Blueberry Weed Control in Florida

Ashley Robinson Berries, Top Posts, VSCNews magazine

By Peter J. Dittmar Weeds are problematic throughout the entire year in Florida. Annual weeds (separated into summer and winter annual weeds) germinate, grow and produce seeds in a single year. Summer annual weeds begin to germinate in March when temperatures begin to warm. Winter weeds begin to germinate when temperatures are cool (around October) and continue to emerge through …

The Future of Precision Weed Control

Ashley Robinson Technology, Top Posts, Vegetables, VSCNews magazine

By Yiannis Ampatzidis Farmers use mainly agrochemicals for weed control and follow conventional crop protection strategies that use a vast amount of chemicals, despite some negative impacts on the environment and human health. More than 90% of the acreage of crops in the United States is sprayed with herbicides. It is estimated that around $31.5 billion was spent on herbicides …

Capitalize on Conservation Funding and Enhance Produce Safety

Ashley Robinson Agri-business, Food Safety, VSCNews magazine

By Kristin Woods Conservation funding from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (USDA NRCS) can help growers implement good land stewardship practices in an economically sustainable way. While these practices may affect pathogen movement in the farm environment, they are not meant to reduce produce safety risk. Additional consideration must be given around how implementing specific practices …

Sneak Peek: May 2021 VSCNews Magazine

Clint Thompson Top Posts, VSCNews magazine

By Ashley Robinson The future of weed control is here. The May issue of VSCNews Magazine provides the inside scoop on all things weed control. First up, Yiannis Ampatzidis, an assistant professor at the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) at the Southwest Florida Research and Education Center (SWFREC) covers the future of precision weed control. …

Getting Bugs to Work for You: Biodiversity in Action

Ashley Robinson Pollinators, VSCNews magazine

By Jason Schmidt, Carmen Blubaugh and William Snyder Before large monoculture agriculture became commonplace, farms had a bit of everything — from a vegetable garden and a fruit orchard, to a chicken coop and a honeybee hive, to a natural forest and even a lake or creek. These farms had rich and vibrant plant and animal life, healthy soils and …

Shade Nets Show Benefits for Peppers

Ashley Robinson Organic, Vegetables, VSCNews magazine

By Juan Carlos Díaz Pérez Vegetable growers know well about the importance of light to plants. Light is necessary for the process of photosynthesis through which plants convert light energy into chemical energy (sugars) needed for plant growth and development. LIGHT AND HEAT Light is electromagnetic radiation that comes from the sun. The portion of the electromagnetic spectrum that can …

Biological Control of Sweetpotato Whiteflies With Predatory Mites in Squash

Ashley Robinson Cucurbits, Pests, Vegetables, VSCNews magazine

By Lorena Lopez and Oscar E. Liburd The sweetpotato whitefly (Bemisia tabaci) is one of the most problematic pests in vegetable production in the world and it is a key pest in squash. Most significant damage caused by this pest is due to the transmission of viral diseases and its ability to rapidly develop resistance to pesticides. Sweetpotato whiteflies can …

Muscadine Grape: Key to Sustainable Florida Viticulture

Ashley Robinson Grapes, Top Posts, VSCNews magazine

By Manjul Dutt and Ali Sarkhosh Native to Florida and the southeastern United States, the muscadine grape (Vitis rotundifolia) is a lesser known relative of the European grape (descended from Vitis vinifera) that is popular worldwide for fruit consumption and wine production. A related species (Vitis munsoniana/Vitis rotundifolia var. munsoniana) is commonly present in the central and southern parts of …