Cooperative Extension Service 

Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences

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

                 Southwest Florida Vegetable Newsletter

                                          July/August  2000


           Note from Gene
           Integrated Pest Management and Florida Tomatoes: A Success Story in Progress
           Food Quality Protection Act - ReRegistration
           New Tools
           Worker Protection Standard
           Transplant Age In Vegetables
           FFVA’s Convention Golf Tournament
           Malathion Risks Generally Acceptable
           EPA Begins Assessment of WPS
           EPA Issues Special Review Status Report
           Pesticide Potpourri
           Registration and Tolerance Actions
           Hungry Americans
           Worker Protection Standard Update
           Tomato Varieties for Florida
           Really Hot Pepper
           Tips on Spraying
           Microbial Insecticides
           Instructions for Life
              The Lighter Side


September 6-8               The 25th Annual Joint Tomato Conference and Tomato Committee Meeting
                                        Ritz Carlton, Naples, FL
                                        Contact Dr. Charles Vavrina for program information @ 941-658-3400.

September 20-22           Florida Fruit and Vegetable Association Annual Meeting, Naples, FL
                                       Contact 407-894-1351.

September 23-27            National Agricultural Plastics Congress
                                        and the International Congress for Plastics in Agriculture
                                   Hershey Lodge & Convention Center, Hershey, Pa.

September 26-27           Florida Agricultural Conference and Trade Show (FACTS)
                                       Lakeland, FL.
                                       Contact 850-995-1368  or 407-678-5337.

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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.  Things are getting busy real quick as we pass the middle of August.  Lands are being prepared, plastic laid and the first crops have gone into the ground.  Many growers have felt some real impacts of the methyl bromide phase out as they began operations this season.  Although not legislatively mandated until January 2001, some suppliers have already cut back methyl bromide allotments by 25% of what was provided to customers last season.  Other suppliers have increased prices and will cut allocations in January.

The first 25% reduction in supplies in 1999 was less noticeable to growers as manufacturers were able to re-formulate the fumigant they supplied from the 98/2 standard that growers had traditionally used to a 67/33 ratio which hide most of the impact felt by growers in terms of product availability.

There is some legislation pending to attempt to level the playing field by allowing US growers to work under the same proposed phaseout as our competitors in developing nations.  Perhaps, some of our more fore- sighted legislators will pass this bill and ease the pressure on US farmers.

Personally, I would not advise betting my continued operation on the passage of this legislation.

The advisory committee of the SW Florida Vegetable Research Investment Fund has chosen to focus on this critical area of research.  Despite a lot of progress and attention to the problem, there are still a lot of unanswered questions out there.
To date more than 30 growers and vegetable industry supporters have contributed over $31,000 into the fund to support research that will benefit our industry.  What are you waiting for?

While methyl bromide and the cancellation or restriction of certain pesticide labels continues under FQPA, a new concern is looming for growers is SW Florida!  SFWMD has announced new water quality regulations with respect to phosphorus that will affect growers in the C-139 basin of eastern Hendry County.

There is every indication that this development will not stop here and will extend to other drainage basins and possible encompass nitrogen as well as phosphorus in some areas.  It appears that the future will bring greater attention and increased regulation of water quality leaving agricultural lands which will impact all aspects of agriculture in SW Florida.

As we have seen many times before the scientific basis for some of these actions is lacking or questionable at best.

What can you do - educate yourself and your legislators - get involved!

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Integrated Pest Management and Florida Tomatoes: 

A Success Story in Progress 

Every day across our nation, Florida puts tomatoes on the table.  Tomatoes first came to Florida in 1870, when farmers planted them in Alachua County.  Now tomatoes are Florida's No. 1 vegetable crop.

Tomato management in Florida has grown quite sophisticated over the years.  Management practices include: introducing broadspectrum soil fumigants and herbicides into polyethylene mulched beds, precisely metering the application of fertilizer, lime and water,  performing systematic biweekly scouting for pests, and judicious use of pesticides based on action thresholds.

These and other practices are part of a growing strategy known as Integrated Pest Management (IPM).  Florida is a leader in fresh market tomato production because of a pro-active approach to Integrated Pest Management.

Why Protect Tomatoes With IPM?

· Tomatoes are the No. 1 vegetable crop in Florida. In 1996-97:

    * 37,300 acres were planted;
    * 1.4 billion pounds produced (36,700 pounds per acre; and
    * Tomatoes earned $462.5 million in on-farm revenues, or 28.9 percent of the value of all Florida vegetables.

· Florida produces only fresh-market tomato varieties that must be blemish-free to maintain their market value.
· Florida produces 40 percent of the fresh-market tomatoes in the United States.
· Production costs are high - $11,600 per acre or $.33 per pound in 1997-98.
· Currently, chemical inputs are high, with fertilizer, fumigants and pesticides accounting for 15 percent of total production costs.
· Twenty-seven arthropods, 29 diseases and 10 to 15 weeds are pests of tomatoes in Florida.

