HLB: Learning From Brazil

Ernie NeffHLB Management


University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) researcher Rhuanito (Johnny) Ferrarezi reports on a trip to Brazil to learn about HLB control methods. Ferrarezi, who works at the UF/IFAS Indian River Research and Education Center, made the trip with former multi-county citrus Extension agent Steve Futch. “Their disease incidence is way lower than in Florida,” Ferrarezi says. … Read More

Georgia Citrus Industry Gaining Ground

Tacy CalliesCitrus, Georgia

By Clint Thompson Georgia’s citrus industry is expected to double in acreage by the end of 2020, according to Lindy Savelle, president of the Georgia Citrus Association. The projected increase from 1,000 to nearly 2,000 acres this year presents the growers with an interesting challenge as they prepare for when these trees start producing fruit. “We project by the end … Read More

Citrus Pest Management: More Than Just Psyllids

Tacy CalliesPests

By Lauren Diepenbrock Non-psyllid, soft-bodied insects are common in Florida citrus. Their ability to cause damage varies by pest, pest population size, tree age and tree variety. Soft-bodied insects include scales, mealybugs, whiteflies and aphids, all of which are small and can be hard to detect until the telltale sign of sooty mold development appears on their excrement (honeydew) or … Read More

Hemp Plant Options and Advice

Ernie NeffAlternative Crops

Adam Elend, CEO of Florigrown, LLC, addresses the four main options for starting industrial hemp plants in the field and offers some advice for choosing suppliers. Elend reports in-depth on the pros and cons of three types of hemp seed in an interview at the end of this article. The fourth option for planting is cuttings. “In an unpredictable world, … Read More

Orange Opportunities

Tacy CalliesVarieties

New sweet orange cultivars for processing can be harvested throughout the Florida citrus season. By Jude Grosser, Fred Gmitter and Bill Castle Florida orange juice has always been the gold standard among the growing portfolio of fruit juices and blends available to consumers. However, the now endemic citrus greening disease or huanglongbing (HLB) threatens this status by causing reduced fruit … Read More

Fast, Inexpensive Soil pH Testing

Ernie Neffsoil


Multi-county citrus Extension agent Chris Oswalt took several baggies of soil to an OJ break he hosted Jan. 14 at the Citrus Research and Education Center. He inserted a handheld pH meter into the soil in one of the baggies and within seconds told watching growers the content’s pH level. “Soil pH is real important, especially with HLB-infected trees today,” … Read More

Eco-Mowing Is Part of Cover Crop Research

Ernie NeffCover Crops, Research

Cover crop research in Southwest Florida will include looking into the effectiveness of eco-mowing, or moving mowed clippings under the tree canopy rather than leaving clippings in row middles. University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) soil microbiologist Sarah Strauss discusses numerous aspects of cover crop and compost research being conducted by her and other UF/IFAS scientists. … Read More

Citrus Greening Bacterium Is Now Available in Culture — So What’s Next?

Tacy CalliesCitrus Greening, Research

By Nabil Killiny A dynamic research collaboration between several labs at Washington State University (Gang, Beyenal and Omsland labs), University of Arizona (Brown lab) and University of Florida (Killiny lab) recently reported an important step in the long-sought culture of the bacterium [Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus (CLas)] associated with huanglongbing (HLB). The work, published in the journal Biofilm, describes a new … Read More

Fried on Florida Citrus Production Update

Daniel CooperCitrus, Crop Forecast, Grapefruit, Industry News Release

citrus production

(FDACS) — The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Agricultural Statistics Service has released an updated Florida citrus production estimate for the 2019-20 crop year, forecasting a 10 percent increase for Florida grapefruit and predicting that Florida orange production will hold steady at 74 million boxes. Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried offered the following statement: “Today’s updated citrus forecast is encouraging. It’s a direct … Read More

Florida Grapefruit Production Up

Daniel CooperCrop Forecast


The 2019–20 Florida citrus crop forecast released on Jan. 10 by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) held steady for oranges, tangerines and tangelos while grapefruit saw gains. Oranges The Florida orange forecast is 74 million boxes, unchanged from the December forecast. If realized, this will be 3 percent more than last season’s final production. The forecast consists of 32 … Read More

