Cooperative Extension Service 
________________________________________________

  Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences

Southwest Florida Vegetable Newsletter



Hendry County Cooperative Extension Office
PO Box 68
Labelle, Florida 33975
863-674-4092

November/December 1998

Index:


Calendar

February 24-25, 1999         1999 Florida Weed Science Society’s Annual Meeting
                                            Elks Lodge in Eustis, Fl.
                                            CEUs as well as CCA credits will be available.
                                            Rooms have been secured at the Inn on the Green (352) 343-6373 in Tavares,
                                            and the Comfort Inn (352) 383-3400 in Mount Dora.
                                            The reservation deadline for the special room rates is February 1.
                                            For more information, call (813) 681-3461 or (561) 996-3062.
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Note  from Gene
Gene McAvoy
Vegetable Extension Agent II
Hendry County Extension Office
PO Box 68
LaBelle, Florida, 33975
863-674-4092
gmcavoy@ifas.ufl.edu
Time sure flies when you're having fun!  The fall crop is nearly done and we are fast approaching the holiday season.  Our monthly vegetable meetings have focused on a number of new chemistries that are/or will soon be available to vegetable growers.  In September, Rohm Hass presented their soon to be released insect growth regulator “Confirm”, which is effective against worms and should round out the arsenal of bio-rationals available to growers for their control.  At the November meeting, Thermo-Trilogy highlighted their line of bio-rational products and in December, Eden Biosciences gave us a look at “Messenger” based on a naturally occurring protein that induces systemic acquired resistance in plants.  These new compounds, in addition to a number of other products based on new chemistry from several companies come at a critical time, when growers are threatened with the loss of many of their old pest control tools under the Food Quality Protection Act.

On another positive note, the Clean Air Act was amended to extend the methyl bromide ban until 2005, in line with the rest of the developed nations.  Let’s hope that this is indicative of a return to sanity by our leaders, who sometimes seem determined to undermine our most productive domestic industries.  Despite this success in the legislative arena, the vegetable industry must remain united and continue to educate and lobby our elected officials to ensure our future survival.

In response to suggestions from the SW FL Vegetable Advisory Committee, we have launched a new effort in the form of the bi-weekly SW Florida Pest and Disease Hotline.  It is hoped that this will be a valuable tool to growers, which will help them keep abreast of pests and diseases, which are being seen locally.  This is a true cooperative effort and would not be produced without the generous contributions of growers, scouts, research and extension personnel.  Thanks to everyone, who has made this hotline a reality.

This season has signaled a return to reality for vegetable growers.  As it is often the case, prices for most crops have been down following a relatively strong market situation last season.  Although it is impossible to predict the future, a few things are certain.  Rapid changes and stiff competition from home and abroad are battering the vegetable industry.  Growers and operations that can adapt to these changes and stay competitive will remain in business.  Those that cannot will go the way of the horse and buggy.

   Wishing you all a blessed and Merry Christmas and a Happy and Prosperous New Year.

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Nutritional and Environmental Factors that Make Peppers
More Susceptible to Bruising

Peppers can be easily bruised and cracked during postharvest handling, which can include a number of transfers during typical harvest, handling and packing house operations.  Studies at the Horticultural Sciences Department have shown that climatic conditions and cultural practices that favor rapid growth of pepper pods, as well as the temperature and water status of the peppers at the time of harvest can all influence their susceptibility to injury.

Pepper handlers have reported that peppers harvested during wet, rainy conditions, especially in cold weather, are more likely to be injured on the packing line and during handling.  Using drop tests and measuring the bio-yield force required to bruise a pepper, we have found that peppers are indeed more susceptible to bruising at 150C (590F) and below than at 200C (680F) and above.  Also, comparing peppers harvested before sunrise after several days of rain (thus fully turgid) to the same peppers held under drying conditions after harvest, we found that bruising susceptibility began to decline only after the peppers had lost about 3% of their original weight.

To investigate how cultural practices and growing seasons can affect pepper bruising susceptibility, we looked at peppers from several planting dates in the spring and fall that received 0, 100, 200, or 400  kg N/ha (0, 90, 180, or 360 lb N/A).  Potassium chloride was applied at 56 kg/ha (50 lb KCI/A).  N and K were broadcast 40% preplant.  The remaining 60% N and K fertilizer was applied by drip irrigation once a week at rates of 6, 12, and 24 kg N (5.3, 10.7, and 21 lb N) and 3.4 kg K/ha/week (3 lb K/A/week), for 10 weeks.  The O N treatment received only KCI.  MgSO4, as the source of S, was applied at the rate of 30 kg/ha (27 lb/A), once per season.  Water was applied daily at a rate of 0.75 times the pan evaporation.

