A new web tool, or ag tech, is helping strawberry growers in Florida and elsewhere.
Ag tech is certainly one of the driving forces behind innovation and agriculture, and now Florida strawberry growers, and those in other parts of the country as well, are benefiting from a new web tool created by UF/IFAS. Created by two UF professors, this ag tech tool will alert strawberry growers when conditions are ideal for two different strawberry pathogens, saving growers from unnecessary fumigations.
Strawberry Ag Tech Web Tool Details
According to a VSC News article, strawberries are an important crop in the Sunshine State. With a season that runs from November to March, the juicy red berries bring $300 million annually to the state of Florida. However, two pathogens, botrytis and anthracnose fruit rots, take a huge bite out of growers’ harvests and operating budgets.
The new ag tech web tool, known as the Strawberry Advisory System (StAS), utilizes data about weather conditions, moisture, and more, to recommend when growers should fumigate their strawberry plants. The system was created by UF/IFAS plant pathology professor Natalia Peres and colleagues.
“The StAS has been valuable to growers in that it reduces not only the amount of chemical product they need to purchase, but also the number of times they have to spray. Thus, cost savings for growers are substantial. In addition, it has potential environmental and health benefits since residues on fruit are much lower. As strawberry growers in other states showed interest in the system, there was a need to evaluate whether it would work as well in other environments and with different cultivars,” said Peres, a faculty member at the UF/IFAS Gulf Coast Research and Education Center in Balm, Florida.
Peres’ team’s studies “found the system saved an average of 50 percent of the fungicide growers normally would use without losing crop yield under different seasons, locations, cultivars, and nursery sources.”
Griffin Fertilizer is committed to helping both growers and ranchers make sound agronomic and economic decisions in order to maximize the health of their grove and pasture. As a full-service custom dry & liquid fertilizer blender and crop protection product distributor, we will continue our mission to further advance Florida agriculture. For questions or concerns about your farm or pasture, contact us and one of our team will be in touch.