Canker Quarantine Expanded in Texas

Clint ThompsonCitrus, Diseases, Florida, Top

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) announced June 30 it was immediately expanding the area quarantined for citrus canker in Texas. The agency added portions of Cameron County near San Benito and Brownsville to prevent the spread of the disease. APHIS confirmed the positive identification of citrus canker in two residential trees in San … Read More

Florida Governor Leaves Citrus Funds Intact

Ernie NeffLegislative

Citrus industry priorities funded by the Florida Legislature were left intact when Gov. Ron DeSantis signed the state budget, Florida Citrus Mutual (FCM) Executive Vice President/CEO Mike Sparks recently reported. “As anticipated, there was the need to reduce spending significantly through the use of the line-item veto due to diminished revenue to the state resulting from the COVID-19 response,” Sparks … Read More

New University of Florida Economist in Immokalee

Tacy CalliesEconomics, Industry News Release

Morgan graduated from the University of Florida three times. She earned a bachelor’s degree in animal sciences and then master’s and doctoral degrees in food and resource economics, all from the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) College of Agricultural and Life Sciences. Mostly recently, she began her position as associate professor of food and resource … Read More

FFVA: Protect Ag Workers From COVID-19

Ernie NeffCOVID-19

town hall

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the U.S. Department of Labor have provided joint COVID-19 guidance for agriculture workers and employers. Topics in the guidance include: creating an assessment and control plan; screening and monitoring workers; managing sick workers; returning to work after exposure; engineering controls; cleaning, disinfection and sanitation; administrative controls, including training and social distancing; cloth … Read More

Tools to Protect Young Trees From HLB Being Studied

Tacy CalliesHLB Management

While citrus growers continue to look for the best practices to fight the deadly huanglongbing (HLB) disease, researchers are taking an integrated approach at protecting young trees by using tools growers already have access to. “In Florida and pretty much every citrus-producing area, we’ve been doing a lot of replanting or resets,” says Lauren Diepenbrock, an assistant professor of entomology … Read More

Who Needs Grower Compliance Agreements?

Ernie NeffRegulation


Several growers recently asked the Highlands County Citrus Growers Association (HCCGA) if they need to sign a Grower/Caretaker Compliance Agreement (CA) they received from the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS). HCCGA Executive Director Ray Royce’s answer is essentially yes. He says state law requires all citrus growers and caretakers of 40 or more trees to sign a … Read More

New Lighting Rules for California Agriculture

Len WilcoxCalifornia Corner, Regulation

New nighttime lighting requirements have been set by the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health (Cal/OSHA) and take effect on July 1, 2020. The new standard, “Outdoor Agricultural Operations During Hours of Darkness,” was heavily modified from the original proposal based on information provided by the agricultural industry throughout the course of the rulemaking process. It applies to all … Read More

How to Use the New Florida Citrus Rootstock Selection Guide

Tacy CalliesRootstocks

By Rhuanito S. Ferrarezi, William S. Castle, Kim D. Bowman, Jude W. Grosser, Stephen H. Futch, Steve Rogers and Andres Gonzalez First published in 1989 as Rootstocks for Florida Citrus, the work of William Castle and his colleagues remains relevant 30 years later. The purpose of the fourth edition of the Florida Citrus Rootstock Selection Guide is to provide timely … Read More

Lebbeck Mealybug Management Update

Ernie NeffPests

An update on lebbeck mealybug, a relatively new pest of Florida citrus, was provided recently by University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) entomologist Lauren Diepenbrock. Diepenbrock, who works at the Citrus Research and Education Center, prepared the presentation for the April Florida Citrus Growers Institute, which was canceled due to COVID-19. Lebbeck mealybug was found in … Read More

Florida Department of Citrus: A Year in Review

Tacy CalliesMarket

Last week, the Florida Department of Citrus (FDOC) held a live webinar to present highlights from the 2019–20 fiscal year. Areas covered included budgets, scientific research, marketing and economic market research. This past year has been one of change, transformation and success for FDOC, as it has worked in collaboration with industry to meet the needs of both growers and … Read More

