Cooperative Extension Service 

  Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences

Southwest Florida Vegetable Newsletter

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

March/April 1999



May 6, 1999                  Vegetable Field Day
                                       SWFREC/Immokalee 10:00 AM-12:00 PM
                                       Contact 863-674-4092

May 12, 1999                Vegetable Meeting-Methyl Bromide - Alternative Fumigants
                                      SWFREC-6:00-8:30 PM
                                      Contact 863-674-4092

May 13, 1999                FACTS Sprayer Field Day
                                      SWFREC/Immokalee 9:00AM-3:00PM
                                      Contact 863-658-3400

May 13, 1999                Sakata Seed - Southeastern Vegetable Field Day
                                      Lehigh acres -10:00 am.
                                      RSVP by May 3rd
                                      Phone 863-369-0032

May 17-20, 1999           Aquatic Weed Control, Aquatic Plant Culture and Revegetation Short Course
                                      Fort Lauderdale REC/Fort Lauderdale
                                      Earn up to 18 CEUs for Florida, Georgia, North and South Carolina licenses.
                                      Contact Vernon Vandiver
                                      Phone; 954-475-8990;  fax 954-475-4125;

May 18, 1999               Vegetable Field Day
                                     Gulf Coast REC/Bradenton
                                     8:15  AM Registration.
                                     Three tours will be available

                                        * Veg Crop Improvement
                                        * Veg Crop Protection
                                        * Veg Crop Production

May 19-22, 1999           28th National Agricultural Plastics Conference
                                    Ramada Inn Tallahassee, Tallahassee
                                    Contact:      American Society for Plasticulture
                                                       526 Brittany Dr, State College, PA  16803-1420
                                                       Phone (814)238-7045; fax (814) 238-7051.

Return to Index
Note  from Gene
Gene McAvoy
Vegetable Extension Agent II
Hendry County Extension Office
PO Box 68
LaBelle, Florida, 33975
 Despite a promising start to the spring season, marked by relatively low insect and disease pressure, growers in South West Florida have been hit by a double whammy of severe spring drought which injured many crops coupled with low  prices for those  that  reached  market.   This is not the sort of ending that any of us would have hoped for, but this happens all to often in the vegetable business, where a good year is followed by a relatively poor year.  Experienced growers will analyze the lessons learned this season and move forward wiser in the process.

As the spring season rapidly moves to a conclusion, it is not to early to start to set the stage for a successful fall crop.  One of the most important cultural practices that can contribute to reduced pest and disease problems in the fall and help ensure a good crop is program of after-crop sanitation and old field clean-up now.  While it might be tempting to walk away from it all, and engage in a more relaxing past time like fishing, time invested in clean-up and sanitation now can pay back handsomely later.  A number of  pests such as pepper weevil, broad mites and whiteflies as well as many diseases can over-summer in crop debris and surviving or volunteer vegetable plants.  A number of weed species can also flourish and increase in fields which are not cleaned up after harvest.

Clean-up is an important part of a well rounded integrated pest management program.  Sanitation includes all activities aimed at eliminating or reducing the amount of innoculum, pests or weed seed present in a field and thereby reducing or preventing the spread of the insect or pathogen to subsequent crops.  Good sanitation practices help suppress pest problems by either physically removing the pest or depriving them of food, shelter or some other necessity of life.

Good post harvest sanitation is especially critical now that TYLCV,  has been seen  widely in the spring crop locally.   As there is no chemical control for this disease - removal of infected plants and suppression of whitefly populations over-summer is one of the key means off preventing of a potential problem with the fall tomato crop.  Be a good neighbor and clean up.

With the already limited supply and impending phase-out of methyl bromide and the probable loss of at least some key pest control products under FQPA,  growers would also be well advised to begin considering their options and evaluating alternatives.  In the case of methyl bromide, take advantage of the remaining time until complete phase-out and start implementing on farm evaluation of your alternatatives.  It will most certainly require some trial and error to come up with a system that will work for you and the crops that you grow.  There will be seasonal differences and adjustments to farm equipment that will have to be sorted out.
Likewise start experimenting with some of the new chemistries that are now available. In addition, remember that a sound IPM program, involves more than chemical control.  Don’t wait, it may be too late!

