Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences
Southwest Florida Vegetable Newsletter
January / February 2001
Note from Gene
New Fungal Strain Spells Trouble for Caterpillar Pest
Environmental Awards Given
USDA Assists Growers
Genetically Engineered Crops Hold Promise
Health and the Environment Quiz
New Research Project on Whitefly Virus Transmission Funded
USDA Introduces Internet Training
Ohio State Tomato Variety Appears to Resist Bacterial Disease
National Organic Standards Finally Announced by USDA
National Organic Program
Answers to Quiz
On the Lighter Side
March 5-8, 2001
Florida Post Harvest Horticulture Industry Tour
Contact: Abbie Fox, 352-392-1928 ext. 235 or firstname.lastname@example.org
March 17-19, 2001 United 2001 GrowTech Americas
The 98th Annual United Fresh Fruit & Vegetable Association convention
will partner for the
second year with GrowTech Americas to premier a global showcase for the fresh fruit and
For more information, contact UFFVA at 703-836-3410, e-mail email@example.com
check the Web site at http://www.uffva.org.
April 5-8, 2001
The 33rd Annual Florida Watermelon Association Convention
Marriott Indian River Plantation, Stuart, Florida.
Contact Debbie B. Johnson at 941-658-1442.
April 22-26, 2001
The 85th Annual Meeting of the Potato Association of America
St. Augustine, Fla.
Contact University of Florida, IFAS Office of Conferences, 352- 392-5930, fax 352- 392-9734
or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or their web site http://www.ifas.ufl.edu/~conferweb/paa/
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Vegetable Extension Agent II
Hendry County Extension Office
PO Box 68
LaBelle, Florida, 33975
The New Year has certainly started on a rough note. January was a tough month locally with most growers sweating through at least three nights which saw the mercury plummet below freezing. Total losses to growers will total in the millions. Fortunately a return to warmer weather has allowed most crops to begin growing out from weather related damage sustained in January.
The drought situation is also causing growers concern. Meteorologists and others are talking about a one in two hundred year drought. Lake and aquifer levels are lower than normally seen in May and we are still only in February. Hopefully phase II water restrictions that went into place in November will result in adequate water conservation and avoid further restrictions that good seriously impact agricultural users in southwest Florida.
Unfortunately a number of folks are using this situation to point fingers at agriculture once again. It is a sad reality but there is a vocal contingent out there that seeks to paint agriculture as a convenient scapegoat on which to blame many of societies environmental and resource allocation problems.
Recently, I had the opportunity to address several classes and clubs around the area and have been amazed at the misconceptions and misinformation surrounding agriculture! Folks - the sad reality is that we are being painted as some sort of knuckle dragging Neanderthal.
It is a good investment in our collective future make your voice and opinions heard by supporting people and organizations that support agriculture. Individually you can help make a difference by hosting a tour group to visit your operation, speaking to civic groups or possibly working with a local school or teacher.
As growers and members of the industry, we need to be proactive and make an effort to educate the public about the enormous benefits and positive contributions that agriculture makes to the economy and our natural heritage.
TMDL’s - total maximum daily loads is a term that growers will be hearing a lot more about. At a recent meeting hosted by the Department of Environmental Protection, it was explained the department would be acting to establish TMDL’s for up to 2000 compounds that could be impacting watersheds throughout the state. This move has been precipitated under the terms of a consent decree that Florida entered into as the result of a lawsuit over its alleged failure to enforce provisions of the Clean Water Act. Keep your eyes on this one - the already onerous amount of regulation under which we toil threatens to expand exponentially depending on the path this development takes.
Let's all pray that we are blessed with a resumption of a normal rainy season this summer.
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In laboratory bioassays, BB-1200 consistently exhibited virulence equal to or greater than the GHA strain against all lepidopteran pests tested, including fall armyworm, beet armyworm, black cutworm, corn borer, and cabbage looper pests that are not highly susceptible to GHA strain, according to ARS ecologist Stephen P. Wraight.
