Dover AREC Research Report DOV 1989-1
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Dover AREC Research Report DOV 1989-1 January 1989
AGRICULTURAL RESEARCH & EDUCATION CENTER
IFAS, UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA
13138 Lewis Gallagher Road
Dover, FL 33527
THE HISTORY, DEVELOPMENT, ACCOMPLISHMENTS AND PROGRAMS
AGRICULTURAL RESEARCH AND EDUCATION CENTER
E. E. Albregts, C. M. Howard, C. K. Chandler, and W. E. Waters
Table of Contents
Mission and Goals .................................................. 2
Former Faculty..................................................... 4
Research Accomplishments........................................... 4
Plant Breeding................... ................................ 5
Culture and Management......................................... 5
Water Management............................................... 6
Insects and Mites.............................................. 6
Current Research................................. ................... 6
List of Personnel.................................................. 7
The Agricultural Research and Education Center (AREC), Dover is a research
and extension education unit of the University of Florida's Institute of
Food and Agricultural Sciences (IFAS). The Center is administrated
through the Gulf Coast Research and Education Center (GCREC) in Bradenton,
Florida. This publication presents information on the history,
accomplishments, and the current research programs of the Dover Center.
The three research scientists stationed at the Center cooperate in applied
and basic research endeavors with scientists at the GCREC, Bradenton and
other Centers and Departments of IFAS. The integration of several
research disciplines with a wide range of industry and faculty contacts
produces an interdisciplinary approach to research that is highly
productive and cost-effective. The result is a multitude of diverse
research activities being actively pursued concerning strawberries and
vegetables which will help Florida's agricultural industry compete in the
MISSION AND GOALS
The primary mission of AREC-Dover is to develop new and to expand existing
knowledge and technology on strawberry and vegetable crops which will
allow the agriculture of Florida to remain efficient and economically
competitive with. other areas of the U.S. and the world. The secondary
mission of the Center is to support the Cooperative Extension Service,
IFAS Campus Departments and other Research Centers in extension,
educational training, and cooperative research programs for the benefit of
Florida's producers, students, and consumers.
Program areas of emphasis include (1) genetics, plant breeding, and
variety development, (2) water utilization, conservation, and management,
(3) biological, chemical, and mechanical pest management, (4) post-harvest
quality of horticultural crops, (5) production efficiency, culture,
management, and environmental stress of plants, (6) advancement of the
basic knowledge in disciplines, and (7) support of cooperative extension
and public service.
The University of Florida's Agricultural Research and Education Center
near Dover originated in 1925 at a temporary laboratory in Plant City,
Florida to investigate strawberry diseases. Dr. A. N. Brooks, a plant
pathologist, was the first faculty member. In 1927, an 8 acre tract of
land near Springhead was donated by Hillsborough County along with funds
to build a field laboratory. The facility was named "Strawberry
Investigation Laboratory" and became a branch unit of the Florida
Agricultural Experiment Station. Dr. Brooks was assisted with much of his
research by Mr. George Strickland, an agricultural technician. The
research for the first several years was concerned with diseases and
nematodes of strawberry. Anthracnose, several foliage and fruit rot
diseases, and bud nematode were major concerns. Research on vegetable
crops started in 1946 and gradually became more important as area
production increased. By the late 1950's, commercial vegetable production
in central Florida increased to the point that the industry requested
additional research studies. This resulted in the appointment of Dr. Paul
Sutton, a horticulturist, to the laboratory in 1961. Hillsborough County
in 1960 provided another 20 acres of land two miles northwest of Dover to
expand the laboratory and field research. In 1961, the State Legislature
provided funds to construct an office-laboratory, storage building, and a
residence. The facility was occupied in December 1963 and renamed the
"Strawberry and Vegetable Field Laboratory". Administrative
responsibility was assigned to the Gulf Coast Research and Education
Center (GCREC) in Bradenton. In 1971, the facility was renamed the
Agricultural Research and Education Center.
Original Strawberry Investigation Laboratory, Springhead,FL Built in 1927.
Present Agricultural Research & Education Center, Dover, FL Built in 1963.
In 1970 and 1986, glass greenhouses were constructed to expand the
strawberry breeding program and to promote research on diseases and
culture.of strawberry. An eight-inch well with a diesel powered pump was
added in 1986 to provide freeze protection for the increasing strawberry
research acreage. At the same time, the installation of an overhead
sprinkler irrigation system was completed at the Center. In 1988,
equipment for tissue culture was installed and research initiated.
