Group Title: Berry/vegetable times.
Title: Berry/vegetable times. August 2007.
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Title: Berry/vegetable times. August 2007.
Uniform Title: Berry/vegetable times.
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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: August 2007
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Volume ID: VID00051
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August 2007

RU F E SioTY FromYourAgent:
FFLORIDA Start of a New Season
IFAS Extension

Watch for children and buses as the new
school season starts this month!
A University ofFlorida/IFAS and Florida
Cooperative Extension Service newsletter
Hillsborough County, 5339 CR 579,
Seffner, FL 33584
(813)744-5519 SC 541-5772
Alicia Whidden, Editor
Gulf Coast Research & Education Center

Christie Cooley, Layout and Design
Craig K Chandler, Co-Editor
Jack Rechcigl, GCREC Center Director
http //gcrec Ifas ufl edu

A new season is upon us and before things get too
hectic take a look at getting all your paperwork and training
materials ready for a new season. Now would be a good time
to be sure you have WPS training materials on hand and to
check out the condition of posters on your Central Posting.
Make sure posters are not faded and unreadable and that the
information for emergency medical help that is to be written
on the bottom is still the correct information and is legible. If
you need a new pesticide safety poster ( Central Location
Safety Poster- EPA required) or WPS training materials they
are available for order from Gemplers (1-800-382-8473 or or, if still available, they can be ordered
free from FDAOCS. If you need a form to order from
FDOACS give me a call at 813-744-5519, ext. 134.
Remember their supply is limited and it is first come, first
serve. Also remember that the pesticide safety poster is not
the only poster you need to have posted for your workers.
There are other government agencies you need to satisfy. For
a list of posters you need, look in the Berry/Vegetable Times
(Continued on page 2)

Impacts of EPA Proposed Buffer Zone
Restrictions on Florida Strawberry Acreage and
Joseph W. Noling and Sherrie Buchanon, CREC

This past spring the strawberry harvest season was concluded
with an extension grower meeting to discus the current status
of EPA reregistration of the soil fumigants, particularly that of
chloropicrin. We reported that EPA was proposing to
implement a requirement for pretty substantial buffer zones
surrounding fumigant treated fields. Based on measurable
distance and regulatory requirement for specific fumigant use,

(Continued on page 2)

IFAS is an Equal Employment Opportunty-Affirmative Action Employer authorized to provide research, educational information and other services onlyto individuals andinstitutions that
function without regard to race, color, sex, age, handicap, or national orngm 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

August 2007

BerryNegetable Times

Berry/Vegetable Times

(From Your Agent ...Continued from page 1)
January 2007 issue. If you can not access the
newsletter then call me for a copy of
Factsheet 07-1.
Remember new workers will need to
be trained before the sixth day of work. At
the end of training have them sign a form
that states when the training was given,
trainer's name and certification, and what
training materials were used. Be sure to keep
these records in a file that can be given to the
inspector during a WPS farm audit. Also
remember if a worker is handling pesticides,
even if it is only Roundup the worker will
need to be trained as a handler.
This also is a good time to get the
packing sheds in shape for third party audits.
Details such as proper garbage containers,
hand washing facilities and required
decontamination supplies for your WPS
inspection and where you will locate them
can be taken care of now.
Another thing that needs to be done at
the beginning of each season is to calibrate
your sprayer. You want complete even
coverage from your spray rig. Be sure to
record when you calibrated as this is part of
the BMP checklist. Check out your
irrigation system and make any repairs that
may be needed. Some time spent now before
things get really hectic and before you need
the equipment will make it easier in the next
Several terrific meetings are coming
up- the 2007 Agritech, the Tomato Institute
and the 2007 Fl Ag Expo. All of these will
have informative talks and pesticide license
CEUs. Check the calendar of events and this
newsletter for more detailed information. All
of the meetings are a great way to improve
your knowledge and stay cool.

