Volunteers travel hundreds of miles to rebuild 4-H farms hit by Irma

A fter Hurricane Irma swept through south Florida, Jeramy Smith, 4-H agent for UF/IFAS Extension Miami-Dade County, jumped in his car to survey damage at the three agricultural learning sites used by the county’s 4-H youth to raise plants and animals. The sites were in shambles, Smith said. In Homestead, fallen trees destroyed...

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Breeding Resistant Chickens for Improved Food Safety

Dec 01, 17 Breeding Resistant Chickens for Improved Food Safety

Posted by in Agriculture, Featured Stories, Livestock

By:  Jan Suszkiw A new test developed by Agricultural Research Service (ARS) scientists in College Station, Texas, could make it easier to breed pathogen-resistant chickens. The test identifies roosters whose blood contains naturally high levels of two key chemicals, cytokines and chemokines. These chemicals mobilize the birds’...

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See science in action as UF/IFAS celebrates 100 years of Citrus REC

by bradbuck@ufl.edu GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Oranges, grapefruit, tangerines and limes. Most people think of these as signature plants of Florida, but scientists have traced their origins back millions of years and across continental land masses, said Fred Gmitter, a UF/IFAS professor of horticultural sciences. Scientists can describe...

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UGA Extension pecan specialist Lenny Wells optimistic about crop yields

Dec 01, 17 UGA Extension pecan specialist Lenny Wells optimistic about crop yields

Posted by in Agriculture, Scientific Studies

By Clint Thompson Tropical Storm Irma broke pecan tree limbs, knocked trees down and blew nuts off the trees and out of their shucks when it moved through Georgia in early September, yet University of Georgia Cooperative Extension pecan specialist Lenny Wells is still optimistic about this year’s crop. He estimates yields ranging...

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Commissioner Putnam Announces Winners of Agricultural-Environmental Leadership Award

Dec 01, 17 Commissioner Putnam Announces Winners of Agricultural-Environmental Leadership Award

Posted by in Agriculture, Featured Stories, Livestock

Contact the Office of Communications: (850) 617-7737 • Communications@FreshFromFlorida.com TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Florida Commissioner of Agriculture Adam H. Putnam announced the recipients of the Commissioner’s Agricultural-Environmental Leadership Award, which recognizes the environmentally innovative farming techniques of...

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From farm fields to flight paths: Researchers working to turn a novel oilseed crop into jet fuel

Nov 01, 17 From farm fields to flight paths: Researchers working to turn a novel oilseed crop into jet fuel

Posted by in Agriculture, Scientific Studies, Tech

By Merritt Melancon Researchers have produced biofuels from corn, switchgrass and even algae, but researchers at the University of Georgia will soon study a new source of renewable biofuels: the lesser-known crop of carinata, also known as “Ethiopian mustard.” Through a $15 million grant from the U.S. Department of...

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Blackberries spelling year-round success for Wish Farms

Nov 01, 17 Blackberries spelling year-round success for Wish Farms

Posted by in Agriculture, Featured Stories

In October, FFVA producer member Wish Farms announced it was expanding its year-round offerings of strawberries and blueberries to include blackberries. How’s it going? Very well, thank you. The Plant City-based operation founded in 1922 decided to get into the blackberry business at the request of its customers. “Since they buy...

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Investment in ELDP brings significant returns

By Travis Kuhn, Spring Valley Farms There are a lot of things to be learned in a classroom, but there is no substitute for experience. I am thankful to FFVA for the ELDP program and the opportunity to learn from others. Agriculture is a dynamic industry in every way. This program provided amazing insight into how it’s changing...

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Florida Homeowners Asked to Help with Citrus Crop

by: Veronica Carter GAINESVILLE, Fla. – A tiny insect is placing Florida citrus in jeopardy, but residents can help. Citrus trees in the Sunshine State are under attack from the Asian citrus psyllid (ACP), a tiny mottled brown insect about the size of an aphid that feeds on the new leafs of citrus trees and some ornamental...

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Commissioner Putnam Announces Preliminary Florida Agricultural Damages Due to Hurricane Irma Total $2.5 Billion

Contact the Office of Communications: (850) 617-7737 • Communications@FreshFromFlorida.com TALLAHASSEE, Fla.–Florida Commissioner of Agriculture Adam H. Putnam today announced that the preliminary agricultural damages caused by Hurricane Irma in Florida total more than $2.5 billion. In an initial report released today, the...

