Posts Tagged ‘Florida orchardists’

Grower 411


FAWN Tools to Help Florida Orchardists Make Decisions that Save Resources

The Florida Automated Weather Network (FAWN), a program of the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) uses data from its network of 42 stations for a variety of weather-related tools that can aid Florida growers in making irrigation and cold protection decisions.  Growers rely on FAWN weather data to monitor current conditions, and FAWN tools for making decisions related to irrigation, freeze protection, and chemical application.  FAWN has been proven very useful in helping growers save both water and dollars.  For example, UF/IFAS estimates that the use of FAWN tools on cold nights can potentially generate savings of millions of dollars and billions of gallons of water statewide.   Read More…


Publisher’s Introduction: Southeastern Orchardists Have Both Challenges and Opportunities

kirkland-sig-tpnIF YOU’RE a “glass is half full” kind of person (and you are in the agriculture industry, so you most likely are), then you might look at some of the challenges the industry faces and see opportunity. You’re not alone. With chill hours being an essential part of the peach cultivation process, there’s no doubt that the lack of accumulation of those chill hours will have definite impacts on the yield come harvest time — should that happen. But, fortunately for us, we have the power of research and technology in our corner. In this edition, you’ll read about how southeastern universities, industry researchers, growers, and government branches are working toward changing challenges into opportunities for the Southeastern peach industry. Here are some of the themes you’ll discover:

• Research funding is awarded to Clemson University for continued efforts on a viable organic peach growing method for Southeastern orchardists.

• An example of how diversifying with u-pick, a festival, and other agritourism offerings can put peaches in the limelight.

• Jeff Cook at the University of Georgia talks about what climatologists are saying and how research is under way to make trees produce around the chill hours.

• Florida orchardists have an opportunity with the Farm to School program.

• Plus, University of Florida researchers, growers, and allied professionals discuss the state of the industry and what efforts will help keep momentum going.

It’s a challenging time to be in the agriculture industry, but, in all honesty, when is it not? The same could even be said for opportunities, and it is those who focus on the latter that will emerge triumphant with creative solutions for continued industry growth.

If you are reading this edition for the first time, and you are a grower, you may subscribe to this publication for free. Just go to and complete the online subscription form. As you count the chill hours into the winter months, I wish you the best, and I look forward to a plentiful harvest.



Nelson Kirkland is publisher of The Peach News magazine. He may be reached by e-mail at