Specialty Crop Farm Bill Alliance Issues Recommendations for 2023 Farm Bill

Jim Rogers Farm Bill

By Clint Thompson The Specialty Crop Farm Bill Alliance (SCFBA), which comprises more than 200 specialty crop organizations representing growers of fruits, vegetables, dried fruit, tree nuts, nursery plants and other products, have released its recommendations for the 2023 Farm Bill. In a letter to Agriculture Committee leadership in the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate, the SCFBA …

Drought-Like Conditions Expanding in Florida

Jim Rogers Weather

Drought-like conditions continue to lessen in Alabama and Georgia, though dry conditions are now prevalent in most of Florida, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor. A severe drought is observed in north Florida, in Taylor, Madison, Hamilton, Suwannee, Columbia, Gilchrist, Lafayette, Dixie and Levy counties. A moderate drought is also observed in surrounding counties in north Florida, including, Baker, Nassau, …

India Cuts Tariffs on U.S. Pecan Exports by 70%

Clint Thompson Pecan

 Washington, D.C. — The Republic of India announced a major 70% cut to tariffs on U.S. pecan exports. It is a win for Georgia’s producers. Sen. Jon Ossoff heard about the concerns during engagements last year with Georgia producers in Tift and Turner counties. At the farmers’ request, Ossoff has worked behind the scenes for months with U.S. trade negotiators and Indian government …

USDA gives $72.9M in Specialty Crop Block Grants

Jim Rogers Specialty Crops

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has announced the availability of $72.9 million through the Specialty Crop Block Grant Program (SCBGP) to fund innovative projects designed to support the expanding specialty crop sector and explore new market opportunities for U.S. food and agricultural products. USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) is accepting applications for the grant program until May …

North Carolina Strawberry Plants Recovering Following Christmas Freeze

Jim Rogers North Carolina

By Clint Thompson North Carolina’s strawberry plants incurred some damage during the Christmas freeze event. Fortunately for growers like Austin Wrenn, the consecutive days of sub-freezing temperatures did not happen later in the production season. “We’re lucky that cold front came through in December and not March. We would be in a very different situation if that had happened,” said …

Farmer Testimonial: Local Residents Preventing Housing Structure from Being Built on Farm

Jim Rogers Florida

By Clint Thompson A small group of people can sometimes boast the loudest voices. For some specialty crop producers, that can impede progress. David Hill, president of Southern Hills Farms in Clermont, Fla., and chairman of the Florida Fruit and Vegetable Association, recently testified to the Florida Senate Agriculture Committee on the state’s fruit and vegetable industry. One of his …

Clemson Extension Agents Provide Crop Updates

Jim Rogers South Carolina

Weekly Field Update Clemson Extension agents provide updates in The South Carolina Grower this week about the status of various crops being produced throughout the state. Statewide Tom Bilbo reports, “If you grow strawberries then hopefully the question of the week last week was easy, and that it encourages you to scout your fields! The translucent spheres were two-spotted spider …

Grower Associations Gearing Up for Farm Bill

Jim Rogers Farm Bill

By Clint Thompson What the future of agriculture looks like could be shaped by how discussions materialize this year in preparation for the 2023 farm bill. The farm bill’s passage will have lasting ramifications for Southeast specialty crop producers who hope to remain sustainable for the foreseeable future. For one specialty crop organization, the bill’s inclusion or exclusion of language …