As temperatures increased moderately during the spring season (from14.80C / 31.40C min/max in April to210C /35.10C in June), and decreased more drastically in the fall (from 12.70C/ 26.10C in August to 3.90C/20.80C in November), the bruising susceptibility (as shown by the bio-yield force) similarly first increased, then decreased, respectively (lower bio-yield force indicates that a pepper is more susceptible to bruising.  Meanwhile, the pericarp wall thickness of the peppers increased with successive planting dates in spring, and decreased in the fall, while cell size changed in the opposite direction (lower cell number means larger size cells).  This shows that faster growth at higher temperatures let to thicker but weaker pepper walls due to larger, thin-walled cell structure.

Increasing N rates had a similar effect on peppers as higher growing temperatures.  The bio-yield force decreased and, thus, bruising susceptibility was greater, as more N was applied to the peppers in both spring and fall.  Again, the increased bruise susceptibility went along with thicker walls and larger cells.  There were also significant interactions between planting date and N rate for pericarp thickness, bio-yield force, and cell size in the spring season, with the effect of planting date on pericarp thickness greater at the higher N  rates and the effect on bio-yield force and cell size greater at the lowest N rate.

Cells that make the fruit relatively susceptible to bruising.  However, before making a blanket recommendation that peppers should be grown only during the coolest parts of the year, we need to remember that cool temperatures at harvest can also be a problem.  So in addition to avoiding excessive N rates, and late spring and early fall plantings, we should consider delaying harvest operations until later in the day during cool or rainy weather, preferably until temperatures reach at least the 60’s in order to minimize problems with pepper bruising.

(Brecht, Vegetarian 98-11)
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AIDS AWARENESS

According to Timothy Lee, Director of AIDs Education and HIV Prevention with the Collier County Health Dept., over 60% if the documented cases of AIDs and HIV infection in Collier County occur in Immokalee.  The unchecked spread of this disease could have devastating effects on the local farm worker community.

Mr. Lee’s office is offering free on farm AIDs prevention training in English, Spanish and Creole.  This training will be custom tailored to meet each groups needs and work schedule.  Mr. Lee can be contacted at:

                 Florida Department of Health
                 Collier Gov’t Center, Bldg. H
                 3301 East Tamiami Trail
                 Mail:  PO Box 429
                 Naples FL  34106
                 Phone:  (941)732-2546
                 Fax:  (941)732-2663
                 Pager:  890-0183.

Take advantage of this program and protect your workers and possibly yourself.
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Whitefly Resistance Management

According to Dr. Dave Schuster, whitefly numbers, while not extremely high, are higher than they were one year ago.  There were also more whiteflies picked up in traps at the end of the 1998 spring season than we would have expected.  One factor may have been the unusually dry summer, although that has changed in the last few weeks.  Reportedly, after the dry, hot weekend of October 3-4, whitefly numbers were on the increase.  Dr. Jane Polston reports that TYLCV is still being detected in west Central and Southwest Florida, with positive samples submitted just last week (Oct. 1).  It’s spotty, but it’s there.  It was not eradicated.  If you see symptoms of TYLCV, please give us a call.

There is a very real concern regarding possible resistance to some of the more commonly used materials, including Imidacloprid.  Part of the problem is that Imidacloprid is now being used on so many crops other than tomatoes; thus, there is no refuge where a susceptible population can build.  One strategy in trying to delay or minimize resistance is to avoid using Provado if you have used Admire at transplanting.  Two other tools now available are the new insect growth regulators (IGRs), Knack ® (pyriproxyfen) from Valent and Applaud ® (buprofezin) from AgrEvo.  Both have been labeled under section 18 specific exemptions.  These materials should not only control whitefly but should also help maintain the effectiveness of other chemicals for a longer period of time.  Both have specific use restrictions in terms of number of applications per season, PHI, etc., so check the label.  It is anticipated that as Admire wears off during the season, Knack (with a 14-day PHI) and then Applaud (with a 7-day PHI) will provide protection for the remainder of the season.  The IGRs interfere with the normal development of the whitefly nymphs with the result that control may take a number of days. Therefore, the products need to be applied when nymphs are present and growers should not expect immediate results.  Preliminary data suggest that applications should be made when scouts observe densities of whitefly nymphs at 1/2 leaflet.

P. Gilreath
Manatee Veg Newsletter
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Cabbage Looper Resistance?
 In responding to a suspected looper resistance problem in the Northeast, Dr. Gary Leibee from the research station at Sanford found it no surprise that the looper was showing what was probably resistance.  Resistance has been documented several times in the cabbage looper.  He indicated that reported resistance to pyrethroids (such as Pounce and Asana) and the carbamates, methomyl (Lannate) and thiodicarb (Larvin), is no surprise.

