While the use of beneficial insects and other biocontrols for agricultural pest management hasn’t gained widespread usage in open field production, some Georgia farmers are using natural control methods in greenhouse and high-tunnel production.
It all started with a movie many people haven’t seen. About 10 years ago, Ruqayah Bhuiyan sat down to watch “Sunshine,” a movie about astronauts flying to the sun. Amid all of the high drama, fission bombs and personal conflict aboard the ship, there was a garden.
The University of Georgia has been awarded a $2 million grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture National Institute of Food and Agriculture to develop organic methods of controlling the Spotted Wing Drosophila (SWD).
With the advent of CRISPR technologies and other precise genome editing methods, it has become faster and easier for crop scientists to breed new varieties. But there are still a few technical roadblocks that need to be overcome.
One of the steepest barriers to profitable controlled-environment agriculture is the energy cost associated with providing the plants enough light, but new research being pioneered by University of Georgia could cut those costs by 50 percent.
Dennis Hollingsworth was fresh out of college the first time he tried running a farm. It was the early 1980s in south Georgia, and he stuck with it for four years in some of the toughest economic conditions since the Great Depression.
Then he left for an IT job.