Return to Index
Field Packing Regulation 
Works So Far
Florida’s field tomato packing regulation is new this year and the industry is still getting used to it, but it seems to be working well so far.

According to our federal marketing order, all Florida tomatoes must be packed at the registered handler’s facility, which is the shipping point, but we’re allowing Florida producers to pack in the field to compete with tomatoes from Mexico.

“The riper the better” is the way people are currently demanding tomatoes.  They’ll buy them from red ripe down to a heavy pink, but they don’t want them if they’ve been run over a sizing machine because that causes bruising.

So the field packing regulation is enabling us to provide a riper tomato without bruising, but sizing is a challenge.  Under the marketing order, however, we’re required to designate size on the box.  If you’re packing much volume, it’s difficult to size tomatoes by hand and that’s been the biggest downfall of the field packing regulation.

Our competitors from Mexico, on the other hand, are supposed to designate size, too, but the government doesn’t make them do it.  Consequently, there’s no telling what conglomeration of sizes you’re going to get in a box of tomatoes from Mexico.

When consumers go to the grocery store and say they want a ripe tomato, they don’t really know what a vine ripe is.  Technically, a vine ripe tomato is one that’s showing a tinge of color on the blossom end when it’s picked.  What they want is a red ripe tomato, but they ask for a vine ripe and, of course, the tomatoes from Mexico are all picked just slightly riper than a mature green, but they call them vine ripe and technically they are.

The Tomato Magazine
Return to Index
Petoseed Tomato Disease Guide 
Available in Spanish
The Tomato Disease Guide, published to help growers with field detection and diagnosis, is now available in Spanish.

Produced by Petoseed, The Tomato Disease Guide features exhaustively researched descriptions and detailed photographs of the more common tomato diseases and disorders worldwide.  Each entry lists the common name of the disease, the cause, where it occurs, symptoms, conditions necessary for the development of the disease and measures to control it.  A comprehensive glossary and a list of references for further research are also included.

The 61 page book covers bacterial, fungal, nematode and viral diseases as well as a parasitic plants, phytoplasma disease and a variety of noninfectious disorders.

The Tomato Disease Guide can be ordered at a cost of $30 (US) through the Petoseed Advertising Department by calling (805) 647-1188.

The Tomato Magazine
Return to Index
Eat Your Tomatoes and 
Tomato Products
Studies say eating lots of fresh and processed tomatoes can lower the risk of certain cancers.

The paper, “Tomatoes, Tomato-Based Products, Lycopene, and Cancer:  Review of the Epidemiologic Literature” by Dr. Edward Giovannucci was just published in the Journal of The National Cancer Institute.  Among 72 studies, 57 reported inverse associations between tomato intake and blood lycopene levels (a compound derived predominantly from tomatoes) and the risk of certain cancers at specific anatomic sites.  In thirty five of these studies, the inverse associations were statistically significant.  The evidence for a benefit was strongest for cancers of the prostate, lung and stomach.  Data were also suggested of a benefit for cancers of the pancreas, colon, esophagus, oral cavity, breast and cervix.

Numerous other potentially beneficial compounds are present in tomatoes and, conceivably, complex interactions among multiple components may contribute to the anticancer properties of tomatoes.  The consistently lower risk of cancer for a variety of anatomic sites that is associated with higher consumption of tomatoes and tomato-based products add further suport for current dietary recommendations to increase vegetable consumption.

Dr.Edward Giovannucci is affiliated with the Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA.

The NY Times, Wednesday Feb. 17, 1999
and Natl. Cancer Inst. 1999;91 317-31
Return to Index
Disputes Settlement
Not all growers will have to go to court to get the money that is owed them by creditors.  The Florida Fruit & Vegetable Association has a program in place that helps its members avoid filing suits, and instead works with them to settle disputes informally. FFVA settles both quality and payment disputes and has recovered $1 million for its members over the past two years.

