduce potential spray drift.

Further mitigation of acephate uses may be necessary to reduce risks from methamidophos (Monitor®) residues that result from acephate applications, since acephate forms methamidophos as a break-down product.  Once the methamidophos interim document is complete, the Agency will determine whether the methamidophos exposure resulting from acephate use poses risk concerns.  Any potential further mitigation will be discussed at the time the methamidophos document is released.  EPA is currently completing the cumulative risk assessment for the OP pesicides and will complete the re-registration decision for acephate after consideration of cumulative risks.  The risk assessment and risk management documents for acephate are available at

Chemically Speaking
March 2002
Return to index
Organic Pesticide Options May Shrink in October
The guidelines for the USDA’s National Organic Program and the use of low-risk pesticides become effective as of October 21, 2002.  By that time, pesticide products must be formulated with inert ingredients which are present on List 4 (those of minimal hazard or risk).  Lists 1 through 3 contain those inert ingredients of toxicological concern, those that are potentially toxic and are a high priority for testing, and those of unknown toxicity, respectively.

Biopesticide manufacturers and the Organic Trade Association are hoping that the EPA moves as quickly as possible in reclassifying products on List 3 to List 4.  There are about 40 inert ingredients currently in use for formulating biopesticides which are on List 3.  Some of the products affected include copper fungicides, botanicals like neem, and microbials.  A member of the Biopesticide Industry Alliance’s Regulatory Affairs Committee stated that the List 3 inert ingredients have been presumed to be safe by the manufacturers to this point.  (Chemical Regulation Reporter, Vol. 26, No. 2).

Chemically Speaking
February 2002
Return to index
Pending Herbicide Labels for Florida
There are a number of new herbicide labels that will be coming this spring in Florida.  This article is intended to make you aware of these potential labels so that when they come out they can be used immediately.

Sandea:  A state label (24c) is in place at the present time for the use of Sandea (Halosulfuron) on cucumbers.  Sandea is excellent on the control of emerged nutsedges.  It will also control small emerged smooth and spiney amaranth.  Recently, we have seen that it will not control emerged livid amaranth in southwest Florida.
 A section 18 label is being requested by FFVA for the use of Sandea in tomato.  Tomatoes are very tolerant, both pretransplant and POST over-the-top.  A tolerance for halosulfuron is pending this quarter at EPA.  Do not apply Sandea to over-the-top of pepper.  Pepper is very sensitive to POST applications.  EPA has just approved a tolerance for halosulfuron on muskmelon and watermelon.  The muskmelon label is in Tallahassee and should be finalized quickly.

Aim:  Aim (carfentrazone) is labeled for burn down of broadleaf weeds and morning glories in sweet corn in Florida.  Residue studies have been carried out through the IR-4 program in tomato and pepper row middles.  Aim will control paraquat resistant nitghtshade among other weeds in the row middles.  FMC and FFVA are seeking section 18 label for this use in tomato, pepper and eggplant row middles.  The application will be as a directed-shielded application, the same as paraquat is at the present.

Matrix:  Matrix (rimsulfuron) is labeled in Florida on potatoes.  For a short period of time, rimsulfuron was labeled in Florida under the trade name Shadeout.  DuPont pulled all Shadeout labels on fresh market tomatoes, and it is only labeled on processing tomatoes at the present time.  TPR, Inc. has come to an agreement with DuPont and is now in the process of submitting a 24c third-party-registration for Matrix on tomatoes in Florida.  Matrix is safe, both PRE and POST on tomatoes, and will control a large number of broadleaf weeds.  Again, peppers are not tolerant to POST applications.

Curbit:  UAP has informed me that they are going to quit selling Curbit (ethalfluralin).  They have, however, received a registration for Strategy, a premix combination of ethalfluralin+ clomozone.  The label of Strategy will be the same as the Curbit label.  The product should be safer, however, than Curbit.  In my trials, the product has been safer and has a larger control range than Curbit.  Again, it should not be used for transplanted melons nor used under mulch.

W. M. Stall
Vegetarian, 2/02.
Return to index
Two New Pumpkins Appear Promising
UF’s latest tropical pumpkin varieties, El Dorado and La Estrella, offer growers potential as specialty crops.

