It Could Be Lights Out for Some Diseases and Pests in Strawberries

Dan Cooper Fruit, Industry News Release, Research, Strawberry

Natalia Peres envisions a day when light from a machine that resembles a spacecraft helps prevent powdery mildew from causing much damage to strawberries. Peres, a professor of plant pathology at the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, works with a global group of scientists studying how to use ultraviolet light to suppress plant pathogens. Powdery mildew …

Mexican Imports Exceed Florida Production

Abbey Taylor Strawberry, Top Posts

By Ernie Neff A University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences economist says U.S. imports of large amounts of Mexican fruits and vegetables create “a huge challenge for the (Florida) industry.” Zhengfei Guan addressed this topic at the Florida Agricultural Policy Outlook Conference in Wimauma on Feb. 26. Guan works at the Gulf Coast Research and Education Center, …

Growing Multiple Crops on the Same Plastic Mulch

Abbey Taylor innovation, Produce, Research, Strawberry, Top Posts, VSCNews magazine

By Nathan Boyd Vegetable growers throughout the Southeast face intensive economic pressure from foreign competition, volatile markets and increased production costs. Alternative production systems are needed that reduce input costs and increase economic return. One potential approach is to grow more than one crop on the same plastic mulch. The vast majority of horticultural crops in the Southeast are grown …


Aromatic Strawberry Variety Grows in South Florida

Dan Cooper Industry News Release, Research, Strawberry

As National Strawberry Day approaches on Feb. 27, University of Florida (UF) scientists have found another variety that can grow in South Florida. It’s largely unknown to American consumers, it’s temptingly tasty and it’s good for local markets, UF researchers say. Alan Chambers, an assistant professor of horticultural sciences with the UF Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (IFAS), led …


Florida Brilliance Shines on State’s Strawberry Industry

Dan Cooper Industry News Release, Strawberry, Top Posts

For years, University of Florida scientists looked for a few characteristics in a more desirable strawberry. Among those traits was a higher yield in November and December — the early part of the Florida season when prices are highest. They also sought better fruit for the consumer. That meant a longer shelf life, better flavor, improved shape and other traits, …


Florida Strawberries Face Devastation with No Protection from Unfair Trade

Abbey Taylor Berries, Industry News Release, Legislative, Strawberry, Top Posts, USMCA

WASHINGTON D.C. — The U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) fails to provide effective near-term relief measures for Southeast fruit and vegetable producers. Florida is the nation’s largest producer of fresh strawberries during the winter months; however, central Mexico’s strawberry production increased fivefold from 2000 to 2017. “This exponential increase presents a clear and present danger to the sustainability of the Florida strawberry …


UF Study: Buyers Want Environmentally Safe Strawberry Production

Abbey Taylor Industry News Release, Strawberry, Top Posts

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — As buyers browse strawberry packages at the supermarket, they might see labels such as “organically grown” or “locally grown.” But they’d also like to know if the fruit was produced in a way that preserves the environment, a new University of Florida (UF) study shows. Consumers say they’ll pay more for strawberries grown in a manner that …

Mechanical Strawberry Harvester Could Solve Labor Shortage

Abbey Taylor Berries, Business, Research, Strawberry, Top Posts, VSCNews magazine

Labor continues to be a pressing issue for southeastern agriculture. However, in Florida, new technology on the horizon may offer a glimmer of hope. Gary Wishnatzki, owner of Wish Farms and co-founder of Harvest CROO Robotics, is working to create a mechanical harvester that could revolutionize the strawberry industry. LOOKING AHEAD TO LABOR Wishnatzki said he started seeing changes in …