Principal Tomato Pests


Other Invertebrates Diseases Weeds IPM: It's a Vital Tool for Growers

 The goal of IPM is to insure production of abundant, high-quality food using environmentally and economically sound methods.  To achieve this goal, IPM emphasizes minimizing crop loss from pests by using any and all means at the grower's disposal.  Growers can use resistant and tolerant varieties, and efficient cultural and management practices.  They can monitor crops regularly to determine if and when control measures are needed.  And they can apply biological control wherever possible.

Tomato growers began to adopt IPM in 1976-77, following a severe outbreak of leafminers that caused significant economic loss.  This outbreak, which required as many as 34 insecticide sprays in a single 90-day season, was attributed to a build-up of pesticide resistance in the leafminers and pesticide-induced mortality in the leafminer parasites -a phenomenon common to crops receiving high chemical inputs.  The outbreak served as a wake-up call to set in motion pilot IPM programs in Dade County, Florida.

IPM Benefits Tomatoes, and Florida, in Many Ways

Growers and the general public have reaped the rewards thanks to IPM.  Here's a look at some results of nearly 25 years of tomato IPM in Florida:

· Yields have risen dramatically from 29,000 to 36,700 pounds per acre in only 8 years (1988-89 to 1996-97).
· Fifty percent of growers routinely scout for pests.
· Growers using IPM report 82 percent reduction in overall pesticide use.
· Insecticide use has been significantly reduced from an average of 8.9 pounds per acre in 1994-95, to 3.5 pounds per acre in 1996-97.
· A shift toward using reduced-risk pesticides is evident throughout Florida.
· New scouting companies with highly trained personnel have developed.
· Scouting actions have detected outbreaks of new and unusual diseases, enabling early intervention.

Why We Need Research

From the start, Florida IPM programs for tomatoes have been interdisciplinary, with components of horticulture, entomology, plant pathology and nematology.  University of Florida scientists have made key contributions to the development and implementation of tomato IPM.  For example, University of Florida researchers have:

· developed sampling methodologies for scouting of all tomato pests in Florida;
· developed action thresholds for tomato pests in Florida;
· provided data on pesticides that conserve natural enemies;
· provided data on timing of pesticide application to conserve natural enemies;
· developed monitoring and mating disruption for tomato pinworm;
· studied effects of reflective mulches on pest presence/dynamics, including virus transmission; and
· developed several disease-resistant tomato varieties.

Future Challenges

Pest management in tomatoes is a constantly moving target.  Although significant advances have been made in tomato IPM, new pests and other challenges continually need to be dealt with.  For example:

· The removal of methyl bromide (MBr) as a soil fumigant by 2005 is projected to reduce Florida tomato production 40 to 69 percent.  To date, no single MBr alternative controls as many pest problems as MBr fumigation.
· Potential introduction of new, invasive pest species.
· Increased concern for natural resource issues related to water availability, water quality and land use.
· Consequences of the Food Quality Protection Act: Pesticides that are key to tomato management may be eliminated.
· Development of resistance to some of the new reduced-risk pesticides; in many cases only one active compound exists.

University of Florida Pest Alert

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One of the most important days in the implementation of FQPA is approaching rapidly; EPA will establish rules to estimate the cumulative risks of pesticides with a common mechanism of toxicity.  The Agency hosted a technical briefing on July20th at the National Rural Electric Cooperative Conference Center, 4301 Wilson Blvd., Arlington, VA.  The draft guidance document (Proposed Guidance on Cumulative Risk Assessment of Pesticide Chemicals that have a Common Mechanism of Toxicity) is available on EPA's website  and in the Office of Pesticide Programs public docket (703-305-5805).

First, a little background for those who may be confused by some of the jargon.  When the EPA establishes the amount of pesticide that can legally remain on food (pesticide tolerance), the EPA must add together the risks of all pesticides (cumulative risk) that are poisonous in the same way (common mechanism of toxicity).  The EPA also speaks of aggregate risks, but EPA aggregation refers to adding together all non-occupational exposure to a pesticide.

Organophosphate insecticides are the first group in the FQPA queue.  In simple terms, these pesticides are characterized by phosphorous in a double bond with oxygen or sulfur (if you had not slept through chemistry, you could write this stuff).  Additionally, all OP insecticides kill insects in the same way.  They interfere with a key nerve enzyme acetyl-cholinesterase.  Unfortunately, humans and other animals also use acetyl-cholinesterase.  Fortunately, a 120-pound person weighs more than 25,000 times as much as an insect.  Organophosphates are very common in both household and commercial products; common OP insecticides include malathion, chlorpyrifos (Lorsban/Dursban), diazinon, and acephate (Orthene).

