Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Harvested Tomato Fields Possible Danger

Florida Requires Destruction Of Abandoned Tomato Fields

LABELLE, FL. -- Abandoned tomato fields where plants exist after harvests can serve as a source of diseases and insects, say Florida's agricultural experts.

Commercial tomato growers are required to chemically destroy remaining plants with paraquat or diquat desiccant agents, soon after harvest to prevent insect and disease spread from the old plants.

Under Florida law, abandoned tomato fields that have not been destroyed within five days after final harvest are subject to an immediate final order (IFO) per Rule Chapter 5B-59.003, Tomato Plant Destruction.

You can report abandoned tomato fields by sending an email to the Division of Plant Industry describing the physical location of the property. The divison's first route of destruction would be to make contact with the growers and request compliance, if this does not occur an IFO is issued in which the grower has 10 days to correct the problem.

Contact Tyson Emery, Florida's Chief of the Bureau of Plant and Apiary Inspection if you have any questions.  352.372.3505 ext. 154

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