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 …

Meet Alabama Extension’s New and Improved Farming Basics App

Jim Rogers General, Specialty Crops, Technology

AUBURN UNIVERSITY, Ala. – In 2019, the Alabama Cooperative Extension System brought the world of farming to the palm of a farmer’s hand with a smartphone application (app). The Farming Basics app opened a gateway of information for small and beginning farmers. Fast forward to 2022 — this app has a facelift, providing even more information to farmers. “The new …

New Funds Enhance UF/IFAS Work in Nutrient Application Rate Research, AI

Jim Rogers Research, Technology

With the final approval from the governor’s pen, the newest Florida state budget is set to take effect July 1. It is a date that also marks the beginning or continuation of several University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) projects. In addition to a $3.6 million increase to the UF/IFAS base operating budget, notable funded projects …

Mechanical Harvest Technologies for Strawberries

Jim Rogers Strawberry, Technology

By Yiannis Ampatzidis Vegetable growers face several serious challenges with respect to farm labor. The number of domestic farmworkers has decreased substantially. In some cases, growers are unable to fully harvest their marketable fruit. A high percentage of the remaining domestic workers are not legally authorized to work in the United States. The costs to recruit temporary foreign agricultural guest …

Spanish Version of Blueberry App a Benefit for Florida Industry

Jim Rogers Agri-business, Berries, Technology

By Clint Thompson A new Spanish version of the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences Blueberry Growers Guide app will benefit a plethora of workers within the industry. Doug Phillips, University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) blueberry Extension coordinator, discusses its importance. “There’s a lot of growers, farm managers, field crew where English …

Machine Harvest Development Key to Sustainability of Specialty Crops

Jim Rogers Specialty Crops, Technology

By Clint Thompson Machine harvesters are a key to Southeast farming operations remaining sustainable for the foreseeable future. More research funding is needed so scientists like Changying (Charlie) Li, professor in the University of Georgia School of Electrical and Computer Engineering, can develop advancements for specialty crop producers. “Imagine if we don’t need any labor, just deploy the robots and …

UF/IFAS Researchers Creating an ‘Artificial Intelligence Connoisseur’

Jim Rogers Research, Technology

A computer may not be able to taste a tomato or blueberry, but it can tell University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural (UF/IFAS) scientists which volatiles in those fruits make them taste good. UF/IFAS breeder and geneticist Marcio Resende wants to create what he calls an “Artificial Intelligence Connoisseur,” a model that tells researchers which chemical compounds produce …

‘Smart’ Greenhouses Could Cut Power Expenses

Jim Rogers Research, Technology

An internet-connected lighting system for greenhouses could reduce a farmer’s power bill, according to University of Georgia research. The study showed that a predictive lighting control system could optimize lighting for plants by predicting sunlight and only utilizing lights when necessary. Farmers could reduce their greenhouse electrical costs by as much as 33% by optimizing their lights. Plants are given …