New Incentive to Renew Florida Citrus Groves

By | August 24th, 2016|Agriculture|

Many Florida citrus groves are in bad shape due to citrus greening (HLB). Recent surveys estimate that 80 percent of Florida’s citrus trees are infected with HLB. In some Florida citrus groves, the estimates are closer to 100 percent. Once infected, citrus trees’ fruit production begins to drop, and then the trees die. […]

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CRISPR Gene Editing Newest Development in HLB Research

By | August 17th, 2016|Agriculture|

It’s up to the scientific and HLB research community to save Florida’s citrus industry from citrus greening, also known as HLB. Since the bacterium that causes citrus greening was detected in a South Florida grove in 2005, the citrus industry has seen falling harvest totals and rising costs. A recent estimation from forecasters with the USDA gave Florida’s citrus industry until 2019 to remain viable. Many treatments and promising HLB research ventures are on-going, but nothing has resulted in the proverbial silver bullet. […]

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An Ag Hurricane Prep Guideline for Your Farm or Ranch

By | August 1st, 2016|Agriculture|

The start of the Atlantic hurricane season was June 1st, but data shows that less than 15 percent of the season’s hurricanes are in June and July. As August begins, hurricane season starts to heat up. Those in the ag industry need to complete their ag hurricane prep if they have not already done so. […]

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Citrus Industry Given a Deadline for Viability

By | July 27th, 2016|Agriculture|

There’s no denying that Florida has seen an enormous negative impact due to citrus greening, or HLB, in its citrus industry. As annual harvests have continued to fall year after year, many have wondered how long the citrus industry can stay afloat. With harvests dwindling and maintenance costs soaring, many citrus growers have thrown in the towel. Researchers with the USDA believe the rest may not be too far behind if a change doesn’t come soon. […]

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Farmworkers: Five Lessons Learned In The Field

By | July 22nd, 2016|Agriculture, Law|

Migrant farmworkers are at the forefront of many discussions on agriculture and immigration. In ag-heavy states like Florida, the presence of farmworkers is common, as they are there nearly year-round to pick such crops as citrus and strawberries. However, NPR contributor, Dan Charles, realized that while many who are in agriculture understand that a large portion of US food is picked by hand by migrant workers, urban and suburbanites likely have little understanding of the process. He went on an assignment that’s lasted about a year, exploring the lives of farmworkers around the country, and took away the five key lessons below. […]

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Bactericides Survey Needs Citrus Growers

By | July 7th, 2016|Agriculture, Business|

Florida’s citrus growers got some help in the fight against citrus greening (HLB) in March of 2016 when the EPA approved the emergency use exemption for bactericides. Through the Section 18 exemption, growers were given access to three different brand name products, Mycoshield, FireLine 17WP and FireWall 50WP, to use against citrus greening. Bactericides are [...]

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Honey Bees and Veterans: A Winning Combination

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

The importance of honey bees as pollinators of our country’s food supplies cannot be understated. A special program in Louisiana will see honey bees getting a leg up from another group important to our country: military veterans. A partnership between a USDA Agricultural Research Service (USDA-ARS) lab and the Louisiana Armed Forces Foundation (LaAFF) will soon be teaching the art of beekeeping to interested veterans. […]

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Florida Citrus Nurseries Try HLB-Free Growing Under Nets

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

There are many different innovations and treatments that are being tested by the Florida citrus industry for dealing with HLB, or citrus greening. One interesting concept is about to be put to real-life testing in two different Central Florida locations: Citrus Undercover Production Systems, or CUPS. A Florida Grower article details the efforts of two different CUPS groves being installed—one in Alturas and one in Lake Wales—this summer. […]

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The Importance of Ag Education

By | May 24th, 2016|Agriculture, Business, Education|

Agriculture is in need of warm bodies in the industry, with vacancies in the scientific and technical side of agricultural employment growing rapidly. It’s one reason why ag education is so important. Traditional ag education classes that pair with organizations like 4-H, Future Farmers of America and others—both in and out of public school classrooms—are touted for their ability to reach kids from diverse backgrounds and get them interested in agriculture. One college program in California is having a profound effect on a group already immersed in agriculture: the children of farm workers. […]

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Florida’s Prolific Ag Pests

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

Florida agriculture may be one of the strongest in the nation, but the tropical climate, abundant sunshine and plentiful rains (barring drought!) that created a land so favorable to agriculture also welcome a lion’s share of pests and pathogens to attack the fruits of The Sunshine State’s labors (and the vegetables, nuts, livestock and so on). In Florida, agriculture is a big business, and ag pests are a big deal. […]

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