Pumpkin pie may be one of the most traditional items on the Thanksgiving menu, but it’s time Americans started thinking outside the crust—with a tropical twist, says a University of Florida (UF) researcher.

“Pumpkin is a truly versatile food,” says Don Maynard , horticultural sciences professor with UF’s Institue of Food and Agricultural Sciences.  “In Latin America and the Caribbean, it’s a staple crop.  We think it can have greater impact in the United States.”

UF recently approved commercial release of two edible pumpkin varieties that Maynard developed.  Named El Dorado and La Estrella, the plants are closely related to butternut squash but produce fruit that resemble green or tan versions of the familiar Halloween pumpkin.

“The difference is, pumpkins used for jack-o’-lanterns are bred strictly for looks, so they have stringy flesh that isn’t very appetizing,”  says Maynard, who has bred tropical pumpkins since 1991 at UF’s Gulf Coast Research and Education center in Bradenton.  “Our pumpkins have a smooth consistency and a flavor similar to butternut squash and sweet potato.”

Often called calabaza or calabash, tropical pumpkin is known scientifically as Cucurbita moschata and is native to Central America.

Pumpkin Perks

The two new varieties tolerate heat and humidity well, Maynard says.  “And because they’re naturally pest resistant and don’t require much fertilizer, they’re an environmentally friendly crop.”

To make production easier, Manynard bred El Dorado and La Estrella to be bushy and compact.  Like all members of the gourd family, tropical pumpkin plants are vines, and some types send out runners 50 feet from the plant’s central stalk.

“The traditional varieties will completely cover a field if you let them,” he says.  “That’s OK for very small farms where labor is performed by hand, but it’s impractical for anyone using a tractor.”

According to Maynard, the UF pumpkins also mature faster and yield more fruit than traditional varieties.

Catering To Ethnic and Health-Conscious Consumers

 “We should be able to grow many of these crops and offer them at competitive prices,” says Maynard.  “In areas with a significant Latin or Caribbean population, there should be a good market for edible pumpkin.”

Maynard says specialty crops such as tropical pumpkin hold great potential for U.S. farmers, as the nation’s  population diversifies and interest in ethnic cuisine continues to rise.

Pumpkin soup is considered a national dish in Jamaica, and Cubans use pumpkin in stews.  In many cultures, pumpkin is cut into sections and baked, much like squash.

“In Mexican cuisine, people make candy by infusing sugar into pumpkin flesh,” Maynard says.  “Our UF varieties would make terrific pumpkin pie, too.”

Currently, almost all tropical pumpkins sold in the United States are imported from Jamaica and central America, although a few hundred acres are cultivated in Florida.  The UF varieties were developed specifically for production in the U.S. Southeast.

However, the pumpkin pair may have to compete with those that are more well-known, says Humberto Soza, administration manager for Atlanta based Brito Produce.

“It’s difficult to say how these new varieties will do in the overall American market, but Hispanic consumers might like them,” says Soza.  “Also, since pumpkin is a healthy food, that could help.”

Health-conscious consumers may appreciate tropical pumpkin’s high beta-carotene content, says Stephen Talcott, assistant professor in UF’s food science and human nutrition department.  Talcott says UF’s pumpkin varieties have a beta-carotene content ranging from 48 to 56 parts per million (ppm).  Carrots contain about 130 ppm beta-carotene, sweet potatoes 95 ppm, and canned pumpkin 70 ppm.

 “Beta-carotene is an important antioxidant, and pumpkin is one of the few cucurbits, or vine crops, that provides a good supply,” he says.

UF is searching for a licensing partner to produce and market tropical pumpkin seed in commercial quantities, says Berry Treat, assistant director of research programs in plant breeding and crop science in Gainesville.

“It will be a year or two before those details are worked out and the seed is available to the public,” Treat says.  “But we think it will be worth the wait.”

