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From Your Agent...
The BMP Manual for Vegetables
Well, after 4 years of talking about a BMP plan for
the state's row crops the "Water Quality / Quantity Best
Management Practices for Florida Vegetable and Agronomic
Crops" manual is at any moment going to be adopted as rule.
A little background first: BMPs are defined as a
practice or combination of practices determined to be the most
effective and practicable on-location means, including
economic and technological considerations, for improving
water quality in agricultural or urban discharge. The purpose
of this is to reduce water pollution or meet TMDLs. TMDLs
stand for total maximum daily loads and means the maximum
amount of a pollutant a water body can receive and still
maintain its water quality standards. In Florida, the Florida
See BMP page 4
"Worms" are Fall Strawberry Pests
James F. Price and Silvia I. Rondon
For the first few weeks after the strawberry plant
establishment period, growers must be alert to infestations of
lepidopterous larvae ("worms"). Scouting should start as
soon as transplant establishment irrigation ends to determine
pest numbers and to be in position to choose among the best
control methods. This article discusses the early-season
Fig. 1. Larva of the fall
A monthly newsletter of the University of Florida IFAS J.L.Capinera, UF). Larva has
Florida Cooperative Extension Service, L.Capnera, UF). Larva has
Hillsborough County two characteristic dark bands
5339 CR 579, Sener, FL 33584 along thesideof the body.
(813) 744-5519 SC 541-5772 aon o y.
Alicia Whidden, Editor Mary Chernesky, Director
Gulf Coast Research and Education Center
14625 County Road 672, Wimauma, FL 33598
(813) 634-0000 SC514-6890
Christine Cooley, Layout and Design
Craig K. Chandler, Co-Editor (Continued on page 2)
Jack Rechcigl, Center Director
IFAS is an Equal Employment Opportunity-Affirmative Action Employer authorized to provide research, educational formation and other services only to individuals and institutions that
function without regard to race, color, sex, age, handicap, or national origin U S Departmeqt of Agriculture, Cooperative Extension Service, University of Florida, IFAS, Florida A & M
University Cooperative Extension Program, and Boards of the County Commissioners Cooperating
There are two principal species of
worms that cause early losses in the Plant City
production area. These are the fall armyworm
(Fig. 1) and southern armyworm (Fig. 2).
These worms are the immature stage of the
Lepidoptera family of moths and develop
through a complete metamorphosis including
egg, plant eating larvae (worm), hidden (moth)
Eggs of both are laid in masses and
covered with the mother's body scales (Fig. 3).
Larvae feed on young strawberry leaflets and
buds as they develop. Dark, small fecal pellets
on the tops of the leaves or on the plastic
mulch indicate larval feeding.
Fig. 2. Larva of the southern armyworm (Credit J.L.
Capinera, UF). Larva has triangular patterns on its
Fig. 3. Egg masses of armyworms (Credit. J.K.
Scouting should be performed once or
twice per week during the early season to
check for young leaves with holes and missing
margins. When larvae are found, pesticidal
interventions are usually warranted and most
insecticides offer better control when they are
applied at early stages of larval development.
Several products are available to control these
worms. SpinTor and Entrust (both have
the same ingredient) and formulations of
Bacillus thuringiensis ("B.t.") can be effective
and neither of these is very hazardous to
beneficial arthropods, although, of the two, B.t.
is the less damaging. For instance, in moderate
usage these insecticides are compatible with
Phytoseiuluspersimilis, the predatory mite
widely used to control the twospotted spider
mite. Lannate Brigade and Danitol can
also be effective; however, they are broad-
spectrum insecticides that have a detrimental
effect on many parasites and predators. None
of the latter three insecticides should be
applied if P. persimilis predators have been
released. These predators should not be
released within 3 weeks of a Lannate
application or within 6 weeks of a Brigade
or Danitol application.
Good control of early-season worms
helps prepare the crop for the high-value,
early-season yields. This alone is sufficient to
give worms very special attention at this time
of the year.
