Improving Orchard Soil with Cover Crops

Abbey Taylor Organic, Research, Top Posts, VSCNews magazine

By Ali Sarkhosh and Danielle Treadwell Most Florida orchards display low soil fertility. The soil is highly susceptible to erosion, low in organic matter content and, therefore, low in water-holding capacity and nitrate retention. Low organic matter content in the soil is associated with sub-optimal plant development due to a reduction in annual nutrient consumption…

The State of Organic Vegetable Production in Southern Georgia

Abbey Taylor Organic, Top Posts, Vegetables, VSCNews magazine

By Timothy Coolong Southern Georgia is a powerhouse for wholesale fresh-market vegetable production. The vegetable industry in Georgia was valued at over $1 billion in 2015, with more than 170,000 acres in production, according to the University of Georgia’s 2015 Georgia Farm Gate Value Report. SIZE AND SCOPE The vegetable industry in southern Georgia is…

Pest and Disease Management for Organic Squash

Abbey Taylor Organic, Top Posts, VSCNews magazine

By Elizabeth Little Organic vegetable production has been steadily increasing in Georgia. Growers offer a wide variety of high-quality produce, especially during the cooler months from October to June. However, summer production can be challenging due to the proliferation of pests and diseases on non-adapted crops. Both summer and winter squash can be plagued by…

Organic Certification: Navigating the Red Tape

Abbey Taylor Organic, Top Posts, VSCNews magazine

By Abbey Taylor and Ernie Neff U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) official Jennifer Tucker declares organic agriculture to be “a terrific opportunity for farmers and consumers.” “It is a growing market with a lot of great potential,” says Tucker, associate deputy administrator for the USDA’s National Organic Program. The USDA has provided guidelines for farmers…

Sneak Peek: August VSCNews Magazine

Abbey Taylor Organic, Research, Top Posts, VSCNews magazine

Organically grown produce is climbing in popularity in the United States. The August issue of VSCNews magazine will give growers the information they need to help their organic farm thrive or to convert to organic growing. For growers looking toward growing organically, AgNet Media’s Ernie Neff and Abbey Taylor explore what it takes to become…

Organic Summit Registration Is Open

Abbey Taylor Organic, Top Posts

Registration for the second annual Organic Food and Farming Summit is now open! Presented by Florida Organic Growers (FOG), the summit aims to educate organic and conventional growers alike on organic production methods. Similar to last year, the summit will consist of food and farming tours, a trade show, and short- and long-form educational seminars.…

Using Plants to Fend Off Pests

Abbey Taylor Organic, Pests, Top Posts, Vegetables

Trap-cropping is an organic method to combat pests that has been tested with several different crops in Alabama. Ayanava Majumdar, an Extension entomologist for the Alabama Cooperative Extension System, has recently been testing different trap crops in yellow squash. Last year, he studied sorghum and sunflower to combat leaffooted bugs and stink bugs in vegetable…

organic certification

Critical Organic Insecticides

Abbey Taylor Organic, Pests, Top Posts

Auburn University Extension entomologist Ayanava Majumdar says for organic growers, the use of organic insecticides can make or break a production system. “Organic insecticides are critical for organic producers; we shouldn’t forget about them,” Majumdar says. Southeastern weather conditions are among the most unique in the nation, making pests a year-round issue. For starters, the…