Group Title: Berry/vegetable times.
Title: Berry/vegetable times. March 2003.
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Title: Berry/vegetable times. March 2003.
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March 2003


Volume III Issue 3

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EXTENSION
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Inside this issue:
Insect and Mite Considerations 2
in Intercropping and Double
Cropping with Strawbergy

Considerations for double crop- 3
ping strawberries

Plant diseases in crops ,-. ", '..g 3
strawberry

Consumer survey generates some 3
interesting results

Growers/Industry Meeting 4
Announcement









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The month of February has
been milder than January and I
know we all hope it stays this
way without getting too hot so
that the quality of the strawber-
ries stay good. A big topic these
past few weeks has been the
"Attack of the Birds". This year
due to the weather being so bad
in the northeast, the robins have
not migrated any farther north
than our strawberry fields. There
has been a great deal of damage
done this year. It is hoped that
funding will become available to
do work on bird deterrents. As
you realize it is difficult to work
on a problem that only occurs
every 4 to 5 years. Included in
the newsletter is a Bird Damage
Survey that I ask each of you to
fill out and return to me. This
information will help show the
need for research on this problem
and also help inform the public
and government agencies of how
much the damage costs you the
grower and why it is necessary
that you be allowed to protect
your crop by any means. Also by
receiving information from the
whole industry we may be able to
find a trend of what is working

Robins and Berries-Mic


Research Center, Gainesville

The American Robin
(Turdus migratorius) is a com-
mon winter visitor throughout
Florida. Northern migrants gen-
erally arrive in Florida in Octo-
ber. Although small numbers of
robins breed in northern and cen-
tral Florida, by April most win-
tering robins have departed for
breeding areas farther north. For
many residents in northern states,
the robin is welcomed as a joyful
harbinger of spring. To most
fruit growers in Florida, however,
the sight of a flock of robins has
an entirely different meaning. In
some years, the food habits and
social behavior of these birds are
especially frustrating to growers
of cultivated fruit such as straw-
berries and blueberries. Two
aspects of robin biology are par-
ticularly relevant:


that may help us the next time
this occurs. Each farm's response
is very important so please fill
out the survey while the informa-
tion is current.
The theme of this newsletter
is double cropping planting
other crops in your strawberry
field while you are continuing to
harvest your berries. I know
most everyone will be growing a
second crop this year so we
thought this would be a timely
subject. As many of you may be
aware, double cropping is posing
problems with your crop insur-
ance. The Florida Strawberry
Growers Association and IFAS
are working with the USDA Risk
Management Assessment group
to address these issues. After
meeting with the group, their
opinion was that the practice of
planting a second crop into your
existing strawberry crop is allow-
able under the existing crop in-
surance policy guidelines if the
practice is recognized as a good
farming practice by the coopera-
tive extension service. Dr. John
Duval, at very short notice, added
to his research by volunteering to
do a study on double cropping


and provide the data to the group.
The group will use the data to
make further modifications to the
pilot project guidelines so that in
the future this issue will be very
clear.
Note the announcement for a
Grower meeting Thursday,
March 20 at 6:00. This will be a
review of the new supplemental
label for Roundup UltraMax in
vegetable and strawberries using
wipe-on equipment. Dinner will
be served, courtesy of Monsanto,
and there will be 1 CORE CEU
offered which I know most of
you are looking for.
If you will be opening your
field for u-pick at the end of this
season please let me know and I
will include it on a list of u-pick
fields. The Extension office gets
requests for sources of u-pick
operations so this is a free way to
advertise your field. I have al-
ready been receiving calls. I can
be reached at 813-744-5519,
ext.134.

from your Extension
Agent...Alicia Whidden


:hael L. Avery, USDA/Wildlife Services National Wildlife


(1) In the winter the robin's
diet consists predominantly of
fruit. Unfortunately for growers,
the availability of naturally oc-
curring berries is particularly low
in late winter in northern and
central Florida. The result is that
cultivated berries can represent
an important food source for rob-
ins and other fruit-eating birds
prior to their northward migra-
tion. The fruit is a reliable and
easily obtainable source of en-
ergy. However, robins pass fruit
through their gut in a short time,
and their efficiency in digesting
sugars in the fruit is relatively
low. Thus, it seems as though
these birds are always looking for
food.
(2) During the non-breeding
season, robins are very gregari-
ous. Feeding flocks that contain


dozens of birds are not unusual.
When such a roving flock discov-
ers a field of strawberries, it does
not take long for considerable
damage to occur. The rapid feed-
ing rates of the birds combined
with large flock size spells trou-
ble for growers of cultivated
fruit.
Large wintering groups of
robins shift their location in re-
sponse to the availability of food
resources as well as the passage
of cold fronts. The specific name
of the robin is migratorius which
means "wandering" and that term
describes the behavior of these
birds during winter months.
They scour the landscape in
search for suitable food. It has
been noted that flocks wintering
in the south generally move
northward in pace with the 3 C









