Florida Strawberry And Tomato Industries Seeking Solutions For Struggles

Photo by Michael Schwieterman, UF/IFAS
 

There are few crops that are better associated with Florida agriculture than strawberries and tomatoes. While both specialty segments have endured production and marketing challenges in recent times, there are some positive prospects to help get growers out of the red and into the black. During the 2013 Florida Ag Expo, UF/IFAS Food and Resource Economics Department researcher Zhengfei Guan analyzed the market and trade dynamics of the state’s tomato and strawberry industries.

Sliced tomatoWith each holding such significant value, there is good reason why the well-being of tomatoes and strawberries is paramount to local farming commerce. However, worth has been wilting on the vine due to outside threats as well as fundamental internal issues. According to Guan, since 2000, the percentage of marketplace dominance for each crop has slipped as acreage and production figures have contracted. “The major reason for the drop is Mexican competition,” Guan said. A grower survey conducted by Guan and his associates confirmed that statement as respondents noted the widening disparity of import/export trade and dwindling market share as the top risks to business.

While a revised suspension agreement may slow the downward trend for fresh tomatoes, the lack of such documentation could squash strawberries. “The most scary thing for the industry is the Mexican government is proposing to double its strawberry acreage in the next five years,” Guan said. “It would be almost catastrophic for the industry in the next few years if that comes true.”
Pile on increased government regulation, labor shortages, and rising production costs, and you have an economic crisis.

Given the gravity of the situation, Guan pointed out opportunity in “buy local” marketing campaigns and much promise in teaming modern technology, such as protected agriculture, with new varieties specifically bred to be mechanically harvested. “We need to innovate and change.”

Loading the player...

Thanks to DuPont Crop Protection for sponsoring Florida Ag Expo Extended Coverage. 

Topics: , , , , , , ,

Leave a Reply

Florida Ag Expo Stories

Florida Ag ExpoFood Safety Modernization Act Is On The Plate
September 1, 2014
Florida Ag Expo agenda to serve up important features of looming regulations. Read More
Florida Ag ExpoField Research Vital To Growers’ Success
August 1, 2014
The 2014 Florida Ag Expo plot tours will focus on major production challenges and new varieties. Read More
Florida Ag ExpoRescue Treatments Of Methyl Bromide In Demand
June 1, 2014
Growers seek critical use exemptions to clean up weeds, nematodes, and disease in problem fields. Read More
Florida Ag ExpoNow Seeking Future Farmers
May 1, 2014
A group of today’s producers agree advocation on behalf of agriculture is necessary to attract the next generation of growers. Read More
Florida Ag ExpoFlorida Strawberry And Tomato Industries Seeking Solutions For Struggles
April 1, 2014
Change in game plan required as pressing market and trade dynamics threaten fruitful future. Read More
Florida Ag ExpoWork Hard, Smart To Put Whiteflies Away
March 1, 2014
Persistence is needed to prevent pest from killing your crop. Read More
Florida Ag ExpoTomato Diseases On The Rise In Absence Of Methyl Bromide
February 1, 2014
Without go-to crop protection option, soilborne pathogens are building in numbers. Read More

The Latest

Florida Ag ExpoNew Crop Management Solutions Are Taking Off
December 5, 2014
Unmanned aerial vehicles have potential to give growers and researchers an eye in the sky while helping keep feet on the ground. Read More
Florida Ag ExpoFlorida Ag Expo Takes Farm Fixes To New Heights
November 9, 2014
From UAVs and high-flying helicopters, to an elevated understanding of production, marketing, and farm management, the 9th annual industry event delivered. Read More
Florida Ag ExpoKnow How To Knock Back Nematodes
October 1, 2014
The 2014 Florida Ag Expo will provide critical tips in soilborne pest management. Read More
Florida Ag ExpoFood Safety Modernization Act Is On The Plate
September 1, 2014
Florida Ag Expo agenda to serve up important features of looming regulations. Read More
Florida Ag ExpoField Research Vital To Growers’ Success
August 1, 2014
The 2014 Florida Ag Expo plot tours will focus on major production challenges and new varieties. Read More
Methyl Bromide Availability Now Virtually At Zero
Florida Ag ExpoMethyl Bromide Availability Now Virtually At Zero
June 26, 2014
Mike Aerts, marketing director with Florida Fruit & Vegetable Association, outlined the march toward zero allocations of methyl bromide during Read More
Florida Ag ExpoRescue Treatments Of Methyl Bromide In Demand
June 1, 2014
Growers seek critical use exemptions to clean up weeds, nematodes, and disease in problem fields. Read More
Florida Ag ExpoNow Seeking Future Farmers
May 1, 2014
A group of today’s producers agree advocation on behalf of agriculture is necessary to attract the next generation of growers. Read More
Examining The Challenge Of Attracting The Next Generation Of Growers
Florida Ag ExpoExamining The Challenge Of Attracting The Next Generati…
April 22, 2014
During the 2013 Florida Ag Expo, a grower panel discussed the obstacles to recruiting future farmers. Educating young people early Read More
Florida Ag ExpoFlorida Strawberry And Tomato Industries Seeking Soluti…
April 1, 2014
Change in game plan required as pressing market and trade dynamics threaten fruitful future. Read More
Auto Draft
Florida Ag ExpoSensible Solutions For Florida’s Strawberry And Tomat…
March 14, 2014
During the 2013 Florida Ag Expo, UF/IFAS Food and Resource Economics Department researcher Zhengfei Guan discussed market and trade complexities Read More
Auto Draft
Florida Ag ExpoRotating Modes Of Action Essential In Whitefly Manageme…
March 14, 2014
During the 2013 Florida Ag Expo, Hugh Smith, an entomologist with UF/IFAS, discussed the lifecycle of the whitefly and how Read More
Florida Ag ExpoWork Hard, Smart To Put Whiteflies Away
March 1, 2014
Persistence is needed to prevent pest from killing your crop. Read More
Fumigant Movement In Plant Bed Critical To Pest Control
Florida Ag ExpoFumigant Movement In Plant Beds Critical To Pest Contro…
February 13, 2014
Several diseases in Florida tomatoes are on the rise as soilborne pathogens build up in the absence of methyl bromide. Read More
Florida Ag ExpoTomato Diseases On The Rise In Absence Of Methyl Bromid…
February 1, 2014
Without go-to crop protection option, soilborne pathogens are building in numbers. Read More
Florida Ag ExpoSocial Media Outlets Offer Growers Link To Public, Pro…
January 1, 2014
Panel of Florida vegetable growers agree online networks are golden gateway to boost business. Read More
Auto Draft
Florida Ag ExpoSocial Media Vital To Ag Education And Marketing
December 23, 2013
During the 2013 Florida Ag Expo, a panel discussion of prominent growers emphasized how important the use of social media Read More
Farm ManagementSocial Media Marketing Sparks Ideas At 2013 Florida Ag …
November 11, 2013
Untapped opportunities for growth take center stage at the 8th annual industry event. Read More