Soil Moisture Sensors Improve Irrigation

Abbey Taylor Corn, Top Posts, VSCNews magazine, Water

By Charles Barrett Soil moisture sensors are useful for making irrigation decisions, record keeping and monitoring plant roots. Knowing where a crop root zone is or is not helps fine-tune an irrigation schedule. Here is how: DETERMINING HOW MUCH WATER TO APPLY An irrigation schedule is a game plan for how a crop will be…

Sneak Peek: August VSCNews Magazine

Abbey Taylor Organic, Research, Top Posts, VSCNews magazine

Organically grown produce is climbing in popularity in the United States. The August issue of VSCNews magazine will give growers the information they need to help their organic farm thrive or to convert to organic growing. For growers looking toward growing organically, AgNet Media’s Ernie Neff and Abbey Taylor explore what it takes to become…

Precision Application of Dry Fertilizer in Wild Blueberry Fields

Abbey Taylor Research, Top Posts, VSCNews magazine

By Arnold Schumann, Qamar Zaman, Hassan Chattha, Scott Read and Aitazaz Farooque The wild blueberry (Vaccinium angustifolium) is a perennial, shrubby, slow-growing plant that is native to northeastern North America. Commercial wild blueberry fields are developed by removing competing vegetation and debris from natural mixed forest, because they cannot be successfully planted. Establishment of a…

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…