About David Kiessling

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So far David Kiessling has created 51 blog entries.

Road Map Aims to Reduce Food Waste

By | March 18th, 2016|Agriculture, Business, Education|

Researchers predict that we’ll be a population of 9 billion or more and counting by 2050, and each and every one of those mouths will need to eat. It’s an issue that the powers that be are attempting to solve proactively, and there are many avenues identified already for attacking such a problem. From GMO superfoods to indoor agriculture, it’s hoped that each avenue will be able to have an end result of more food reaching more people. One promising avenue is reducing food waste. […]

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USDA Expands Insurance for Organic Agriculture

By | March 14th, 2016|Agriculture, Business|

Organic agriculture is a rising star in the U.S. agriculture landscape at the moment, and the demand for organic produce and products is expected to continue to grow . Organics are also a viable option for many farmers and ranchers looking to essentially diversify their operations and afford some measure of stability against volatile agriculture markets. The demand for organics is strong and the payout are higher. However, the cost of starting or converting to an organic operation is not free of problems or pitfalls.  As in most corners of the ag industry, there are many things that could go wrong, costing a producer a great deal. Thankfully, the USDA has stepped up and expanded certain insurance products to organic enterprises to make the change a little less risky. […]

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Geothermal Greenhouses Allow Agriculture to Sprout Up Anywhere

By | February 29th, 2016|Agriculture, Business|

Florida and other southern states have a corner on the majority of the plant-based agriculture market for one common reason: the tropical nature of their respective growing seasons. In short, states like Florida, California, Texas and more are the best places to grow fruits like oranges, various vegetables and other plant-based produce because their growing seasons are long and marked by warm temperatures and lots of sunshine. However, geothermal greenhouses may be on the edge of changing all that, according to an NPR piece. Thanks to geothermal greenhouses, growers in the Midwest—specifically a northwestern Nebraskan gentleman farmer named Russ Finch—have combined the greenhouse concept with heat from the earth to grow a lot of interesting produce; a variety of citrus, for one. […]

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A Look at the USDA’s BioPreferred Program

By | February 22nd, 2016|Agriculture, Business|

There’s no arguing that petroleum and petroleum-based products are damaging to our environment. To further our country’s use of pertroleum-free biobased products, the USDA started the BioPreferred Program in 2002. The program was later expanded as part of the 2014 Farm Bill. In February 2015, the USDA announced a new product—Tide PurClean—to the 2,500 products already certified as biobased. If you were unaware of this USDA-led program, find out the particulars below. […]

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UF/IFAS Innovation Benefits Strawberry Growers and the Environment

By | February 17th, 2016|Agriculture, Business|

The agriculture industry is an enterprise of innovation, and few innovations are quite as welcome as those that are good for the environment and will save producers money at the same time. Such is the case of a web-based monitoring system developed by the University of Florida’s Institute for Food and Agriculture Studies, known as UF/IFAS, for the strawberry industry. Called the Strawberry Advisory System, or SAS for short, it is a web-based tool aimed at helping strawberry growers to pinpoint the best times to apply chemicals to treat diseases, thus reducing unnecessary applications. […]

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The Value of Ag Events Like the Polk County Youth Fair

By | January 25th, 2016|Agriculture, Community, Education|

The Polk County Youth Fair wrapped up its latest annual ag event at the end of January. Youth from all over the county had the opportunity to show off the fruits of their labors, representing weeks and months of hard work. From dog showmanship and archery to showing hand-raised livestock and displaying horse handling skills, there’s something for everyone. However, taking home ribbons is just part of the attraction of such ag events; the Polk County Youth Fair, or PCYF, is about so much more than winning. […]

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Exploring the USDA’s Agriculture Microloans

By | January 22nd, 2016|Agriculture, Business|

The USDA has been on the forefront of creating innovation for the ag industry. From grants for environmental stewardship and growth to lunch programs that get our farmer’s produce into public school lunches, the USDA offers a myriad of benefits to ag and non-ag folks alike. In mid-January, the USDA announced a new program to assist underserved farmers with agriculture microloans. […]

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Farm Diversification Options for Florida Citrus Producers

By | January 16th, 2016|Uncategorized|

Farming and ranching are ventures fraught with pitfalls, and Florida has its fair share of difficulties and hardships. Considering factors such as fickle weather that can be hot as a furnace, dry as a bone, wet as a fish or downright dangerous, and Florida’s host of pathogens and pests, being in agriculture in Florida is hard. Case in point is the scourge of Citrus Greening. Due to the HLB bacteria, Citrus Greening has been slowly decimating the Florida citrus industry since it’s detection 10 years ago. […]

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How Farm Living = Healthier Living

By | January 9th, 2016|Agriculture, Community, Education|

Farms and ranches grow and raise the products of healthy living—fruits and vegetables, whole grains and lean meats and dairy—but the statistics show that farm living is a healthy thing as well. Here’s a look at the ways and means behind the healthfulness of a farm lifestyle. […]

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The State of Florida’s Fight Against Citrus Greening

By | January 2nd, 2016|Agriculture, Business, Education|

Citrus Greening has ravaged the Florida citrus industry for the last 10 years, and the stakes keep getting higher and higher. In early December, the USDA released an updated citrus forecast, and the outlook was anything but rosy.  According to the new estimates, the USDA is forecasting only 69 million boxes for all oranges, which is 29 percent less than last year’s total numbers.  While some of the low numbers are due in part to last year’s freezing temperatures, production of oranges overall has fallen by over 50 percent since HLB was detected a decade ago. […]

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