Stay safe in this heat,
,4&Acia W/hdden/
Hillsborough County Extension Service
813-744-5519, ext.134

(EPA... Continuedfrom page 1)
buffer zones will restrict where fumigant field
treatments and crop production, relative to
any occupied structure or human activity, can
legally occur. As a result, there is significant
grower concern that the practical uses of
chloropicrin (and other fumigants) as a pest
management tool will be effectively
eliminated because EPA has proposed the
implementation of large buffer zones, as much
as 4724 feet (0.9 miles), surrounding fumigant
treated fields if worse case scenario is
depicted. This newsletter article describes a
study we conducted to characterize acreage
and economic impacts from lost production
for implementing buffer zone restrictions of
100, 200, 300, 400, 500, 1000, 2000, and
4000 feet surrounding each Hillsborough
County Florida strawberry field. It has been
submitted to EPA for their consideration as
part of a more comprehensive information
package developed by FSGA and FFVA. A
similar study demonstrating significant
economic impact has also been developed by
Steven Gran and Dan Hardy of the
Hillsborough County Economic Development





75 "-

o10 200 o0 400 500 10 2000 40 000
Buffer Zone Distance (feet)

Fig. 1 Impact of new EPA proposed Buffer Zone re-
strictions on percentage Florida strawberry acreage
i ,.... i.. and net value of loss production (millions of
dollars) in Hillsborough Co., FL using adjusted tax
parcel centroid values for buffer zone distance.

The study we conducted and the
analyses reported herein used high resolution
aerial images and special ArcGIS mapping
(Continued on page 3)

August 2007

Berry/egetable Times

(Continued from page 2)
and buffer tool software to indicate that buffer zone requirements of 2000 feet or more will
virtually eliminate 100% of strawberry production in Hillsborough County, FL (Fig. 1). The
analysis indicates that implementation of any buffer zone requirement will have significant
economic impact. In general, and using adjusted centroid values, the results for imposing buffer
zones of 100, 200, 300, 400, 500, 1000, 2000, 4000 feet will cost Hillsborough County
strawberry growers approximately $16.0, $34.3, $56.1, $81.0, $105.0, $170.1, $213.0, and
$217.0 million dollars, respectively, by reducing available land by 7.4, 18.8, 25.8, 37.3, 48.4,
78.4, 98.1, and 100%, respectively. The impact of implementing increasing buffer zone
distances on the disappearance of farmable acreage is illustrated in
Fig. 2. It demonstrates that if acceptable regulatory changes in proposed buffer zone restrictions
do not occur, Florida strawberry growers will either have to move to new production sites in
which buffers are not at issue, or accept significant yield penalties following use of other, less
effective, pest and crop management tactics.
The sheer magnitude of these economic impacts will surely make use of soil fumigants
like chloropicrin, Kpam, or Vapam impractical for growing strawberry in Hillsborough County
because of the relative proximity of occupied structures to production fields. Clearly, the rapid
implementation of buffer zones could have disastrous economic consequences to the Florida
Strawberry industry. Concerned by the impacts, EPA officials directly involved with fumigant
reregistration were toured through the state in August by FFVA in hopes of demonstrating and
further educating EPA of the need and role of soil fumigants in Florida agriculture. In response
to these efforts, it is hoped that some reasonable compromise can be obtained and that the time
needed to develop new rate and emission reducing strategies will be factored into any EPA
decision and or timetable to broadly implement buffer zone requirements for Chloropicrin and
other essential fumigants.

August 2007

Berry/egetable Times

Strawberries in Egypt
Craig Chandler, Natalia Peres, and Jim Price

From January 8th through the 11th,
2007, we had the pleasure of visiting
strawberry farms in Egypt. Our host for this
trip was PICO Agricultural Company. PICO
has the master license for propagation of UF
strawberry cultivars in Egypt. PICO
employees over 1,000 people and grows
crops on 4,000 acres of irrigated land
between Cairo and Alexandria. PICO and
several other large Egyptian agricultural
companies produce fruits and vegetables
according to European Economic
Community quality standards, and focus on
supplying European markets, including the
UK, during the off season.

mulch. Harvest begins in mid November and
generally continues into March, although fruit
is exported to Europe only until about the end
of January. Starting in February, Morocco
and Spain are producing fruit, and it becomes
uneconomical to airship fruit from Egypt.
The main cultivars being used for
export are Tamar (an Israeli release), Sweet
Charlie, and Festival. Sweet Charlie
continues to be accepted by European buyers
because of the high quality pack PICO and
some of the other Egyptian growers are able
to provide them. Fruit is stem picked and
gently placed into shallow plastic containers,
the bottoms of which are often lined with a
piece of bubble wrap (Fig. 1).
Strawberries are planted at a higher
density in Egypt than in Florida. Three and
four-row beds are common there. This high
density is possible because production
basically takes place in a desert environment,
where low humidity and rainfall provide
unfavorable conditions for the development of
most diseases. Very low labor costs also
allow for the use of multi-row beds, which are
not as efficient and easy to harvest as the two-
row beds used in Florida.
It rarely, if ever, freezes in Egypt, but
in the winter air temperatures regularly drop
to the 30s and 40s (F) after sunset.
Therefore, to capture and retain heat in the
beds clear plastic sheeting is pulled over each

The Egyptian strawberry industry is
slightly smaller than the Florida industry.
Fruit production fields are located at low
elevations (a few hundred feet or less above
sea level) and at latitudes in line with the
panhandle of Florida. The cultural practices
used in Egypt are similar to those used in
Florida. Fresh transplants are planted on
raised beds covered with polyethylene

Fig. 2. Plastic ,i,.. ,,in used to reduce
heat loss in beds.