CUPS: Managing Small Fruit Size

Ernie NeffCUPS

Fresh fruit has generally grown well in a citrus under protective screen (CUPS) facility at the Citrus Research and Education Center, but there has been an issue with small fruit size. Laura Waldo, a senior biological scientist who works with lead CUPS researcher Arnold Schumann, discusses the problem and likely solutions.  Waldo says causes of the smaller fruit size have … Read More

CRDF Has Spent $149 Million

Ernie NeffCRDF


The Citrus Research and Development Foundation (CRDF) has spent $149 million during 10 years of existence, Chief Operating Officer Rick Dantzler reports. He adds that 457 projects have been funded. Dantzler made a report on total CRDF activities to the group’s board of directors in November. He also announced a new slate of CRDF officers. “This has been quite an … Read More

Winter Weather Watch Program for Growers

Ernie NeffWeather


Multi-county citrus Extension agent Chris Oswalt describes the Winter Weather Watch available to growers in the west, central and southwest regions of Florida. The program runs from Nov. 15 to March 15 and costs growers $100.  Oswalt says the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) established the program in the 1960s to provide agricultural forecasts via … Read More

PIECES OF THE PAST: From Yearling to Centenarian

Tacy CalliesCitrus, Pieces of the Past

By Brenda Eubanks Burnette When Citrus Industry magazine was launched 100 years ago, the founders had many fears as to whether the focus on a single crop was too narrow to be successful. It would be something I clearly remember the Frisbie family discussing with staff at different times over the years. However, at the close of the publication’s first … Read More

The ABCs of Psyllid Management

Tacy CalliesPests, Psyllids

By Lukasz L. Stelinski and Jawwad A. Qureshi Getting rid of Asian citrus psyllids (ACP) from your grove is almost like trying to remove the sand from a beach. You can make a huge noticeable impact, but getting every last grain of sand will be impossible. What makes the prospect of ACP management so complex is achieving it in a … Read More

Growers Discuss BMPs

Ernie NeffBMPs

Two growers participating in a Dec. 16 program about local agricultural issues shared some of the best management practices (BMPs) their companies employ. The event was hosted by the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) Southwest Florida Research and Education Center (SWFREC) in Immokalee. Danny Sutton, president and general manager of Alico Citrus, said Alico sprayers … Read More

Seeking Profits With Hemp

Ernie NeffAlternative Crops

The fact that growers will be able to legally grow industrial hemp in Florida doesn’t necessarily mean the crop can be grown successfully, a University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) official says. “There is a huge interest in industrial hemp in the state of Florida,” says Jerry Fankhauser, assistant director of the UF/IFAS Florida Agricultural Experiment … Read More

Supporting Citrus Researchers for 37 Years

Ernie NeffResearch


Barbara Thompson worked approximately 37 years helping Citrus Research and Education Center (CREC) scientists publish manuscripts that aided growers and others in Florida’s citrus industry. For the last several years, she also took over the CREC reception area. She greeted visitors, answered phones and helped growers locate the proper researcher or other agency that could answer their questions. She retired … Read More

Innovation in Natural Insect Control for Citrus

Tacy CalliesOrganic, Pesticides

By Chip Henry When I chose to produce citrus organically nearly five years ago, I accepted the responsibility of implementing a nature-based protocol of production for my grove. Subsequently, I searched for products that were available to address the aspects of nutrition, soil health, undesirable vegetation suppression and insect control. The process of “turning over every rock” was imperative, with … Read More

Soil, Cover Crops and Compost

Ernie NeffCover Crops, Soil Improvement


Soil organic matter benefits citrus, but there isn’t much of it in Florida groves, says University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences soil microbiologist Sarah Strauss. Most Florida citrus land typically contains only 1 to 2 percent soil organic matter, says Strauss, who works at the Southwest Florida Research and Education Center. “Areas near the Everglades with muck … Read More