Considering the ramifications of using pyrethroids and carbamates against diamondbackmoth and cabbage looper, we should probably think twice before using these insecticides in cabbage.  Bts, especially those based on Bta (such as Xentari, Mattch, and Crymax) and spinosad (Spin Tor) should be the insecticides of choice and should be effective against the cabbage looper.

However, even when resistance isn’t a factor, high populations of cabbage looper can be somewhat difficult to manage with insecticides such as Bt and, probably spinosad.  In Florida, we are not suffering from resistance in cabbage looper; however, growers have had more problems with cabbage looper since they have come to depend solely on the use of Bt for control of the diamondback moth, which will change with the advent of spinosad.

(G.Leibee,9/9/98)
Manatee Veg. Newsletter
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Florida Vegetable Acreage 1997
Crop  Acres Harvested 
Sweet Corn, fresh
41,300 
Tomatoes, fresh
38,100 
Watermelons
30,000
Snap Beans, fresh
28,700
Bell Peppers
18,500 
Cucumbers, fresh
9,200
Cabbage, fresh
8,200 
Carrots, fresh 
6,500 
Cucumbers, proccessed
6,100
Strawberries
6,100
Eggplant
1,700
Escarole/Endive
1,600
Romaine lettuce; fresh
850
Leaf lettuce, fresh
330
Ag Economic Report October 1998
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Genetically Engineered

Three recent studies point to troubling and unexpected effects of genetically engineered insect-resistant crops on beneficial insects.  These studies highlight the need for testing of impacts on non-target species before genetically engineered crops are approved for wide scale use.

Scientists from the Swiss Federal Research Station for Agroecology and Agriculture conducted two studies that looked at the effects of Bt toxin* on green lacewing insects.  In nature, these insects feed on the pest targeted by Bt corn, the European corn borer.  Lacewings, which are known for their appetite for aphids and other soft bodied insects, play an important role in maintaining the equilibrium of insect populations.  They are also important for organic farming pest control strategies.

In one study, recently published in the Journal of Environmental Entomology, researchers found that the mortality rate of lacewing larevae increased significantly after eating Bt-toxin similar to that found in genetically engineered corn produced by Novartis.

Green lacewing larvae fed with Bt-toxin from transgenic organisms showed a significantly higher rate of mortality (57%) than a control group of insects (30%).  The larvae were fed purified Bt-toxin produced by genetically engineered E. coli bacteria.  The bacteria produce toxin similar to that found in Novartis corn.

An earlier study produced even more disturbing results—demonstrating the potential indirect impacts of Bt crops on beneficial insects.

Researchers compared the mortality and developmental rate of two groups of lacewings — one that had been fed European corn borers reared on engineered Bt corn and another reared on corn borers fed non-Bt corn (the control group).  The experiments revealed that green lacewings fed corn borers that had eaten Bt corn had a higher death rate and delayed development compared to the control group.

More than 60% of the lacewings fed Bt-corn-reared corn borers died compared with fewer than 40% of the control group.  The researchers suggest that the higher mortality is directly associated with {Bt} - related factors.  Among surviving lacewings, those feeding on Bt-corn-reared corn borers required an average of three more days to reach adulthood than the control group.

In a third study, Scottish Crop Research Institute scientists found that ladybird beetles fed aphids reared on transgenic potatoes experienced reproductive problems and failed to live as long as ladybirds fed aphids from ordinary potatoes (the control group).  The potatoes were engineered to produce insecticidal lectins — proteins from the snowdrop plant that bind to the surface of insect cells causing them to clump and stop functioning.

The researchers found that egg production of female ladybirds fed transgenic-potato-reared aphids was reduced by more than one-third, compared with the control group.  Nearly three times as many fertilized eggs from fed engineered-potato-reared aphids died before hatching compared with fertilized eggs from the control group.  In addition, female ladybirds fed aphids from transgenic plants lived only half as long as females from the control group.

None of these studies have been extended to field situations so it is far from clear whether these laboratory results reflect what might happen outdoors.  However, if field results show similar effects, wide-scale use of some transgenic plants could diminish populations of beneficial insects or render some herbicides useless to control weeds.

*Bt (Bacillus thuringiensis) is a naturally occurring soil bacterium used as a biological pesticide that can be cloned and inserted into a crop plant.  The plant then produces its own toxin in most if not all, parts of the plant.