Until now, the EPA has been estimating risks for individual organophosphates.  The risk assessment of individual OP insecticides has resulted in some dramatic regulatory activity including removal of the #1 peach insecticide in the Southeast (methyl parathion) and elimination of all homeowner products containing chlorpyrifos.

The determination of cumulative risks is big, big, big for anyone with interest in pesticides (pro or con).  The implementation of this policy will determine the fate of the organophosphate pesticides, but it will also set precedent for how other groups of pesticides (e.g., carbamates and B2 carcinogens) are evaluated.  Take the time to read the draft guidance document and offer comments.  If you do not understand the policy, let EPA know.  The Agency is resolved to make FQPA implementation a
‘transparent’ process.

No one wants to place human health or the environment at risk, but pesticides also offer tremendous benefits if used appropriately.

The Georgia Pest Management Newsletter
July 2000

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Researchers suggest that insect toxins from spider venom could be genetically engineered into food plants.  The newly discovered poisons are deadly to insects, but reportedly safe for humans and other animals. Spider venom is a combination of proteins;  proteins are made based on the spiders' genetic code;  there is no reason these genes could not spliced into the genome of plants or viruses that infect insects.

(Nature, via Kansas Pesticide Newsletter, 6-16-00)
The Georgia Pest Management Newsletter
July 2000

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The EPA and the National Alliance of Independent Crop Consultants (NAICC) have come to an agreement regarding exemptions for certified crop advisors.  Under current WPS rules, certified consultants are exempt from re-entry restrictions intended to protect other farm workers.  However, in a recent bromoxynil decision, the revised labels indicated that the re-entry interval of four days also applied to scouts and crop advisors.  The NAICC complained loudly, and the EPA has agreed to reconsider the bromoxynil language based on forthcoming data from NAICC.

(Pesticide & Tox. Chem. News, 6-15-00)
The Georgia Pest Management Newsletter
July 2000

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Transplant Age In Vegetables
The effect of transplant age on yield is often discussed by growers in order to maximize yield.  Generally, vegetable growers prefer young actively growing transplants.  While the traditional time frame of 4 -6 weeks is common for most producers, planting schedules result in aging transplants.  Also, the transplant grower may tend to slow plant growth in an effort to remain within height limitations.

When transplants are thought to be too old, concerns are raised about their subsequent growth and yield potential.  Vavrina
reviewed the majority of research available on transplant age and when the results of the research are distilled down to the ideal transplant age for setting a specific crop, the recommendations generally agree with those found in "Knott's Handbook for Vegetable Growers" (see below).

Research results for a few specific vegetables are summarized here.  Conflicting results are probably due to the cultivar grown, greenhouse growing conditions and the environment at the location of the study.


Vavrina and Orzolek (1993) concluded that transplant age had little bearing on tomato production.  Other key points by researchers include:

1. Young transplants (3-4 weeks) old reduce production costs but may be harder to pull from containers without injury.
2. Older transplants (7-9 weeks) tend to produce early yields.
3. Guidelines of 4-7 weeks for tomatoes are appropriate.  If the grower must replant, the use of older plants should not reduce yield, fruit size or earliness.


Nicklow in a NY study found that pepper transplants without flower buds or with unopened flower buds produced more large fruit (early and total) than transplants with open blooms or small fruit.  Weston in KY, used containerized transplants of 4, 6, 7, and 9 weeks.  She found 70% more early U.S. Fancy and No. 1 fruit with 9 week old transplants.  Total Fancy, No. 1 and overall yield was not affected by transplant age.  Three of the studies reported in the article indicate that pepper transplants of 8 to 11 weeks may have a yield advantage for early size and number of fruit.

Cucurbits (Watermelon, Squash, muskmelon):

Research implies that transplant age does not adversely influence yield in cucurbits. Commercially, 3 to 4 week old transplants are used for general cucurbit production.  Some of the findings reported that cucurbits can be held beyond this time frame without fear of yield loss.  However, practical experience shows that large transplants are difficult to handle and they may require large amounts of water to become established.


Research is not conclusive but older seems to be better.


Transplant age did not influence cabbage early or total yield.


Research results are conflicting, more work is needed.


Boa (1979) found a minor effect of transplant age on butterhead lettuce, finding older transplants tended to produce lighter heads.

In General:

New information suggests that the transplant age window for certain crops might be wider than previously thought.  Older transplants generally result in earlier yields while younger transplants will produce comparable yields but take longer to do so.  Modern cultivars and improved production technology enable growers to produce high yields despite transplant age.

Bottom Line:

Vavrina suggests, that if vegetable growers must reset plants after a freeze, flood, etc., they should not fear the older plants usually found at the transplant production facility.

