Cold-Tolerant Citrus Production Event

More than 100 growers from Florida and Georgia gathered at the Cold-Tolerant Citrus Production for the Southeastern Coastal Plain educational event on Dec. 13. Bob Hochmuth, director of the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Science's (UF/IFAS) Suwannee Valley Agricultural Extension Center, introduced the event, which was held at the center. Morning presentations…

Freeze Probability and Protection Efforts

Florida hasn’t had a widespread tree-killing citrus freeze in years. That’s very fortunate since the industry has been dealing with the highly destructive HLB disease since 2005 and with negative impacts of Hurricane Irma since September. However, a damaging freeze is always a possibility at this time of year. Consequently, multi-county citrus Extension agent Chris…

Citrus Industry Squeezed if Congress Doesn’t Help

congress

No “plan B” is available if Congress does not add citrus funding to the latest disaster relief package, Florida Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam said Wednesday. A day after the U.S. Department of Agriculture further reduced a forecast of the post-Hurricane Irma orange harvest, Putnam reiterated the need for federal assistance to the struggling industry, which…

Growing Citrus in the HLB Era

By Jim Gravley The entire citrus industry has changed since the arrival of HLB (citrus greening). To ensure success and produce a quality product, the grower must adapt and truly understand the issues brought on from the infection of HLB. The disease was officially identified in 2005 in South Florida, and we are still fighting…

Florida Citrus Crop Forecast: Oranges Down; Grapefruit Holds Steady

orange

As of Dec. 12, the 2017-2018 Florida all-orange forecast released by the U.S. Department of Agriculture is 46 million boxes. This figure is down 8 percent from the November forecast. If realized, this forecast will be 33 percent less than last season’s production and the least since the 1944-1945 season of 42.2 million boxes. The…

Florida Citrus Hall of Fame Inductees Chosen for 2018

florida citrus

Two distinguished leaders will be inducted into the Florida Citrus Hall of Fame (FCHOF) during the 56th Citrus Celebration Luncheon on Friday, March 9, 2018, at Florida Southern College in Lakeland. L. Gene Albrigo, of Daytona Shores, and Marvin D. Kahn, of Sebring, will be honored at the luncheon, scheduled to take place at 11:30…

Psyllid Control Strategies

psyllid

University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences entomologist Jawwad Qureshi discussed several means of Asian citrus psyllid control at Citrus Expo in August. He provides an overview of his presentation. Qureshi says it is best to start psyllid sprays during the winter dormant period. “Do it individually or do it in a collaborative…

UF Study: Screen Houses May Help Prevent Grapefruit Greening

By: Brad Buck, 352-294-3303, bradbuck@ufl.edu GAINESVILLE, Fla. --- Grapefruit grows better under screen houses than in unprotected groves because the indoor facilities keep out the insect that causes citrus greening, new University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) research shows. Protecting citrus from greening is essential, UF/IFAS researchers say. The disease, first…

Plant Biostimulants — Snake Oils or Beneficial Substances?

By Ute Albrecht and Sarah Strauss Recent years have seen an explosion of products termed “biostimulants” as alternatives to traditional chemical products to improve plant growth and productivity, and to enhance the sustainability of agricultural systems. Although there is currently no legal definition of biostimulants, they are usually defined as “substance(s) and/or microorganisms that when…

Call to Action for Florida Citrus Industry Members

florida citrus

On December 5, Mike Sparks, Florida Citrus Mutual executive vice president and CEO, sent the following message to the Florida citrus industry: Since Hurricane Irma devastated Florida citrus in September, Commissioner Adam Putnam, Governor Rick Scott, Florida Congressional/Senate leaders, Florida Citrus Mutual, Florida citrus growers and the industry have been working tirelessly in Washington, D.C.…

Semiautonomous Vehicle Used in CUPS

CUPS

University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences researcher Arnold Schumann showed off a semiautonomous vehicle at the recent Citrus Research and Education Center 100th anniversary celebration. The vehicle is used in the center’s citrus under protective cover (CUPS) facility, designed to keep trees free of HLB-spreading psyllids. Schumann discusses the vehicle and its…

Cold-Tolerant Citrus for Southeastern Growers

citrus

The University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) will host the Cold-Tolerant Citrus Production for the Southeastern Coastal Plain educational program for growers. The event will take place Dec. 13 at the Suwannee Valley Agriculture Extension Center in Live Oak, Florida. "It's an educational event for people that are interested in producing…

HLB Research Beyond CRDF: Florida’s Goal Achieved

Citrus Expo

By Harold Browning Column sponsored by the Citrus Research and Development Foundation As 2017 draws to a close, the Citrus Research and Development Foundation (CRDF) is working to redefine the primary directions for its research and delivery programs. Federal funding programs that have emerged over the past four years are covering much of the discovery…

Dramatic Weather Events Disrupt the Orange Juice Market

By Marcos Fava Neves The first 2017–18 U.S. Department of Agriculture forecast for Florida oranges — 54 million boxes — after Hurricane Irma was the lowest number in 70 years. Before the hurricane, we were all expecting that Florida would have more than 80 million boxes of oranges. This possible shortage of approximately 25 million…

Low-Density Planting Problematic with HLB

HLB

Two economists addressing a Gulf Citrus Growers Association economic seminar on Nov. 30 agreed that low-density citrus plantings would likely be hazardous to growers’ financial health in the face of HLB. One also reported that the average grower is not making a profit, and that small growers are exiting the industry faster than larger growers.…

Walls Aim to Keep Psyllids Out

psyllids

Walls consisting of insect-proof screen held up by telephone poles hold promise for helping growers reduce the cost of controlling HLB-spreading psyllids. The walls serve as artificial windbreaks in a new model grove planted in June at the Citrus Research and Education Center (CREC). The grove was one of numerous projects viewed by more than…

Sneak Peek: December 2017 Citrus Industry Magazine

The 2018 Citrus Guide is featured in the December issue of Citrus Industry magazine. This annual directory of Florida citrus organizations, agencies, researchers and vendors has expanded to include California. Growers can find all of the contact information they need in a single, easy-to-read source. In addition to the Citrus Guide, the December issue of…

Some Fresh Citrus Problems Begin in the Grove

fresh

Some fresh citrus problems arise or can be addressed in the packinghouse; others must be dealt with earlier, in the grove. University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences researcher Mark Ritenour discusses three problems that must be addressed in the grove. They are peel breakdown, fruit decay and pesticide residues. Ritenour summarizes a…

100th Anniversary of the Citrus Research and Education Center

anniversary

Officials, citrus scientists, growers and other stakeholders will gather at the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) Citrus Research and Education Center (CREC) in Lake Alfred this Wednesday, November 29, for the 100th anniversary of the CREC. Dr. Jack Payne, University of Florida senior vice president for agriculture and natural resources, is looking…