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  • Author or Editor: Robert C. Bullock x
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The trunk diameter of ‘Valencia’ sweet orange trees tested with seven insect control strategies was measured annually for the first 5 years after planting. Yield data (marketable fruit per tree) were collected after the fourth and fifth years. The insect control treatments were Admire (imidacloprid) applied at 12, 6, 3, or 2-month intervals; Temik (aldicarb) applied annually; Meta-Systox-R (oxydemeton-methyl) applied annually; or no insect control. Trunk diameter was significantly increased by Temik treatment at 1 and 2 years after planting. Six annual applications of Admire (at 2-month intervals) significantly increased trunk diameter 2 years after planting. None of the other treatments affected trunk diameters compared with the control. There were no trunk diameter differences among treatments at 3, 4, or 5 years after planting. Both Temik applied annually and Admire applied every other month or every 3 months significantly increased yield.

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Population density of citrus leafminer, Phyllocnistis citrella Stainton (Lepidoptera: Gracillariidae), was monitored in a Florida citrus grove for 5 years by scouting weekly for larval-induced mines (leafminer-created tunnels in the leaves) in a replicated citrus plot treated with seven insect control regimes: Admire (imidacloprid) applied at 12, 6, 3, or 2-month intervals; Temik (aldicarb) applied annually; Metasystox-R (oxydemeton-methyl) applied annually; or no insect control. Leafminer populations were highest during the warmer months (April to September) and lowest during the cooler months (November to March). Populations peaked during June in all 5 years monitored. Trees treated with Temik or Metasystox-R had the same number of mines as the untreated controls. A biannual treatment with Admire reduced leafminer damage (number of mines) all 5 years compared with the controls. Additional Admire applications further reduced damage during some, but not all, years. A single application of Admire significantly reduced mines in 3 of the 5 years.

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The population densities of the brown citrus aphid (BrCA) (Toxoptera citricidus Kirkaldy) and the spirea aphid (SA) Aphis spiraecola Patch were monitored by scouting weekly for 6 years in a replicated citrus plot treated with 7 insect control regimes: Admire (imidacloprid) applied at 12, 6, 3, or 2 month intervals; Temik applied annually; Meta-Systox-R applied annually; or no insect control. The numbers of both aphid species varied greatly from month to month and year to year. The brown citrus aphid was normally only detected in the fall (August through December) with populations peaking in September, October, or December depending on the year. The spirea aphid could be detected throughout the year during years when overall populations were high. Spirea aphid populations often peaked both in the spring and fall. Annual applications of Temik or Metasystox were ineffective in reducing aphid populations. Generally, all four Admire treatment regimes controlled aphids, although at least 2 annual Admire treatments per year were required to control the spirea aphid during some years.

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Silverleaf whitefly (SLW) (Bemisia argentifolii Bellows and Perring) feeding was associated with development of tomato irregular ripening (TIR) symptoms. `Micro-Tom', `Florida Basket', `Florida Lanai', and `Florida Petite' dwarf cherry tomatoes (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill.) were infested with adult SLW to observe oviposition preference, plant tolerance, and TIR symptom development in two experiments. There was no oviposition preference among the cultivars in either of the trials. TIR fruit symptoms were expressed as longitudinal red streaks with yellow, green, pink, or red blotches externally and white tissue internally. External TIR symptoms at the pink stage of ripening ranged from 32% (`Micro-Tom') to 82% (`Florida Basket') in Expt. 1 and 44% (`Micro-Tom') to 93% (`Florida Petite') in Expt. 2. In Expt. 1, external TIR symptoms disappeared from 18% (`Florida Lanai') to 37% (`Micro-Tom') and, in Expt. 2, 16% (`Micro-Tom') to 39% (`Florida Basket') of the fruit during ripening. SLW-infested plants exhibited 82% (`Florida Lanai') to 99% (`Florida Basket') and 76% (`Micro-Tom') to 90% (`Florida Petite') of fruit with internal white tissue regardless of external symptoms in Expts. 1 and 2, respectively. Tomatoes with severe TIR symptoms rarely ripened to full red. Postharvest characteristics of ripening SLW-infested and control fruit were evaluated (Expts. 3 and 4). Generally, the SLW-infested fruit were lighter in color than the control fruit. The control fruit developed normal red color while the SLW-infested fruit developed a blotchy, streaky color that was overall more of an orange-red. SLW-infested fruit were firmer than the control fruit in both experiments. Ethylene production was higher in SLW-infested fruit. While the total soluble solids contents were not significantly different between the treatments, the SLW-infested fruit were more acidic than the control fruit. Each cultivar was susceptible to oviposition by SLW and induction of TIR symptoms. However, TIR symptom expression differed among the cultivars. Despite higher ethylene levels, the ripening process in the SLW-infested fruit appeared slower or may have been inhibited by factors induced by the SLW compared with the control fruit, which ripened normally.

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