Small-to-Medium-Scale Sensory Evaluation of Horticultural Crops: Measuring Responses

Six coffee roasting grades. From top left to bottom right: light cinnamon, cinnamon, normal, French roasting, espresso and open fire. Credits: Godewind, Wikimedia

When measuring the responses of panelists, the main principle behind sensory evaluation, a variety of sensory tests can be used. This new 4-page publication is the second in a series designed to assist producers in the small-to-medium-sized sensory evaluation of their horticultural crops, outlining the types of data and sensory measurement techniques utilized in sensory evaluation. Written by Sean Michael Campbell and Charles A. Sims, and published by the UF/IFAS Environmental Horticulture Department.

How to Avoid Common Problems with Leaf Wetness Sensor Installation and Maintenance

Wildlife and grain forage trial plots at the North Florida Research and Education Center in Quincy, Florida.

Leaf wetness duration is an essential input in disease prediction models and decision support systems in Florida and elsewhere. Incorrect installation or lack of regular maintenance of leaf wetness sensors may lead to errors in plant disease risk monitoring and negative impacts on yield. This 7-page publication provides detailed guidelines for the proper installation and maintenance of leaf wetness sensors and describes the most common problems found in field installations as well as potential solutions. Written by T. B. Onofre, C. W. Fraisse, N. A. Peres, and J. McNair, and published by the UF/IFAS Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering, February 2020.

Using Supplemental Lighting to Control Flowering of Hops in Florida

The UF/IFAS GCREC research hop yard in Balm, FL at night. Credits: Shinsuke Agehara, UF/IFAS

Hops (Humulus lupulus L.) are an emerging crop in Florida. Florida’s craft beer industry has experienced significant growth over the last 10 years, with 285 breweries producing 42.6 million gallons of beer and generating an economic impact of $3.6 billion in 2018. To respond to their strong demand for locally grown hops, an interdisciplinary hops research team is currently studying optimum crop management practices at the UF/IFAS Gulf Coast Research and Education Center (UF/IFAS GCREC). In Florida, the major yield-limiting factor is premature flowering induced by inadequate day length. This new 4-page article, written by Shinsuke Agehara and published by the UF/IFAS Horticultural Sciences Department, provides guidelines for supplemental lighting to control flowering of hops in Florida.

Small-to-Medium-Scale Sensory Evaluation of Horticultural Crops: Sensory Attributes

Examples of different particle and moisture components of texture and consistency in varying mustard samples.

Given the economic impact associated with the value and acceptability of horticultural crops, sensory evaluation is commonly employed in research, product development, and quality control, with very specific parameters outlined for its proper execution. The resulting data can be used to make sound decisions about crop quality and marketability, ultimately determining the overall value. This new 3-page publication of the UF/IFAS Environmental Horticulture Department is the first in a series designed to assist producers in the small-to-medium-scale sensory evaluation of their horticultural crops, outlining sensory attributes essential to sensory evaluation, including appearance, aroma, texture, and flavor. Written by Sean Michael Campbell and Charles A. Sims.

ET-Based Irrigation Scheduling for Papaya (Carica papaya) in Florida

Fruiting papaya trees at the Tropical Research and Education Center in Homestead, FL. UF/IFAS Photo: Thomas Wright.

Three irrigation scheduling methods (set schedule, ET-based, and tensiometer-based) were tested for papaya production in south Florida. ET-based irrigation scheduling was found to conserve water effectively. This 6-page document primarily focuses on the ET-based irrigation scheduling techniques for papaya under Florida conditions. Written by Haimanote K. Bayabil, Jonathan H. Crane, Kati W. Migliaccio, Yuncong Li, and Fredy Ballen, and published by the UF/IFAS Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering, March 2020.

Common Strawberry Diseases in Florida

Freshly harvested strawberries. UF/IFAS Photo by Tyler Jones

This new two-page publication of the UF/IFAS Plant Pathology Department describes symptoms of most common strawberry diseases in Florida and summarizes the efficacy of fungicides labeled for management of such diseases. Written by Michelle S. Oliveira and Natalia A. Peres.

Recommendations for Control and Mitigation of Laurel Wilt and Ambrosia Beetle Vectors in Commercial Avocado Groves in Florida

Avocado. UF/IFAS Photo: Thomas Wright.

The lethal laurel wilt epidemic affecting avocado trees in Florida is caused by a fungal pathogen-ambrosia beetle complex (LW-AB). The death of over 120,000 commercial avocado trees in Florida may be attributed to LW-AB. Recommendations for control and mitigation of this epidemic are needed to guide commercial producers in their decision-making process. This new 8-page publication of the UF/IFAS Horticultural Sciences Department outlines the LW-AB epidemic, provides information on the pathogen and ambrosia beetle vectors, provides a brief outline of current research findings, and offers recommendations for the control and mitigation of LW-AB. Written by Jonathan H. Crane, Daniel Carrillo, Edward A. Evans, Romina Gazis, Bruce Schaffer, Fredy Ballen, and Jeff Wasielewski.