(Lorenz and Maynard, 1988)
By  C. S. Vavrina.  1998 HortTech 8(4).

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Reserve your place now for the FFVA Annual Golf Tournament, benefiting the Florida Fruit & Vegetable Research and Education Foundation.  The Tournament will take place the morning of September 21 at the Vineyards Gold Club in Naples.

Breakfast, course refreshments, and lunch will be provided.  Following the 7:30 a.m. continental breakfast, the Tournament will begin at 8:30 a.m. sharp.  Lunch and awarding prizes takes place immediately following the tournament.  If you desire a particular 4-some, please notify FFVA no later than September 8.  Any questions related to the tournament can be addressed by calling (407) 894-1351.

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Malathion Risks 
Generally Acceptable
“Malathion presents very few unacceptable risks to human health,” EPA determined in its preliminary evaluation of the insecticide.  Some of the most anticipated findings were those relating malathion’s use for mosquito control.  This assessment was done separately from the others, EPA's Office of Pesticide Programs Health Effects Division (HED) estimated that the risks from aerial and terrestrial application are well below the agency's threshold of concern.

Chemically Speaking
July 2000

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EPA Begins Assessment of WPS
EPA held an initial stakeholder meeting of the National Assessment of the Worker Protection Standard Program in Austin, TX on June 6-7.  Stakeholders discussed the status of the WPS, a program which is aimed at reducing the risk of agricultural pesticide poisonings and injuries among farm, forestry, nursery and greenhouse workers.  The assessment process for WPS is expected to take two to three years.

Farmworker advocacy groups, growers and state agencies were among the stakeholders who attended the two-day event.

Small working group meetings resulted in the identification of many specific concerns.  These included:


INFORMATION EXCHANGE ENFORCEMENT COMPLAINTS AND RETALIATION CHILDREN  The next step in the process will be the creation of a small working group to focus on planning future activities in the assessment process.  That will be followed by the creation of a working group devoted to broad themes.  The next stakeholder meeting will be held in Sacramento, CA in October or November and the third meeting will be in Orlando, FL in January or February.

(Pesticide and Toxic Chemical News, Vol. 26, No. 33)

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EPA Issues 
Special Review Status Report
EPA has revised the report “Status of Chemicals in Special Review.”  The 65-page report provides information on pesticides that are or have been undergoing special review under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act.  The Special Review process is set in motion when EPA has reason to believe that the use of a pesticide may result in unreasonable adverse effects to people or the environment.

The goal of this process is to reduce the risks posed by a pesticide to an acceptable level while taking into consideration the benefits provided from the use of the pesticide.  More than 100 pesticides have been examined in the Special Review process.  This report provides brief summaries of those reviews and the risk concerns that prompted them and cites EPA decision documents that provide more detailed discussion.  The report is available on the Office of Pesticide Programs' internet web site Printed copies of the document will be available from EPA's National Service Center for Environmental Publications, telephone 1-800- 490-9198 (request publication number EPA 738-R-00-001).

(EPA Pesticide Program Update 04/17/00)
Chemically Speaking
July 2000

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Pesticide Potpourri
Consumers have confidence in science, but they don't understand.  The National Science Boards' recent report to the President contains survey data showing a slight improvement in consumer confidence, but a lack of understanding, of science.  A parallel survey finding shows, however, a “widespread belief in pseudoscience, such as astrology and ESP,” as well, notes an AgBio View Web site-item.

June 30, 2000
Volume 4, Issue 21

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Registration and Tolerance Actions
The U. S. environmental Protection Agency, under the provisions of section 18 of FIFRA, has issued a specific exemption for the use of Applaud® 70 WP (buprofezin) to control the silverleaf whitefly (SLWP), Bemisia argetifolii, on tomatoes.  The specific exemption will expire on June 1, 2001.
(FDACS Communication)

Novartis has added the control of whiteflies, aphids and thrips on ornamentals to their AVID®
(abamectin) label.
(Agrichemical News, June 15, 2000)

As a result of the IR-4 Project, EPA established residue tolerances on squash and cucumbers for DANITOL® (fenpropathrin) -
(Agrichemical News, June 15, 2000)

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Hungry Americans
Today in America there are 34 million hungry Americans in the richest nation in the world!  Sadly, over 90 billion pounds of food produced for human consumption is wasted each year, either left rotting in fields or thrown away.  The Society of St. Andrew Gleaning Network brings together growers, volunteers, and hunger-relief agencies to provide food for the hungry.

FARMERS, you can help, and WE CAN HELP YOU.

We are interested ONLY in produce that you cannot sell.  We will provide groups of volunteers to come and glean your unmarketable produce and transport it to agencies that help ease the problem of hunger.  These volunteers sign waivers to relieve issues of liability and are accompanied by a trained Field Supervisor.