Pesticide Action Network North America (PANNA)
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Synthetics Mimic Natural Brain Chemicals

Changing an insect’s behavior by “messing with its brain” may be the way to stop pests in the future.  Agricultural Research service scientists have developed artificial brain chemicals designed to mimic natural chemical messengers that control molting and other life functions.

“Commercial products containing artificial neuropeptides that can be sprayed onto corn earworms, for example, could be developed in about 5 years,” says Ronald J. Nachman.  He is a chemist in the ARS Veterinary Entomology Research Unit at College Station, Texas.

Neuropeptides stimulate life-sustaining functions in insects.  An array of critical functions and behaviors, including digestion and mating, are controlled by these strings of amino acids.

The biggest problem in delivering the mimics was getting them to penetrate the pest insects’ tough skin, or cuticle.  Nachman overcame this obstacle in the laboratory by using a combination of boron, carbon, and other chemicals, replacing one part of a string of amino acids with this combination.  The result:  The molecule became greasy.  The greasy quality of the molecule matched the physical characteristic of the insects’ cuticle, making absorption into the insect possible.

This work represents a significant milestone in developing environmentally friendly pest insect management strategies.

Agricultural Research/May 1998
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Scientist Help Plants Protect Themselves

Like the human body’s immune system, plants also have built-in protective mechanisms.  Agricultural Research Service scientists are working to manipulate that internal system in plants-triggered by pathogenesis related (PR) proteins, to increase protection.  Plants that are better able to defend themselves require less fungicides and insecticides, a boon to growers as well as the environment.

As insects feed on plants, substances in their saliva can trigger plants to release these defensive proteins.  But too much damage from invaders may overwhelm a plant before the defensive proteins reach effective levels.  At the U. S. Horticultural Research Laboratory in Orlando, Florida, ARS scientists have found PR proteins in citrus.  The proteins are two classes of enzymes—chitinases and glucanases—in citrus roots, leaves, blossoms and fruit.

Chitinase breaks down chitin, even though the substance does not occur in citrus.  However, insect exoskeletons and the cell walls of microbial pathoges are made of chitin, so scientists assume chitinase in citrus acts as a defensive mechanism.

Glucanases break down glucans, antifungal compounds found in citrus.  The enzyme may help the plant regulate levels of defensive glucan proteins.

The next step is to find ways to make the PR proteins more active in citrus.  ARS scientists have isolated citrus genes that produce these protective proteins.  They’re also experimenting with chemicals that trigger the protective mechanism without the plant actually being attacked by a pest.  In test, leaf miner larvae declined to feed on tomatoplants sprayed with BTH (benzothiadiazole).  BTH, a nontoxic chemical that doesn’t harm humans, plants, or animals, starts an internal chemical reaction in tomato plants that repels the pesky insect.

(USDA ARS news, 9/98)
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Microbes Protect Spuds From Storage Rot
A bacterium patented by ARS to reduce Fusarium dry rot in stored potatoes has proven 50 percent more effective than a synthetic chemical now used to control rot in commercial storage bins.  The chemical, thiabendazole (TBZ), is the only federally registered fungicide for potatoes destined for human consumption.  Dry rot fungi plague the potato industry worldwide, causing a dark tissue discoloration on the potato that eventually forms a dry, crumbly rot.  Annual losses in stored potatoes in the United States are estimated at more than $100 million.

Scientist with ARS, the University of Idaho and United Agi Products, Inc., of Greeley, Colorado, tested potentially protective bacteria on bin-stored potatoes at four North Dakota and Idaho sites.  A report on the studies is in Phytopathology (vol. 87, pp. 177-183).

The most outstanding bacterium tested was a strain of Enterobacter cloacae.  It reduced dry rot an average of 21 percent in contrast to 14 percent by TBZ.  And ARS scientists have shown the microbe can be produced in a liquid culture system compatible with industrial fermentation practices.   It is one of 18 bacteria ARS patented as dry rot inhibitors.  The agency is seeking to license the microbes or form cooperative agreements to develop bicontrol products.

For more information, contact David A. Schisler or Patricia J. Slinger, (309) 681-6567, National Center for Agricultural Utilization Research, Peoria, IL.

ARS Food and Nutrition research Briefs-October 1998
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USDA To Seek Additional Input Before Issuing Revised Organic Proposal

Washington, Oct. 26, 1998—Secretary of Agriculture Dan Glickman today announced that the U. S. Department of Agriculture will seek further public comment on three issues raised about its proposal to establish national organic food and fiber standards.

“As I have said many times, the national organic standards must be acceptable to both the public and the industry,” said Glickman.  “That’s why USDA is seeking additional comment.”