“These lepidopteran defoliators are among the most destructive insect pests of important crops like corn and cabbage and other vegetables. Each year, they cause billions of dollars in losses," says ARS entomologist John D. Vandenberg.
Cooperation Leads to Success
While the GHA strain of B. bassiana is effective
against some lepidopteran pests, including diamondback moth in the field,
vegetable crop damage typically results from the feeding activities of
several caterpillar pest species. Manufacturers of conventional pesticides,
however, are often reluctant to research new controls for these pests because
their hosts are considered to be minor crops and therefore offer limited
t was through a cooperative research and development agreement between ARS and Mycotech Corporation of Butte, Mont., that spores of Beauveria strain GHA came to be incorporated in two commercial biocontrol products: Mycotrol and BotaniGard. These product developments grew out of joint efforts to exploit a Beauveria strain first discovered by Vandenberg more than two decades ago.
Now with ARS at the U.S. Plant, Soil and Nutrition Laboratory at Ithaca, N.Y., Vandenberg collected the GHA strain while he was a graduate student at Oregon State University, Corvallis in 1977. Originally isolated from a chrysomelid beetle, the GHA strain was tested extensively against grasshoppers and whiteflies, before its commercial development and patenting by Mycotech.
The commercial products Mycotrol and BotaniGard are registered for use in the United States, Mexico, and other countries for biological control of grasshoppers, whiteflies, aphids, thrips, and diamondback moths. They can be used on many important agricultural crops, such as cabbage, broccoli, cucumbers, and greenhouse ornamentals.
"The fungus used in the Mycotrol and BotaniGard products could be said to originate here at Ithaca." says Wraight. That's because Mycotech scientists discovered the commercial pest control potential of GHA strain after screening many other strains selected from the ARS Collection Entomopathogenic Fungal Cultures (ARSEF) in Ithaca. The GHA strain originated from Vandenberg's culture, originally deposited as ARSEF-201.
Curated by ARS microbiologist Richard A. Humber, the Ithaca collection includes about 6,200 cultures of fungi. Specimens are stored at very low temperatures in liquid nitrogen, and many have undiscovered insect biocontrol properties, Humber says.
The Search for a Better Fungus
“After the discovery of ARSEF-201, the search intensified for a more highly virulent, broad spectrum mycoinsecticide effective against a large group of lepidopteran pests.” says Wraight.
Since the registration of Mycotrol in 1995, its use in the United States has been largely limited to greenhouse production. Larger markets have been slow to develop, but vegetable production is one area in which demand for mycoinsecticides is strong. That's partly because of recent passage of the Food Quality Protection Act, which regulates insecticide use on certain food crops.
During 1998 ad early 1999, ARS scientist at Ithaca tested about 50 strains of B. bassiana and several of Paecilomyces fumosoroseus, selected from the extensive culture collections of ARS and Mycotech, against the diamondback moth, fall armyworm, European corn borer, and corn earworm. They also tested promising strains against the beet armyworm, black cutworm, cabbage looper, and imported cabbageworm.
“Many of these strains come from the ARSEF collection, which is a veritable treasure trove of untapped potential biocontrol fungi,” says Wraight. “But we found no single strain with acceptable mass production characteristics that was also highly virulent against more than three pest species.”
Better Than the Rest
Then in June 1999, Wraight and Vandenberg, who head up the ARS fungal screening program at Ithaca, discovered the virulence and exceptionally broad lepidopteran host range of the BB-1200 strain.
“Mycotech had received this new isolate B originally
taken from diamondback moth, from a collaborator and passed it on to the
ARS fungal screening program for routine study as part of our long-standing
cooperative agreement,” says Wraight.
Laboratory testing of the BB-1200 strain is continuing at Ithaca to further characterize its host range of virulence and to determine its potential for use as a biological control agent in the United States, says Wraight. Field and greenhouse experiments are planned that will compare effectiveness of exposing moths either to direct sprays of fungal spores or to spores sprayed on plant foliage.
