Preparing for Farm Technology

Abbey Taylor Alabama, Florida, Georgia, innovation, Technology, Top Posts, VSCNews magazine

The world of artificial intelligence, robots and big data is upon us, and agriculture will not be left out. Nobody knows this better than Vonnie Estes, vice president of technology at the Produce Marketing Association (PMA). Her job is to work with farmers nationwide to help them learn how to adopt such technologies. Estes also serves as a resource for …

‘Harvesting Is Just the Beginning’

Abbey Taylor innovation, Strawberry, Technology, Top Posts, VSCNews magazine

By Ernie Neff An experimental robotic strawberry harvester appears to barely creep through a field in Duette, Florida. That belies a flurry of activity occurring out of sight. “It’s walking speed as it moves through the field, but the robots are moving at a good clip inside,” says Scott Jantz. “These robots are spinning underneath … furiously picking plants.” Jantz …

Alternative Crops for Hastings

Abbey Taylor innovation, Top Posts

By Ernie Neff Farmers in the Hastings area of St. Johns County have traditionally grown potatoes and cabbage. But Bonnie Wells, commercial agriculture Extension agent for the county, says, “Potato growers have been looking for other things to grow to diversify their farms.” She reports on some of the alternative crops that are being tried in the area or that …

New Website Promotes Plant Breeding Innovation

Abbey Taylor innovation, Seeds, Top Posts

According to Andy LaVigne, American Seed Trade Association (ASTA) president and CEO, the association strives to stay on top of plant breeding innovation and relay updates to its members. To help meet this goal, ASTA has partnered with the Biotechnology Innovation Organization to launch Innovature.com. According to the website, it aims to “highlight progress in agriculture, food and wellness. We …

Growing Multiple Crops on the Same Plastic Mulch

Abbey Taylor innovation, Produce, Research, Strawberry, Top Posts, VSCNews magazine

By Nathan Boyd Vegetable growers throughout the Southeast face intensive economic pressure from foreign competition, volatile markets and increased production costs. Alternative production systems are needed that reduce input costs and increase economic return. One potential approach is to grow more than one crop on the same plastic mulch. The vast majority of horticultural crops in the Southeast are grown …

Payne Reflects on Achievements from 2018; Looks Forward to 2019

Abbey Taylor Industry News Release, innovation, Top Posts

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — As 2018 gives way to 2019, the senior vice president for agriculture and natural resources at the University of Florida (UF) looks back with pride at the progress made by the UF Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (IFAS) and predicts continued momentum for the coming year. “We have labs, fields and greenhouses in every corner of …

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 and Phil Harmon kicked off …

Southeastern Agriculture Well Represented at PMA Fresh Summit

Abbey Taylor innovation, Produce, Top Posts, Vegetables

The Produce Marketing Association’s (PMA) annual Fresh Summit took place Oct. 17-19 in Orlando, Florida. Every year, this huge summit brings members of the global produce and floral industries together to make connections and mingle with fellow industry professionals. Every year, southeastern agriculture has a huge presence at the summit, most notably in the Fresh from Florida and Georgia Grown …