Commercial vegetable farming in PBC starts in earnest in September/October and concludes by April/May. The heat, rain, and high humidity associated with the summer months precludes large scale production due to the high cost of pest management to ensure crops of the highest quality. Well-drained sandy soils in the east and nutrient rich organic soils in the western Everglades Agricultural Area (EAA) help make PBC the leading agricultural producer in Florida.
Area crops encounter a myriad of pests over the course of the fall and spring season ranging from bacteria to fungi, viruses and insects to mites, weeds, and nematodes. Proper planning, knowledge, and experience also contributes toward producing a marketable crop.
Farmers utilize Integrated Pest Management (IPM) to reduce pest severity to tolerable levels by using multiple, cost-effective methods with minimal environmental impacts by coordinating crop, pest, and environmental details to produce a sustainable site-specific action plan.
- Plan for fall – which crops/varieties, when to plant/harvest, potential threats
- Test & prepare soil
- Scout weeds for potential virus alternate hosts
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