Mary Lamberts and Jane Polston
Florida tomato growers have been managing tomato mottle mosaic virus (TMoV), vectored by the silverleaf whitefly (Bemesia argentifolia) since 1990. Bean growers in the Dade and Palm Beach County area have tried to control bean golden mosaic virus (BGMV) since it entered the area with Hurricane Andrew in 1992. During Summer 1997, tomato yellow leaf curl virus (TYLCV) was found in summer-grown tomatoes in Dade County. In Fall 1997, tomato growers were notified of the new problem and attended a workshop discussing the rigorous control that would be needed to minimize its effects. They instituted scouting and roguing programs in conjunction with appropriate pest management procedures. Dade bean growers worked with the Florida Fruit & Vegetable Assn. to obtain a Section 18 for imidacloprid. Bean and tomato growers learned about gemini viruses affecting both crops and the distribution of these viruses in the Americas in the fall of 1998. Bean growers have also learned how to use imidacloprid in late 1998/early 1999. Extension methods used and their success will also be discussed.
Mary Lamberts and Adrian Hunsberger
When Master Gardeners first begin a training class, their preconceived notions about concepts such as IPM, pests and pest management are usually very similar to those of the general gardening public. Master Gardeners interact extensively with home owners and are often either the first or the only person from an Extension office with whom an individual speaks. We designated part of their initial training to a module aimed at getting them to understand basic concepts about IPM, pests and pest management. Slides were used to review the different types of pests/pesticides and Integrated Pest Management (IPM) principles that apply to a) insects and related organisms, b) diseases and c) weeds. These were accompanied by very simple guidelines for each pest group, stressing that pesticides should not automatically be the home owner's first choice. The pesticide label reading portion of this module started with basic information about pesticide labels themselves. From there, Master Gardener trainees were led through an exercise where they had to find specific information on various labels: Sevin, RoundUp, Daconil 2787, Brush-B-Gon, Phyton 27, Dipel, and Amdro. For fruit and vegetable use, they had to find preharvest intervals and any restrictions on planting. For all products, they looked for rates, timing, Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)—if listed, and noted label variations. Pre-training scores averaged 60% while post-training scores were 90% or higher.
Mary Lamberts and Adrian Hunsberger
Many people, including growers and gardeners, fail to carefully read pesticide labels before each use because they assume they know what the label contains. The UF Miami-Dade County Extension pesticide trainer developed several hands-on exercises where participants had to find information on labels chosen for specific features. The first group was people taking the Core/General Standards training. Five pesticide labels were used. Participants were asked to find information from three different categories: 1) basic information used for record keeping and about the product;2) Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and Precautionary Statements; and 3) additional product information such as irrigation and tank mix warnings. A second group, Private Applicators (growers and their employees), studied 6 labels (1 overlap with Core training). They were asked information that focused on Worker Protection Standard issues, resistance management, limits on number total amount applied, and pre-harvest intervals. For both types of licensed applicator training, participants were divided into groups of 5 to 6. On several occasions, growers and other licensed applicators said they thought labels should have greater uniformity regarding location of key information. Master Gardeners (MGs), the third group, were first given three general publications on labels and 1 on protecting the applicator. They then received labels of four homeowner products and were guided through finding information such as: labeled crops/sites, pests controlled, signal words, mixing instructions, preharvest intervals and replant information. MG knowledge was evaluated with a five-question quiz. All participants commented that they learned a lot about reading labels.