To focus the discussion on these issues, USDA is publishing issue papers addressing animal confinement, animal medications, and procedures for termination of producer certification.  Comments submitted on the proposed rule reflected an intense interest in these subjects.

The issue papers will be published in the Oct. 28 Federal Register.  Comments must be received by Dec. 14.  Interested persons are invited to submit written comments to Eileen Stommes, Deputy Administrator, USDA-AMS-TM-NOP, Room 4007-S, Ag Stop 0275, PO Box 96456, Washington, DC  20090-6456.  Comments may also be sent by fax to (202) 690-4632 or via e-mail to NOPIssue_Papers@usda.gov.  The issue papers may also be accessed on the NOP homepage at www.ams.usda.gov/nop.

NOTE:  USDA news releases and media advisories are available on the Internet.  Access the USDA home page on the World Wide Web at http://www.usda.gov.

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Changes to the Methyl Bromide Phase Out 
in the United States
The methyl bromide phase out in the United States has changed!!  The U. S. will no longer be phasing out this substance in 2001!

Due to recent legislative actions by the U. S. Congress, the methyl bromide phase out in the U. S. has been changed to the following:

Methyl bromide production and importation will be reduced from 1991 levels as follows:

Congress attached an amendment to the Fiscal Year 1999 (FY99) Appropriations bill that makes specific changes to the Clean Air Act.  The amendment will require that the EPA make regulatory changes to the U. S. phase out of methyl bromide.  These changes will essentially “harmonize” the U. S. phase out of methyl bromide with the Montreal Protocol phaseout schedule for developed countries.

This schedule, agreed to by the Parties to the Montreal Protocol in 1997, involves graduated reductions in methyl bromide consumption (production plus imports minus exports based on 1991 levels) and a 2005 phase out.  The Montreal Protocol phase out will begin in 1999 with a 25% reduction, a 50% reduction in 2001 and a 70% reduction in 2003.  In addition to these reductions in methyl bromide consumption, the Parties to the Montreal Protocol exempted from any control measures quarantine and pre-shipment uses of methyl bromide.

For Developing (non-industrialized) Countries (based on an average of 1995-1998 consumption levels which will be frozen in 2002):

After 2005 methyl bromide production and importation will be halted, with the exception of amounts needed for preshipment and quarantine uses, as well as what is deemed necessary for critical agricultural uses.

EPA will not control methyl bromide uses during the phase out—only supply.  The natural forces of the market place will define  allocations to methyl bromide users.  It likely that the price will rise as supply declines and demand remains stable.  As 2005 approaches and less methyl bromide is available, it is expected that only those users with no effective or economically viable alternatives will compete for the remaining amounts.  EPA
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SpinTor 2SC Receives Federal Registration for Fruiting and Leafy Vegetables, Citrus

Dow AgroSciences has received a federal registration for SpinTor 2SC for use on fruiting and leafy vegetables, brassica (cole) leafy vegetables, apples, citrus fruits and almonds.  The new product has been used in fruiting vegetables and cole crops under emergency exemption Section 18 registrations in Florida and Georgia during the past two growing seasons.
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Curzate 60DF Receives New Active Ingredient Registration

Curzate 60DF (cymoxanil) has received a new active ingredient registration in Florida for control of late blight on potatoes.  Curzate M-8 which also was marketed in the past, is being phased out and replaced with Curzate 60DF.
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Applaud 70WP Receives Section 18

A Section 18 emergency exemption has been granted to AgrEvo’s Applaud 70WP (buprofezin) for use on tomatoes in Florida to manage silverleaf whitefly.  This exemption will expire on July 21, 1999.
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Significant New Use Registration For Shadeout

A Significant New Use registration in Florida has been granted to DuPont’s Shadeout herbicide (rimsulfuron) for pre- and post-emergence weed control in tomatoes.
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Knack Receives Section 18

The EPA has granted a Section 18 emergency exemption in Florida of Knack (pyriproxyfen) insect growth regulator.  This product developed by Valent USA Corp., is used for the control of silverleaf whiteflies.  The exemption will expire on May 1, 1999.
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New Signal Word for Ridomil Gold

The signal word for Ridomil Gold (Mefanoxam) from Novartis has been changed to Warning to Caution.
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Seedless Watermelons

Novartis Seeds has signed an agreement to purchase American Sunmelon.  John Sorenson, President of Novartis Seeds, Inc.-Vegetables, commented, “The acquisition provides an excellent strategic fit with our existing Rogers and S&G brand watermelon business.”

