Alternative Crops for Central Florida

Are you interested in some alternative crops to grow in central Florida? The program on May 9 covered a range of crops. To look at the slide shows from the program go to our website.


The first topic up at 9 a.m. is Tea with Dr. Donglin Zhang, from UGA, and James Orrock, a grad student at UF. Dr. Zhang has traveled extensively in China and has a breeding program in Georgia to find the best adapted tea for the southeast. He has promised to bring some tea along to taste. James Orrock is researching tea pest problems in Florida.

Pomegranates and Peaches

Next at 10:35 a.m. is Pomegranates and Peaches with Dr. Ali Sarkhosh, UF/IFAS. Dr. Sarkhosh is the new tree fruit extension specialist with long experience with pomegranates and peaches.

Hops and Artichokes

At 12:20 Dr. Shinsuke Agehara, UF/IFAS, will present Opportunities and Challenges in Artichoke and Hop Production in Florida. Dr. Agehara has been working on both these crops at the UF/IFAS Gulf Coast Research and Education Center and has many insights on how to grow these particular crops in our low chill environment.

Economic Considerations

For commercial growers interested in alternative crops but not sure how to compare the economic considerations of investing in these potential new crops, Dr. Kevin Athearn from UF/IFAS Small Farms Program in Live Oak will present at 1:20 p.m.


Blackberries can be a difficult crop to produce in our area. Dr. Chris Vincent, UF/IFAS, will talk about research on growing these and his experiences growing them at 2:20 p.m.


Lemons are being planted more recently because of the commercial popularity of lemonades and lemon oil. Mike Litvany, a local citrus grower with years of experience growing lemons in this area, will teach how to grow these cold sensitive citrus in our area at 3:05 p.m.

We have a limited time for each topic, but if you have further questions, the speakers will be available.

$10 registration for the event includes lunch.



Posted: April 6, 2018

Category: AGRICULTURE, Horticulture
Tags: Alternative Crops, Artichokes, Blackberries, Hops, Lemons, Peaches, Pomegranates, Tea

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