Opinion: Play To Win

Paul Rusnak

It has often been said that the best defense is a good offense. While this age-old adage is mostly associated with sports themes or warfare strategy, the saying certainly has applicability on today’s farms. If it seems like Florida growers are constantly on the defensive fighting off pest and diseases, encroaching competition, increased regulations, and more, it’s because they are. However, the only way you all have been able to survive and succeed is because of your proactive nature. Advancements in technology, breakthroughs in science, and good old fashioned trial and error have been and are giving growers the tools to move down the field.

At the 2011 Florida Ag Expo in November, State Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam praised industry professionals for doing their best work in challenging times. “We’re the strongest builder in this economy,” he said during his keynote address. He pointed out specific examples of how Florida ag has gone on the offensive to raise the bar on industry standards in areas such as water conservation, freeze protection, new market penetration (think blueberries and peaches), and variety innovation, which has yielded plenty of dining table staples, including the latest hit, the new UF/IFAS-bred Tasti-Lee tomato. 

The fore-mentioned home-grown accomplishments may have never materialized without the teaming of forward thinking, scientific minds with the gumption of growers.

Putting On A Show

The latest body of work from researchers and stakeholders will be front and center at the 2012 Florida Citrus Show. Scheduled for later this month in Ft. Pierce, the annual gathering presented by Florida Grower, UF/IFAS, and the Indian River Citrus League, showcases a program that defines the best in what collaborative efforts between the research community and growers can offer. The fruits of this ongoing labor have awarded citrus growers new life and spawned a renewed vigor and commitment to an industry that’s most valuable to the state’s well being. 

Institution Evolution

This month, Florida Grower shines the light on the land grant system. Land grant institutions, like UF/IFAS, have helped pave the way for American farmers to learn, grow, and prosper. The land grant system is celebrating its 150th anniversary this year. “We have a proud history,” said Jack Payne, senior VP, UF/IFAS, at the Florida Ag Expo. “It’s the next 150 years that are going to be important.”

The current state of modern agriculture puts that figure in perspective. Just think about all the new ideas and opportunities that will emerge from what’s to be the future’s agriculture trailblazers. Score one for the home team. That ingenuity will come in handy as global food and energy demand put on the pressure.

Leave a Reply

One comment on “Opinion: Play To Win

  1. I have ALWAYS believed in the preemptive strike. It has worked successfully for me in ALL walks of life. Whether it’s when I’m bidding on something at a auction, to handling insects BEFORE they handle me. As growers we MUST stay ahead of the game.

