Title: Berry/vegetable times
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Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00087388/00060
 Material Information
Title: Berry/vegetable times
Series Title: Berry/vegetable times
Physical Description: Serial
Language: English
Creator: Gulf Coast Research and Education Center, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences
Publisher: Gulf Coast Research and Education Center
Place of Publication: Gainesville, Fla.
Publication Date: January 2009
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Bibliographic ID: UF00087388
Volume ID: VID00060
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
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Berry/Vegetable Times

January 2009


You won't want to
miss this event. Come
enjoy a complimentary
barbecue lunch and
hear the latest
strawberry news and
trial results.

It's Strawberry Time!
Come to the Strawberry Field Day
at Gulf Coast Research &
Education Center
Friday, February 13
12:30 PM

Feb. 10 & March 10 Pesticide Former GCREC plant pathologist and current California
License Testing. Hillsborough Strawberry Commission Research Director, Dr. Dan Legard,
County Extension Office, will be our lunch-time speaker. He'll give us an update on
Seffner. 9 am. California strawberry production, and what his industry is
doing in the areas of food safety and soil fumigation. UF
Feb. 13 Strawberry Field Day, molecular biologist Kevin Folta will also be at the Field Day to
Gulf Coast Research & give us a short, but exciting, update on the sequencing of the
Education Center, Balm. 12:30 strawberry genome.
Of course in the field you'll hear about disease and pest
March 10 s for Producers -
Retin, Hil h management from Natalia Peres, Jim Price, and Andrew
ResourceMeeting, Hillsborough .
ou Eetn i ff MacRae; cultivar development from Craig Chandler; and
County Extension Office,
Seffner. 12:00 p.m. See inside irrigation, fertilization and other production practices from
for more information. Bielinski Santos.
A University of Florida/IFAS and Florida Field days also provide a great opportunity to visit and
Cooperative Extension Service newsletter
Hillsborough County, 5339 CR 579, exchange information with industry suppliers and fellow
Seffner, FL 33584
(813) 744-5519 SC 541-5772 growers.
Joe Pergola, County Extension Director Lunch sponsored by:
Alicia Whidden, Editor Lunch sponsored by
Gulf Coast Research & Education Center
14625 County Road 672, FA
Wimauma. FL 33598 ARM CREDIT F 'A
(813) 634-0000 SC514-6890 FoLHOOI & TIASSOCIATION
Christine Cooley, Layout and Design of da LOR E SOCIATION S r o
Craig K Chandler, Co-Editor
Jack Rechcgl GCRE Center Director Please RSVP to 813-634-0000 X3101 or ccooley@ufl.edu
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 Department ofAgriculture, Cooperative Extension Service, University of Flonda, IFAS, Florida A & M
University Cooperative Extension Program, and Boards of the County Commissioners Cooperating

Calendar of Events

Feb. 5 Chemtura Grower
Dinner Meeting- Rimon: An
Introduction to Strawberry Use.
6:00 pm. Florida Strawberry
Growers Association, Dover. Fl.
RSVP to Alicia Whidden, 813-
744-5519, ext. 134. See inside
for more information.

Feb. 5 Organic Transition
Program, Manatee County
Extension Office, Palmetto. 9:30
- 4:00. For more information
contact Matt Vargas at (352) 377
-6345 or matt@foginfo.org.

January 2009

BerryNegetable Times

Berry/Vegetable Times

From Your Agent...