PLEASE call us soon to help the hungry people of Florida or for more information.  Thank you.

Ame See, Program Coordinator 1-800-806-0756.

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Worker Protection Standard Update
 In our February WPS update program, several items of interest were discussed that are worth repeating. Dale Dubberly, Chief of Compliance, Bureau of Compliance Monitoring, Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, recently spoke to groups in Palm Beach.

The first is a reminder that  inspectors with the Bureau are now in strict compliance mode, issuing fines for violations of the Standard.

Secondly, expect the EPA to continue to make the  regulation more strict -especially regarding pregnant women and children.  Dubberly also noted that companies have been cited for not training mechanics as handlers.  Mechanics may be exposed to chemicals while repairing equipment, and are therefore required by the Standard to be trained as handlers.

Finally, emember that new workers must be trained within the first five days of employment, and all other employees should receive training every three years.

Glades Manpower Development Newsletter
June 2000

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Tomato Varieties for Florida
Variety selection, often made several months before planting, is one of the most important management decisions made by the grower.  Failure to select the most suitable variety or varieties may lead to loss of yield or market acceptability.

The following characteristics should be considered in selection of tomato varieties for use in Florida.

Yield -The variety selected should have the potential to produce crops at least equivalent to varieties already grown.  The average yield in Florida is currently about 1400 25-pound cartons per acre.  The potential yield of varieties in use should be much higher than average.

Disease Resistance -Varieties selected for use in Florida must have resistance to Fusarium wilt, race 1 and race 2; Verticillium wilt (race 1); gray leaf spot; and some tolerance to bacterial soft rot.  Available resistance to other diseases such as Fusarium wilt, race 3 may be important in certain situations

Horticultural Quality -Plant habit, stem type and fruit size, shape, color, smoothness and resistance to defects should all be considered in variety selection.

Adaptability -Successful tomato varieties must perform well under the range of environmental conditions usually encountered in the district or on the individual farm.

Market Acceptability -The tomato produced must have characteristics acceptable to the packer, shipper, wholesaler, retailer and consumer. Included among these qualities are pack out, fruit shape, ripening ability, firmness, and flavor.

Current Variety Situation

Many tomato varieties are grown commercially in Florida, but only a few represent most of the acreage.

‘Florida 47' was grown on about 36% of the acreage in Florida in the 1999-2000 season -a notable increase from the approximately 23% of the acreage the previous season.  ‘Florida 47' was grown on about 47% of the acreage in southwest Florida and 32% of the east coast acreage.

‘Sanibel’ had about 14% of the state's acreage.  It was the predominant variety in Miami-Dade County with almost 60% of the acreage.

All BHN varieties are lumped together and comprise about 13% of the state's acreage, mostly in southwest Florida and north Florida.

‘Solar Set’ acreage increased to over 12% of the state total mostly in west-central Florida.

‘Florida 91' acreage increased to about 7% from a fraction the previous year.  The Palmetto-Ruskin area was the principal production site.

Other varieties with some acreage in the 1999-2000 season were the long-time popular ‘Agriset 761' (5%), ‘Solimar’ (5%), and ‘Sun Chaser’ (2%).  Many other varieties and advanced experimental hybrids were grown on less than I % of the state's acreage.

Tomato Variety Trial Results

Summary results listing the five highest yielding and the five largest fruited varieties from trials conducted at the University of Florida's Gulf Coast Research and Education Center, Bradenton; Indian River Research and Education Center, Fort Pierce and North Florida Research and Education Center, Quincy for the Spring 1999 season are shown in Table 1.

High total yields and large fruit were produced by ‘BHN 399' at Bradenton, ‘Agriset 761', ‘Solimar’ and ‘Floralina’ at Fort Pierce, and ‘Florida 7851' at Quincy.  ‘Florida 7815' produced high yields at two of the three locations.  ‘Sanibel’ produced large fruit at
all three locations and ‘Solimar’ at two locations.  Not all entries were grown at each location.

Tomato Varieties for Commercial Production

The varieties listed have performed well in University of Florida trials conducted in various locations.

Large Fruited Varieties

Agriset 761.  Midseason, determinate, jointed hybrid. Fruit are deep globe and green shouldered.  Resistant: Verticillium wilt (race 1), Fusarium wilt (race I and 2), Alternaria stem canker, gray leaf spot. (Agrisales).

BHN-444. Early-midseason maturity. Fruit are globe shape but tend to be slightly elongate, and green shouldered. Not for fall planting. Resistant: Verticillium wilt (race 1), Fusarium wilt (race 1. and 2), and Tomato Spotted Wilt Virus. For Trial. (BHN).

