Florida's K–12 schools provide a potential opportunity to increase market channel options for small- and mid-sized diversified farms, but processing, storage, and distribution resources are extremely limited for smaller producers. This 9-page document serves as a model and case study with steps for producers and other stakeholders to conduct a feasibility study before forming a cooperative to sell local fruits and vegetables to schools and other institutional food-service outlets. Written by Jonathan Adam Watson, Danielle D. Treadwell, Catherine Campbell, and Ray Bucklin, and published by the UF/IFAS Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering, March 2021.
The booming craft beer industry, rising prices of hops, and demand for locally-produced ingredients have recently increased interest in local hop production among growers and brewers. This article describes crop management practices and labor inputs required for small-scale hop production in Florida, with the aim of assisting growers with investment and farm management decisions. It is part of a larger series that will review the challenges of hop production in Florida, based on research experience at the UF/IFAS Gulf Coast Research and Education Center in Balm, FL. This new 6-page publication of the UF/IFAS Horticultural Sciences Department was written by Shinsuke Agehara, Mariel Gallardo, Aleyda Acosta-Rangel, Zhanao Deng, Jack Rechcigl, Tianyuan Luo, and Qi Qiu.
When utilizing cover crops for weed suppression, one important consideration is effective termination before planting the main crop. A major issue with improper termination is that the cover crop can become problematic and compete with the main crop, like other weeds. However, proper planning of the termination timing and method can minimize these issues and maximize the benefits of cover crop use. This 5-page publication discusses herbicide application, roller-crimper termination, tillage, and appropriate growth stages for termination. Written by Pratap Devkota, Michael J. Mulvaney, and David Wright, and published by the UF/IFAS Agronomy Department, February 2021.
Successful weed control is one of the most important practices for economical soybean production in Florida. This 10-page publication discusses weed control methods for soybean growers. Written by J. A. Ferrell, G. E. MacDonald, and P. Devkota, and published by the UF/IFAS Agronomy Department, revised January 2021.
Vegetable amaranth is a beautiful and nutritious vegetable in the family Amaranthaceae. This vegetable has been cultivated in China for more than 400 years and has been introduced to several US states, such as Mississippi and Missouri. Florida’s mild climate combined with amaranth’s exceptional taste, nutrients, and colorful foliage suggest amaranth is a potential crop for commercial production for Florida. This new 7-page publication of the UF/IFAS Horticultural Sciences Department is intended to provide Florida growers with a production guide for vegetable amaranth to enhance its competitiveness and boost the economy by introducing this potential cash crop to growers. Written by Yuheng Qiu and Guodong Liu.
Bacterial spot, caused by three species of Xanthomonas, is a limiting disease problem on all peppers. This new 4-page fact sheet provides information on symptoms, causal organism and host resistance, disease cycle and epidemiology, and disease management (including cultural and sanitation practices, chemical control measures and the use of Actigard in chile peppers). Written by Camille McAvoy, Pamela Roberts, and Jeffrey Jones, and published by the UF/IFAS Plant Pathology Department.
Passion fruit is a short-lived evergreen perennial vine that produces an aromatic and tropical-tasting fruit. This new 13-page publication of the UF/IFAS Horticultural Sciences Department provides a description of passion fruit and its various species and cultivars, as well as a guide to culture and management, harvest and storage, its pests and diseases, and food and marketing. Written by Mark Bailey, Ali Sarkhosh, Amir Rezazadeh, Joshua Anderson, Alan Chambers, and Jonathan Crane.
Lettuce Downy Mildew (LDM), caused by the oomycete Bremia lactucae, is the most important disease of lettuce worldwide. LDM has a direct effect on both yield quantity and quality because it may infect lettuce at any growth stage, affecting the marketable portion of the crop. This new 6-page publication of the UF/IFAS Horticultural Sciences Department introduces the LDM disease in Florida lettuce and available control methods and strategies. This publication also introduces the work on LDM in the UF/IFAS Lettuce Breeding Program, which was created to release cultivars adapted to Florida conditions. Written by Lis Rodrigues-Porto, Richard N. Raid, and Germán V. Sandoya.
Vegetable growers are keen on cost-cutting measures to increase profitability. Containerized vegetable production can be done in a shade-house or garden, and it often requires commercial potting media. Although expensive, potting media are lightweight and provide high water- and nutrient-holding capacities, and thus they are widely used by growers. Growers often discard or compost the potting media after a single season due to issues such as diseases, pests, and weeds. However, old potting media could be reused for containerized production if appropriately sterilized and amended with fertilizer salts. The current study was conducted to determine the feasibility of using sterilized recycled potting medium amended with fertilizer salts for containerized production of squash. This new 4-page publication of the UF/IFAS Horticultural Sciences Department was written by Marie Dorval, Riphine Mainviel, Vincent Michael, Yuqing Fu, Bala Rathinasabapathi, and Geoffrey Meru.
Organic farming is one of the fastest-growing segments of the agricultural industry in the United States and in Florida. Conservation tillage is often employed to reduce soil erosion, improve physical and biological properties of soil, and increase water use efficiency. This 5-page article aims to provide recommendations to row crop farmers who wish to implement conservation tillage practices during their transition to a certified organic system. Written by D. L. Wright, J. Moyer, D. Treadwell, I. M. Small, and S. George, and published by the UF/IFAS Agronomy Department, revised November 2020.