It all starts with a phone call from the grower to FFVA’s marketing manager Mike Bess.  The grower informs Bess that a particular buyer is disputing the quality of the product.  The buyer may allege the product contains decay or some other form of defect.  Bess then resolves the dispute between the grower and buyer by identifying the responsible source for the problem.

FFVA is also on the scene when buyers refuse to pay for produce that was shipped to them.  Bess steps in with a “demand for payment” and follows up with both the purchaser and the grower to make sure payment is made in full or to create a payment plan.  If the problem is not resolved, Bess files a complaint with USDA’s Perishable Agricultural Commodities Act Division or the Florida Division of Administrative Hearings and represents the grower throughout the proceedings.

Citrus & Vegetable Magazine
Return to Index
Labeling Violations
FLORIDA AGRICULTURE COMMISSIONER Bob Crawford announced that his department has written 1,497 “Country of Origin Labeling” violations to supermarkets and other retail outlets in the last three years.

Stores that were cited did not comply with Florida’s Country of Origin Labeling statute - a law requiring foreign-grown produce to bear stickers or signs indicating where it was grown.

 “During the past three years, Florida has been inundated with foreign-grown fruits and vegetables,” Crawford said.  “During the same period of time, a number of food-borne illness outbreaks associated with foreign products have occurred.  The bottom line here is that Florida consumers deserve to know the source of the produce they buy at grocery stores.”

Although Crawford’s office has issued violation notices in every region of the state, the level of cooperation and compliance rate on the part of retailers is quite high, as violations occur in only 10% to 12% of inspections.

During the three years, inspectors have issued $171,950 in fines to 487 repeat offenders.  Crawford has authorized inspectors to initially issue a notice of violation.  If the store is still not in compliance when it is re-inspected, a $200 fine is issued.  Fines are doubled each time a store is guilty of subsequent violations - up to a maximum fine of $5,000.

To date, only Florida has a comprehensive law requiring labeling of foreign produce, but a number of other states are considering similar legislation.

Citrus & Vegetable Magazine
Return to Index
Registration Changes

Citrus & Vegetable Magazine
Return to Index
Better Understanding of Basics Can Help Cope with Herbicide Loss
While organophosphate and carbamate insecticides are the current focus of Food Quality
Protection Act regulation, herbicides will get their turn soon.

The loss of herbicide registrations under FQPA would only continue a trend already in place, said a weed scientist from the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center’s Wooster campus during a talk at the Ohio Fruit and Vegetable Congress in Toledo.

Another speaker presented a side of FQPA not often heard, describing how it may be helpful in registering herbicides for minor crop uses.

The way to successfully adjust to what FQPA will bring is to get off the “herbicide treadmill,” according to John Cardina.  The current herbicides are proving to be so efficient and economical that growers rely on them too heavily and forget other methods of weed control.  Only with a more basic understanding of the bioscience of weeds can growers keep them out of fields and orchards.

A combination of circumstances paint a picture of fewer tools for growers fighting weeds.  They include loss of current registrations (17 vegetable herbicides in the last 10 years), FQPA’s bias against minor crops and the lack of herbicide-tolerant plants.

You won’t see Roundup-ready parsley for a few years,” said Cardina.

Herbicide-tolerant crops have proven to be far less than a magic bullet, Cardina explained.
Problems include high technology fees and loss of overseas markets, particularly in Europe where there is widespread suspicion and fear about the safety of bioengineered products.

Another major concern domestically is how the federal government plans to regulate these types of plants.  “The Environmental Protection Agency is proposing to regulate them as pesticides,” said Cardina.  “Who is going to buy a tomato registered as a pesticide to eat?”

With so many other doors closing, the door labeled “weed biology” is the one growers need to step through, said Cardina.
Growers should understand the concept of the weed bank, he said, which is made up of all weed seeds in the plant, on or in the soil or in associated plant litter.  Weeds have an enormous capacity for seed production.  On the high end, each pigweed plant is capable of producing up to 117,400 seeds. Only one-quarter of these seeds survie in the soil, but that leaves enough potential for problems that a grower’s management efforts must address the problem, Cardina said.

