Family Farm Recognized for Environmental Leadership


Lykes Bros., Inc. was honored for its environmental stewardship with a County Alliance for Responsible Environmental Stewardship (CARES) award on Oct. 18. Lykes Bros. has grown a 500-acre Brooksville farm to more than 610,000 acres in Florida and Texas. A leader in agribusiness for more than 100 years, Lykes Bros. Inc. fully invests in responsible stewardship on a diverse operation. The … Read More

Looking Beyond 79 Million Boxes of Oranges


Overall, the Florida citrus industry was delighted to hear the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s forecast of 79 million boxes of oranges for the state. After battling citrus greening for over a decade and then devastation from Hurricane Irma in 2017, 79 million boxes gave the industry a glimmer of hope. One industry member, Allen Morris, owner of Morris Agribusiness Services, … Read More

CRDF May Seek More Applied Research

Citrus Research and Development Foundation (CRDF) Chief Operations Officer (COO) Rick Dantzler, recapping the organization’s October board meeting, says he would like to see the organization “turn more of its focus toward applied research.” That issue was a major discussion topic for the CRDF board, he says. “We can’t abandon basic research, certainly, but applied research seems to me to … Read More

A Day in the Life of a UF/IFAS Extension Agent: Juanita Popenoe

When growers in Central Florida need help with an alternative crop to citrus, they turn to Juanita Popenoe. The University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) Extension agent spends her days helping farmers who are looking for options to diversify their groves impacted by citrus greening disease. “Since citrus greening has hit the industry so hard, citrus … Read More

As California HLB Detections Rise, Priorities Refocus


By Brian German A series of strategic planning sessions have helped to craft a more detail-oriented approach to address the spread of Asian citrus psyllid (ACP) and management of huanglongbing (HLB) detections. As of Oct. 9, there have been 906 positive HLB detections in California. “The real hot spot for us right now is Orange County. We’re finding a lot of HLB-positive … Read More

Florida Department of Citrus Gets Boost from Bigger Crop


With projections that more oranges and grapefruits will be produced in Florida over the next nine months, the Florida Department of Citrus (FDOC) got a slightly bigger budget Wednesday. With a relatively optimistic forecast for the growing season, the Florida Citrus Commission approved a staff request to increase the department’s budget for the recently started fiscal year by nearly 4 … Read More

Sneak Peek: November 2018 Citrus Industry Magazine

Growers looking for good news will find it in the November issue of Citrus Industry magazine. The positive news begins with the prediction that Florida is on pace to increase orange production by 76 percent this season. The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s initial citrus crop forecast is the subject of the issue’s cover story. Industry members share their reactions to … Read More

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