COVID-19 risk factors vary by farm workers’ legal status; shows need for tailored measures

Clint Thompson Coronavirus, Florida, Top Posts

University of Florida/IFAS As laborers return to the fields this fall in Florida, both unauthorized workers and those authorized to plant and pick crops through a guest worker visa are vulnerable to the coronavirus. In fact, an estimated 75% of Florida crop workers have at least one underlying health issue that puts them at risk of developing COVID-19 complications, new …

Breeding Better Cucurbits

Ashley Robinson Alabama, Cucurbits, Florida, Georgia, pumpkin, Top Posts, VSCNews magazine, Watermelon

By Cecilia McGregor and George Boyhan Cucurbit crops are some of the most widely grown vegetable crops in the Southeast. However, the hot and humid climate is conducive to pest and disease development, which presents a challenge to growers. Cucurbit breeding at the University of Georgia (UGA) is focused on breeding pumpkin, watermelon and squash with excellent fruit quality and …

Improved Weather Data at Growers’ Fingertips

Clint Thompson Florida, Top Posts, Weather

Weather is one of the most important factors affecting crop growth and production. The Florida Automated Weather Network (FAWN), a University of Florida-operated service, was created to assist growers in making decisions related primarily to irrigation scheduling and cold protection. Currently, the FAWN network operates 42 stations located from Jay to Homestead that record and report every 15 minutes on …

Whiteflies Flaring Up in Florida Vegetables

Clint Thompson Florida, Pests, Top Posts, Vegetables

According to the South Florida Vegetable Pest and Disease Hotline, whiteflies are flaring up in tomatoes and watermelons in Southwest Florida. In the Central Florida area, growers indicate that whiteflies are present in tomatoes low numbers, although some of the early plantings were hit hard by whiteflies. Tomato Yellow Leaf Curl Virus pressure remains less than 1% but it is …

Fungicide Resistance a Growing Problem in Strawberries

Clint Thompson Florida, Georgia, Strawberry, Top Posts

Fungicide resistance in strawberries is a major problem, says University of Georgia Cooperative Extension plant pathologist Phil Brannen. He encourages producers to help researchers understand which fungicides are still active and provide protection against diseases like anthracnose and botrytis. “(Fungicide resistance) has really come to the forefront in the last few years. In the last two or three years, we …

New AI Technology ‘Agroview’ Named UF Invention of the Year

Clint Thompson Florida, Technology, Top Posts

September 23, 2020 By: Brad Buck, 813-757-2224, bradbuck@ufl.edu Yiannis Ampatzidis and his research team combined their collective minds to find the artificial intelligence technology to best help farmers save money and better care for their crops. Out of that process, they invented a system known as Agroview. The system utilizes images from drones and satellites and from the ground – …

florida fruit

FFVA’s Joyner: Government’s Self-Initiation of 201 Investigation Speaks Volumes About Importance

Clint Thompson Berries, Florida, Top Posts

The Florida Fruit and Vegetable Association (FFVA) is pleased with the USTR’s decision to implement a Section 201 investigation into blueberries. Mike Joyner, president of FFVA, said the investigation was best for blueberry producers, mainly because of its global approach. “When you watched the testimony of the two hearings, there were a number of blueberry growers. We knew this already …

Using Reflective Mulch Films to Optimize Strawberry Production

Clint Thompson Florida, Strawberry, Top Posts

By Ashley Robinson Although a winter crop, strawberry production in Florida still falls victim to heat stress. With extreme heat during establishment, cool temperatures during the early and mid-harvests, and high temperatures during the late harvest, the crop is subject to dramatic seasonal temperature variations. Traditionally, the state’s strawberry growers have used black plastic mulch to achieve adequate wintertime soil …