In the next 6 weeks we have several
meetings coming up for growers. The first one
will be on Thursday, Feb 5. This will be a
grower dinner meeting sponsored by Chemtura
to introduce their new product, Rimon. This
product just received a Section 18 label for
Florida and is labeled for sap beetle control.
Dr. Jim Price will speak on his work with the
product. Look for his article in the newsletter
and join us Feb. 5 for a delicious dinner and
hear his talk to get all the information on this
new product. The meeting will be at the FSGA
office in Dover and dinner will start at 6:00
p.m. RSVP to me at 813-744-5519, ext. 134 by
Monday, Feb 2. Pesticide CEUs are being
applied for.
The following week the Strawberry
Field Day at the Gulf Coast Research and
Education Center will take place. It will be
Friday, Feb. 13 at the Center and lunch will be
served. This is the first time lunch has been
provided. Thank you to the sponsors: Florida
Strawberry Growers Association, Farm Credit
of Florida, and Florida Fruit and Vegetable
Association. This is an opportunity to tour the
research plots and hear from the researchers
what they are working on. Look for more
information in Dr. Santos article.
On March 10, a Producer Resource
Workshop will be held at the Hillsborough
County Extension office in Seffner. This
workshop is geared for new growers as well as
established growers to find out all the
government resources available. See the
article on the meeting for the details.
As I write this we have had 2 nights of
freezing weather and possibly may have to turn
on water for a third night. Be sure to send in
your reports on water used for freeze
protection to the Water District. You usually
have 2 weeks after a freeze event to file your
report. Be sure to do this so that the water you
used for freeze protection will not count
against your allowed irrigation pumpage

amounts. Below is part a message from Ron
Cohen, South West Florida Water
Management District, Agricultural and
Irrigation Engineer.
"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 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
The form can be found on the
District's web site at: http://
www.swfwmd.state.fl.us/permits/wup/ The
District realizes that the producers are busy
with their crops, but it will be in their own
best interest to follow through with this
information. If they can get the reports to the
District within the next two weeks it will
help both them and the District."

If you did not have access to a
computer to get a copy of the form give me a
call and I will provide you a copy of the
form. Looking forward to seeing you at the
great meetings coming up,
ALicia whuidden
Hillsborough County Extension Service
813-744-5519, ext. 134 awhidden@ufl.edu

January 2009

Berry/Vegetable Times

Rimon 0.83EC Insecticide
Approved for Sap Beetles on
James F. Price and Curtis A. Nagle, GCREC

Rimon 0.83EC novaluron
insecticide has been approved by the Section
18 emergency process to control sap beetles
on strawberries through December 2009.
FFVA, FSGA, Chemtura Corp., and UF
IFAS folks worked diligently to obtain this
important new tool.
Rimon is an insect growth regulator
that will prevent beetle reproduction in the
field, kill sap beetle larvae, and prevent
larval infestation of fruit, but it will not kill
adults present in the fields or that enter from
outside. Consequently, to be most effective,
Rimon must be used in conjunction with an
adulticide such as Brigade bifenthrin.
US EPA approved this product to be
used a maximum of three times at a
minimum of 7-10 day intervals. Sap beetle
season usually extends from late January
through the end of harvests, so care must be
exercised to extend the product throughout
the expected harvest period. There is a
favorable 1 day pre-harvest interval (PHI).
Rimon cannot be applied within 75 feet of a
body of water and all applications must
include a 25 foot vegetative buffer within the
buffer zone to decrease runoff
Only registered crops may be rotated
in a treated field within 30 days of the last
application of Rimon. Presently, only
potatoes, sweet potatoes, and head and stem
brassicas (including cabbage) are registered,
but Chemtura Corp. expects tomatoes to be
registered this February and expects peppers,
egg plant, cucurbits, and snap beans to be
registered in 2010. This means that careful
timing of the final Rimon application must
be planned if strawberry fields are to be
planted to some common follow-up crops.

Most of the early season fruit damage
attributed to sap beetles and a portion of the
later damage actually is caused by the Asian
cockroach. Holes by Asian cockroach in ripe
fruit tend to be dry, while holes by sap beetles
tend to become soupy. These insects must be
controlled in addition to the sap beetles. Work
performed at the UF IFAS Gulf Coast
Research and Education Center in Balm
indicates that Brigade can control Asian
cockroaches effectively.
The Rimon label contains important
use information and must be in the possession
of the user at time of application. Please read
and follow all labeling information.