Florida 47. A late midseason, determinate, jointed hybrid. Uniform green, globe-shaped fruit.  Resistant: Fusarium wilt (race I and 2), Verticillium wilt (race 1), Alternaria stem canker, and gray leaf spot. (Asgrow).

Floralina.  A midseason, determinate, jointed hybrid.  Uniform, green shoulder, flattened globe shaped fruit.  Recommended for production on land infested with Fusarium wilt, Race 3.  Resistant: Fusarium wilt (race l, 2, and 3), Verticillium wilt (race 1), gray leaf spot. (Petoseed).

HA 3057. Early-midseason maturity. Uniform green shoulder, flattened globe-shaped fruit.  Heat tolerant. Resisant: Fusarium wilt (race 2), Verticillium wilt (race 1.), TMV, and TYLCV. For Trial. (Hazera).

Solar Set. An early, green shouldered, jointed hybrid. Determinate.  Fruit set under high temperatures (920F day/720 night) is superior to most other commercial varieties.  Resistant:  Fusarium wilt (race I and 2), Verticillium wilt (race 1), Alternaria stem canker, and gray leaf spot.  (Asgrow).

Sanibel. A late midseason, jointless, determinate hybrid.  Deep oblate shape fruit with a green shoulder.  Tolerant/resistant: Verticillium wilt (race l.), Fusarium wilt (race 1. and 2), Alternaria stem canker, root knot nematode, and gray leaf spot. (Petoseed).

Solimar. A midseason hybrid producing globe-shaped, green shouldered fruit. Resistant: Verticillium wilt (race 1), Fusarium wilt (race 1 and 2), Alternaria stem canker, gray leaf spot.  (Asgrow).

Sunbeam. Early midseason, deep-globe shaped uniform green fruit are produced on determinate vines.  Resistant: Verticillium wilt (race 1), Fusarium wilt (race 1 and race 2), gray leaf spot, Alternaria. stem canker. (Asgrow).

Plum Type Varieties

Marina.  Medium to large vined determinate hybrid. Rectangular, blocky, fruit may be harvested mature green or red.  Resistant: Verticillium wilt (race 1), Fusarium wilt (race 1 and 2), Alternaria stem canker, nematodes, gray leaf spot, and bacterial speck. (Sakata).

Plum Dandy.  Medium to large determinate plants. Rectangular, blocky, defect free fruit for fresh market production.  When grown in hot, wet conditions, it does not set fruit well and is susceptible to bacterial spot.  For winter and spring production in Florida.  Resistant:  Verticillium wilt, Fusarium wilt (race 1), early blight, and rain checking. (Harris Moran).

Spectrum 882. Blocky, uniform-green shoulder fruit are produced on medium-large determinate plants.  Resistant: Verticillium wilt (race 1), Fusarium wilt (race 1 and 2), root-knot nematode, bacterial speck (race 0), Alternaria stem canker, and gray leaf spot. (Petoseed).

Supra. Determinate hybrid rectangular, blocky, shaped fruit with uniform green shoulder.  Resistant: Verticillium wilt (race 1), Fusarium wilt (race 1 and 2), nematodes, and bacterial speck.  (Novartis).

Veronica. Tall determinate hybrid. Smooth plum type fruit are uniform ripening.  Good performance in all production seasons.  Resistant: Verticillium wilt (race 1), Fusarium wilt (race 1 and 2), Alternaria stem canker, nematodes, gray leaf spot, and bacterial speck. (Sakata).

Cherry Type Varieties

Mountain Belle.  Vigorous, determinate type plants.  Fruit are round to slightly ovate with uniform green shoulders borne on jointless pedicels.  Resistant: Fusarium wilt (race 1), Verticillium wilt (race 1).  For Trial. (Novartis).

Cherry Grande.  Large, globe shaped, cherry-type fruit are produced on medium-size determinate plants.  Resistant: Verticillium wilt (race 1), Fusarium wilt (race 1), Alternaria stem blight, and gray leaf spot.  (Petoseed).


Maynard, D. N. (ed.). 2000. Vegetable variety trial results in Florida for 1999. Fla. Agr. Expt. Sta. Circ.S-396.

Tomato variety evaluations were conducted in 1999 by the following University of Florida faculty:

D. N. Maynard -Gulf Coast Research & Education Center -Bradenton
S. M. Olson -North Florida Research & Education Center -Quincy
J. W. Scott -Gulf Coast Research & Education Center -Bradenton
P. J. Stoffella -Indian River Research & Education Center -Fort Pierce

(Maynard and Olson, Vegetarian 00-07)
Vegetarian Newsletter
July 2000

Seed Sources:

Agrisales: Agriset 761, ASX 202, ASX 9110.
Asgrow: Florida 47, Sunbeam, Sunpak, Solimar.
BHN: BHN 248, BHN 399, BHN 444.
North Carolina State University: NC 96365.
Novartis: RFT 6131B.
Petoseed: Floralina, Sanibel, PS 647095, PS 69696.
University of Florida: Florida 7815, Florida 7851, Florida 7862.

