Biofortified Fruits and Vegetables Bring Benefits

Abbey Taylor Produce, Research, Top Posts, VSCNews magazine

By Jaya Joshi Every morning, more than half the American population takes a multivitamin in the belief that the pharmaceutical industry has boiled down the benefits of bananas, sweet potatoes, broccoli and tomatoes into a pill. According to the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey program, 10 percent of Americans rely on five or more supplements of some kind for …

Georgia Blueberry Growers Focusing on Bush Health and Labor

Abbey Taylor Berries, Business, Produce, Top Posts, VSCNews magazine

After suffering from late freezes during the 2017 and 2018 seasons, Georgia blueberry growers are focusing on mending bush health. Brandon Wade, grower and president of the Georgia Blueberry Growers Association (GBGA), says growers have had a tough couple seasons due to the freezes. Disease pressure has been prevalent as well. According to Wade, the freezes opened the window for …

Gene Editing: Not Your Grandfather’s GMO

Abbey Taylor Research, Top Posts, VSCNews magazine

By Kevin Folta The refrigerator is a wonderful invention. It’s the place we find a cold drink on a hot day and the big box where we hide the cheese. Sometimes ice and water come right out of the door. Since its inception, the refrigerator allowed homeowners to store food, save leftovers and suffer less spoilage and waste. Most of …

UF Program Probing Hemp Production

Abbey Taylor Hemp, Research, Top Posts, VSCNews magazine

Industrial hemp could be Florida’s next big specialty crop. The University of Florida (UF) Industrial Hemp Pilot Program is tasked with figuring out how to successfully grow the crop in the Sunshine State. During the 2018 Citrus Expo, Zachary Brym outlined the program objectives and how growers can get involved. Brym is an associate professor at the UF Tropical Research …

Florida Hop Production Appears Promising

Abbey Taylor Hops, Research, Top Posts, VSCNews magazine

Findings from the Gulf Coast Research and Education Center hop trials are helping make strides in this new frontier. By Zhanao Deng, Shinsuke Agehara, Gary Vallad, Hugh Smith and Johan Desaeger Hops are an essential ingredient of beer. Breweries use different varieties and amounts of hops during the brewing process to attain the desirable levels of bitterness and flavors associated …

Developing Tea as a Cash Crop for the Southeast

Abbey Taylor Research, Top Posts, VSCNews magazine

By Donglin Zhang Tea (Camellia sinensis) is a native plant to China with more than 3,000 years of cultivation. Like its cousins, sasanqua and Japanese camellias, tea has been grown in the continental United States for more than 150 years. But due to the costs of processing, cultivation and labor, it has never become a large-scale cash crop. With growing …

Specialty Crops of the Andes May Have Potential for the Southeast

Abbey Taylor Produce, Top Posts, VSCNews magazine

By Kevin M. Folta The Andes Mountains are home to great botanical diversity and are the origin of many vegetable species consumed in North America. Worldwide mainstays such as peppers, cassava, potato and tomato all have evolutionary connections to this area, from which over 200 plant species have been domesticated. The vast diversity arises from variation in geographical features, as …

A Florida Perspective on Agricultural Water Issues

Abbey Taylor Top Posts, VSCNews magazine, Water

By Rich Budell Vegetable and specialty crop producers in the Southeast face many challenges, including labor, disease, trade and weather. An additional — often underappreciated and complicated — issue involves management and protection of fresh water resources. Access to adequate quantities of fresh water during the growing season is critical to production success. Protecting downstream receiving waters from potential adverse …