Getting Bugs to Work for You: Biodiversity in Action

Ashley Robinson Pollinators, VSCNews magazine

By Jason Schmidt, Carmen Blubaugh and William Snyder Before large monoculture agriculture became commonplace, farms had a bit of everything — from a vegetable garden and a fruit orchard, to a chicken coop and a honeybee hive, to a natural forest and even a lake or creek. These farms had rich and vibrant plant and animal life, healthy soils and …

Effectively Managing Pests While Protecting Pollinators

Ashley Robinson Pests, Pollinators, VSCNews magazine

By Sylvia Willis, Amy Vu and Jamie Ellis Pollinators play an important role in the production of crops around the nation. Different crops rely on different techniques for pollination. Corn, for example, uses wind to carry pollen to female flowers, whereas watermelon depends on pollinators to deliver pollen. Pollinators include insects, birds and bats. Many fruits and vegetables result directly …

How Many Hives Are Best for Florida Blueberries?

Karla Arboleda Berries, Pollinators, Research, Top Posts

By Karla Arboleda University of Florida (UF) researchers are working to establish honeybee hive recommendations specific to Florida blueberries. Right now, Florida blueberry growers rely on honeybee hive recommendations from research based in other states. Rachel Mallinger, an assistant professor in entomology at UF and part of the research team, said the amount of honeybees available to pollinate blueberries is …

crop insurance

Crop Insurance Deadlines Near in Florida

Dan Cooper Avocado, Berries, Florida, Fruit, Industry News Release, Pollinators

Avocado, Blueberry, and Pasture, Rangeland, Forage and Apiculture Producers Need to Make Insurance Decisions Soon Tallahassee, FL (FDACS-Oct. 14, 2019) — The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Risk Management Agency (USDA RMA) are reminding Florida avocado, blueberry, pasture, rangeland, and forage (PRF) and apiculture producers that deadlines to apply for crop insurance …


EPA Registers Long-Term Uses of Sulfoxaflor While Ensuring Strong Pollinator Protection

Dan Cooper Environment, Industry News Release, Pollinators, Top Posts

Registration provides benefits to growers and is supported by strong science that shows minimal risks for pollinators. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is issuing a long-term approval for the insecticide sulfoxaflor— an effective tool to control challenging pests with fewer environmental impacts. After conducting an extensive risk analysis, including the review of one of the agency’s largest datasets on …

georgia blueberry

The Buzz on Blueberry Pollinators

Abbey Taylor Berries, Pollinators, Top Posts, VSCNews magazine

Although blueberry growers spend much of their time and money keeping insects away, there are certain insects that are critical for their crop’s survival. Those insects are pollinators, bees in particular. If there are low populations of pollinators in the field, growers will eventually start to notice the repercussions. Rachel Mallinger, assistant professor in the University of Florida Entomology and …

Blueberry Fruit Size Improved with Pollination

Abbey Taylor Berries, Pollinators, Top Posts, VSCNews magazine

By Juanita Popenoe Honey bee pollination increases fruit set and yields in many fruit, but not all. Blueberries are supposed to respond to increased pollinator activity with greater yields. Some fruit growers routinely bring in bee hives to increase pollination, but how many are necessary? Highbush blueberry growers in Washington usually rent 10 hives of Italian honey bees per acre …

Florida Growers Facing Blueberry Challenges

Breanna Kendrick Berries, Pollinators, Top Posts

By Breanna Kendrick Citrus root weevil is relatively new to blueberries, but is becoming more of a prevalent issue for some Central Florida growers. Citrus root weevil typically occurs on old citrus ground that has been plowed under for blueberry production. Doug Phillips, blueberry Extension coordinator for the University of Florida (UF), has been trying to identify some controls against …