Tim Shaheen, President of Sun World International Inc., and current partner in American
Sunmelon, said, “Novartis Seeds’ expanded presence in the watermelon category will add even more value to American Sunmelon’s product line.  We see great opportunity for increased synergies with Novartis Seeds in production, promotion and consumption of seedless watermelon, both here and abroad.”

Citrus & Vegetable Magazine October 1998
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US House of Representative's  House Committee on Agriculture

Jerry Moran, (R) KS 
jerry.moran@mail.house.gov
John Cooksey, (R) LA 
congressman.cooksey@mail.house.gov 
Roy Blunt, (R) MO 
blunt@mail.house.gov 
Chales Stenholm (D) TX 
Ranking Minority Member 
texas17@hr.house.gov 
Charles W Pickering, (R) MS 
c.pickering@mail.house.gov
George E Brown, Jr, (D) CA 
talk2geb@mail.house.gov
Bob Schaffer, (R) CO 
rep.schaffer@mail.house.gov
Gary A Condit, (D) CA 
garycondit@mail.house.gov
John R Thune, (R) SD
jthune@mail.house.gov 
Collin C Peterson, (D) MN 
tocollin.peterson@mail.house.gov
William L Jenkins, (R) TN 
billjenkins@mail.house.gov
Calvin M. Dooley, (D) CA
Bob Smith (R) OR, chairman 
bobsmith@mail.house.gov
Eva M Clayton, (D) NC 
eclayton@hr.house.gov
Larry Combest, (R) TX, vice-chair David Minge, (D) MN
Bill Barrett. (R) NE 
telltom@hr.house.gov 
Earl F Hilliard, (D) AL
John A Boechner, (R) OH 
john.boehner@mail.house.gov
Earl Pomeroy, (D) ND 
rep.earl.pameroy@mail.house.gov 
Tomas W Ewing, (R) IL  Tim Holden, (D) PA
John T Doolittle, (R) CA 
doolittle@mail.house.gov 
Scotty Baesler, (D) KY 
scotty.baesler@mail.house.gov 
Bob Goodlatte, (R) VA 
talk2bob@hr.house.gov
Stanford D Bishop, (D) GA
Richard W Pombo, (R) CA 
rpambo@mail.house.gov 
JoAnn Emerson, (R) MO 
joann.emerson@mail.house.gov 
Charles T Canady, (R) FL 
rep.charles.canady@mail.house.gov 
Ray LaHood, (R) IL 
Nick Smith, (R) MI 
repsmith@hr.house.gov
Saxby Chambliss, (R) GA 
saxby@hr.house.gov
Terry Everett, (R) AL 
everett@hr.house.gov 
Mark Foley, (R) FL 
mark.foley@mail.house.gov 
Frank Lucas, (R) OK  Ed Bryant, (R) TN
Ron Lewis, (R) KY  John N Hostettler, (R) IN 
johnhost@hr.house.gov
Helen Chenoweth, (R) ID 
askhellen@hr.house.gov 
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Information About Pollinators
If you’ve walked rows of healthy plants bearing almost no fruit after bad weather kept the bees from flying, you know how poor pollination can hit your bottom line.  Others among us may not think as much about pollination.  Poor pollination may be behind some of the low-grade produce left behind to rot.
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Are You Getting the Pollination You Need?

Pollination is about more than just producing fruit and seeds.  With better pollination you get bigger, better-formed, better tasting, riper fruit-in sum, the quality that brings top dollar.

Insect pollinators can make a difference in cotton, grapes, citrus, peaches and many other crops whose pollination has not typically been managed.  Once thought to be selfing, chile peppers actually are at least 80% outcrossed by sweat bees.

Even self-fertile flowers need pollen moved from anther to stigma.  For many crops insect pollinators are the best way to assure it happens.  Many growers don’t realize that full pollination could increase their yields.

Pollination problems are often blamed on poor soil fertility, bad weather, or unripe fruit.  Make sure you know what’s really going on.  Whether you depend on wild insects, honey bees, or other bees, managing pollination matters, today more than ever!

Pesticides unintentionally take a heavy toll on pollinators.  Each year beekeepers can expect to lose 20%  of their bees to pesticide poisoning—a few unlucky ones are totally wiped out.  Wild pollinators don’t even have a keeper to truck them out of the way before spraying starts.

Look up the bee toxicity and the residual time of the chemicals you use.  The Environmental
Hazards section of the pesticide label gives some information.   In the next column is a list commonly used products.  For more information, contact the entomologist at your state extension office, or get How to Reduce Bee Poisoning from Pesticides.

 Normal bee toxicity classes are Highly Toxic, Moderately Toxic, and Practically Nontoxic.   Different formulations of the same product can pose different risks to bees.  Make sure you look up the right one.  dusts and aerial sprays are particularly dangerous to bees.  Microencapsulated insecticides are extremely hazardous to bees, as their capsules mimic pollen grains.