Page 2 Volume III Issue 3


(370 F) average daily temperature
line. Thus, their residency time
in Florida varies from year to
year. In particularly cold win-
ters, robins might remain longer
in Florida than in winters that are
somewhat warmer.
When robins are first de-
tected in the vicinity of a field, it
is imperative to harass them re-
peatedly and consistently so that
the birds do not become estab-
lished. The importance of early
and persistent harassment cannot


be overstated. Once the birds
have established a pattern of
feeding at a given site, they are
very difficult to dissuade. Con-
sideration ought to be given to
excluding birds from at least part
of the field. This can be accom-
plished by suspending netting
over a framework of wire and
wooden stakes. Alternatively,
panels of wood and poultry wire
can be constructed and then ar-
ranged in an A-frame manner
over the rows. There is no easy


answer to bird depredations; ef-
fective reduction of damage will
require effort. Like most species
of birds, robins are protected by
state and federal regulations.
Thus, it is unlawful to kill them
without a special permit issued
by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife
Service in Atlanta, GA.


Insect and Mite Considerations in Intercropping and Double Cropping with
Strawberry James F. Price


Intercropping and double
cropping spring and summer
vegetables with a concluding
strawberry crop offers means to
enhance a season's profitability.
There are arthropod management
implications related to this prac-
tice and this article discusses the
most important points of interest
to Florida strawberry growers.
Likely second crops to fol-
low strawberry include various
cucurbits (such as summer
squash, zucchini, cucumbers,
cantaloupes, other melons), pep-
pers and eggplant. All of these,
especially eggplant, can be dam-
aged by strawberry's perennial
pest, the twospotted spider mite.
Spider mites easily can infest the
second crop if transplants or
weeds from strawberry remain at
the time of establishing the sec-
ond crop. Other arthropods such
as sap beetles, fruit flies (vinegar
gnats), or pameras, may be nu-


merous at the end of the straw-
berry crop, but pose little threat
to these second crops. Episodes
of aphids, armyworms and thrips
likely would be finished in straw-
berry by that period, but scouts
must watch for them.
A farmer's successful transi-
tion to the new crop requires that
spider mites from strawberries be
controlled, even on weed hosts
such as Carolina geranium, a
difficult task in the warm, dry
spring. The best approach would
be to have the spider mites under
biological control with an agent
such as the Phytoseiulus persim i-
lis predatory mite before the new
crop is established. The predator
can transfer to the new crop
along with the few spider mites
that survived this hunter earlier.
Extended benefits of the predator
would depend on pesticides to be
applied and other factors.
If chemical control was


relied upon for the strawberry
crop and is to be used again, then
care should be taken to scout the
new crop weekly and treat when
spider mites threaten. Some
product labels limit applications
to a crop to reduce resistance
among the target mites. If the
maximum applications have been
made to strawberry, then it would
be unwise to apply the permitted
amount to the same mite popula-
tion. This dilemma reduces the
number of miticide applications
available to the second crop.
Table 1 presents popular
second crops that could be af-
fected by observing miticide ap-
plication limits to a mite popula-
tion that started on strawberry
then relocated to the second crop.
Strawberry growers intending to
produce a second crop that would
be infested by spider mites from
the strawberry should consider
managing strawberry with preda-


tor mites, Acramite or Savey
(or other miticide not available
to the second crop), practice
good weed management and
destroy strawberry transplants
before introducing the second
crop. Some Agri-Mek applica-
tions should be withheld from
strawberry and reserved for use
on the cucurbit or pepper second
crop and likewise, some
Vendex applications should be
withheld for use on eggplant.
Good insect and mite control
in the second crop depends a lot
on how the arthropods were
managed in strawberry. Early
planning and careful attention to
management details can produce
important payoffs in intercrop or
double crop culture.


Table 1. Miticides that would be restricted by observing labels' resistance management limits on appli-
cations to a mite population that started on strawberry then relocated to a second crop.