El higo

Color de la cáscara de la fruta entre diferentes variedades de higo. Créditos: Ali Sarkhosh, UF/IFAS

El higo (Ficus carica L; familia Moracea) se originó en los trópicos del Viejo Mundo: Asia Menor y la Región Mediterránea. En el Mediterráneo, el higo se ha cultivado desde el año 5,000 a.C. Muchos cultivares de higos fueron importados del Viejo Mundo en los últimos 50 años. Actualmente, sin embargo, no hay programas de mejoramiento de higos en los Estados Unidos, y de entre al menos 60-100 cultivares de higos nombrados, relativamente pocos se cultivan en el sureste de los Estados Unidos.

This is the Spanish version of HS27, The Fig. ( Written by Ali Sarkhosh and Peter C. Andersen, translated by Luis Jonathan Clavijo Herrera, and published by the UF/IFAS Horticultural Sciences Department.

Pruning Southern Highbush Blueberry in Florida

'Farthing' blueberry plants previously trained to a narrow crown with cartons.

Pruning is an essential part of blueberry production and is used to help establish new plantings; promote postharvest growth of new foliage and fruiting wood; balance vegetative and reproductive growth; reduce disease and certain insect pressure; assist in harvesting efficiency; and promote new cane growth and plant longevity. This new 3-page publication of the UF/IFAS Horticultural Sciences Department is a discussion of pruning practices on southern highbush blueberry in Florida. Written by Douglas A. Phillips and Jeffrey G. Williamson.

Lettuce Cultivars Suitable for Use on Organic Soils in Southern Florida

Lettuce. UF/IFAS Photo: Thomas Wright.

Lettuce as a commercial crop is planted mainly in organic soils (“muck”) in the Everglades Agricultural Area (EAA) in south Florida. This updated 6-page publication of the UF/IFAS Horticultural Sciences Department presents a summary of previous cultivar releases by UF/IFAS as well as a description of cultivars currently planted in the EAA. Written by German Sandoya and Huangjun Lu.

Japanese Persimmon Varieties in Florida

'Matsumoto Wase Fuyu' persimmon cultivar

Japanese persimmons were first grown in Florida in the 1870s, but as of 2017, most US plantings are on a small scale; however, even as the overall acreage has decreased, the number of farms in Florida growing the fruit increased from 2012 to 2017. Trees grow and fruit best in central and northern Florida and can produce high yields of good-quality fruit. With an estimated population of more than 21 million, a diverse cultural base, and large cities close to production zones, Florida is primed for a larger persimmon industry. This 11-page revision provides growers with a primer on persimmon characteristics, marketing, and cultivars. Written by Ali Sarkhosh, Peter C. Andersen, and Dustin M. Huff, and published by the UF/IFAS Horticultural Sciences Department.

Stem and Fruit Canker of Dragon Fruit in South Florida

Red dragon fruit

Dragon fruit, also known as pitahaya, pitaya, and strawberry pear, is a group of vine-like, climbing cacti. In south Florida, production of dragon fruit has been steadily increasing since the 2000s, and growers in Florida consider dragon fruit as a potential alternative fruit crop to avocado and citrus, two economically important fruit crops largely impacted by laurel wilt and huanglongbing, respectively. This new 4-page article focuses on the symptomology and epidemiology of stem and fruit canker, a prevailing disease on dragon fruit. Suggested management strategies for the disease are also discussed based on recent studies conducted in south Florida. Written by Cheng-Fang Hong, Shouan Zhang, Romina Gazis, Jonathan H. Crane, and Jeff Wasielewski, and published by the UF/IFAS Plant Pathology Department.

Hop Yard Establishment and Trellis Construction in Florida

Hop plants illuminated by LED lamps at night

Hops (Humulus lupulus L.) are an essential ingredient in brewing, adding bitterness and flavor to beer. Driven by the recent craft beer movement, hop production is expanding into nontraditional hop-producing states. In Florida, while commercial hop production is almost nonexistent, the number of craft breweries in Florida increased from 45 in 2011 to 285 in 2018, and the economic impact of Florida’s craft beer industry exceeds $3 billion. This new 7-page article, written by Shinsuke Agehara, Aleyda Acosta-Rangel, Zhanao Deng, Jack Rechcigl, and Simon Bollin and published by the UF/IFAS Horticultural Sciences Department, provides guidelines and considerations for building a hop yard in Florida, using the UF/IFAS Gulf Coast Research and Education Center’s research hop yard as a model.

