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Public Comments Sought for Revisions to the Produce GAPs Harmonized Standard

Dan Cooper Industry News Release, Produce

The deadline to submit comments is Jan. 30, 2020. (United Fresh) – United Fresh has opened the public comment period to the just-posted redline version of the Produce GAPs Harmonized Standard, detailing the proposed revisions that were reviewed by the Technical Working Group at its September meeting. “We continue to strive for a balanced standard that is both accessible for …

Strawberry Advisory System Helps Growers Cut Costs

Abbey Taylor Produce, Strawberry, VSCNews magazine

Protecting crops from pathogens is always top-of-mind for growers, but crop protection products can quickly burn a big hole in a grower’s wallet. A researcher-developed strawberry advisory system aims to keep that from happening, while still ensuring the crop gets the care it needs. According to Adrian Zuniga, a doctoral student in Natalia Peres’ lab at the University of Florida, …

specialty crops

USDA Invests $11M In Research That Will Support Specialty Crop Farmers

Dan Cooper Avocado, Berries, Fruit, Grapes, Hemp, Hops, Horticulture, Industry News Release, Leafy Vegetables, Mangos, Mushrooms, Nuts, Olives, Onion, Organic, Peaches, Pecan, Pomegranates, potato, Produce, Stone Fruit, Strawberry, Sugar, Sweet Potatoes, Tomatoes, Tropical Fruit, Vegetables, Watermelon

WASHINGTON (USDA-Oct. 3, 2019) — U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Deputy Under Secretary Scott Hutchins announced that the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) has invested $11 million in research that will support specialty crop farmers. “This collaborative public-private research effort will focus on applying innovative solutions to pest management problems that often are otherwise not available to specialty …

The Basics of Breeding Horticultural Crops

Abbey Taylor Produce, Top Posts, VSCNews magazine

By Doug Phillips and Patricio Munoz Plant breeding has been described as the art and science of the genetic improvement of plants. It essentially involves using the heritable genetic variability in plants to develop varieties with certain targeted, desirable traits, such as high yield, disease resistance and superior fruit quality. Breeding of horticultural crops, such as tomatoes and strawberries, may …

Specialty Eggplants Yield Higher Value

Abbey Taylor Produce, Research, Top Posts

By Karla Arboleda Clemson University researchers are studying the productivity of different specialty eggplants to determine their value over common eggplants. Anthony (Tony) Keinath, an Extension vegetable pathologist at Clemson University, is conducting fall trials on several eggplant cultivars. Their size and appearance determine their potential market success. “We are doing this with a minimal amount of pesticide inputs. The …

Factors to Consider Before Adopting Alternative Crops

Abbey Taylor Produce, Research, Top Posts, VSC Expo

By Karla Arboleda Choosing to grow an alternative crop could prove to be a beneficial move for growers, but there are some factors that must be considered first. From macadamias to avocados, the worthiness of different alternative crops is dependent on several factors. Jose Chaparro, an associate professor at University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences in the …

Closing the Information Gap on the Produce Safety Rule

Karla Arboleda Produce, Research, Top Posts

By Karla Arboleda A study conducted by researchers at the U.S. Department of Agriculture Economic Research Service showed that growers across the United States expressed uncertainty over new food safety requirements for their operations due to an information gap. Researchers compared illness outbreaks associated with tomatoes, strawberries, cantaloupes and apples between 1998 and 2016. In order to have the first …

Florida Growers Pave Way for New Crops

Abbey Taylor Florida, Produce, Top Posts

By Karla Arboleda Tradition runs deep in Florida, but the state now has more growers producing a new range of specialty crops. PURPLE SWEET POTATODanny Johns, a fourth-generation potato farmer, grows a purple sweet potato with a fresh aesthetic and more nutrients to promote healthier eating. Aside from being brand new eye candy, Blue Sky Farms’ new variety grows right …