2001 Florida Postharvest Horticulture Institute at FACTS
"Sanitation and Food Safety: Protecting Produce and People"
The 11th annual Florida Postharvest Horticulture Institute will be held at FACTS 2001 (Florida Agriculture Conference & Trade Show) on October 2 and 3 at The Lakeland Center in Lakeland, Florida. The program will feature Dr. Jim Gorny, Technical Director for the International Fresh-Cut Produce Association, as well as other leading experts who will present the latest practical information for minimizing the risk of microbial contamination of fresh fruits and vegetables during harvesting, packing and shipping operations.
The Postharvest Institute is designed for produce industry professionals, educators, researchers and students involved in such diverse areas as field and packinghouse management, wholesale and retail sales and import/export. The $40.00 registration fee covers admission to the Institute, lunch on Tuesday, a reference notebook and entrance to the FACTS exhibit areas. A discounted registration fee is available for county faculty who wish to participate.
For more information, contact Ms. Abbie Fox, Institute Facilitator at 352-392-1928, ext. 235 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Periodic updated information is available on the homepage of the Horticultural Sciences Department, University of Florida at: www.hos.ufl.edu.
This program is co-sponsored by the Horticultural Sciences Department and the Cooperative Extension Service, University of Florida; the Florida Fruit and Vegetable Association, Orlando; and FACTS 2001.
(Sargent, Vegetarian 01-08)
Flooding is the major risk to fresh vegetable production in south Florida especially south Dade area. Although most soils are normally well drained, low lying areas are often prone to flooding during periods of high rainfall. In Miami-Dade County, agriculture loss estimates from flooding as a result of rainfall (13.9") in December 2000 was 13 million dollars. In October 1999, vegetable crop losses due to hurricane Irene were estimated to be about 77 million dollars with nearly 19,000 acres damaged by floods. We are currently conducting a project to develop effective management techniques to prevent or reduce flooding damage to vegetable crops. We would like to present some information from our literature review and hope you will find it somewhat useful.
The effects of flooding have often been partially or entirely counteracted by addition of nitrogen (N) fertilizer to overcome N deficiency (Hodgson and MacLeod, 1988; Haq and Mallarino, 2000) natural or synthetic hormones to correct hormone imbalances (Drew et al, 1979), and of fungicides to control soil-borne pathogens (Mason et al., 1987).Fungicides
Flooding increases the severity of diseases (Wilcox and Mircetich, 1985; de Siva et al., 1999; Faloon et al, 2001). The susceptibility of flooded plants to disease, and particularly root rotting fungi, will depend on the relative abilities of the microorganisms and plants to grow in anaerobic conditions. Some fungi depend on high soil moisture to complete many stages of their life cycle, to release zoospores, and to ensure their mobility (Duniway, 1979; Schaffer et al., 1992). The abiotic environment influences the three-way interaction involving the pathogens, microbial competitors of the pathogen on or within the roots, and the roots (Baker and Cook, 1974). The symptoms of diseased roots are discoloration, rotting of the root, and the premature death of the plant. The damage reduces the ability of the root systems to obtain mineral nutrients or perform other functions essential to the shoot (Cook, 1984). Phytophthora and Pythium cause greatest damage to roots in poorly drained soil (Stolzy et al., 1965).
Application of fungicides may reduce the incidence of disease in flooded plants and increases plant tolerance to flooding. Bean was less affected by low oxygen levels when soil pathogens were controlled (Miller and Burke, 1975). However, application of fungicide (Benlate and Ridomil for control of Pithium and Fusarium) on corn did not relieve flooding effects (Mason et al., 1987). Lack of literature in relation to recovery of flood stressed plants from disease by fungicide application mandates the need for our study.
Flooding causes a significant decrease in N content and rate of N accumulation in plants due to reduced root activity. Yellowing of leaves due to loss of chlorophyll from leaves within two to three days of flooding is attributed to N deficiency. Thus, a strategic use of N fertilizer prior to flooding may alleviate N deficiency.
