Labor Contractors Help Growers Use H-2A Program

Abbey Taylor Labor, Top Posts, VSCNews magazine

By Brian German Farms across the United States have been struggling for a number of years now to find and retain the amount of agricultural labor that is required for their operations. Many growers have switched to crops that can be mechanically harvested or simply require less labor. For the farmers who do not have that option, or remain dedicated …

A Grower’s Perspective on Labor Shortages

Abbey Taylor Labor, Top Posts, VSCNews magazine

By Chalmers Carr Ask any specialty crop producer in the Southeast to identify the greatest agricultural concern today and virtually every one of them will say access to reliable, legal and affordable laborers. How has this become such a huge issue? What can be done to solve this issue to allow the southeastern region to flourish and grow in its …

Labor Issues in the Specialty Crop Industry

Abbey Taylor Labor, Top Posts, VSCNews magazine

By Zhengfei Guan Florida is a large supplier of fruits and vegetables in the United States. Major fruits and vegetables produced in Florida include citrus, strawberries, tomatoes, bell peppers, cantaloupes, watermelons, etc. The production and harvest of these crops are labor intensive. For example, University of Florida researchers estimate that harvesting 1 acre of oranges requires 50 hours. More than …

Improving Mechanical Harvesting of Fresh-Market Blueberries

Abbey Taylor Berries, Labor, Technology, Top Posts, VSCNews magazine

By Fumiomi Takeda The growth of the blueberry industry in the past three decades has been remarkably robust. For the blueberry industry to remain competitive and sustainable, growers are seeking solutions to ever-increasing problems with labor shortages and rising labor costs for harvesting blueberries by hand. More growers are now using over-the-row (OTR) mechanical harvesters to pick blueberries for the …

Putting Florida Peaches in the Spotlight

Abbey Taylor Peaches, Stone Fruit, Top Posts, VSCNews magazine

Believe it or not, many consumers and retailers do not know that peaches are grown in Florida. However, thanks to a Specialty Crop Block Grant, the Florida Specialty Crop Foundation (FSCF) and Fresh From Florida (FFF) are working to raise awareness of Florida peaches. FSCF initially received the grant in 2017. After two successful seasons, the grant has been extended …

Improving Orchard Soil with Cover Crops

Abbey Taylor Organic, Research, Top Posts, VSCNews magazine

By Ali Sarkhosh and Danielle Treadwell Most Florida orchards display low soil fertility. The soil is highly susceptible to erosion, low in organic matter content and, therefore, low in water-holding capacity and nitrate retention. Low organic matter content in the soil is associated with sub-optimal plant development due to a reduction in annual nutrient consumption and therefore total nutrient content …

The State of Organic Vegetable Production in Southern Georgia

Abbey Taylor Organic, Top Posts, Vegetables, VSCNews magazine

By Timothy Coolong Southern Georgia is a powerhouse for wholesale fresh-market vegetable production. The vegetable industry in Georgia was valued at over $1 billion in 2015, with more than 170,000 acres in production, according to the University of Georgia’s 2015 Georgia Farm Gate Value Report. SIZE AND SCOPE The vegetable industry in southern Georgia is also extremely diversified, with more …