Producer Resource Workshop
Date: Tuesday, March 10, 2009
Time: 12:00 pm 5:00 pm
Location: Hillsborough County Cooperative
Extension Service Office, Extension
Auditorium, 5339 County Road 579, Seffner

The Hillsborough County Agriculture
Industry Development Program, Cooperative
Extension Service, and the USDA are teaming
up to provide a workshop on the government
provided resources available to assist farmers.
This workshop will help participants learn
more about the services available from
Hillsborough County, the Cooperative
Extension Service, US Department of
Agriculture, Southwest Florida Water
Management District, and the Florida
Department of Agriculture.

Specific topics will include:
Business Planning Resources
Agriculture Production Technical
Grant Opportunities for Value Added
Projects, Renewable Energy and Farm
Labor Housing
Direct and Guaranteed Farm Loans
Beginning Farmer Loans

January 2009

Berry/Vegetable Times

Farm Planning Assistance
Water Management District Assistance
Marketing Assistance

This workshop is free but seating is
limited. Please register by calling Alayna
Shiver at (813) 272-5909. For more
information contact Stephen Gran at (813)

Evaluation of Biopesticides for
Bacterial Leaf Spot Control on
Gary E. Vallad, GCREC Plant Pathology

On 4 Sep 2008, plots were
established at the University of Florida's
Gulf Coast Research and Education Center in
Balm, FL to assess the effect of several
biopesticides on the severity of bacterial leaf
spot (BLS) caused by Xanthomonas
perforans on tomato in Florida. Transplants
of the TYLCV resistant cultivar SecuriTY 28
were transplanted at 18" spacing to 21 ft
plots along 300 ft long, raised beds with 5 ft
center-to-center bed spacing. Beds were
covered with a silver virtually impermeable
mulch and irrigated with a drip system.
Treatments (Tables 1 and 2) were applied on
a weekly basis, beginning 28 Aug with
transplants and continuing the day after
transplanting on 5 Sep, 12 Sep, 17 Sep, 23
Sep, 3 Oct, 10 Oct, 16 Oct, 23 Oct, 30 Oct, 7
Nov, 13 Nov, and 18 Nov. A CO2 back pack
sprayer calibrated to deliver 60 gal/A for the
first seven applications, and 90 gal/A for the
subsequent applications at 40 psi.
Biopesticides were applied along with low
label rates of copper (Cuprofix Ultra 40D,
1.5 lbs/A) and mancozeb (Penncozeb 75DF,
2 lbs/A); a copper-mancozeb treatment (Trt
14) was also included as a standard. A non-
treated control (Trt 15) was included to
measure disease pressure. Treatments were
arranged in a randomized complete block

design with each treatment repeated 4 times.
The experiment was inoculated 17 Sep and 30
Sep with a suspension (106 cfu/ml) of
Xanthomonasperforans. Plots were
monitored, and rated using the Horsfall-Barratt
scale to assess the percentage of canopy
affected by bacterial leaf spot. Disease ratings
on 9 Oct and 15 Oct assessed the entire plant
canopy, while later ratings on 27 Oct and 13
Nov only assessed the top half of the canopy.
Marketable yield was assessed from two
separate harvests of the center 10 plants in
each plot. Only extra large and ripe fruit were
harvested on 14 Nov followed by a complete
harvest of all fruit on 2 Dec.
Weather conditions were favorable for
disease development with 11 rain events of 0.1
inches or greater during the trial. Inoculations
on 17 Sep and 30 Sep coincided with rain
events. The severity of BLS was rated four
times during the trial. The percentage of the
canopy affected by disease ranged from 5.6%
to 13.8% on 9 Oct and from 18.5% to 32.8%
on 15 Oct. Because of the extent of disease,
only the top half of the tomato canopy was
rated for BLS on 27 Oct and 13 Nov, and
ranged from 0% to 16% and from 8.4% to
39.0%, respectively (data not shown).
Significant differences (P = 0.0839) in the
severity of BLS were only observed among
treatments on 13 Nov, but only treatment 3
exhibited statistically less disease than the
copper-mancozeb standard (Trt 14) (data not
shown). However, when cumulative disease
over the course of the trial was assessed, as
expressed by the area under disease progress
curve (AUDPC), spray programs that included
Kasumin (Trt 10), Citrex (Trt 9), HMO 736
(Trt 8), SeaCide (Trt 7), Omega Grow Plus
(Trt 6), and Actigard (Trts 2 4) exhibited
significantly less disease relative to the copper-
mancozeb standard (Trt 14) (Table 1).
The treatment effect was significant on
the marketable yield of total (P = 0.0340) and
extra large fruit (P = 0.0429) based on weight;
expressed as the number of 25 lb cartons/A

