Post-Irma Crop Insurance Adjustments Flawed

crop insurance

Lakeland agricultural attorney Michael Martin discusses shortcomings he says persisted in the adjustment of crop insurance for citrus following Hurricane Irma in September 2017. “What we found out was that the loss adjustment manual in crop insurance talks about above-ground injury, which if you have freeze damage is very helpful,” Martin says. “But the loss adjustment manual doesn’t address the … Read More

Natalie’s Orchid Island Juice Company Purchases New Facility

Natalie’s Orchid Island Juice Company recently announced the purchase of a new facility. The Fort Pierce, Florida-native company is expanding, but is not traveling too far from home. Actually, it is not traveling away from home at all. The juice company announced the beginnings of a new 55,000 square-foot building on 11 acres. The building will be located in Fort … Read More

Citrus Block Grant Funding Coming Soon


The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services and Florida Citrus Mutual continue to push for the prompt disbursement of funds associated with Hurricane Irma relief. Mutual is optimistic the Hurricane Irma Block Grant program administered by the Division of Emergency Management (DEM) will begin in earnest next week. Administrators of the Block Grant will hold an internal Florida Citrus … Read More

What the New CRDF Leader Learned in Two Weeks

Two weeks into his job as chief operations officer (COO) of the Citrus Research and Development Foundation (CRDF), Rick Dantzler summarizes what he has heard from growers and his thoughts on helping the industry. Dantzler says he has talked to growers, CRDF board members and industry representatives “to try to get a sense of what they want CRDF to do. … Read More

New Regulations Costly to California Growers

New regulations will cost California citrus growers an average of $701 per acre per year, or $203 million annually statewide, according to a new study commissioned by the Citrus Research Board (CRB). “Compliance with environmental regulations not associated with groundwater sustainability is estimated to increase costs by $17.7 million, or $67 per acre of citrus,” predicts Bruce A. Babcock, a … Read More

Sneak Peek: September 2018 Citrus Industry Magazine

Some fruit drop in citrus is a naturally occurring process, but other types of drop can and should be avoided. In the September issue of Citrus Industry magazine, University of Florida researchers discuss HLB-associated pre-harvest fruit drop and glyphosate-related fruit drop. Not only does HLB increase fruit drop, it also negatively impacts fruit flavor. Another research article in the September … Read More

Citrus Expo Presentations Now Available

The 27th annual Citrus Expo saw great success as growers piled into the Lee Civic Center on Aug. 15–16 in North Fort Myers, Florida. Growers experienced the biggest trade show in Citrus Expo history, as well as extended citrus seminar sessions. The educational program, titled “Planting Tomorrow’s Profits,” featured presentations on the latest research from the University of Florida Institute … Read More

Florida Citrus Acreage Declines Again


Florida’s citrus acreage continued a long descent in 2018, decreasing 2 percent to 447,012 acres. The total number of acres is the least since the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service began keeping count in 1966. The 2018 count was released on Aug. 28. There was a gross loss of 20,114 acres in 2018, partially offset by new … Read More

PIECES OF THE PAST: Centennial Celebration

By Brenda Eubanks Burnette Frostproof will celebrate its 100th year beginning at noon on Sept. 1, 2018. The Frostproof Centennial Committee has been posting a number of articles on its Facebook page in honor of the celebration. One of the articles noted how Frostproof was incorporated. On June 18, 1918, at 3:00 p.m., 47 Frostproof men met in the Thompson … Read More

Bournique Earns Florida Citrus Packers’ Highest Honor

Citrus Packers

Florida Citrus Packers honored Douglas C. Bournique with its John T. Lesley Award for Excellence at Packinghouse Day on Aug. 23. The award is the organization’s highest recognition, reserved for individuals making sustained and outstanding contributions to Florida’s fresh citrus industry. The list of recipients reads like a “who’s who” of the Florida citrus industry. Bournique brought his talents and … Read More

Crate Labels: Marketing Tools Become American Art

By Len Wilcox The labels that citrus packinghouses formerly placed on their shipping crates have a long and colorful history. These vibrant labels — usually square, depicting a beautiful farm, pretty lady or perhaps some impossibly perfect oranges — have become art objects and unique representations of their time and place in history. LOCATIONS OF COLLECTIONS In Florida, that history … Read More

CUPS Offers Grapefruit Hope

A 4-year-old citrus-under-protective-screen (CUPS) trial offers hope for fresh grapefruit growers who struggle to grow fruit in the face of HLB, Arnold Schumann reports. Schumann says last season’s Ray Ruby grapefruit crop enclosed in CUPS at the Citrus Research and Education Center in Lake Alfred had 100 percent packout, even after Hurricane Irma inflicted some damage to the CUPS structure … Read More

Growers Discuss Crop Conditions, Bactericides and More

Highlands County Extension Director and Citrus Extension Agent Laurie Hurner summarizes discussions at a grower forum she hosted in Sebring on Aug. 23. Crop conditions and bactericides for HLB were among topics discussed. “We heard that the crop is looking good,” Hurner says. “I think people were optimistic, but they were also hesitant in their optimism.” She points out that … Read More

Consider Vigorous Resets at Higher Densities

By Aaron Himrod Although there is a current lack of true resistance to HLB, making appropriate variety choices does have a significant impact on grove performance and profitability. Compromises among the various factors will have to be made. Take note of the most limiting factors in your grove and make your selection with these in mind. HLB exacerbates stresses that … Read More

What to Ask When Deciding What to Plant

HLB, Replanting

By Nate Jameson The decision-making process for choosing a scion/rootstock combination involves multiple factors. The process starts by answering the following questions: Question 1: New planting or resetting? If the block is being reset, is still profitable and will stay in production for several years, then I suggest the grower stay with the existing combination currently planted. If the block … Read More

HLB-Detector Dogs Coming to California

The use of canines or “sniffer dogs” is again being investigated by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) for early detection of HLB-infected trees. Through the HLB Multi-Agency Coordination (MAC) program, USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) has invested millions of dollars in the research and training of detector canines for finding HLB-positive trees. A recent full-day meeting in … Read More

Rootstock/Scion Combos: What Works and What Doesn’t

By Ernie Neff For Phil Rucks and Tom Powers at Phillip Rucks Citrus Nursery in Frostproof, Florida, selecting rootstock and scion combinations starts by acknowledging that some varieties just don’t do well with HLB. “We don’t recommend some varieties regardless of rootstock,” Rucks says. Powers says varieties that are especially difficult to grow with HLB are Hamlin, midsweet and pineapple … Read More

Experts Suggest Varieties for Irma-Damaged Citrus Replanting


As growers decide how to use U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) funding to recover from damages caused by Hurricane Irma — and as they cope with the ongoing impact of citrus greening — University of Florida researchers are suggesting varieties for them to replant. Producers can grow varieties that show tolerance to greening — also known as huanglongbing, or HLB. … Read More

Immigration Reform Impacting Agriculture


At the recent general session of Citrus Expo, AgSafe President and CEO Amy Wolfe discussed emerging issues in ag labor and food safety. One of the topics she covered was the federal Ag and Legal Workforce Act that was introduced in Congress on July 18. The new bill is an effort to combine the existing agricultural guestworker program, H-2A, with … Read More

Control of Citrus Flush Timing Could Improve Psyllid Control


They say timing is everything in life, and that’s certainly true of the Asian citrus psyllid, which has devastated Florida agriculture for the past decade by transmitting citrus greening disease, also known as huanglongbing or HLB. To reproduce, this small, flying insect must lay eggs on citrus “flush” – the tender new leaves and shoots that citrus trees produce several … Read More