Sending Peaches to Texas~Caribbean Fruit Fly Protocol

If Texas is a destination for your fruit this year, then FDACS has a program which will benefit you.

FDACS is calling the program “Participant Pathway to Peaches”, which will result in a certification of your peaches for shipping to Texas.  Although applications for NEW parcels was to be submitted by October 1, 2015, please contact Denise Marshall ( for information on submitting new parcels for monitoring and certification. Below are two documents that help to explain this program and the costs per acre.  The billing minimum is 40 acres.

Participant Pathway to Peaches 0115

Peach Easy Step Procedures 2016

For more information on the FDACS website regarding the peach protocol for 2016, please see: under “Hot Topics”.





Peach Marketing Order Voting in January!

Peach Marketing Order referendum notices have been posted on the Florida Administrative Record and will be posted December 19 & 20, 2015, in The (Lakeland)Ledger, Orlando Sentinel, Tampa Tribune and Gainesville Sun in order to canvass the majority of the Peach growing region in Florida that will be affected by the proposed marketing order.  Attached is a copy of the notice.

Public Notice Advertisement – Newspaper

I have also attached a copy of the proposed marketing order as it has been written to be included in the referendum ballot being distributed on January 5, 2016.

PMO FDACS Draft 12-14-15

The ballots will be mailed to all growers and handlers whose addresses are known to FDACS as accumulated through sign-in sheets compiled at hearings, lists supplied through industry and to County Extension Offices in the affected marketing area on January 5, 2016.  They will include a copy of the proposed Peach Marketing Order, a letter/ballot and two envelopes (one ballot envelope and one return envelope).  The last day of ballot collection will be January 22, 2016.  Any ballots received after 4:30 PM, January 22, 2016 will not be opened.  Ballots will be tallied no later than January 29, 2016 and the referendum certified no later than February 8, 2016. (The last two items may occur earlier depending upon the number of ballots received.  These two dates are the latest dates on which these specific activities may occur.)

A post office box has been set up to receive ballots:

PO BOX 11297

Thank you,


Chris Denmark
Development Representative
Division of Marketing and Development
Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services
(850) 617-7341
(850) 617-7301 Fax

The Mayo Building
407 South Calhoun Street
Tallahassee, Florida 32399-0800

Calibrating Spray Equipment

DSC_0128This late fall weather has been absolutely crazy!

Many growers have peach trees in the orchard that have sporadic bloom on them, yet haven’t put out their oil sprays for scale, or other dormant sprays such as copper (if you had problems with bacterial spot last year and have a variety such as TropicBeauty or Flordaprince that are not as resistant).

If you have bud swell over 50% of the tree, be sure to reduce the percentage of oil that is applied, otherwise there is a fair chance for bud damage.

When you make the decision to start spraying, be sure that your equipment is in working order and is calibrated.  Calibration is important to avoid putting out more or less than the recommended amount.  If too much material is applied, the rate applied may be illegal (off-label), while if it is too little, disease or insect resistance may occur.

Here are some EDIS documents from UF on calibrating various pieces of spray equipment:

Calibrating Backpack Sprayers:

Broadcast Boom Sprayers:

Calibrating Airblast Sprayers:

Spray Gun Calibration:

Conversion Factors (handy to have around on a piece of paper!):

Pesticide Calibration Formulas and Information:

Pesticide Safety Miniposter (to hang up near pesticide storage):

Comment Period on Peach Marketing Order

November 25th is the deadline!

If you would like to make comments on the peach marketing order language before it gets sent to the Commissioner’s office, please contact Chris Denmark ( with your comments.

In the spirit of transparency, here are the transcripts from the previous meetings:

The final marketing order language after the suggested changes can be found here: Peach Marketing Order – Draft 5.

Overall Timeline (Remaining):

November 24-December 14, 2015 – Subject to approval by the Director of Marketing & Development, FDACS will create a Marketing Order and referendum based on final draft submission and findings at hearings and submitted written remarks.
 Graphics will need time to set up and send to local printer. Assuming 500 ballots and copies of Marketing Order language will be sufficient to send to growers and to have available at County Extension Offices.