Summary results listing the five highest yielding and five largest fruited entries from trials at the University of Florida's Gulf Coast Research and Education Center, Bradenton; the Indian River Research and Education Center, Ft. Pierce; and the North Florida Research and Education Center, Quincy for the fall 1999 season are shown in Table 2.

High total yields and large fruit size were produced by ‘Florida 7816' at  Bradenton; ‘Equinox’, ‘Florida 7816', and ‘Florida 7921' at Fort Pierce; and ‘BHN 120A’ and PX 647095 at Quincy. ‘Florida 7885' and ‘Florida 7921' produced high yields at all three locations.  ‘Florida 7816' produced large fruit at all locations.  Again, not all entries were included at all locations.

Overall, results of these trials indicate that no single variety dominates the industry as during the periods when ‘Sunny’ and ‘Agriset 761' were preeminent.  Furthermore, varieties appear to be more location and seasonal specific than in the past.

Seed Sources:

Agrisales: Agriset 761, Equinox.
Asgrow: Florida 47, Florida 91, Solar Set, Sunbeam.
BHN: BHN 120A, BHN 190, BHN 273.
Hazera: HA 3017B.
Petoseed: Captiva, PX 647095
University of Florida: Florida 7816, Florida 7885, Florida 7921.

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Planting pepper during August and September in Florida presents some interesting challenges.  For example, we have all seen summer planted pepper develop, often within hours of transplanting, a condition known by such names as “heat stress,” “plastic damage,” “heat girdling” or “stem scalding.”  The outward appearance is an hourglass like pinching in of the stem just above the plastic mulch that is usually associated with a tan or light brown discoloration.  The stem will eventually collapse so completely that the plant falls over.  Depending on the severity of the condition, the plant (even fallen plants) may survive for several days before finally dying all together.

Under the summer heat transplanted pepper plants can develop, often with in hours of transplanting, a condition known by such names as “heat stress,” “Plastic damage,” “heat girdling” or “stem scalding.”

Many assume this phenomenon is caused by the “flap” made by stretching the plastic mulch during the mechanical hole punching operation and hence the term “plastic damage.” However, the phenomenon occurs quite nicely even in the absence of a plastic “flap.”

What then is causing this heat girdling?  A study designed to look at transplant plug moisture levels in the field proved fruitless as heat girdling occurred in all treatments regardless of plug moisture levels.  However, we realized that efforts to establish
the treatments had taken so long everything was transplanted between 11 a.m. and noon.

As a result, another trial was established to test the effect of planting time on the incidence of heat girdling.  Fully saturated, pepper transplants were set in a well-irrigated field at 9 a.m., 11 a.m., 1 p.m., and 3 p.m. on September 9, 1997.  A water wagon was pulled across all plots at 4 p.m.  Plants set at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. exhibited 40 percent and 25 percent heat girdling respectively
compared to 3 percent and 8 percent for plants set at 9 a.m. and 3 p.m.  In theory, plants set well before (9 a.m.) or well after (3 p.m.) the noon day sun were able to adjust their water usage to minimize heat girdling.

Plants set during the peak sun hours basically bypassed the adjustment phase just trying to cool themselves (i.e., transpiration) and when the transplant plug ran out of water heat girdling occurred!  Other factors must certainly be at play (air and soil temperatures, stem pressure potentials, drying winds, etc.) but time of day definitely makes a difference.  Your production schedule may not allow you to discontinue planting from 11 a.m. to noon for example, but if you do, we believe your need for resets will be reduced.

Weather plays a dominant roll as well. Our efforts to establish how soon water should be applied following field setting were foiled because we set out our trial on a day when the solar insolation was only half that of the day we established the time of planting trial (though it seemed very hot and bright to us!).

We were able to determine however, that using the water wagon sooner rather than later was much better and that bed wetness also affected heat girdling (more scalding on the road bed than on the ditch bed).

These studies will be repeated this month so, we will keep you posted.  But, the next time you are planting pepper in the summer you should take a cue from the old saying “only mad dogs and Englishmen go out in the noon day sun.”  Perhaps there's a lesson here for the pepper grower as well!

C.S. Vavrina, Ph.D
Associate Professor, Vegetable Production
University of Florida Southwest Florida Research and Education Center
Immokalee, Fla., 941-658-3400.

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Tips on Spraying
Measure nozzle flow rate immediately after installing new nozzles.  Write down the flow rate and use it as a baseline to compare the nozzle flow rate of worn nozzles later in the season.  Replace worn nozzles when they eject 10% more gallonage than new nozzles.