Tom Nordlie
Florida Grower March 2002
Return to index
The Most important habit to pick up or improve upon is to document “good agricultural practices” on the farm.  Record keeping is critical to ensuring food safety in today’s complex food production, handling, transportation, and marketing system.  Potential sources of microbial contamination of fresh produce include soil, water, animals (wild and domestic), manure, and poor worker hygiene.  Regular soil and water test results help to provide proof of detectable levels of microbes.  Records that exhibit physical habitat modification to prevent or exclude rodent, bird, or other animal invasions will facilitate audits.  Employee training sessions about food handling and behavior to ensure proper hygienic practices should be documented.  These critical practices can be recorded on a spreadsheet on a desktop or portable laptop computer or “pocket rocket” handheld computer or written manually in a daily calendar that can be saved and filed.  More information about GAP’s are at:

Kai Umeda
Vegetable Newsletter  IX, 3
March 8, 2002
Return to index
Florida Tomato Chief to Lead Fumigant Coalition
The newest leader of an organization representing methyl bromide users said he intends to continue the momentum started by his predecessor in influencing regulators and lawmakers on the key soil fumigant used by East Coast and California strawberry, tomato, pepper and eggplant producers.

“I will try to do a good job of picking up where he carried the ball and move forward,” said Reggie Brown, the newly elected chairman of the Crop Protection Coalition, Washington, D.C.

Brown is manager of the Florida Tomato Committee, Orlando, and executive vice president of the Florida Tomato Exchange, Orlando.  He was elected Jan. 28 to head the coalition that represents 40 methyl bromide-using industry groups, including seed producers, horticulturists, nursery and landscapers, chocolate manufacturers and the Chilean Exporters Association.

Outgoing chairman David Riggs stepped down from the chairman's post after serving 10 one-year terms since the organization’s 1992 founding.  Riggs left the California Strawberry Commission, Watsonville, on Oct. 1 and now runs a consulting business called Quail Run Business Solutions.

Dan Botts, environmental pest management division director for the Florida Fruits and Vegetable Association (FFVA), Orlando, was elected secretary treasurer.

With methyl bromide originally scheduled to be phased out in 2001, a working group for the Montreal Protocol moved the deadline to 2005.  However, methyl bromide use is scheduled to be reduced by 70% next year.

The coalition, founded to fight a methyl bromide ban, continues working with Congress, the Environmental Protection Agency and the Montreal Protocol to freeze the fumigant’s phase out at its current level.

“Loss of the compound will be extremely damaging to a number of commodity groups in the country,” Brown said.  “Every effort will be made to try and minimize those losses.”

Brown has been involved with the coalition for five years, having first worked with the coalition while working for Florida bell pepper growers when he worked for FFVA.  He said the coalition is entering some of its final hurdles in protecting methyl bromide users’ interest.

The coalition cites as one of its accomplishments the EPA’s commitment to a critical-use exemption process to be handled similarly to section 18 emergency exemption process used for pesticides.  The agency is considering critical-use exemptions on a multiple-year basis instead of the initially proposed yearly basis.

Citrus & Vegetable Magazine
March 2002
Return to index
Senate Passes Farm Bill
The Senate passed the Agriculture, conservation and Rural Enhancement Act of 2002.  The House of Representatives and the Senate to work out differences between the House and senate farm bill legislation.

Some of the provisions in the senate farm bill include:

Free Fruits and Vegetables in schools:  Twenty-five schools from four states will allow students availability to free fruits and vegetables throughout the day.

Agriculture Quarantine Inspection Service Provision Eliminated:  An additional $100 million per year allocated for federal and state pest and disease exclusion activities.

Country-of-Origin Labeling:  A provision allowing for country-of-origin labeling for fruits and vegetables was retained.

Tree Assistance Program Extended—Extension of the Tree Assistance Program to cover retroactive losses up to $100,000 per person after Jan. 1, 2000.

Citrus & Vegetable Magazine
March 2002
Return to index
Cultivating Capsaicin-Free Peppers
Nonpungent, capsaicin-free peppers have been bred to impart appropriate flavor without adding heat.  These new peppers provide the jalapeno taste in salsa products that are advertised as “chucky.”  But little is known about cultural conditions that affect marketable yield of the new peppers, which have largely replaced pungent varieties in processed products.  So, plant physiologist Vincent M. Russo at the Agricultural Research Service South Central Agricultural Research  Laboratory in Lane, OK, conducted studies to determine if planting date and increased plant density affect yield of non-pungent jalapenos.

Greenhouse-grown seedlings of the nonpungent jalapeno peppers Pace 103, Pace 105, Pace 106, TAM Sweet2 and Dulce—along with the pungent peppers TAM jalapeno 1 and Delicias for comparison—were transplanted in mid-April and mid-June of 2000 and 2001.  Either one or two seedlings were placed in each planting site.  In both years, more fruit were produced and higher yields obtained with two plants per site, indicating that competition was not a problem.  According to Russo, it appears that most of the cultivars can be transplanted at several times during the growing season and still provide producers with profitable results.

