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AGRICULTURAL RESEARCH AND EDUCATION CE TER Library
lkIFAS, UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA
13138 Lewis Gallagher Road NOV 17 987
Dover, FL 33527 987
diversity of Florida
Dover AREC Research Report DOV-1987-4
HISTORY, ACCOMPLISHMENTS, AND PROGRAMS OF THE
AGRICULTURAL RESEARCH AND EDUCATION CENTER, DOVER FLORIDA
E. E. Albregts, C. M. Howard and W. E. Waters1
The University of Florida's Agricultural Research and Education Center
near Dover originated in 1925 as a temporary laboratory in Plant City,
Florida to investigate strawberry diseases. Dr. A. N. Brooks, a plant
pathologist, was the lab's 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. By the late 1950's, commercial vegetable
production in central Florida increased to the point that the industry
requested additional research studies, which resulted in the assignment of
Dr. Paul Sutton to the laboratory. In 1960, Hillsborough County provided
another 20 acres of land two miles northwest of Dover to expand the
laboratory and field research. The 1961 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.
Dr. Brooks retired in 1966 and Dr. Sutton resigned in 1967. They were
replaced by Dr. C. M. Howard, plant pathologist and Dr. E. E. Albregts,
soil scientist. Dr. C. K. Chandler, plant breeder, joined the Dover
faculty in 1987. Bradenton GCREC faculty, Drs. G. A. Clark (agricultural
engineer), C. D. Stanley (soil-water specialist), J. F. Price
(entomologist), J. P. Gilreath (weed scientist), and Professor A. J.
Overman nematologistt), work cooperatively with the Dover faculty in
conducting research at the Dover Center. Dr. W. E. Waters, GCREC-
Bradenton is the present Center administrator.
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.
) 1Professor of Soil Science, Professor Plant Pathology and Center Director,
MISSION AND GOALS
The primary mission of AREC-Dover is to develop new and expand existing
knowledge and technology on strawberry and vegetable crops to 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.
For background information our research accomplishments are briefly
presented. The order of appearance does not necessarily reflect their
Diseases: In the successful effort to determine the causes of a
debilitating disease complex affecting strawberry, eight new diseases were
described which had not been previously reported elsewhere in the world.
Also three other strawberry diseases not reported previously in Florida
were discovered and identified as occurring in Florida. Moreover, one
bush bean disease was described which never had been reported before.
Control measures have been developed for most of these diseases. Several
fungicides were registered for commercial grower use as a direct result of
the Center research. In addition, methods to reduce the occurrence of
anthracnose in the nursery have been developed.
Plant Breeding: Genetic resistance to anthracnose has been identified and
incorporated into horticulturally desirable strawberry clones. Two
strawberry cultivars, Dover and Florida Belle, with high anthracnose
resistance have been released, although they have not become dominant in
the industry. To improve the probability of creating cultivars superior
to the standards of today, the number of seedlings and selections
evaluated has greatly increased over the past 5 years and will increase as
much or more during the next 5 years. During the 1986-87 season,
approximately 14,000 seedlings were evaluated for disease resistance and
over 4,000 were evaluated for fruiting characteristics.
Culture and Management: Some of the research advances in the areas of
plant nutrition and cultural practices of strawberry that have enhanced
yields and fruit quality include: (1) use of plastic mulch for beds, (2)
proper placement of fertilizers 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)
finding determination that most micronutrients do not readily leach from
the sandy soils of Florida used for strawberry production, and (5)
determination that handling techniques which plants receive from digging
until field establishment affect the fruiting response.
Water Management: Research here determined that recycling of water may
reduce the water pumped from wells by as much as 50%, and ascertained that
during light freezes the use of bed covers will provide acceptable freeze
protection without the use of irrigation.
Insects: Research at the Dover Center has resulted in development of
comprehensive control procedures for insects and mites. Specific measures
have been developed for 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 industry.
Nematodes: Control of soil pests, particularly control of the sting and
root-knot nematodes which can limit strawberry and vegetable production on
sandy soil, is a sophisticated procedure developed over the past 30 years.
This procedure is highly compatible with the full-bed plastic mulch system
used horticulturally to protect the bed from erosion and the fruit from
soil rots and sand contamination. Chemical preference has changed over
the years from nematicides such as EDB and Telone to present day
broadspectrum fumigants such as Vorlex and methyl bromide/chloropicrin
Strawberry research presently underway includes genetic studies and plant
breeding, water management, soil fertility and plant nutrition, use of
growth regulators on fruiting, disease studies, evaluation of new
fungicides, insecticides, miticides, and herbicides, solar soil
pasteurization, drip irrigation, containerized transplant production, post
harvest fruit quality, fruit deformities, and others.
In summary, there is a concentrated effort by the 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 are flexible and
constantly being updated as new information develops to enhance the
production of fruit at the highest level of yield and quality at the
lowest cost per unit of production.
- The Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida.
- 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 re-
source research and education, funded by state, federal and local
government, and by gifts and grants from individuals, foundations,
government and industry.
- 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
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