Battling Silk Flies in South Florida Sweet Corn

Abbey Taylor Corn, Pests, Top Posts, VSCNews magazine

By Julien Beuzelin South Florida sweet corn growers continue to face two major insect problems: fall armyworms and corn silk flies. The two pests can be devastating, but corn silk flies are more challenging to manage than fall armyworms under current production practices. Three silk fly species have been reported to cause the majority of the damage: Euxesta eluta, Euxesta …

Beetle Borer in Blueberries

Abbey Taylor Berries, Pests, Top Posts, VSCNews magazine

By Janine Spies Since 2014, several Florida blueberry growers have reported seeing tunneling or girdling on the canes of their blueberry bushes. Oscar Liburd at the University of Florida has been investigating the source of the damage in blueberries along with his graduate students Lindsy Iglesias and Krystal Ashman in the Fruit and Vegetable IPM Laboratory. In the summer of …

‘If I Take Care of the Land, the Land’s Going to Take Care of Me’

Abbey Taylor Florida, Strawberry, Top Posts, VSCNews magazine

A Florida strawberry grower went above and beyond to be a steward of the land, earning the 4R Advocate Award. Agricultural producers pride themselves on being stewards of the land. Dustin Grooms, farm manager of Fancy Farms, is an excellent example of that. Grooms is a 2019 recipient of the 4R Advocate Award. This national award is given to five …

Turn Field Losses into Profits

Abbey Taylor Business, Top Posts, VSCNews magazine

By Lisa Johnson and Rebecca Dunning Nobody likes to be wasteful, but if it’s costlier to save something than to throw it away, a business owner is going to head for the garbage can. For fruit and vegetable growers, chemical destruction and tilling under are oft-used options near the tail end of a harvest. These practices occur even when product …

Bags Protect and Improve Peaches

Abbey Taylor Florida, Georgia, Organic, Peaches, Top Posts, VSCNews magazine

By David Campbell and Danielle Treadwell Peach growers have rediscovered a tool to add to their integrated pest and disease management toolbox — a unique paper bag. Easy to install and remove, the bag has extra durability to withstand wind and rain throughout the season. And if our data is consistent with previous observations, bagging may be affordable for many …

Growers of Organic Vidalia Onions Face Challenges

Abbey Taylor Georgia, Onion, Organic, Research, Top Posts, VSCNews magazine

By Bhabesh Dutta, Carroll Johnson and Jason Schmidt Vidalia onion ranks first in terms of farmgate value among vegetables in Georgia, making it the most important vegetable crop in the state. Among the spring-grown onions in the United States, Georgia ranks first because Vidalia onions are predominantly grown in spring. Although most of the acreage is conventional, nearly 20 percent …

Nematode Density Impacts Damage

Abbey Taylor Pests, Top Posts, VSCNews magazine, Watermelon

Root-knot nematodes are many crops’ worst enemy, including watermelon. Abolfazl Hajihassani, vegetable nematologist with the University of Georgia, recently completed a study analyzing how the population density of nematodes impacts watermelon damage. He presented the results of this trial at the Southeast Regional Fruit and Vegetable Conference in Savannah, Georgia, in January. STUDY SUMMARY Hajihassani began the trial by inoculating …

Living with Fusarium Wilt

Abbey Taylor Cucurbits, Top Posts, VSCNews magazine, Watermelon

With multiple races that are increasingly aggressive, fusarium wilt has been a challenging disease for watermelon growers and a tough nut to crack for southeastern researchers. Nicholas Dufault, assistant professor and Extension specialist in the Plant Pathology Department at the University of Florida, says all races of fusarium wilt occur in Florida, but each is a little different. Fusarium wilt …