Working Toward Better Juice Oranges

Ernie NeffAll In For Citrus Podcast, Orange Juice


University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) geneticist and plant breeder Jude Grosser discusses the need for new juice oranges and some new cultivar choices. Grosser says one reason for new varieties is the decline in orange juice sales. “In my opinion, the best way to combat that is to have a higher quality orange juice that’s … Read More

New UF/IFAS Citrus Extension Agent

Daniel CooperCitrus, Industry News Release, Research


(UF/IFAS) — When you meet Ajia Paolillo, you might think that everything old is new again. That’s because Paolillo, the new University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences Extension (UF/IFAS) citrus agent for DeSoto, Hardee and Manatee counties, leans heavily on the experience of faculty colleagues from previous experiences.  “I learned so much working with Stephen Futch, Bill … Read More

Keeping Citrus Greening out of Georgia Groves

Tacy CalliesCitrus Greening, Georgia

Florida citrus growers

By Clint Thompson Citrus greening disease is not yet a problem in Georgia. Jonathan Oliver, University of Georgia (UGA) assistant professor and small fruits pathologist, wants to keep it that way. The disease that has impacted citrus production in Florida for more than a decade has only been observed in backyard plantings in Georgia. However, since the state is expected … Read More

PIECES OF THE PAST: Paying Tribute to Pioneers

Tacy CalliesPieces of the Past

Recently, I came across an old letter A.F. Camp wrote to John T. Lesley in 1979. I thought it was so interesting that I shared it with the members of the Florida Citrus Hall of Fame Selection Committee. I wanted them to think about how hard things were “back in the day” in considering the contributions of some of the … Read More

Citrus Leprosis Poses a Threat to Florida

Tacy CalliesDiseases

By Amit Levy, Ozgur Batuman, Peggy Sieburth and Lauren Diepenbrock Citrus leprosis is an exotic viral disease not currently present in Florida. This disease is of interest since it was reported in citrus in Florida and Brazil in the early 1900s, where it caused great crop and tree losses, but it was eliminated from Florida in the early 1960s. Currently, … Read More

Root Health Update

Ernie NeffRoot health


Evan Johnson, a University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) plant pathologist at the Citrus Research and Education Center, updates efforts to help citrus tree roots cope with HLB. He starts by noting that around 10 years ago he and former UF/IFAS researcher Jim Graham discovered “that HLB causes severe damage to the root system.” They hoped … Read More

Tim Hurner Receives Recognition

Tacy CalliesAwards

Tim Hurner will be inducted into the Florida Association of County Agricultural Agents (FACAA) Hall of Fame at the annual Extension Professional Associations of Florida meeting in Panama City in September. Hurner served Highlands County as the citrus Extension agent and county director for more than 40 years. He was inducted into the Florida Citrus Hall of Fame in 2019. … Read More

Citrus Day Updates Growers on UC Research

Len WilcoxCitrus

Over 200 people from the citrus industry and University of California (UC) Riverside gathered on Jan. 29 for Citrus Day. Growers and scientists alike were informed about the current status of huanglongbing (HLB) disease and the tiny insect that spreads it, the Asian citrus psyllid (ACP). The consensus of the speakers was that while HLB is a serious threat to … Read More

Keeping Fresh Citrus Safe

Ernie NeffFood Safety

Michelle Danyluk describes training that was provided Feb. 11 to help fresh citrus growers comply with the federal Produce Safety Rule. Danyluk is a University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) professor and Extension specialist at the Citrus Research and Education Center (CREC). She and several other UF/IFAS faculty conducted the training at the CREC. The Produce … Read More

Florida Citrus Forecast: Grapefruit Up, Oranges Down

Daniel CooperCrop Forecast


The 2019–2020 citrus crop forecast released Feb. 11 by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) showed changes for Florida orange and grapefruit production levels. ORANGES The February forecast for Florida oranges is 2 million boxes lower than last month’s figures. However, if realized, the Florida all-orange forecast of 72 million boxes will be up slightly from last season’s final production. … Read More

