South Florida’s Water Politics Raising Questions

Dan Cooper Environment, Water

By Gary Cooper One of several bombshells dropping at last week’s South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) governing board meeting was the resignation of district executive director Ernie Marks.  In the audio clip below, Governing Board Member and Vice Chair Brandon Tucker echoed the feelings of several other board members about Marks’ resignation:  There was no quorum at last week’s …

Blueberry Event Gives Growers Hands-On Experience

Abbey Taylor Berries, Top Posts

By Alison DeLoach Pests and diseases are always top of mind for blueberry growers. To help growers better understand how to identify these issues, Juanita Popenoe, a University of Florida (UF) commercial fruit production Extension agent for Orange, Lake and Marion counties, hosted a hands-on identification event at the Lake county Extension center in Tavares, FL. Blueberry growers had the …


Executive Resigns, Politics Exposed at SFWMD Board Meeting

Dan Cooper Top Posts, Water

Soon-to-exit South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) governing board members offered parting comments at the SFWMD governing board meeting in West Palm Beach. The entire board was asked to resign and put under pressure to do so by Gov. Ron DeSantis and South Florida Congressman Brian Mast, who is advising the governor on agricultural and environmental issues. The resignations were …


Agriculture Chairman Seeks State Hemp Program

Dan Cooper Hemp, Legislative

With officials seeing a potentially lucrative industry, Senate Agriculture Chairman Ben Albritton, R-Wauchula, is proposing creation of a state hemp program. Albritton on Thursday filed a bill that would set up the program under the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. The bill came after Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried last week named Holly Bell as the state’s first director …

Four Ag Leaders Inducted into Hall of Fame

Abbey Taylor Top Posts

The 40th Florida Agricultural Hall of Fame banquet took place last night in the special events hall on the Florida State Fairgrounds in Tampa. Four distinguished ag leaders were inducted into the hall of fame. The evening began with a reception, during which agriculturalists from different industries were able to mingle and catch up with old friends. Following the reception …

Roundup Presents Challenges for Growers

Alison DeLoach Cucurbits, Research, Top Posts

By Alison DeLoach A well-known herbicide for growers, glyphosphate (Roundup), can cause harm to crops if not properly applied. According to Stanly Culpepper, weed scientist with the University of Georgia, when applied too close to planting or when the application rate is too high, Roundup can severely damage a plant. When looking at the labels for Roundup PowerMAX II, there …

U.S. Withdraws from Tomato Suspension Agreement

Abbey Taylor Legislative, Tomatoes, Top Posts

The Department of Commerce recently announced that the United States will be withdrawing from the 2013 Suspension Agreement on Fresh Tomatoes from Mexico beginning May 7. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross indicated in a statement that the decision is a result of complaints from American tomato growers that their prices are being undercut by imports. The 6-year-old agreement prevented an anti-dumping investigation …


The Hype on Hemp

Abbey Taylor Hemp, Top Posts, VSCNews magazine

By Abbey Taylor and Ernie Neff If you’ve ever told somebody you’re thinking about growing industrial hemp on some of your land, you’ve probably gotten raised eyebrows, smirks, chuckles or outright guffaws in response. Or someone might have said, “Great, you’re going to be growing pot! Invite me over when you get your first crop!” That fun reaction is understandable. …