Weather conditions can raise havoc with spray timing intervals.  When given the choice between spraying less material more often vs. more material less often, it is almost always preferential to spray less material on a more frequent basis.  (Foliage missed by the first spray application will almost certainly be contacted by the second spray application.)

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Microbial Insecticides
Synthetic chemical insecticides provide many benefits to food production and human health, but they also pose some hazards. In many instances, alternative methods of insect management offer adequate levels of pest control and pose fewer hazards. One such alternative is the use of microbial insecticides--insecticides that contain microorganisms or their by-products. Microbial insecticides are especially valuable because their toxicity to nontarget animals and humans is extremely low.

Microbial insecticides are comprised of microscopic living organisms (viruses, bacteria, fungi, protozoa, or nematodes) or the toxins produced by these organisms. They are formulated to be applied as conventional insecticidal sprays, dusts, or granules.

Advantages of Microbial Insecticides

Individual products differ in important ways, but the following list of beneficial characteristics applies to microbial insecticides in general.

The organisms used in microbial insecticides are essentially nontoxic and nonpathogenic to wildlife, humans, and other organisms not closely related to the target pest. The safety offered by microbial insecticides is their greatest strength.

The toxic action of microbial insecticides is often specific to a single group or species of insects, and this specificity means that most microbial insecticides do not directly affect beneficial insects (including predators or parasites of pests) in treated areas.

If necessary, most microbial insecticides can be used in conjunction with synthetic chemical insecticides because in most cases the microbial product is not deactivated or damaged by residues of conventional insecticides. (Follow label directions concerning any limitations.)

Because their residues present no hazards to humans or other animals, microbial insecticides can be applied even when a crop is almost ready for harvest.

In some cases, the pathogenic microorganisms can become established in a pest population or its habitat and provide control during subsequent pest generations or seasons.

Disadvantages of Microbial Insecticides

The limitations or disadvantages listed do not prevent the successful use of microbial insecticides. Understanding how these limitations affect specific microorganisms will help users to choose effective products and  take necessary steps to achieve successful results.

Because a single microbial insecticide is toxic to only a specific species or group of insects, each application  may control only a portion of the pests present in a field, garden, or lawn. If other types of pests are present in the treated area, they will survive and may continue to cause damage. Conventional insecticides are subject to similar limitations because they too are not equally effective against all pests.Nonetheless, the negative aspect of selectivity is often more noticeable for microbials.

Heat, desiccation (drying out), or exposure to ultraviolet radiation reduces the effectiveness of several types of  microbial insecticides. Consequently, proper timing and application procedures are especially important for some products.

Special formulation and storage procedures are necessary for some microbial pesticides. Although these procedures may complicate the production and distribution of certain products, storage requirements do not seriously limit the handling of microbial insecticides that are widely available. (Store all pesticides, including microbial insecticides, according to label directions.)

Because several microbial insecticides are pest-specific, the potential market for these products may be limited. Their  development, registration, and production costs cannot be spread over a wide range of pest control sales. Consequently, some products are not widely available or are relatively expensive (several insect viruses, for example).

R. Weinzierl, T. Henn and P. G. Koehler

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Instructions for Life
1.  Take into account that great love and great achievements involve great risk.
2.  When you lose, don't lose the lesson.
3.  Follow the three Rs:

4.   Remember that not getting what you want is sometimes a wonderful stroke of  luck.
5.   Learn the rules so you know how to break them properly.
6.   Don't let a little dispute injure a great friendship.
7.   When you realize you've made a mistake, take immediate steps to correct it.
8.   Spend some time alone every day.
9.   Open your arms to change, but don't let go of your values.
10. Remember that silence is sometimes the best answer.
11. Live a good, honorable life.  Then when you get older and think back, you'll be able to enjoy it a second time.
12. A loving atmosphere in your home is the foundation for your life.
13. In disagreements with loved ones, deal only with the current situation.
14. Share your knowledge.  It’s a way to achieve immortality.
15. Be gentle with the earth.
16. Once a year, go someplace you’ve never been before.
17. Remember that the best relationship is one in which your love for each other exceeds your need for each other.
18. Judge your success by what you had to give up in order to get it.
19. Approach love and cooking with reckless abandon.
Reasons Why God Never Recieved Tenure at a University


Research: Publications:

Author unknown, (or was it the Tenure and Promotion Committee?)
All you really need to know 
about Government and Bureaucracy:

Pythagorean theorem:....................24 words
Lord’s Prayer:...............................66 words
Archimedes’ Principle:...................67 words
10 Commandments:.......................179 words
Gettysburg address:.......................286 words
Declaration of Independence:.........1,300 words
US Government regulations on the sale of cabbage:.........................26,911 words !

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