There is a growing market in the United States and globally for fresh fruits and vegetables with reported health-enhancing properties. This includes blueberries, which are high in antioxidants and have been reported to improve heart health and contain anticancer properties. Fresh-market blueberry sales (conventional and organic) increased by 27% between 2013 and 2017, and that trend is expected to continue. In addition, there is an increasing level of consumer interest in organically grown produce (for environmental conservation, taste, and other perceived benefits), for which some consumers are willing to pay a premium over the price for a conventionally produced crop. This new 8-page publication of the UF/IFAS Horticultural Sciences Department discusses various aspects of organic blueberry production in Florida and is intended for use by those currently using or interested in pursuing organic production. Written by Douglas A. Phillips, Peter J. Dittmar, Philip F. Harmon, Oscar E. Liburd, Danielle D. Treadwell, and Jeffrey G. Williamson.
Chinese mustard is a nutritious leafy vegetable in the family Brassicaceae. Chinese mustard also goes by many common names, such as brown mustard, mustard greens, leaf mustard, Indian mustard, Oriental mustard, and vegetable mustard. Although it is considered a weed in a few states, such as Michigan, this species is not listed as invasive in Florida and has been cultivated in several counties, including Levy, Palm Beach, and Miami-Dade. This new 8-page publication of the UF/IFAS Horticultural Sciences Department provides a short cultivation guide as well as information on the uses and marketability of Chinese mustard. Written by Yuheng Qiu, Mary Dixon, and Guodong Liu.
Los caquis son considerados como un cultivo relativamente sostenible en Florida, con una calificación de 6 puntos en una escala de 10 para la evaluación de sostenibilidad agrícola. Los caquis tienen un potencial comercial moderado y altas probabilidades de llegar directamente al consumidor. La demanda de los consumidores podría ser de cultivares no astringentes principalmente. Los caquis son aptos para el centro y el norte de Florida, ya que la calidad y los rendimientos pueden ser bajos en la parte sur del estado.
This new 15-page publication of the UF/IFAS Horticultural Sciences Department is the Spanish translation of HS1389, Japanese Persimmon Cultural Practices in Florida, written by Ali Sarkhosh, Dustin M. Huff, and Peter C. Andersen, and translated by Jonathan Clavijo-Herrera.
Effective irrigation scheduling enables the irrigator to apply the right amount of water at the right time to meet the crop water demand. This 19-page guide presents information on average daily and weekly crop water use and crop growth stages for twelve north Florida crops that can be used to help schedule irrigation. This will allow a grower to develop a realistic irrigation schedule that minimizes plant water stress, saves water, and reduces nutrient leaching potential. Written by Vivek Sharma, Charles Barrett, De Broughton, and Thomas Obreza, and published by the UF/IFAS Department of Soil and Water Sciences, revised December 2020.
This 13-page publication is meant to make calibration of boom sprayers easier, and therefore more common, by providing a convenient chart that can be kept in barns, tractor cabs, sprayers, and mix-load facilities for quick reference. Written by Michael J. Mulvaney, Pratap Devkota, Ethan Carter, De Broughton, and Mark Mauldin, and published by the UF/IFAS Agronomy Department, November 2020.
Because of its adaptability to Florida's environmental conditions and ability to produce viable seeds, pintoi peanut represents an interesting forage alternative for cow-calf producers in the state. This 5-page document provides current information on pintoi peanut for forage and livestock producers in Florida. Written by Joao M. D. Sanchez, Joao Vendramini, Maria L. Silveira, Jose C. B. Dubeux Jr., Lynn E. Sollenberger, and Philipe Moriel, and published by the UF/IFAS Agronomy Department, November 2020.
La papaya es un importante cultivo frutícola que se cultiva en el sur de Florida con un área estimada de 356 acres. Este documento se centra en las técnicas de programación de riego basadas en ET para la papaya en las condiciones de Florida. Written by Haimanote K. Bayabil, Jonathan H. Crane, Kati W. Migliaccio, Yuncong Li, Fredy Ballen, and Sandra Guzmán, and published by the UF/IFAS Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering, November 2020.
This 8-page article explains how agriculture and natural resources may respond to projected future climate and how climate projections can be useful in developing management plans for the improved sustainability of Florida's agriculture and natural resources. It also aims to help increase the public awareness of climate change impacts on Florida and improve understanding of the connections among climate, agriculture, and natural resources. Written by Young Gu Her, Ashley Smyth, Zachary Brym, and Elias Bassil, and published by the UF/IFAS Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering, September 2020.
In Florida, purple and yellow passion fruit have been widely cultivated by homeowners for years, and south Florida’s subtropical climate allows for growing passion fruit year-round. Many factors affect longevity and productivity of passion fruit vine, including environmental stresses, pests, and disease. This new 5-page document is designed to help Master Gardeners and homeowners by answering commonly asked questions about passion fruit production problems. Written by Amir Rezazadeh, Mark Bailey, and Ali Sarkhosh, and published by the UF/IFAS Horticultural Sciences Department.
Several different fungi and one bacterium cause leaf spot diseases of Florida strawberry. Symptoms caused by these pathogens are often similar, leading to confusion and misdiagnosis of the disease. To facilitate diagnosis, the most common leaf spots diseases of strawberry in Florida are described in this new 6-page article, written by Juliana S. Baggio, James C. Mertely, and Natalia A. Peres, and published by the UF/IFAS Plant Pathology Department.