Meanwhile, researchers at Mycotech are investigating industrial scale mass production and shelf life of the new fungal strain. Other Mycotech collaborators are assessing its efficacy against thrips, whiteflies, and other major insect pests.
Mycotech has applied to the appropriate regulatory agencies to request permits for limited field testing in the United States. Preliminary field evaluations against armyworms and diamondback moths are under way in Mexico and Guatemala. Results of these studies will determine whether further commercial development is warranted.
The Ithaca lab's role in future development efforts will focus both on field testing of new BB-1200 formulations and on laboratory studies to discover reasons for BB-1200 high level of potency against lepidopteran pests. If successful, this collaboration could lead to registration, production, and use of one or more new mycoinsecticides to control lepidopteran pests and better protect the nation's vegetable crops.
This research is part of Plant, Microbial, and Insect Genetic Resources, Genomics, and Genetic Improvement, and ARS National Program described on the World Wide Web at htttp://www.nps.ars.usda.gov.
Stephen P. Wraight, John D. Vandenberg, and Richard
A. Humber are with the USDA-ARS U.S. Plant, Soil and Nutrition Laboratory,
Tower Road, Ithaca, NY 14853; phone (607) 255-2458, fax (607) 255-1132,
Citrus & Vegetable Magazine
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“Over the years, many Florida farmers have, with little fanfare, implemented innovative environmental practices," Crawford said. "For too long these positive efforts have been over-looked. This award publicly recognizes Florida farmers for their environmental accomplishments, spreads the word about the importance of environmental stewardship, and encourages others to adopt similar practices."
Crawford said modern farmers are increasingly sensitive to the environmental consequences of their practices and have made large strides in preserving the earth's natural resources while harvesting its bounty to feed the nation and the world.
Citrus & Vegetable Magazine
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AMS has also identified figs, plums, dried plums, apricots, pears, beans, corn, tomatoes, sweet potatoes, certain mixed vegetables, and certain tree nuts as also meeting the criteria specified in the act. For more information, visit http://www.ams.usda.gov/fv/fvcomm.htm.
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Georgia Pest Management Newsletter
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Whitefly Virus Transmission Funded
Bayer will provide $60,000 a year for a two-year research project being conducted by Dr. Jane Polston, associate professor at the University of Florida's (UF) Gulf Coast Research and Education Center. Her objective is to discover the mechanisms by which whiteflies acquire gemniviruses.
Polston is a plant virologist at the UF who has studied TYLCV and other gemniviruses for more than 20 years. She is considered one of the nation's leading experts on the silverleaf whitefly and virus transmission. In 1997, she identified the introduction of TYLCV, a gemnivirus formerly confined to Middle East, as the cause of a new disease in tomatoes in the U.S.
The Tomato Magazine
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The course explains legal rights and responsibilities, trade terms, payment requirements, and interpretations of federal inspection certificates. The course is divided into 10 units, and each unit can be completed in less than one hour. Once trainees have satisfactorily completed all 10 units, they will receive e-mail notification of having successfully completed the course.
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Appears to Resist Bacterial Disease
David Francis, Ohio Agricultural Research and
Development Center researcher, said that the study, following three years
of development, is in its second year of yield tests and shows promising
enough results to move into the pre-commercial stage.
“The tomatoes are holding up pretty well to the disease. We consider it a partial resistance, not a full immunity," said Francis. “But we could release a variety as early as next year with commercial seed available by 2002.” Sally Miller, OARDC plant pathologist and a researcher from the University of Florida are also participating in the study.
Bacterial spot, caused by the bacterium Xanthomonas campertris pv. Vesicatoria, attacks tomato plants under moist environmental conditions. In addition to attacking the leaves, bacterial spot also causes spotting, blemishing, and distortion of the fruit, reducing its marketability and palatability.
Exact monetary crop loss in Ohio caused by bacterial spot is not known, but Francis estimates that approximately 10% of the state's $20 million annual processing tomato crop is lost to bacterial spot, as well as bacterial speck and bacterial canker, two other major diseases in Ohio.
