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 …

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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 …

Florida-Georgia Water War Rolls On

Abbey Taylor Top Posts, VSCNews magazine, Water

The Florida-Georgia water war has made it to the nation’s highest court and back multiple times due to a dispute about water conservation. The water war involves the Chattahoochee and Flint rivers. These rivers begin in Georgia, then join to form the Apalachicola River, which is near the Florida border and flows into the Apalachicola Bay. Florida began the war by requesting limitations on …

SmartIrrigation Technology Improves Tomato Production

Abbey Taylor Research, Top Posts, VSCNews magazine, Water

By Ibukun T. Ayankojo and Kelly T. Morgan Fresh tomato production in the United States is dominated by the states of California and Florida. Florida harvests about 28,000 acres of tomatoes with a production value of $382 million. This accounts for approximately 40 percent of the total production value in the United States. IRRIGATION ACCURACY IS CRITICAL Vegetable production requires …

What Exactly Causes Toxic Algae?

Abbey Taylor Top Posts, VSCNews magazine, Water

By Lisa Krimsky Florida has an algae problem, and we’re not alone. The population on this planet is growing, as is the need to feed and house 7.6 billion people. Algae blooms are naturally occurring. However, a warming climate, human activities and nutrient inputs from stormwater, agricultural and urban land use, and sewer and septic systems have significantly increased the …

Trends and the Future of the Legal Ag Workforce

Abbey Taylor Labor, Top Posts, VSCNews magazine

By Amy Wolfe Not a day goes by when discussions don’t swirl in the mainstream and social media spheres about immigration. The topic is polarizing at best. In agriculture, the need for a thoughtful, balanced solution is essential to ensure our ability to continue feeding the world. Notable to our industry is the proposal to modify the current agricultural guestworker …

Sneak Peek: November 2018 VSCNews Magazine

Abbey Taylor Research, Sneak peek, Top Posts, VSCNews magazine, Water

Get in the know on H2O with the November issue of VSCNews magazine. Water is a crucial aspect of agriculture in the Southeast, and the November magazine will give readers an update on ongoing water issues and a new irrigation technology. As the Florida population grows, water resources become scarcer, creating a challenge for the state’s agriculture industry. Rich Budell, …