Second Crop
Strawberry/Vegetable
Miticidel Eggplant Cucurbits Peppers
Agri-Mek X X

Capture (=Brigade ) X
Danitol X

Kelthane X X

Vendex@ X


1 Miticides include those registered and likely to be used on strawberry, possess label restrictions on numbers of applicationsfor mite
resistance management, and also are registered on eggplant, cucurbits, or peppers. Additional, unaffected miticides are available.


Bird damage.


The use oftrade names in this publication is
solely for the purpose ofproviding specific
information. It is not a guarantee or wa r-
ranty of the products named and does not
signify that they are approved to the exclu-
sion ofothers ofsuitable composition. Use
pesticides safely. Read and follow direc-
tions on the manufacturer's label.


The Institute of Food and Agricultural
Sciences is an equal opportunity/affirmative
action employer authorized to provide
research, educational information and other
services only to individuals and institutions
that function without regard to race, sex,
age, handicap, or national origin


Page 2


Volume III Issue 3







Volume III Issue 3


Considerations for double cropping strawberries-John Duval


Double cropping makes good
economic sense by getting the
most out of plastic and drip tape
already in place. The first thing
to think about is what should the
second crop after strawberries
be? Squash, cantaloupe, peppers,
and pickles are all viable second
crops. Several things need to be
taken into consideration. Will
the crop that is grown have a
market? Is the equipment neces-
sary for growing this crop avail-
able? Will labor be available to
harvest the second crop? But per-
haps the most important question


is how to manage two crops in
the same field at the same time.
As the second crop that is being
planted is at a much earlier stage
of growth its potential to compete
with the existing strawberry crop
is very low (David and Goliath
relationship). However, if ber-
ries and the second crop remain
in the field together for an ex-
tended length of time (more than
2-3 weeks) increased amounts of
water and fertilizer need to be
made. On average, a 10% in-
crease of both water and fertilizer
after 2-3 weeks if transplanted, 3-


4 weeks if direct seeded, should
maintain both crops if the straw-
berry plants are removed from
the field by the middle of April.
Quick, vigorous growing crops
such as squash will compete
more with strawberries and
should not be plant until 2-3
weeks before the end of straw-
berry harvest. Once the berry
harvest has ended, strawberry
plants should be killed and re-
moved to remove competition
with the second crop and to mini-
mize undesirable effects of straw-
berry plant residues. Careful


Cantaloupe is one of the morepopular
crops to plant behind strawberries.



management of water and nutri-
ents will allow the continued
high production of strawberries
and allow the second crop to be
successful as well.


Plant diseases in crops following strawberry -Jim Mertely


There are many factors to
consider when following straw-
berry with another crop. With a
few exceptions, the transfer of
strawberry pathogens to the new
crop is not one of them. For ex-
ample, anthracnose fungi which
attack strawberry are not patho-
genic to cucurbits, tomatoes, or
peppers. The gray mold patho-
gen Botrytis cinerea is patho-
genic to a wide variety of plants,
but is handicapped by the high
temperatures prevailing when
second crops are flowering and
fruiting. The fungus that causes
"leak" disease of strawberry fruit
(Rhizopus stolonifer), on the
other hand, also causes serious
post-harvest fruit rots in cucur-
bits. Therefore, it may be im-
portant to continue removing
unmarketable fruit from the beds,


followed by prompt crop destruc-
tion, if cucumbers, melons, or
squash are to follow strawberry.
A more diverse microbial
community exists below the
ground than above. The soil is
home to numerous pathogenic
fungi that attack strawberry roots,
and may cause damping off,
seedling blights, and root rots of
other crops. Some of the more
infamous members of this group
are Rhizoctonia solani, Macro-
phominaphaseolina, and species
of Fusarium, Pythium, and Phy-
tophthora. Short of soil fumiga-
tion, there is no single means of
controlling such a diverse group
of soil fungi. Fungicides are usu-
ally impractical and often un-
available for this purpose. How-
ever, foliar applications of Aliette
fungicide and related phosphite


fertilizers are frequently used to
suppress diseases caused by Py-
thium and Phytophthora. In addi-
tion, seedling diseases such as
damping off can sometimes be
avoided by the use of transplants
or plug plants.
Plant pathogenic nematodes
are a special category of soil
pathogens that complicate the
decision to double crop. Many
cucurbit and solanaceous crops
are susceptible to root knot and
sting nematodes. While cucur-
bits are fairly tolerant to sting
nematode damage, tomatoes,
peppers, and other solanaceous
crops may not be. Moreover,
most of our popular second crops
serve to maintain or increase
nematode populations in the soil.
These higher populations may
threaten the next strawberry crop,


Rhizopus causes "leak" disease
of strawberry fruit.


if fumigation results are less than
ideal. If the decision is made to
plant a second crop in a nema-
tode-infested field (not recom-
mended), every effort must be
made to destroy both the straw-
berries and the other crop as soon
as their harvests are completed.