Former Academic Faculty of AREC-Dover
Name Area of Specialization -Dates
Dr. A. N. Brooks Plant Pathologist 1925-1966
Mr. R. E. Nolan Plant Pathologist 1930-1936
Dr. J. W. Wilson Plant Pathologist 1938
Mr. R. N. Lobdell Plant Pathologist 1939
Dr. Paul Sutton Horticulturist 1961-1967
Dr. R. Nims Plant Pathologist 1966-1967
The Center has undergone many changes since its inception in 1925. These
changes have been brought about by the diversity of production problems
confronting strawberry and vegetable growers and competition from other
areas of the United States and of the world.
The scientists at the AREC-Dover, building upon the information base
created by previous research at the Center and elsewhere, carry out
research designed to provide information that will better enable the
Florida strawberry and vegetable industries to produce abundantly,
efficiently, and economically, thereby benefitting all citizens of Florida
and of the United States. The major accomplishments are described
succinctly, yet in broad terms. The order of appearance does not reflect
In the successful effort to determine the cause of a debilitatise complex
affecting strawberry, eight new diseases which had not been previously
reported elsewhere in the world, have been described by the faculty of
this Center. The most serious of these diseases are anthracnose of fruit
caused by Colletotrichum fragariae and Glomerella cingulata, Dendrophoma
fruit rot caused by Dendrophoma obscurans, and white rot caused by an
unidentified fungus. Three other diseases, Pestalotia fruit rot caused by
Pestalotia longisetula, Alternaria fruit rot caused by Alternaria
tenuissima, and anther and pistil blight caused by an unidentified fungus
(probably a Rhizoctonia or closely related fungus) are not as prevalent as
the four previously mentioned diseases, but each of the three does cause
serious fruit loss at times in individual fields. Another new strawberry
disease recently identified is black leaf spot, a form of anthracnose
caused by Colletotrichum fragariae. Black leaf spot occurs on susceptible
cultivars in the nursery and its occurrence indicates that stringent
control measures are needed to prevent severe plant loss from anthracnose.
Sicklepod (coffeeweed) was found to be one source of inoculum for
strawberry anthracnose after it was determined that C. fragariae attacks
this common weed.
Two other strawberry diseases, angular (bacterial) leaf spot caused by
Xanthomonas fragariae, and leaf blotch caused by Gnomonia comari, not
previously reported in Florida were identified as occurring in the state.
Also, it was discovered that plants grown in the northern United States
and Canada are sometimes infected by benomyl-resistant strains of
Sphaerotheca macularis, the cause of powdery mildew. Powdery mildew on
resistant plants must be controlled by sulfur rather than benomyl.
Other accomplishments in disease research at AREC-Dover include (1)
fungicide evaluations which were instrumental in obtaining registration of
several fungicides on strawberries; (2) development of methods to reduce
the occurrence of anthracnose in the strawberry nursery; and (3) discovery
of a previously undescribed stem rot disease of bush bean and caused by a
binucleate Rhizoctonia-like fungus.
The strawberry cultivar Florida 90 was developed at AREC-Dover in 1952 and
was the standard cultivar in Florida until 1967. Florida 90 was also
grown extensively in Mexico. Another major breeding contribution was the
identification and the incorporation of genetic resistance of anthracnose
into horticulturally desirable strawberry clones. Two strawberry
cultivars, Dover and Florida Belle, with high anthracnose resistance were
released but did not become dominant in the industry. Some
characteristics which have been incorporated into advanced breeding lines
are those that give increased fruit yields and size, single fruit stems,
better shipping ability, and enhanced fruit color. To improve the
probability of creating cultivars superior to the standards of today, the
number of seedlings and selections evaluated were greatly increased over
the past 5 years and additional increases are planned. During the 1986-87
season, approximately 14,000 seedlings were evaluated for disease
resistance and over 4,000 were evaluated for fruiting characteristics.
A program to include tissue culture as one of the tools for strawberry
development was initiated in 1988. This technique may be useful in the
production of disease-free plants and for rapid multiplication of
seedlings developed through the breeding program. Research will be
conducted with explants to determine if their vegetative and reproductive
behavior can be modified.
Culture and Management
Some of the research advances from this Center in the areas of plant
nutrition and cultural practices of strawberry that have enhanced yields
and fruit quality include: (1) use of plastic mulch, (2) fertilizer
placement in the plant bed and the use of slow release fertilizers to
reduce leaching, (3) maximizing the effect of plant chilling and digging
date on the time of fruiting and total yield, (4) discovery that most
micronutrients do not readily leach from the sandy soils of Florida used
for strawberry production, and (5) determining the effect of handling
techniques, which plants receive from digging until field establishment,
Research has shown that recycling of water may reduce the water pumped
from wells by as much as 50%, and during light freezes the use of bed
covers will provide acceptable freeze protection without the use of
overhead sprinkler irrigation. Also research has shown that soil moisture
for strawberry growth and fruiting is optimal at a soil moisture content
greater than field capacity.
