Make Plans to Attend the Miss Florida Citrus Pageant

Tacy CalliesAwards, Public Relations

A new spokeswoman for the Sunshine’s State’s citrus industry will be crowned at the Miss Florida Citrus pageant next week. Citrus industry members are encouraged to attend the Miss Florida Citrus and Miss Winter Haven pageant on Saturday, March 23 at 7:00 p.m. at Polk State College’s Winter Haven Fine Arts Theatre. Tickets are available for $10 in advance at … Read More

3 Enter Citrus Hall of Fame

Ernie NeffAwards

Tim Hurner, Peter McClure and the late Richard Kinney were inducted into the Florida Citrus Hall of Fame on March 8 in ceremonies at Florida Southern College (FSC). Hurner was a longtime Highlands County citrus Extension agent who directed the citrus horticulture program at FSC for several years. He called his time at FSC a career highlight, “working with young … Read More

Florida Citrus Forecast: Oranges Steady; Other Crops Down

Daniel CooperCitrus, Crop Forecast

march

The March 2018-2019 Florida all-orange forecast released by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is 77 million boxes, the same as the February forecast. If realized, this will be 71 percent higher than last season’s hurricane-affected production. ORANGESThe forecast for non-Valencia production has been lowered by 1 million boxes to 31 million boxes. The row count survey, conducted February 25-26, … Read More

New Extension Agent for Indian River Citrus Growers

Daniel CooperCitrus, Industry News Release, Research

A horticultural research scientist with experience in the development of disease-free citrus rootstock and disease-tolerant citrus varieties in Iran’s northern agricultural region will now serve the Indian River District’s growers. Amir Rezazadeh recently began his new position as multicounty fruit and field crops agent for the University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) Extension in Saint Lucie … Read More

Growers Talk About Valencias, PFD and Nutrition

Ernie NeffPFD

Highlands County Extension director and citrus agent Laurie Hurner discussed Valencia oranges, postbloom fruit drop (PFD) and nutrition in summarizing a recent grower forum she hosted.   “I think that the overarching feeling (of growers) is positive,” Hurner said. “It seems that Valencias are coming on strong; everybody’s seeing a good crop that’s hanging on the tree. So I think we’ll … Read More

New Citrus Variety Option for Florida Growers

Tacy CalliesCitrus, Varieties

mandarin

FAST TRACK is an innovative program developed through the cooperative efforts of Florida Foundation Seed Producers, Inc. (FFSP), the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS), and New Varieties Development & Management Corp. (NVDMC). Through FAST TRACK, commercial citrus growers can obtain a license to plant promising experimental citrus selections for trial and evaluation. FAST TRACK engages … Read More

Large-Scale Citrus Field Trials Idea Surfaces

Daniel CooperCitrus, Citrus Greening, HLB Management, Research

scale

Citrus research continues to be a topic in state and federal funding circles as the industry’s battle with HLB, or citrus greening, continues. One idea in the incubator of industry discussion is the Citrus Research and Field Trial (CRAFT) program. It would involve large-scale grower field trials throughout Florida. Rick Dantzler, chief operating officer of the Citrus Research and Development … Read More

Planting: ‘More Options Than Ever’

Ernie Neffplanting, Varieties

Michael Rogers recently said there is increased optimism in the Florida citrus industry. “With that optimism, growers are starting to give more consideration to replanting,” said Rogers, director of the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) Citrus Research and Education Center in Lake Alfred. According to Rogers, some growers who held off on planting in the … Read More

Strategies for Stronger Roots

Tacy CalliesRoot health

Citrus growers discuss production practices to improve root health. By Tacy Callies What began as an experiment in Ben Krupski’s 10-acre grove in Howey-in-the-Hills, Florida, is now a common practice he uses as production manager for Lennon Grove Service. Four years ago, Krupski started testing the use of compost in his small leased block of Hamlin trees. In the first … Read More

Update on the Florida Citrus Recovery Block Grant

Daniel CooperCitrus, Industry News Release

florida citrus

The Florida Citrus Recovery Block Grant (CRBG) program continues to move forward. As of Friday, the Florida Department of Emergency Management (FDEM) had received 718 applications and submitted more than $23.6 million to financial processing. FDEM staff has been working overtime to ensure the payments are received in an efficient manner. FDEM and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Risk Management … Read More

