Mutual President on Crop Forecast and Tree Health

crop forecast

Tom Mitchell of Riverfront Packing Company in Vero Beach, who serves as Florida Citrus Mutual president, discusses the crop forecast for Florida citrus. The Florida forecast for 79 million boxes of oranges and 6.7 million boxes of grapefruit was issued Oct. 11 by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service. “I’m primarily a fresh grapefruit grower,” Mitchell says, … Read More

PIECES OF THE PAST: Juice Trains Roll On

By Brenda Eubanks Burnette Anthony T. Rossi, founder of Tropicana, immigrated to New York with the dream of making movies, but ended up in the grocery business for 13 years before heading to Florida in search of warmer weather. Using the skills he’d developed in the grocery business, he began packing gift fruit boxes for Macy’s and Gimbel’s, and jars … Read More

Young Citrus Trees May Benefit from Full Irrigation

citrus trees

Mature citrus trees affected by the bacterial disease huanglongbing (HLB) typically need about 25 percent less irrigation than their healthy counterparts However, that doesn’t necessarily mean young trees with the disease will benefit from water deficits, according to a preliminary greenhouse study by researchers with the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS). Experiments on 1-year-old orange … Read More

Changes Proposed to Grade and Size Requirements for Florida Citrus

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is proposing changes to the grade and size requirements under the federal marketing order for oranges, grapefruit, tangerines and pummelos grown in Florida. The Citrus Administrative Committee recommended the changes to allow growers and handlers to use more of the crop to meet market demand. The proposed changes would: Revise the minimum grade requirements for … Read More

Ag Commissioner Candidate Discusses Orange Crop Forecast

crop forecast

Matt Caldwell, Florida state representative and candidate for commissioner of agriculture, was on hand at a citrus industry lunch when the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced its initial 2018–19 citrus crop forecast. Caldwell comments on the 79 million-box orange forecast, which was larger than most had expected. “It’s certainly a hopeful change from last year when we dealt with obviously … Read More

Effects of Homobrassinolides on HLB-Affected Trees in Florida

By Fernando Alferez, Christopher Vincent and Tripti Vashisth In the current scenario of widespread infection and severe symptoms of HLB in Florida, horticultural practices that improve plant health in the presence of the disease are needed. For this reason, we sought to follow up on reports of positive effects of a brassinosteroid on infected plants. Brassinosteroids are a relatively newly … Read More

Don’t Let Vine Weeds Trip You Up

By Ramdas Kanissery and Camille McAvoy Weedy vines are among the problematic and difficult to manage group of weeds in citrus. Vine weeds twine around the trees, competing with citrus for light and nutrients and causing reduction in yield and harvesting efficiency. Since vines do not have to form strong upright stems, more energy and resources can be diverted into … Read More

Two Species of Ambrosia Beetles Found in Florida Citrus

Earlier this month, Citrus Industry reported in an article that University of Florida (UF) Extension entomologist Lauren Diepenbrock discovered a pest not previously found in Florida citrus. The pest was thought to be an ambrosia beetle. It has now been determined that two different species of ambrosia beetles (Euplatypus compositus and Xyleborus affinis) have been found. The related fungus is … Read More

New UF/IFAS Entomologist: From a Kid’s ‘Lab’ to Helping Citrus Growers


As a girl in her garage in Palm Bay, Florida, Lauren Diepenbrock, already a budding scientist, peered through the lens of her microscope and marveled at the magnification. “As a kid, I played in the woods and brought back all sorts of ‘finds,’ including a snake skeleton, none of which my mom allowed in the house,” said Diepenbrock, an assistant … Read More

What You Need to Know About Citrus Fertigation

By Mongi Zekri, Davie Kadyampakeni, Tripti Vashisth, Kelly Morgan, Tom Obreza and Brian Boman Microirrigation is an important component of citrus production systems in Florida. For citrus trees, microirrigation is more desirable than other irrigation methods for several reasons: water conservation, fertilizer management efficiency and freeze protection. Research has shown that when properly managed, water savings with microirrigation systems can … Read More