Planning for Foliar Disease Management in 2020

Tacy CalliesDiseases

By Megan Dewdney and Evan Johnson In 2019, the trend of fewer problems with foliar fungal diseases for Florida citrus continued, which was good news for the industry. Despite the El Niño conditions during the spring, little postbloom fruit drop (PFD) was observed because the temperatures were low (< 75 F) when it rained during bloom. The southern parts of … Read More

Senate Wants Orange Juice to Flow Again

Daniel CooperIndustry News Release, Legislative, Orange Juice

orange juice

(NSF) — Travelers might again get a free cup of Florida’s homegrown beverage when they cross the state line, through funding tucked in the Senate’s proposed budget. But helping the Florida Department of Citrus (FDOC) bring back free orange juice could hinge on a bigger debate, as the operations of state welcome centers remain locked in a legislative battle about … Read More

Youth Grow Award-Winning Citrus Trees

Tacy CalliesAwards

The Highlands County Youth Citrus Project is a 4-H program that teaches 8- to 18-year-old students how to successfully grow citrus in Florida. Thirty-four citrus trees (Valencia on C-54 Carpenter) were entered into the program this year. All of the trees were grown in a protective cover and tested by the state of Florida. The orange trees will be on … Read More

Managing Orange Production Costs

Ernie NeffEconomics, Production

University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) Extension economist Ariel Singerman discusses a recent article he wrote titled “How Much Can Florida Growers Afford to Spend on Caretaking Processed Orange Groves?” The article addresses the grove management decisions growers must make in the face of recent orange price declines. It points out that an average grower would … Read More

Research Addressing Industrial Hemp Production Challenges

Ernie NeffAlternative Crops

Future growers of industrial hemp in Florida will have the advantage of research being conducted now by the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS). Zach Brym, agronomist at the Tropical Research and Education Center in Homestead and research coordinator of the UF/IFAS Industrial Hemp Pilot Project, summarizes the work being done. “We’ve taken the last couple … Read More

Budget Proposals Brought Into Citrus Legal Fight

Daniel CooperCitrus, Industry News Release


(NSF) — Attorneys for Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried on Wednesday alerted the Florida Supreme Court that new legislative budget proposals include more than $19 million to address a legal battle over the state cutting down Lee County homeowners’ healthy citrus trees. Fried’s office took the battle to the Supreme Court after the 2nd District Court of Appeal ordered the … Read More

Black Spot Scouting and Control

Ernie Neffblack spot


“The most important time to scout for black spot is when the fruit begin to change color,” said University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences plant pathologist Megan Dewdney. She has seen color change for Valencia oranges, the most commonly infected variety, from December to March. But she added it is usually late-February to early-March when citrus black … Read More

HLB Quarantine Area Expands in California

Len WilcoxCalifornia Corner

A quarantine expansion has been declared following the detection of the citrus disease huanglongbing (HLB), or citrus greening, in two residential citrus trees in Colton, California. This is the first time the disease has been confirmed in Colton. This detection came on the heels of the first detection in San Bernardino County in November 2019. The California Department of Food … Read More

Trained Dogs Are the Most Efficient Way to Hunt Citrus Industry’s Biggest Threat

Daniel CooperCitrus Greening, HLB Management, Industry News Release


(USDA/ARS) — Dogs specially trained by Agriculture Research Service (ARS) scientists have proven to be the most efficient way to detect huanglongbing— also known as citrus greening — according to a paper just published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Currently, the only solid hope of curtailing the spread of citrus greening is to eliminate trees with the … Read More

Pests in CUPS and IPCs

Ernie NeffCUPS, Pests


Citrus under protective screen (CUPS) and young trees covered with individual protective covers (IPCs) have generally been well protected from HLB-spreading Asian citrus psyllids, but not from all other pests. Entomologist Jawwad Qureshi says the psyllids only get to trees when a CUPS structure or IPC is damaged, as happened to CUPS during Hurricane Irma in 2017. “Otherwise they do … Read More