A team of University of Florida scientists, in partnership with a team of Israeli researchers, is now looking into whether the gut bacteria of two invasive fruit fly species could hold the key to preventing future outbreaks.
In their first attempt to quantify stormwater ponds, researchers with the UF Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences found about 76,000 such ponds statewide. Many master-planned communities, especially in Florida, rely on stormwater ponds for flood control and water treatment. But the ponds also can be homes to many invasive plant species, which are costly to control.
Karl Havens was a leading international expert on aquatic research, management, education and outreach. Now, his art will support those who carry on his life’s work, with bidding underway for a selection of his original artwork. Funds raised will benefit the Karl Havens Excellence Endowment.
The University of Florida Tropical Research and Education Center is in the heart of the tropical and subtropical fruit and vegetable industries, and the ornamental plant industry. For 90 years it has served as an agricultural research unit of the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS). On December 4, an open house invites community and media to engage with the science.
“Bioplastics—a better option for the environment?” is a compilation of information about bioplastics. These alternative plastics have become more popular, and as it turns out, they’re effectively still the same as petroleum-based plastic, according to Dr. McGuire’s document.
From Florida to Virginia, farmers are enjoying the fruits of Sanjay Shukla’s labor. His compact-bed geometry system allows growers to plant crops in tall soil beds, and the result is thousands of dollars in annual savings.
Most people think of collagen as a protein used for cosmetic purposes that you get in a jar, but prepare for drinkable collagen. If you think that’s interesting, try going online to order meal kits – full of just-the-right ingredients for the dishes you want to prepare. Those are a couple of the fearless forecasts from UF/IFAS faculty experts as they predict food trends for 2020 – a popular list now in its sixth straight year.
UF/IFAS Tropical Research and Education Center was established in the heart of Homestead, Florida, in 1929 to develop solutions for problems affecting a wide range of crops including mangoes, papayas, tomatoes, avocados, corn, green beans, and squash. TREC scientists, students, and staff have collaborated with farmers and growers to keep South Florida agriculture thriving. As one of the research arms of the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS), it is the only state-supported university facility in the entire mainland United States conducting research on a wide array of tropical and subtropical crops. UF/IFAS TREC’s core values have provided 90 years of progressive and innovative research and extension outreach on tropical and subtropical fruit crops, traditional and tropical vegetables, tropical ornamental crops, and more recently on agronomic crops and natural resources. The Center celebrated its 90th anniversary.
Scientists located in Fort Lauderdale and Gainesville at the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences are conducting research into specific diseases depleting tree canopies throughout the state. The Florida Chapter of the International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) has announced it is awarding grants in the amount of $320,000 to two scientists for their continued research designed to save the tree canopy.
It may be juicy, tender and traditional, but not everyone wants to eat turkey at Thanksgiving. UF/IFAS nutrition experts say you could eat any of the following as your entrée: protein-packed dishes – with or without meat -- plant-based foods and fish.
Peppers are popular. Consumers eat all kinds, including jalapenos, habaneros, chilis and more. But like all crops, peppers face diseases that threaten to reduce their production. So, a University of Florida scientist is leading a multi-state effort to lessen the risk of diseases eating away at pepper harvests. With new data, scientists plan to help farmers increase their pepper production.
Like many farmers nationwide, citrus growers are looking for any edge in their fight against weeds, and they’d rather use fewer chemicals to control the plants, says a University of Florida scientist. That’s because chemicals can get into groundwater, surface water and plants themselves.
Tours provide the perfect way to teach the community-at-large about the importance of agriculture. Students, residents, businesses and growers are invited to the EREC Open House for an inside look at the research of agriculture promoting sustainable foods, plants, and crops they use and come in contact with every day.
Elver Hodges blazed trails as the first scientist hired at the University of Florida/IFAS Range Cattle Research and Education Center. He introduced improved forages and management techniques for pastures.
In south Florida, growers and nurseries of tropical plants, vegetables and crops turn to such experts at the Tropical Research and Education Center (TREC) of University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS). At the heart of the center that is celebrating its 90th anniversary with a gala fund raising event at the Coral Gables Country Club on October 26 is the Plant Diagnostic Clinic, established to preserve the health of a unique tropical plant industry.
As the first research of its kind, the findings may help growers increase the marketability of their ornamental horticulture products through labeling. Consumer preferences, visual attention and willingness-to-pay were measured and tested to determine how each label or text combination impacted a consumer’s willingness to pay for a particular fruit plant.
There is no shortage of interest or appetite for guacamole. When you consider the endless variety of recipes for dishes and dips that you can dig into, coupled with an annual designation of September 16 as National Guacamole Day, you might consider chanting “Viva la Guac.”
Producers already use the software for many purposes. For example, many citrus growers want to take inventory of their trees, including the size of each tree. Gathering this data normally requires farmers to manually count trees and measure them. The software streamlines that process. They can also use the software to see which parts of their fields – or which fruit varieties -- perform better.
