Central Florida Ag News|July 2020
BELL PEPPERS make for a delicious snack. Among additional choices, you can add them to sandwiches and pizzas, as they’re tasty and full of vitamin C, making them a popular vegetable.
As a $235 million-a-year business in Florida, bell peppers are also an important crop, especially in the southeast and southwest parts of the state. As of 2019, the amount of bell peppers harvested in the United States is equivalent to 38,300 acres, with Florida accounting for 31%, or 11,800 acres, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture National Agricultural Statistics Service.
Florida farmers grow far more sweet bell peppers than the hot ones, said Bala Rathinasabapathi, a UF/IFAS professor of horticultural sciences. But, as a rule, farmers are not going to grow as many bell peppers if root-knot nematodes are prevalent in the soil around them. Nematodes are microscopic worms that damage the roots, weaken the plants, and reduce the yield.
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