January 2009

January 2009

Berry/Vegetable Times

(Table 1). Lower yields and greater disease severity was mostly associated with the non-
treated control (Trt 15). However, improved disease control with biopesticides didn't
necessarily improve marketable yield. The best marketable yields were associated with
Serenade Max (Trt 5) and Taegro (Trt 12), which statistically yielded better than the copper-
mancozeb standard (Trt 14). Treatments that included Actigard (Trts 2 4) typically yielded
lower, but only Trt 3 was significantly less than the copper-mancozeb standard (Trt 14).
Overall, spray programs that included HMO 736 (Trt 8), Citrex (Trt 9), and Kasumin (Trt 10)
gave the best level of BLS control without compromising yield.

Table 1. Effect of treatments on the LS Mean (95% confidence interval) tomato yield by market class and

culled fruit.

TR Treatments, rates, and application tim-
T ingy
Prophyt 2 pt (1 6), Prophyt 4 pt (7 12),
1 Cuprofix Ultra 40D 1.5 lbs (5 13),
Penncozeb 75DF 2.0 lbs (2 13)
Actigard 0.25 oz (1 8), Prophyt 2 pt (1 -
2 6), Prophyt 4 pt (7 12), Cuprofix Ultra
40D 1.5 lbs (5 13), Penncozeb 75DF 2.0
lbs (2 13)
Actigard 0.25 oz (1 8), Cuprofix Ultra 40D
3 1.5 lbs (2 13), Penncozeb 75DF 2.0 lbs (3 -
Actigard 0.75 oz (1 8), Cuprofix Ultra 40D
4 1.5 lbs (2 13), Penncozeb 75DF 2.0 lbs (3 -
Serenade Max 1 lb (1 13), Cuprofix Ultra
5 40D 1.5 lbs (2 13), Penncozeb 75DF 2.0
lbs (3 13)
Omega Grow Plus 2% v/v (1 13), Cuprofix
6 Ultra 40D 1.5 bs (2 1 3), Penncozeb 75DF
2.0 lbs (3 13)
SeaCide 1% v/v (1 13), Cuprofix Ultra
7 40D 1.5 lbs (2 13), Penncozeb 75DF 2.0
lbs (3 13)
HMO-736 14 oz (1 13), Cuprofix Ultra
8 40D 1.5 lbs (2 13), Penncozeb 75DF 2.0
lbs (3 13)
Citrex 1.5 lbs (1 13), Cuprofix Ultra 40D
9 1.5 lbs (2 13), Penncozeb 75DF 2.0 lbs (3 -
Kasumin 1 qt/ 50 gal (1,3,5,7,9), Transfix 3
1 oz/50 gal (1,3,5,7,9), Cuprofix Ultra 40D
1.5 lbs (2,4,6,8,10 13), Penncozeb 75DF
2.0 lbs (2 13)
Tiadanil 250 ppm (1 13), Cuprofix Ultra
11 40D 1.5 lbs (2 13), Penncozeb 75DF 2.0
lbs (3 13)
Taegro 1.5 lbs (1 13), Cuprofix Ultra 40D
12 1.5 lbs (2 13), Penncozeb 75DF 2.0 lbs (3 -
Gentamycin 3.5 lbs (1 13), GWN6500 8
13 oz/50 gal (1 13), Penncozeb 75DF 2.0 lbs
(3- 13)
1 Cuprofix Ultra 40D 1.5 lbs (2 13),
Penncozeb 75DF 2.0 lbs (3 13)

