Florida’s Tomato Industry Crippled by Pandemic

Clint Thompson Florida, Tomatoes, Top Posts

By Clint Thompson With restaurants closed across the country due to coronavirus pandemic, little, if any, of Florida’s tomato crop is being harvested right now. Bob Spencer, President of West Coast Tomato in Palmetto, Florida, said his company farms between 3,500 and 4,000 acres every year but estimates that he’s losing 90% of his business right now. Since about 70% …

Fruit and Vegetable Producers Already Feeling Effects of Pandemic

Clint Thompson Fruit, Legislative, Tomatoes, Top Posts, Vegetables

By Clint Thompson President Trump signed the $2 trillion Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (CARES) into law on Friday to help provide some financial relief to Americans and jumpstart the economy amid the coronavirus pandemic. Monetary help may be on the way for fruit and vegetable growers in the Southeast, but the effects of the pandemic have already …

Tools for Tomato Weed Management

Ashley Robinson Tomatoes, Top Posts, VSCNews magazine

By Nathan Boyd Weed management programs for plasticulture tomato production in the southeastern United States typically rely on an array of tools to achieve satisfactory weed control. This may include tools such as fumigants, plastic mulches, pre-emergence herbicides, post-emergence herbicides and hand weeding. THE CULPRITS Purple and yellow nutsedge can be especially problematic due to their ability to puncture the …

Controlling Late Blight in Potatoes and Tomatoes

Ashley Robinson potato, Tomatoes, Top Posts

By: Ashley Robinson Late blight is an annual problem for potato and tomato growers. New strains of the pathogen, Phytophthora infestans, continue to emerge, becoming more aggressive and often resistant to fungicides. LETHAL PATHOGEN “Late blight is a devastating pathogen,” says Nick Dufault, associate professor of plant pathology at the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences. “Any …

Tomato Fertilization Recommendations for Florida

Ashley Robinson Tomatoes, Top Posts, VSCNews magazine

By Phillip Williams Tomatoes are grown statewide in Florida in a diverse manner depending on the region of the state. Sandy soils make up the dominant soil type for tomato production in Florida. Sandy soils are prone to leaching mobile nutrients such as nitrogen, potassium and even phosphorus by heavy rain or excessive irrigation. Therefore, sandy soils must be managed …

Breeding Tastier Tomatoes in Different Environments

Ashley Robinson Research, Tomatoes, Top Posts

(UF/IFAS) — A University of Florida tomato expert is calling on researchers worldwide to use genetics to help farmers grow tastier tomatoes in many geographic locations. Consumers crave tasty tomatoes, but the trick comes in growing flavorful fruit in different environments, said Jay Scott, University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) professor emeritus. “I am proposing a worldwide …

tomato diseases

Drones Detect Two Tomato Diseases With 99 Percent Accuracy

Dan Cooper Florida, Industry News Release, Research, Technology, Tomatoes, Top Posts

(UF/IFAS) — New technology being developed by University of Florida scientists identifies two dangerous tomato diseases with 99 percent accuracy. This finding is critical because diseases can cost growers millions of dollars annually in the state’s third most valuable crop. Thus, the earlier farmers detect those ailments, the better their chances of treating them before the diseases cause excessive damage. …

crop insurance deadline

Crop Insurance Deadline Approaching for Tomatoes and Pecans

Dan Cooper Florida, Industry News Release, Pecan, Tomatoes

(FDACS) — The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services is reminding Florida’s tomato and pecan growers of the approaching crop insurance deadline. Growers have until Jan. 31, 2020, to apply for crop insurance coverage for the 2020 crop year. Current policyholders who would like to make changes to their existing coverage also have until the Jan. 31 sales closing date …