Florida Strawberries Face Devastation with No Protection from Unfair Trade

Abbey Taylor Berries, Industry News Release, Legislative, Strawberry, Top Posts, USMCA

WASHINGTON D.C. — The U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) fails to provide effective near-term relief measures for Southeast fruit and vegetable producers. Florida is the nation’s largest producer of fresh strawberries during the winter months; however, central Mexico’s strawberry production increased fivefold from 2000 to 2017. “This exponential increase presents a clear and present danger to the…

Florida Growers Facing Blueberry Challenges

Breanna Kendrick Berries, Pollinators, Top Posts

By Breanna Kendrick Citrus root weevil is relatively new to blueberries, but is becoming more of a prevalent issue for some Central Florida growers. Citrus root weevil typically occurs on old citrus ground that has been plowed under for blueberry production. Doug Phillips, blueberry Extension coordinator for the University of Florida (UF), has been trying…

FBGA Annual Meeting Brings Blueberry Industry Together

Abbey Taylor Berries, innovation, Research, Top Posts

The Florida Blueberry Growers Association (FBGA) held its annual meeting and trade show on Oct. 30 in Ocala. Brittany Lee, FBGA president, says the annual meeting is a great opportunity for the blueberry industry to come together. The meeting featured an educational seminar series focusing on several different topics. University of Florida researchers Oscar Liburd…

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…