The Florida Ag Expo was held today at the University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences’ Gulf Coast Research and Education Center. Over 1,000 attendees consisting of fruit and vegetable growers, vendors and industry professionals came to the event to learn from the educational programs and field tours offered.
The focus was on providing fruit and vegetable growers with the latest information on new production trends and techniques. The attendees were also given the opportunity to sample new varieties and participate in field trials. Hands-on training for growers covered in-depth pest and disease identification.
Also on the agenda were product demonstrations from exhibitors as well as panel discussions. The panels covered the topics of “Maximizing Use and Effectiveness of Biopesticides” and “The Q-biotype In Florida — Assessing the Risk to Florida Vegetable Production.”
Jack Rechcigl, director of the Gulf Coast Research and Education Center, said a hot topic during the discussions was concern that the Q-biotype whitefly could be resistant against pesticides and could spread from ornamentals to vegetables. He said that three top researchers from the University of Florida addressed the Q-biotype whitefly subject and that “surveys are going to be done on vegetable fields to see whether or not it’s actually impacting the vegetable growers yet.”
Other topics covered at the event were vegetable viruses of 2016 and 2017, new Worker Protection Standard regulations and the globally harmonized system of pesticide labeling.
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