Group Title: Berry/vegetable times.
Title: Berry/vegetable times. January 2008.
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Title: Berry/vegetable times. January 2008.
Uniform Title: Berry/vegetable times.
Physical Description: Newspaper
Creator: Gulf Coast Research and Education Center, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida
Publisher: Gulf Coast Research and Education Center, University of Florida
Gulf Coast Research and Education Center
Publication Date: January 2008
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Bibliographic ID: UF00087388
Volume ID: VID00054
Source Institution: University of Florida
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erry/Vegetable Times

January 2008

Calendar of Events

Jan. 21
Dow Strawberry/Vegetable
Growers Meeting, Strawberry
Palace, 6:00-8:30 pm. RSVP
by Friday Jan. 18 to Alicia
Whidden, 813-744-5519
ext.134. See article and
program in newsletter for
more info.

Feb. 12 and Mar. 11
Pesticide License Testing.
Hillsborough County
Extension Office, Seffner. 9
am. For more information
call Mary Beth Henry,
813-744-5519, ext 103.

Did you attend the 2007 Florida
Ag Expo at GCREC? We need
your comments and
suggestions. A follow-up
meeting is schedule for Feb.
4th and your input would be
greatly appreciated! Email or call (813)
634-0000 X3101. Thanks for
your continued support.

4 -
riI A&r g Expo
A University of Florida/IFAS and Florida
Cooperative Extension Service newsletter
Hillsborough County, 5339 CR 579,
Seffner, FL 33584
(813) 744-5519 SC 541-5772
Joe Pergola, County Extension Director
Alicia Whidden, Editor
Gulf Coast Research & Education Center
14625 County Road 672,Wimauma, FL 33598
(813) 634-0000 SC514-6890
Christine Cooley, Layout and Design
Craig K Chandler, Co-Editor
Jack Rechcigl, GCREC Center Director
http //gcrec ifas ufl edu

Dow Strawberry/Vegetable Growers Meeting
Alicia Whidden

Dow will be hosting a dinner meeting for growers at
the Strawberry Palace in Plant City on the evening of January
21st. The Strawberry Palace is located at 206 E. Hwy. 60 near
the intersection of Highway 39 & 60. Dinner will start at
6:00 pm and the program will start at 6:30. Dow has asked
Dr. Joe Funderburk, an entomologist at the North Florida
Research & Education Center to speak on controlling western
flower thrips.
Normally we do not see many western flower thrips in
our area. They have mainly been a concern in north Florida.
That is changing; we have had heavy infestations of western
flower thrips in two of the most recent four springs. This last
spring western flower thrips were a major problem in Palm
Beach County. Western flower thrips is more difficult to
control than the more familiar Franklinella bispinosa flower
The control measures we use in our strawberry crop
also influence what is happening with thrips in our spring
(Continued on page 2)

SWFMD Cold Protection Water Use Reports

Remember to report your cold protection water use to
the water management district's permits data department in
Brooksville. Your report is due within 2 weeks of a freeze
The following is from Ron Cohen of the Southwest
Florida Water Management District: Besides being a
requirement of a water use permit, reporting cold protection
pumpage is needed to help resolve potential compliance
issues and to ensure that a permitted's conservation credits are
calculated correctly. Cold protection amounts are not limited
by a permits' annual average allocation. However, the cold
protection amounts need to be reported so that they can be
(Continued on page 5)

IFAS is an Equal Employment Opportuity-Affirmative Action Employer authonzed to provide research, educational information and other services only to individuals and institutions that
function without regard to race, color, sex, age, handicap, or national ongm U S Department of Agriculture, Cooperative Extension Service, Umversity of Flonda, IFAS, Flonda A & M
University Cooperative Extension Program, and Boards of the County Commissioners Cooperating

January 2008

BerryNegetable Times

Berry/Vegetable Times

(Continued from page 1)
vegetable crops. Besides causing physical
damage to fruits and vegetables they also can
transmit viruses. The most common one is
Tomato Spotted Wilt which can affect pepper
as well. Come learn from the western flower
thrips expert how we should be handling this
Mr. Tony Weiss of DOW
AgroScience will give you the latest
information on Dow's new insecticide
Radiant which is registered for use on
strawberry and many vegetables. Mr. Chip
Giles, also of DOW, will give you an update
on all the company's newest products.
Dinner will be the Strawberry Palace's
sell-out pork tenderloin, mashed potatoes and
gravy, green beans, bread, drink and
strawberry cake or cookie dessert. Dinner is
compliments of Chip Giles of Dow
Please RSVP to Alicia Whidden at
813-744-5519, ext. 134 by 5:00 on Friday,
Jan. 18 so we will know how many plates to
fix. We have applied for pesticide CEUs and
CCA credits for this educational program.
Come join us for a great meal and great

