Call for Entries: Watermelon Retail Merchandising Contest Open

Clint ThompsonFlorida, Watermelon

WINTER SPRINGS, FL – The National Watermelon Promotion Board (NWPB) is excited to announce the call for entries for their 16th annual Watermelon Retail Merchandising Contest. Retail chains, independent retailers, and commissaries are invited to compete for more than $10,000 in cash and prizes. The grand prize winner will receive $5,000, with $2,500 awarded to the second place, $1,000 for …

From Hops to Pellets: UF/IFAS Scientists Meeting Craft Brewer Demand

Clint ThompsonFlorida

Many craft brewers prefer to make their product using hops pellets because of several advantages they provide over whole cone hops. To address a request by Tampa Bay-area craft brewers, University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) researchers are converting the crop they grow into pellets. “Brewers use several forms of hops to make beer, including pellets, …

Fresh From Florida: FDACS Program Celebrates More Than One Million Followers

Clint ThompsonFlorida

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services’ (FDACS) Fresh From Florida program is celebrating the more than 1 million consumers who follow Fresh From Florida on social media, signed up for the Fresh From Florida newsletter and joined the Fresh From Florida Club. Since January 2023, Fresh From Florida’s online followers have grown from a little more …

Gummy Stem Blight Worst in Recent Memory

Clint ThompsonFlorida, Watermelon

By Clint Thompson North Florida watermelon growers have been able to manage most disease pressure this year; except for gummy stem blight. It has been the one disease that has been extremely problematic for producers, says Bob Hochmuth, University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) Regional Specialized Extension agent in Live Oak, Florida. “I’d say it’s more …

Chilli Thrips Control: UF/IFAS Study Shows How Strawberry Growers Can Use Less Pesticides

Clint ThompsonFlorida, Strawberry

Florida strawberry growers can use less pesticide and save money as they attempt to control chilli thrips, University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) research shows. An invasive pest in the southeastern United States, chilli thrips was introduced to the United States from Southeast Asia. The first report in Florida came in 1991 in Okeechobee County and …

hops yard

Figuring Out the Right Hops “Recipe” in Florida

Dan CooperFlorida, Hops, Specialty Crops, Varieties

The University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) Gulf Coast Research and Education Center hosted a hops field day in early June. The event included a tour of the center’s hops yard and educational presentations on growing the crop. Much of the hops used in brewing beer is grown in Washington and Oregon. Shinsuke Agehara, UF/IFAS associate …

USTR, USDA Announce Appointments to Advisory Committee

Clint ThompsonFlorida, Georgia, USDA

WASHINGTON – The Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) have announced appointments to the newly established Seasonal and Perishable Agricultural Products Advisory Committee.  Members from Georgia and Florida were selected to the committee, including Chris Butts, executive director of the Georgia Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association and Mike Joyner, president of …

Gummy Stem Blight a Problem for North Florida Watermelon Crop

Clint ThompsonFlorida, Watermelon

By Clint Thompson North Florida’s watermelon crop continues to be impacted by increased disease pressure, though gummy stem blight remains the most difficult to control. Bob Hochmuth, University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) Regional Specialized Extension agent in Live Oak, Florida, reported in his weekly email that gummy stem blight is causing the greatest concern among …

Aww Shucks: Tough Price Year for Florida Sweet Corn Producers

Clint ThompsonCorn, Florida

By Clint Thompson Sweet corn production has shifted into Georgia. Following the peak season for Florida growers around Memorial Day, the harvest window has shifted northward for producers. Florida grower Eric Hopkins liked everything about this year’s crop, except the price. “We certainly could have gotten more money for the crop and probably sold the same amount of units. It’s …

Registration Ongoing for Florida Ag Labor Relations Forum

Clint ThompsonFlorida

Registration is ongoing for the 50th annual Agricultural Labor Relations Forum, scheduled for Aug. 28-30 at the Wyndham Grand Orlando Resort Bonnet Creek in Orlando, Florida. The forum is designed to educate agricultural employers, including growers, shippers, farm labor contractors and other employers, on compliance issues with labor laws and sound relations practices. Those interested in attending can click here …