Facts of the Flow: Lake Okeechobee, 2020 Year-to-Date

Dan Cooper Florida, Lake Okeechobee, Water

(SFWMD) — Here is the latest update on inflows into Lake Okeechobee for the calendar year to date. This data is provided by SFWMD’s DBHYDRO database. There has been no back-pumping into Lake Okeechobee from the Everglades Agricultural Area this year. Source: South Florida Water Management District

New NIFA-Funded Research to Examine Cover Crops in Organic Vegetable Production Systems

Clint Thompson Florida, Organic, Top Posts

By: Kirsten Romaguera, 352-294-3313, kromaguera@ufl.edu The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture just announced funding for a project comprising an interdisciplinary team from the University of Florida. The three-year project, “Quantifying the nitrogen cycling benefits of different cover crops across different Florida organic vegetable production systems,” received a $496,271 grant as part of USDA-NIFA’s Organic Agriculture …

As Organic Food Sales Soar, Growers Look to Essential Oils to Suppress Pests, Diseases

Clint Thompson Florida, Organic, Top Posts

By: Brad Buck, 813-757-2224, bradbuck@ufl.edu, 352-875-2641 (cell) Organic food sales topped $50 billion in the United States in 2018. Statistics from the Organic Trade Association tell part of the story of this growing market: Fruits, vegetables and other specialty crops combined to make up 36.3% of total organic sales —  up 5.6% from the previous year. Naturally, farmers want to …

Florida Farmers Overcome COVID-19 Impacts

Clint Thompson Coronavirus, Florida, Top Posts

By: Tory Moore, 352-273-3566, torymoore@ufl.edu More than 70% of Florida’s large farms sell to the service industry which includes theme parks, hotels, restaurants and cruise lines. When COVID-19 brought the tourism industry to a crashing halt this spring, farmers around the state quickly pivoted to sell the bounty of fruit and vegetables that were at peak harvest. In a recently …

Coming Soon: White Strawberries From the Wild

Ashley Robinson Berries, Florida, Fruit, Research, Strawberry, Technology, Top Posts, VSCNews magazine

By Seonghee Lee and Vance M. Whitaker The University of Florida will soon commercialize a new strawberry variety. It doesn’t have a name yet, but it is already drawing attention for a very unusual characteristic. When it is ripe and ready to eat, it is white inside and out, with a slight pink blush on the exterior and red seeds. …

Pre-Harvest Sugarcane Burns Necessary and Safe

Clint Thompson Florida, Sugar, Top Posts

The use of pre-harvest burns is necessary for Florida sugarcane farmers and does not endanger the surrounding communities. That is the message members of the U.S. Sugar company are conveying to alleviate any concerns people or special interest groups may have. Pre-harvest burns promote healthy plant regrowth for future crops and improves the quality and efficiency of the harvest. Sugarcane …

Trialing and Developing Blackberries for Florida

Ashley Robinson Berries, Florida, Research, Top Posts, VSCNews magazine

By Zhanao Deng Blackberry has emerged as an alternative crop in Florida. More and more Florida growers are growing or trialing blackberries for commercial production. They have indicated a dire need for suitable blackberry cultivars that can yield well and produce berries of good quality. PAST CULTIVARS AND RESEARCH In the 1950s, University of Florida (UF) released two blackberry cultivars, …

H-2A Process Should Be Smoother Next Season

Clint Thompson Florida, Georgia, Top Posts

The H-2A application process had its challenges this spring in getting the farm workers needed from Mexico to Florida and Georgia. Veronica Nigh, economist with American Farm Bureau, believes the process should continue to improve next season amid the coronavirus pandemic, even if a vaccine is not in place. “A good deal of uncertainty was presented both to farmers and …