Sugarcane Cultivar Descriptive Fact Sheet: CP 06-2400, CP 06-2042, and CP 07-2137

CP 06-2400 at early growth stage in muck soil.

This 5-page fact sheet provides basic information and yield and disease information for CP 06-2400, CP 06-2042, and CP 07-2137 to assist growers in better selection and management of these cultivars. Written by Hardev Sandhu, Matt VanWeelden, and Wayne Davidson, and published by the UF/IFAS Agronomy Department, December 2019.

Choosing the Right Blackberry Cultivar in Subtropical Florida

Blackberry bramble

Blackberry (Rubus spp.) is a deciduous berry crop and the fourth most economically important berry crop in the United States. Driven by the growing demand for blackberries, production recently expanded to the southeastern United States. In Florida, however, commercial blackberry production is limited primarily to small commercial U-pick operations. The main challenges include insufficient chill hours and poor fruit quality associated with the subtropical climate. This new 6-page article, a publication of the UF/IFAS Horticultural Sciences Department, will discuss important cultivar selection criteria and recommended blackberry cultivars in subtropical Florida. Written by Shinsuke Agehara, Syuan-You Lin, and Zhanao Deng.

Harvest Techniques for Hops (Humulus lupulus)

Hop cone formation. Left: newly formed hop burr. Right: mature hop cone.

Hops (Humulus lupulus) are perennial plants commonly harvested for their mature strobiles, also referred to as cones, which are primarily dried and used as a bittering agent and preservative in beer production. The two primary factors of harvest timing and harvest method can have large impacts on the quality and economics of the finished product. The decision of when and how to harvest is important and should rely upon growing-region-specific environmental conditions, physical observations of the cones, and the wants and needs of the individual producer. This new 4-page publication of the UF/IFAS Environmental Horticulture Department describes the primary methods used in hop harvesting, including field, indoor, and machine harvesting. Written by Sean Michael Campbell and Brian J. Pearson.

Hurricane Preparedness for Forage Crops in the Southeast United States

Belle Glade, hurricane of 1928. Photos from the Smather's Archives.

This 4-page document provides information on preparing forage crops, conserved forage, and grazing areas for potential hurricane damage and alleviating hurricane damage on forage crops and grazing lands in the Southeast United States, with an emphasis on the Florida peninsula and Gulf Coast. Written by José C. B. Dubeux, Jr. and Edward K. Twidwell, and published by the UF/IFAS Agronomy Department, November 2019.

Tropical and Subtropical Fruit Propagation

Part of the grafting process

Propagation is an important technique used by tropical and subtropical fruit growers worldwide, allowing plants to be grown cheaply and efficiently. While sexual propagation (by seed) results in plants that are not genetically the same as the mother plant, asexual propagation (cuttings, division, air-layers, and grafting) creates offspring that are clones of the mother plant. Cloning fruit trees is important because it allows different cultivars to be preserved over time. This new 7-page publication of the UF/IFAS Horticultural Sciences Department explains both sexual and asexual propagation techniques, why they are used, and what type of propagation is best for which species of tropical fruit. Written by Jeff Wasielewski and Carlos Balerdi.

Target Spot of Tomato in Florida

A hand on a small tomato growing on the vine. Photo taken on 04-14-17.

Fresh-market tomatoes bring in $400-$500 million annually as the third most valuable crop in the state. Defoliation and fruit damage from target spot, caused by Corynespora cassiicola, can have serious economic implications for growers. This new 5-page publication of the UF/IFAS Plant Pathology Department, written by Keevan MacKenzie, Jessica Chitwood, Gary Vallad, and Sam Hutton, reviews symptoms and epidemiology of the disease and provides current management recommendations.

Variedades de Durazno y Nectarina en la Florida


La Universidad de la Florida ha desarrollado cultivares de nectarina y durazno de alta calidad, bajo requerimiento de horas frio, y de maduracion temprana que pueden cultivarse desde el Panhandle de la Florida (noroeste del estado) tan al sur como Immokalee. Cultivares de bajas horas frio pueden crecer y producir fruta bajo las condiciones de la Florida que son mucho mas calidas en el invierno que en estados mas al norte. This 18-page fact sheet, translated by Tatiana Sanchez and published by the UF/IFAS Horticultural Sciences Department, is the Spanish-language version of CIR1159, Florida Peach and Nectarine Varieties, written by Ali Sarkhosh, Mercy Olmstead, Jose Chaparro, Pete Andersen, and Jeff Williamson.