COOPERATIVE EXTENSION WORK IN AGRICULTURE AND HOME ECONOMICS
STATE OF FLORIDA
COLLEGE OF AGRICULTURE. AGRICULTURAL EXTENSION SERVICE
UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA. AND V e CS COUNTY AGENT AND
UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT Vegetable Crop Spedctfts HOME DEMONSTRATION WORK
OF AGRICULTURE, COOPERATING GAINESVILLE, FLORIDA
/o .E March 16, 1955
MR. COUNTY AGENT:
THIS IS FOR THE BIRDS....feathered species, that is.
Been wondering about those reports on playing an amplified recording of the
alarm cry of the species to frighten birds? Seems some of the strawberry growers
would seize on anything of promise to protect berries from robins about now.
CITY VS. COUNTRY BIRDS
R. T. Mitchell, U. S. Wildlife Research Biologist, working cooperatively with
our Everglades Station, offers some good comments. Concerning the recordings he
writes an inquirer that they have proven more effective against birds roosting in
urban areas than those feeding on crops in the field.
Bird banders who have held robins in their hands know that the cry emitted by
both adults and young, especially the young, often attracts numbers of excited
robins and birds of other species to the immediate vicinity....like humans congre-
gate at the scene of a fire or accident. Therefore, Mr. Mitchell says, it's un-
likely that this frightening method is applicable to robins.
The rope-firecracker technique, described in Everglades Station I4imeo Report
54-2, may be useful in protecting sweet corn from blackbirds, but it is much less
effective against robins and other species such as mockingbirds and catbirds that
attack small fruit. Robins are inclined to react individually rather than as a
flock even when large numbers are feeding together, and they are not as wary of man
and his contraptions.
Guess we're still stuck with contraptions....scarecrows, celluloid windmills,
spirolene twirlers, strings, wires, netting, firecrackers, shotguns, apd what have
you....none of them consistently effective in large plantings....until something
better comes along.
So....if someone is all fired up over these "scare" recordings for robins, you
may want to suggest he do a little whistling off-key....same results, and cheaper.
T M A T O F I E L D D A Y Homestead, Sub-Tropical Statibn, Highlands Farm
9:30-11:30 AM Thursday, March 2l, 1955
DOES SOIL FERTILITY INFLUENCE NEMATODE POPULATIONS?
Read a reliable account the other day saying it's likely all crop plants can
be attacked by some parasitic nematodes....probably most weeds and wild plants, too.
Why not?....several thousands of species of nematodes are known.
So, we think you'll appreciate being reminded that there is interest here in
Florida in such an everyday question as that above, in addition to many others of
a basic and practical nature among other Station and USDA researchers.
This particular reminder is a cooperative study between the Central Florida
and Main stations, and follows interest in preliminary reports from elsewhere that
as potassium increased in plant tissue, so increased the root knot population.
Dr. Phil Westgate and Joe Good are leaving off fumigants and checking the popula-
tion of the awl and stubby root nematodes in the rooting zone for any influences
from low through high rates of fertilizers. To date they've checked a spring crop
of sweet corn and a winter crop of celery; the plots currently will go into a
spring, crop of sweet corn. Wisely, conclusions are not in order so far; they'll
be sound contributions if and when offered.
IN PRINT ELSEWHERE....time to read lately?
GEORGIA: Speaking of keeping your eyes peeled we note a bulletin (285) dis-
cusses watermelon rinds in food products. Remember how the inquiries on new crop
uses begin to come in when the price gets low? You might want to get one for ad-
vance reference. Among about everything related, it shows how mechanical means
were adapted for peeling and shaping 40 to 50 melons per hour, with slightly more
than half the man-hours of labor usually taken.
USDA AGRICULTURAL RESEARCH: Want to keep your growers posted on the
improved dehydrated potato process recently announced....along with potato-chip
bars, puffs, and flakes. Contrary to what ex-GI's might think, that taste was due
to ruptured starch cells....or so say the researchers. Did you know it was esti-
mated over half the Hastings potatoes went to chips last year?
SOUTHERN COOPERATIVE SERIES: We're all for reference bulletins pulling to-
gether a lot of data in one place....think many of you would be interested in a
new bulletin (36) covering among other topics influence of environment on nutri-
tive value of plants. It's detailed, but think you'd have some use for it right
next to your information on composition of Florida grown vegetables.