15 Non-Treated Control


Marketable Yield (25 Marketable Yield
lb cartons/A) (fruit/plot) Culls
Extra Extra % of total
Total Large Total Large by weight AUDPCz


299 (181 -

122 (99-

39 (24-

9.6 (4.4-


692 (570- 322 (203 136(113 46(30- 10.7(5.4- 490(286-
814) 441) 160) 61) 15.9) 694)

605 (483 296 (177-
728) 414)

749 (627- 456 (337-
872) 574)

886 (764-

691 (569-

707(585 -

803 (681 -

512 (393 -

342 (223 -

398 (279-

470(351 -

114(90- 41(25- 13.7 (8.5- 438(234-
137) 57) 19) 642)

134(110 60(44- 13.4 (8.2- 510(305-
-157) 76) 18.6) 714)

158(135 63(47- 11.5(6.2-
-181) 78) 16.7)

128 (104 49(34- 8.9(3.7-
-151) 65) 14.2)

132 (109 51(36- 9.6 (4.3-
-155) 67) 14.8)

139(115 58(42- 7.6(2.4-
-162) 74) 12.8)

812(689- 494(375- 142(118 60(44-
934) 612) -165) 75)

9.4 (4.2-

801(679- 451(332- 143(120 61(46- 8.3(3-
923) 569) -166) 77) 13.5)

779 (656-


373 (254-

524 (406-

143 (120 44(28- 10.5 (5.3-
-167) 59) 15.7)

141(118 72(56- 15.2(10-
-164) 87) 20.5)

682 (478-

503 (299-

419 (215-


536 (332-


765 (561 -


778 (656- 463(344- 133 (110 61(45- 12.8 (7.6- 669(465-
900) 582) -157) 77) 18.1) 874)

743 (621 -
670 (548-

414 (295-
291 (172-

140 (117
- 162)



708 (504-
731 (527-

culled fruit.


Berry/Vegetable Times

Midseason Observations and
Preliminary Results with Methyl
Bromide Alternatives.
J.W. Noling, Citrus Research & Education Centerand
Alicia Whidden, Hillsborough County Cooperative
Extension Service

This season, like many others which
have preceded it, is turning out to be pretty
unique. November and December were
unseasonably cool, and on an area wide
basis, plant growth and development was
reflecting the lack of heat units. In many
fields, plant canopies still have not
converged between adjacent plants either
within or across the row. Early January
brought a few weeks of warm weather which
enhanced plant growth and canopy
convergence in many, but not all fields. With
production strongly related to temperature
and plant size, is it any wonder that there still
isn't significant production in many fields.
In talking with growers, it would
appear that there was real benefit in getting
planted early this year. Strawberries which
were planted after mid October seem to be
still behind those planted earlier. How far off
is production? One grower indicated to us
that over a 1000 flats had been picked by the
second week of December last year in one of
his big fields, whereas only 4 had been
picked this year in the same field. The
attached figure illustrates the differences in
heat units (degree day accumulations) for
this year to date compared to that of last year
(Figure 1).
In a survey of the countryside, it is
clear that the phase out and eventual loss of
methyl bromide has prompted a considerable
amount of industry change and grower
experimentation with new technologies and
production systems. For example, who would
have thought double cropping strawberry
after strawberry on the same plastic without
methyl bromide could have ever been
successful. It would also appear that the

Figure 1. Comparison of degree day accumlations during October 1 -
January 17 of last year 2007-08 and this year (2008-09) at Dover, FL
The lower number of degree days this year serve to illustrate the gen-
erally cooler fall and winter temperatures which have prevailed this year


