horticultural crops Tag

The Ohio State University published results of a study that examined consumer willingness to purchase cosmetically imperfect produce. The study showed that consumers in a farmers market setting would purchase carrot bundles that contained up to 40% misshapen carrots, if they were accompanied by explanations of both their health equivalence and that using them prevents food waste. This research focused on winning consumer acceptance of imperfect produce without discounting it, a strategy that undermines the food value chain. Although consumer willingness to pay was lower when any imperfect carrots were included in a bunch, consumer acceptance increased with education. This...

With funding from a USDA Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) grant, University of Florida/IFAS Extension agents, the University of the Virgin Islands, and central Florida farmers are exploring sorrel's potential as a commercial crop in Florida. The hardy plant is native to Africa, but is commonly grown in the Caribbean islands and is a common ingredient in Caribbean foods and beverages. The plant is being grown in research plots in Florida, and the SARE-funded project will be documenting and doing outreach on the production methods, cost of production, yields, and income projections for the crop....

California carrot growers were lacking information on irrigation and nitrogen application for carrots that was specific to the local climate conditions. Researchers with UC Agriculture and Natural Resources conducted experimental trials and gathered data from commercial fields to develop key recommendations of when—and at what rate—to irrigate and apply fertilizers in the low desert environment. The best management practices can help growers improve efficiency and reduce nutrient leaching, helping promote water quality....

Related ATTRA Publication: Companion Planting & Botanical Pesticides: Concepts & Resources Extension specialists and vegetable growers from Florida and Alabama evaluated pest control practices for cucurbits in a multi-year project funded by Southern SARE. The research team explored the best ways to implement pest-control tactics like row covers, companion planting, adding beneficial bacteria to the soil, and releasing predator insects. They found that row covers, though effective, were not always economical. Opening the row covers to encourage natural pollination helped reduce costs of introducing pollinators. The research also found that companion planting could help control aphids. The team shared the results of...