If the chemical you are using is in the Practically Nontoxic category, it can be used at any time without harming bees.

If it is Moderately Toxic, do not apply it during the hours that bees are active in the field.  It can be applied after bees stop working in the afternoon, if the time remaining before bees go back to work the next day is longer than the product’s residual time.  To determine the bees’ schedule, monitor bee activity and any hives in your area.  Cool weather may lengthen residual time.

If there are bees or blooming plants in the area you plan to treat, do not use a Highly Toxic pesticide (unless it is injected into the soil).  Consider using another material less toxic to bees, or:

If you must use a product at a time when it might kill bees:
 

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Bee Toxicity of Common Pesticides
This list includes the products most commonly used on fruits and vegetables.  Different
formulations and dosages vary in toxicity and residual time, and sources disagree on the hazard posed by some chemicals.  We have taken the most conservative estimates.

Highly Toxic Insecticides

G-MT means the granular form is moderately toxic to bees, G-PNT means it is Practically Nontoxic.

Moderately Toxic Insecticides

Practically Nontoxic Insecticides
Fungicides:  There is concern over some fungicides, but most pose little threat to bees.

    Herbicides:  Most herbicides pose little threat to bees, but some sources suggest that Simazine, Hyvar X (bromacil), and some forms of 2,4-D  not be applied when bees are active.

    Alternative Pollinators:

     Honey bees are not your only option for assuring quality pollination.  There are thousands of
species of bees, and people are rapidly learning how to manage many of them for agricultural use.  Some can pollinate in weather when honey bees won’t, pollinate tough flowers honey bees can’t stay in a crop honey bees won’t, or just do it faster.

    For Vegetables:

Domesticated Bumblebees (Bombus spp.)

· Big business for tomatoes in greenhouses
· Used in fields and orchards for blueberries, peppers & eggplants
· Still expensive
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Working with Honey Bees
Some growers have always relied on bringing in honey bee hives.  Others are only now beginning to, after finding that wild bees aren’t as common as they once were.  If you rent hives, try these suggestions:

Put hives in the right place at the right time

Follow recommendations for the placement of hives for your crop and area.  Remember that bees like to fly down, not across rows.  Bring them in when there is between 10% and 40% of full bloom.  Earlier and the bees will find other flowers, and may prefer them over your crop even once it blooms.

Get strong, healthy hives

Good hives are worth paying more for.  Look for strong hives with at least two stories.  To estimate hive strength, count bees entering a hive on a sunny day over 650.  There should be at least 75 bees per minute.  Also check for consistent noise and activity from hive to hive.

Understand the beekeeper’s perspective

Yes, pollination fees have increased, but not nearly as much as have beekeepers’ costs.  Make your needs and constraints clear, and make sure you understand theirs.  Today, more than ever you need a good relationship with a reliable pollination service provider.

Beware of competing blooms

Honey bees will fly several miles in search of food, and unfortunately, your crop may not be their favorite.  Make sure you bring them in at the right time, and remove any large patches of competing bloom in or by your fields and orchards.  In difficult crops, rotating new hives in each week can help.

Spray with care

Follow recommendations to minimize the harm to bees caused by misused pesticides.  It makes
you someone beekeepers want to rent to, and avoids potential liabilities!

The Forgotten Pollinators Campaign
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Bug Food
Worms getting you down, giving you trouble, can’t get them under control?  Don’t give up... Get even!
This recipe was found on the Iowa State University-Department of Entomology web site.

Banana Worm Bread
Ingredients:
1/2 cup shortening
3/4 cup sugar
2 bananas, mashed
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon soda
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup chopped nuts
2 eggs
1/4 cup dry-roasted army worms
Directions:  Mix together all ingredients.  Bake in greased loaf pan at 350 for about 1 hour.
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Pesticide Registrations and Actions

Computer-verified CEU Training Tutorials authorized by the
FL Bureau of Entomology and Pest Control 
The University of Florida’s Entomology and Nematology Department has produced and made available a total of 11 computer-verified training tutorials authorized by the Florida Bureau of Entomology and Pest Control for CEUs in Core, GHP, L &  O, and Termites.

While these tutorials are described in detail in several files on the UF Buggy Software Web site, there is now a single file provided that not only lists the tutorials, their categories and CEUs but also now allow users to download and print (in Adobe Acrobat) the Florida CEU “Attendance Form.”  The Buggy Software site is at http://www.ifas.ufl.edu/~ent1/software/fasulo.htm.

