Sneak Peek: July 2020 VSCNews Magazine

Clint Thompson Alabama, Florida, Fruit, Georgia, Top Posts, Vegetables

By: Ashley Robinson

The July issue of VSCNews magazine focuses on a variety of topics, including machine harvesting of blueberries, strawberry pests and diseases and technology for vegetable production.

Blueberry growers and packers are adopting the latest innovations and technology to reduce harvesting costs and put less reliance on contract laborers. Fumiomi Takeda, a research horticulturalist with the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Agricultural Research Service Appalachian Fruit Research Station in Kearneysville, West Virginia and Steven Sargent, professor and Extension postharvest specialist at the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS), discuss the results from a study with USDA and several land-grant institutions, comparing different harvesting methods of blueberries.

Takeda returns for another article, this time joined by Wojciech Janisiewicz, a research plant pathologist at the USDA Agricultural Research Service Appalachian Fruit Research Station in Kearneysville, West Virginia. They take a look at how USDA researchers are successfully using Ultraviolet light to control pests and diseases in strawberry production.

Vegetable growers face a variety of challenges. However, new advancements in technology may help growers address these production issues. Yiannis Ampatzidis, an assistant professor at UF, presents growers with examples of state-of-the-art technologies that may be useful in vegetable production today or in the near future.

Tomato and Pepper Spotlight

The crop spotlight returns in July, this time with a focus on peppers and tomatoes.

Xavier Martini, an assistant professor, and Joe Funderburk, a professor, both at the UF/IFAS North Florida Research and Education Center in Quincy, Florida, provide tomato growers with thrip management strategies.

Anthracnose is a serious disease that occurs across pepper-growing regions worldwide. Pam Roberts, a professor at the UF/IFAS Southwest Florida Research and Education Center (SWFREC) in Immokalee, Florida shares management measures with growers.

In the tomato and pepper spotlight, Gene McAvoy, associate director for stakeholder relations at the UF/IFAS SWFREC, shares some tips and tricks with growers on how to select varieties with profit potential.

VSC Expo Set For Aug. 12-13

Finally, readers will get a preview of the upcoming Citrus Expo and Vegetable & Specialty Crop Expo.

The annual event will take place Aug. 12-13 at the Lee Civic Center in North Fort Myers, Florida. Growers can register here and automatically be entered for a chance to win a John Deere gun safe courtesy of Everglades Equipment Group. To learn more about the Citrus Expo and Vegetable & Specialty Crop Expo, including host hotel information, visit To receive future issues of VSCNews magazine, visit click here.