The key is avoidance-protecting against seeds invading a field.  Seeds can get into your fields and orchards in a variety of ways, including on  machinery, crop inputs, infestation of crop seed, irrigation water, transplants and any corridor where seeds can enter.  At the end of the season, collect weeds and litter, remove them from the field and burn them.

 “Limiting dispersal is the most important thing in stopping an invasion of weeds,” said Cardina.

A knowledge of crop condition can help in weed management.  Each crop has a period of time where it must be weed free in order to be viable.  Know the emergence time of both weeds and crops and plant so as to avoid competition.

Use of mulches, irrigation and cover crops are additional tools to be used.  Concentrate resources on the crops at the expense of the weeds, Cardina advised.

At times, as one type of weed is successfully managed by herbicides, an opportunity exists for weeds from another family to become dominant.  Cardina said growers should anticipate these species shifts by rotation, resistance management and changing tillage timing and practices.

Jerry Baron, Assistant Director of the IR-4 program at Rutgers University, described the provisions of FQPA that encourage registration of crop protection materials that are safer and less damaging to the environments.  EPA is just beginning to review herbicides in the FQPA re-registration process, with the triazine family first in line.

IR-4 (Interregional Research Project No. 4) was established in 1963 to help the producers of minor crops obtain registration for the conventional pesticides they need to successfully grow food and ornamental crops.  A network of state and federal IR-4 cooperators develops field and laboratory data to support petitions for pesticide residue tolerances or exemptions for submission to EPA.

The good news, said Baron, is that the new law calls for fasttrack registration for reduced risk materials and offers incentives for minor use.  Consideration is given if a pesticide is the only alternative, is the safest alternative or is important for integrated pest management and resistance management.  EPA may waive data requirements for minor use if registrants can prove they have no adverse effect on the environment.

FQPA encourages EPA to review minor use packages at a faster rate-within 12 months of submission.  The agency is not yet handling registration requests at that rate, Baron said.   “It all means that IR-4 tools are available to allow us to do our job,” said Baron.  “We have developed strategic plans for minor crops and minor uses.  We are promoting reduced risk pest management.  This helps to register softer materials and materials used in IPM.”

Baron said growers can help improve the chances of registering herbicides by developing realistic use data and providing it to state organizations that ask for it, who will then pass it on to EPA.

The future of crop protection materials will include a lot of new tools, many of them reduced risk, said Baron.  However, there are fewer of these tools in the area of weed control.  Risk mitigation will be increasingly important.  More interest will be expressed in biopesticides, with IR-4 funding $600,000 or research in that area in 1998 and 1999.

By Lee Dean
Managing Editor
The Vegetable Growers News
Return to Index
FQPA Prompts 
a 10% Hike of Guthion Price
Bayer Corporation has invested $2.5 million in additional residue and environmental studies to satisfy the Environmental Protection Agency’s latest queries regarding Guthion insecticide and new Food Quality Protection Act regulations.

These new expenses will increase the price of Guthion 50% wettable powder insecticide by 10% in 1999.  This is an increase to the grower of $1.30 per acre.

Bayer’s proactive approach to FQPA is meant to help ensure Guthion is still available for purchase in the upcoming growing season.   “We have promised growers we will support this product in every way we can,” said Steve Chaney, insecticide business unit manager for Bayer.  “It is our hope that our efforts will result in keeping Guthion for years to come.”

The EPA passed the FQPA requirements in 1996 and has since outlined a plan that addresses carbamates and organophosphates first.  Guthion is an organophosphate-based product.  Many chemical manufacturers, including Bayer, have taken part in meetings with EPA to discuss the ramifications of removing entire classes of chemicals from the market, especially when these pesticides often have the highest solve rate.

The Vegetable Growers News
Return to Index
Rimsulfuron (Shadeout) 
Labeled on Tomatoes
Rimsulfuron has been labeled for use on tomatoes under the trade name Shadeout.  Shadeout may be applied preemergence to tomatoes.

