Native to North America, blueberries are the most-recently commercially domesticated fruit in the U.S. Just a little over a century ago researchers began studying this wild berry with an intent to develop improved varieties for commercial cultivation.
Why have tomatoes lost their flavor? Why do some dishes call for ketchup when cooking with tomatoes? These are a couple of the questions that Qian Feng, a second-year University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences doctoral candidate, seeks to answer through her research.
The names tick off like racehorses or colors from some fancy catalog: Carolina Red June, Duchess of Oldenburg, Hewe’s Crab and Rabun Bald, Limbertwig, Nickajack, Parks’ Pippin and many more. But these aren’t paint chips — they’re apples, hundreds of varieties that thrived in orchards across North Georgia a century ago, before an evolving apple industry swept them off shelves and tables, never to return.
The COVID-19 crisis has put supply chain issues at the forefront of food production and packaging concerns. Researchers at the University of Georgia investigated a potential solution for extending the shelf life of blueberries by exposing blueberries to blue light during storage.
Fusarium wilt, caused by a soilborne fungus, is one of the most damaging diseases of watermelons worldwide. Since it was discovered in 1894, it’s been a battle for producers to manage through crop rotation and chemical fungicides.
Nationally, Americans recognize Arbor Day in April. However, Georgia celebrates Arbor Day on the third Friday of February each year because this is a better time to plant trees, giving roots time to grow before the heat and drought of our summer months.
I find it ironic that Valentine’s Day occurs in February, a time of the year when we see very few plants blooming in the landscape. In addition to cards and candy, flowers are one of the most popular gifts during this annual celebration of love. In 2018, the Society of American Florists estimated that 250 million cut roses were produced for Valentine’s Day and an estimated 35% of Americans purchased flowers.
Ongoing citrus rootstock trials being conducted by University of Georgia Cooperative Extension in Lowndes County hold promise for increased yields, improved fruit quality and greater disease resistance.