Monthly Archives: November 2015

UF/IFAS Study Shows Strawberry Growers Should Harvest Earlier

A new UF Institute of Food and Agriculture Science study shows that Florida strawberry growers must pick and harvest fruit earlier in the growing season than usual  to be competitive in today’s market.

While Florida is still the largest producer of winter strawberries, at $366 million annually, Mexico has become a major competitor to the Florida strawberry industry. According to the study, the U.S. imported 360 million pounds of fresh strawberries from Mexico in 2014, while Florida produced about 200 million pounds.

Bowl_of_StrawberriesThe study’s co-author Vance Whitaker, a UF horticultural sciences associate professor, said that to stay competitive, Florida strawberry producers need to start picking in mid-November, when the domestic supply of strawberries are low and prices are high.

Whitaker said Florida strawberry yield needs to peak in the first six to eight weeks of the growing season, otherwise too much supply will lower prices and reduce profit.

“If they can’t do this or lower their costs significantly, it may be difficult for them to stay in business,” Whitaker said.

Read more here: http://news.ifas.ufl.edu/2015/11/ufifas-study-strawberry-growers-must-pick-harvest-earlier-for-best-profit/#more-9518

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Agriculture and Gardening day at UF on Nov. 7

downloadUF Athletics and UF’s Institute of Food and Agriculture Sciences are inviting anyone involved in gardening or agriculture industries to “come home” to Gainesville during Homecoming weekend. On Nov. 7., these organizations are hostingAgriculture and Gardening Day  to celebrate families across the state who support these industries.

“Florida’s agricultural, gardening and related food industries add $140 billion to our economy and employ nearly 300,000 people,” said Jack Payne, UF senior vice president for agriculture and natural resources. “The industry is second only to tourism in Florida, and this is a great way to honor and recognize those who work so hard to put food on our tables and plants and flowers in our yards. We welcome back to Gainesville those who make agriculture and gardening part of their daily lives, and we look forward to their camaraderie.”

The event will revolve around the Homecoming football game at noon, but families who attend the event can take tours of the student-community garden and bat house, and enjoy games, giveaways and special exhibit.

For more information: http://news.ifas.ufl.edu/2015/10/ag-and-gardening-day-set-for-uf-homecoming-on-nov-7/

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