Insects and Mites
Research at the Dover Center has resulted in development of comprehensive
control procedures for insects and the cyclamen and twospotted spider
mites. Specific measures also have been developed for the control of
aphids, wireworms, thrips, and lepidopterous larvae. New pesticides
continue to be introduced to improve pest control and reduce pesticide
usage, and IPM scouting techniques have been developed for use in the
A sophisticated procedure for the control of soil pests, particularly
sting and root-knot nematodes which can limit strawberry and vegetable
production on sandy soil, was developed over the past 30 years. This
procedure is highly compatible with the full-bed plastic mulch system used
to protect the bed from erosion, nutrient leaching, and the fruit from
soil rots and sand contamination. Through research, chemical usage has
changed over the years from nematicides, chemicals that were solely
nematicidal, to present day broadspectrum fumigants which control weeds,
soil-borne insects, and fungal pathogens in addition to nematodes.
Strawberry research presently underway includes genetic studies, plant
breeding and tissue culture, water management and conservation, soil
fertility and plant nutrition, use of growth regulators, disease studies,
evaluation of new fungicides, insecticides, miticides, and herbicides,
solar soil pasteurization, containerized transplant production,
postharvest fruit quality, fruit deformities, and others.
In summary, there is a concerted effort by a team of researchers from 8
disciplines involved at the Dover Center to provide to the agricultural
community comprehensive crop management systems for the economically
important crops of the area. Best management practices should be flexible
and constantly updated as new information develops to enhance the
production of strawberry and vegetable crops at the highest level of yield
and quality and at the lowest cost per unit of production.
CURRENT LIST OF PROGRAM LEADERS, APPOINTMENT DATE, AND
AREA OF SPECIALIZATION AND LOCATION
Albregts, Earl E. 1967. Soil Scientist. Local administration, soil and
plant nutrition and culture of strawberry and vegetable crops, AREC-
Chandler, Craig K. 1987. Assistant Geneticist and Plant Breeder.
Genetics, plant breeding, and development of strawberry cultivars,
Clark, Gary A. 1986. Assistant Agricultural Engineer. Irrigation design
and application, GCREC-Bradenton.
Gilreath, James P. 1981. Associate Horticulturist.
vegetable and ornamental crops, GCREC-Bradenton.
Weed control of
Howard, Charles M. 1967. Plant Pathologist. Etiology and control of
strawberry and vegetable disease, AREC-Dover.
Overman, A. J. 1945. Nematologist. Etiology and control of nematode
problems on ornamentals and vegetables, GCREC-Bradenton.
Price, James F. 1978. Associate Entomologist. Identification, biology
and control of insects and mites of ornamental and strawberry crops,
Stanley, Craig D. 1979. Associate Soil Scientist. Soil-water relations
for ornamental and vegetable crops, GCREC-Bradenton.
Waters, Will E.
1960. Horticulturist and Center Director.
soil and plant nutrition, and horticulture, GCREC-
UNIVERSITY SUPPORT PERSONNEL SYSTEM STAFF
Annie F. Turgeau
Alicia J. Whidden
James C. Sumler
Larry J. Smith
Frederick D. Wenzel
Marilee E. Bolling
Biological Scientist II
Biological Scientist II
Agricultural Technican Supervisor
Agricultural Technician III
Agricultural Technician II
Agricultural Technician II
This brochure is dedicated to the memory of Dr. A. N. Brooks who was the
director and main researcher at the Center for over 30 years. Dr. Brooks
developed the Florida 90 strawberry variety, was the first person to
describe strawberry anthracnose and identified the organism which caused
the disease, and developed early cultural procedures for strawberry. Dr.
Brooks was assisted in much of the research on strawberries by Mr. George
Dr. A. N. Brooks
Moore Lake Rd
Cover Illustration By Lynda Chandler
UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA
V The Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida.
V A statewide organization dedicated to teaching, research and extension.
[ Faculty located in Gainesville and at 23 research and education centers and 67 county extension offices
throughout the state.
[ A partnership in food and agriculture, and natural and renewable resource research and education, funded
by state, federal and local government, and by gifts and grants from individuals, foundations, government
J An organization whose mission is:
Educating students in the food, agricultural, and related sciences.
Strengthening Florida's diverse food and agricultural industry and its environments through research.
Enhancing for all Floridians, the application of research and knowledge to improve the quality of life
statewide through IFAS extension programs.
The publications in this collection do
not reflect current scientific knowledge
or recommendations. These texts
represent the historic publishing
record of the Institute for Food and
Agricultural Sciences and should be
used only to trace the historic work of
the Institute and its staff. Current IFAS
research may be found on the
Electronic Data Information Source
site maintained by the Florida
Cooperative Extension Service.
Copyright 2005, Board of Trustees, University