Fruit Quality Postharvest Essential for Strawberries

Jim Rogers Agri-business, Strawberry

By Clint Thompson Strawberry harvests are ongoing across the Southeast region. Growers need to be mindful of post-harvest fruit quality issues that can arise if not harvested and stored properly. Penelope Perkins-Veazie, professor in horticulture science at N. C. State, highlighted during the Alabama Extension Commercial Horticulture Fruit School that strawberry storage life lasts between 5 to 18 days. Fruit …

How to Manage Botrytis in Strawberries

Jim Rogers Disease, Research, Strawberry

By Clint Thompson Botrytis gray mold is an annual disease of strawberry producers. It may continue to worsen the more resistant it becomes to certain fungicides. Ed Sikora, professor and Extension plant pathologist in the Department of Entomology and Plant Pathology at Auburn University, said he and other colleagues have examined strawberry fields for more than a year. In about …

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Starting in Strawberries? Input Expenses Costly but Reward is Potentially Great

Jim Rogers Agri-business, Strawberry

By Clint Thompson Strawberries have the potential to be a lucrative commodity for interested specialty crop producers. But they can also be extremely expensive to grow. Farmers need to understand the investment before diving head first into the industry next season, says Jessie Rowan, Alabama regional Extension agent, who specializes in commercial horticulture and farm and agribusiness management. “To me, …

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North Carolina Strawberry Season Underway

Jim Rogers North Carolina, Strawberry

The arrival of spring means locally-grown strawberries are ready to be picked in North Carolina (N.C.). Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler discusses what consumers can expect from this year’s crop. “Growers have done a good job protecting the crop from recent cool temperatures and because of their hard work, this year’s strawberry crop looks to be plentiful,” said Troxler. Strawberry season …

Overuse of Specific Pesticides Reason for Chilli Thrips Problem in Strawberries

Jim Rogers Pests, Research, Strawberry

By Clint Thompson Overuse of specific pesticides led to chilli thrips being more of a problem for Florida strawberry producers this season. Sriyanka Lahiri, assistant professor of entomology and nematology at the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences Gulf Coast Research and Education Center, said pesticides should be used in rotation. “You have four products. All of …

Clemson Extension Agents Provide Weekly Updates

Jim Rogers South Carolina, Specialty Crops, Strawberry

Clemson Extension agents provide updates in The South Carolina Grower this week about the status of various crops being produced throughout the state. Coastal Region Rob Last reports, “Crops are generally looking good in the area. Strawberries are coming to harvest with good volumes. Keep scouting for spider mites and thrips. Thrips were found late last week in low numbers. …

Florida Strawberry Producer: Chilli Thrips, Spider Mites Were Major Problems

Jim Rogers Florida, Pests, Strawberry

By Clint Thompson Ideal weather conditions led to diseases being a non-factor in Florida strawberry production this year. But two insect pests were very impactful, says one Florida farmer. “What we did have problems with were the chilli thrips. They just ate us up from day one and we  never gained control of it in some blocks,” said Dustin Grooms, …

Strawberry Growers Be Wary of Potential Frost

Jim Rogers Strawberry, Weather

A potential for a frost event this weekend should have strawberry growers in North Carolina on high alert. North Carolina (N.C.) State Extension says that producers will need to protect their crop if the weather forecast predicts frost. The greatest potential for frost will be Sunday and Monday mornings, though some regions in the western part of the state could …