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UF expert helps ensure “grain train” gets through to feed Lake Okeechobee-area dairy cows

Nov 01, 17 UF expert helps ensure “grain train” gets through to feed Lake Okeechobee-area dairy cows

Posted by in Agriculture, Featured Stories, Livestock

Media Contact: Beverly James, 352-273-3566, beverlymjames@ufl.edu GAINESVILLE, Fla. — As Hurricane Irma barreled toward Florida in early September, she threatened to starve thousands of dairy cows by delaying the “grain train” – two dozen freight cars of feed commodities bound for the Lake Okeechobee area. The crisis was...

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UF scientists act as plant detectives to identify disease

By: Brad Buck, 352-294-3303, bradbuck@ufl.edu GAINESVILLE, Fla. — As a University of Florida plant pathologist, Gary Vallad likes to call himself and his colleagues “sleuths of the plant world.” These detectives find out what ails plants and crops, hopefully before the disease gets out of control. Most recently, scientists...

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More Than 2,500 Acres of Environmentally Sensitive Okeechobee Ranch Preserved

Contact the Office of Communications: (850) 617-7737 • Communications@FreshFromFlorida.com TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — The Governor and Cabinet today approved the preservation of 2,523 acres of environmentally sensitive land within Corona Ranch in Okeechobee County through cost-effective conservation easements, which prevent future...

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Mark Wilson Named 2017 Florida Farmer of the Year

Nov 01, 17 Mark Wilson Named 2017 Florida Farmer of the Year

Posted by in Agriculture, Featured Stories

Contact the Office of Communications: (850) 617-7737 • Communications@FreshFromFlorida.com TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services today announced that Mark Wilson of Greendale Nursery in Homestead, Florida, was recognized as the 2017 Sunbelt Expo Southeastern Florida Farmer of the Year....

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A post-Irma look at the state’s agricultural sector

By: FFVA It will take time, but Florida’s agriculture sector will recover from the devastation of Hurricane Irma. State Rep. Jake Raburn (R-Lithia) delivered that assessment in his “State of the Industry” remarks during the opening luncheon for the Florida Fruit & Vegetable Association’s 74th annual convention in Amelia...

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A Big Step towards Reducing Strep in Farm-Raised Tilapia

Nov 01, 17 A Big Step towards Reducing Strep in Farm-Raised Tilapia

Posted by in Agriculture, Scientific Studies

By: Sandra Avant The United States annually imports nearly $1 billion worth of tilapia while producing another 30 million pounds ourselves. This makes tilapia the U.S.’s fourth most consumed fish. Worldwide, farmed-raised tilapia is nearly an $8 billion yearly industry. Those same tilapia farmers lose about $1 billion annually due...

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Build anchors to help peach trees stand tall again

Nov 01, 17 Build anchors to help peach trees stand tall again

Posted by in Agriculture, Health & Farming

By Dario Chavez Farmers aren’t the only ones busy working in their fields to repair damage from Tropical Storm Irma. As the University of Georgia’s peach specialist based on the UGA Griffin campus, my team and I have been busy trying to save young trees in our 3-year-old research orchard. Irma passed through Georgia with strong,...

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Florida-grown olive oil potential is limitless

Oct 01, 17 Florida-grown olive oil potential is limitless

Posted by in Agriculture

By Vicky Boyd With the United States producing only a fraction of the total olive oil consumed nationally each year, the potential for Florida-grown olive oil is nearly limitless. “We consume about 80 million gallons of olive oil a year, and we (the United States) produce maybe 3 to 4 percent of that,” said Michael O’Hara...

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Produce industry trends – 2017 and beyond

By Doug Ohlemeier Consumers – particularly millennials – are requesting more convenient and healthier foods, which is changing how produce is sold in stores and offered in restaurants. Millennials – those born after 1980 and the first generation to come of age in the new millennium – are influencing produce purchases and...

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Research key to pomegranate success

Oct 01, 17 Research key to pomegranate success

Posted by in Agriculture, Featured Stories

By Vicky Boyd Florida’s fledgling pomegranate industry will continue to sprout, growers and researchers say, although work remains to be done in managing the diseases that plague pomegranate trees. After 10 years of conducting trials into suitable varieties and related cultural practices, Bill Castle remains optimistic, and...

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