Commissioner Wilton Simpson Announces Protection of Over 2,000 Acres of Ranchland

Frank Giles Environment

More than 2,000 acres of Florida ranchland has been preserved through the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services’ (FDACS) Rural and Family Lands Protection Program. With the approval by the Governor and Cabinet, approximately 2,101 acres of working agricultural lands will be preserved through a cost-effective rural land protection easement totaling $8,195,000. Rural land protection easements prevent future development …

Leaf Rust Disease a Concern Now More Than Ever for Florida Blueberry Growers

Web Admin Florida

By Clint Thompson Leaf rust disease has always been a problem for Florida blueberry growers. But that concern has only magnified with producers transferring to an evergreen production system. Phil Harmon, professor and Extension plant pathologist at the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS), discusses the issue growers are facing with this familiar problem. “Here recently, …

Mites Levels Remain Low Across South Florida

Web Admin Pests

Mites levels are still low in some fields across southern Florida, though some species are increasing in numbers, according to the South Florida Pest and Disease Hotline. Broad mites are increasing in Southwest Florida but still remain at low population levels Spider mites were reported to be low in multiple crops. Spider mite populations are growing in younger corn in …

Multiple Days of Sub-Freezing Temps Devastating for Southeast Specialty Crops

Web Admin Weather

By Clint Thompson Specialty crop producers can usually stomach one day of sub-freezing temperatures. But four days? That was not the ideal scenario for growers across the Southeast this past weekend. It was disastrous for vegetable farmers, citrus growers and potentially strawberry producers. Prolonged temperatures in 20s over parts of the region, including South Georgia and North Florida, have been …

UF/IFAS Extension Agent: We Need to Manage Fertilizer More Efficiently

Web Admin Watermelon

By Clint Thompson North Florida watermelon producers should be wary about the dangers of applying too much water. It can result in leeching of nitrogen in their sandy soils. Producers who apply too much water not only lose the excess water, but they also lose the fertilizer and then yields. Mark Warren, University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural …

Correct Disease Diagnosis Crucial for Producers

Web Admin Disease

By Clint Thompson An incorrect diagnosis of a plant disease can be a costly error for a producer. In an era where input prices are just as high as they have ever been, a farmer can ill-afford to apply the wrong fungicide. Gary Vallad, professor of plant pathology at the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) …

Crops Losses Following Hurricane Ian

Web Admin Weather

Crop loss estimates are starting to filter in following Hurricane Ian’s impact in late September. The damages are devastating for some specialty crop producers, according to the South Florida Pest and Disease Hotline. Vegetable crop losses were high in the Hillsborough/Manatee area. Some locations experienced flooding, while others had wind damage. Assessments show losses between 50% and 100% in planted …

Federal Grant: UF Scientist to Investigate Strategies to Control Tomato Disease

Web Admin Research

Diseases like bacterial spot can threaten tomatoes, a $1.9 billion-a-year crop planted on 330,000 acres across 18 states. Gary Vallad, a University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) professor of plant pathology, has been awarded a $5.8 million federal grant to study how to mitigate this disease. “Bacterial spot of tomato is a major challenge to commercial …

Fusarium Wilt Prevention in Florida Lettuce

Web Admin Leafy Vegetables

By Clint Thompson Fusarium wilt in lettuce is not yet a widespread problem for Florida producers. German Sandoya wants to keep it that way. Sandoya, assistant professor in the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, provides management options for growers to help keep the disease out of their fields. “We’ve only seen it in field plots, so …

October Management Tips for Blueberries

Web Admin Blueberries

Blueberry specialists at the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) remind growers about management options they need to be mindful of during October. Producers should monitor and manage leaf diseases, especially in evergreen systems. It is important to scout for algal stem blotch and selectively prune out canes infected with algal stem blotch, Botryosphaeria stem blight …