Interest Increases in Florida Pearl

Clint Thompson Florida, Strawberry, Top Posts

By Clint Thompson Interest in the new Florida Pearl strawberry, released by University of Florida strawberry breeder Vance Whitaker, is gaining momentum. It’s expected to lead to a substantial jump in acres for the upcoming season; perhaps as much as 200 acres. “The interest has been variable depending on the business model of the different growers. There definitely will be …

UF Strawberry Breeder: ‘Lengthening of Season Good for Industry’

Clint Thompson Florida, Strawberry, Top Posts

By Clint Thompson A recent production trend is a positive development for Florida strawberry producers. The Sunshine State’s strawberry season is starting earlier and ending later in recent years. That’s a win for producers, said Vance Whitaker, strawberry breeder at the University of Florida Gulf Coast Research and Education Center. “There were some interesting USDA statistics that were out recently …

Results From Alabama Extension Strawberry Variety Research Trials

Clint Thompson Alabama, Research, Strawberry, Top Posts

By Clint Thompson Strawberries remain a popular fruit crop produced in Alabama. The secret to increasing its popularity may be by providing growers more variety options. “Varieties are one of the most important decisions you’re going to make in crop production,” said Edgar Vinson, assistant research professor and Extension specialist in the Department of Horticulture at Auburn University during a …

UF Strawberry Breeder: I’m Optimistic That We’re Going to be Able to Solve It

Clint Thompson Florida, Strawberry, Top Posts

By Clint Thompson Neopestalotiopsis Fruit Rot disease could have a lingering impact on Florida strawberry production for the foreseeable future. However, it should not be compared with Citrus Greening, the disease that has devastated the state’s citrus industry, believes University of Florida/IFAS strawberry breeder Vance Whitaker. “When you talk about citrus greening, you’re talking about a long-lived crop that you …

UF Strawberry Breeder: We’re Shifting A Lot of Effort Toward Neopestalotiopsis

Clint Thompson Florida, Georgia, Strawberry, Top Posts

By Clint Thompson Yield and quality remain at the forefront of Vance Whitaker’s focus as University of Florida/IFAS strawberry breeder. But not far behind is Neopestalotiopsis Fruit Rot. “We always have to pay attention to yield and quality, but we’re definitely shifting a lot of effort toward it for sure,” Whitaker said. “It certainly has leapfrogged, probably most traits, at …

UGA Specialist: Anybody Who Got Plants From That Nursery, They’re Just Decimated

Clint Thompson Disease, Florida, Georgia, Strawberry, Top Posts

By Clint Thompson What started as a problem for Florida strawberry producers has developed into cause for concern for Georgia farmers. Phil Brannen, University of Georgia Cooperative Extension Fruit Disease Specialist, estimates that at least 10% of Georgia’s crop is infected with Neopestalotiopsis Fruit Rot, though it could be as high as 20%. Bill Brim, co-owner of Lewis Taylor Farms …

Good Food and Good Times at the FSGA Field Day

Clint Thompson Florida, Strawberry, Top Posts

By Ashley Robinson Strawberry growers and industry leaders gathered for the fifth annual Florida Strawberry Growers Association (FSGA) Tailgate and Field Day event on Wednesday. The event, held in conjunction with the University of Florida Gulf Coast Research and Education Center (GCREC) in Balm, Florida started with a morning tailgate party. Tailgaters munched on fried gator tail, Italian sausage, beef …

Secret Weapon? AI Could Help Strawberry Farmers against Twospotted Spider Mite

Clint Thompson Florida, Pests, Strawberry, Top Posts

Artificial intelligence (AI) maybe the secret weapon in strawberry farmers’ fight against the twospotted spider mite. University of Florida scientists have developed a smartphone application to detect the annual pest of Florida strawberries. If farmers could detect the pest quicker, they could utilize lower levels of chemicals that could otherwise harm the environment. For Example For a 50-acre farm, every …