Citrus Industry Shifts Money as Industry Seeks Aid

citrus

The Florida Department of Citrus adjusted its budget Wednesday for the second time this growing season, as leaders of the storm-battered industry hold out hope the U.S. Senate will approve a disaster-relief package. The Citrus Commission, which oversees the department, agreed to shift more than $70,000 out of administration, scientific-research and global-marketing budgets to cover…

USDA/NIFA Invests in Fighting Citrus Greening Disease

citrus greening

The U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) announced awards to combat citrus greening disease. The funding to support research and extension programs is made through the emergency Citrus Disease Research and Extension Program (CDRE). CDRE was authorized as part of the 2014 Farm Bill. “The need to advance research…

Dialoging to Climb Out from the HLB Hole

By Bill Castle and Pete Spyke There’s an old story that goes something like this: A farmer was out walking one evening and fell into a hole deep enough to require help to get out. Later, another farmer was walking by and jumped into the hole. The farmer in the hole was astounded and asked,…

International Citrus Business Conference Speaker Spotlight: Ricardo Martinez Zambrano

The International Citrus Business Conference, presented by Morris Agribusiness Services and AgNet Media, will provide information to help citrus professionals adapt to industry challenges. Ricardo Martinez Zambrano, a third-generation owner of Citrofrut, will be speaking at the event. Zambrano leads Citrofrut's North American citrus sales, where he has developed a strong passion for the citrus…

HLB Resistance Update

Updates on the search for trees that are resistant to HLB drew more than 40 growers and others to an OJ Break in Bartow on Jan. 9. Leadoff speaker Fred Gmitter, a plant breeder with the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, discussed an effort to see if so-called “survivor” trees might…

Putnam on Citrus Forecast and Need for Federal Assistance

putnam

Florida Commissioner of Agriculture Adam H. Putnam released the following statement after the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) released its Jan. 12 citrus crop forecast for the 2017-2018 season: “Florida’s iconic citrus industry and its growers continue to struggle with the unprecedented damage caused by Hurricane Irma. This damage, combined with the cumulative impacts of…

January Citrus Crop Forecast Is Stable

january

According to Mark Hudson of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the January 2018 Florida all-orange forecast is 46 million boxes, unchanged from the December forecast. If realized, this will be 33 percent less than last season’s production. The forecast consists of 19 million boxes of non-Valencia oranges (early, midseason and Navel varieties) and 27 million…

California Amends HLB Quarantine Zones

  On Jan. 1, 2018, the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) implemented an emergency regional quarantine to more effectively protect California citrus from huanglongbing (HLB) disease. The quarantine created seven zones: 1) counties where HLB has not been detected and are not next to citrus-producing counties or the Mexican border; 2, 3 and 4)…

International Citrus Business Conference Speaker Spotlight: Chris Stone

At the International Citrus Business Conference, speakers will discuss strategic issues that concern the citrus industry, including HLB, juice production and how markets around the world compare to one another. Chris Stone, of Winter Haven, Florida, will be speaking at the conference about the impact that HLB has on prices and availability of cold-pressed citrus…

Cold-Tolerant Citrus Industry Update

citrus

Two University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) professionals spoke at the recent Cold-Tolerant Citrus Production for the Southeastern Coastal Plain event about the current state of the industry. UF/IFAS entomologist Xavier Martini said he has seen growth in interest for cold-tolerant citrus between 2016 and 2017. He also said he has…

Florida Citrus Mutual Sets Goals for 2018 Legislative Session

hurricane

The Florida legislative session began Jan. 9 in Tallahassee. Florida Citrus Mutual (FCM) has several goals for the 2018 session to aid an industry already dealing with devastating challenges. Andrew Meadows, FCM’s director of communications, says a big item on FCM’s radar is Hurricane Irma. The industry is continuing to suffer from the storm that…

California Citrus Research Board: Serving Growers for 50 Years

By Len Wilcox The grower-funded California Citrus Research Board (CRB) is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year. Headquartered in the Central Valley city of Visalia, under the direction of president/CEO Gary Schulz, the CRB awards more than $7 million each year to researchers throughout California. Since 2008, CRB has focused much of its efforts on…

Diversification Possibilities for Cold-Tolerant Citrus

North Florida and south Georgia citrus growers now have opportunities to diversify their crops and expand their season with cold-tolerant citrus varieties. Peter Andersen, a professor of horticulture at the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences North Florida Research and Education Center in Quincy, said satsumas make up a majority of the…

Irrigation Expected to Save Georgia Trees from Freeze

freeze

Most Georgia citrus growers believe microsprinkler irrigation will save their trees from a multi-day freeze that saw temperatures dip into the low 20s Friday morning, said Georgia Citrus Association President Lindy Savelle. “I think we’re going to do fine,” said Savelle, who ran microsprinklers virtually round-the-clock in her south Georgia grove because temperatures never got…

International Citrus Business Conference Takes Strategic View

Allen Morris has been directly involved with the citrus industry since 1984. He has seen many ups and downs in the industry during this time. Now, he is ready to face the current citrus challenges head on. Morris is the owner and operator of Morris Agribusiness Services. In the past, he held events called the…

California Citrus Mutual Opposes Water Board Proposal

California Citrus Mutual (CCM) joined with several other associations to oppose major changes proposed by the State Water Resources Control Board set to be adopted for the East San Joaquin Water Quality Coalition. The affected agricultural community and water quality coalitions expect the board to adopt the proposed revisions without substantial modifications at its Jan.…

Powerful Citrus Tax Incentive Now Law

By Mike Sparks Executive Vice President/CEO, Florida Citrus Mutual I want to make sure this great news did not get lost in the holiday season. The tax bill recently signed into law by President Trump contains our citrus tax expensing provision that we have been working hard on for more than three years! The new…

Root Weevil Management: Above and Below Ground

By Jawwad A. Qureshi and Larry Duncan Root weevils are a major pest group for many kinds of plants, with at least nine species that colonize citrus. Species commonly infesting citrus include Diaprepes root weevil (Diaprepes abbreviates), blue-green citrus root weevils (Pachnaeus litus and Pachnaeus opalus), little leaf notcher (Artipus floridanus), Fuller rose beetle (Asynonychus…

International Citrus Business Conference Focuses on Market Improvement

The 2018 International Citrus Business Conference will be a meeting to tackle the pressing issues facing the citrus industry, including the rapid decline of citrus juice markets. Allen Morris, of Morris Agribusiness Services, says the citrus industry has lost 50 percent of the U.S. orange juice market since 2002. The industry continues to decline at…

Using Kaolin Against HLB-Spreading Psyllids

psyllids

Researchers are trying to use all available tools to control HLB-spreading psyllids, says entomologist Michael Rogers with the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences. Rogers, director of the Citrus Research and Education Center in Lake Alfred, says scientists want “to show that we can actually grow citrus in the age of HLB…