Citrus Industry ‘Pretty Close to a Cliff’

Daniel CooperIndustry News Release, Orange Juice

citrus

(NSF) — State lawmakers and citrus growers expressed a need Tuesday to entice people to drink more orange juice and for citrus importers to help in the marketing of Florida’s struggling signature crop. After 15 years of fighting the impacts of hurricanes, citrus greening disease, a reduction in acres because of the state’s rapid growth and changes in drinking habits, … Read More

State Appeals Ruling on Citrus Tree Payments

Daniel CooperCitrus, financial, Industry News Release

citrus

(NSF) — The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services has gone to the state Supreme Court after lower courts ordered payment of more than $13.6 million to Lee County homeowners whose healthy citrus trees were cut down amid an effort to halt the spread of citrus-canker disease. The department has filed a notice of appeal that is a first step in asking the … Read More

Florida Citrus Hall of Fame Inductees Chosen for 2020

Daniel CooperAwards, Industry News Release

nominations

(FCHOF) — The Selection Committee for the Florida Citrus Hall of Fame has announced three distinguished leaders who will be inducted into the hall of fame during the 57th Citrus Celebration Luncheon. Frank E. Gardner (deceased), formerly of Orlando; John M. Kennedy, Sr. (deceased), formerly of Umatilla; and Karick Price, Sr. (deceased), formerly of Orlando, will be honored at the … Read More

December Florida Citrus Crop Forecast

Daniel CooperCrop Forecast

florida all

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) released its second citrus crop forecast for the 2019–20 season on Dec. 10. ORANGESThe Florida orange forecast is 74 million boxes, unchanged from the Oct. 10 forecast. If realized, this forecast will be 3 percent more than last season’s final production. The forecast consists of 32 million boxes of non-Valencia oranges (early, midseason and … Read More

Informing Consumers About Pesticides

Ernie NeffPesticides

citrus nutrition

The Florida Fertilizer and Agrichemical Association (FFAA) is taking a new approach to educating consumers about the benefits and need for pesticides. FFAA President Mary Hartney, who describes herself as “an advocate for the responsible use of pesticides and fertilizers in Florida,” discussed the approach at Florida Ag Expo in November. Hartney says many people are opposed to all forms … Read More

Hemp Experiences Shared

Ernie NeffAlternative Crops

Hemp officials from two states shared their experiences with the potential alternative crop at the recent Florida Ag Expo. Doris Hamilton, hemp program manager for the Kentucky Department of Agriculture, and Paul Adams, industrial hemp program manager for the North Carolina Department of Agriculture, participated in a panel discussion. Hamilton reported Kentucky had almost 1,000 growers and nearly 27,000 acres … Read More

California Growers Face New Contractor Rules

Len WilcoxCalifornia Corner, Labor

Citrus growers in California need to reevaluate their working relationships with independent contractors to ensure they follow new state regulations that redefine who is an independent contractor. Signed by California Gov. Newsom last fall, the new rules state that any worker is an employee unless the hiring entity can demonstrate that the worker is an independent contractor. The law becomes … Read More

UF Researchers Study Drone Use in Citrus

Len WilcoxAll In For Citrus Podcast, Technology

In the latest All In For Citrus podcast, Yiannis Ampatzidis, University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) associate professor of agricultural and biological engineering, discusses new studies in drone technology applications for agriculture. Citrus growers can currently use drones to find out how many trees live in their groves, and they soon may be able to detect … Read More

Citrus Growers Can Call for Frost Protection Information

Daniel Coopercold protection, Industry News Release

citrus

(UF/IFAS) — Just one freeze could cripple much of Florida’s citrus crop. It happened 30 years ago. Chris Oswalt, a multi-county commercial citrus agent for University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) Extension, remembers the frost-bitten evenings. Christmas 1983, January 1985 and Christmas 1989 marked three of the worst citrus freezes in the state’s history. Even though … Read More

Thoughts on the Scion and Rootstock Selection Process

Tacy CalliesRootstocks, Scions

By Bill Castle If timing is everything, then let me suggest that the timing is right to consider the following proposals about making scion and rootstock choices in the Florida citrus industry: What to plant? That is a huge question that could be initially addressed by a one-day program carefully planned as to objectives, format and participants. I was reminded … Read More