Consumer survey generates some interesting results-
Craig Chandler, Alicia Whidden, and Jose Moreno


On the morning of February
6th, fruit of five strawberry culti-
vars (Camarosa, Carmine, Earli-
brite, Festival, and FL 97-39)
were harvested from field plots at
GCREC-Dover and taken imme-
diately to the Hillsborough
County Extension Office in Seff-
ner. Extension employees and
volunteers (mostly Master Gar-
deners) were asked to fill out a
questionnaire concerning the
fruit. The fruit of each cultivar
were displayed in commercial
harvest boxes ("flats"). The


boxes were coded, but not la-
beled with a cultivar name. Par-
ticipants were asked to rate ap-
pearance and flavor as unac-
ceptable, fair, good, or excellent;
texture as too soft, just right, or
too firm; and juiciness as too
juicy, just right, or too dry or
mealy. Participants were also
asked if eating the fruit of the
cultivar was a pleasurable experi-
ence. Fifty people participated in
the survey.
Most participants rated fruit
appearance as either good or ex-


cellent, with over 50% of the
participants rating the
'Camarosa', 'Carmine', and
'Festival' fruit as having excel-
lent appearance. 'Earlibrite',
however, was the clear winner in
the flavor category, with 89% of
the participants rating its fruit as
having either good or excellent
flavor. 'Camarosa', 'Carmine',
and 'Festival' also received rela-
tively high ratings for flavor,
with over 60% of the participants
rating their fruit as either good or
excellent. Only 51% ofthepar-


"Earlibrite' tastes great, but
produces misshapen fruit and
bruises easily.


Page 3








ticipants rated FL 97-39 fruit as
having good or excellent flavor.
The reason that so many of
the participants rated 'Earlibrite'
high for flavor may be partially
related to its fruit's texture and
juiciness. Ninety four percent of
the participants rated the texture
andjuiciness of 'Earlibrite' fruit
"just right". In contrast, 34%,
20%, and 17% of the participants
rated the texture of 'Festival',
'Camarosa', and 'Carmine' fruit
"too firm", respectively. And over
20% of the participants rated the
juiciness of these cultivars' fruit
"too dry or mealy".


To the question "Was eating the
fruit of this cultivar a pleasurable
experience", 98% said yes to
'Earlibrite', 91% to 'Camarosa',
89% to 'Festival', 87% to
'Carmine', and 85% to FL 97-39.
Despite the fact that it can pro-
duce a great eating berry, 'Earlibrite'
has not become a major cultivar in
west central Florida, primarily be-
cause of its tendency to produce a
relatively high percentage of mis-
shapen fruit and fruit that bruise
more easily than those of other culti-
vars. Growers, however, may want
to keep a small amount of
'Earlibrite' in their cultivar mix. It


generally has higher early season
yield than other cultivars, which, in
a typical season, gives the grower
the option of taking his 'Earlibrite'
acreage out of production at the
end of February. This can help
reduce the glut of fruit that the in-
dustry generally has to deal with in
early March, and allows an early
setting of a spring vegetable crop.
'Earlibrite' also appears to be mod-
erately resistant to the plant estab-
lishment problems and anthracnose
fruit rot caused by Colletotrichum
acutatum -- diseases that have been
particularly troubling in recent
years.


Grower/Industry Meeting
Review of Supplemental Labeling for Roundup
UltraMax Using Selective Application Equipment
in Vegetable Crops and Strawberries in Florida

Thursday, March 20 6:00 PM
Hillsborough County Extension Office Kitchen
5339 County Road 579, Seffner

6:00-6:30 Dinner- Compliments of Monsanto

6:30-7:00 Review of General Label
Information and Application Instructions
Donna Strickland, Monsanto

7:00-7:30 Review of New Weed Wiper
Technology-Equipment
Instructions, Application and Equipment Brett
DuBois, Alley Cat Farm Equipment

One CORE CEU has been approved for participa-
tion in this meeting. One CCA has been applied for.
For additional information, please call 813-744-
5519, ext 134.


