University of Florida

UF-based strawberry disease project garners $2.9 million federal grant

Topic(s): Agriculture, Crops, New Technology, Pests, Uncategorized

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GAINESVILLE, Fla. — A research and extension team based at the University of Florida has received a four-year, $2.9 million federal grant to expand efforts to forecast outbreaks of two fungal diseases threatening the nation’s strawberry crop.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture, through its National Institute of Food and Agriculture, announced the grant Monday. It was one of 28 grants awarded by NIFA through its Specialty Crop Research Initiative. The grants totaled more than $46 million and were awarded to 22 universities and USDA facilities.

The grant will help a multi-university team, led by UF plant pathologist Natália Peres, expand its program to fight anthracnose fruit rot and botrytis fruit rot. Over the past four years the team developed a system to predict disease threats and warn Florida growers via a website, text messages and e-mails.

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UF/IFAS dedicates new plant propagation lab, greenhouse in Apopka

Topic(s): Agriculture, Announcements, Cultivars, New Technology, RECs

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GAINESVILLE, Fla. – Roseville Farms owner David Raab grew up in the nursery industry. Over the years, he said, he’s seen the business evolve from plants in the ground to a highly technical field driven by advancements in a lab.

So, donating a 17,000-square-foot greenhouse and outfitting a plant propagation laboratory at UF’s Mid-Florida Research and Education Center seemed like a sound business investment.

“We can’t afford to have a staff of Ph.D.’s on our payroll,” Raab said. “We’re so fortunate in this area to have this kind of facility that’s bursting with brain power.”

Raab and his wife, Kim, along with officials from UF’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences and the nursery industry were on hand for the Sept. 29 dedication of the greenhouse and facilities at the Apopka center. (more …)

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