Research Pushes Forward in COVID-19 Era

Tacy CalliesCOVID-19, Research

As Florida moved to “safer at home” measures, not all University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) research projects could be put on pause. There are living plants, animals and insects to feed and maintain. Some projects have regular monitoring procedures for which postponement could have broader environmental consequences. “We are very proud of our faculty, staff … Read More

Water Is Focus of Together Florida Coalition

Ernie NeffWater

Together Florida, a coalition of primarily agricultural organizations focused on water issues, has launched a website advocating for solutions to harmful algae blooms. The website includes information on algae blooms and best management practices that agriculture employs to conserve water and protect water quality. “Together Florida was created to provide a broad coalition advocating for a comprehensive solution to harmful … Read More

UF/IFAS: More Ways to Reach Citrus Growers

Ernie NeffAll In For Citrus Podcast


University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) personnel are finding more ways to stay in touch with growers safely during the COVID-19 pandemic. They are doing it online and by phone; some are now even being allowed to visit in person, like at groves owned by growers cooperating with UF/IFAS on research. If UF/IFAS personnel do show … Read More

California Citrus and Chinese Tariff Exemptions

Tacy CalliesCalifornia Corner, Trade

The latest development in the Chinese market came as welcome news for the California citrus industry, as China moved to implement tariff exemptions. California Citrus Mutual President Casey Creamer explained that the tariff reduction is coming at an important time for the industry. “It’s probably the break we’ve been looking for when it comes to citrus movement to China,” Creamer … Read More

South African Citrus to Arrive in U.S.

Ernie NeffFresh

Summer Citrus from South Africa announced in late May that its first vessel of the year to the United States will arrive at the New York port soon. The vessel will deliver Easy Peeler clementines. More Easy Peelers and some Navel oranges will arrive in Philadelphia in late June. During peak season, Star Ruby grapefruit and Cara-Cara oranges will also … Read More

Reduce Fruit Drop, Increase Yield

Tacy CalliesIndustry News Release, Production, Research

University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) citrus scientists Tripti Vashisth and Fernando Alferez are trying to reduce the amount of fruit drop from Hamlin and Valencia trees prior to harvest. If fruit drops, growers can’t harvest it, and that leads to losses for farmers and less fruit at the market for consumers. Normally, about 10 to … Read More

OJ Has Health Benefits, Shows Research

Ernie NeffOrange Juice, Research

new york times

Recently published research results are consistent with previous studies indicating that orange juice (OJ) consumption is associated with benefits to nutrient intake and diet quality without detriment to body weight in children. The same research results from the University of Washington indicated that OJ consumption has favorable effects on body mass index and waist circumference in adults. The research results … Read More

PIECES OF THE PAST: Protecting a Treasured Tree

Tacy CalliesPieces of the Past

By Brenda Eubanks Burnette In the 1960s, 84-year-old Ethel G. Hakes recounted her firsthand experience of how the Temple orange rose to fame. “Have you ever heard of a tree so treasured that its owner sat up all night to watch over it? Yet that’s exactly what one greenhorn grower did one night when a hard freeze headed for our … Read More

Growers Help Wetlands Thrive

Ernie NeffIndustry News Release, Water

May is American Wetlands Month. Farmers, growers, ranchers and private landowners in Florida have worked with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) to create, restore and enhance wetlands for decades. They have incorporated wetlands into their operations for benefits to the environment and their land. To help realize these benefits they have worked with USDA … Read More

Sweet Season for Australian Citrus

Tacy Calliessales

Research conducted by Citrus Australia indicates dry conditions last year leading into this season’s harvest, which is underway in all states, has led to sweeter, juicier fruit. “There are fresh, Australian grown, juicy oranges and mandarins, and really flavorsome lemons, limes and grapefruit in stores across the country now,” said Citrus Australia CEO Nathan Hancock. “All citrus varieties are packed … Read More