Oct Nov Dec
Month : Day

Jan Feb

Figure 2 Mean numbers of Dead and Alive Nutsege plants
per row emerged through the plastic from the bed center
and drip tube source fumigant Single tape per bed,
Telone Inline 35 gpta, 3 hrs McDonald Farm, Oct 9,2008

0 2 4 6 8 10 12
Distance from Bed Center (inches)
& Drip Fumigation Source of Fumigant

success of this system is not necessarily just
related to new fields which lack history of pest
pressure (ie., nematode). I can say this because
some double cropping sites which look very
good at this time, are fields which I have
previously characterized as cemetery fields,
fields where large numbers of plants annually
die because of sting nematode parasitism. In
contrast, if a nematode problem has never been
observed within the field, then it would be
reasonable to conclude that there wasn't a true
need for benefits of the fumigant anyway. In
these double cropped cemetery fields, long
injections of a drip applied fumigant was used
to kill the previous strawberry crop and
nematodes confined within the bed; and
another drip fumigant applied again in the fall
as a broadspectrum preplant soil treatment
under holey plastic. As important to the
fumigants for nematode management, are the
summer programs which focused on weed



Is it any wonderplants why plants mightbe still
behind when planted after mid October !

January 2009

Berry/Vegetable Times

management in the middles and within the
plant holes on the bed. As good as the system
appears to be performing, I can't say that we
don't suffer anxiety thinking about
broadscale adoption of the system on the
entire farm (rolling the dice) rather than first
trialing within individual fields and limited
With this in mind, another point that
should be made is that it hasn't been
demonstrated that we can do this repeatedly
on a biannual basis, but it surely indicates
how integrated strategies, not dependent
upon methyl bromide, can be used to
incrementally and successfully manage a
pretty significant nematode problem. It is
interesting to point out that in Georgia,
growers have long demanded as many as 3 to
4 crops on the same plastic to economically
justify the agricultural production system. To
achieve this requires a good initial
fumigation of the bed (new plastic) for weed,
nematode, and disease control followed by
periodic drip fumigation and herbicide
treatment on subsequent crops when
problems emerge.
This past season we have seen a
considerable amount of new acreage relying
upon drip fumigation as the new alternative
method to chisel injection with backswept
knives for applying the fumigant to soil.
Hopefully you have not forgotten the future
benefit of the drip fumigation approach,
fewer people in the field requiring fumigant
training, respirator fit testing and medical
certification, personal protective equipment
(PPE), and most importantly, reduced buffer
zone requirement. With regard to current
evaluations, there remains no clear consensus
on whether a single drip tape per bed or
whether two drip tapes will be required to
consistently and effectively disperse the
fumigant shoulder to shoulder for nematode
control and for sustaining high yields.
This past spring and again in the fall,
we invested a considerable amount of time

monitoring gas concentrations across the bed
in fields using either one or two drip tapes per
bed. It was clear that some fumigant
compounds like Vapam and Kpam did not
move far from the drip tape wetting front.
What is troubling to understand is why gas
concentrations of the various Telone products
were identical at the bed shoulders when
applied with either one or two drip tapes per
bed. In numerous experiments, we have hoped,
but have not been able to characterize the
benefit of the second tape for dispersing
fumigants at higher concentrations across the
entire bed, particularly into the bed shoulders.
We will continue the research, knowing that
pest control (and Concentration x Time
products) diminishes with distance from the
drip tape. The effects of limited cross-bed
fumigant movement was clearly demonstrated
with nutsedge control with distance from a
single drip tape in a fall drip trial with Telone
Inline (35 gal/A). In this trial, effective
nutsedge control was achieved up to a distance
of 8 inches from the drip tape, falling off very
rapidly in the following 6 to 8 inches to the bed
shoulder. With regard to the further
characterizing of the performance of various
drip fumigants, we would like to invite and
encourage all of you to view the differences
between drip treatments and methyl bromide at
the FSGA research farm. All treatment plots
are identified with good signage and are
patiently awaiting your careful review.
In contrast to a chemical approach, a
number of growers have unsuccessfully trialed
a nonchemical (ie., nonfumigant), bacterially
based system as a replacement strategy for
methyl bromide and nematode management. It
is clear from the beginning of these grower
conducted experiments that the simple addition
of microbes to the existing soil community is
in itself not enough to create the level of soil
suppressiveness necessary for achieving
satisfactory nematode control and crop yield.
To me it is a leap of faith to believe (and to
claim) that a simple cocktail or proprietary