In their quest for a tastier tomato, University of Florida scientists are finding traits they believe will tempt consumers with flavor that triggers their senses even more. They’re making significant progress on improving the UF-developed Tasti-Lee™ tomato – and it will feature improved flavor and aroma.
University of Florida scientists received a USDA-NIFA grant to research treatments for antibiotic-resistant bacteria in cattle. The researchers hope the newly developed antimicrobials could also hold possibilities for treating antibiotic-resistant bacteria in humans.
“Beauty and stress relief are probably the two most meaningful benefits trees bring to highways,” said Andrew Koeser, an assistant professor of environmental horticulture with the UF Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences.
As a new school year starts, some students will spend time outside, in the fresh air. They’ll get their hands dirty growing food in school gardens. In the process, they may even improve their academic mastery.
Twenty-five students enrolled in a UF-managed project called AREA (an acronym based on the French translation of “Support to Agricultural Research and Development”) are looking forward to graduating from the University of Florida on Aug. 10 and bringing their knowledge home to improve Haiti’s agricultural sector and, ultimately, its economy.
Farmers use fertilizer to put nutrients into their soil to help crops grow. When nutrients get into the soil, microbes can help plants grow by changing nutrients into other forms, such as nitrate or ammonium, that plants either use or are leached out of the soil, Strauss said. Other microbes give the soil more nutrients by providing new sources of nitrogen that can also benefit plants.
In a new study, researchers with the UF Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences and the University of Southern Mississippi examined how quality and quantity of food ingested by the yellow fever mosquito affect its biology, including its ability to become infected by, and potentially transmit, the Zika virus.
Five scientists from the UF Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences will compare insect management tools, including insect-proof netting. Researchers also will study reflective mulch, kaolin clay and chemical-based insect pest management.
Just like humans, dairy cows need to adapt to changing environments as they develop. That includes moving among social groups, changing housing arrangements and entering the milking parlor, said Emily Miller-Cushon, an assistant professor of animal sciences at the UF Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences.
Yu Wang, an assistant professor of food science and human nutrition at the UF Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, has been awarded a $500,000 grant from the U.S. Agriculture and Food Research Initiative, part of the USDA. With the award, Wang plans to lead a research team to ensure extracts from orange peels improve the gut’s ability to stave off fatty linings in your arteries.
About 19 percent of respondents were identified as food insecure, lacking consistent access to nutritious food, while another 25 percent experienced anxiety about food shortage. Through this work, UF/IFAS researchers found that food insecure students are also at a higher risk of experiencing stress, poor sleep quality, disordered eating behaviors and overall lower grade point averages than students who are food secure.
Permeable pavements are one of many tools in sustainable urban development. Others include rain gardens, cisterns and green roofs. UF/IFAS encourages designers, builders and governments to use the entire urban sustainability development toolbox, said Eban Bean, an assistant professor of agricultural and biological engineering.
Precision agriculture engineer Yiannis Ampatzidis sees a day when citrus farmers use artificial intelligence to detect the pin-sized insects that can infect the fruit’s trees with the deadly greening disease. That day could come in the near future, because Ampatzidis and his research team are starting to perfect a system to detect the potentially deadly Asian citrus psyllid.
A University of Florida agricultural engineer who uses crop models to help farmers adapt to warmer, more erratic weather, will unite scientists to better deal with the impacts of an increasingly changing climate.
Researchers have worked for four years, growing grapefruit under protective screens on a 1-acre experimental plot of trees at the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, and they’re seeing encouraging results.
The iTAG website will help researchers throughout the Gulf and in neighboring regions track their animals. Electronically tracking animals over large distances allows scientists to better understand biodiversity hotspots and ecosystem processes.
Andrew Koeser, a UF/IFAS assistant professor of environmental horticulture, led a newly completed study that looked at 43 cities in Florida. Researchers showed that Florida cities with tree ordinances that protect large trees have 6.7 percent more tree canopy coverage than those that don’t.
Although cane toads are more abundant in the spring and summer months, when there’s more rainfall, they can be found just about any time of the year in South Florida, said Steve Johnson, an associate professor of wildlife ecology and conservation at the UF Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences.
The research team studied seed systems in Africa. Seed systems are composed of people and businesses that make seed available, and farmers who use that seed. As a result of the research, scientists developed a model that will help them find seed-borne pathogens and provides recommendations for how to stop the pathogens from spreading.
Five years after the initial funding, the National Science Foundation has renewed the center’s grant funding at $150,000 per year for each of the next five years. CAMTech, as the center is known, is a collaboration among researchers at the UF Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, the University of Kentucky and private partners.
March marks National Nutrition Month, a time to recognize the value of developing healthful eating patterns. Looking for motivation to heed the advice of UF/IFAS registered dietitian Laura Acosta? How about obesity. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevent reports that nearly 40 percent of American adults are considered obese.
As National Strawberry Day approaches on Feb. 27, University of Florida scientists have found another variety that can grow in South Florida. It’s largely unknown to American consumers, it’s temptingly tasty and it’s good for local markets, UF researchers say.