For preemergence applications to the crop, apply after seeding at 2.0 oz. product/acre.  If weeds are present at application, use a nonionic surfactant.  For activation, best results are obtained if treatment is made to moist soil and moisture is supplied by rainfall or sprinkler irrigation no later than 1 week after application.  For mulched row middle applications, adjust the equipment to keep the applications off the mulch and use proportionally less mixture based on the soil area actually sprayed.

For postemergence applications, apply Shadeout at 1.0-2.0 oz. product per acre to young, actively growing weeds after the crop has reached the 2 leaf stage.  usually, small weeds (less than 1” in height or diameter) are most easily controlled.  Use a nonionic surfactant at a rate of 0.125-0.25% v/v with all postemergence applications.

Applications may be applied preemergence followed by single or multiple postemergence applications.  Do not exceed 2.0 oz product/acre applied preemergence to the crop and 2.0 oz . product applied postemergence in the same growing season.  Do not apply Shadeout within 45 days of tomato harvest.

Tank mixtures of Shadeout plus Lexone are labeled for postemergence applications.  This tank mix may be applied for a broader spectrum of weed control.

Read the label and follow all directions and precautions.
(Stall, Vegetarian 99-03)
Return to Index
World Vegetable Production
The area harvested (1000 ha), yield (kg/ha) and total production (1000 MT) of the world’s most important vegetables according to the FAO Production Yearbook are shown in Table 1.

In terms of area harvested, dry bean, potato, and cassava are the most important crops, whereas artichoke, green bean, and cauliflower are relatively unimportant.  Highest yields are obtained from tomato, cabbage, and carrot.  The dry legumes (bean, chickpea, and lentils) produce the lowest yields per ha because of their low moisture content.  Total world production is highest for potato, sweet potato, and cassava; the root crops that provide massive amounts of energy and that can be stored for extended periods to provide foodstuff when otherwise unavailable.

Vegetables entering into commerce on a global basis are harvested from over 118 million ha and produce more than 1 billion MT.  Since much of the population in developing countries is engaged in subsistence farming where farm produce, including vegetables, does not enter into traditional commerce it is clear that total world wide production is much greater than that reported.

The ranking of the primary countries in production (MT) of vegetables also according to FAO is shown in Table 2.

This listing is related to the size of the country, its population, presence of a favorable climate for vegetable production and ethnic culinary habits of the population.  Even a casual examination of Table 2 will reveal the overwhelming importance of China as a vegetable producing country.  Of 25 vegetables or vegetable groups listed, China ranks first in 15.  India, the next most frequent listing appears four times as the leading producer.  According to data developed by the Chinese Ministry of Agricultural Statistics in 1991, the 21 major vegetables in China were grown on 4,365,000 ha which produced more than 142 million MT.

Return to Index
Chemical Stimulation of Plant Growth of Vegetables in Florida
Florida farmers cultivated over 290,000 acres of vegetables in 1997, 43% of which were established from transplants.  While possibly best known for tomato production, FL  sweet corn, potato (fresh and chipping), watermelon and snap bean acreage all rival that of tomato.  Like farmers everywhere, FL growers want healthy plants that are free of disease and insect pressure.  To raise better crops, FL growers will often avail themselves of chemical opportunities to stimulate plant growth and development and increase yields.  The following discussion will focus on chemical plant growth regulators (PGR’s), often called biostimulant products (seaweed extracts and various hormone mixtures) as opposed to classical uses such as ethylene for in-field fruit ripening or anti-GA’s for growth control.

In December 1998, FL  vegetable extension agents were asked to contact  growers who used PGR’s to help document crop use acreage and satisfaction with the products.  The survey, while admittedly limited in scope, revealed that PGR’s were used in all major vegetable production areas throughout the state with the exception of a corridor from Gainesville northwest to Quincy. PGR products were used on all the major vegetable crops on a total of about 12,300 acres and satisfaction ranged from poor to fair.  Products that appeared repeatedly in the survey results included Acadian Seaweed (Acadian Seaplants, Dartmouth, Nova Scotia), Early Harvest (Griffin Corp., Valdosta, GA) Folizyme (Stoller Chemical, Houston, TX), Goemar (Agrimar Corp., Atlanta, GA), Key Plex (Morse Enterprises, Miami, FL), and Triggrr (Westbridge, Vista, CA).