New Florida Minimum Wage

On Jan. 1, 2008 the Florida minimum
wage increased to $6.79 per hour. Our
Florida minimum wage is now $0.94 more
than the Federal minimum wage which is
$5.85 per hour. Employers must post the new
minimum wage notice where workers can see
it. For farmers this is your central posting
location for your WPS information. You
must have the new Florida minimum wage
notice as well as the poster with the federal
minimum wage information. The last page of
the newsletter will have a copy of the new
Florida rate for you to post. Copies can be
downloaded in English and Spanish from the

Agency for Workforce Innovation's website-
flmin wage.html. If you need a new federal
minimum wage poster it is available at the
website for the U.S. Department of Labor-
Remember to put the new state
minimum wage notice up on your central
posting today!

813-744-5519, ext. 134

Well Flow Meter Accuracy Testing
Ron Cohen, P.E. Agricultural and Irrigation Engineer,
Regulations Performance Management Department
Southwest Florida Water Management District, 1-800-
423-1476 ext 4300

In January 2003, the Southern Water
Use Caution Area (SWUCA) rules went into
effect and several permit conditions were
added or changed. One of those conditions
changed the reporting of flow meter accuracy
testing from every two to every five years.
Many water use permits will have this
condition due by January 31, 2008, and there
is a list of companies that can perform this test
on the District's web page at: http://
It has come to the District's attention
that, due to the number of meters to be tested,
these companies might not be able to schedule
all the tests by the end of January. The
District would like to work with the
permittees to help them satisfy this permit
condition. Therefore, if there is a problem
scheduling the accuracy test before the due
date, the District will modify the condition's
due date to coincide with the scheduled
(Continued on page 3)

January 2008

Berry/egetable Times

(Continued from page 2)
testing date.
The permittees will need to contact the
District's Regulation Performance
Management PMD Section staff (1-800-423-
1476) in the Brooksville office, with the date
the meters are scheduled to be tested. Staff
will arrange to have the permit condition's due
date changed to accommodate the meter
testing date. An informational letter
describing this process has been sent to permit
Accurate flow meter data provides
important information that helps both the
permitted and the District. In addition to
ensuring that they are applying sufficient
irrigation to their crop, thus saving water and
fuel, accurate flow meter data also ensures
that a permitted is not washing fertilizer out of
the root zone. Accurate meter data will also
help permittees on a FDACS BMP program
document their irrigation practices. The
District uses the information to document
permit compliance and record a permitted's
water needs. In addition, the information is
used to calculate conservation credits in the

A New Tomato Disorder in the
Manatee-Palmetto-Ruskin Area
Gary E. Vallad and Bielinski M. Santos

A new disorder of tomato has been
observed in several fields in Hillsborough and
Manatee counties since 2006. Symptoms
begin about 4 weeks after transplanting and
consist of an interveinal purpling of the upper
leaf surface of leaf veins that gradually
spreads to the entire leaf blade (Figs. 1 and 2).
Often, when two leaves partially overlap, the
tomato purple leaf disorder (TPLD) only
develops on the surfaces exposed to sunlight
with the shaded leaf tissues remaining green
(Fig. 3). No deformation or bronzing of the
leaf has been observed, but afflicted leaves do

appear to decline and senesce prematurely
(Fig. 4). Based on grower observations,
TPLD appears to affect grape tomatoes more
than other types, although this requires
further testing.
How TPLD develops within the field
remains unclear. Based on preliminary
observations, symptoms of TPLD appear to
develop sporadically on individual plants
throughout the field, and then increase in
incidence and intensity with time. However,
these observations are anecdotal at best,
emphasizing the need for more rigorous
observations. The effect of TPLD on
marketable yield or post-harvest quality is
also unclear.
The cause of TPLD is unknown. The
relatively localized nature of the disorder
suggests that a virus or other biological agent
may be the cause of TPLD. However, the
symptoms of TPLD, especially the
photosensitive nature of the disorder, are
uncharacteristic of any known virus on
tomato. All testing to date have failed to
detect any known virus. However, TLPD
could be caused by a novel virus or other
microorganism, or due to an interaction
among microorganisms.
It is also possible that TPLD is linked
to crop management, the application of
pesticides and surfactants or other
environmental factors; or due to an
interaction between these factors. On the
affected farms, the crop was routinely
sprayed twice or three times per week with a
variety of products (up to 5 products at a
given time) mixed in a single tank. Pesticide
labels only contain basic cautions/restrictions
pertaining to the most likely interactions
among pesticides and surfactants. However,
all possible interactions, especially when
four or five formulations are tank-mixed, are
not tested by the manufacturers, possibly
resulting in overlooked harmful interactions.

