A Sweeter Start to the Strawberry Season

Jaci Schreckengost Strawberry, Top Posts

Florida Beauty is a new and unique strawberry variety for growers. It was bred with characteristics to help Florida growers stand out in the market. Vance Whitaker, associate professor and director of the strawberry breeding program at the University of Florida, said Florida Beauty is the first day-neutral variety that has been released by the breeding program. Most varieties grown …

Strawberry Grower Discusses Hurricane Irma Damage

Abbey Taylor Berries, Strawberry, Top Posts, Weather

The Senate Agriculture Committee held a meeting on Oct. 12 to discuss damage from Hurricane Irma. Irma hit Florida in the beginning of September, just as many vegetable and specialty crop growers were preparing their fields to plant. The meeting featured two sets of panels in which growers gave testimonies about their damage after the storm. One of the panelists …

Problematic Pair of Pests for Strawberry Growers

Jaci Schreckengost Strawberry, Top Posts

Spider mites and spotted wing drosophila (SWD) have caused many issues for strawberry growers in the Southeast. Rebecca Schmidt-Jeffris, assistant professor of entomology and Extension specialist at Clemson University, said these two pests have caused strawberry growers to create a new management plan for both pests. In some smaller productions, Schmidt-Jeffris said growers may not have to worry about spider …

Techniques for Improving Strawberries

Jaci Schreckengost Strawberry, Top Posts

Kevin Folta, professor and chairman of the Horticultural Sciences Department at the University of Florida (UF), is studying how different types of light can affect various traits in fruits and vegetables as well as how connecting genes to the traits they carry out in strawberries can decrease the testing time for new varieties. Folta has studied how light affects plants …

UF Program Helps Keep Strawberry Stock Clean

Jaci Schreckengost Strawberry, Top Posts

The Strawberry Clean Plant Program at the University of Florida (UF) wants to get growers off to a good start by providing healthy strawberry plants. Vance Whitaker, an associate professor and director of the strawberry breeding program at UF, says plants are brought from places with cooler summers than Florida, because there is less precipitation, leading to fewer diseases in …

Strawberry Breeding to Address Grower Challenges

Abbey Taylor Berries, Strawberry, Top Posts

Labor availability is decreasing while competition from imports is increasing for strawberry growers in Florida, says Vance Whitaker, associate professor and director of the strawberry breeding and genetics program at the University of Florida. Whitaker says Mexico’s strawberry production has increased in the last five years, creating a challenge for Florida growers. “For labor, one of the key aspects of …

Time to Celebrate a Year-Round, Healthy Snack – the Strawberry

Abbey Taylor Strawberry, Top Posts

By:Brad Buck, 352-294-3303, bradbuck@ufl.edu GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Today starts National Strawberry Month, a time to reflect on the history of this sweet, nutrition-packed fruit that grows well in Florida – and to extol its health benefits. Strawberries originally grew in Europe. In France, people regarded them as the highest-quality aphrodisiac. People believed Alpine strawberries provided various medicinal benefits. While some …

Broward County Schools to Serve Students 40,000 Pounds of Plant City Strawberries

Abbey Taylor Strawberry, Top Posts

TALLAHASSEE, Fla.–Florida Commissioner of Agriculture Adam H. Putnam today announced that Broward County Public Schools will serve more than 40,000 pounds of Florida-grown strawberries to their students over the next two weeks. The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services’ Farm to School program facilitated the purchase from Sweet Life Farms in Plant City, Fla., which is owned and operated …