Florida Field Day Features the Potential of Blackberries

Jim Rogers Berries

By Frank Giles In late May, the Gulf Coast Research and Education Center (GCREC) hosted growers interested in the prospect of producing blackberries in Florida. Several University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) scientists have been studying the crop in recent years. Zhanao Deng, UF/IFAS professor of environmental horticulture, is conducting trials of existing blackberry varieties at …

Blackberry Field Day: Attendees Can Tour Orchard at UF/IFAS on May 25

Jim Rogers Berries, Florida

Florida specialty crop farmers interested in producing blackberries can attend the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) blackberry field day at the Gulf Coast Research and Education Center (GCREC). UF/IFAS faculty from Gainesville and from the center — along with a scientist from the University of Arkansas — will present updated findings at the meeting, from …

What To Do About Anthracnose Fruit Rot in Blueberries

Jim Rogers Berries, Disease, Research

By Philip Harmon and Doug Phillips Anthracnose fruit rot (AFR), also known as ripe rot, is a significant disease on southern highbush blueberries. Caused by the fungal pathogen Colletotrichum gloeosporioides on southern highbush blueberries in Florida, AFR creates sunken lesions on the surface of blueberries. This is followed by eruptions of orange- or salmon-colored spores from the lesions when the …

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 …

Nematodes Expected to be a Problem Again for Florida Specialty Growers

Jim Rogers Pests, Research, Specialty Crops

By Clint Thompson Another spring production season means another year of nematode management required for Florida’s specialty crop producers. Johan Desaeger, assistant professor of entomology and nematology at the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences Gulf Coast Research and Education Center, discusses why growers should always be wary of the microscopic worm-like pests. “They’re a problem every …

Decreased Disease Pressure for Florida Strawberry Growers

Jim Rogers Florida, Research, Strawberry

By Clint Thompson Of all the challenges that Florida strawberry growers had to overcome this year, it appears that disease pressure was not a major threat. Natalia Peres, professor of Plant Pathology at the University of Florida/IFAS Gulf Coast Research and Education Center, confirmed that normal diseases have not been as prevalent in most fields this season. Weather conditions favored …

Thermotherapy for Production of Nematode-Free Plant Material

Jim Rogers Disease, Research, Strawberry

By Johan Desaeger Producing nematode-free plant material is one of the most important steps in nematode management. Many nematodes can hide in plant material such as tubers, bulbs, roots, cuttings and seed. The seed gall nematode (Anguina tritici), a seedborne pest infecting seed heads in wheat and rye, was the first plant-parasitic nematode ever to be described (by Needham in …

Integrated Pest Management of Chilli Thrips in Strawberries

Jim Rogers Disease, Florida, Research, Strawberry

By Sriyanka Lahiri Currently, strawberry production in Florida is particularly susceptible to infestation by chilli thrips (Scirtothrips dorsalis). Although chilli thrips had been reported as a pest of ornamentals in Florida before, it wasn’t until 2015 when strawberry fields started to be severely impacted by this invasive pest. CHEMICAL CONTROLSChemical control is the predominant tool to manage chilli thrips. However, …