2019 Legislative Sessions Wrap-Up

Abbey Taylor Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Legislative, Top Posts, VSCNews magazine

The 2019 legislative sessions in Florida, Georgia and Alabama have officially ended. Each year, agriculture advocates from all three states work tirelessly to fight for their industry. This article serves as a summary of how agriculture fared in the Florida, Georgia and Alabama sessions. Florida: Some Success, but More Work to Be Done By Adam Basford Going into the 2019 …

Managing Southern Blight in the Southeast

Abbey Taylor Research, Top Posts, VSCNews magazine

By Gary Vallad Southern blight is a severe disease of vegetables that favors warm and wet weather common to production in the Southeast. The disease is caused by the soilborne fungus Athelia rolfsii (synonymous with Sclerotium rolfsii), which has a broad host range of over 1,200 plants. Since the phaseout of methyl bromide, outbreaks of southern blight have increased on …

Whitefly-Transmitted Viruses Pose Problems in Vegetables

Abbey Taylor Pests, Top Posts, VSCNews magazine

By Rajagopalbabu Srinivasan The sweetpotato whitefly, commonly referred to as whitefly, is a major problem in vegetable production in Georgia and the southeastern United States. The whitefly can colonize hundreds of host plants in the landscape and has established itself year-round in this region. The pest has a short life cycle and is equipped with prolific reproductive capabilities. Consequently, its …

Sneak Peek: July VSCNews Magazine

Abbey Taylor Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Sneak peek, Top Posts, VSCNews magazine

The 2019 Florida, Georgia and Alabama legislative sessions have officially wrapped up, and the July issue of VSCNews magazine will tell readers how agriculture fared in each state. Adam Basford, director of state legislative affairs for Florida Farm Bureau, discusses the successes and ongoing work in Tallahassee this session. Mary Ann Hooks, director of governmental affairs with the University of …

What to Do About Watermelon Gummy Stem Blight and Fusarium Wilt

Abbey Taylor Research, Top Posts, VSCNews magazine, Watermelon

By Nicholas S. Dufault Gummy stem blight (GSB) and fusarium wilt (FW) can be common problems for watermelon producers in the Southeast. These two diseases are caused by fungal pathogens from the same taxonomic subphylum, but that is where the similarities end. GSB tends to be more of a foliar pathogen that can move to the petioles and vines, and …

Tomato Bacterial Spot Management Begins with Transplant Health

Abbey Taylor Florida, Tomatoes, Top Posts, VSCNews magazine

By Gary Vallad Few diseases present a persistent year-to-year challenge to tomato production like bacterial spot. Under ideal conditions, the disease can cause massive defoliation leading to yield losses through lost photosynthetic capacity and fruit exposure to the elements. This increases sunscald and raincheck as well as direct fruit infection by the pathogen. DISEASE SPREAD AND SYMPTOMS Xanthomonas perforans is …

Crucial Cabbage Diseases

Abbey Taylor Cole Crop, Top Posts, VSCNews magazine

Florida’s unique climate can create the optimal environment for a multitude of cabbage diseases. Nick Dufault, plant pathologist with the University of Florida (UF), says white mold and black rot have historically been common cabbage diseases that can cause serious damage. WHITE MOLD White mold, caused by the fungus Sclerotinia sclerotiorum,can be somewhat easy to identify since one of the …

Managing Nematodes Without Methyl Bromide

Abbey Taylor Pests, Top Posts, VSCNews magazine

By Johan Desaeger Plant-parasitic nematodes are some of the most difficult pests or diseases that growers in Florida are facing. They are difficult to recognize, are often confused with other biotic or abiotic problems, and can cause total crop loss in many fruits and vegetables. This is especially true in Florida’s warm and sandy soils, where nematodes, such as root-knot …