Reported instances are lower than in previous years.
Producers and industry experts can register for the upcoming Florida Grower Citrus Show, scheduled for April 13. This year, the UF/IFAS Indian River Research and Education Center, along with the U.S. Department of Agriculture Agricultural Research Service, U.S. Horticultural Research Laboratory will co-host the event in Fort Pierce, Florida.
Plant bugs are in the stink bug family. They are a piercing, sucking insect. Under real high populations, they prefer to get on the stem attachment of the watermelon fruit and cause wilting and stress in the plant.
Producers are very fortunate the cold temperatures were not more impactful, considering how early this year’s watermelon crop was planted in the region.
Some North Florida melon farmers were finished planting in the first days of March 2023.
UF/IFAS entomologists report high whitefly populations on all crops. Scouts are reporting increasing whitefly pressure on vegetable crops with silverleaf symptoms showing on squash.
North Florida watermelon producers are expected to start planting this week in the Suwanee Valley area. Warmer temperatures and the potential for high market prices early in the season are enticing growers to go ahead and start planting earlier than normal.
Topics include emerging diseases in cucurbit crops; artificial intelligence-enhanced pest and disease management in vegetable production; fine-tuning cultural practices for enhancing weed suppression and productivity in vegetables; and updates on weed control with fumigants.