Mechanical Strawberry Harvester Could Solve Labor Shortage

Web AdminBerries, Business, Research, Strawberry, Top Posts, VSCNews magazine

Labor continues to be a pressing issue for southeastern agriculture. However, in Florida, new technology on the horizon may offer a glimmer of hope. Gary Wishnatzki, owner of Wish Farms and co-founder of Harvest CROO Robotics, is working to create a mechanical harvester that could revolutionize the strawberry industry. LOOKING AHEAD TO LABOR Wishnatzki said he started seeing changes in …

Spider Mite Research Heats Up

Web AdminBerries, Pests, Research, Strawberry, Top Posts

Two-spotted spider mites are a major issue in Florida strawberries. Justin Renkema, former assistant professor at the University of Florida (UF), says mites make their way into Florida fields by blowing in from neighboring fields, but they may also be coming on strawberry transplants from nurseries. After proving that spider mites were coming to Florida on transplants, Renkema wanted to …

Managing Spider Mites in Florida Strawberries

Web AdminBerries, Pests, Strawberry, Top Posts

As two-spotted spider mites continue to be a serious issue in Florida strawberry fields, Justin Renkema, former assistant professor at the University of Florida, has been working with his colleagues to figure out where these spider mites come from and how best to manage them. He has conducted spider mite research over the past two strawberry seasons. Renkema presented his …

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UF/IFAS Researchers May Use Fungi to Control Deadly Crop Disease

Web AdminFruit, Industry News Release, Research, Strawberry, Tomatoes, Vegetables, Watermelon

A group of fungi might fight a disease that’s dangerous to tomatoes and specialty crops. University of Florida scientists hope to develop this biological strategy as they add to growers’ tools to help control Fusarium wilt. Tomatoes are the number one vegetable crop in Florida. In 2017, approximately 28,000 acres of tomatoes were commercially harvested, with a production value of …

UV Light Can Zap Plant Pathogens

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How can UV light impact crop diseases? That’s a question David Gadoury has been trying to answer since 1991 in collaboration with universities in Norway, the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute’s Lighting Research Center and the University of Florida. Gadoury, a senior research associate in Cornell’s Department of Plant Pathology, updated growers at the recent Agritech Trade Show in Plant City, Florida, …

New Varieties Sweeten the Strawberry Season

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By next season, Florida strawberry growers will have two new varieties from which to choose. Vance Whitaker, an associate professor and strawberry breeder at the University of Florida Gulf Coast Research and Education Center, spoke about the Florida Beauty and Florida Brilliance varieties to growers during the recent Agritech Trade Show in Plant City, Florida. According to Whitaker, Florida Beauty …

Southeastern Strawberry Pest Problems

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Strawberries are starting to make their seasonal debut in the Southeast as Florida growers begin their harvest. After the harvest is a great time to reflect on issues from the previous season and look toward the next season. Rebecca Schmidt-Jeffris, assistant professor of entomology at Clemson University, recently gave a presentation on a strawberry pest that caused problems this past …

National Strawberry Day Brings Attention to UF/IFAS Varieties

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Vance Whitaker toils day and night to develop the tastiest, best-looking, aromatic strawberries a consumer would want. Yummy enough for a nutritious snack or to help flavor a cake or pie just in time for National Strawberry Day on Feb. 27. Whitaker, an associate professor of horticultural sciences at the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS), …

Foliar Nematodes in Florida Strawberries

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A nematode thought to be new in Florida was found recently on strawberry crops. The foliar nematode is one area of research at the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences Gulf Coast Research and Education Center in Wimauma, said Johan Desaeger, assistant professor of entomology and nematology. After some research, Desaeger found this nematode is not new …