“It depends on the disease, environmental conditions and a grower's crop,” said Francis. “Losses can range from 10% to 80% for an individual.”
OARDC research on bacterial spot spawned from a survey of growers and processors, who named bacterial spot as one of the most important diseases in Ohio, said Francis. "A couple of fungal diseases were included on the list, but other people were already working on those," he said. "Research has been done on bacterial spot before, but this is the first time we've strung the whole process together to get a variety."
The researchers focused on a Hawaiian tomato line that exhibits multiple bacterial resistance, including bacterial spot. Using DNA marker technology similar to that used in forensics, the researchers identified and selected disease resistant genes in the Hawaiian line. By subsequently crossbreeding the Hawaiian line with a tomato variety adapted to Ohio growing conditions, the researchers were able to develop over 100 tomato varieties that exhibited resistance to bacterial spot. Out of the original population and subsequent generations, four varieties were chosen for their resistance to bacterial spot while maintaining the horticultural characteristics necessary for marketing success.
“The quality of the fruit is the biggest concern. These varieties passed that hurdle,” said Francis, adding that the tomatoes also exhibit traits such as high yield, excellent color, and a balanced sugar and citric acid content.
The researchers have planted and studied the varieties in several areas, including Wooster and Fremont Ohio, Indiana, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Maryland, and Canada.
“It's easy for me to see faults in the varieties that I want to make improvements to on,” said Francis. “But we've really done something here. We've added extra value to the seed that other varieties don't have.”
The researchers are also currently conducting tomato studies on bacterial speck and bacterial canker.
The Vegetable Growers News
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To qualify for exemption, the active ingredient must be listed in 40 CFR 152.25(g)(1). Typical exempt ingredients include things like cedar oil, soybean oil, white pepper, etc. Exempt inerts include milk, cocoa, mica, etc. You can also find the list of exempt materials at the EPA web site, http://www.epa.gov/pesticides
An exemption does not mean the pesticide is completely unregulated. Any pesticide applied to a food must have an established tolerance as required under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act. Additionally, state regulations may not exempt minimal risk pesticides from regulatory requirements. Check with regulatory agencies in states where you plan to sell or use the pesticide.
For more information, contact Brian Steinwand at EPA, (703-305-7973 or email@example.com)
The EPA has published additional guidance for pesticide labeling requirements. Pesticide labels carry mandatory statements and advisory information. Mandatory statements include “wear chemical resistant gloves” and “do not apply within 100 feet of wells.” Advisory statements are not legal requirements, such as “latex gloves are recommended.”
Understandably, certain words can confuse pesticide users about “mandatory” and “advisory statements.” For example, the statement “user should wear gloves” could be interpreted as mandatory or advisory. What difference does it make? Suppose a pesticide injures an applicator because he/she did not wear gloves. The applicator may sue the pesticide company over the ambiguous statement. The new guidance is intended to help pesticide registrants avoid ambiguous language in pesticide labeling.
If your company is a pesticide registrant, you need to pay attention to the new guidance. For more information, visit the EPA web site (http://www.epa.gov/pesticides) or call the labeling team at 703-308-9068.
Georgia Pest Management Newsletter
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Finally Announced by USDA
Essentially, the new organic standard offers a national definition for the term organic. The introduction of standards marks the end of a long discussion of what “organically produced” really means. It details the methods, practices and substances that can be used in producing and handling organic crops and livestock, as well as processed products.
Released Dec. 20, the standard establishes clear organic labeling criteria, and specifically prohibits the use of genetic engineering methods, ionizing radiation, and sewage sludge for fertilization.
“The standards are fair standards,” said California organic grower Phil Foster. “They will give some creditability to the whole organic industry and increase consumer confidence in the organic label.”
The standards were originally called for in the Organic Foods Production Act of 1990. The national standards replace state and even regional definitions of the label organic.
“These standards will allow the USDA organic label to compete in international trade,” said Brian Leahy, the executive director of the California Certified Organic Farmers (CCOF). Leahy regards the standards as “very good” compared to the first proposed set of standards the USDA originated in 1997.