(Continued on page 4)

January 2008

Berry/Vegetable Times

(Continued from page 3)
Therefore, the possibility of this occurrence
needs to be tested under controlled conditions.
As spring draws near, growers and
scouts are asked to report any fields suspected
of having TPLD to their local county agent or
directly to Gary Vallad ( or
Bielinski Santos (

Fig 3. A leaf blade that was partially shaded by
the developing fruit. Note that the shaded region
remained green.

Fig 1. Initial interveinal purpling of tomato leaf.

Fig 2. Severe interveinal purpling of tomato leaf.

Fig 4. Apparent decline and premature
senescence of affected tomato leaf.

The use of trade names in this
publication is solely for the purpose of
providing specific information. It is
not a guarantee or warranty of the
products names and does not signify
that they are approved to the exclusion
of others of suitable composition. Use
pesticides safely. Read and follow
directions on the manufacturer's label.

January 2008

Berry/egetable Times

(Continued from page 1)
subtracted from the submitted pumpage
quantity. If a permitted does not report the use
of irrigation for cold protection this could
make it appear that the permitted overpumped
the permitted quantity and cause the District's
computer system to flag the reported high
water use as a permit violation.
Reporting cold protection water use also
ensures that a permitted receives all the
SWUCA conservation credits they have
earned. The cold protection pumpage report is
used by the District to ensure that
conservation credits are not deducted for this
important use of irrigation for cold protection.

Protecting Strawberry Fields from
Freeze Damage*
Craig Chandler

While strawberry crown tissue isn't
usually injured until it reaches a temperature
of about 200F (-6.7 C), damage to flowers
and fruit can start to occur when tissue
temperature reaches 30F (-1.1 C). A period
of very warm weather followed by a freeze
may raise the freeze damage threshold
temperature of flowers to near 32 F, and,
conversely, a period of cold weather can
lower the threshold.
Most of the freeze events in
Hillsborough and Manatee County (where the
main strawberry production area is located)
are radiation freezes (little or no wind), with
air temperature typically bottoming out in the
low 30s or high 20s. In this type of freeze,
growers will generally wait to turn on their
sprinkler irrigation system until the air
temperature just above the plastic mulch, in
an area open to the sky, is 31F.
When an advective (windy) freeze is
expected, and temperatures are predicted to
drop into the low to mid 20s, it is common
practice to use 11/64-inch nozzles (to provide
the additional water needed for protection)**

and turn the sprinkler system on when the air
temperature reaches 340F. However, if wind
speeds are 10 mph or greater, at least some
flower and fruit damage is likely to occur.
Wind greatly reduces the effectiveness of
overhead irrigation for freeze protection. It
reduces the uniformity of water application;
it moves the warmed air out of the field and
replaces it with colder, drier air; and it
increases evaporation of the applied water,
which cools the field.

Growers need accurate temperature,
wind speed, relative humidity, and dew point
information in order to make the best
decisions concerning freeze protection. This
information is available for various locations
throughout Florida from the Florida
Automated Weather Network (FAWN) at
If there is little wind, the dew point
will probably remain relatively constant
between noon and the following sunrise,
except in frost pockets, where frost formation
may reduce the dew point by several degrees
after dew and frost begin to form during the
night. If there is significant wind from the
north or northwest, drier air may be moving
in, and the dew point may fall substantially
during the night. This is particularly true
within 48 hours after passage of a cold front.
If the dew point is above 32 F and drier air
(Continued on page 6)

