The poblano pepper, a spicier complement to the bell pepper

By Julie Jernigan Juan Carlos Diaz-Perez, University of Georgia vegetable horticulturist, encourages Georgia vegetable producers to consider planting poblano peppers. Compared to bell peppers, poblano peppers have a greater yield per acre, comparable market price and more disease resistance. Poblano pepper plants produce an average...

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UF study: Peregrine Staying Closer to Home as Population Increases

by beverlymjames@ufl.edu The majestic Peregrine Falcon, one of the largest and fastest birds on the planet, can fly hundreds of miles, but lately has been sticking close to home to breed. Researchers at the University of Florida, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences say it’s a matter of population density. Peregrines had...

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Organic livestock standards rule withdrawn to detriment of family farmers and the organic label

by the NFU The USDA’s move will exacerbate consumer confusion about the meaning of the organic label, and it will, ultimately, negatively impact family organic producers who adhere to strict, voluntary organic standards, according to the National Farmers Union (NFU). NFU President Roger Johnson issued the following statement in...

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Building a One-Stop System for Food Data

By Sandra Avant, ARS Office of Communications. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is creating a new food data system called USDA FooDS, which will incorporate all USDA foods and nutrient composition databases under one umbrella. For more than 125 years, the USDA National Nutrient Database has provided data on the composition...

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Native azaleas are very different from their traditional Southern cousins

By Sharon Dowdy Georgians are accustomed to evergreen azaleas, but native azaleas are currently growing in popularity. Unlike evergreen azaleas, native azaleas lose their leaves in the fall, grow tall and airy rather than low and dense, and bloom in the spring and summer. University of Georgia plant breeder Carol Robacker has...

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Crops Hold Onto Harmful Mutations That Reduce Productivity

Apr 01, 18 Crops Hold Onto Harmful Mutations That Reduce Productivity

Posted by in Agriculture, Scientific Studies

By Kim Kaplan Limits on improving yield and other critical traits in maize likely are due to rare harmful mutations genetically linked to a beneficial gene combination that were selected for during domestication and breeding, according to a study published today in the journal Nature. These so-called deleterious genetic mutations...

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Guana River Dam improvements begin, with some areas closed during construction

Apr 01, 18 Guana River Dam improvements begin, with some areas closed during construction

Posted by in Land Care, Scientific Studies

Media contact: Greg Workman, 352-620-7335 The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) is about to start improvements to the Guana River Dam in St. Johns County. The improvements will address storm damage to the dam. Construction is scheduled to begin April 1 and continue through August, weather permitting. The dam is...

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Are flamingos returning to Florida?

by American Ornithological Society Publications Office Flamingos are a Florida cultural icon, and sightings of American Flamingos in the state have been on the rise in recent decades. However, whether they’re truly native to the U.S. or only arrive via escape from captivity has long been subject to debate, making developing a plan...

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UF/IFAS research: Tiny insect may help reduce hydrilla presence in Florida waters

by Tom Nordlie A tiny insect with a big appetite for hydrilla could help reduce the presence of this troublesome invasive water weed in lakes, springs and rivers, says an entomologist with the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences. During National Invasive Species Awareness Week (Feb. 26 to March 2),...

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Adding Value to Sugar Crop Trash & Byproducts

By Sandra Avant, ARS Office of Communications. The old adage “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure” can be taken literally when it comes to residual material from sugar crops such as sugarcane, sweet sorghum, and sugar beets. These crops provide sugars, molasses, syrups, and other products to sweeten our foods. But...

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UF-lead team mobilizes to save super-rare tree on the brink of extinction

by Samantha Grenrock The Florida torreya is the most endangered tree in North America. And it may soon disappear entirely. But scientists such as the University of Florida’s Jason Smith are ready to fight for the species, which is a critical part of its native ecosystem in the Florida Panhandle. That’s why he and other leading...

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New tax law may grow on the agriculture industry

Mar 01, 18 New tax law may grow on the agriculture industry

Posted by in Scientific Studies

This article was prepared for FFVA members by Carl Stroh Jr. of Withum. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act passed by Congress and signed into law in December will affect Florida’s specialty crop producers in a number of ways. Included in the new law was a provision for citrus growers that provides a special temporary exception to the...

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Talking to a Wall: Offshore Drilling Plan Draws Protests

Mar 01, 18 Talking to a Wall: Offshore Drilling Plan Draws Protests

Posted by in Celebration, Scientific Studies

By: Trimmel Gomes TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – It isn’t clear whether Florida is still included in the Trump administration’s plan to expand offshore drilling, but the first and only hearing about it was in Tallahassee on Thursday. Groups opposed to the plan had to get creative in an attempt to share their views. With no...

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Could an 8 million-year-old gene help the citrus industry? UF researchers think so

By: Brad Buck, 352-294-3303, bradbuck@ufl.edu After 100 years of assertions about the roots of citrus, a global group of scientists – including a University of Florida professor – has traced the evolutionary history of Florida’s signature crop up to 8 million years ago in the Himalayas of Southeast Asia. Through analyses of 60...

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UF researchers work feverishly to manage south Florida’s biggest threat: Invasive termites

by beverlymjames@ufl.edu Subterranean termites cause about $32 billion in damage worldwide. In fact, researchers with the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences predict two of the most invasive subterranean termite species will expand their destructive range; meaning half the structures in South Florida...

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Leaving on a Bio-Jet Plane

By J. Kim Kaplan, ARS Office of Communications. One hundred and ten years ago when Wilbur Wright piloted the first U.S. passenger flight by taking employee Charles Furnas along for a ride, it’s unlikely that either of them ever dreamed of jet liners, let alone jets that use fuel made by yeast from switchgrass. Today, the airline...

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Florida’s Community Health Centers Thankful for Federal Funding

By: Trimmel Gomes TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – In a rare show of bipartisanship, Republican and Democratic Senate leaders announced a two-year budget deal that would increase federal spending for defense as well as key domestic priorities, including many health programs. The deal appears to offer most of what Democrats have been asking...

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UF/IFAS researchers awarded $10.5M to work on citrus greening resistance or tolerance

By: Brad Buck, 352-294-3303, bradbuck@ufl.edu GAINESVILLE, Fla. — With citrus greening devastating Florida’s $8.6 billion-a-year citrus industry, three University of Florida scientists will use $10.52 million in federal grants to study ways to help growers cope with the disease, including research on genetic editing that may...

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A fair fight for Florida farmers

Feb 01, 18 A fair fight for Florida farmers

Posted by in Agriculture, Scientific Studies

By Jack Payne • jackpayne@ufl.edu  On the face of it, it’s not a fair fight. Farming in Florida is hard enough, but then the rules of that fight constantly change. New bugs and diseases raid crops. Volatile markets say plant now while the weather says plant later. Consumers keep changing their minds about what to eat. New plant...

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Florida forest industry generates nearly $13B in annual sales, 36,000 jobs

Feb 01, 18 Florida forest industry generates nearly $13B in annual sales, 36,000 jobs

Posted by in Featured Stories, Scientific Studies

by Brad Buck GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Florida’s forest industry generated $12.55 billion in sales revenues in 2016, which translated to more jobs, according to a new UF/IFAS economic report. The sales figure is up about $4.77 billion from 2003, according to the report. More money sometimes means more jobs, and in the case of the...

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