January 2009

Berry/Vegetable Times

blend of a fermented, unidentified collection of
organisms will provide season long control of
sting nematode without adequate controls and
defined experimentation.
In these severely affected nematode
fields, we are current trialing a new bacterial
treatment of our own, that of a new sting
nematode biocontrol agent, Pastueria usgae.
This fall we have initiated three separate, small
scale field studies to determine the efficacy of
drip applications of P. usgae endospores to
suppress sting nematode populations after
planting. We are excited to be finally testing
the potential of a post plant applied product to
manage sting nematode and rescue a stunted
strawberry crop. Hopefully we will have some
promising results to share with you in a future
newsletter article.
Other post plant nematode options
under evaluation include the efficacy of
methionine, Dazitol, and Sesamin EC. If the
U.S. government approves, we are also hoping
to evaluate the resistance of genetically
transformed strawberry to the sting nematode.
In these plants, a defense-related cystatin genes
has been molecularly incorporated to combat
nematodes. Cystatins are of great interest for
researchers because of their regulatory and
protective functions in plant tissues. Cystatins
are thought to play a role in the regulation of
plant defense against insect predation and other
pathogens. We are hoping it will include

La Nifa Conditions have Abruptly
Returned to the Pacific Ocean
Clyde W. Fraisse and Natalia Peres
Sea surface temperatures along the
equator in the eastern and central Pacific
Ocean have cooled substantially in the last
month, marking a return to La Nifia. La Nifia
refers to colder than normal waters along the
equator in the eastern and central Pacific, and
can be thought of as the opposite of El Nifio.
The Pacific Ocean had been in the Neutral
phase since April of 2008, following a La Nifia

in the fall and winter of 2007/2008. Multi-year
La Nifia events are not uncommon in the
historical record and are known to bring
extended drought to parts of the Southeast.
During the past several months, the
atmosphere over the tropical Pacific Ocean has
been giving indications that a La Nifia might be
building. The Southern Oscillation Index, the
difference in average surface pressure between
the western and central Pacific, has been highly
positive since early October. In addition, stronger
than normal easterly trade winds have been
measured in the central and western Pacific since
October and it is these trade winds which drive
the change in Ocean temperatures. In spite of
these atmospheric signals, the sea surface
temperatures had remained near normal or in the
neutral range. In late December, however, cold
water that had been building below the surface
broke through and surface waters cooled rapidly.
This La Nifia is expected to last at least
through the remainder of the winter and spring
seasons. La Nifia is known to bring a warmer
than normal and dry climate pattern to the
Southeast during this time. La Nifia events in
1999 and 2000 and more recently in early 2006,
were associated with an increase in forest fires
across Florida. For more information on climate
impacts in the Southeast, see the latest climate
outlook at: http://agroclimate.org/forecasts/
The dry weather during La Nifia years is
usually not conducive to fungal diseases such as
Anthracnose and Botrytis fruit rots. At this point
of our strawberry season, these are the two major
diseases of concern. Disease inoculum for
Botrytis and anthracnose has been low since no
major disease events have occurred up to now.
With the return of La Nifia and expected drier
conditions, regular applications of fungicides
may not be needed as often to suppress these
diseases especially when moderately or highly
resistant cultivars such as Strawberry Festival are
grown. Strawberry models have not predicted the
need for fungicide applications for some time
now. So, it may be a good opportunity for
growers to extend spray intervals and reduce
fungicide costs without a great risk of
compromising their profits.

January 2009

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