The Powdery Mildew Season is
Jim Mertely and Natalia Peres
Florida strawberry growers often find
themselves fighting powdery mildew this time
of the year. Powdery mildew is caused by
Sphaerotheca macularis, a fungus that
typically colonizes strawberry leaves, flowers,
(Continued on page 3)
and fruit. Infected parts are covered with a
white powdery growth that may have a
distinctive dusty or fishy odor. The growth
consists of fungal strands hyphaee) supporting
chains of barrel-shaped spores conidiaa) that
are easily dislodged in the wind. Powdery
mildew infections are commonly observed on
the undersides of the leaves (Fig. 1). Cultivars
react differently to infection. The fungus
grows sparsely on leaves of 'Camarosa' and
'Camino Real' and may be hard to see with a
hand lens. However, the leaves react fairly
rapidly by forming irregular brown spots with
red to purple margins. 'Sweet Charlie' and
'Winter Dawn' support more extensive fungal
growth. Their leaves react by rolling upward
along the edges (Fig. 2), but eventually the
infected areas turn purple and brown as well.
Early flower infections may cause the fruit to
dry up and abort. Later infections produce
seedy fruit or fruit with visible growth on the
seeds (Fig. 3).
S. macularis is favored by moderate
temperatures and high humidity, but not rain.
In west central Florida, strawberry powdery
mildew is most troublesome in November and
December. Leaf infections decline as the
temperatures drop in December and January,
but fruit infections may persist into early
Powdery mildew is a disease the
grower needs to find early, before it has had a
chance to develop extensively in the field.
Fig. 2. Leaf curl caused by PM.
t-g. 3. vM grown on "seedy" truit.
When many leaves are colonized, vast numbers
of spores are produced, and the disease
becomes difficult to control. Fields should be
scouted regularly after the transplants are
watered in, looking for upturned leaves, and
deliberately turning leaves over to look for
powdery growth. When powdery mildew has
been found, special fungicides may be needed
to suppress the disease, at least until winter
The protectant fungicides captain and
thiram are often applied during the early
season for general disease control.
Unfortunately, they are not very effective at
controlling powdery mildew. Some
fungicides labeled for powdery mildew control
include wettable sulfurs (Kumulus,
(Continued on page 4)
Microthiol, Sulfur 6L, Thiolux, etc.), triazoles
(Nova and Procure), strobilurins (Abound,
Cabrio, and Pristine), spray oils (JMS Stylet
oil, Prev-Am, Saf-T-Side, Sporan, Trilogy,
etc.), bicarbonates (Armicarb, Kaligreen, and
Milstop), biologicals (AQ-10, Serenade, and
Sonata), benzimidizoles (Topsin), and
hydrogen peroxide (Oxidate). The wettable
sulfurs have been used for years to suppress
powdery mildew. However, they also suppress
predatory mites, and can be phytotoxic when
temperatures are high or when applied within
two weeks of a spray oil application. Triazole
fungicides will control powdery mildew when
resistant populations are not present. Tank
mixes of Procure plus thiram have worked well
in our trials. The strobilurins are labeled for
disease suppression, and may be a good
alternation partner for a triazole. The
bicarbonates are probably best used for disease
suppression. Their effectiveness is reduced
when combined with acidic fungicides or
fertilizers. In addition, the crop should be
monitored for signs of phytotoxicity. We
have done little testing of the biological, spray
oil, and hydrogen peroxide products for
powdery mildew control here at the Gulf Coast
Research and Education Center. However,
some biological products will be tested this
Caution should be used when tank
mixing unfamiliar products for powdery
mildew control. Read the labels carefully for
statements of incompatibility with other
products or recommendations on how or when
the product should be applied. If in doubt,
consider using the old painter's test. Apply a
test mixture to a couple of beds and make your
observations. Signs of direct phytotoxicity
usually develop rapidly, often within 1-2 days.
Many of the powdery mildew
products mentioned above have only contact or
protectant activity against the powdery mildew
fungus. For this reason, applications should be
made in sufficient water to thoroughly wet the
plant, including the undersides of the leaves
where the fungus typically grows. This
requirement may necessitate a higher spray
volume than for regular applications made to
small plants in November and December.
Adjuvants such as spreader stickers can help
increase coverage, but should only be used
when recommended on the label. Fungicide
applications for powdery mildew control are
typically made at 7- to 14- day intervals.
(Continuedfrom page 1)
Department of Environmental Protection
identifies impaired bodies of water and has
primary responsibility to clean up the state's
waterbodies. FDACS is responsible for
developing and implementing the BMP
As soon as the rule is passed, growers
can sign up to participate in the program.