Featured Stories
apple tree trellising washington state
Apples & Pears
April 28, 2016
Cracks In Your Orchard’s Infrastructure Expose Bigger Flaws
Modern blocks can increase your production, but if your training system is shoddy, you could see major losses. Read More
Brandt logo
Citrus
April 28, 2016
Brandt Acquires Majority Interest In Utah-Based Baicor
Baicor will operate as a subsidiary in Brandt’s specialty formulations division. Read More
Drip Irrigation
Production
April 28, 2016
Farm Demonstration Visits To Focus On Soil Health
California farmers will share practical experiences in “growing” healthy soil. Read More
Two chipping varieties Cornell released in the last few years that have shown promise are ‘Lamoka’ and ‘Waneta.’ 
“They both have outstanding chip color when fried out of the cold, which is a trait that’s important in the industry,” Cornell's Walter De Jong says.
Photo courtesy of Walter De Jong
Potatoes
April 28, 2016
Potato Breeding Update From Cornell University
Variety research includes incorporating resistance to Potato Virus Y, a new race of golden nematode, and improving appearance. Read More
field shot the Produce Peddler Colorado
Farm Marketing
April 28, 2016
Small Producers Talk Profits
Four growers from across the country discuss the importance of knowing your customer, how to handle money, and being the face of your farm. Read More
workers bending
Fruits
April 28, 2016
Knowing Role, Expectations Beneficial To Your Staff
Labor management is much more than just delegation. Read More
field shot
Fruits
April 28, 2016
USDA Establishes New Partnership To Link Underserved Growers To Farm Service Agency Programs
Minority, women, new and beginning, military, veteran, and urban producers to receive training and information on agency services. Read More
Vineyard Labor Downsized GP
Apples & Pears
April 28, 2016
The Truth About Most Farmworkers [Opinion]
Just ask any grower who has placed a help wanted ad. Read More
Jones Potato Farm field in Parrish, FL
Citrus
April 27, 2016
Meet Florida’s New Crop Of Agricultural Environmental Leaders
Annual award program recognizes farmers practicing environmentally innovative techniques. Read More
(Photo credit: USDA)
Fruits
April 27, 2016
It’s Time To Rethink Grade Standards For Produce
Food waste is largely dictated by limiting produce standards. Read More
The Latest
Apples & Pears
April 28, 2016
Cracks In Your Orchard’s Infrastructure …
Modern blocks can increase your production, but if your training system is shoddy, you could see major losses. Read More
Citrus
April 28, 2016
Brandt Acquires Majority Interest In Uta…
Baicor will operate as a subsidiary in Brandt’s specialty formulations division. Read More
Production
April 28, 2016
Farm Demonstration Visits To Focus On So…
California farmers will share practical experiences in “growing” healthy soil. Read More
Potatoes
April 28, 2016
Potato Breeding Update From Cornell Univ…
Variety research includes incorporating resistance to Potato Virus Y, a new race of golden nematode, and improving appearance. Read More
Farm Marketing
April 28, 2016
Small Producers Talk Profits
Four growers from across the country discuss the importance of knowing your customer, how to handle money, and being the face of your farm. Read More
Fruits
April 28, 2016
Knowing Role, Expectations Beneficial To…
Labor management is much more than just delegation. Read More
Fruits
April 28, 2016
USDA Establishes New Partnership To Link…
Minority, women, new and beginning, military, veteran, and urban producers to receive training and information on agency services. Read More
Apples & Pears
April 28, 2016
The Truth About Most Farmworkers [Opinio…
Just ask any grower who has placed a help wanted ad. Read More
Citrus
April 27, 2016
Meet Florida’s New Crop Of Agricultural …
Annual award program recognizes farmers practicing environmentally innovative techniques. Read More
Fruits
April 27, 2016
It’s Time To Rethink Grade Standards For…
Food waste is largely dictated by limiting produce standards. Read More
Crop Protection
April 27, 2016
Vector Transmitting Red Blotch Virus Fou…
Researchers at the University of California, Davis (UC-Davis) have found the vector that seems to be spreading grapevine red blotch, a Read More
Berries
April 27, 2016
New Herbicide For Tomatoes, Strawberries
The product from Helm Agro US is registered to control more than 100 broadleaf, grass, and sedge species. Read More
Fruits
April 27, 2016
Common Sense On Immigration [Opinion: On…
We need a guest worker program if we’re going to feed America and ensure our national security. Read More
Stone Fruit
April 26, 2016
No Peach Crop Likely This Year In Severa…
The sudden, hard freeze that followed the warm winter means Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Connecticut growers are seeing near total losses. Read More
Citrus
April 26, 2016
Deception Is A Dish Best Never Served [O…
Recent mainstream media kerfuffle over local food legitimacy stirs up the need for more clearly defined terms, better awareness among consumers. Read More
Fruits
April 26, 2016
New Study Finds Traditional Migrant Work…
Ball State University research shows many of the agricultural migrant workers of the past just aren’t migrating any more. Read More
More Vegetables
April 26, 2016
Genetically Engineered Mushroom Avoids R…
A common white button mushroom modified with the gene-editing tool CRISPR-Cas9 has been engineered to resist browning. Read More
Stone Fruit
April 26, 2016
How To Avoid Pitfalls In Peach Tree Trai…
Decisions made about training early in the orchard can impact your tree’s survival and ultimate decline. Read More
[gravityform id="62" title="false" description="false"]