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.
Research reported in American Society of Horticultural Science publication HortScience for March 2017 below. For more details on any report, contact Juanita.
Foliar calcium applications are used by many berry growers to improve shelf life and fruit quality without experimental evidence that it works at labeled rates. Experiments in Oregon State did not find that calcium chloride, calcium chloride + boron, calcium silicate, calcium chelate, or calcium acetate improved the quality of shelf life of strawberry, raspberry, blackberry, or blueberry fruit.
The viability of steam as an alternative to preplant fumigation was investigated in California strawberry production. The factors likely to affect the net returns were evaluated. Steam has the potential to be an economically viable alternative to preplant soil fumigation with chloropicrin + 1,3-dichloropropene for California strawberry in some cases if steam application time can be reduced. Techniques for improving steam treatment of soil beds are being investigated by others.
It is not a cure for greening fruit, but it can be used on fruit that are not as orange as you would like. IFAS and USDA researchers have been working on formulating a natural colorant containing wax for a one-step color-add application for fresh citrus. Rather than Citrus Red No. 2 treatment followed by a wax treatment, they found a one-step application of paprika containing carnauba wax was comparable to the two-step process in improving fruit appearance and modification of internal gas composition.
We don't have many apples, but growers should be aware of what side effects a biofungicide might have. Organically managed apple orchards were successfully blossom thinned with lime sulfur and/or Regalia® mixed with JMS Stylet-oil. Although Regalia® is a biofungicide made from the extracts of Giant Knotweed, and is supposed to induce systemic resistance, the mode of action for thinning is unknown. Pollen tubes were inhibited from reaching the base of the style and fertilizing the bloom by lime sulfur and Regalia®. Timing was critical to allow the first blossoms to be pollinated and side blooms to be inhibited.
June 1: Pesticide Applicator CEU Day Lake County. Includes WPS TTT. Registration. June 4-6. Florida State Horticulture Society Annual Conference. Details. June 21: Building Your Own Farm's Food Safety Manual Workshop. UF/IFAS Mid Florida Research and Education Center, Apopka. One-day workshop to help growers develop their own food safety manuals. It is targeted to fresh fruit and/or vegetable farming operations, field or greenhouse. $35 registration. June 22: Citrus Youth Day. Details. Sept. 28: Central Florida Fruit Grower Day. UF/IFAS Extension Lake County. Blueberries in the morning, citrus in the afternoon. Registration and details. October 27: Farm Safety Day. Including WPS annual training for workers and handlers in English and Spanish as well as equipment, fire, and health safety. Certificate of attendance provided. Registration. November 14: Produce Safety Training. For all those blueberry growers who could not make the last class in April, Dr. Danyluk will be offering this class in Lake County again.Save the date - registration details to come. November 15: Winter Weather School. Registration.