January 2008

Berry/egetable Times

(Continued from page 5)
is not moving in, a damaging freeze is
unlikely, except possibly in the worst frost
pockets. If the dew point is below 10 F and
the forecast minimum temperature is below
26 F, freeze protection with water will be
difficult if there is significant wind.
The relative humidity at the time the
temperature falls to 32 F is important because
it indicates how much evaporation will occur
when the irrigation system is turned on. If the
humidity is predicted to be quite low at the
time the temperature reaches 32 F, the
sprinkler system should be turned on before
the temperature falls to 32 F. On the other
hand, if the humidity is above 90%, it is
probably safe to let the temperature fall to 32
F before turning on the system.
Normally on a radiation-freeze night,
the temperature falls rapidly until it is within
several degrees of the dew point. When the
relative humidity reaches 96%, further
temperature fall is likely to be slow, because
of the heat released as water vapor condenses
into dew or frost.
Another consideration makes dew
point temperature important in protecting
strawberry flowers from a radiation freeze.
On clear nights with no wind, flowers and
fruit not hidden inside the bush become colder
than the air. If the humidity is 90% or greater,
frost or dew keeps plant parts from becoming
more than 3 F colder than the air. However,
if there is not wind, dew, or frost, flowers and
fruit can become as much as 9 F colder than
the air. If the dew point is below 26 F on a
calm night when a radiation freeze is
expected, sprinklers should be turned on
before the air temperature at canopy height
falls below 34 F.
Once the sprinkler system has been
turned on, it should remain on until the wet
bulb temperature has risen above 32 F.
Current wet bulb temperatures for various
locations throughout Florida can be obtained

* Parts of this article were adapted from a paper
written by Dr. Paul Lyrene, Professor of
Horticultural Sciences at the University of
Florida, and published in the 1996 Proceedings of
the Florida State Horticultural Society (Vol. 109;
pgs. 215-220).
** Despite what is commonly communicated by
mass media, strawberry plants are not protected
by a blanket of ice. If that were the case, growers
could just run their sprinkler systems until the
plants were covered with ice and then turn the
systems off. What protects strawberry flowers
and developing fruit is heat that is released as
water changes from a liquid to a solid. This heat,
which is referred to as the heat of fusion, amounts
to 1200 BTUs per gallon of water applied. It can
keep plants at 32 F if it is applied continuously
and in sufficient quantities.

Serious Crown Rot Losses
Natalia A. Peres. James C. Mertely, Craig K. Chandler

Crown rot losses have been much
greater this season than in previous years,
and some growers have lost as many as 30%
of their plants. Normally, perhaps 1 to 5% of
the plants die as a result of crown rot and the
disease has a rather minor impact on total
yield. But, this season, crown rot has been
more extensive and developed earlier than in
past years. Samples began arriving at the
disease clinic at GCREC in late October and
15 had already been diagnosed by mid-
November. What has happened? Why have
losses been so great this year?
Crown rot is caused by the fungus
Colletotrichum gloeosporioides,
affectionately known as Cg in our lab. This
fungus can reach strawberry fields in Florida
in two ways on transplants arriving from
other states and from local native vegetation.
Historically, transplants were produced in
Florida, but crown rot became such a serious
problem that a solution had to be found. Cg

(Continued on page 7)

January 2008

Berry/egetable Times

(Continued from page 6)
is a high temperature pathogen and
reproduces very well under Florida
conditions, especially in summer. It was
infecting most of the "home-grown"
transplants, many of which subsequently
died before producing fruit. So, growers
started obtaining their transplants from
California, Canada, or the northern U.S.,
where the cooler summer weather does not
favor disease development. Therefore
transplants from northern latitude nurseries
do not become contaminated by Cg during
propagation and usually arrive in Florida
virtually free of the fungus. However, the
same fungus that causes crown rot can persist
on native vegetation, such as oak trees and
wild grapes, which is often in close
proximity to strawberry fruiting fields.
Spores from this source of inoculum can
move to strawberry fields early in the season,
eventually resulting in some plant mortality.
Losses from this source are usually low and

This season, most of the strawberry
fields with serious crown rot losses used
transplants from North Carolina, and we
suspect that these transplants arrived
contaminated with Cg. Cg is indigenous to
North Carolina (at least at low elevations), as
it is throughout the Southeastern U.S. With
the high temperatures this fall in Florida,
plants began to collapse shortly after the
irrigation establishment period and have

continued to decline and die. Transplants
obtained from Canada and established in the
same areas as North Carolina transplants have
not generally had a serious problem with
crown rot.
Transplant producers in North
Carolina may have to adjust their production
practices and move their operations to cooler,
mountainous areas to avoid the fungus.
Researchers from North Carolina State
University are currently trying to determine
the inoculum hosts in NC, so hopefully this
problem can be resolved in the future. Cooler
weather in the fall in future seasons and
hopefully cooler weather during the next
couple of months may slow the development
of the disease as well. Application of
fungicides such as Captan, Topsin M and
Abound may slow the spread of the disease to
other plants or fields but may only have
limited affect in controlling the disease on
transplants that are already infected.