Busy Hurricane Season Projected by NOAA

Ernie Neffhurricane, Weather


An above-normal 2020 Atlantic hurricane season is expected, according to forecasters with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Climate Prediction Center, a division of the National Weather Service. An above-average Atlantic hurricane season was also predicted more than a month earlier by both Colorado State University (CSU) hurricane researchers and AccuWeather. See those predictions. The NOAA outlook predicts a … Read More

Ag Entrepreneurs Wanted for Competition

Ernie NeffAgriculture

The American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) has opened online applications for the 2021 Ag Innovation Challenge. This national business competition showcases U.S. startup companies that are addressing challenges faced by America’s farmers, ranchers and rural communities. Farm Bureau will award $145,000 in startup funds provided by sponsors Farm Credit, John Deere, Bayer Crop Science, Country Financial, Farm Bureau Financial Services … Read More

Georgia Citrus Avoids COVID-19 Harm

Ernie NeffCOVID-19, Georgia

Georgia’s citrus crop was harvested before the COVID-19 pandemic hit the United States, so the state’s small but growing citrus industry has thus far avoided impacts from the disease. “We don’t think marketing will be affected by COVID, but harvesting (next season) could become problematic if our harvest crews experience problems,” said Lindy Savelle, president of the Georgia Citrus Association. “Although … Read More

Sneak Peek: June 2020 Citrus Industry Magazine

Tacy CalliesSneak Peek

Florida’s citrus harvest may be winding down for the season, but tree care continues year-round. The June issue of Citrus Industry magazine includes two timely articles on summer tree care practices. In the first article, University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) researchers Fernando Alferez and Tripti Vashisth discuss techniques to improve fruit quality and yield during … Read More

Control Phytophthora in Citrus Crops

Josh McGillSponsored Content

One of the most damaging pathogens for citrus crops continues to be Phytophthora, a soilborne pathogen that attacks the root systems and affects the entire citrus tree. As the pathogen degrades the tree’s root system, above ground symptoms such as slowed growth, chlorotic foliage and reduced fruit size intensify. Eventually, this may result in the death of the tree. Phytophthora can appear … Read More

All In For Citrus Podcast, May 2020

Taylor HillmanAll In For Citrus Podcast, Sponsored Content

In May’s All In For Citrus Podcast, listeners can hear the latest huanglongbing (HLB) research and recommendations as well as how the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) citrus team is operating as COVID-19 restrictions begin to ease. As always, Citrus Research and Education Center (CREC) Director Michael Rogers begins the podcast. He shares news about … Read More

Florida Citrus Grower Profitability to Decline

Ernie NeffEconomics

Although orange juice sales have surged in recent months, the Florida Department of Citrus (FDOC) director of economic and market research expects growers to have reduced profitability this season. Marisa Zansler told the Florida Citrus Commission on May 20 that demand for Florida citrus is expected to be tempered with higher production costs and suppressed grower prices for uncommitted early/mid … Read More

Nutrition and Rootstocks to Be Studied

Ernie NeffNutrition


Seventeen researchers have responded to the Citrus Research and Development Foundation’s (CRDF) request for very specific citrus nutrition research, the organization’s board of directors learned May 19. CRDF Chief Operating Officer Rick Dantzler said several advisory groups will review the proposals prior to the CRDF board choosing and funding selected proposals no later than September. The research requested by CRDF … Read More

Smartphone App Under Development for Diagnosing Citrus Leaf Symptoms

Tacy CalliesTechnology

By Arnold Schumann, Perseverança Mungofa, Laura Waldo and Chris Oswalt Since the first Apple iPhone was launched in 2007, there have been many improvements to smartphone cameras and their increasingly powerful graphics-processing capabilities. In recent years, these powerful hand-held computers have also made their impact on agriculture, where they are being used for communications, mapping, navigation, information retrieval and diagnostic … Read More

Box Tax Could Increase for Florida Oranges

Tacy CalliesFlorida Citrus Commission

Florida citrus officials are taking another look at raising a tax on growers as they wait to see if a legislative boost in marketing dollars becomes a victim of the coronavirus. The Florida Citrus Commission (FCC) on May 20 directed staff members to include in a budget proposal due in June the impacts of raising from 7 cents to 12 … Read More