Fresh Citrus Minimum Sizes Reduced

fresh

The minimum size requirement for fresh Florida oranges and grapefruit was recently reduced. The Citrus Administrative Committee (CAC), which manages a federal marketing order for fresh Florida citrus, requested the change. The minimum orange size was reduced from 2.5 to 2.25 inches in diameter. The grapefruit reduction was from 3 and five-sixteenths inches to 3…

Putnam, Ross Say Relief Proposal Leaves Out Citrus

putnam

Florida Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam and Congressman Dennis Ross on Friday criticized a lack of funding for the state's storm-ravaged citrus industry in the latest disaster-relief package proposed by the White House. Putnam said a $44 billion request sent to Congress by the White House Office of Management and Budget “puts government reimbursement in front of real taxpayers…

Irma Agriculture Losses Continue to Mount

irma

Florida's $2.5 billion request for federal disaster relief for its agriculture industry after Hurricane Irma might not be enough. Members of the House Select Committee on Hurricane Response and Preparedness said on Nov. 16 that month-old damage estimates made by the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services are too low. “I actually think your…

‘Herbicide Synergy’ Looks Promising

herbicide

A University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) researcher is trying to give growers more weed control options. The researcher, Ramdas Kanissery, says he wants the options to be more effective and economically viable as well as environmentally friendly. “We are introducing a concept: herbicide synergy,” says Kanissery, a horticulturist at the…

70th Anniversary for Indian River Research and Education Center

indian

A big event will take place Nov. 16 as the 70th anniversary of the Indian River Research and Education Center in Fort Pierce takes place. Jack Payne, University of Florida senior vice president for agriculture and natural resources, invites folks to attend. From Indian River Research and Education Center: Seventy years of service to growers in the…

International Citrus Business Conference Offers Rare Opportunity

The citrus industry has never been under such major threats to its survival as it is now. Citrus greening has drastically reduced Florida’s citrus crops. Orange juice and grapefruit juice consumption are dramatically down, and it’s not just due to higher prices. Consumers are switching to other beverages. Now more than ever, the citrus industry…

Specialty Crop Grower Sees Success with Finger Limes

By Len Wilcox When Jim Shanley retired from his highly successful career in commodity trading, he knew what he wanted to do and where he wanted to do it: farm specialty crops in the hills overlooking Morro Bay, California. His choice of crops, however, was not so clear. He started with avocados, but it was…

Gov. Scott Proposes $22 Million for Florida Citrus Industry

citrus

Governor Rick Scott's Securing Florida's Future budget proposes $22 million for the Florida citrus industry. This includes $5 million supporting Florida Department of Citrus (FDOC) marketing programs aimed at educating and increasing awareness among consumers of the health benefits of Florida citrus and Florida orange juice as well as $650,000 for new variety research ensuring…

Mutual on November Crop Forecast and Hurricane Aid

“In the wake of Hurricane Irma, it is extremely difficult to estimate the size of this year’s crop,” Florida Citrus Mutual CEO Mike Sparks said soon after the latest citrus crop forecast was issued on Nov. 9. “In reality, we probably won’t have an accurate number until the middle of 2018 once all fruit is…

Growers Focus on Constant Fertilization

fertilization

A grower survey conducted by University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) horticulturist Tripti Vashisth shows growers are managing their nutrition programs precisely. Vashisth discusses growers’ focus on providing a constant supply of nutrients, the amount of nutrients applied, use of humic and fulvic acids, and the number of psyllid sprays applied.…

Solar Energy from Abandoned Groves

solar

Some growers have found their abandoned citrus groves “make the perfect property” for solar energy developments, says Michael Minton of Dean Mead law firm. Minton summarizes a presentation he made about solar energy opportunities for agriculturists at the recent Florida Agriculture Financial Management Conference, held in the Orlando area. “We have found the various utilities…

Florida Orange Crop Continues Downward Spiral

orange crop

Florida's struggling and storm-battered citrus industry took another hit Thursday as the orange crop forecast for the current growing season was reduced by 7.4 percent. And industry officials anticipate the forecasts will continue to decline as the season progresses. “Unfortunately, I don't think this will be the last decrease we see,” said Shannon Shepp, executive…

Citrus Crop Forecast: Numbers Decline for Florida in All Categories

oranges

Mark Hudson of the U.S. Department of Agriculture delivered the November citrus crop forecast. For Florida, non-Valencia and Valencia oranges dropped 2 million boxes each, putting the all-orange forecast at 50 million boxes. This represents a 7 percent decline from the initial crop forecast in October. Florida all-grapefruit came in at 4.65 million boxes, down…

Update on Citrus Undercover Production Systems Research

By Arnold Schumann, Laura Waldo, Alan Wright and Rhuanito Ferrarezi  Authors’ note: This article was written before Hurricane Irma passed through Florida. We are still assessing the full impact and implications of storm damage to both University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) citrus undercover production systems (CUPS) facilities and will provide…

Some Rootstocks Succumbed to Irma

rootstocks

Researchers inspecting their groves at the Southwest Florida Research and Education Center after Hurricane Irma found that trees on certain rootstocks were very likely to be uprooted. Fernando Alferez, a horticulturist at the Immokalee center, discusses the uprooted trees and hopes he has for fresh citrus growing. “This is anecdotal evidence from our experience here,”…

California Ag Chief Prepared to Battle HLB

citrus greening

In an interview at the Citrus Research Board's (CRB) annual conference last month, Karen Ross, secretary of the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA), said the present status of huanglongbing (HLB) disease is similar to another disease that challenged the California citrus industry years ago. Pierce’s disease was a potentially devastating threat long before…

Financial Management Conference Benefits Florida Ag

florida orange

Regina Thomas, co-organizer of the Florida Agriculture Financial Management Conference held Nov. 2-3 near Orlando, provides an overview of the event and discusses its origins. Thomas is senior vice president/director of financially related services for Farm Credit of Central Florida. Thomas says the conference began eight years ago during the recession that rocked the entire…

See Science in Action at CREC’s 100th Anniversary Celebration

science

Oranges, grapefruit, tangerines and limes. Most people think of these as signature plants of Florida, but scientists have traced their origins back millions of years and across continental land masses, said Fred Gmitter, a University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) professor of horticultural sciences. Scientists can describe the evolutionary paths of…

Nursery Challenges Pot License ‘Preference’ for Citrus Industry

citrus

A Sarasota nursery has filed a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of part of a new law that includes a preference for the citrus industry in the state's awarding of potentially lucrative medical-marijuana licenses. The lawsuit, filed last week by TropiFlora, LLC in Leon County circuit court, is similar to a case filed in September that…

Progress on Engineering HLB-Tolerant/Resistant Citrus

By Manjul Dutt and Jude W. Grosser Huanglongbing (HLB) threatens the survival of the Florida citrus industry. Both conventional cultivars and genetically engineered cultivars that can grow in the presence of HLB have been developed at the University of Florida’s Citrus Research and Education Center (CREC) in Lake Alfred. Among the two citrus improvement techniques,…