May 9 Workshop to Explore Opportunities for Tropical Fruit Production in Florida

Clint ThompsonFlorida, Tropical Fruit

What conditions are ideal for farmers to successfully grow tropical fruit in different regions of Florida?

A row of mango trees at a Homestead orchard – the perfect setting for mango production. Courtesy UF/IFAS photography.

Scientists at the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) say this question is at the root of concern for them as they communicate with new and potential growers who are not aware of a bigger problem at stake.

Way too often, growers are unaware of key conditions necessary to produce a successful tropical fruit crop, once you cross north of the South Florida landscape and face freezing weather patterns, said Jonathan Crane, a UF/IFAS professor of horticultural sciences and Extension tropical fruit specialist stationed at UF/IFAS Tropical Research and Education Center (TREC) in Homestead.

Crane, along with UF/IFAS faculty, in collaboration with the UF/IFAS Miami-Dade County Extension office, are hosting a free workshop titled, “Climate Risk and Opportunities for Tropical and Subtropical Crops Production in Florida,” on May 9.

The workshop, offered in-person and on Zoom, aims to provide producers with the essentials to navigate challenges and capitalize on opportunities to promote sustainable tropical fruit crop production in different regions.

“There is a reason why you do not see tropical fruit in the north like Lake Okeechobee. Certain trees need more drainage, while others need a particular type of soil and more importantly, avoid extended freezing temperatures,” said Crane. “We want to help new interested growers and those growers looking to expand to the north make beneficial decisions about what to grow, what to do, what to look for and the climate conditions they need to be aware for growing certain varieties of tropical fruit.”

A key component of the workshop features a UF web-based platform designed to assist growers in mitigating risks associated with climate fluctuations. Designed by Clyde Fraisse, a UF/IFAS professor of agricultural and biological engineering, the workshop will demonstrate how growers can take advantage of the tool.

Event Details:

Date: Thursday, May 9, 2024

Time: 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

Workshop formats:

If attending in-person: Miami-Dade County Extension Service, 18710 SW 288 St., Homestead, FL 33033

If attending by Zoom, advance registration is required to receive access to the virtual session. Please register with this link.

Source: UF/IFAS