Methods for Measuring Fruit Firmness

Alison DeLoach Fruit, Top Posts

By Alison DeLoach Measuring fruit firmness can tell a grower a lot about the maturity of a fruit. Patrick Abeli, a master’s student at Michigan State University in the Department of Horticulture, discussed the importance of measuring blueberry fruit firmness.   When a fruit becomes too firm, it is unpalatable, and when a fruit is too soft, it spoils. According to …

south florida

Key Facts and Direct Ag Input Missing at South Florida Water Board Workshop

Dan Cooper Florida, Water

by Gary Cooper It was a packed house Wednesday as the new crop of South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) Governing Board members met in West Palm Beach for their first workshop. Input from the audience was tightly controlled. Even though there was an expert on the guest panel who is involved in working with agriculture in the region, agriculture …

Georgia Grower Discusses Ag Labor in D.C.

Alison DeLoach Labor, Legislative, Top Posts

By Alison DeLoach Bill Brim begins his testimony at 48:20. Growers in the United States are facing many challenges when it comes to the current H-2A agricultural visa program. On April 9, Bill Brim, owner of Lewis Taylor Farms in Georgia and board member of the Georgia Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association, testified on his struggles with agricultural labor to …

Tomato Suspension Agreement Battle May Not Be Over Yet

Abbey Taylor Industry News Release, Legislative, Top Posts

The termination of the Tomato Suspension Agreement may be stopped in its tracks after associations representing the Mexican tomato industry have proposed changes to the agreement. The agreement was set to be terminated on May 7. The associations recently presented their proposal to the U.S. Department of Commerce. According to a report from Abasto (, the changes proposed by the …

Biological Controls for Growers

Alison DeLoach Research, Top Posts, Vegetables

By Alison DeLoach Integrated pest management is an economic way for growers to control pests. Jim Walgenbach an Extension entomologist at North Carolina State University, studies integrated pest management on tree fruits and vegetable crops. At the 2019 Southeast Regional Fruit and Vegetable Conference, he discussed research on biological controls for certain pests. When it comes to managing spider mites …


Rubio, Colleagues Raise Concerns Regarding Lack of Effective Trade Enforcement for Seasonal Produce in USMCA

Dan Cooper Florida, Industry News Release, Trade, USMCA

U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Representatives Vern Buchanan (R-FL), Stephanie Murphy (D-FL), and Al Lawson (D-FL) led a bipartisan group of Senators and Representatives in a letter raising concerns to United States Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer regarding the lack of progress in the new U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) with respect to improved mechanisms to initiate and sustain legitimate anti-dumping and countervailing …

The Benefits of Beneficials

Abbey Taylor Alabama, Pests, Top Posts, VSCNews magazine

For organic growers, the tools to control pests are scarce. However, using insects to fend off pests may be a good option. Ayanava Majumdar, Alabama Cooperative Extension entomologist with Auburn University, has been studying the impacts of beneficials for years and is constantly getting questions from growers about how best to use these pest management tools. Majumdar says beneficials, or …


Florida Ag Commissioner Urges Support for Fresh From Florida Budget

Dan Cooper Florida, Legislative

Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried urges Florida farmers to make their voices heard now during this tough year for agriculture program funding. She says state lawmakers are debating key budget items between House and Senate versions that could leave some department programs woefully underfunded. One area of big concern right now is the popular Fresh From Florida marketing program. In …