This blog is for Polk County Florida small farms and pesticide applicators as a method of communication and sharing information. This blog is administered by the University of Florida IFAS Extension Polk County Extension Agent, Mary Beth Henry.
WPS TTT - There will be a WPS Train the Trainer class on June 1 at the UF/IFAS Lake County Extension Center. Everyone who trains employees must have the new training that was effective Jan. 2, 2017. Online registration. New EPA approved training materials (slide shows) for workers and handlers is available on my website.
Food Safety Training - who needs it and which one? FSMA vs Food Safety Manual
Food Safety Manual training June 21 at MREC will help you create a Food Safety Manual for your fresh fruit or vegetable farm. This is a nice thing to have and may be required by your buyers, but it is not required by law. Contact Liz Felter, firstname.lastname@example.org, (407) 410-6961, for registration.
FSMA trainingApril 20 at UF/IFAS Lake County Extension will provide the training required under the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). This is the first mandatory federal standard for the production of fruit and vegetables, including citrus, in the US. If you are producing for fresh market, you are required to have this unless you meet one of the exemptions. Exemptions: 1. You sell less than $25,000 in total produce, 2. You sell produce that is cooked before eating (see list of crops), 3. Your farm sells all your fruit to a commercial processor, and 4. Farms that sell less than $500,000 in total food sales annually AND have more than half of sales directly to qualified end-users. Read the full article by Travis Chapin. Online registration for class.
CHMA - April 10 was the post bloom date for the Central Florida CHMA application. Full Schedule. There was a lot of discussion of CHMAs at the International Research Conference on Huanlongbing. The control of psyllids in our area was not good compared with other areas, but we do have all the issues associated with poor control - smaller plots intermixed with abandoned groves and housing with untreated homeowner trees providing refuge for psyllids. Psyllid control is still a very important way to reduce greening pressure on our trees, so do not ignore psyllid control.
Blueberry Bud Mite
If your blueberries are looking like this, you have blueberry bud mite and have probable lost a lot of fruit. There have been a few reports of this in the area. There is a good EDIS publication on this pest.