New ‘Identification of Weeds in Florida Citrus’ Guide Available Now

Daniel Cooperweeds

florida citrus

(UF/IFAS) — The University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) Extension bookstore has released an updated version of “Identification of Weeds in Florida Citrus,” a pocket-sized quick reference guide to weeds commonly observed throughout the state that may be frequently found in citrus groves. “The comprehensiveness of this guide makes it useful not only for growers in … Read More

Food-Safety Marathon: Keeping Up With the Produce Safety Rule

Tacy CalliesFood Safety

By Travis Chapin, Matt Krug and Michelle Danyluk It’s been four years since the final Produce Safety Rule (PSR) was published in the Federal Register. The further we get into implementation of the PSR, the more it really seems like a marathon and not a sprint. By January 2020, all operations covered under the PSR should be complying with applicable … Read More

Bayer-CRDF HLB Effort Updated

Ernie NeffCRDF, HLB Management

CRDF

The Citrus Research and Development Foundation (CRDF) in 2017 agreed to partner with Bayer Crop Science for three years in an effort to develop new technologies to combat HLB. On Dec. 3, a Bayer representative provided a progress update to the CRDF board of directors. CRDF Chief Operating Officer Rick Dantzler discusses the history and possible future of the endeavor. … Read More

Soil Health Focus for HLB

Ernie Neffsoil

soil

A citrus soil health field day recently attracted about 40 people to the Howey-in-the-Hills area to see growers’ success using cover crops and compost on Florida groves once stunted by HLB. Event organizer Juanita Popenoe, commercial fruit production Extension agent for Lake, Marion and Orange counties, comments on the groves’ success. Popenoe is with the University of Florida Institute of … Read More

Florida’s Citrus Industry: A Balanced Perspective

Ernie NeffHLB Management

HLB

The Washington Post recently published a “well-balanced article” about Florida’s citrus industry, telling its woes as well as progress against HLB, says Michael Rogers. “We hosted a reporter from the Washington Post back in July of this year,” says Rogers, director of the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) Citrus Research and Education Center. “I think … Read More

Hemp Production Research Discussed

Ernie NeffAlternative Crops

Brian Pearson, a University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences assistant professor, discusses diverse research into production practices for the future growth of industrial hemp in Florida. He addresses fertilization, irrigation, pests and the light needs of the plant. Pearson works at the Mid-Florida Research and Education Center in Apopka. Pearson says there is “a lack of information” … Read More

Sneak Peek: December 2019 Citrus Industry Magazine

Tacy CalliesSneak Peek

As the year races to a finish, growers will want to make sure they are up to date on the “food-safety marathon” described in the December issue of Citrus Industry magazine. The University of Florida’s (UF) Travis Chapin, Matt Krug and Michelle Danyluk discuss what growers need to know about the implementation of the Produce Safety Rule. Topics addressed include … Read More

PIECES OF THE PAST: Nathan Mayo — A Precocious Agriculture Commissioner

Tacy CalliesPieces of the Past

By Brenda Eubanks Burnette Florida’s agriculture commissioners have always been extremely important to the state’s citrus industry. One of the first Citrus Industry magazine articles I was able to find on a past Florida commissioner of agriculture was about the appointment of Nathan Mayo. It appeared in the November 1923 issue of the magazine. I thought it was extremely interesting … Read More

A Closer Look at CUPS-Grown Grapefruit

Tacy CalliesCUPS, Grapefruit

By Arnold Schumann, Ariel Singerman and Yu Wang Grapefruit production in Florida has been drastically reduced by huanglongbing (HLB) disease, from 40.9 million boxes in 2003–04 to 4.5 million boxes in 2018–19, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Grapefruit varieties are particularly vulnerable to HLB due to cumulative losses from stunted tree growth, low fruit yield, high-percentage fruit drop, … Read More

All In For Citrus Podcast, November 2019

Taylor HillmanAll In For Citrus Podcast

The All In For Citrus podcast for November is packed with updates on various aspects of citrus production. Citrus Research and Education Center Director Michael Rogers tells how the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) helped a Washington Post reporter write a well-balanced article about the Florida citrus industry and HLB. Rogers points out that the … Read More