There are days to remember and others to forget. The same goes for certain weeks, months, and even years, too. This past year, like most on record, has provided highlights and lowlights alike for me and every other living soul on the planet.
For the most part, the 2014 campaign has been pretty positive for Florida agriculture, and there are more than a few reasons to feel good going into 2015.
Inroads continue to be made regarding crop protection tools and products, more efficient production methods, smart marketing, and the development of varieties better suited to take a beating and still be considered great eating.
Maybe there are other recent trends or experiences that have you geared up to grow.
The Rear View Mirror
In scanning through Florida Grower eNews’ top headlines during 2014, a few stood out as harbingers of happier times.
- Report: Major Food And Agriculture Employers Can’t Fill Vital Jobs – On the surface, this headline might appear negative. On the contrary. There is opportunity for the next generation of farming professionals in science, technology, engineering, and math jobs. You cannot say that about many other sectors out there. The future is bright, and so must be our GenNexters.
- Major Citrus Planting Incentive Program Announced – Citrus World Inc. is investing $10 million to encourage new acreage. Bravo! This move and others like it exude confidence that the Sunshine State’s signature crop is strong enough to ultimately survive HLB.
- Study: Strawberry Web Tool Could Save $1.7 Million Over 10 Years In Fungicide Use – The perfect case where modern technology overcomes a long-standing problem. Increase crop output while decreasing inputs? Talk about a no-brainer. Thank you UF/IFAS and the research community as a whole.
- Fresh From Florida Exports Increase To $4.1 Billion – Cha-ching! Consumers (no matter where they are) like what we have. Let’s keep it coming and going.
- New Farm Bill To Include $125 Million For HLB Research – Spread out over five years, this funding (which couldn’t have come at a better time) will go a long way to make sure Florida’s citrus industry doesn’t go down without a fight.
Did I miss something? Probably. Let me know what headline(s) you’d hang your hat on.
2015 Fantasy Headlines
So what does 2015 hold? Your guess is as good as mine. For fun, let’s conjure up some future breaking news we’d all (or at least one of us) like to see.
- EPA Follows Florida’s Lead On Water
- Orange Crop Surges Past Forecast
- Farm Labor Plentiful In Wake Of Immigration Reform
- Scientists Find Citrus Greening Cure (Oh, what if?)
- Florida Grower Editor Wins Powerball (I can dream, can’t I?)
Yes, some of these might sound a little far-fetched. Perhaps. I guess that’s up to us. Let’s take 2014’s momentum and make 2015 one to remember — fondly.