Expos Canceled Due to Changing COVID-19 Conditions

Tacy CalliesCitrus Expo

Although grower and exhibitor interest remains high, AgNet Media has canceled the 2020 Citrus Expo and Vegetable & Specialty Crop Expo in the interest of public safety. For nearly three decades, Citrus Expo has been a tradition that growers look forward to each year. Unfortunately, that tradition will be on hiatus this year, due to the recent rapid escalation of … Read More

California Citrus Research Center to Get New Director

Len WilcoxCalifornia Corner

Ashraf El-kereamy will be the new director of the University of California, Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources’ (UC ANR) Lindcove Research and Extension Center (REC), starting on July 1. He will continue to serve as a UC cooperative Extension specialist in the Department of Botany and Plant Sciences at UC Riverside.   “Elizabeth Grafton-Cardwell retires this year after 13 years … Read More

Food Safety in Light of COVID-19

Tacy CalliesCOVID-19, Food Safety

With millions of American workers staying home to aid public health efforts to stop the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19), the security of America’s food supply is more important than ever before. It’s crucial that growers are taking the appropriate measures to ensure food safety during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the U.S. Department of … Read More

Growers Get Details on CRAFT Cycle Two

Ernie Neffplanting, Research


Approximately 60 people learned how to participate in Cycle Two of the Citrus Research and Field Trial (CRAFT) program via a virtual workshop held June 23-24. The application period for Cycle Two will be July 20 to Sept. 4, 2020. CRAFT offers growers substantial financial incentives to plant new trees that will be raised utilizing specific HLB mitigation strategies. Participating … Read More

HLB Update for North Florida, South Georgia

Ernie NeffCitrus Greening

Since 2018, there have been no huanglongbing (HLB) finds in commercial citrus groves in North Florida, and there have still been no disease detections in Georgia groves. In North Florida, HLB was detected in groves in Live Oak in Suwanee County and Perry in Taylor County in 2018, reported Xavier Martini, a University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural … Read More

Masks and Materials for Florida Ag Workers

Tacy CalliesCOVID-19

The Florida Department of Health has been distributing cloth masks and COVID-19 informational materials in three languages (English, Spanish and Haitian Creole) for agriculture workers in Southwest Florida. The masks and information are available to farmers and labor contractors. To access these resources, contact your local Health Department: Hendry Glades Health Department – Brenda Barnes, email: Lee County Health … Read More

BMPs Implementation and Verification Stepping Up in Florida

Ernie NeffBMPs

Highlands County Citrus Growers Association (HCCGA) is urging its members to “seriously consider” enrolling in and implementing best management practices (BMPs) if they haven’t already done so. The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services’ Office of Ag Water Policy (FDACS-OAWP), as a result of several changes in state law, is in the process of stepping up its BMPs implementation … Read More

UF/IFAS in Labs, at Citrus Expo and More

Ernie NeffAll In For Citrus Podcast, Citrus Expo, Research


In the latest phase of COVID-19 re-openings, more citrus researchers have returned to University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) laboratories. Citrus Research and Education Center (CREC) Director Michael Rogers says the number of researchers allowed in labs had been gradually increasing throughout the pandemic. Rogers also discusses an award won by a CREC researcher, work on … Read More

Protect Outdoor Workers From Heat Illness

Len WilcoxAgriculture, California Corner

California’s Division of Occupational Safety and Health (Cal/OSHA) reminds all employers to protect outdoor workers from heat illness and to monitor high temperature advisories and warnings in their region. California’s heat illness prevention standard applies to all outdoor workers, including those in agriculture, construction and landscaping. Other workers protected by the standard include those that spend a significant amount of … Read More

Juice Returning to Florida Welcome Centers

Ernie NeffOrange Juice

orange juice

Florida orange and grapefruit juice will start flowing again in the state’s welcome centers on July 1. The Florida Citrus Commission (FCC) on June 17 approved a new contract with Visit Florida to provide not-from-concentrate citrus juice at the welcome centers for one year. The Florida Department of Citrus (FDOC), which the FCC oversees, will spend $250,000 to cover the … Read More