“Three to four years ago there were over 270,000
responses to the proposed rule,” said Leahy. “This time around, there
were 40,000 comments made, and a lot of those comments were specific.
They prompted good changes in the proposed rule.”
CCOF is one of the organizations participating in a public/private partnership, to become a licensing agent of the USDA. All agricultural products labeled organic must originate from farms or handling operations certified by a state or private agency accredited by USDA.
The new label and the organic industry being in the news will increase consumer interest, according to Foster, whose Phil Foster Ranch produces crops under the Pinnacle label in San Juan Bautista, Calif.
“Perhaps the consumer will have a little more understanding,” he said. “They will see that the organic label is overseen by the USDA on a national scale.”
The USDA will provide financial assistance to farmers in 15 states to help pay their costs for organic certification. The states selected are Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Massachusetts, Maryland, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, West Virginia, Utah, Nevada, and Wyoming. Payments will be limited to 70% of an individual producer's certification costs, up to a maximum of $500.
Farms and handling operations that sell less than $5,000 worth per year of organic agricultural products are exempt from certification.
Farmers and handlers have 18 months to comply with the national standards. Consumers will begin to see new organic labeling on products in their local grocery stores by the summer of 2001, with full implementation by mid 2002.
The new standards were also praised by Jay Vroom, president of the American Crop Protection Association, who said that consumers now have a federal standard to define organic food, instead of relying on a variety of different state standards.
“While the crop protection and biotechnology industry welcomes federal standards on the production of organic food, we hope that the seal does not undermine consumer confidence in foods produced using today's highly advanced agricultural technologies,” Vroom said.
The national organic standards address the methods, practices, and substances used in producing and handling livestock, and processed agricultural products. The requirements apply to the way the product is created, not to measurable properties of the product itself.
Land used for organic crop production will have no prohibited substances applied to it for at least three years before the harvest of an organic crop. Soil fertility and crop nutrients must be managed through tillage and cultivation practices, crop rotations, and cover crops, supplemented with animal and crop waste materials and allowed synthetic materials.
Preference will be given to the use of organic seeds and other planting stock, but a farmer may use non organic seeds and planting stock under specified conditions. Crop pests, weeds, and diseases will be controlled primarily through management practices including physical, mechanical and biological controls. When these practices are not sufficient, a biological, botanical, or synthetic substance approved for use on the National List of Allowed Synthetic and prohibited Non Synthetic Substances may be used.
The handling standards say that all non-agricultural ingredients, whether synthetic or non synthetic, must be included on the national list. Handlers must prevent the co-mingling of organic with non organic products and protect organic products from contact with prohibited substances. In a processed product labeled as “organic,” all agricultural ingredients must be organically produced, unless the ingredient(s) is not commercially available in organic form.
The final standard includes several changes from the proposed rule issued in March. The final version enhances market incentives for organic products by making product content requirements stricter before the term organic can be used. The percentage of organic ingredients in products labeled “Made with Organic Ingredients” jumped from at least 50% to at least 70%.
Organic farmers will have greater flexibility
for composting of manure for fertilizer. Consumers also benefit from
changes to the proposed rule that allow manufacturers to state the exact
percentage of organic ingredients on the principal display panel.
The standard allows wine produced with sulfur dioxide to be labeled “made with organic grapes” and adopts the 5% EPA pesticide tolerance as the pesticide residue level above which a product cannot be sold as organic.
The Vegetable Growers News
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The USDA will accredit state, private, and foreign organizations or persons to become “certifying agents.” Certifying agents will certify that production and handling practices meet the national standards.
Farmers and handlers will have to submit specific information to an accredited certifying agent to become certified. Information will include:
The USDA will be hosting a workshop for organic certification agencies on March 7-8, 2001, in Buena Park, CA. The objective of the training workshop is to familiarize private and state organic certifiers with the requirements of accreditation under the National Organic Program and ISO Guide 65. For further information, please contact Beth Hayden at 202-720-8405 or by email firstname.lastname@example.org.