August 2007

Berry/Vegetable Times

Pig. 3. plastic 'i ,.,. l.l retains heat.

individual bed in the late afternoon (Figs. 2
and 3). This technology is known as low or
micro tunnels. High or macro tunnels (i.e.
tunnels that cover more than one bed) are also
used in Egypt, but are less common. The
ability to produce satisfactory yields of
strawberries in December and January, and
thus take advantage of lucrative European
markets, is dependent on the use of this
technology and early ripening cultivars such
as 'Sweet Charlie'.
As is generally the case in Florida, the
most serious pest and disease problems on
strawberries in Egypt are the two-spotted
spider mite and Botrytis fruit rot. Egyptian
growers also have problems with seed-eating

Nitrogen Fertilizer Sources: What
does the Future Hold for Florida
Tom Obreza and Cheryl Mackowiak
UF/IFAS Soil and Water Department

Florida growers are well aware that
nitrogen (N) is the single most important
nutrient applied as a fertilizer to assure
maximum yield and fruit quality. Most
growers are probably also aware of the

substantial N fertilizer price increases that
have recently occurred. Typical questions on
the minds of growers these days are: why has
this happened, will it continue, and will
economics force a change in the type of N
fertilizer we use?
It's all about natural gas. Ten years
ago, the United States was the world's largest
exporter of N fertilizer; now we are the largest
importer. More than half the N our farmers
now use comes from places like Trinidad,
Russia, and the Persian Gulf rather than the
Midwest or Southeastern USA. Why are we
importing so much? It all starts with
production of anhydrous ammonia (NH3),
from which almost all familiar solid N
fertilizers like ammonium nitrate are made.
Ammonia is produced by combining N from
the air with hydrogen at high temperature and
pressure. The hydrogen is derived from
natural gas, which accounts for around 80%
of the production cost. Natural gas prices have
been destabilized by increased competition
(electric power generation, home heating) in
the long term and the Gulf of Mexico
hurricanes in the short term. This situation has
put massive stress on the fertilizer industry.
Since natural gas is so much cheaper in other
parts of the world, ammonia producers in the
USA have not been able to compete, so many
of our domestic production facilities have shut
down or closed for good. For example, the
price of natural gas in the USA is around $10
per million Btu. Worldwide, the price is
around $2 in Trinidad, $0.80 in Russia, $0.70
in Venezuela, and $0.60 in the Middle East.
With recent record high prices for crude oil
and natural gas, it is predicted that we are not
likely to see lower N fertilizer prices anytime
soon. It does not take an economics scholar to
realize that, unless alternatives are found, our
future demand for N fertilizer will
increasingly be met by imports.
What kind of N is being imported?
Ammonia imports to the U.S. increased from
4.2 million tons in 2000 to about 7.6 million

August 2007

Berry/egetable Times

tons in 2003, but urea imports increased even
more. Although NH3 is still the form of N
preferred in this country, it must be stored
under pressure and is expensive to keep in
large quantities. Urea, on the other hand, is
relatively cheap to move and easy to store.
While NH3 is not going to disappear by any
means, urea is emerging as the N source
preferred by overseas shippers.
What effect will this have on N
fertilizer choices? The future of our
ammonium nitrate supply is in doubt for
several reasons. First, its storage is a security
issue due to its explosive nature. Second, it
cannot be shipped long distances because it
does not hold up well in high humidity.
Third, it is unclear as to how much imported
ammonia can be converted to ammonium
nitrate considering the degree to which
domestic production has been curtailed.
Growers used to applying ammonium nitrate
in their groves may find themselves in an
economic quandary in the near future.
Ammonium nitrate will not disappear, but
restricted availability may make the price of
alternative N sources much more attractive.
This possibility brings up the next question:
Do we need to manage these materials
Managing water-soluble N
fertilizers. The two major, non-specialty,
water-soluble N fertilizer alternatives to
ammonium nitrate are ammonium sulfate and
urea. While ammonium sulfate has been
commonly used to fertilize Florida citrus for
many years, urea applied as a solid material
has not. Let's briefly compare and contrast
these materials and ammonium nitrate with
respect to properties that affect how they
should be managed to fertilize citrus:
SAmmonium nitrate is easily blended into
complete fertilizers for routine
application to citrus as dry materials (for
example, a 15-5-15 material made by
combining ammonium nitrate,
concentrated superphosphate and muriate