MAINE: Liked the thought conveyed in a bulletin (533) titled "Fewer Appli-
cations of DDT with Proper Timing Produce Equal Yields of Potatoes at Less Cost."
If they can back it up, we'd say that one's tied up in a neat package for an
Extension approach to their growers.
AHOTHER STATE: Ever been concerned that customary handling and cooling
methods-rdeveloped for wooden containers--might be unsatisfactory when applied to
different type containers? This can be an item as new packages are introduced,
among lots of other important considerations. Glad to see a release from cali-
fornia (no big letters, please) showing they're studying this....great strides are
being taken in the container industry.
MISSISSIPPI: Let's get back to the Southl We hear of some forward steps
over there in a program for blackrot resistance in cabbage. They say despite recom-
mended control measures a high degree of resistance would be desirable. Ditto for
us. It claimed resistance has been bred into some of their commercial cabbages
but selecting for desirable, resistant types remains to be accomplished.
POTATO LABORATORY FIELD DAY....some preliminary notes from Hastings, March 15th.
Possibilities of Resistance to Corky Ringspot? Several selections and vari-
eties were not affected with the disorder in previous tests- may be immune or may
have just missed getting it. Merrimack and Plymouth (73-10) are among those which
have produced good yields and, if immune, may prove suitable for commercial pro-
duction. Checking other approaches to problem: effect of foliar sprays of B, Ca,
Cu, Fe, Mn, Mo and nitrate-N in area affected last year; vermiculite underneath
seed piece; comparing tubers produced from healthy and corky ringspot affected
Chlorine and Specific Gravity: Reported elsewhere that hig specific gravity
is associated with high yield of chips; however, several factors may influence
specific gravity. Tests are being repeated to follow up on results showing in-
creasing chlorine percentage in fertilizer from 1.5 to 8.0 resulted in a consistent
reduction in specific gravity but had no consistent effect on yields. Side-
dressing with 10-0-10 mixture carrying potash derived from muriate produced no
additional effect on either yield or specific gravity. Tentative recommendations
were that not more than one-half the potash be derived from muriate of potash.
Size and Spacing Whole and Cut Seed: In earlier tests highest returns were
obtained from planting 2 ounce seed 3 inches apart in the row....2 ,60 pounds of
seed per acre. Same results with whole and cut seed when both were of equal size
and planted at same spacing. New study initiated to determine if higher percent-
age of US 1B potatoes can be grown into US 1A by applying more fertilizer and
properly irrigating and draining the field in wet or dry weather.
Wireworm Control: Aldrin and heptachlor at 2 lbs. actual per acre controlled
equally well in 195 tests. One application of aldrin or heptachlor at 3 lbs.
actual per acre controlled for two successive seasons.
Other Research Included: Checking effects of 2,4-D spray on set and color of
skin; following several rates of dolomite, pH at various soil depths being deter-
mined to follow reaction changes in root zone due to rainfall and crop growth;
plots at different soil moisture levels divided to include several times of
fertilizer and side-dressing applications and two seeding rates; soil moisture,
drainage, soluble and insoluble fertilizers, and yields being compared in flat
and crowned beds; yields, percentage scabbed tubers and soil pH in non-limed and
limed plots compared; freshly cut seed pieces treated with captain dusts and un-
treated seed being compared for stands and yields; named varieties and USDA
selections in yield tests; residue studies with demeton; mechanical harvesting and
importance of good handling. (See Mo below.)
CABBAGE AND CAULIFLOWER
Varieties: Badger Market cabbage, yellows resistant early type, on recom-
mended list for trial plantings. Fertilizers: attempting to determine if appli-
cation should be before or after transplanting cauliflower. Insecticides: cabbage
seedlings indicate retarding of growth by some insecticides, and by some additives
in formulations; comparing several conventional-type and systemics for aphid
control; residue studies with diazinon and DDT.
Response to spraying molybdenum and effect on plant tissue nitrate-N levels
in limed and non-limed plots being checked on potatoes, cauliflower, beets, mus-
tard, peas, rutabagas, spinach, turnip, beans, peppers, squash and tomatoes.
F. S" Jamison
Vegetable Crop Specialist