First there will be a check list you will go over
for the type farming operation that you have,
which for most of you is plasticulture. You
will list the BMPs you are currently using and
any that you will be using in the future and
then file a Notice of Intent (NOI) with the
Florida Department of Agriculture and
Consumer Services (FDACS). Additional
information needed for the NOI is the property
location, farm name, acreage and tax ID for the
particular farm. For your part you will need to
keep certain records (the manual will tell you
which ones these are) and have a farm BMP
plant. Once enrolled you will receive a waiver
of liability and then will be granted a
presumption of compliance. Also you will be
eligible for cost-share programs in the future.
Another big bonus is those who are signed up
will not be required to conduct water quality
monitoring which can get very expensive.
Growers in the area who for years have been
using plastic mulch and drip irrigation have
been going many of the BMPs and will not
find it difficult to participate in the program. If
you would like a copy of the BMP manual get
in touch with me. I will be happy to help you
(Continued on page 5)
sign up. Also an implementation team should
be set up after the first of the year to conduct
educational programs and assist growers with
on-farm assessment. It is important for
everyone to participate in the BMP Plan so that
in the future more stringent regulations are not
imposed on agriculture.
Hillsborough County Extension Service
813-744-5519, Ext. 134
2005-2006 Winter Weather Watch
Chris Oswalt, Citrus Agent, Polk/Hillsborough
The 2005-06 winter is predicted to be a
"neutral",El Nino Southern Oscillation
(ENSO) phase. This means that the ENSO
phase is neither El Nino nor La Nina.
Historically devastating freezes in Florida have
occurred in neutral years. The exception was
the freeze of 1977 as the following table
Growers should begin preparations for
cold protection practice now in advance of this
winter. One way to get off on the right foot is
to attend one of the Winter Weather Schools
offer by the Extension Service. The meeting
times and locations are listed in this newsletter.
This is a great way to get the latest information
on using weather information to better protect
crops, and lunch is included. Don't forget to
Additionally, weather information can
be obtained from the Winter Weather Watch.
This program provides agricultural weather
forecast information 24 hours a day, 7 days a
week from November 15th thru March 15th.
Included with the $100.00 subscription price is
a Winter Weather Watch Manual full of
information to help growers understand
forecasts and prepare for the winter. The
cornerstones of the program are the daily
county agricultural weather forecasts, weekly
outlooks and additional freeze/frost weather
forecasts from Fred Crosby, former
Meteorologist-in-charge from the National
Weather Service Tampa Bay. The Cooperative
Extension Service has provided this program to
growers now for over 40 years.
This year we are upgrading our ability
to provide these forecasts on a continuous
basis throughout the week and during freeze/
frost nights. The new system will have a local
access number in Tampa and a toll free 800-
type number for subscribers throughout
Florida. The new system will have a short
push-button menu to allow growers to select
only the forecasts products they wish to hear.
This system will allow us to update individual
forecasts throughout the night without having
to re-record the entire message. A registration
form for the Winter Weather Watch can be
obtained by calling Gail at 863-519-8677 ext.
The use of trade names in this publication is solely for
the purpose ofproviding specific information. It is not
a guarantee or warranty of the products names and
does not signif that theyr are approved to the exclusion
of others of suitable composition. Use pesticides safely.
Read andfollow directions on the
The Occurrence of Colletotrichum
Crown Rot in North Carolina
Certified Strawberry Nurseries*
Strawberry crown rot caused by
Colletotrichum gloeosporoides was found in
plantings of 'Chandler' at several certified
nurseries in North Carolina this year. The
following questions and answers are presented
to explain its occurrence and how the N.C.
certification program is addressing the
Why did this disease become a problem in a
few certified nurseries in 2005?
The fungus was able to contaminate some
'Chandler' plants in a one-acre field at one of
the registered nurseries in 2004. This field had
been inspected by NCCIA and certified to be
free of C. gloeosporoides crown, runner,
petiole, and leaf infections. But because only a
very small percentage of the plants were
apparently infected with C. gloeosporoides
probably less than 0.5%), it was virtually
impossible to detect the disease.
Where did the initial inoculum come from?
This is not known for sure. However, we
suspect that it came from infected sicklepod
plants growing adjacent to the nursery. We do
know that both registered and certified
nurseries growing strawberry plants in North
Carolina can become infected with C.
gloeosporoides if precautions are not taken and
protocols not strictly adhered to.