December 15, 2015 – Public Notice of Referendum (minimum 15 days before referendum ballots mailed)

January 5, 2016 – Ballots and Referendum to be sent out (Including County Extension Offices)

January 22, 2016 – Last day for ballot collection at Post Office and at County Extension Offices (17 days)

January 25, 2016 – County Extension office ballots to be sent to Tallahassee

January 29, 2016 – Ballots will be counted by FDACS staff

February 1, 2016 – (Within 10 days of closing date for ballot submission) FDACS will certify the results in writing and publish results of referendum on the front page of FDACS website, sending notice via e-mail to all publications of general circulation and all news departments within the state. Public Notice of Marketing Order posted on bulletin board at Mayo Building and on FDACS website (minimum 5 days posting)

February 8, 2016 – Marketing Order goes into effect (minimum 5 days after posting)

February 15, 2016 – Advisory Council (7) and alternates (7) will be appointed by Commissioner

  • Four members appointed to serve four year terms
  • Three members appointed to serve two year terms

February 18, 2016 – Advisory Council will meet to elect chair and vice chair (one year terms each)

Frost Protection Survey – Responses Needed!

Researchers at the University of Florida are conducting a short survey on frost protection for peaches. The online survey is anonymous and should take approximately 10-15 minutes to complete. Your answers to survey questions will help guide scientific and economic research on frost protection to be relevant to your operations.

The researchers ask that only one person per farm complete the survey. The survey should be completed by the individual most directly involved in overall farm management and frost protection decision making (if any).

The survey has been reviewed by the University of Florida’s Institutional Review Board to protect the rights and welfare of survey respondents. If you need further information about this research, please contact Dr. Mercy Olmstead at or Elizabeth Conlan at

The survey can be accessed at :

Thank you for your assistance.


Elizabeth Conlan
M.S. graduate student
UF/IFAS Horticultural Sciences Department


Mercy Olmstead, Ph.D.
Stone Fruit Extension Specialist
UF/IFAS Horticultural Sciences Department

Final Peach Marketing Order

The Florida Department of Agricultural and Consumer Services will be having their FINAL public hearing on the peach marketing order next month.

It will be held at the Polk County Extension office, located at:

W.H. Stuart Conference Center
1702 South Holland Parkway
Bartow, FL 33830

The agenda for this meeting includes:

  • Overview of a Marketing Order – Chris Denmark
  • Reading of Proposed Peach Marketing Order – Phil Rucks
  • Discussion of proposed marketing order
  • Adjourn
If you would like to see the current state of the marketing order language and definitions, please download them here: PMO Draft 2.0 08202015.

MyIPM App Available for Peach!

As I am sitting in a meeting of Southeastern fruit extension agents, I just heard about a new app that might help you to diagnose and decide on a management program for a set of peach diseases. This may be especially useful if you find bacterial spot or brown rot showing up in orchards this spring due to the forecasted cooler and wetter spring because of the strong El Niño still in place.

It’s called MyIPM, and is available on the Apple App Store for iPhones and Google Play for Android devices.

MyIPM provides Integrated Disease Management (IPM) information for conventional and organic production of strawberries and peaches in the Southeastern United States. The target audience is commercial growers, farm advisors, and specialists, but homeowners may also find useful information.



Peach Marketing Order Hearing

Fall Peach Roundtable

I hope that everyone has registered for the fall Peach Roundtable, to be held at the Gulf Coast Research and Education Center.  It will be held on September 17th, 2015, from 8:45 am – 3:00 pm, and lunch will be provided. We will have a trade show with multiple vendors, which is a great opportunity to stay in touch and see new products and haggle prices! Gary England and the central Florida Peach Extension Team has put an extended day of talks and opportunities for feedback from our growers.

To register:

Peach Marketing Order Hearing

FlordaPrinceAnother marketing order hearing will be held at the Fall Peach Roundtable on September 17, 2015 at 3:00 pm at the Gulf Coast Research and Education Center. If you can’t attend the workshop, but would like to provide input, please attend to make yourself heard. Chris Denmark will attend from FDACS in Tallahassee to answer any and all questions.

This will be one of two more opportunities to provide feedback on the final document that will go out to vote, most likely in January, 2016 to be implemented in April – May, 2016.

Rain, Rain, Rain, and a Peach Fall Seminar

I hope that everyone had a great summer and got through your summer pruning without any major issues. The constant rain has been a challenge for drainage systems, and probably has brought to light areas in your orchard where drainage can be improved.