Florida Grower
March 2002
Return to index
Fully Enclosed Subirrigation Gets Another Look 
A local problem in Flatford Swamp has rekindled interest in an alternative irrigation system developed at the Gulf Coast Research and Education Center about 10 years ago.

Because it was suspected that surface runoff from irrigated agriculture in the swamp’s watershed was keeping the water table too high in the normally dry winter months, Pacific Tomato Growers installed 90 acres of the fully-enclosed sub-irrigation (FES) system to compare water use with land areas using seep irrigation or drip irrigation.

Working under a grant from the Southwest Florida Water Management District, Dr. Gary Bethune, Pacific Tomato’s engineering director, has found the system to be a big success.  He reported the results in a Field Day held at production areas near Myakka city last December.  The system utilizes drip tubing buried 16-18 inches below the soil surface spaced at about 20-ft intervals.  The tubing replaces the need for ditches to convey water to maintain a high water table to subirrigate a vegetable crop.  It basically functions the same way as seepage irrigation except that the water is applied to manage the water table height below the soil surface through the tubing and not in the ditches (see figure below).

Tests have shown that 30-40% of the water normally used with seepage irrigation can be saved with the FES system primarily from the elimination of surface runoff.  Other advantages include more precise control over the desired water table height and since it is a pressurized system, water is applied over the entire field at the same time.

The system still requires as much maintenance and cleaning as an above ground drip system, but it’s a lot more forgiving system if a problem develops.  Since the water is applied to maintain the water table instead of directly to the plant root system like micorirrigation, if a clog develops somewhere in the tubing it’s not a major problem.  Also, since the tube is installed below the tillage zone and a heavier tubing is used, the system is considered semi-permanent since a 7-10 year life is expected.

Bethune has stated that Pacific has plans to expand use of the system in Florida as well as California, Georgia and Maryland where soil conditions will allow.  Anyone interested in more information about the system may contact Craig Stanley, GCREC-Bradenton, 5007 60th Street East, Bradenton, FL  34203 or (941)-751-7636 or by e-mail at:

Manatee Vegetable Newsletter
March/April 2002
Return to index
After many years of concern about the status of Command, Strategy by United Agri Products has finally resolved grower’s problems.  Strategy, which is a pre-mix of clomozone (Command) and ethalfluralin (Curbit), has a national label for grass and broadleaf weed control in cucumbers, melons, pumpkins, squash and watermelons.  Strategy is microencapsulated in order to minimiz (but not prevent) movement of the herbicide away from the site of application.  Because it contains clomozone, which is inherently volatile, it is still very important to avoid using Strategy under conditions when spray particles may be carried by air currents to areas where sensitive crops and plants are growing, or when temperature inversions are likely to occur.  Do not apply when winds are above 10 mph.  Also, Strategy should not be used within 300 feet of towns and housing developments, commercial production of fruit and non-labeled vegetables, commercial greenhouses and nurseries.  The most effective way to reduce drift potential is to apply large spray droplets.  Achieving larger droplets is a function of spray volume, pressure and nozzle orifice size.

Strategy should be applied after seeding and before crop and weed emergence.  It should never be incorporated, in contrast to Command, or crop injury will occur.  The application rate ranges from 2-6 Pt/A is dependent upon soil texture (see label for breakdown).  Rainfall (1/2 inch within 5 days of application) or irrigation (1/2 inch within 2 days of application) is required to activate Strategy.  At recommended rates strategy should control most annual grass weeds.  Broadleaf weed control is generally good but ragweed, smartweed and to some extent pigweeds are only partially controlled.

Return to index
TMDL’s —
Coming to a Watershed Near You
Since its enactment over 25 years ago, programs under the Federal Clean Water Act, combined with many local voluntary efforts, have resulted in extensive restoration of polluted waters across the nation.  But the EPA is requiring states to do more to meet water quality standards in affected rivers, streams and lakes.  “Nonpoint sources” like agriculture will be included in efforts to reduce nutrients, sediments and bacteria, identified as the 3 leading pollutants.  State water quality agencies have identified polluted waters where pollution reduction goals must be met over the next 5-15 years.