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FREE PESTICIDE SAFETY TRAINING FOR FIELD WORKERS 
AMERICORPS in association with  The Florida Department of Education is offering FREE PESTICIDE SAFETY TRAINING FOR FIELD WORKERS

Service:  Trilingual (English, Creole, Spanish) state qualified pesticide-safety trainers are available to train field workers in accordance with the EPA Worker Protection Standard that took effect on January 1, 1995.
Where:  Call for information on location.
When:  Starting February 1998
Cost:  No Cost!  This is a community service offered to growers, labors contractors, and field workers.
Contact:  Abner Lormestoire or Marie Septimus to schedule training sessions in Collier County (941) 657-5820.

With the implementation of the WPS in 1995, growers are required to provide their workers with pesticide safety training for the first time.  The regulation also states that training must be provided in a language that the workers can understand since many farm workers' primary language is Spanish.

Because growers generally lack either the time or the Spanish-speaking skills to conduct this training, and state departments of agriculture and extension offices tend to focus their outreach and education efforts on growers, there have been few resources available to focus on training farm workers.

AFOP’s crops of state-certified, bilingual pesticide safety trainers are ready to fill this need by providing training services for farm workers and growers free of charge.

AmeriCorps pesticide safety training for workers covers all the information required by the WPS.  This includes how farm workers can prevent exposure to pesticides through proper dress and washing, how pesticides can enter the body, signs of possible short-term and long-term pesticide poisoning, emergency first aid procedures, the danger of taking pesticide containers home, and the rights and responsibilities of growers and workers.

AmeriCorps trainers use only EPA-approved educational materials and provide live, interactive sessions to best meet the needs of farm workers and growers.  To accommodate production schedules, training's can be scheduled at any time of day, from early in the morning to late in the evening.

AmeriCorps is best described as a “domestic Peace Corps.”  The program allows Americans of diverse ages and backgrounds to earn money for college in exchange for a year of full-time community service.  AmeriCorps was created with bipartisan support by Congress, the President, and community groups in 1993.  Since then, AmeriCorps members nationwide have been addressing community needs and fulfilling  their pledge to “get thing’s done” for America.

AFOP’s AmeriCorps program is just one of about 400 programs nationwide.  There are 25,000 AmeriCorps members at these programs, where they focus on education, the environment, human needs, or public safety.
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FLORIDA FARM BUREAU ESTABLISHES FQPA AS TOP PRIORITY ISSUE

Beginning in 1998 the Florida Farm Bureau designated the Food Quality Protection Act implementation as its number one priority issue.  Joining with other ag industry forces throughout America, as a joint front, Farm Bureau suggests that EPA needs to make their risk determinations and regulatory decisions based on sound science.

The Farm Bureau has established a toll free number that you can use to express your opinion on FQPA and other Environmental issues.  Call this toll free number:  1-888-322-1323 to send a letter or fax to your Representative in Congress

 Let Agriculture’s Voice be Heard.  Make That Call Now!
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Laugh Lines
 
Confession?
A drunken man staggers in to a Catholic church and sits down in a Confessional and says nothing.  The bewildered priest coughs to attract his attention, but still the man says nothing.

The priest then knocks on the wall three times in a final attempt to get the man to speak.

Finally, the drunk replies:  “No use knocking’ mate, there’s no paper in this one either.”

The Doctor Is In

 There were three doctors standing at the gates of heaven.  St. Peter asked the first, “Why should God let you into heaven?”

He replied, “Down on Earth, I was a country doctor.  I went to homes at all times of the day and night to help people.  I did not charge much for my service and if a family could not pay, that was okay.”

St. Peter said, “That’s great.  Come on in.”

St. Peter asked the second doctor, “Why should God let you into heaven?”  He replied, “Down on earth, I was a doctor who worked on all kinds of medicine to cure people.  I wanted to help them as much as I could.”

St. Peter said, “Come on in.”

Then St. Peter asked the third doctor, “Why should God let you into heaven?”  The third doctor replied, “Down on Earth, I was a doctor who worked with HMO to try and help people pay their doctor and hospital bills.”

St. Peter said, “Come on in, but you can only stay three days.”

Died and Gone to Heaven

Three buddies died in a car crash, and when they got to heaven they attended orientation.

They all were asked, “When you are in your casket, and your family and friends are mourning your loss, what would you
like to hear them say about you?”

The first guy replied, “I’d like to hear them say that I was a great doctor of my time and a great family man.”

The second guy said, “I’d like to hear that I was a wonderful husband and school teacher, who  made a huge difference in the lives of children.”

And the third guy replied, “I’d like to hear them say, ‘Look, he’s moving!

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