Foliar and soil application of N as an ameliorant has been reported in cotton, corn, barley and soybean (Drew et al., 1979; Hodgson and MacLeod, 1987; Haq and Mallarino, 2000). Application of calcium nitrate daily on submerged barley plants resulted in no flooding damage (Drew et al., 1979). Additions of nitrate to the soil surface allowed superficial roots to continue to absorb nitrate, as well as other nutrients. Nitrate provides a substrate for the N metabolism of growing shoot tissues, is necessary in roots for the synthesis of cytokinins and their transport to shoots and the delay of premature leaf senescence (Yoshida and Oritani, 1974). Foliar application of 3-8-15 at a rate of 28 liter/ha was successful in increasing soybean yields without causing any leaf injury (Haq and Mallarino, 2000). Foliar application of potassium nitrate and urea caused net accumulation of N and shoot concentrations of N and fewer declines in chlorophyll, thereby alleviating leaf chlorosis (Trought and Drew, 1981).
Various plant growth regulators have also been associated with alleviation of flooding damages, but there is a void in the information available on their effects on flooded vegetable crops. Spraying shoots with a synthetic cytokinin (6-benzylaminopurine [BAP]) reduced injury to shoots of dicotelydons in flooded soil by improvements in leaf extension and retarded premature loss of chlorophyll in older leaves (Drew et al., 1979). This was related to application of BAP compensating for the restricted transport of natural cytokinin from the root system (Even-Chen and Itai, 1975), affecting metabolism of gibberellins (Reid and Railton, 1974), and antagonizing the inhibitory action of abscisic acid on growth (Milborrow, 1974). Foliar application of BAP together with gibberellic acid can be effective in partially offsetting the inhibitory influence of poor aeration in roots on stem elongation, transpiration, and the increase of fresh and dry weight in leaves and stem (Selman and Sandanam, 1972; Jackson and Campbell, 1979). Soaking soybean seeds in kinetin solution alleviated the flooding damage by overcoming deficiency of natural cytokinin (Vorobeikov and Anikina, 1977). Pretreating of corn seedlings with abscisic acid (ABA) improved the flooding survival of plants 10 fold (VanToai, 1993). Seedling treatments with synthetic cytokinin like Uniconazole have also helped to delay the chlorosis and senescence induced by flooding (Leul and Zhou, 1998). Foliar sprays of urea and Mixtalol at flowering stage in winter rape and rice alleviated plant damage by flooding by retarding chlorophyll and nitrogen degradation, increasing superoxide dismutase and catalase activities and root oxidizability, and improving yield components and seed yield (Ni et al., 1995; Zhou et al., 1997).
A of quantitative information on growth responses of various vegetable crops to flooding and the impact of fertilizers, fungicides, and growth promoters on alleviating flooding damage, emphasizes the need for research in this area. Research in these areas could provide better insight on how to manage these flooded vegetable crops and maximize their production.
(Renuka Rao and Li, - Vegetarian 01-08)
Gowan has registered Sandea for use in cucumbers as a 24(c) state label. Sandea (halosulfuron) is a sulfonylurea herbicide that will control nutsedges postemergence and a number of broadleaf weeds both preemergence and postemergence. Sandea may be applied both preemergence and postemergence to cucumbers. It may also be applied to row middles. The label application rates are for ½ oz. to 1 oz. of product per acre (0.024-0.047 lb a.i.). We recommend the ½ oz. product rate for use. Although, postemergence control of nutsedge is slightly slower with the ½ oz. rate, 100% control is still obtained. Also at this rate, there is greater safety for the cucumbers and a shorter period for plant back of nonregistered crops. For postemergence applications, a nonionic surfactant is required in the spray mix.
Many cool season crops such as mustard, collard, red beets etc. are very sensitive to the herbicide. Crops such as watermelon, muskmelon, squash, tomato pepper, beans etc. are fairly tolerant for plant back. Residue studies for most of these crops are at EPA for potential future labeling.
I have been informed that Sandea is being shipped into the state and should be available shortly.