A survey of three local purveyors of these products in the Immokalee/Homestead area documented sales on over 40,000 acres of vegetables treated with PGR’s in South FL alone.  These figures in conjunction with county agent survey results would bring the total vegetable acreage treated with PGR’s to slightly over 52,300 or approximately 17% of FL’s total vegetable acreage.  It is suspectied this number is an under estimate.

Phrases that surfaced during discussions with growers, suppliers, and agents about the performance of PGR products included:

Csizinszky (1996), who has more published works than anyone in FL on the subject, sums up five years of tomato PGR research on both spring and fall crops thus: Our lab (SWFREC) has documented crop to crop response variation with mode of application (fig. 1), critical timing and rate issues that complicate efficacy (Fig. 2) and general non-significance across the board regarding yield.

With such a diversity of variation in “controlled” trials (cultivars, mode of application, rate and timing) one can see why researchers and growers alike have reached the conclusion that these products are inconsistent.  However, statewide use figures seem to indicate some growers may still believe the beneficial effects of PGR’s outweigh the inconsistent results.
(Vavrina, Vegetarian 99-03)
Return to Index

US Supreme Court Strikes Down Iowa’s “Right-to-Farm” Law
The United States Supreme Court agreed with an Iowa Supreme Court decision on the unconstitutionality of that state’s right-to-farm law, in effect stamping out all similar legislation in every other state.  The decision stated that the immunity protection farmers receive from these statutes “results in a taking of private property without the payment of just compensation in violation of federal and state constitutional provisions”.

Right-to-Farm legislation has extended this immunity to farmers from lawsuits resulting from traditional farming practices.  It does not apply to nuisances resulting in violation of a federal statute, regulation, or rule.  Furthermore, there is no immunity from suit “for an injury or damage sustained by the person because of the pollution or change in condition of the waters of a stream, the overflowing of the person’s land, or excessive soil erosion into another person’s land, unless the injury or damage is caused by and act of God”.

Right to Farm legislation evolved from farmer’s concerns as to “public nuisance” suits form developers relating to odors, noise, or dust in a farming operation.

Ag Economic Report
Return to Index
Agricultural Prices
Prices Received by Farmers

The February All Farm Products Index was 96% of its 1990-92 base, down 1.0% from January and down 5.0% from February 1998.

Commercial Vegetables:

The February index, at 97, was down 9.3% from last month and was 17% below February 1998.  Carrots, cauliflower, and snap beans were, the only vegetables with price increases from last month.

Prices Paid by Farmers Fertilizer:

The fertilizer index, at 107, was unchanged from January but 6.1% less than February a year ago. Since January, higher prices for mixed fertilizers offset slightly lower prices for potash and phosphate and nitrogen fertilizers.

Agricultural Chemicals:

At 115, the chemical index was down 2.5% from last month and 5.7% less than last February. Lower prices in February for herbicides more than offset higher prices for insecticides and other chemicals.

Ag Economic Report
Return to Index
Pesticide Information Office

EUP Announcements:                 · ethoprop,  OPP-341144A;
                · temephos, OPP-34147A;
                · terbufos, OPP-34139A; and
                · methyl parathion, OPP-34161.

         Comments on these four risk  assessments must be received by February 16, 1999.  For more information, call
         703)308-8004.  Comments should be mailed to:   EPA, OPP, 401 M Street S.W., Washington, D.C. 20460.
            Fed. Reg.12/18/98)

Return to Index
New Pesticide Data 
Program Report Released
USDA has released their new Pesticide Data Program (PDP) report outlining residues detected on fruits and vegetables for calendar year 1997.

Pesticides monitored by PDP include insecticides, fungicides, herbicides, and growth regulators in/on fresh and processed fruits and vegetables, milk, and grains.  Commodities chosen for inclusion in the program are based on food consumption surveys.  Samples were secured from 10 states (representing about 50% of the Nation’s population), from all regions of the country, and from importing foreign countries.

