Tea’s Specialty Crop Potential Being Studied in the Southeast

Abbey Taylor Research, Top Posts

Tea is an extremely popular drink in the United States and around the world. However, the market for tea can go beyond just consumption. For example, tea can be used in beauty products and essential oils. The market makes tea an attractive specialty crop for growers. Brantlee Spakes Richter, a senior lecturer at the University of Florida (UF), is currently …

UF-Developed Tools to Help Cope with Weather

Abbey Taylor Top Posts, Weather

By Brad Buck, 352-294-3303, bradbuck@ufl.edu GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Florida weather is unpredictable. While you cannot control the weather, you can use UF/IFAS-developed weather databases to improve farming, home irrigation and flood control. Researchers with the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences have written a new Extension document that summarizes several weather data portals and tells how stakeholders …

Areas of Florida Experience Extreme Drought

Abbey Taylor Environment, Top Posts, Weather

Although some rain passed through Florida recently, the state is still suffering from severe drought in certain areas. Furthermore, according to a map released by the U.S. Drought Monitor on May 4, areas north of Lake Okeechobee have moved in to the “extreme” drought level. Florida has been experiencing water shortage issues due to the drought, and regions within the …

avocado

Ambrosia Beetles Bring Trouble for Avocados

Abbey Taylor Avocado, Pests, Top Posts

An invasive pest from Asia carries a lethal pathogen that can kill avocado trees. The redbay ambrosia beetle was first detected in Savannah, Georgia, in the early 2000s. This beetle carries a fungus that causes laurel wilt, an extremely dangerous pathogen that can be deadly to avocado trees. Recently, the threat of this pathogen has increased. Randy Ploetz, a professor …

Artichokes Could Be the Next Niche Crop in Florida

Abbey Taylor Research, Top Posts

The Florida specialty crop industry is facing many difficulties that range from pest issues to competition from imports. Growers seeking alternative crops may want to consider artichokes. Shinsuke Agehara, an assistant professor at the University of Florida, says artichokes have never been commercially grown in Florida, but they could be a great niche crop. Agehara believes artichokes are an attractive …

GFVGA Chasing Labor Issues in D.C.

Abbey Taylor Legislative, Top Posts

AgNet Media’s Founder and President, Gary Cooper, recently caught up with the Executive Director of the Georgia Fruit & Vegetable Growers Association, Charles Hall, in Washington D.C. Hall says he is primarily focusing on labor and the H2-A program during his time in D.C. He also briefly discusses NAFTA negotiation possibilities and damage to Georgia blueberries from this season’s freeze. …

food labeling

Finding a Balance for Food Labeling

Dan Cooper Legislative

Newly appointed Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue answered questions from members of the National Association of Farm Broadcasters. Perdue was asked about food labeling and what the new administration might do regarding the matter. “Certainly we are not prepared to talk about the implementation of genetically engineered or biotech labeling, and that’s a complicated issue,” he said. “But I am pretty …

Ag Lender Survey: Farm Profitability Down, Commodity Prices Top Concern

Josh McGill Business

ABA and Farmer Mac release first biannual survey of agricultural lenders Nearly 90 percent of agricultural lenders have seen an overall decline in farm profitability in the last 12 months, according to a joint survey by the American Bankers Association and the Federal Agricultural Mortgage Corporation (Farmer Mac; NYSE: AGM and AGM.A). The survey of more than 350 agricultural lenders …