Helping Generations Cope with Freezes

Ernie Nefffreeze, Weather

freezes

Winter Weather Watch is a University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences Extension program that has helped generations of Florida citrus growers be prepared for freezes. “Back in the ’60s, we didn’t have the Internet. We had rotary dial phones,” says multi-county citrus Extension agent Chris Oswalt, who discusses the history and workings of Winter Weather Watch, which … Read More

Source of the Sour in Citrus Identified

Daniel CooperIndustry News Release, lemons, Research

sour

The identification of genes responsible for sour taste in citrus fruit may enable the creation of new, sweeter varieties. A team of researchers, including two from the University of California, Riverside (UCR), has identified the genes responsible for the hallmark sour taste of many citrus fruits. Published Feb. 25 in Nature Communications, the research could help plant breeders develop new, … Read More

When to Be on Canker Alert

Ernie NeffCitrus

canker

Citrus fruit is susceptible to canker after it reaches three-eighths of an inch in diameter, University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences Extension pathologist Megan Dewdney told growers this winter. “Once you get to that point and we get rain, then all bets are off as to whether you will keep canker out,” Dewdney said at a winter … Read More

Peace River Growers Discuss Current Issues

Ernie Neffhurricane

Fruit size, Hurricane Irma relief funds and replanting were among issues addressed at a recent grower roundtable meeting in Arcadia. Peace River Valley Citrus Growers Association Executive Director Kait Shaw summarized some of the discussion. Regarding fruit size, she said, “Hamlins in particular are very small this year, but even the Valencias. I just don’t think the fruit is as … Read More

Nutrients, Hurricane Impact and Production

Ernie Neffhurricane

labor

Grower and tree hedger Frank Youngman was among the attendees at a Feb. 28 grower forum in Sebring, Florida. He discussed nutrition, Hurricane Irma’s impact, tree condition and production. Youngman said nutrients are “the key factor in what we’re seeing as far as tree quality, also fruit quality, and the ability for the trees to maintain the fruit throughout the … Read More

Exploring the Economic Impact of California’s Citrus Industry

Daniel CooperCitrus

citrus industry

The California citrus industry is valued at nearly $3.5 billion with over 3,000 growers farming 320,000 acres throughout the state. The size and scale of citrus production has both direct and indirect effects on California’s overall economy. “If you think about primary production, which citrus is, it requires that the citrus growers buy what’s called ‘intermediate inputs’ or inputs from … Read More

PIECES OF THE PAST: Think Upside Down

Tacy CalliesPieces of the Past

By Brenda Eubanks Burnette The headline of a Wilson & Toomer Fertilizer Company advertisement in a 1949 Citrus Industry magazine read “how to think UPSIDE DOWN — and make more money!” It included the following copy: “If a tree can be said to think at all — it thinks from the bottom up — just opposite to Man. To make … Read More

Gmitter Talks Gene Editing at AgVocacy Forum

Daniel CooperGenetic Engineering, Research

agvocacy

By Gary Cooper This year’s AgVocacy Forum, hosted by Bayer Crop Science, again featured numerous provocative and insightful presentations dealing with emerging issues in agriculture from a number of perspectives. Bayer hosts many of the nation’s farm media for this two-day event each year, just before the start of the nationwide gathering of corn, soybean, wheat and sorghum producers at … Read More

Developments at CRDF

Ernie NeffCRDF

HLB

Citrus Research and Development Foundation (CRDF) Chief Operating Officer Rick Dantzler updated growers on CRDF activities during the Florida Citrus Show in January. He summarized his comments in an interview after his presentation. Here are a few key points: “We’ve had a 25 percent reduction in our staff” since he joined CRDF last year, Dantzler said. “Growers are having to … Read More

Researching Scouting Strategies for ACP

Daniel CooperCitrus, Psyllids

acp

Several research projects continue at University of California Riverside to evaluate strategies for better detection of Asian citrus psyllid (ACP). Monique Rivera, assistant cooperative Extension specialist, is looking into something referred to as the ‘edge effect’ and how it pertains to ACP control. “The ‘edge effect’ is basically an ecological term that we’re using in the context of Asian citrus … Read More