Data were collected on 15 commodities including pears, potatoes, spinach, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, winter squash, apple juice, canned/frozen green beans, orange juice, canned peaches, canned spinach, and frozen winter squash.

Results of PDP’s pesticide residue testing show that producers are using significantly fewer pesticides than would be suggested by worst case assessments.  overall, residues of at least one pesticide were detected on 57% of the 6,321 fruit and vegetable samples analyzed, although nearly all residues fell below EPA established tolerance levels for the respective commodities.  In comparing fresh versus processed samples, 70% of fresh produce and 45% of the processed products contained at least one pesticide residue.  (In 1996, 72% of the fruits and vegetables tested by the PDP contained at least one pesticide, which was up from 65% of the fruit and vegetable samples in 1995.)

Defined post harvest uses accounted for approximately 24% of the fruit and vegetable residues detected.

From a violation standpoint, the PDP found that approximately 5% of samples contained above-tolerance residues or residues for which there are no tolerances established for that particular crop.  It was noted that many of these presumptive violations, for which there were no EPA tolerances, may be due to spray drift or crop rotations.  Only about 1% of presumptive violations were for pesticide residues where the tolerance was actually exceeded.

The most frequently detected compound in the analysis was the fungicide thiabendazole (Mertect), occurring primarily on fruit, which accounted for nearly 11% of all detections.  Wheat data showed that chlorpyrifos-methyl (Reldan) and malathion, both storage-use post harvest insecticides, accounted for 85% of the residue detections.  Similarly, chlorpyrifos and malathion accounted for 93% of the residue detections in soybeans.

PDP Executive Summary;  December 1998
Return to Index

Business Opportunity

Threshold Farms is seeking a local grower(s) to produce 20-30 acres of Cherry Tomatoes and 5-10 acres of Misc., Peppers.     Contact Doug Bett for more information at 941-450-1623

Return to Index
Chemical Fallow 
and Low Rate Technology
At our April Vegetable Growers Meeting, Dr. Bill Stall UF/IFAS and Dr. Clair Erikson, Monsanto focused on two interesting techniques that should assist vegetable growers in their weed control programs.  These included Low Rate Technology  (LRT) in a Weed Management Program based on Round-up and Chemical Fallowing in Vegetable Crops.  A summary of the material covered is presented below for those who where unable to attend the meeting.  Given the impending loss of methyl bromide, such techniques may prove valuable in some vegetable cropping systems for the control of persistent weed species such as nutsedge.

Low Rate Technology (LRT) is a weed management program based on Round-up Ultra that may fit into some programs saving growers money without compromising the quality of control.

 LRT refers to the per acre spray volume applied by your spray equipment.  In spray volumes of 5 to 25 gallons per acre (GPA), the spray solution is much more concentrated.  LRT means maintaining low spray volumes.  Since the efficacy of Round-up is dependent on the concentration of the solution applied to target weed, using low water volumes with the same amount of material results in more concentrated solutions and better control.

 A LRT application program with Roundup Ultra is an option that can permit growers to:

 Guidelines for Success with LRT

1.  Maintain 10 to 25 GPA spray volume.  This is the most important factor in LRT.  Nozzle type and size, spacing, pump pressure and field speed are all factors in determining spray volume.

2.   Use flat fan or low volume flood nozzles.  Lowering volumes by merely increasing field speed may decrease control effectiveness.  It is very important to use small orifice nozzles spaced at 10 to 20 inches.  Flat fan nozzles (XR 1 100 15 to XR 1 10003 or IDG I 100 1 5VS to DG II 002VS) and low volume flood nozzles (TK-SS.75 to TK-SS 1.5) are recommended.  They produce small, highly concentrated droplets which are uniformly distributed and adhere tightly to the leaves.  This results in
better coverage and improved control of target weeds.

3.   Use 100 to 140 mesh in-line filters and 100 mesh tip screens.  Because adequate filtration is important to LRT success, frequent filter cleaning is recommended.

4.   Always use clean water.  Reduced control may occur if water containing soil (e.g. from ponds or unlined ditches) is used.

5.   Obtain 30% to 50% spray pattern overlap.  Prior to spraying, adjust the height of the boom so that there is a 30 to 50% spray pattern overlap before spray contacts the tops of the leaves.

