By Ashley Robinson
The October issue of VSCNews magazine covers a variety of topics, including establishing an olive industry in Florida, the potential for hops and a strawberry spotlight.
Currently, Florida has approximately 800 acres of olives under production. Although olives grow well in Florida’s warm climate, little formal research on Florida olive cultivation is available to support industry development. Michael O’Hara Garcia, president of the Florida Olive Council, explains what it will take to establish an olive industry in the Sunshine State.
There is a lot of hype surrounding hops production in Florida. According to Shinsuke Agehara, an assistant professor at the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) Gulf Coast Research and Education Center (GCREC), Florida hops show potential. The UF/IFAS hops research goal is to develop a viable industry for Florida growers and brewers.
Furthermore, the crop spotlight returns in the October issue of VSCNews magazine, this time focusing on strawberries.
Sriyanka Lahiri, an assistant professor at the UF/IFAS GCREC, shares pests that are problematic to Florida strawberries and effective management strategies.
Also, two new strawberry selections have been approved for release by UF/IFAS and are in the commercialization process. Vance M. Whitaker, an associate professor at UF/IFAS, shares the specifics on the new releases. The first release is an early short-day variety with excellent fruit
shape and quality. The second release is a white-fruited strawberry, it is expected to be the first such variety on the market in the United States.
Severe outbreaks of Pestalotiopsis, a new strawberry disease, has threatened Florida strawberries the last two growing seasons. Natalia Peres, a professor at UF/IFAS, shares control strategies that growers can use to manage the disease.
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