Immigration Reform Impacting Agriculture

Abbey Taylor Business, Labor, Legislative, Top Posts

By Tacy Callies and Ernie Neff At the recent general session of Citrus Expo, AgSafe President and CEO Amy Wolfe discussed emerging issues in ag labor and food safety. One of the topics she covered was the federal Ag and Legal Workforce Act that was introduced in Congress on July 18. The new bill is…

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…

Advice for Growers Implementing the Produce Safety Rule

Abbey Taylor Business, Food Safety, Top Posts, VSCNews magazine

By Travis K. Chapin and Michelle D. Danyluk Good agricultural practices have been followed by fresh fruit and vegetable producers for decades on a voluntary and market-driven basis to reduce risks from produce safety hazards. Such hazards include microbial pathogens, chemicals and physical hazards like broken glass or plastic. More recently, growers have been fulfilling…

Alternative Ways to Make Money

Abbey Taylor Agri-business, Business, Research, Top Posts

By Breanna Kendrick Regional Extension agent Kevin Athearn conducts research on the economics of alternative crops at the North Florida Research and Education Center in Live Oak, Florida. The question Athearn gets asked the most is: What is the most profitable alternative crop? "That's a difficult question to answer," he says. "For every crop, you'll…

Florida Peach Promotion Set for a Second Year

Abbey Taylor Business, Peaches, Top Posts

Sonia Tighe, executive director of the Florida Specialty Crop Foundation (FSCF), is excited to be heading into the second year of a two-year grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to market Florida peaches. The grant was awarded to FSCF to work in collaboration with the Fresh from Florida program. After seeing great results from…

Alabama’s Beginning Farmer Program

Abbey Taylor Business, Top Posts

The Beginning Farmer Program has come to Alabama. The Alabama Beginning Farmer Program, funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Grant, aims to provide a knowledge infrastructure for new and developing farmers. Ayanava Majumdar, Auburn University Extension entomologist, is working on the program, which he calls a “very important…

Financial Management Conference Benefits Florida Ag

Jaci Schreckengost Business, Top Posts

By Tacy Callies Regina Thomas, co-organizer of the Florida Agriculture Financial Management Conference held Nov. 2-3 near Orlando, provides an overview of the event and discusses its origins. Thomas is senior vice president/director of financially related services for Farm Credit of Central Florida. Thomas says the conference began eight years ago during the recession that…

Ag Lender Survey: Farm Profitability Down, Commodity Prices Top Concern

Josh McGill Business

ABA and Farmer Mac release first biannual survey of agricultural lenders Nearly 90 percent of agricultural lenders have seen an overall decline in farm profitability in the last 12 months, according to a joint survey by the American Bankers Association and the Federal Agricultural Mortgage Corporation (Farmer Mac; NYSE: AGM and AGM.A). The survey of…