‘Clean Plants’ Vital to Success for Florida Strawberry Growers

By Clint Thompson Florida strawberry growers are close to planting this year’s crop. Success this season will hinge largely on how “clean” the plants are that producers get from nurseries, believes Dustin Grooms, a producer in Plant City, Florida. “Getting good plants is the beginning of it all. If you get problematic plants, you’ll fight with it all year. You …

Senators Warnock, Tillis Introduce Legislation to Support Georgia Specialty Crop Farmers by Strengthening the Federal Safety Net 

Washington, D.C. — U.S. Senators Reverend Raphael Warnock (D-GA) and Thom Tillis (R-NC) introduced the Protecting America’s Orchardists and Nursery Tree Growers Act, which would reform the Tree Assistance Program (TAP), a critical farm safety net program. The legislation would expand eligibility for TAP by lowering the mortality threshold and allowing farmers to use TAP funding to replant alternative breeds of trees or bushes. In a June Agriculture committee hearing, …

Watermelon Quality Essential for Alabama Growers

By Will Jordan Watermelon harvests continue in Alabama. Some growers are winding down, while others have more crop to pick. It is important that producers ensure the highest quality for consumers. The best practices for increasing sweetness levels for that signature watermelon flavor is clouded by some misconceptions. Andre da Silva, Alabama Extension vegetable specialist, shares some insight.

Biggest Need for Georgia Citrus is Research

The Georgia Citrus Commission members have been selected to serve the state’s up-and-coming industry. Now it is time for those five individuals to determine the pathway for the industry to be successful for the foreseeable future. Commission member Lindy Savelle believes research is the key component in advancing the state’s citrus industry. She said that is why the Georgia Citrus …

ADA is part of the DNA of UF/IFAS

Through a project called Florida AgrAbility, Serap Gorucu tries to ensure that everyone – even those with functional limitations — can operate the technology and machinery on the farm where they work. “Agricultural producers must be able to work their farms,” said Gorucu, a University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) assistant professor of agricultural and biological …

U.S. Congressman Scott Addresses China Concerns During Conference

By Clint Thompson U.S. Congressman Austin Scott (R-GA-08) believes China to be an adversary, no longer an aggressive competitor. So, naturally when China controls certain agricultural inputs, most notably seed, it concerns the legislator. “I don’t blame the Chinese for being smart, I blame us for being naïve about what they were doing and not paying enough attention to it …

Blueberry Meeting Road Show Addressed Leaf Rust

By Frank Giles The University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) blueberry team took to the road in July for their summer educational seminars. Meetings were held in four locations in blueberry production areas. Doug Phillips, UF/IFAS blueberry Extension coordinator, help planned the meeting. He said the meetings went well and touched on local concerns. “The genesis …