Precision Application of Dry Fertilizer in Wild Blueberry Fields

Abbey Taylor Research, Top Posts, VSCNews magazine

By Arnold Schumann, Qamar Zaman, Hassan Chattha, Scott Read and Aitazaz Farooque The wild blueberry (Vaccinium angustifolium) is a perennial, shrubby, slow-growing plant that is native to northeastern North America. Commercial wild blueberry fields are developed by removing competing vegetation and debris from natural mixed forest, because they cannot be successfully planted. Establishment of a commercially productive field of wild …

Vegetable and Specialty Crop Seminars Pack a Punch

Abbey Taylor Fruit, Produce, Research, Top Posts, Vegetables

The 27th year of Citrus Expo is expected to be the biggest year yet with an added vegetable and specialty crop educational program. AgNet Media has always relied on University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences professionals to help create an informative program for growers. This year, Gene McAvoy, a regional vegetable Extension agent, led the efforts in …

Making Headway Toward Machine Harvesting of Blueberries

Abbey Taylor Berries, Research, Technology, Top Posts, VSCNews magazine

By Doug Phillips With rising costs and declining availability of harvesting labor, blueberry growers are increasingly interested in considering machine harvesting for their crops. Cost is a particularly important factor because of declining profit margins due to competition from lower-cost areas of production. PROS AND CONS Hand harvesting produces high-quality fruit, but can cost between $0.70/pound and $0.90/pound for local …

Rid Your Crop of Caterpillars

Abbey Taylor Fruit, Pests, Research, Top Posts, Vegetables

Different species of caterpillars can be detrimental to fruit and vegetable crops in the Southeast. Ayanava Majumdar, Extension entomologist with the Alabama Cooperative Extension Service, says although recent storms in the Southeast have slowed down moth activity, pests are still looming due to the heat. According to Majumdar, armyworms seem to be active. Beet armyworms are usually the first insects …

Microbial Communities to Be Discussed at Citrus Expo

Abbey Taylor Research, Top Posts

Microbial communities are at the center of Sarah Strauss’ presentations during the Citrus Expo educational program. Strauss, an assistant professor of soil microbiology at the Southwest Florida Research and Education Center, will speak in the vegetable and specialty crop session at Citrus Expo. Strauss will focus on microbial communities in vegetable crops. She will discuss how manipulation of these communities …

A New Race of Fusarium Wilt Brings Trouble

Abbey Taylor Research, Top Posts, Watermelon

Fusarium wilt has been a problem in watermelon for several years. A new race of the disease makes it even more of a struggle to deal with. Nicholas Dufault, assistant professor and Extension specialist in the Plant Pathology Department at the University of Florida (UF), says race three fusarium wilt was recently found in the United States. According to Dufault, …

Jack Payne on New SWFREC Director

Abbey Taylor Research, Top Posts

By Jack Payne, jackpayne@ufl.edu, @JackPayneIFAS Kelly Morgan is a more reliable water source than rain is. You don’t know when or if you’ll get water from the sky, but what Morgan can teach you makes every drop you have go farther. His focus on the farmer as customer is what has made him so successful as the state’s best management …

Phil Stansly to Discuss Whiteflies at Citrus Expo

Abbey Taylor Pests, Research, Top Posts

Whiteflies vector diseases that can deteriorate crops and drastically reduce yield. Whiteflies have proven to be a major pest in Florida tomatoes and cucurbits. According to Stansly, whiteflies can cause severe problems in tomatoes. “You can have irregular ripening, so even if you’re using a variety that’s resistant to the viruses, you can still run into trouble if the populations …