These standards are to be implemented over 18 months beginning in February 2001. The USDA Seal may not be used on any “100% organic” or “organic” product until 18 months after the effective date (February 2001).
Newspapers have carried farmer concerns over the new regulations to help the $7.8 billion organic food industry. Most say the small farmer could get hurt because of the one size-fits-all standards. Keith Jones, who runs the USDA organic program has stated the NOSB, established in 1992, to come up with the standards can make recommendations on changes as the need arises. In a news release dated January 17, 2001, Agriculture Secretary Dan Glickman announced the appointment of five new members to the NOSB. Rosalie L. Koenig, Gainesville, FL, was appointed as one of 4 organic farmers on the board. The NOSB includes 4 organic farmers, 1 retailer, 2 organic handlers, 3 environmentalists, 3 consumers, 1 scientist, and 1 certifying agent.
For additional information, visit the web site http://www.ams.usda.gov/nop.
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Kaolin is not a panacea. It is not effective against all pests, and timing is critical. Additionally, it seems to interfere with some beneficial parasitoid wasps. Kaolin also leaves a substantial visible residue.
For more information, contact Michael Glenn at email@example.com
Agricultural Research, 11/00
Biotechnology - The American Medical Association concludes that genetically altered foods “appear safe.” The AMA Council on Scientific Affairs delivered this report at the December meeting of AMA House of Delegates.
Agromedicine Program Update, 12/15/00
The revised risk assessment for malathion is available for public comment. You can take a look at http://www.epa.gov/pesticides Do not assume that you are not intelligent or educated enough to help EPA with their assessment. If you use malathion, you may have some insight that has not been considered in the assessment. Take the time to comment. The deadline is February 12.
The final agreement concerning the diazinon phase out has been reached.
All indoor uses (except mushroom house treatment) will be canceled March 2001. All retail sales for these uses will stop December 31, 2002.
Manufacturing for all lawn, garden, and turf uses stops June 1, 2003. Production of lawn/garden/turf products will be reduced by 25 percent in 2002 and 50 percent in 2003. Sales and distribution for these products will stop August 1, 2003. All registrations for these uses will be canceled December 31, 2004, and the registrants will initiate a buy-back program for remaining retail stock.
The Agency will cancel registrations for alfalfa, celery, red chicory, citrus, coffee, cotton, cowpeas, cucumbers, dandelions, forage grass, lespedeza, parsley, parsnips, peanuts, pecans, potatoes, rangeland grasses, sorghum, soybeans, strawberries, sugarcane, sweet potatoes, Swiss chard, tomatoes, and turnips. Agricultural registrations will remain for about 40 mostly minor uses for which there is no alternative to diazinon.
Pesticide & Environmental News, 12/7/00
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DCPA. AMVAC now has the rights to Dacthal. They expect new materials and labels for Florida by this coming Fall. No known label changes for the product.
Halosulfuron. Permit, Sempra, Sandea. Monsanto is marketing Permit and Sempra in Georgia, but only Sempra in Florida. It is labeled on sweetcorn, field corn, sugarcane, fallow land and turf. Gowan is labeling Sandea for use in vegetables. The cucumber and squash tolerance is approved. Post-emergence applications are not recommend on squash, due to phyto. The PRE label and plant-back tolerance, however, is there. The melon (muskmelon and watermelon) tolerance is at EPA as is the fruiting vegetable (tomato, pepper). The POST watermelon application for nutsedge control may have to be a third-party registration due to timing concerns.
Rimsulfuron. Matrix is labeled on potatoes and Shadeout on processing tomatoes. DuPont is still not considering a fresh market tomato label.
Carfentrazone. Aim just received a sweetcorn label. It is a burn down product with only small residual control. FMC is assisting IR-4 in obtaining a tomato/pepper row middle label. Aim will control paraquat resistant nightshade as well as Eclypta and purslane. Carfentrazone is on a fast track with IR-4 and EPA.
