Georgia Sets Goals for the 2018 Legislative Session

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The Georgia legislative session began on Jan. 8, and agricultural leaders have set goals for what they would like to achieve this session. Bryan Tolar, president of the Georgia Agribusiness Council, spoke about the council’s priorities for the 2018 session. Tolar laid out a few key issues that will take much of his focus. He said he has spent the …

Combating Fire Blight in Alabama Pears

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Auburn University researchers are studying the most resistant varieties of pears for combating fire blight in Alabama. A publication by Alabama A&M University and Auburn University describes fire blight as a common and destructive pome fruit disease in the Southeast. “The fire blight pathogen … is a rod-shaped bacterium that overwinters in tissues around the edge of cankers on large …

Battling Blueberry Diseases

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Predictive systems and preventing new diseases in blueberries were topics Phil Brannen addressed at the 2018 Southeast Regional Fruit and Vegetable Conference in Savannah, Ga., in January. Brannen is a professor and Extension plant pathologist at the University of Georgia. Predictive systems can benefit growers by letting them know when their disease risks are highest and lowest. Brannen said a …

Researchers and Growers Working with Olives

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The possibility of a commercial olive industry in the Southeast has caused many growers and researchers to begin looking at what could be attainable. Peter Andersen, professor of horticulture at the University of Florida (UF), said north Florida and south Georgia are two areas of the Southeast looking at the possibility of olives as a commercial crop. More research is …

Taste Test Shows Luffa’s Potential

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This emerging Asian vegetable is one to watch in Florida. By Yucong Xie, Guodong Liu, Bala Rathinasabapathi and Muhammad A. Shahid Luffa is a genus of tropical and subtropical plants in the cucumber family (Cucurbitaceae). Native to Asia, particularly in China and Vietnam, luffa is cultivated for its immature fruit, which is consumed as a cooked vegetable (Figure 1). Mature …

Critical Organic Insecticides

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Auburn University Extension entomologist Ayanava Majumdar says for organic growers, the use of organic insecticides can make or break a production system. “Organic insecticides are critical for organic producers; we shouldn’t forget about them,” Majumdar says. Southeastern weather conditions are among the most unique in the nation, making pests a year-round issue. For starters, the southeast has heat, humidity and …

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Experimental Crop Bed Design Survived Hurricane Irma

Web Admin Industry News Release, Research, Vegetables

While producers and growers across Florida lost some, if not all, of their crops due to Hurricane Irma, a University of Florida researcher saw his experimental bedding survive the storm. “We were testing for flooding, and didn’t expect to have winds strong enough the effects of wind force on crops,” said Sanjay Shukla, UF/IFAS professor in the agricultural and biological …

Secretary Perdue Outlines USDA Services in the Event of a Government Shutdown

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(Washington, D.C.) – U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue Friday outlined U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) services available in the event of a government shutdown. “USDA is committed to safeguarding life and property through the critical services we provide – and should the government shut down, we will continue to do just that,” said Secretary Perdue. “I am proud of …

An Update on the Farm Bill

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Robert Redding, an attorney representing agriculture groups in Washington, D.C., recently gave a federal regulation update presentation during the Southeast Regional Fruit and Vegetable Conference in Savannah, Georgia. His talk included the topic of the upcoming farm bill. Farm bill leaders, House Ag Chairman Mike Conaway and Senate Ag Chairman Pat Roberts, wanted to have the bill finished by the …

FAMU Center Boosts Florida Viticulture Industry

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“When the grapes are out, we are out,” said Violeta Tsolova, professor and director of the Center for Viticulture and Small Fruit Research at Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University (FAMU). She was referring to the researchers and students at the center working to help grape growers be successful in the Southeast viticulture industry. NATIVE GRAPES Growers in the Southeast have …