10th Annual Florida Ag Expo Field Tours To Tackle Production Challenges

Split into two concurrent sessions (Vegetable Breeding, Production, and Weed Management; and Vegetable Health), the field tours were once again a huge draw. Photo by Paul Rusnak

Photo by Paul Rusnak

There’s nothing like seeing production practices, unique products, and new varieties out in the field to get a feel how they will work in real-world conditions. The Florida Ag Expo’s field tours, displaying a wide variety of trials and plots, distinguish the event as the state’s premier small fruit and vegetable gathering. This year’s tour promises to provide relevant information growers need to know. Here’s a sampling of what is on deck at each stop:

Vegetable Pathology: Gary Vallad, plant pathologist, UF/IFAS

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• New products for the management of cucurbit diseases
• Copper alternatives for managing bacterial spot of tomato and pepper
• Supplemental fumigation strategy for managing Fusarium wilt of tomato
• New fumigant systems for vegetables

Weed Science: Nathan Boyd, weed scientist, UF/IFAS

• Precision herbicide technologies
• Enhancing fumigant distribution
• Alternative fumigant systems
• Herbicides for nutsedge management

Plant Breeding: Sam Hutton, tomato breeding and genetics, UF/IFAS

• The tomato hybrid trial tour will showcase some of the latest UF/IFAS and commercial hybrids, alongside several proven varieties that are industry standards. The tour also will include virus-inoculated demonstration plots of hybrids with tomato yellow leaf curl virus resistance.

Horticulture: Shinsuke Agehara, UF/IFAS horticulturist

• Eliminating transplant shock by inhibiting stress hormone ethylene
• Improved early growth and fruit set by eliminating transplant shock

Pollinator Safety: Jeanette Klopchin, environmental specialist — pollinator protection, FDACS

• Discuss risks that pesticides can pose to bees and measures that growers and beekeepers can adopt to protect both crops and honeybee colonies

Postharvest Cooling: Steve Sargent, postharvest specialist, UF/IFAS

• Assessing cooling needs
• Demonstration of commercial-scale hydrocooler unit

For the eighth consecutive year, DuPont Crop Protection is sponsoring special coverage of the Florida Ag Expo with pre- and post-event content. Stay tuned for more in the coming months.