Clopyralid. Stinger will soon receive a tolerance in matted row strawberries. The PHI (preharvest interval) will be 30 days. Dow is now talking to us and IR-4 to allow new residue trials to look at residue at 3 and 7 days PHI. Stinger may have to be a third-party registration in Florida.
Stinger is also at EPA for labels POST over all crucifers. Cabbage, collards and mustard tolerate applications very well.
Ethalfluralin. UAP is looking at a premix of curbit with clomozone. This combination should be safer on cucurbits as well as having a wider weed control range.
Oxyfluorfen. Goal is at IR-4 for application in strawberry row middles. Goal will burn down many broadleaf weeds as well as having good pre emergence activity.
Clethodim. Labels should be coming from Valent for Select or Prism on a wider range of vegetables. Clethodim is a post-grass material.
Terbacil. Dupont is considering labeling Sinbar for pre-transplant under mulch in strawberries. A Section 18 is in place for Sinbar use under mulch in transplanted watermelons in Delaware. This use is very safe on watermelons but not safe in any of the other cucurbits. The tolerance for this use is at EPA.
S-metolachlor. Metolachlor (Dual) labels and product are being replaced by the isomer S-metolachlor (Dual Magnum). Lower application rates should be used with Dual Magnum. With a little more testing, Dual Magnum is a candidate for a third-party label under mulch in pepper as a methyl bromide alternatives addition.
Glyphosate. Monsanto is applying to EPA to expand the Roundup label to include hooded sprayer application to row middles of several mulched vegetable crops.
With the consolidation of several herbicide manufacturers, questions about the labeling of herbicides on vegetables is very speculative. Just remembering which product is owned by which company (if they have not sold it) is confusing. Also, we have to watch and see how the new administration is going to handle the “pesticide” situation.
Dr Bill Stall UF/IFAS
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The United States is spending millions to tighten the reins on pesticides and even canceling a number of very important tools. Yet, on the other hand, no one calls for a ban on football or electricity.
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Just a line to let you know I’m still alive. I’m writing the letter slowly because I know you can’t read fast. You won’t know the house when you come home, because we have moved. It was a lot of trouble moving. The hardest part was the bed. The man wouldn’t let us take it in the taxi. It wouldn’t have been so bad if your father hadn’t been in it at the time.
About your father, he has a wonderful new job with 500 people working under him: he cuts the grass at the cemetery.
Our new neighbor started raising pigs—we got wind of it this morning.
I got my appendix out and a dishwasher put in. There was a washing machine in the new house, but it isn’t working too well. Last week I put two shirts in it, pulled the chain, and I haven’t seen the shirts since.
Your sister got herself engaged to that fellow she’s been going out with. He gave her a beautiful ring, it has three stones missing. Your other sister, Mary, had a baby this morning. I haven’t heard if it’s a boy or girl, so I can’t tell you if you are an aunt or an uncle.
Your little brother came home form school the other day crying. All the boys at school have new suits. We can’t afford to buy him one, so we will buy him a new hat and let him stand at the window.
Uncle Dick was drowned last week in a vat of whiskey at Dublin Works. Four of his workmates dove in to save him, but he fought them off bravely. We cremated the body, and it took three days to put out the fire.
Kate is now working at a factory in Birmingham. She’s been there for six weeks. I am sending her some clean underwear as she says she’s been in the same shift since she got there.
Your father didn’t have too much to drink at Christmas. I put a bottle of castor oil in his pint of scotch, and it kept him going to new year.
I went to the doctor thursday, and your father went with me. The doctor put a small glass tube in my mouth and said to keep it shut for ten minutes. Your father offered to buy it from him.
It rained only twice last week - first four days, and then three. On Monday it was so windy that one of our chickens laid the same egg four times.
We had a letter from the undertaker. He said if the last installment on your grandmother wasn’t paid -up she comes.
Your loving mother,
P.S. I was going to send you 10 dollars, but I already sealed the envelope.