A Total Maximum Daily Load (or TMDL) is the amount of a given pollutant that can be allowed to enter a waterbody without causing the water quality standards to be exceeded.  In watersheds where agriculture contributes to water quality impairments, TMDL implementation plans could call for landowners to change certain management practicies to reduce runoff.  Where needed, voluntary adoption of alternatives will be encouraged and credit given for voluntary efforts that have already been made.  More intensive education and accelerated assistance for landowners will be undertaken where necessary for states to show measurable progress in attaining water quality standards.  TMDL implementation plans—or cleanup plans— will be developed by local government and natural resource authorities with community-based watershed partnerships.

Growers should start becoming informed about TMDLs and which watershed(s) in their area are considered impaired.  Growers need to participate in the planning and implementation process because this WILL affect the way you farm in the future.  In the coming months workshops will be held to seek input from local growers and other stakeholders as part of a pilot project to develop monitoring strategies.  Watch for more details.

General information about TMDLs can be found at EPA’s Office Of Water website at

Manatee Vegetable Newsletter
March/April 2002
Return to index
Grants, Grants, Grants
The EPA has announced a call for proposals under the Pesticide Environmental Stewardship Program.  The program is open to all organizations involved in work that reduces the risk and use of pesticides in agricultural and non-agricultural settings.  Once upon a time, your organization had to be a member of the PESP program, but that restriction no longer applies.  Although this is EPA money, the grants program is administered by the National Foundation for IPM Education, so the amount of paperwork is greatly reduced.

If you have an idea to reduce pesticide risks, you should apply to this program.  Many pesticide grants programs are limited to land-grant universities or other institutions of higher learning.  The PESP program really is open to any organization, from a university to a garden club.

For more information, visit  The applications are handled by each of the EPA Regional Offices.  The closing date is May 27, 2002.

Georgia Pest Management Newsletter
April 2002
Return to index
Dimethoate Changes
 As of March 13, 2002, the EPA canceled all residential uses and some agricultural uses of dimethoate.  The agency has received requests to cancel these uses from the registrants.  No comments were received during and following public comment period.  Some people are probably not happy with this decision, but apparently they did not say anything.

Registrants  may distribute or sell dimethoate products with residential, public area, and agricultural housefly uses only until March 12, 2003.  Others may continue to sell, distribute, and use these products until existing stocks are exhausted.  While this notice does affect the majority of dimethoate products, it does not require any changes to the labeling for majority of agricultural uses.

Georgia Pest Management Newsletter
April 2002
Return to index
Sweet Corn Debuts Web Site

 The surest route to a great corn recipe may not be Mom’s cookbook.  It could be the Southern super-sweet Corn Council’s new Web site.  The site,, is designed to be a resource for consumers, retailers, teachers and others who would like to learn more about fresh sweet corn.

 “The web site is another way to get the information out about sweet corn,” said Paul Allen of R.C. Hatton Inc., and president of the Florida Sweet Corn Exchange.  “we live in a computer society these days, so we want to be in that ballpark.”
 The site includes educational material, promotional ideas for retailers, nutrition and health information, recipes and more.

Citrus & vegetable Magazine
April 2002
Return to index
Pesticide Potpourri

Kids Say The Funniest Things...

Some grade school teachers must agree with that, because they keep journals of amusing things their students have written in papers.  Here are a few examples:

Doctor’s Diagnosis

A woman accompanied her husband to the doctor’s office.  After his checkup, the doctor called the wife into his office alone.
 He said, “Your husband is suffering from a very severe disease, combined with horrible stress.  If you don’t do the following, your husband will surely die  Each morning, fix him a healthy breakfast.  Be pleasant, and make sure he is in a good mood.  For lunch make him a nutritious meal.  For dinner prepare an especially nice meal for him.  Don’t burden him with chores, as he probably had a hard day.  Don’t discuss your problems with him, it will only make his stress worse.  And most importantly, make love with your husband several times a week and satisfy his every whim.  If you can do this for the next 10 months to a year, I think your husband will regain his health completely.”

On the way home, the husband asked his wife, “What did the doctor say?”

“You’re going to die,” she replied

Index   Sponsors  SWFLVegNews         Home