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Gene McAvoy - University of Florida. Immokalee, FL, US

Gene McAvoy Gene McAvoy

Associate Director for Stakeholder Relations | University of Florida


Gene McAvoy can help on questions about crop damage, including sugarcane, during and after hurricanes and how growers are recovering.


Gene McAvoy can help on questions about crop damage, including sugarcane, during and after hurricanes and how growers are recovering.

Industry Expertise (1)

Agriculture and Farming

Areas of Expertise (5)

Pest and Disease Management

Vegetable Production

Crop Damage



Media Appearances (5)

No more honor system: Florida ag commissioner promises inspections, reports to help clean up water

The Palm Beach Post  online


As some examples of best management practices, longtime Hendry County extension agent Gene McAvoy says, “If I was a cattle rancher, maybe I would rotate my pastures, or I could fence off the canals so the cows don’t poop in the water – there’s a whole litany of practices – not every farmer could do everything, but you do what’s technologically and economically feasible for you.”

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Fort Myers breaks June 2 record for rainfall Wednesday, Bonita gets some rain, Naples still dry

News-Press  online


Inland areas like Clewiston and Immokalee are dry as well. "It's been real spotty," said Gene McAvoy, with the University of Florida's IFAS network. "If you happen to be under the clouds you might get an inch or an inch-and-a-half. It looks like the rainy season is starting but we haven't had really good soaking rains."

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Florida agency says no to potent pesticide aldicarb for use on state's ailing citrus crop

News-Pres  online


And Hendry County’s Gene McAvoy, an associate director at UF's Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences center in Immokalee, said, "You know, it’s kind of a moot point, now that Florida has said we won’t label it.” (To “label” an agricultural chemical certifies that it meets the state’s standards and can be used on its crops.)

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How Florida left farmworkers out of its COVID-19 pandemic response

Naples Daily News  online


About 800 farm labor supervisors participated in COVID-19 training on protecting workers, said Gene McAvoy, an associate director at UF’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences center in Immokalee. The program relied on federal Centers for Disease Control guidance on how to protect agricultural workers against COVID-19. There are no state mandates on protecting farmworkers from the virus, according to Fried and other experts.

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Antibiotics don't belong on orange trees, suit challenging EPA alleges

News-Press  online


As citrus yields have dwindled, growers are grasping for solutions, says Hendry County extension agent Gene McAvoy of the University of Florida IFAS Southwest Florida Research and Education Center. Industry research shows that though antibiotics don't cure greening; they can buy the trees more years of reduced productivity, and farmers searching for ways to hang on are eager to try new methods that appear promising.

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Articles (5)

Field distribution and disease incidence of tomato chlorotic spot virus, an emerging virus threatening tomato production in South Florida

Tropical Plant Pathology

Gene Mcavoy et al.

2019 Tomato chlorotic spot tospovirus is a species of the genus Orthotospovirus, family Tospoviridae. One of the causal agents of tomato spotted wilt, tomato chlorotic spot virus (TCSV) was first detected in tomato and bell pepper in south Florida in 2012 and is considered an emerging virus to the region. It has caused significant losses to tomato growers in the region since 2014. Field surveys were conducted in tomato fields in Miami-Dade County in the 2015–2016 and 2016–2017 growing seasons. Results of the surveys indicate that TCSV is the predominant virus among the three known orthotospoviruses [tomato spotted wilt virus (TSWV), groundnut ringspot virus (GRSV) and TCSV] present in south Florida.

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Field Evaluation of Tomato Cultivars for Tolerance to Tomato Chlorotic Spot Tospovirus

Plant Health Progress

Gene Mcavoy et al.

2019 Fourteen tomato cultivars resistant to tomato spotted wilt tospovirus (TSWV) were evaluated for their tolerance against tomato chlorotic spot tospovirus (TCSV) under field conditions during the 2014–2015 and 2015–2016 growing seasons in Homestead, FL. All TSWV-resistant tomato cultivars had significantly (P < 0.05) lower disease incidence of TCSV, compared with the commercial standard cultivars ‘FL 47’ or ‘Sanibel’, exhibiting intermediate to high levels of tolerance to TCSV. There was no significant effect of tomato genotype on the thrips vectors, western flower thrips (Frankliniella occidentalis) and common blossom thrips (F. schultzei). All tested tomato cultivars had equivalent or greater yields of total marketable fruit compared with the standard cultivar Sanibel.

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Detection and Characterization of Tomato Viruses: a Case Study of Emerging Tospoviruses in Florida

Acta Horticulturae

Gene Mcavoy et al.

2015 A unique strain of Groundnut ringspot virus (GRSV), which has undergone genome reassortment with, and contains the medium RNA segment of, Tomato chlorotic spot virus (TCSV) emerged in solanaceous vegetables in south Florida in late 2009. A typical (non-reassorted) strain of TCSV was reported from tomato in this same area in 2012. Identification of GRSV and TCSV in Florida extends the known distributions of these viruses beyond South America and South Africa. GRSV and TCSV are relatives of Tomato spotted wilt virus (TSWV), the original member of the Tospovirus genus of plant viruses. TSWV remains a serious economic limitation to the production of tomatoes, peppers and peanuts in the southeastern US more than 20 years after its appearance. Although TSWV is well-known to Florida tomato producers, scouts, extension personnel and scientists, GRSV and TCSV were relatively unknown until their recent detection in the US.

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Effect of Plant Population and Breeding Lines on Fresh-market, Compact Growth Habit Tomatoes Growth, Flowering Pattern, Yield, and Postharvest Quality


Gene Mcavoy et al.

2014 Compact growth habit (CGH) tomatoes (Solanum lycopersicum) are determinate plants with shortened internodes and strong side branching due to the brachytic gene (br) that grow either prostrate or upright as a result of unidentified gene(s). Compact growth habit tomatoes do not require staking, tying, or pruning and can potentially be mechanically harvested, lowering Florida fresh-market tomato production costs. Therefore, the objective of this study was to evaluate the effects of two planting configurations (single and double row) and breeding lines (BLs) on CGH tomato plant growth, flowering pattern, yield, and postharvest fruit quality. Two experiments were conducted in Immokalee, FL, during Spring 2013 and 2014 in a split-plot design with four replications.

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A Summary of Three Decades of Research Based Integrated Bacterial Leaf Spot Management Efforts in Florida

The 22nd International Pepper Conference

Gene Mcavoy et al.

2014 Bacterial leaf spot (BLS), caused by the bacterium, Xanthomonas euvesicatoria, is one of the most serious diseases of pepper in Florida. Infection can markedly reduce yields and fruit symptoms reduce marketability. Bacterial leaf spot of pepper is a serious disease because it has a high rate of transmission, especially during periods with wind driven rains when traditional control methods may be inadequate. Entry into the plant occurs when bacterial cells pass through natural plant openings (stomates and hydothodes) or wounds made by wind driven soil, insects, or cultural operations.1 Temperatures of 75-87oF are ideal for BLS, but infection can occur at lower and higher temperatures. Lesions can occur on leaf parts (leaflets and petiole) and fruit parts (fruit, peduncle, and calyx). Stems are also susceptible but usually foliage is infected to a greater degree.

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The Florida Gardener: Tips and Tricks from Agricultural Specialist Gene McAvoy CC’74, GSNB’83 Joao Vendramini Interviews Gene McAvoy


Languages (1)

  • English