Freeze Protection Vital for Florida Blueberry Growers This Weekend

Jim Rogers Berries, Florida, Weather

By Clint Thompson Low temperatures in the forecast this weekend means Florida blueberry producers need to apply freeze protection to their crops, says Doug Phillips, University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) blueberry Extension coordinator. “It’ll definitely get low enough to where folks will be freeze protecting. I know in central Florida, depending on the site because …

Meister Media Worldwide Sells Florida Grower Magazine to AgNet Media

Clint Thompson Florida

Meister Media Worldwide and AgNet Media today announced the sale of Florida Grower magazine and its Florida-related assets to AgNet Media, effective March 1, 2022. Through Florida Grower, Meister Media has invested more than 25 years of commitment to Florida’s citrus, vegetable and other specialty crop producers. Initiatives like the Florida GrowerSM Citrus Show, the Florida GrowerSM Citrus Achievement Award …

Florida Farmer: We’ve Diversified, That Helps

Jim Rogers Agri-business, Florida

By Clint Thompson Rising input costs. Accelerated imports. Little if any increase in market prices. It has become increasingly more difficult for Florida’s specialty crop producers to find sustained success. Vegetable farmer Marie Bedner credits diversification for Bedner Farms staying as successful as long as it has. “We’ve diversified and have the three retail stores, which that helps. We’re direct …

ABT Populations Low Across South Florida

Clint Thompson Florida, Pests

Asian bean thrips (ABT) populations were low this week across South Florida, according to University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS). The largest population counts were reported in snap bean blooms in central Hendry County. Even then it did not surpass 0.5 ABT per bloom. There was also only a few ABT on sticky traps, and counts …

Florida Tomato Expert: Production High, Prices Low

Jim Rogers Florida, Tomatoes

By Clint Thompson Almost perfect weather conditions for Florida production of tomatoes should have had most growers reaping the rewards by now. But that’s not the case, due in large part to a multitude of factors, says Michael Schadler, manager of the Florida Tomato Committee and Executive Vice President of the Florida Tomato Exchange. “The weather throughout the Florida growing …

ABT Hotspot Reported in South Florida

Jim Rogers Florida, Pests

A new hotspot of Asian bean thrips (ABT) populations was reported this week along the Lee County/Collier County line in Florida, according to the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences. Scouts indicated a population of 0.5 ABT per bloom was observed in one planting with pods forming and some flowers remaining. Another planting experienced 2.4 ABT per …

Bacterial Spot Disease Problematic in Florida Fields

Jim Rogers Disease, Florida, Peppers, Tomatoes

Bacterial spot disease continues to be prevalent in tomatoes and susceptible pepper varieties throughout Florida, according to the South Florida Pest and Disease Hotline. This is especially true in Southwest Florida where foggy conditions have helped increase the disease. It is also widespread in Homestead, Florida and is increasing in severity. Bacterial spot has flared in some pepper varieties on …

Dry Conditions Linger in Florida Panhandle

Jim Rogers Drought, Florida, Weather

By Clint Thompson Dry conditions in Florida continue to persist along the Panhandle. It could linger amid the current La Niña weather pattern, says Florida State Climatologist David Zierden. “We are in the La Niña phase in the Pacific Ocean where it’s colder than normal water along the equator. The La Niña phase is opposite of El Niño, where it …