Taste Test Shows Luffa’s Potential

Abbey Taylor Research, Top Posts

This emerging Asian vegetable is one to watch in Florida. By Yucong Xie, Guodong Liu, Bala Rathinasabapathi and Muhammad A. Shahid Luffa is a genus of tropical and subtropical plants in the cucumber family (Cucurbitaceae). Native to Asia, particularly in China and Vietnam, luffa is cultivated for its immature fruit, which is consumed as a cooked vegetable (Figure 1). Mature …

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Critical Organic Insecticides

Abbey Taylor Organic, Pests, Top Posts

Auburn University Extension entomologist Ayanava Majumdar says for organic growers, the use of organic insecticides can make or break a production system. “Organic insecticides are critical for organic producers; we shouldn’t forget about them,” Majumdar says. Southeastern weather conditions are among the most unique in the nation, making pests a year-round issue. For starters, the southeast has heat, humidity and …

Secretary Perdue Outlines USDA Services in the Event of a Government Shutdown

Abbey Taylor Legislative, Top Posts

(Washington, D.C.) – U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue Friday outlined U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) services available in the event of a government shutdown. “USDA is committed to safeguarding life and property through the critical services we provide – and should the government shut down, we will continue to do just that,” said Secretary Perdue. “I am proud of …

An Update on the Farm Bill

Abbey Taylor Legislative, Top Posts

Robert Redding, an attorney representing agriculture groups in Washington, D.C., recently gave a federal regulation update presentation during the Southeast Regional Fruit and Vegetable Conference in Savannah, Georgia. His talk included the topic of the upcoming farm bill. Farm bill leaders, House Ag Chairman Mike Conaway and Senate Ag Chairman Pat Roberts, wanted to have the bill finished by the …

FAMU Center Boosts Florida Viticulture Industry

Jaci Schreckengost Grapes, Top Posts

“When the grapes are out, we are out,” said Violeta Tsolova, professor and director of the Center for Viticulture and Small Fruit Research at Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University (FAMU). She was referring to the researchers and students at the center working to help grape growers be successful in the Southeast viticulture industry. NATIVE GRAPES Growers in the Southeast have …

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Georgia Weighs In on Water War with Florida

Abbey Taylor Top Posts, Water

The Florida-Georgia water war has made it to the nation’s highest court due to a dispute about water conservation. The water war involves the Chattahoochee and Flint rivers. These rivers begin in Georgia, then join to form the Apalachicola River, which is near the Florida border and flows into the Apalachicola Bay. Florida began the war by requesting limitations on Georgia’s fresh water use. …

Bill Seeks Tighter Scrutiny of Organic Products

Abbey Taylor Legislative, Organic, Top Posts

By Brian German Congress will be reviewing legislation that would establish greater oversight for organic products.  The bill, known as the Organic Farmer and Consumer Protection Act, was introduced by Rep. John J. Faso (R-NY) and has 33 House cosponsors. The bill aims to update organic import documentation with new technology and create stricter enforcement of organic products coming into …

Studying Insect Behavior for Pest Control

Jaci Schreckengost Pests, Top Posts

Controlling insect behavior might lead to better pest management for growers in the Southeast. Xavier Martini, assistant professor at the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences North Florida Research and Education Center in Quincy, studies insect behavior to help growers control pests. One part of his research uses natural enemies to combat major pests in the field. …