COVID-19 Update for Growers and Packers

Dan Cooper Florida, Industry News Release

(UF/IFAS) — The CDC, FDA and USDA all agree “Currently, there is no evidence of food or food packaging being associated with transmission of COVID-19”, including imported foods and materials. FDA has issued guidance that if an employee tests positive for COVID-19 they “do not anticipate that food products would need to be recalled or be withdrawn from the market”. Citrus growers, harvesters, packers, …

state department

State Department Clears the Way for Agriculture Workforce

Dan Cooper Industry News Release, Labor

(AFBF) — The U.S. State Department revised its restrictions on the processing of visa applications submitted by farm workers in Mexico after hearing concerns that the restrictions would lead to a farm worker shortage in the Unites States. Consular officers can now waive the visa interview requirement for eligible first-time and returning H-2A and H-2B applicants, making more workers in the …

Sneak Peek: April 2020 VSCNews Magazine

Ashley Robinson Sneak peek, Top Posts, VSCNews magazine

By Ashley Robinson The April issue of VSCNews magazine is packed with information for both conventional and organic growers. Asian vegetables grow well in Florida and have the potential for high value in the market. As interest in these crops increases throughout the state, an article written by a group of researchers at the University of Florida (UF) – Mary …

Managing Fusarium Wilt Disease in Watermelons

Tacy Callies Disease, Fruit, Top Posts

By Clint Thompson Watermelon growers can protect their investment against fusarium wilt disease before they transplant, according to Bhabesh Dutta, University of Georgia (UGA) Cooperative Extension vegetable plant pathologist at the UGA Tifton campus. CHECK FOR SYMPTOMSDutta emphasizes that it’s important for growers to check their seedlings before planting for any type of wilting symptoms associated with fusarium wilt. “If …


UF/IFAS and FDACS Working to Bring Pesticide Licensing Online

Dan Cooper Florida, Industry News Release, Pests

(UF/IFAS) — University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) Extension and the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) are working to identify ways to provide online testing for certified pesticide applicators while in-person testing is unavailable due to COVID-19. All in-person UF/IFAS Extension programs and activities, including pesticide testing, have been postponed or cancelled through …


PACA Information Related to COVID-19 Impacts

Dan Cooper Uncategorized

(USDA/AMS) — Q.        I have been contacted by several customers that purchased produce from me requesting extensions to our payment terms or to make partial payments as a result of the economic turmoil relating to the COVID-19 emergency. I understand the predicament my customers are facing and am willing to try and help, but I am afraid I could jeopardize …

Coronavirus Concerns Impacting U.S. Agriculture

Ashley Robinson General, Labor, Top Posts

By Ashley Robinson U.S. agriculture has always had a great responsibility on its shoulders — to keep food on the tables of consumers despite the challenges that come its way. However, the situations facing production agriculture now in light of the coronavirus (COVID-19) epidemic are weighing heavily on the minds of farmers. “There is a lot of anxiety and concern …

Precision Sprayer Can Reduce Herbicide Use

Ashley Robinson Technology, Top Posts, VSCNews magazine

By Arnold Schumann, Nathan Boyd, Shaun Sharpe and Jialin Yu In the March 2019 issue of VSCNews, the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) smart sprayer technology using machine vision for Florida vegetable and strawberry crops ( was introduced. Subsequently, a series of herbicide spray trials were conducted to prove that the smart sprayer performs well …