6.   Apply at speeds no higher than 5 MPH.  The field speed during the spray application should be slow enough to ensure proper coverage.  High speeds can stir up dust, cause the boom to bounce and prevent the driver from properly monitoring the situation.

7.   Add the proper amount of ammonium sulfate (AMS).  The addition of spray grade ammonium sulfate with Roundup Ultra may improve performance on weeds under conditions of environmental stress.  The recommended rate is 10 to 17 pounds of dry ammonium sulfate per 100 gallons of solution.  This is especially important as many local water supplies are high in cations which can bind with glyphosate reducing effectiveness.  AMS will tie up cations in the water so that they are unable to bind with glyphosate in the spray solution.

8.  Maintain spray pressure of 20-30 PSI (depending on nozzle type.

Chemical Fallowing in Vegetable

Chemical fallowing is a twist on the traditional method of fallowing that depends on discing fields
through out the summer period to reduce weed pressure in subsequent crops.


The key to a successful chemical fallow treatment program is the timing of the applications.  Two Roundup Ultra treatments with one tillage trip in between should cover the entire fallow period.

Note:  Allow 3 days between last application and planting.

There are a number of alternatives to methyl bromide out there and growers would be well advised to start to consider these and experiment with them before the 2005 cutoff date.  Supplies are already starting to get tight and prices are rising on this material.  MB alternatives will certainly involve some changes in your crop management program and it would be wise to see what’s involved and how these alternatives might be successfully incorporated into your operation.
Return to Index
Laugh Lines

Hard work never killed anyone.  But why take a chance?

And you thought you were having a bad day.........

This is a bricklayer’s accident report that was printed in the newsletter of the English Workers’ Compensation Board.

Dear Sir:

I am writing in response to your request for additional information in Block #3 of the accident reporting form.  I put “Poor Planning” as the cause of my accident.  You asked for a fuller explanation and I trust the following details will be sufficient.

I am a bricklayer by trade.  On the day of the accident, I was working alone on the roof of a new six-story building.  When I completed my work, I found I had some bricks left over which when weighed later were found to weigh 240 lbs.  Rather than carry the bricks down by hand, I decided to lower them in a barrel by using a pulley which was attached to the side of the building at the sixth floor.

Securing the rope at ground level, I went up to the roof, swung the barrel out and loaded the bricks into it.  Then I went down and untied the rope, holding it tightly to insure a slow descent of the 240 lbs of  bricks.  You will note on the accident reporting form that my weight is 135 lbs.

Due to my surprise at being jerked off the ground so suddenly, I lost my presence of mind and forgot to let go of the rope. Needless to say, I proceeded at a rapid rate up the side of the building.

In the vicinity of the third floor, I met the barrel which was now proceeding downward at an equally impressive speed.  This explains the fractured skull, minor abrasions and the broken collarbone, as listed in Section 3 of the accident reporting form.

Slowed only slightly, I continued my rapid ascent, not stopping until the fingers on my right hand were two knuckles deep into the pulley which I mentioned in Paragraph 2 of this correspondence. Fortunately by this time I had regained my presence of mind and was able to hold tightly to the rope, in spite of the excruciating pain I was now beginning to experience.

At approximately the same time, however, the barrel of bricks hit the ground, and the bottom fell out of the barrel.  Now devoid of the weight of the bricks, the barrel weighed approximately 50 lbs.  I refer you again to my weight.

As you might imagine, I began a rapid descent down the side of the building.  In the vicinity of the third floor, I met the barrel coming up.  This accounts for the two fractured ankles, broken tooth and severe lacerations of my legs and lower body.

Here  my luck began to change slightly.  The encounter with the barrel seemed to slow me enough to lessen my injuries when I fell into the pile of bricks and fortunately only three vertebrae were cracked.

I am sorry to report, however, as I lay there on the pile of bricks, in pain, unable to move watching the empty barrel six stories above me,  I again lost my composure and presence of mind and let go of the rope.

Index                 Sponsors                 SWFLVegNews                    Home