2002 Spring Blueberry Field Day
Sponsored by
Florida Blueberry Grower's Association

Where: Alto Straughn's Blueberry Farm
Windsor, Florida
When: Tuesday, March 18, 9:15 am

For more information and directions call Susie
Futch at (352) 392-1928 #226.


A monthly newsletter of the University of Flonda Institute of Food and Agricul
tural Sciences, Gulf Coast Research and Education Center, and Florida Coopera-
tive Extension Service
Hillsborough County Cooperative Extension Service
5339 S CR 579, Seffner, FL 33584
(813) 744-5519 SC541-5772
Editor Alicia Wudden, Director Mary Chemesky
Gulf Coast Research and Education Center-over
13138 Lewis Gallagher Road, Dover, FL 33527
http //strawbeny ifas ufl edu
(813) 744-6630 SC512-1160
Design and Layout Christine Cooley (cecooley@mail ifas ufl edu),
Director Jack Rechcigl


Produce Washes "A Wash"
A University of California Riverside
scientist has found that produce washes
aren't much more effective than tap water
at removing pesticide residues from vege-
tables and other produce. After seeing ad-
vertising claims that some products were
up to 10 times better than water at remov-
ing residues, the researcher conducted rinse
trials with the fungicide captain.
In the experiment, one group of pro-
duce was rinsed with tap water, the second
was rinsed with water and produce wash,
and the third was not rinsed. The unrinsed
produce had a residue of 6.7 ppm. The
produce wash plus water rinsed group had
a concentration of 3.7 ppm, and the water-

only rinsed produce value was 4.1 ppm (a
reduction of 45 and 39 percent, respec-
tively). The difference was not statistically
significant. The researcher stated that the
washes aren't measuring up to their claims
and major produce companies have given
the research kudos, since they often wash
produce but are wary of promoting the
practice over concerns that consumers
wouldn't believe water was enough to
clean the produce. (Pesticide & Toxic
Chemical News, 1/6/03).


Spintor 2SC re-approved for
use on blueberries in Florida
On January 25, 2002, it was an-
nounced that a supplemental label for use
of Spintor 2SC insecticide to control thrips
in blueberries has been accepted by the
Florida Department of Agriculture and
Consumer Services. Growers who wish to
use this product must have a copy of the
supplemental label in their possession.
This label supplements the standard label
affixed to the container. Use of Spintor
2SC according to this supplement labeling
is subject to all the use precautions and
limitations imposed by the label affixed to
the container.
An advantage of Spintor over other
insecticides that are currently labeled for


thrips control in Florida blueberries is that,
if properly applied, Spintor can provide con-
trol of thrips during the bloom period.
However, Spintor is toxic to bees. There-
fore, care must be taken not to apply this
product when bees are in the field actively
foraging. More information on this use re-
striction can be found in the Environmental
Hazards section of the main label affixed to
the container.

Study finds Americans are
eating less fruits and vegeta-
bles
The 5 A Day for Better Health Program
is an national initiative, spear-headed by the
Produce for Better Health Foundation, for
the purpose of encouraging Americans to
consumer 5 or more servings of fruits and
vegetables daily. A recent study by the
NPD Group reported by The Packer news-
paper, Jan. 20,2003, showed that people are
eating fewer fruits and vegetables. The av-
erage American eats 754 servings of fresh
and processed fruits and vegetables per year,
down from 890 in 1990. The study found
that obesity levels are lower among people
who eat lots of fresh fruits and vegetables,
but only one in five Americans is getting a
5-a-Day. Another key finding: The older
the consumer, the more likely he or she is to
hit the 5-a-Day target. About 27% of those
over 65 did so, compared to 30% of those
aged 55-64, 24% for the 45-54 set, and on
down. Only 3% of children are getting their
5-a-Day. For more information about the
Foundation and the 5 A Day Program, visit
their website at www.5aday.com.
It is a great challenge for the produce
industry to target the food service industry
and the school luncheon programs to en-
courage the consumption of more fruits and
vegetables.



A ....

EAFT A


Nematode Study

As reported at the GCREC
Field Day, Dr. Joe Noling is
working on a nematode study
and would like area growers to
submit samples. The problem
has been a frequent diagnosis at
the Dover lab this past season.
You can stop by GCREC-Dover
to pick up a soil sampler or call
Christine Cooley at the center
for details (813)744-6630 X60.
Your participation is
S,,, iii appreciated.




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