(Stall - Vegetarian 01-08)
The following are my views after a one day visit to three organic farms in California. First, some background information: there are about 1,500 organic farms in California. Each year about 285 new organic farms are established and certified, but about the same number go out of business. There has been little to no net change in the number of organic farms in the past few years. Thirty of the 1,500 farms account for 50% of the cash sales. California Certified Organic Farms is the largest organization to certify organic farms in California. It serves mostly small growers. The organic industry, as measured by sales, has been growing at 20-25% per year for the last five years, but still only accounts for 1-2% of the produce industry.
The University of California at Davis has no single coordinated effort to meet the research and teaching needs of the organic industry. They do have a student farms and offer one spring and one fall class on organic growing. The student farm is a 4-acre market garden where the students learn by hands-on experience with organic growing. College students are involved in planning, planting, control measures, and all aspects of growing and harvesting as part of their learning experience. Students lead tours of the garden and teachers are trained to set up gardens in public schools. All Davis public schools have gardens to teach the children concepts of cover crops, bio-control, and environmental issues.
There is a number of faculty doing organic research in their own area, but this work needs coordination to develop a system to evaluate practices such as conventional vs. organic, crop rotation vs. no rotation, or chemical fertilizer vs. organic fertilizer plus compost. Without a systems approach, these types of studies may not give true results that can be used with confidence. There is a rumor that the Deans Office (California) will come up with a new organized initiative within six months.
The commercial production of organic grown crops has progressed from the small grower who has several vegetable, flower, and fruit crops to large growers who specialize in a few crops to just one crop. An example of a small grower is one who has cherry tomato, broccoli, cabbage, onion, dried fruit, lavender, and several other crops. He would use 6-8 tons per acre of compost between each crop. Weeds would be his major pest even after using the stale bed technique, cultivation and the hoe. He would sell by contract with individuals for a 50 week supply of his produce. Excess would be sold at the local Farmers Market. The farm size may be from 5-30 acres. Drip irrigation is common. Remember, water is a production cost in California.
The next progression is a much larger farm, around 300-500 acres. Rotation and cover crops replace most of the compost requirements for crop nutrition. Irrigation is usually by furrow rather than drip. Major crops are tomato (fresh and processed), asparagus, alfalfa, bean (black and garbanzo), winter squash, sweet corn, eggplant, cowpea, and melon for seed. Weeds are the main pest. Rotation, cultivation, and the hoe are used. Marketing is done through contracts with processors and through developed relationships with brokers and distributors. Several growers may market their products together to be able to supply a variety of items and have a large supply available. Most products command a 20% price incentive over the conventionally grown ones.
Some organic growers have found success by growing just one crop on a large farm (150 acres or more). Walnuts is an example. Legume cover crops, poultry compost at 1-2 tons per acre, chipped tree trimmings, and returning the nut husk back to the orchard has been successful in supplying the needed nutrients. Night crawlers have been introduced to improve the soil. Irrigation by sprinklers have been found to be most efficient. The codling moth is the major pest. At harvest, the nuts are shelled and stored at 34-29°F to eliminate worm damage after harvest and preserve quality.
Each grower has had to learn which system works best for the crop or crops they grow and how to market his crops. Providing a high quality product at a reasonable price leads to success.
(White - Vegetarian 01-08)
Today the Master Gardener program is the backbone of the Florida Cooperative Extension Services educational outreach to the gardening public. It is active in over fifty Florida counties, including all of the populous areas of the state.
It is hard to imagine a time when Extension did business without the help of these dedicated volunteers. But prior to 1979, county agents statewide had to deal alone with a burgeoning populations insatiable appetite for information on growing all sorts of plants around their newly acquired home-sites. The Master Gardener program came to the rescue here in Florida as it did elsewhere across the nation. Heres how it started and became part of todays everyday Extension scene.
In October, 1975, I escorted the Florida delegation of 4-H and FFA state winners in Horticulture to Biloxi, Miss for the National Junior Horticultural Associations convention. While there on a boat tour to Kings Island, Dr Robert Wearne, Federal Cooperative Extension Service horticultural programs leader, told me about Washington States Master Gardener program.