of potash). Dry fertilizers containing this
N source cannot be stored for long
periods because of its tendency to "melt"
in high humidity. In addition, ammonium
nitrate is not compatible with urea in dry
blends because the combination turns to
liquid immediately. Loss of N by
ammonia volatilization following surface
application of ammonium nitrate is not
considered to be significant unless the
soil pH is above 7. This N source is
easily dissolved in water to make
solutions that are used for fertigation,
either alone or in combination with
soluble potassium (for example, an 8-0-8
true solution fertilizer).
* Ammonium sulfate is also easily blended
with other fertilizer materials, including
urea, to make complete dry fertilizers.
These blends are very stable and can be
stored for longer periods because they do
not melt in high humidity. Ammonium
sulfate does not dissolve as quickly as
ammonium nitrate or urea, so it is seldom
used to make N solutions. It has the
highest acidifying power of the N sources
considered here, so soil pH should be
monitored if ammonium sulfate is
routinely used and lime applied if
necessary to counteract low pH. It also
contains 24% sulfur, which is an
important plant nutrient. The cost of
ammonium sulfate is not affected by
natural gas prices nearly as much as
ammonium nitrate and urea are, because
this fertilizer is a by-product of industrial
steel-making and synthetic fiber
production. Currently, by-product
ammonium sulfate supplies 100% of its
demand as fertilizer in the U.S.
* Urea is more water-soluble than
ammonium nitrate, but it is not affected
by humidity to the same degree. After
application, it quickly converts to
ammonium carbonate in the soil. The key
hazard associated with the use of solid

August 2007

Berry/Vegetable Times

urea to fertilize is loss of N through
ammonia volatilization following surface
application. It is extremely important to
irrigate or soil-incorporate urea
immediately after a surface application.
Urea is commonly used to make fertilizer
solutions. If fertigated, volatilization
from urea would not occur, since
irrigation water would move it into the
Let's see all that in a nutshell.
Economics and fertilizer availability may
cause Florida growers to re-think the
selection and management of N materials.
Limited availability or high cost of
ammonium nitrate will likely stimulate
increased use of ammonium sulfate or urea.
Growers must be aware of the different
properties and behavior of these fertilizers,
and should be prepared to change some
management practices, if necessary, to
maintain high fertilization efficiency.

Prepare for Initial Insect and Mite
Management as Transplants Arrive
James F. Price and Curtis Nagle

Transplants will begin arriving soon
and characteristics of new strawberry fields
will be determined by the quality of those
transplants. As the transplants arrive,
growers have a chance to discover problems,
alter characteristics in their favor, and avoid
some serious pest problems on down the
Spider mites, aphids, and, more
rarely, cyclamen mites easily can accompany
transplants from nurseries and establish as
problems for the early season or much
longer. But early inspections and corrective
measures by growers can avoid unnecessary
As transplants arrive growers should

select one transplant from as many crates and
bundles as practical from each homogeneous
planting unit. A homogeneous planting unit is
composed of the transplants that most likely
share pest-related characteristics and normally
is the area planted during 1 week of
transplanting of one cultivar from one nursery
location. Both surfaces of fully expanded
leaves of each selected transplant should be
examined with a 5X hand lens for spider mites
and aphids and the still-folded leaves and the
surfaces of tissues within the crown should be
examined with a 14X hand lens for cyclamen
If insects or mites are found, then plans
should be developed to treat the plants early
with pesticides or to watch the pests especially
close for quick reaction once thresholds are
reached. Since at transplanting, little of the
plant mass is present that would be present at
time of release of any predatory mites and
since at transplanting, few beneficial are
established in the field and there are fewer
problems associated with applying pyrethroids
as well as other harsh pesticides at that time.
This opens opportunities for a wider array of
pesticides to "clean up" infested transplants
and get the season off to a good start.

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.

