Sorrel Shows Promise as a Florida Specialty Crop

Jim Rogers Specialty Crops

By Clint Thompson Sorrel is a potential new crop for Florida specialty crop producers. It is easy to grow and requires minimal inputs but can suffer in fields prone to flooding. While more research is needed to verify sorrel’s place among growers, it has yielded promising early returns in University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) research, …

Expo Specialty Crop Sessions Educate Growers

Jim Rogers Citrus and Specialty Crop Expo

By Clint Thompson A highlight of the annual Citrus & Specialty Crop Expo is the seminar program that focuses on the vegetable and specialty crop industry in Florida. This year’s sessions covered a range of topics, including pest management, alternative crops that growers can take advantage of, and various other research updates from University of Florida Institute of Food and …

UF/IFAS Seeking the Next Breakthrough Crop

Jim Rogers Research, Specialty Crops

By J. Scott Angle, jangle@ufl.edu, @IFAS_VP Danny Johns is growing the same crop on the same land as his great grandfather did when he started farming in Hastings a century ago. PURPLE SWEET POTATOESBut Johns was immediately interested when University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) Extension agent Wendy Mussoline invited him to look at purple sweet …

Solid Crop Needs to Survive Rust Mites

Jim Rogers Pests

By Clint Thompson Citrus growers in North Florida and South Georgia are expected to start harvesting in early November. While the crop still looks promising, producers need to keep an eye on rust mites, says grower Kim Jones. “Rust mites can still be a real danger at this point. With fresh fruit, we’ve got to have a pretty piece of …

Minimize Mite Pressure in Citrus

Jim Rogers Pests

Hot temperatures and dry conditions in some parts of the Southeast add up to ideal conditions for mite populations to increase in citrus groves. Lauren Diepenbrock, University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences assistant professor and entomologist, said citrus can tolerate some spider mite pressure. Increased pressure, though, can leave an impact. “You can handle some amount of …

Georgia Citrus Growers: Be on the Lookout for Lebbeck Mealybug

Jim Rogers Georgia, Pests

University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) specialists are alerting Georgia citrus growers about an invasive pest that’s impacting Florida’s crop. Lebbeck mealybugs have yet to navigate their way to Georgia. But it is only a matter of time, says Lauren Diepenbrock, UF/IFAS assistant professor and entomologist. “It’ll get up to Georgia probably. We’re doing our best …

UF Study Shows ‘Aromatic’ Blueberries Taste Better

Jim Rogers Blueberries, Research

They may be called “aromatic” blueberries, but they don’t just smell nice — they taste good. University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) scientists now know why: These fruits contain just the right genetic combination to produce the chemistry required for a pleasant blueberry flavor. Growers and consumers always seek better-tasting fruit, compelling blueberry breeders like Patricio …

Building a More Heat Tolerant Plant Starts with Genes

Jim Rogers Research, Specialty Crops, Weather

Scientists at the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) are looking for ways to help specialty crops beat the heat. A new study has identified genes that may help plants cope with stress from high temperatures. It could set the stage for developing crops bred for enhanced heat tolerance, said Bala Rathinasabapathi, senior author of the …