Upon my return to Gainesville, I wrote a letter (dated Nov. 19, 1975), to Dr. Wearne asking for more information about the Master Gardener program. We were holding a county agents training session (scheduled for Jan 21-22, 1976 in Tallahassee), and I wanted to share the idea with the county faculty.
January 21-22, 1976. At our vegetable crops two-day training session held in Tallahassee, I used the materials received from Wearne to introduce the Master Gardener concept to our county agents.
July, 1977, I went with Bob Black and Julian Sauls to Washington State and Oregon to review the Master Gardener program at its spring-head.
1979- Florida began program with Susan Gray, Vegetable Crops Department, State Coordinator. Manatee, Brevard and Dade were first counties to train. Sept. 18, 1979: during third week of 8-week training, I gave vegetable gardening training to 21Manatee County MG volunteers in Palmetto, traveling alone. Sep 19, 1979, trained 22 MG in Cocoa (Brevard). Sep 20, 1979, trained 15 MG in Miami (8:30- 4:30).
Brief Summary of State Coordinators
1. Susan Gray: On Sept. 16,1974, Susan was hired (OPS) by the Vegetable Crops Department to assist Jim Stephens in 4-H and gardening programs, while attending graduate school. Susan was formerly an outstanding 4-H member from Marion County, with a degree in Ornamental Horticulture. When the Master Gardener program began in 1979, Susan became its first statewide coordinator. Upon completion of a Masters Degree program in June,1981, Susan was replaced by Ann McDonald.
2. Ann McDonald: In July, 1981, Ann began a Masters degree program in Vegetable Crops and became the second state Master Gardener coordinator. Ann was formerly an outstanding 4-H member from St. Johns County, with a degree in Ornamental Horticulture, from UF.
3. Jim Stephens: In the fall of 1983, Ann departed the University of Florida. Agents expressed a desire to instill more credibility to this important program by placing a full-faculty member in charge. Professor Jim Stephens agreed to serve as the third coordinator. He was authorized by Dr. App to find a replacement for Ann to assist with the program.
4. Kathleen Delate: In March 1984, a state-wide search brought in Kathleen Delate who had worked with the Florida Department of Agriculture and Master Gardener program in Collier County before joining the Vegetable Crops Department. While assisting Jim Stephens with the Master Gardener program, Kathleen began a Masters degree program in Vegetable Crops. In 1985, Kathleen became the fourth Master Gardener coordinator, and the program was continued in the Vegetable Crops Department. In December, 1986 Kathleen departed after earning an MS degree in Vegetable Crops (Horticultural Sciences), and in the spring of 1987, she enrolled at the UC - Berkeleys Entomology Department, on Temporary Assignment (TA) to pursue a PhD degree.
5. Bob Black: In 1987, for a brief period following the departure of Kathleen Delate, there was no official state leader. After a mid-summer shortened version of the Advanced Training Conference, program leadership was transferred from Vegetable Crops to the OH Department. In September, Bob Black, Ornamental Home Horticulture specialist, assumed the role of fifth State Leader for the Master Gardener program, and was joined by Kathleen C. Ruppert as the Assistant Leader. Note: Kathleen Carlton Ruppert had completed a Masters degree thesis in the Department of Agricultural and Extension Education, where she studied the effectiveness of the fledgling Florida program in the counties of Brevard, Dade, and Manatee.
6. Kathleen Ruppert: In 1993, Kathleen became the sixth State Leader.
7. Joan Bradshaw: About 1996, Kathleen Ruppert took another position with IFAS, and Pinellas County Extension Agent Joan Bradshaw became the seventh state leader of the MG program. She eventually came to the EH Dept.
8. Sonja Skelly: After Joan left in June, 1999 Sonja became the eighth state leader. She made arrangements for the Advanced Training Conference, which was narrated by Tom Wichman, Orange County Extension agent.
