By Ashley Robinson
The November issue of VSCNews magazine touches on a variety of topics, including an improved method to detect phytophthora in irrigation water, smart irrigation tools for blueberry growers and new findings on growing hemp in Florida.
One of the most serious diseases in Georgia vegetable production is phytophthora blight, a water mold that attacks the roots, foliage and fruit, causing root rot, crown rot, leaf lesions, fruit rot and plant wilt.
Due to a lack of an efficient diagnosis method, the production of vegetables is severely impacted by contaminated irrigation water. Emran Ali, the director of the Plant Molecular Diagnostic Lab; Owen Hudson, a master’s student; Justin Hand, Tift County Extension agent; and Sumyya Waliullah, a research professional at UGA in Tifton share a newly developed hand pump-based filter paper method to improve detection of the disease.
Vasileios Liakos, an assistant research scientist at UGA-Tifton discusses two new smart irrigation tools for blueberries developed by UGA — the UGA Smart Sensor Array (SSA) and the Blueberry App. The UGA SSA is a system that records soil moisture within fields and the Blueberry App allows growers to use their smart-phones to schedule irrigation. Researchers at UGA are also working on a project, evaluating soil moisture sensors for blueberries.
Lastly, Tory Moore, public relations specialist for the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) shares important considerations for Florida growers contemplating or currently growing hemp. Flowering requirements, pest management strategies, irrigation, fertilization and additional general advice are all offered in this article.
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