UF Study Shows ‘Aromatic’ Blueberries Taste Better

Jim Rogers Blueberries, Research

They may be called “aromatic” blueberries, but they don’t just smell nice — they taste good. University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) scientists now know why: These fruits contain just the right genetic combination to produce the chemistry required for a pleasant blueberry flavor. Growers and consumers always seek better-tasting fruit, compelling blueberry breeders like Patricio …

Building a More Heat Tolerant Plant Starts with Genes

Jim Rogers Research, Specialty Crops, Weather

Scientists at the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) are looking for ways to help specialty crops beat the heat. A new study has identified genes that may help plants cope with stress from high temperatures. It could set the stage for developing crops bred for enhanced heat tolerance, said Bala Rathinasabapathi, senior author of the …

UF/IFAS Conducts $278M in Annual Research

Jim Rogers Florida, Research

Research conducted at the University of Florida in agricultural sciences and natural resources conservation topped previous years’ spending totals in the latest figures reported to the National Science Foundation. University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) researchers reported a total of $277.9 million spent during their projects in the fiscal year that ended June 30, the highest …

Artificial Intelligence: Helps Detect Watermelon Disease Quickly, Accurately

Jim Rogers Research, Technology, Watermelon

The needs of Florida watermelon producers motivate Yiannis Ampatzidis to use artificial intelligence (AI) to detect pathogens early and accurately. One such disease, downy mildew, spreads like wildfire, said Ampatzidis, a University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) associate professor of agricultural and biological engineering. In newly published research, Ampatzidis used spectral reflectance —  the energy a …

How to Manage Early-Season Caterpillars

Jim Rogers Alabama, Pests, Research

By Ayanava Majumdar When summer temperatures are soaring and you are hot and sweaty, all caterpillars may look the same. But look carefully inside the crop canopy, especially in fruit-bearing vegetables. Depending on your location, the sequence of insect pests could be different, so have a conversation with your Extension agent about what they are seeing. WHAT TO WATCH FOR …

UGA Fruit Pathologist Inducted Into IPM Hall of Fame

Jim Rogers Fruit, Pests, Research

By Emily Cabrera The Southern Integrated Pest Management Center (Southern IPM Center) has inducted University of Georgia Cooperative Extension fruit pathologist Phil Brannen into the Integrated Pest Management Hall of Fame for his significant contributions to commercial fruit growers throughout the southern U.S. over the past 30 years. Each year, the Southern IPM Center recognizes an industry member for extraordinary …

UF/IFAS Research: Diseases Minimal in Hops

Jim Rogers Disease, Hops, Research

By Clint Thompson Potential hops producers in Florida can rest easy knowing diseases are minimal, if they start with clean material. Gary Vallad, professor of plant pathology at the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) Gulf Coast Research and Education Center, discusses what findings his research has yielded so far in this up-and-coming commodity. “The only …

UF/IFAS Scientists Finding Grapes to Grow in Florida

Jim Rogers Florida, Grapes, Research

Florida farmers and other businesspeople are bubbling with enthusiasm to make wine. There are about 40 wineries around Florida. As of 2017, growers in the Sunshine State were producing more than 1,500 acres of muscadine grapes. That’s a 74% increase in 10 years, and producers will be harvesting in July and August. To meet the increasing market for Florida-grown grapes, …