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…

Drones: Decision-Making Tools for Weed Management

Abbey Taylor Technology, Top Posts, VSCNews magazine

By Ramdas Kanissery, Aditya Singh and Jim Fletcher Effective weed management in the field is one of many operational challenges faced by farmers across vegetable production systems. Spraying herbicide on emerged weeds, often termed as post-emergent sprays or burn-down applications, is essential for row-middle (inter-row) vegetation control in commercial vegetable production. EFFICACY EVALUATION Spray programs…

Sneak Peek: July VSCNews Magazine

Abbey Taylor Sneak peek, Technology, Top Posts

The July issue of VSCNews magazine explores new technologies emerging in the field. Charles Barrett, an Extension agent with the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS), discusses his research with soil moisture sensors and how this technology can help improve irrigation practices. Precision application of fertilizer is on the horizon. UF/IFAS…

The Next Big Biotech Traits

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

By Anne Schwartz Conventional breeding techniques and chemical controls have long been agriculture’s central means for disease management. However, despite hundreds of crosses performed and generations of progeny evaluated, durably resistant varieties remain elusive. Today, plant breeders are armed with an alternative method when conventional breeding techniques are insufficient. Specifically designed, genetically engineered plants offer…

DNA Sequencing Technology for Breeding Better Crops

Abbey Taylor Technology, Top Posts, VSCNews magazine

By Tong Geon Lee Studies in crop plants now routinely use DNA information, thanks to scientists in the 1960s who invented first-generation machines that interpret DNA information. These devices are often called DNA sequencing machines since DNA is arranged in a particular order. The DNA sequencing approach utilizes computer analysis to assemble DNA sequence from…

Drone Photos Help Growers Manage Weeds

Jaci Schreckengost Technology, Top Posts

To help Florida vegetable and specialty crop growers ensure their weed management programs are efficient, researchers have created an easier way to examine weeds. Ramdas Kanissery, assistant professor at the University of Florida's (UF) Horticultural Sciences Department at the Southwest Florida Research and Education Center in Immokalee, said drones have become essential tools to help…

Mechanized Harvesting Brings Challenges for Blueberry Growers

Abbey Taylor Berries, Technology, Top Posts

As labor continues to be a challenge for blueberry growers, there has been an increasing interest in machine harvesting in fresh markets. However, what may seem like a quick fix to a large problem has presented difficulties of its own, according to Jeff Williamson, Extension horticulturist with the University of Florida. Traditionally, blueberries are hand…

High-Tech Ag Applications on Your Horizon

Abbey Taylor Technology, Top Posts

By Kevin M. Folta An explosion of technology has changed virtually every aspect of the human experience since the turn of the millennium. While innovations are conspicuous in communication, transportation and medicine, technological tentacles have been slower to creep into agriculture. However, over the last five years, there has been a tremendous upsurge in how…