9. Tom Wichman: In December, 1999 Tom Wichman assumed the role of ninth state leader of the Master Gardener program. He is currently housed in the Environmental Horticulture Department, Fifield Hall.
Summary of Events by Year
1972 - Dr. David Gibby, Washingtons King County Hort agent, conceived idea and put MGs in clinics. In Florida, Extension began a series of annual Florida Seeds and Garden Supply Association (FSGSA) meetings around state where store employees were trained to help answer gardening questions. This established a frame- work for specialists to train volunteers.
1973 - Dr. Bernie Wesenberg, WSU Hort Specialist, held his first classes for Puget Sound.
1974 - On September 16, Susan Gray began working in Vegetable Crops Dept assisting Jim Stephens with 4H and gardening program. Farther south in Palmetto, another key player, Dr. Jim App, then Manatee Co Ext Director, was hosting one of the FSGSA meetings.
1975- In October, Stephens heard about the Master Gardener program from Dr. Wearne, Federal Extension Hort leader, in Biloxi while on NJHA tour boat. In November he wrote to Dr. Wearne to get all the details of the MG program. That same year, Dr. App became a District Director of Extension.
1976 - In January, Stephens informed agents about MG program during Co Agent training session, in Tallahassee. By now, Dr. App had become Asst Extension Dean and was at the meeting where he expressed great interest in Florida starting a MG program. Stephens and other specialists were continuing the FSGSA (Seed store) training meetings. September: Susan Gray took over the lead role with VC departments youth programs.
1977 - July: Dr. App sent Hort Specialists Jim Stephens, Bob Black, and Julian Sauls to Seattle, Washington and Eugene, Oregon to investigate the MG program. By now several other states had adopted the program.
1978 - FSGSA meetings in Tally and Palmetto. Home Hort Agents School held Gainesville. Dr. Joe Vandermark, a retired Illinois Ext specialist with MG experience, was hired to help us start our Fla MG program. Our first planning meeting was held Dec 18-20, 1978.
1979 - Florida MG Pilot Project officially began. Susan Gray, VC Extension Assistant, became first coordinator, with Vandermark consultant, and Home Hort Committee conducting ( Black from OH, Sauls from FC, and Stephens from VC).
Three counties were selected for this Pilot Project: Brevard ( Syl Rose), Dade (Lou Daigle), and Manatee (Marlowe Iverson). Training was given primarily by State Specialists from Gainesville, beginning on Sept. 4, 1979. ( I had week 3, Sept. 18, 1979, and taught classes as follows:) 3 classes: Brevard (22); Dade (15); Manatee (21); State total: 3 counties (58).
1980 - 3 new 1st classes: Hillsborough (24) with Sydney Feinberg; Polk (10) with Joe Freeman; and Volusia (17), with Linda Brachold. More classes in Dade and Manatee. State total: 6 counties.
1981 - 1st class graduates: Lake (17) with Russ Swanson; Orange(15) with Tom MacCubbin; and Osceola (19) with Eleanor Foerste. State total: 9 counties, training together in Orlando in Sept-Oct, given by State Specialists: MacDonald, Sartain, Simone, Short, Dunn, Jackson, Crocker, Stephens, Black, Tjia, Henley, Koehler. More classes in: Brevard, Dade, and Hillsborough 6 counties trained in 1981. June- Susan leaves and Ann McDonald, Visiting Extension Agent, takes over. 1st Annual Advanced training was held in Gainesville, Aug.1981, Ann McDonald moderator.
1982 - A total of 11 counties trained a new class in 1982, of which the following 7 were initiated: Alachua, Broward, Leon, Marion, Palm Beach, Pasco, Pinellas. At Lake Yale, a meeting was held to train county Master Gardener staff All of us specialists with subject matter relating to home horticulture presented the county agents and staff with slide sets and curriculum guides so that counties could assume the role of training the Master Gardeners. This was a major event. (State total: 16 counties)
1983 - 10 new 1st classes : Baker, Charlotte, Clay, Duval, Indian River, Lee, Martin, Putnam, St. Johns, and St. Lucie. (State total: 26 counties). During the first five years (1979-1983), there were 868 master gardeners trained in 48 classes held around the state. In September 83, Ann departed and Jim Stephens became state MG leader.
