Florida Field Day Features the Potential of Blackberries

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 …

Lack of Neopestalotiopsis a Blessing for Producers

By Clint Thompson A drier year meant a good production season for Florida strawberries regarding a lack of diseases. A state known for its high-quality strawberry crop was ravaged in prior seasons because of neopestalotiopsis fruit rot disease. But rainy seasons exacerbated the problem. This year’s dry weather led to minimal disease impact, said Vance Whitaker, University of Florida Institute …

Potassium’s Importance in Potatoes

By Clint Thompson Lakesh Sharma, assistant professor in the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences Department of Soil, Water and Ecosystem Sciences, cannot stress enough potassium’s importance in potato production. That’s why he is concerned about the current conflict in the Ukraine and its potential impact on the essential nutrient’s availability in the future. “Potassium is not …

Disease Alert: New Phytoplasma Disease Confirmed in Florida

Scientists at the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) have recorded the first North American case of a harmful phytoplasma disease known for its threat to fruit, vegetable and ornamental crops in South America and the Middle East. The phytoplasma species called Candidatus Phytoplasma brasiliense is documented in regions of Brazil and Peru to harm hibiscus, …

Survey Seeks Input on Florida Citrus Quality Problems

By Frank Giles John Chater joined the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Science (UF/IFAS) in January as an assistant professor of horticultural sciences. His job also comes with a significant Extension component, which will allow him to work closely with growers. “Extension helps make the research conducted at the university worthwhile, because this is how that knowledge …

Blueberry Production in Florida

Florida’s blueberry production, harvest and shipping season is well under way. Doug Phillips, the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) statewide blueberry Extension coordinator, discusses blueberry production in Florida. Q: In addition to Sentinel, what are some the latest blueberry varieties from UF/IFAS? What makes them interesting to the consumer? How about for the producer? A: …