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…

Mechanical Strawberry Harvester Could Solve Labor Shortage

Abbey Taylor Berries, Business, Research, Strawberry, Top Posts, VSCNews magazine

Labor continues to be a pressing issue for southeastern agriculture. However, in Florida, new technology on the horizon may offer a glimmer of hope. Gary Wishnatzki, owner of Wish Farms and co-founder of Harvest CROO Robotics, is working to create a mechanical harvester that could revolutionize the strawberry industry. LOOKING AHEAD TO LABOR Wishnatzki said…

From Farmer to Legislator

Abbey Taylor Legislative, Top Posts, VSCNews magazine

Those with deep agricultural roots in Florida and Georgia discuss their journey into the world of politics. SONNY PERDUE U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue never wanted to enter the world of politics. As a child he grew up on a diversified row crop farm close to Perry, Georgia. After high school, he attended the…

Advice for Growers Implementing the Produce Safety Rule

Abbey Taylor Business, Food Safety, Top Posts, VSCNews magazine

By Travis K. Chapin and Michelle D. Danyluk Good agricultural practices have been followed by fresh fruit and vegetable producers for decades on a voluntary and market-driven basis to reduce risks from produce safety hazards. Such hazards include microbial pathogens, chemicals and physical hazards like broken glass or plastic. More recently, growers have been fulfilling…

Sneak Peek: June VSCNews Magazine

Abbey Taylor Legislative, Top Posts, VSCNews magazine

Policies and regulations can impact a grower’s ability to make a living. The June issue of VSCNews magazine will be growers’ one-stop-shop for important governmental updates on the state and federal levels. Southeastern growers will get an overview of their state’s 2018 legislative session. Adam Basford, director of state legislative affairs for Florida Farm Bureau…

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…