Radiant Insecticide Registered
J. F. Price and C. A. Nagle

Dow AgriSciences has registered
Radiant insecticide to control armyworms
(excluding the yellowstriped armyworm),
leafrollers, and thrips in strawberries. The
product also is registered for various
caterpillars, dipterous leafminers, thrips and
other pests of vegetables.
The active ingredient of Radiant is
spinetoram, of a toxin group derived from the
fermentation products of a soil micro-
organism, Saccharopolyspora spinosa. Label
restrictions for strawberries are compatible
with our customary culture. For instance
there is a "Caution" precautionary statement,
4 hour re-entry interval, a 1 day pre-harvest
interval (PHI), and provision for five
applications per year. Required personal
protective equipment for applicators and
handlers are long-sleeved shirt, long pants,

January 2008

Berry/Vegetable Times

shoes, and socks. The PHI for most west
central Florida's vegetables is the same as for
strawberries, except the PHI for succulent
beans is 3 days.
Only labeled crops can be rotated on
fields treated with Radiant within 12
months. However, Radiant is registered for
most of the vegetables grown in Florida.
Radiant is not a restricted use pesticide and
no license is required to purchase.
Spinetoram is an IRAC group 5 mode
of action compound as is its related
compound, spinosad (SpinTor) and the two
should not be rotated. This means that
growers should choose between the two and
not use the other within a season.
Folks from Dow AgriSciences indicate
Radiant produces a quicker pest knockdown
and longer residual control than SpinTor and
provides excellent control of western flower
thrips. Its wet sprays are hazardous to some
beneficial including Phytoseiulus persimilis
predatory mites, honey bees, and bumble bees
but its overall impact on naturally occurring
predators and parasites is minimal.
Radiant should contribute additional
stability to the production systems of
strawberries and vegetables produced in


2007 Florida Ag Expo Highlights
Christine Cooley

The 2007 Florida Ag Expo was
another great success for UF/IFAS Gulf Coast
Research and Education Center with over 800
participants over the 2-day event. Vendors
were treated to an upgraded exhibit area as
well as a hospitality suite, and over 70 ag-

related businesses participated. Workshop
topics ranged from GPS technology to ethanol
to alternative crops for Florida. In addition,
part of the proceeds collected for vendor
space will go towards the GCREC
Scholarship Fund. An omelet breakfast started
off the event prepared by members of the
Florida Strawberry Growers Association and
also sponsored by the Florida Poultry
Federation.. GCREC thanks everyone who
participated in making this year's expo a huge
success and mark your calendar for the 2008
Florida Ag Expo scheduled for December 4-5.
Details will be noted on the expo's website

2008 Florida Ag Expo

December 4-5
For future updates and details

January 2008

Berry/egetable Times


The Florida minimum wage is $6.79 per hour, with a minimum
wage of at least $3.77 per hour for tipped employees, in addition to
tips, for January 1, 2008, through December 31, 2008.

The rate of the minimum wage is recalculated yearly on September 30, based on
the Consumer Price Index. Every year on January 1, the new Florida minimum
wage takes effect.

An employer may not retaliate against an employee for exercising his or her right
to receive the minimum wage. Rights protected by the State Constitution include
the right to:

1. File a complaint about an employer's alleged noncompliance with
lawful minimum-wage requirements.
2. Inform any person about an employer's alleged noncompliance
with lawful minimum-wage requirements.
3. Inform any person of his or her potential rights under Section 24,
Article X of the State Constitution and to assist him or her in assert-
ing such rights.

An employee who has not received the lawful minimum wage after notifying his
or her employer and giving the employer 15 days to resolve any claims for unpaid
wages may bring a civil action in a court of law against an employer to recover
back wages plus damages and attorney's fees.

An employer found liable for intentionally violating minimum-wage requirements
is subject to a fine of $1,000 per violation, payable to the state.

The Attorney General or other official designated by the Legislature may bring a
civil action to enforce the minimum wage.

For details, see Section 24, Article X of the State Constitution and Section
448.110, Florida Statutes.

January 2008

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