Gibberllic Acid Tested on Southern Highbush Blueberries

Breanna Kendrick Berries, Fruit, Research, Top Posts

By Breanna Kendrick Gibberellic acid (GA) is a plant growth regulator that is used to increase fruit size and quality. Researchers know that it works on rabbiteye blueberries recovering from freeze damage when flower parts were injured and weren't able to be pollinated. Juanita Popenoe is a multi-county fruit production agent for the University of…

georgia blueberry

The Search for an Alternative Blueberry Chemical

Breanna Kendrick Berries, Fruit, Research, Top Posts

By Breanna Kendrick Alternative chemicals are being researched to replace hydrogen cyanamide, a plant growth regulator that is used in Florida on blueberries to improve fruit earliness and develop more concentrated fruit set. Shinsuke Agehara, University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences assistant professor at the Gulf Coast Research and Education Center in…

Improving Mechanical Harvesting of Fresh-Market Blueberries

Abbey Taylor Berries, Labor, Technology, Top Posts, VSCNews magazine

By Fumiomi Takeda The growth of the blueberry industry in the past three decades has been remarkably robust. For the blueberry industry to remain competitive and sustainable, growers are seeking solutions to ever-increasing problems with labor shortages and rising labor costs for harvesting blueberries by hand. More growers are now using over-the-row (OTR) mechanical harvesters…

Making Headway Toward Machine Harvesting of Blueberries

Abbey Taylor Berries, Research, Technology, Top Posts, VSCNews magazine

By Doug Phillips With rising costs and declining availability of harvesting labor, blueberry growers are increasingly interested in considering machine harvesting for their crops. Cost is a particularly important factor because of declining profit margins due to competition from lower-cost areas of production. PROS AND CONS Hand harvesting produces high-quality fruit, but can cost between…

Mechanical Strawberry Harvester Could Solve Labor Shortage

Abbey Taylor Berries, Business, Research, Strawberry, Top Posts, VSCNews magazine

Labor continues to be a pressing issue for southeastern agriculture. However, in Florida, new technology on the horizon may offer a glimmer of hope. Gary Wishnatzki, owner of Wish Farms and co-founder of Harvest CROO Robotics, is working to create a mechanical harvester that could revolutionize the strawberry industry. LOOKING AHEAD TO LABOR Wishnatzki said…

Spider Mite Research Heats Up

Abbey Taylor Berries, Pests, Research, Strawberry, Top Posts

Two-spotted spider mites are a major issue in Florida strawberries. Justin Renkema, former assistant professor at the University of Florida (UF), says mites make their way into Florida fields by blowing in from neighboring fields, but they may also be coming on strawberry transplants from nurseries. After proving that spider mites were coming to Florida…

Managing Spider Mites in Florida Strawberries

Abbey Taylor Berries, Pests, Strawberry, Top Posts

As two-spotted spider mites continue to be a serious issue in Florida strawberry fields, Justin Renkema, former assistant professor at the University of Florida, has been working with his colleagues to figure out where these spider mites come from and how best to manage them. He has conducted spider mite research over the past two…

Citrus Root Weevil Invades Florida Blueberries

Abbey Taylor Berries, Industry News Release, Top Posts

The Florida Blueberry Growers Association (FBGA) and the University of Florida (UF) are warning Florida blueberry growers to be on the lookout for citrus root weevil. A pest that has been an issue in citrus for years has made its way on to another crop entirely, causing significant damage in central and south central Florida.…