Mary Lamberts and Judy Nothdurft
Southeastern Florida is underlain by the Biscayne Aquifer, an officially designated “drinking water quality aquifer.” This is the sole source of water for the more than 3.5 million residents of metropolitan Miami-Fort Lauderdale. Due to the unique nature of the soils in southern Dade County, Fla., most agricultural wells for both irrigation and mix-load activities have been exempt from casing and capping requirements. Wells associated with U-Pic stands need to be capped if children are allowed in fields. The county's Dept. of Environmental Resources Management (DERM) began a study of mix-load wells in the late 1980s. They concluded that surface materials, including agrichemicals, could drain directly into the aquifer. This was particularly true in vegetable fields because most are on leased land. In the mid 1990s, a program to develop voluntary guidelines to retrofit these mix-load wells was begun. Several growers met with DERM, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection and Extension, to finalize three basic designs. Extension hosted meetings and reviewed the brochure describing the retrofit program. In 1996, one area came under close scrutiny by the U.S. EPA for potential point-source pollution. These growers were made aware of the program and have retrofitted at least 95% of the wells in the most environmentally sensitive area.
Steve Ritter and Mary Lamberts
In January of 1990, 72 axillary bud were labeled on each of 6 carambola (Averrhoa carambola L.) trees. Six (6) buds per tree were harvested on a monthly basis and examined to determine their developmental state, which was classified as: reproductive, vegetative or undifferentiated. The number of reproductive buds peaked in July, October and November. The percentages of buds being reproductive during these 3 months ranged from 86% for October to 94% for November, with July intermediate at 91%. Vegetative bud production peaked during the period from February through June with 45% of buds vegetative, and again in August with 33% vegetative and December with 39% vegetative. More than 50% of buds examined were undifferentiated during the period from December through April and again in September. Periods with high percentages of undifferentiated buds preceded times with high percentages of either reproductive or vegetative buds. When a high percentage of buds were reproductive, the percentage of both vegetative and undifferentiated bud was low.
Mary Lamberts and O. Norman Nesheim
Ten percent (10%) of all restricted use pesticide (RUP) applicators certified by the Fla. Dept. of Agric. & Consumer Serv. (FDACS) reside in Dade County, Florida. Through a joint agreement, the Fla. Cooperative Extension Service (FCES) provides training and testing and FDACS issues private, public and commercial RUP licenses. In 1991, the Dade County Pesticide Trainer analyzed licensing patterns for Dade County's 1454 applicators to determine training needs. She developed a Pesticide Advisory Committee which prioritized 3 of the 14 categories of licenses--Aquatics (weed control), Ornamental & Turf (O&T), and Right-of-Way--for initial certification and recertification classes. It also coordinates programs to reduce duplicated efforts. During 1991, training for initial certification was offered once for Aquatics and twice for O&T. Classes for 1992 have been expanded, placing emphasis on recertification as well. Programs for recertification credits are an ideal way for the extension service to promote sound horticultural management practices which may be new to many commercial and public applicators since they are not part of traditional extension clientele groups.
Mary Lamberts, Slyvia Gordon, and George Fitzpatrick
Production budgets for both field grown vegetables and ornamental crops, field and container grown, are fairly common. Container grown vegetables, other than transplants, are much less common and do not have specific budgets which would allow growers to set realistic prices for individual plants. A specialized budget was adapted from one developed for container nurseries. Specific production costs were taken from a budget for field grown vegetables. This process could be adapted for use with other specialty crops. It could be used for county or state fairs and other situations where individual vegetable plants need to be raised in containers.
Mary Lamberts, Carlos Balerdi, and Karen Eskelin
Producers of perishable commodities periodically experience natural disasters. Growers in Dade County, Fla., have suffered losses from hurricanes, freezes, and floods. Public agencies and grower groups are often asked to provide immediate estimates of loss to both official sources and the news media. Following the Jan. 1997 freeze, a method was developed to provide this information within 1 day of the disaster. This has also been used to estimate job losses for agricultural workers.
Mary Lamberts, Sylvia Gordon, and George Fitzpatrick
Growers producing new crops often do not understand how to price individual items. The prices of common container nursery stock items may be listed in monthly trade publications. Prices for fruits and vegetables fluctuate on a daily basis. A production budget for containerized specialty vegetables was adapted from one developed for ornamental nurseries, using some specific costs for field-grown vegetables. This gave a realistic way to calculate prices for individual products. Once the crops had been sold, the authors were able to validate the model by comparing actual costs with projected costs.