August 2007

Berry/Vegetable Times

T ) M A TO E S
IFAS Extension
Horticultural Sciences Department

Tomato Packinghouse Managers Work-
"Sanitation and Food Safety Updatefor the
Tomato BMP Program"
Tuesday, September 4, 2007 1:30 p.m. -
5:00 p.m.
Ritz-Carlton Hotel, Naples

REGISTRATION FORM-Please print clearly

Attendee Name:


Company Name:

Company Address:

2007 Tomato Institute Program
Wednesday, September 5, 2007
Ritz Carlton, Naples, FL

Moderator: Alicia Whidden, Hillsborough County
Extension Service, \. i/,. i,

9:00 am Welcome Joan Dusky, Associate Dean &
Professor, UF/IFAS Extension, Gainesville

9:10 am State of the Industry Reggie Brown,
Florida Tomato Committee, Maitland

9:20 am CUE and Fumigant Assessment Update -
Mike Aerts, FFVA, Maitland

9:40 am Critical Issues for the Tomato Industry:
Preventing a Rapid Postharvest Breakdown of Fruit
- Jerry Bartz, UF/IFAS Plant Pathology Department,

9:50 am Food Safety Update and TGAP Program -
Martha Roberts, UF/IFAS, Tallahassee

10:20 am Results of Latest BMP Trials Monica
Ozores-Hampton, UF/IFAS, SWFREC, Immokalee

10:50 am Recent Developments and Release Outlook
from the University of Florida Tomato Breeding
Program Jay Scott, UF/IFAS, GCREC, Balm

11:10 am Western Flower Thrips: on the Move? -
Joe Funderburk, UF/IFAS, NFREC, Quincy

11:30 am Lunch

Phone: FAX:

Preferred Method of Contact (check one):
o Phone o FAX o E-mail

Send completed registration form and payment of $50
(check or money order only payable to Florida To-
mato Exchange) to:

Florida Tomato Exchange
Attn: Tomato Packinghouse Managers
Workshop, 800 Trafalgar Court, Suite 300
Maitland, FL 32751

Deadline for advance ..' ,' ,,,. '1, is Friday, August 31,
2007.Registration is available on-site for $60 (check,
money order or exact cash only)
the day of the meeting. On-site registration begins at
1:00 p.m.

Moderator: Phyllis Gilreath, Manatee County
Extension Service, Palmetto

1:00 pm Got Gas? Keep it Under Wraps Jim
Gilreath, PhytoServices, Myakka City

1:20 pm Whitefly Resistance Update Dave
Schuster, UF/IFAS, GCREC, Balm

1:40 pm Small Viruses That Cause Big Problems in
Tomatoes Jane Polston, UF/IFAS, Plant Pathology
Department, Gainesville

2:00 pm Industry New Product Updates TBA

3:00 pm Adjourn

RUP and CCA CEUs have been approved in the following
categories: RUP: 4 total (4 Private, 3 Ag Row, 3 Demo/
Research, 0.5 Soil Fumigation) CCA: Morning session: 2.0
PM. Afternoon session: 1.0 CM, 0.5 PM,0.5 NM.

City, State, Zip:

August 2007

Berry/Vegetable Times


Suncoast BMP Implementation ... Jemy W. Hinton

The 1999 Florida Watershed Restoration Act (FWRA, s. 403067 F.S&) mandates
that Total Maxnium Daily Loadings (TD)Ls) be developed for all pollution

>The FWRAdecs FDACS to Develop BPs to address agricultural nonpoint

>2005 Legislature: In basins where TIDLs have been established, ag
landowners must either:
-conductthe water quality monitoring necessaryto prove that
dischargesfmom their lands do not exceed specified
the landowner's cost....OR
*enroll in recognized BP programs

VoluntarvAn BIP Dknonlementation Proram

-To enroll in the program, growers perform an environmental assessment of
their operations to identify BPsthat should achieve the greatest economic and
environmental benefit.

-Growersthen submit a Notice of Intentt i implement BIPs to FDACS.

Growers maintain records and provide documentation regarding the
implemenration of BIPa

-FWRAgrants Presumpqlon of Compance with state water quality standardsto
landowners enrolled in voluntary DBM programs that have been verified by
FDEPto be effective.

Growers enrolled in the BIP program become eligible for cost-sharing funds to
knplement specific BP practices

-in a short two yeas, the 19I9 FWRA will be revisited by the legislature At that
tne, the legislature will look atthe progress ofthe voluntary BMP programs
throughouthe state and make a decision on the decton of the program forth
-The bestmessage agricultural producers can send to the legislature is thatthey
wholeheartedly supportthe existing voluntary BiP method of addressing TMDL
and water quality issues as afforded by the 199 FWRA. This means enrolling
youracreage in available BP programs and doing your best to minniize
adverse impacts of your agricultural operation.

August 2007

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