‘It’s More than Just Work’

Abbey Taylor Florida, Top Posts, VSCNews magazine

University of Florida Extension Agent Gene McAvoy retires. If you ask any Florida grower if they know who Gene McAvoy is, they’ll probably reply with a smile and say “yes.” That is the kind of impact McAvoy has had in his 22-year run as an Extension agent in Hendry County, Florida. On July 31, McAvoy officially retired from the University …

Sneak Peek: September VSCNews Magazine

Abbey Taylor Sneak peek, Top Posts, VSCNews magazine

The September issue of VSCNews magazine is packed with information ranging from breeding updates to peach production. Florida growers will recognize the man on the cover next month. On July 31, University of Florida (UF) Extension Agent Gene McAvoy retired. The September VSCNews cover story dives deep into McAvoy’s career and tells how he went from world traveler to Florida …

SmartIrrigation Apps Improve Water-Use Efficiency

Abbey Taylor Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Research, Top Posts, VSCNews magazine, Water

By Vasileios Liakos and George Vellidis Ample water is a critical input needed to grow high-yielding, high-quality crops. Today, irrigated agriculture represents 20 percent of the total cultivated land, but contributes 40 percent of the total food produced worldwide. Due to overuse, droughts and growing demand by urban and industrial users, competition for available fresh water supplies is rapidly increasing. …

Preparing for Farm Technology

Abbey Taylor Alabama, Florida, Georgia, innovation, Technology, Top Posts, VSCNews magazine

The world of artificial intelligence, robots and big data is upon us, and agriculture will not be left out. Nobody knows this better than Vonnie Estes, vice president of technology at the Produce Marketing Association (PMA). Her job is to work with farmers nationwide to help them learn how to adopt such technologies. Estes also serves as a resource for …

What’s Keeping Growers From Adopting Technology?

Abbey Taylor Technology, Top Posts, VSCNews magazine

By Karla Arboleda Precision agriculture technologies are not as widely used as they are available, and researchers want to figure out why this is the case for Florida growers. Tara Wade, assistant professor at the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) in the Food and Resource Economics Department, is studying this issue. She says global positioning …

Cutting Costs With Smart Sprayers

Abbey Taylor Technology, Top Posts, VSCNews magazine

By Yiannis Ampatzidis Traditional broadcast sprayers usually treat the entire field to control pest populations, potentially resulting in unnecessary application to areas that do not require treatment. These sprayers apply agrochemicals uniformly, even though distribution of weeds is typically patchy. This results in wastage of valuable compounds, increased costs, crop damage risk, pest resistance to chemicals, environmental pollution and contamination …

‘Harvesting Is Just the Beginning’

Abbey Taylor innovation, Strawberry, Technology, Top Posts, VSCNews magazine

By Ernie Neff An experimental robotic strawberry harvester appears to barely creep through a field in Duette, Florida. That belies a flurry of activity occurring out of sight. “It’s walking speed as it moves through the field, but the robots are moving at a good clip inside,” says Scott Jantz. “These robots are spinning underneath … furiously picking plants.” Jantz …

Pepper Weevil Prevention

Abbey Taylor Top Posts, VSCNews magazine

By David Riley and Alton Sparks The pepper weevil (Figure 1) is one of the most serious pests of peppers in the Americas. This weevil was introduced into the United States from Mexico as early as 1904(Elmore et al., 1934). The weevil can effectively shut down pepper production if not controlled early enough in the growing season. Even with the …