Sneak Peek: November VSCNews Magazine

Abbey Taylor Sneak peek, VSCNews magazine, Water

The November issue of VSCNews magazine is all about water management issues. Andrea Albertin and Mark Lusk, both with the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS), discuss plans in the works to improve Florida’s water quality. The authors look at Florida’s current water issues, how septic tanks may be a part of the problem and ways …

PACA Can Help Protect Your Company

Abbey Taylor VSCNews magazine

By Travis Hubbs Since its foundation in 1930, the Perishable Agricultural Commodities Act (PACA) has been promoting fair trade practices in the fresh and frozen fruit and vegetable industry. In enforcing a code of fair business practices, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) resolved approximately 3,400 PACA claims involving more than $58 million in the past three years alone. PACA …

Blueberry Grower Considerations for Fall and Winter

Abbey Taylor Berries, Research, VSCNews magazine

By Jeff Williamson As winter approaches, blueberry plants respond to the changing environment in ways that should be addressed through management practices. Shorter days and cooler nights are environmental cues that stimulate changes in blueberry plant growth and development, such as terminal bud set and the cessation of shoot extension growth, the initiation and development of flower buds, the onset …

Strawberry Advisory System Helps Growers Cut Costs

Abbey Taylor Produce, Strawberry, VSCNews magazine

Protecting crops from pathogens is always top-of-mind for growers, but crop protection products can quickly burn a big hole in a grower’s wallet. A researcher-developed strawberry advisory system aims to keep that from happening, while still ensuring the crop gets the care it needs. According to Adrian Zuniga, a doctoral student in Natalia Peres’ lab at the University of Florida, …

A Fresh, New Look at Florida Ag Expo

Abbey Taylor Florida, Florida Ag Expo, VSCNews magazine

By Ashley Robinson More than a decade ago, growers Tony DiMare and Jay Taylor attended a fruit and vegetable tour and expo in Mexico. They realized Florida needed a similar type of event. As members of the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) Gulf Coast Research and Education Center (GCREC) Advisory Council, both growers worked with …

The Basics of Breeding Horticultural Crops

Abbey Taylor Produce, Top Posts, VSCNews magazine

By Doug Phillips and Patricio Munoz Plant breeding has been described as the art and science of the genetic improvement of plants. It essentially involves using the heritable genetic variability in plants to develop varieties with certain targeted, desirable traits, such as high yield, disease resistance and superior fruit quality. Breeding of horticultural crops, such as tomatoes and strawberries, may …

Inside the University of Florida Blueberry Breeding Program

Abbey Taylor Berries, Florida, Research, Top Posts, VSCNews magazine

By Patricio Munoz and Doug Phillips The University of Florida (UF) blueberry breeding program has a long history of pioneering the development of southern highbush blueberries (SHB) that can thrive in Florida’s hot, humid climate. The breeding program focuses on developing varieties with high yield, good fruit quality and early ripening within a shrinking market window. The success of Florida’s …

Advanced Technologies Speed Up Strawberry Breeding

Abbey Taylor Florida, Strawberry, Top Posts, VSCNews magazine

By Seonghee Lee Strawberry is a genetically complex fruit crop. The use of conventional breeding approaches to combine many important characteristics in a single variety is difficult and takes a long time. These characteristics can include disease resistance, fruit quality attributes such as sugar content or aroma, or any other trait that naturally occurs in cultivated strawberry. Traditionally, University of …