Watermelon Prices High, Supply Low

Clint Thompson Alabama, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, Produce, South Carolina, Top Posts, Vegetables, Watermelon

By Clint Thompson Watermelon prices remain high for farmers in the Southeast. Unfortunately, there’s not enough crop ready for producers to take advantage, according to Bill Brim, co-owner of Lewis Taylor Farms in Tifton, Georgia. “Prices are still good. They’re around $155 to $160 a bin. There’s not many melons out there that’s ready right now. It’s unfortunate,” said Brim, …

USMCA Set to Enter Into Force July 1

Clint Thompson Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Top Posts, USMCA

By Clint Thompson Wednesday, July 1 marks a new era for North American Trade. The United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) will enter into force July 1. But according to economists and industry leaders, the agreement still does not provide much protection for vegetable and specialty crop producers. Florida Fruit and Vegetable Association President Mike Joyner: “When Congress passed USMCA, we unfortunately …

Sneak Peek: July 2020 VSCNews Magazine

Clint Thompson Alabama, Florida, Fruit, Georgia, Top Posts, Vegetables

By: Ashley Robinson The July issue of VSCNews magazine focuses on a variety of topics, including machine harvesting of blueberries, strawberry pests and diseases and technology for vegetable production. Blueberry growers and packers are adopting the latest innovations and technology to reduce harvesting costs and put less reliance on contract laborers. Fumiomi Takeda, a research horticulturalist with the United States …

Bacterial Spot Leaving Mark in Tomato Crops

Clint Thompson Alabama, Disease, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tomatoes, Top Posts

By Clint Thompson Bacterial spot in tomatoes has been observed in various locations in Alabama, according to Ed Sikora, professor and Extension plant pathologist in the Department of Entomology and Plant Pathology at Auburn University. He believes the excess rainfall and abnormal temperatures contributed to the disease being more problematic this year.  “I think this year with the moisture we’ve …

Grape Producers Need to be Wary of Downy Mildew Disease

Clint Thompson Alabama, Disease, Georgia, Grapes, Top Posts

By Clint Thompson Grape producers in north Alabama and north Georgia need to be wary of downy mildew disease. It has been confirmed in vonifera grapes in two separate Georgia locations, says Phil Brannen, University of Georgia Cooperative Extension fruit disease specialist. “My hope is that if folks are spraying well, if they’re actually effective in spraying the vines and …

Fruit Splits, Yeast Rot Contribute to Tough Year for Blueberry Farmers

Clint Thompson Alabama, Berries, Disease, Florida, Georgia, Top Posts

By Clint Thompson A difficult year for the blueberry industry, which started in Florida amid the coronavirus pandemic, continued in Georgia. Farmers reported fruit splits and yeast rot in their rabbit-eye blueberry crop. The result was a down year where packing houses closed because of the lack of quality fruit coming in. Excess Rainfall the Culprit? Jonathan Oliver, University of …

Ant Swarms Continue to be Problematic for Hemp Producers

Clint Thompson Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Hemp, Top Posts

By Clint Thompson Ant damage on young hemp plants remains a problem for growers in the Southeast. Katelyn Kesheimer, Auburn University Assistant Professor and Extension Specialist, fears ants will continue to be a nuisance since hemp plantings will continue through July. “I think it’s going to be a struggle all season long because there’s so many different plantings going in. …

Coronavirus Pandemic Impacts Alabama Vegetable, Specialty Crop Producers

Clint Thompson Alabama, Top Posts

By Clint Thompson Max Runge, Extension specialist in agricultural economics at Auburn University, believes there was impact from the coronavirus pandemic on vegetable and specialty crop growers in Alabama. Some have still thrived with their businesses and U-pick operations despite a pandemic dating back to mid-March. Others struggled to find their footing when restaurants were forced to close and stay …