1984 -7 new 1st classes: Citrus, Collier, Escambia, Flagler, Hernando, Highlands, Seminole.(State total: 33 counties.)
In March, 1984, Kathleen Delate was recruited from Collier County into the Vegetable Crops Dept. to assist Jim Stephens in coordinating the state MG program while she attended graduate school. The fourth annual State MG Advanced Training Conference was held Aug 29-30, in the Reitz Union; the Awards ceremony was in Livestock Pavilion ( the infamous "Fly" chicken BBQ). 167 MGs attended from 22 counties.
1985 - 3 new counties: Monroe, Hendry, and Okeechobee (state total: 36 counties). Responsibility for the Master Gardener program moved from Vegetable Crops Department to the Ornamental Horticulture Department.
1986- 1 new county: Bradford (state total: 37 counties). Kathleen Delate obtained MS degree and left IFAS for Berkley. Ca, and PhD.
1987 - Jim Stephens and Bob Black acted as state coordinators until Kathleen Ruppert came to the OH Dept. in the fall of 1987. At that time, Bob became the official State Master Gardener Program Leader, and Kathleen became the Assistant Master Gardener Program Leader. The first national Conference of Master Gardeners was held in D.C. Two new counties: Bay and Santa Rosa (state total: 39 counties). The following were the 39 counties and coordinators in December 1987: Alachua (Brinen); Baker (Sweat); Bay (Bunker); Bradford (Taylor); Brevard (Rose); Broward (Pardo); Charlotte (Lambert); Citrus (Johnston); Clay (Zerba); Collier (Litton); Dade (Ritter); Duval (Delvalle); Escambia (Dobbs); Flagler (Schrader); Hendry (Townsend); Hernando (Kavouras); Highlands (Hurner); Hillsborough (Park-Brown); Indian River (Futch); Lake (Swanson); Lee (Yingst); Leon (Marshall); Manatee (Duray and Mitchell);Marion (Adams); Martin (Whitty); Monroe (Fisher); Okeechobee (Miller); Orange (Gilbert); Osceola (Foerste); Palm Beach (Teets); Pasco (Steiger); Pinellas (Bradshaw); Polk (Freeman); Putnam (Tilton); St Johns (Fuller); St Lucie (Lee); Santa Rosa (Phelps); Seminole (White); Volusia (Brockaway).
In the first nine years (1979-1988), a total of 1759 volunteers had been trained in 164 training sessions held somewhere within the 37 counties in the program.
1988 - In August, Bob Black, State MG Leader, and assistant Kathleen Ruppert, hosted the eighth annual Continued Training Conference (Gainesville). MAGIC (Master Gardeners International Corporation) began in Virginia. MG newsletter name changed from "Voluntiller" to "Florida Master Gardener News."
1989 - In August, Bob Black, State MG Leader and Assistant Kathleen Carlton Ruppert conducted the ninth annual advanced training conference.
1992 - Master Gardener training materials were placed on CD-ROM for county use. Bob Black, State MG Leader and Kathleen Ruppert, Assistant State Leader, conducted twelfth annual Advanced Training Conference (Gainesville).
1993 - Kathleen Ruppert served as state leader for MG program through 1996.
1997 - Joan Bradshaw became state leader.
1999 - June,1999 Sonja Skelly became state leader (temporary). December, 1999, Tom Wichman became state leader .
2000 - Tom Wichman moved to the Environmental Horticulture Department.
2001 - Tom arranged the International Master Gardener Conference, in May. In Lake Buena Vista Hilton.
Power-point presentation: I collaborated with Hillsborough Extension Agent Sydney Park-Brown in preparing a Power-point slide presentation based on the book "Vegetable Gardening in Florida." This presentation will become the official training curriculum for MG Basic Training, replacing the old "You Can Grow Vegetables" (parts I-IV) slide sets.
(Stephens, Vegetarian 01-08)