Hurricane Ian Damage Assessment Gets Underway

Jim Rogers Agri-business, Weather

By Frank Giles There is no question Hurricane Ian will go down as a historic catastrophe in Florida. It’s impact on agriculture will likely be historic as well. While it is too early to know the full extent of damage, AgNet Media is reaching out to growers and various industry associations and agencies to learn the extent of damage to …

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Florida Tomato Specialist: Promotions, Marketing Need to Improve

Jim Rogers Tomatoes

By Clint Thompson Florida’s tomato industry needs to improve its promotional efforts in educating consumers about the benefits of supporting locally grown produce. That is the stance shared by Michael Schadler, manager of the Florida Tomato Committee and executivevice president of the Florida Tomato Exchange. He stressed during the Florida Tomato Conference in Labelle, Florida earlier this month that Florida …

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Florida Tomato Leader Optimistic Amid Plethora of Challenges

Jim Rogers Tomatoes

By Clint Thompson One tomato industry expert voiced his optimism Wednesday about the upcoming season despite numerous challenges facing Florida growers this year. Speaking Wednesday at the Florida Tomato Conference in Labelle, Florida, Michael Schadler, manager of the Florida Tomato Committee and executive vice president of the Florida Tomato Exchange, highlighted the strengths and challenges of Florida’s tomato industry ahead …

UF/IFAS Begins Research to Update Best Management Practices Nutrient Recommendations

Jim Rogers Citrus, Specialty Crops, Vegetables

The University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) received $8.8 million to conduct new research that will provide farmers with new and improved nutrient recommendations for fertilization of key Florida crops. The funding, approved by the Florida Legislature, will be administered by the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS). Farmers apply fertilizers to their crops …

Mite-y Big Concern: Mites a Problem for South Florida Producers

Jim Rogers Florida, Pests, Specialty Crops

Mites are widely present in crops across the South Florida region, according to the South Florida Pest and Disease Hotline. Spider mites have increased in cucurbits, tomatoes, eggplants, peppers and potatoes around Southwest Florida. Some fields have even required treatments by farmers. Spider mite populations are also high in some cucumber, pepper, tomato and eggplant in fields on the east …

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Grafting in Tomato: A Practical Tool for Root-Knot Nematode Control

Jim Rogers Disease, Pests, Tomatoes

By Abolfazl Hajihassani Control of root-knot nematodes (Meloidogyne spp.) is a severe challenge for growers because the pests have abroad host range and can survive in the soil for several years. This makes crop rotation impractical and inefficient for nematode management. Other major management options for root-knot nematodes in tomato include chemical controls using fumigant and non-fumigant nematicides and resistant varieties/rootstocks. …

Bacterial Spot Remains Problematic for Tomato, Pepper Growers

Jim Rogers Disease, Peppers, Tomatoes

Bacterial spot disease continues to be a significant problem for tomato and pepper in southwest Florida, according to the South Florida Pest and Disease Hotline. It has flared in susceptible varieties due to the few rain events that have occurred. Non-resistance pepper looks rough in most fields. Respondents in Homestead, Florida, indicate that disease pressure is widespread. It is starting …

UF/IFAS Research Helps Reduce Whiteflies in Tomatoes

Jim Rogers Florida, Pests, Research, Tomatoes

QUINCY, Fla. — University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) researchers are helping tomato producers successfully manage whiteflies. Previous studies helped narrow scientists’ focus to a white clay, kaolin, and an essential oil, limonene. Each is approved by the Environmental Protection Agency for agricultural use. “These products are easily found and relatively inexpensive, and they can be …