Farm Bill to Focus on Climate Change and Sustainability

Jim Rogers Agriculture, Farm Bill, Legislative

The 2023 Farm Bill was one of the major themes of the recent Florida Agricultural Policy Outlook Conference held at the University of Florida’s Mid-Florida Research and Education Center in Apopka. While in the early stages, discussions are already underway for next year’s farm bill. The federal legislation will lay out agricultural policy for the following five years. The direction …

Disaster Assistance Addressed at Florida Ag Conference

Jim Rogers Agriculture, Florida

How the government provides support to growers after disasters remains a challenge. Disaster assistance was one of the topics discussed at the recent Florida Agricultural Policy Outlook Conference held at the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) Mid-Florida Research and Education Center in Apopka. Agencies like the U.S. Department of Agriculture are struggling with the best …

Increased Labor Law Enforcement in Southeast

Jim Rogers Agriculture, Labor, Regulation

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division is continuing its multi-year education and enforcement initiative to increase compliance with federal labor laws in the Southeast’s agriculture industry. In addition to enforcement activity, the initiative provides compliance assistance to employers and educates workers and other stakeholders. The division and industry stakeholders in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, …

Legislative Session Positive for Florida Ag

Jim Rogers Agriculture, Florida, Legislative

The state legislative session was among the topics discussed at the March 21 Florida Agricultural Policy Outlook Conference. The annual event was held at the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) Mid-Florida Research and Education Center in Apopka. More than 100 people attended the conference, either in-person or virtually. John Walt Boatright, director of national affairs …

Soil Is Key to Setting Up Trees for Success

Jim Rogers Agriculture, Nutrition, Soil Improvement

By Brad Turner As I started my regenerative journey five years ago, it conjured up memories of walking the family groves in the 1970s with my freshly sharpened eye hoe. I would follow the tractor as it pulled the offset chopper, crisscrossing between the widely spaced trees in all directions. The native grasses and broadleaf plants — including legumes like …

Cover Crops in Citrus: Less Weeds, More Microbes

Jim Rogers Agriculture, Citrus, Cover Crops

There are many advantages to using cover crops in citrus groves, according to Sarah Strauss, University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) assistant professor. She recently discussed growers implementing cover crops at the Citrus Health Forum at the UF/IFAS North Florida Research and Education Center in Quincy. “Certainly, from the microbiology side, the scientific side, I think …

Guidance on Chlorpyrifos Recordkeeping

Jim Rogers Agriculture, Pesticides, Tip of the Week

By Brett Bultemeier and Lauren Diepenbrock The revocation of chlorpyrifos residues and tolerances that became effective on Feb. 28, 2022, caused some confusion and concern when it was first announced. The legal description provided by the Environmental Protection Agency is challenging to fully understand. Therefore, the Pesticide Information Office from the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences …

USDA Seeks Advisory Board Members

Jim Rogers Agriculture, Citrus

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is soliciting continuous nominations for membership to its National Agricultural Research, Extension, Education and Economics (NAREEE) Advisory Board and its committees. The NAREEE board is comprised of 15 members representing a specific category of U.S. agricultural stakeholders. The board’s three committees include the Specialty Crop Committee, Citrus Disease Subcommittee and National Genetic Resources Advisory …

Florida citrus

Alico Reports Higher Prices, Lower Yield

Jim Rogers Agriculture, Orange Juice, Production

Alico, Inc.  has seen an increase in the price per pound solids for oranges from $2.25 to $2.58 so far this season. A significant reason for the price improvement is the continued strength of consumption of not-from-concentrate orange juice by retail consumers, the company stated. Average pound solids per box were down for the fiscal quarter that ended Dec. 31, 2021. The pounds …

Survey Assessing Freeze Impact on Florida Ag

Jim Rogers Agriculture, Florida, Weather

The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) on Feb. 3 activated the Business Damage Assessment Survey to assess the impact freezing temperatures had on the state’s agriculture businesses. Survey responses will allow the state to gather data and evaluate resources that impacted businesses may need to recover after the freezing weather that occurred the weekend of Jan. 28–30. “The agriculture …

Growers Discuss Priorities for 2023 Farm Bill

Jim Rogers Agriculture, Farm Bill, Legislative

The 2018 Farm Bill is set to expire in 2023, so preparations are underway to craft the behemoth legislation into law sometime next year. However, it is common for negotiations to extend into the following year. Whether the new farm bill is passed in 2023 or 2024, there’s a lot of work ahead. The farm bill was the focus of …

Flavor Summit Offered Virtually

Jim Rogers Agriculture, Florida

The Feb. 22–24 Flavor Summit event will now be offered virtually due to concerns about the COVID-19 omicron variant. “We are offering the same level of presentations and plan to have an engaging opportunity with sponsors, exhibitors and students,” said Yu Wang, associate professor at the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) and event organizer. “All …

How to Own Your Data and Profit From It

Ernie Neff Agriculture

With the rapid development of artificial intelligence, data derived from farms might be more valuable than the crops growers produce. That’s because farmers can make money from their information when companies use it for other purposes, says a University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) scientist. The key for producers is to take ownership of their information. …

Top Grower Concerns: Input Costs and Availability

Tacy Callies Agriculture

Trade and labor used to top the concern list for Florida’s specialty crop growers. Not anymore. The biggest concerns now are input prices and availability, says Mike Joyner, Florida Fruit and Vegetable Association (FFVA) president. Joyner reports that in talking to growers in the field, he has heard of fertilizer costs doubling – if growers can even get it. “The …

Agriculture Dangers Revealed in Research

Ernie Neff Agriculture

New research suggests that the agriculture industry is more dangerous than previously believed. The research revealed that from 2015 to 2019, more than 60,000 people across the United States were treated in emergency departments for nonfatal, agricultural-related injuries. Significantly, nearly a third of those injured were youths, according to study author Judd Michael. Michael is a professor of agricultural and …

Increasing Agriculture Literacy

Ernie Neff Agriculture, Education

Agriculture is the second largest industry in Florida, but there is uncertainty about the industry’s labor force, the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) recently reported. UF/IFAS stated that the U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates the market value of Florida agriculture at more than $7.46 billion. “But career interest from youth does not match the size …

COVID-19 Impacts Mental Health on the Farm

Ernie Neff Agriculture, Survey

A strong majority of farmers and farmworkers say the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted their mental health, according to a new American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) poll. The poll also indicates that more than half say they are personally experiencing more mental health challenges than they were a year ago. The survey of rural adults and farmers/farmworkers reveals how the pandemic …

SWFREC Recognizes Growers During Farm-City Week

Ernie Neff Agriculture

Nov. 18-25 is National Farm-City Week, a time to recognize and honor the contributions of the country’s agriculturalists and to strengthen the bond between urban and rural citizens. The University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) Southwest Florida Research and Education Center (SWFREC) took the opportunity to recognize the agriculturists in its area. Some of its statements …

Navigating Generational Differences in Ag

Tacy Callies Agriculture

With more than one generation working side by side on the farm, there are situations that can be tricky to navigate at times. However, it’s important to take the time to look at things through another person’s vantage point and consider how to cater to the strengths of each generation to better the farming operation. The most recent and concluding …