Here is a link to a UF Extension document that has some pointers for improving drainage, particularly the Tile Drainage section:

Fall Peach Seminar

For those in Central Florida, fall is a perfect time to attend educational seminars. Mr. Gary England is leading the Central Florida peach extension group (Alicia Whidden, Cami Esmel McAvoy, and Chris Oswalt) and together, they have set up an excellent agenda.  Please register at: UF PEACH FALL SEMINAR REGISTRATION LINK

Date: September 17, 2015

Location: UF Gulf Coast Research and Education Center

Time: 8:45 AM – 3:00 PM

A highlight of the educational sessions will be presentations from University of Georgia Peach Pathologist, Dr. Phil Brannen, covering important disease problems of peach and also nematode related disorders.  Other topics being covered are:

  • Variety Update
  • Florida Peach Marketing Order Update
  • Weed Management
  • Fruit Fly Management
  • Postharvest Peach Handling
  • Results of Nitrogen and Hydrogen Cyanamide trials


8:45         Registration and Trade Show Opens

9:20         Welcome – Dr. Jack Rechcigl

9:30         Peach Variety Update – Dr. Dario Chavez, University of Georgia-Griffin

10:20       Peach Diseases – Dr. Phil Brannen, University of Georgia

11:10       Break

11:30       Marketing Order Update – Phil Rucks, Phil Rucks Citrus Nursery

11:45       Peach Weed Management – Dr. Peter Dittmar, University of Florida

12:15       Lunch

1:10         Fruit Fly Management – Dr. Phil Stansly, University of Florida

1:35         Postharvest Management – Dr. Steve Sargent, University of Florida

2:05         Peach Tree Short Life – Dr. Phil Brannen, University of Georgia

2:30         Nitrogen and Hydrogen Cyanamide Studies – Drs. Tripti

                Vashisth and Mercy Olmstead, University of Florida

3:00         Adjourn

Peach Marketing Order Comment Period & New Weevil Attacking Orchards

Comment on the Peach Marketing Order

For those that attended the 3 peach marketing order meetings in Dade City and in Bartow, THANK YOU! It was valuable to hear your opinions and challenges about the proposed marketing order. There is time for YOU to comment on the marketing order and you can do so by contacting Chris Denmark at FDACS:

The written comment period has been extended through June 30, 2015 to allow for additional comment on the proposed Peach Marketing Order.

If you wish to comment on the Marketing Order, please e-mail me directly at the e-mail below or Send any comments via mail to the address and attention below:


Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services
Division of Marketing and Development
407 South Calhoun Street
Tallahassee, FL 32399 

Attention: Chris Denmark – Peach Marketing Order


It was clear that we still need to revive the Florida Peach Growers Association, and with an existing organization on the books at FDACS, all we need are leaders (and a tax attorney to file taxes).  Over the next 6 months, I plan on trying to organize people and resources to start holding semi-annual or annual meetings to address many of the issues that came up during the marketing order discussions.

Sri Lankan Weevil in South Central Florida

Sri Lankan Weevil, Photo: A. Neal, UF/IFAS
Sri Lankan Weevil, Photo: A. Neal, UF/IFAS

Anita Neal, Director and Environmental Horticulture Agent in St. Lucie Florida is on the lookout for this new weevil to attack peach trees.  We have found it on our trees at our Fort Pierce orchard and have employed multiple control methods to try and keep them out of our research and seedling evaluation block.

Distribution of Myllocerus undecimpustulatus undatus Marshall in Florida based on initial collection from 2000 to 2006, and additional data through 2012.
Figure 2. Distribution of Sri Lankan weevils, Myllocerus undecimpustulatus undatus Marshall, in Florida based on initial collection from 2000 to 2006, and additional data through 2012. Map created by Anita Neal, University of Florida. From:

For more information on this weevil: Sri Lankan Weevil. Damage to peach leaves is observed as notching, and leaves look as if they have been chewed at the leaf margins.  This damage is similar to that observed with either blue-green weevils or Diaprepes citrus weevil on peach. More images on peach leaf damage can be found in this document: Sri Lankan Weevil_HaveYouSeenThisPest.

If you have questions or see this weevil in your orchard, please contact Anita Neal at:

Anita S. Neal
Director/ Environmental Horticulture Agent IV
UF/IFAS St. Lucie County Extension
8400 Picos Road, Suite 101
Fort Pierce, FL 34945
772-462-1660 Phone
772-462-1510 Fax