AI-Enhanced System Detects Bruised Strawberries

Jim Rogers Research

Bruises in fruit can be caused by multiple factors: compression, impact or vibration during harvesting, transportation and packaging operations, said Xue Zhou, a doctoral student at the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) College of Agricultural and Life Sciences. Zhou works with Yiannis Ampatzidis, a UF/IFAS associate professor, and Won Suk “Daniel” Lee, a professor, both …

UF/IFAS Seeking the Next Breakthrough Crop

Jim Rogers Research, Specialty Crops

By J. Scott Angle, jangle@ufl.edu, @IFAS_VP Danny Johns is growing the same crop on the same land as his great grandfather did when he started farming in Hastings a century ago. PURPLE SWEET POTATOESBut Johns was immediately interested when University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) Extension agent Wendy Mussoline invited him to look at purple sweet …

UF Research to Help Plants Cope with Parasitic Nematodes

Jim Rogers Research

Parasitic nematodes are responsible for about $125 billion in annual crop loss worldwide, and they can cause farmers to lose up to 80% of their tomato yield. “The situation with nematodes is exacerbated by an emerging concern in agriculture: the effect of warming nighttime temperatures. This unprecedented trend is causing critical challenges to crops,” said University of Florida Institute of Food …

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 …