Everglades Research and Education Center to Celebrate 100 Years

The University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) Everglades Research and Education Center (EREC) will celebrate its 100-year anniversary on Friday, Feb. 10, 2023. The event will include research tours of the EREC and feature various talks focusing on the center’s history. Scott Angle, UF/IFAS Senior Vice President, will provide an administrative welcome. Keynote speakers include Jim …

January Freeze Nips Some Sweet Corn 

By Clint Thompson A mid-January freeze event impacted sweet corn production in South Florida. The significance of the impact during the weekend of Jan. 13-15 depends on what production stage the corn was in. Tori Rumenik, commodity services and supply chain manager for the Florida Fruit and Vegetable Association, elaborated on how some producers were affected by the freeze burn …

Different Take on Truck Driver Shortage 

By Clint Thompson Supply chain concerns continue to be an issue for business leaders across the U.S., including specialty crop producers. One industry leader believes a truck driver shortage is not the reason for the problem. Jon Kenneally, chief executive officer for Southern Ag Carriers, discussed the situation during the winter meeting of the Georgia Plant Food Educational Society, Inc. last week …

USDA to Step Up Organic Rules Enforcement

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Organic Program (NOP) previewed the Strengthening Organic Enforcement (SOE) final rule. This update to the USDA organic regulations strengthens oversight and enforcement of the production, handling, and sale of organic products. This final rule implements 2018 Farm Bill mandates, responds to industry requests for updates to the USDA organic regulations, and addresses National …

Using Artificial Intelligence to Assess Storm Damage

University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) researchers are using artificial intelligence (AI) technology to quantify damage to fruits and vegetables caused by extreme weather events, such as Hurricane Ian in 2022. When Ian struck on Sept. 28, it brought winds up to 155 mph and caused as much as $1.56 billion in damage to crops, livestock and …

Georgia and North Florida Citrus Endures Second Freeze

Another freeze event last weekend could spell doom for some citrus trees produced in the cold-hardy citrus region. Kim Jones, president of the Cold Hardy Citrus Association, discussed the dire situation facing growers in the region. “I think we had some damage to some new growth that had come out from the last freeze. I can’t tell how much, but we’ve …

Citrus Leaders Testify on Weather Disasters

Florida agriculture took a wallop from Hurricane Ian last year. Throw in another hurricane (Nicole) and a freeze, and the disaster losses stacked up. The state’s citrus industry took a particularly hard hit. On Jan. 17, citrus industry representatives headed to Tallahassee to testify before the Florida Senate Agriculture Committee about the toll these weather events had on an already …

Florida Peaches Running Behind Schedule

By Clint Thompson The Christmas freeze event brought much needed chill hours to Florida’s peach crop. But it still lags behind historical averages, according to Jose Chaparro, associate professor in the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS). He said the crop this year will be delayed as a result. “We’re significantly behind. It looks like our bloom …

Citrus Industry Leaders Call for Disaster Relief

By Frank Giles Florida citrus leaders will testify before the Florida Senate Agriculture Committee on Jan. 17 to provide lawmakers with a sense of the disastrous impact last year’s hurricanes had on the crop and growers’ financial positions.  Among those testifying are Christa Court, director of the economic impact analysis program, University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences; …

Ecosystem Services Move Forward in Florida

By Frank Giles Farming has never been an easy profession, but the past few years have placed even bigger burdens on the job. The pandemic, supply-chain disruptions, inflation and extreme weather events have all placed additional challenges on profitability. Even before the pandemic, a group of growers in Florida began recognizing challenges to their sustainability was a larger discussion than …