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 …

USMCA Not Likely to Change for Southeastern Produce Industry

Abbey Taylor Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Legislative, NAFTA, Produce, Top Posts, USMCA

The Southeastern produce industry has been very vocal about the issues it faces with the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and now the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), which is the NAFTA rewrite. Due to heavy competition from Mexico, the industry says rural communities have been impacted and businesses have not been able to survive. After the USMCA was released, it …

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Enza Zaden Field Day Features Watermelons and More

Dan Cooper Florida, Fruit, Produce, Seeds, Tomatoes, Top Posts, Vegetables, Watermelon

Growers and seed distributors had a field day Tuesday at the Enza Zaden seed breeding and field trials facility near Myakka City, Florida. The main attraction was the watermelon trials that include new varieties being tested and introduced into the market. Other trials added great flavor to the day’s tour and discussions, with multiple plots for bell peppers, mature green …

Studying Salmonella Prevention in Produce

Alison DeLoach Food Safety, Produce, Research, Top Posts

By Alison DeLoach Food safety is a top priority for food scientists in the United States. Govindaraj Dev Kumar, an assistant professor at the Center for Food Safety at the University of Georgia, is researching the foodborne pathogen salmonella and the threat it poses to food safety. Kumar said there are 2,500 different types of salmonella found in poultry, eggs …

Experiencing the Flavors of Florida

Abbey Taylor Florida, Produce, Top Posts

Every year, the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) welcomes agriculture industry leaders to the UF campus in Gainesville to experience Flavors of Florida. The annual event took place on April 11 in the Champions Club overlooking Ben Hill Griffin Stadium. The event kicked off with some short comments from Jack Payne, UF/IFAS senior vice president, …

Smart Sprayer Technology for Better Weed Control

Abbey Taylor Produce, Research, Top Posts, VSCNews magazine

By Arnold Schumann, Nathan Boyd, Shaun Sharpe and Jialin Yu Most vegetable and strawberry crops in Florida are grown on raised, fumigated soil beds covered with plastic mulch and fertigated with drip tape. Fortunately, the plastic mulch suppresses most weeds that would otherwise grow rapidly and outcompete the crops in Florida’s warm subtropical climate. The open holes that are punched …