Soil Moisture Sensors Help in Face of HLB

HLB, irrigation, nutrition

University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences researcher Rhuanito (Johnny) Ferrarezi discussed the use of soil moisture sensors at a recent grower workshop in Sebring. He summarizes that presentation, which included a discussion of how the sensors can help in the face of HLB. “The main goal of using soil moisture sensors is to increase irrigation efficiency,” Ferrarezi … Read More

Whitmore Farm Focuses on HLB Research


More than 20 growers and others attended a tour on Oct. 11 at Whitmore Farm near Groveland in Lake County, Florida. Breeding for HLB tolerance or resistance is the primary goal of research at the farm. “Whitmore Farm was established in the mid-1950s as a foundation farm,” says Brian Scully, who led the tour and discussed research. Scully is director … Read More

Shepp ‘Thrilled’ by Orange Forecast

“I’m absolutely thrilled to see that number,” Florida Department of Citrus (FDOC) Executive Director Shannon Shepp said after the 2018-19 Florida orange crop was forecast at 79 million boxes on Oct. 11. The strong forecast was issued by the U.S. Department of Agriculture National Agricultural Statistics Service. “I have been looking for positive news for quite some time in this … Read More

Putnam Comments on First Citrus Crop Forecast of the Season

citrus crop

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) released its first citrus crop forecast for the 2018-19 season. Florida Commissioner of Agriculture Adam H. Putnam’s statement is below: “This citrus production forecast offers a glimmer of hope to Florida’s iconic citrus industry. For more than a decade, we’ve battled citrus greening and the industry most recently was dealt a devastating blow last … Read More

Florida Citrus Crop Forecast Is Good News for Growers


After finishing the 2017-18 citrus season at just 45 million boxes of oranges, Florida growers were pleased to hear that the initial orange forecast from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) for the 2018-19 season is 79 million boxes. Non-Valencia oranges came at in 34 million boxes, while Valencias are expected to be 45 million boxes. Bill Curtis, USDA agricultural … Read More

California Citrus Research Board Chooses Interim President

The California Citrus Research Board (CRB) has announced that Franco Bernardi will serve as the organization’s interim president. Beginning Oct. 15, Bernardi will lead daily staff operations and management. He replaces Gary Schulz, whose contract as president was not renewed by the CRB last month. Bernardi’s leadership will guide the CRB during the next several months as it celebrates its … Read More

Update on Hurricane Irma Financial Assistance


By Mike Sparks It’s been a challenging year since Hurricane Irma struck. We understand the frustration with the lag in getting hurricane relief to growers and realize the urgency of the situation. With that said, we have some good news and some bad news. The bad news is that the Wildfires and Hurricanes Indemnity Program (WHIP) applications and payments for … Read More

Evaluating Roots of HLB-Infected Trees


Growers attending a recent workshop in Sebring learned how to evaluate the root systems of HLB-infected trees. University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences researcher Evan Johnson was the instructor. Johnson said evaluation of root systems is important because “HLB is causing a lot of damage to the root system … It’s important to know how the pests … Read More

Production Practices for Lemons Discussed


Crop production consultant Hamed Doostdar spoke on a grower panel as part of a recent University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences workshop on lemons at the Citrus Research and Education Center. He summarizes some key points regarding lemon production practices. Doostdar says lemons grow very fast, often reaching 7 to 8 feet tall by 2 years of … Read More

A New Pest Concern for Florida Citrus

University of Florida Extension entomologist Lauren Diepenbrock has discovered a pest not previously found in Florida citrus. “Recently, we have been finding some new pest signs in citrus … What we believe we found are signs of ambrosia beetles,” says Diepenbrock. She has fungus-infected citrus tree trunk samples in her lab and is waiting for adults to emerge in order … Read More