Food-Safety Recommendations for Fresh Market Citrus

It’s time to prepare for implementation of the Produce Safety Rule. By Travis Chapin, Michelle Danyluk and Keith Schneider In preparation for implementing the Food Safety Modernization Act’s Produce Safety Rule (PSR), growers, harvesters and packers of fresh citrus are required to attend standardized food-safety training, such as the Produce Safety Alliance (PSA) grower training course, which outlines the minimum … Read More

Windbreaks for Citrus

University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences researcher Xavier Martini recommends planting windbreaks on two or more sides of citrus groves. He gave this advice to growers at a recent Citrus Insect Management Workshop in Lake Alfred, Florida. Martini said windbreaks do a good job of keeping canker and HLB-spreading psyllids out of groves. The trees also help … Read More

Ross Reappointed as California Department of Ag Head

New California Governor Gavin Newsom has reappointed Karen Ross, 67, of Sacramento, as secretary of the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA). The state cabinet-level department was established in 1919 to promote and protect a safe, healthy food supply, local and global agricultural trade, and environmental stewardship. Ross successfully served as CDFA secretary under Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. … Read More

Pests on the Horizon

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A shift toward reduced use of insecticides in Florida groves could lead to the emergence of pests that haven’t generally been a problem for years, University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) entomologist Lauren Diepenbrock said. Pests that could return or emerge in the face of reduced insecticide use include scales, mealybugs, false spider mites and fruit … Read More

Cut Psyllid Control Costs

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University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) entomologist Lukasz Stelinski suggested ways growers can cut psyllid control costs. He summarized key points he made in a talk at a Jan. 8 Citrus Insect Management Workshop at the Citrus Research and Education Center in Lake Alfred. Stelinski credited the late UF/IFAS entomologist Phil Stansly for determining that psyllid … Read More

Rubio Calls on DeSantis to Disburse Citrus Aid

U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio implored Florida’s new governor Tuesday to start spreading disaster-relief money approved nearly a year ago to address massive citrus-industry damage from Hurricane Irma in 2017. Rubio said in a letter to Gov. Ron DeSantis that money in a $343 million block grant needs to be disbursed to citrus growers. Rubio said the federal government shutdown has … Read More

Citrus Crop Forecast Postponed

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The Jan. 11 citrus crop forecast has been postponed due to the federal government shutdown, reports Bill Curtis, agricultural statistics administrator for the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services’ Division of Fruit and Vegetables. “Our office is currently closed, and we do not have access to any USDA information,” says Curtis. “Mark Hudson’s (Florida state statistician) federal phone has … Read More

Government Shutdown Not Affecting California Citrus — Yet

An analysis by California Citrus Mutual (CCM) indicates there is no major impact at the present time on government programs that affect California’s citrus industry. This could change if the shutdown drags on, however. According to the report, “Our major priority would be the ACP/HLB program sometimes known as CHRP (Citrus Health Response Program). We are not suffering any major … Read More

How to Identify and Avoid Nutrient Deficiencies

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  Nutrient deficiencies are common in HLB-affected trees, which make up the vast majority of Florida citrus trees. At a recent Citrus Nutrition Day in Bartow, University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences researcher Arnold Schumann discussed ways to identify and avoid nutrient deficiencies. A common identification method for nutrient deficiencies is direct observation, “walking through your grove, … Read More

UF/IFAS Experts: Growers Ready for Freezes

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When the next frost threatens Florida’s crops, growers will do their best to make sure your favorite foods are protected from the potentially crippling chill, say University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) experts. For example, citrus growers use wind machines and microsprinklers to ensure freezing temperatures don’t ruin the fruit, said Chris Oswalt, a multi-county citrus … Read More

Recent Pest Concerns in Florida Citrus

By Lauren Diepenbrock While Asian citrus psyllids (ACP) are an ongoing concern in Florida citrus due to their role in spreading the bacterium associated with citrus greening, they are not the only pest of concern to growers. Citrus leafminer (CLM) and root weevils are two pests that have been raising concerns and adding to the challenge of managing productive citrus … Read More

Citrus Breeding in Uruguay

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A primary job for scientists breeding citrus in Uruguay is to help the approximately 42,000-acre industry develop fresh fruit for export, Fernando Rivas said at a recent international citrus breeders symposium in Lake Alfred, Florida. Rivas works for Uruguay’s National Institute of Agricultural Research. On. Dec. 4, Rivas told an audience of about 70 at the Citrus Research and Education … Read More

HLB Reduction Strategies

By Jawwad Qureshi, Lukasz Stelinski and Fernando Alferez Management of huanglongbing (HLB) has focused on reducing the vector Asian citrus psyllid (ACP) and improving tree health, thus requiring a multi-pronged approach. Several elements of an HLB management system are either available or under current investigation. Maintenance of clean nursery stock, vector management and tree nutrition are widely implemented, while incorporation … Read More

Manage Soil pH and Nutrition for HLB

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Growers with trees affected by HLB should try to maintain soil pH in the 6 to 6.5 range, Kelly Morgan told numerous growers attending a recent Citrus Nutrition Day event. Morgan is director of the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences’ (UF/IFAS) Southwest Florida Research and Education Center. Morgan explained that soil pH affects trees’ ability to … Read More

Italian Citrus Breeding

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Citrus tristeza virus (CTV) began spreading in Sicily in the early 2000s because the Italian citrus industry’s standard rootstock was CTV-susceptible sour orange, reported Marco Caruso at a recent symposium of international citrus breeders. Consequently, approximately 74,000 acres will be replanted with CTV-tolerant rootstocks over the next few years, he said. Caruso, a citrus breeding expert with Italy’s Research Centre … Read More

California Citrus Crop Report Summary

California Citrus Mutual reports that the California citrus crop summary for 2017 is now complete. The data shows a strong season for the state’s citrus growers. The total value for all California citrus is about $3.84 billion. There are 324,360 acres, which produced 257,830 tons of citrus. Navels continue to hold the number-one spot for acreage with 148,179 bearing acres … Read More

New Varieties a Nurseryman Likes

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Jim Dilley of Dilley Citrus Nursery in Punta Gorda was intrigued by some new varieties he sampled at the Citrus Research and Education Center in Lake Alfred recently. Dilley singled out “several of the tangerines: 1818, 1819” as being of interest to him. “They were easy peel. It was apparent that one of them was probably a little earlier than … Read More

Thermotherapy’s Effects on Fruit Drop, Yield and Quality

By Megan Dewdney, Evan Johnson, Naweena Thapa and Michelle Danyluk In 2015, we started a large-scale project to determine if thermotherapy would be an effective huanglongbing (HLB) treatment for field trees. Some of the objectives were to determine effective temperature-time combinations for thermotherapy, which season gave optimal results for thermotherapy, and the effect on yield in subsequent years. TRIAL DETAILSComprehensive … Read More

Daily Irrigation for HLB-Affected Trees

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Daily irrigation is important in managing HLB-affected trees, a University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) soil scientist told a Citrus Nutrition Day crowd in Bartow on Dec. 11. The researcher, Davie Kadyampakeni, said daily irrigation reduces tree water stress and improves tree water use. According to Kadyampakeni, keeping water in the top 12 inches of soil … Read More

Rogers Reviews 2018 in Citrus

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Citrus Research and Education Center Director Michael Rogers recently took a look back at the Florida citrus industry in 2018 from a grower and researcher perspective. Rogers said 2018 was “a bit calmer” for everyone in the industry than the prior year. “Our main citrus-growing regions in the state dodged major hurricanes this year … We really needed a break … Read More