NAFTA Is a Problem for U.S. Specialty Crop Industry

Abbey Taylor Labor, Legislative, Top Posts

The House Agriculture Committee held a hearing in Washington, D.C. on Wednesday, July 26, to listen to comments about renegotiations of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and what those renegotiations could mean for different sectors of the U.S. agriculture industry. It is no secret that NAFTA has caused some mixed feelings from different U.S. farmers. Some have greatly …

UF Researchers Work to Control Pepper Pests

Jaci Schreckengost Pests, Top Posts

Pepper weevil is a huge issue for pepper growers, but researchers like Philip Stansly, a professor of entomology at the University of Florida (UF), are working to find management techniques. Stansly says pepper weevil is the main pest for pepper growers in Florida. Insecticides, shortened crop cycles and UV, metalized, reflective mulches are three forms of pest management techniques being …

trade

FFVA Announces Class 7 of Emerging Leader Development Program

Abbey Taylor Top Posts

The Florida Fruit & Vegetable Association (FFVA) has selected 10 up-and-coming agriculture industry leaders to participate in its Emerging Leader Development Program for the coming year. The 2017-2018 Class 7 members are Myles Basore, TKM Bengard; Maria Cavazos, R.C. Hatton; Catherine Cellon, Duda Farm Fresh Foods; Philip Grigsby, Premier Ag Finance; Brent Johnson, DuPont; Frankie Montalvo, Glades Formulating Corp.; Justin …

Vegetable, Berry Growers Move to H-2A for Labor Supply

Jaci Schreckengost Labor, Top Posts

Due to a lack of domestic farm workers in the United States, many growers use the H-2A program for their labor needs. So says Fritz Roka, University of Florida associate professor of agriculture economics at the Southwest Florida Research and Education Center in Immokalee. Vegetable and specialty crops are labor intensive crops, which causes a lot of concern for growers …

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 …

An Update on Southeastern Tea Research

Jaci Schreckengost Top Posts

Tea is still widely being researched in the Southeast, and growers may want to keep their eye on tea as a potential specialty crop. The market for tea spreads beyond just consumption. Tea can be used in beauty products, pharmaceuticals and more, making it an attractive crop to producers. While the southeastern climate can be tough on some crops, researchers …

Growers Want Research Funding in Next Farm Bill

Abbey Taylor Legislative, Research, Top Posts

Research was a popular topic among vegetable and specialty crop growers at the farm bill listening session in Gainesville, Florida, on June 24. One of these growers was Mike Bruorton, director of agricultural relations for Superior Berries Company and president of the Georgia Fruit and Vegetable Association. Bruorton began his comments by acknowledging that there are several programs already 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 …