Staying on Top of Nematodes in Vegetables

Clint ThompsonSpecialty Crop Grower Magazine

By Frank Giles Nematodes can be a hidden yield robber. The soilborne pests can pack a pretty powerful punch despite their puny size. Nematodes have been problematic in Southeast vegetable crops for many years. Their management was complicated by the phaseout of methyl bromide. In 2018, the University of Georgia surveyed fields in 30 Georgia counties to measure the pest. …

Awaiting Approval: Georgia Senator Discusses Foreign Ownership of Land Bill

Clint ThompsonGeorgia

By Clint Thompson Georgia’s bill to restrict foreign ownership of land is an important piece of legislation impacting food and national security. SB420 seeks to limit property rights for certain foreign ‘agents’ and entities by prohibiting them from purchasing land used for farming or within a 10-mile radius of a military base or installation. It refers to those considered a …

Threat to Vegetables: UF/IFAS Experts Provide Tips to Manage Eastern Lubber Grasshopper

Clint ThompsonFlorida

Eastern lubber grasshoppers are out in force throughout the Southeast, including some parts of Florida. They’re munching on landscape plants, citrus and vegetable crops, while gardeners and growers are trying to minimize the damage. These insects can be found from March to April to about October to November in North Florida and the state’s Gulf Coast. They can be economically …

Few Abnormally Dry Areas in Southeast

Clint ThompsonDrought

Rainfall is plentiful in most areas across the Southeast. But in one spot, rain is starting to lack, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor. While most of Alabama has sufficient moisture, areas in Mobile and Baldwin counties in the southern part of the state near the Gulf of Mexico are abnormally dry. Both dry spots are concentrated to the central …

South Florida Pest and Disease Hotline: Thrips Pressure Increasing

Clint ThompsonFlorida

Thrips pressure is intensifying across certain areas of southern Florida, according to the South Florida Pest and Disease Hotline. Populations are increasing across pepper fields from low to high levels in Southwest Florida. Some reports have indicated moderate to high levels of Florida flower thrips. University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) commercial vegetable Extension agent Anna …

Sweet Reviews: Vidalia Onions Under the Spotlight on Primetime TV

Clint ThompsonGeorgia, Vidalia Onions

VIDALIA, GA – Fields of green stretch in every direction this time of year, starting just outside the quaint downtown of Vidalia itself and connecting the other small, Georgia towns in the 20-county official onion growing region. Any direction you drive you see acres and acres – more than 10,000 in all — of Georgia’s trademarked crop, the sweet Vidalia onion, …

North Florida Melons Setting Fruit

Clint ThompsonFlorida, Watermelon

By Clint Thompson The earliest planted watermelons in North Florida are already setting fruit. That is what happens when plantings start in mid-to-late February, says Bob Hochmuth, University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) Regional Specialized Extension agent in Live Oak, Florida. “The earliest planted ones, the ones that were planted the third week in February, those …

Rainy Season: El Niño Hanging Around

Clint ThompsonWeather

By Clint Thompson Wet weather conditions are expected to remain across the Southeast through April, believes Pam Knox, University of Georgia Extension agricultural climatologist. “It was a really strong El Niño, so it’s going to take a while for it to decay and go away. We can expect impacts like this to linger for probably at least the next couple …

GFVGA Executive Director ‘Very Pleased’ with Legislative Session

Clint ThompsonGeorgia

By Clint Thompson Georgia’s legislative members with ties to agriculture represent a valuable asset for the state’s fruit and vegetable industries. It was on display Tuesday as state senators Russ Goodman (R-Cogdell) and Sam Watson (R-Moultrie), and House Rep. Robert Dickey provided updates on the key issues they debated on during this year’s legislative session during a GFVGA webinar. “I …