What is the likelihood that other nurseries will
be affected or that infection will be found in
The risk is real. Thorough inspection and
proper diagnosis of the pathogen is very
important. We anticipate that workshops with
nurseries and implementation of additional
safeguards will reduce the likelihood of having
C. gloeosporoides infections occur in nurseries
but will not eliminate it.
Why was it not prevented by the existing
We did not fully appreciate the risk of C.
gloeosporoides spreading from native weeds,
such as sicklepod, and other plants to
How do growers know if their supplier has
Strawberry plants infected with C.
gloeosporoides cannot be sold as "certified".
'Chandler' plants from nurseries where
symptoms of crown (or runner) rot was not
found were certified, while 'Chandler plants
from nurseries where symptoms of crown (or
runner) rot was found were either destroyed or
were not certified. The nurseries that intended
to sell these "non-certified" 'Chandler' plants
were told to inform their buyers the reason for
non-certification. They could tell the
purchaser that the plants met the other
requirements for certification (trueness-to-type,
quality, freedom from exotic diseases and
pests) but could not be certified because of the
presence of Colletotrichum crown rot disease
in the nursery. This only pertained to
'Chandler'. Other cultivars were certified
because no infected plants were found during
*This article was adapted from an article that appeared
in the October 2005 issue of The Strawberry Grower (a
newsletter of the North Carolina Strawberry
Note to Florida Strawberry Growers
concerning C. gloeosporioides
C. gloeosporioides is one of several species
of Colletotrichum that causes anthracnose diseases
of strawberry. The fungus is also present on native
plants in Florida, and can move to strawberry
during periods of warm, wet weather. Infected
plants collapse and die one month to several
months later from crown rot disease. Under
Florida conditions, C. gloeosporioides does not
normally infect strawberry flowers or fruit.
(Continued on page 7)
Plant to plant spread of C. gloeosporioides is
almost completely suppressed by regular
applications of captain or thiram. Therefore, plants
that were infected in North Carolina may die when
transplanted into the production field, but further
losses can be prevented by routine fungicide
Further information on Colletotrichum
crown rot is given on our website http://
strawberry.ifas.ufl.edu. Click on "Plant
Pathology" in the index on the left hand side of
the page, then on "Plant Pathogen Fact Sheets",
and finally on "Colletotrichum Crown Rot".
Copies can also be obtained at the UF Gulf Coast
Research and Education Center in Balm.
Cucurbit Production Workshop
Thursday, December 8, 2005
Gulf Coast Research & Education Center, Balm
If you grow watermelons, cantaloupe, squash or cucumbers, this meeting is a must.
Learn about current pest problems, new control measures, varieties and irrigation/
fertilizer management. Visit with vendor/sponsors to learn more about the latest con-
trol materials and what's coming for the future.
1:30 pm Cucurbit virus and insect problems. New control materials.
Dr. Susan Webb, UF/IFAS, Extension Entomologist, Gainesville
1:55 pm Major cucurbit diseases and control measures. Watermelon vine
Dr. Pam Roberts, UF/IFAS, Pathologist, SWFREC, Immokalee
2:20 pm Nematode problems in cucurbits. Life after methyl bromide?
Dr. Joe Noling, UF/IFAS, Nematologist, CREC, Lake Alfred
2:40 pm Weeds, weed competition and weed control.
Dr. Bill Stall, UF/IFAS, Extension Weed Specialist, Gainesville
3:00 pm Break Enjoy refreshments and visit with vendors.
3:30 pm Fertilizer and irrigation management for cucurbits, including dou-
Dr. Eric Simonne, UF/IFAS, Extension Specialist, Gainesville
3:50 pm Personal melons, melon pollinizers and new melon varieties.
Dr. Don Maynard, UF/IFAS, Professor Emeritus, GCREC, Balm
4:10 pm Squash, cantaloupe and cucumber variety update.
Alicia Whidden, UF/IFAS, Extension Agent, Hillsborough County
4:30 pm Adjourn, visit with vendors
Meeting is free. Pre-registration is requested.
Please call Alicia at 813-744-5519 or Phyllis at 941-722-4524.
2 CEUs and 2.5 CCA credits have been approved.