Crafting Details of the Florida Citrus Hurricane Recovery Block Grant

irma

Last week, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced a $340 million block grant that will go toward Florida citrus growers for Hurricane Irma losses to production expected during the 2018 through 2020 crop years. It includes reimbursement for the cost of buying and planting replacement trees – including resetting and grove rehabilitation – and…

Citrus Growers Needed for Survey Participation

Ariel Singerman, University of Florida assistant professor, will be conducting his annual production cost survey for processed oranges grown in Southwest Florida. The survey will consist of grower meetings in two locations. The first meeting will take place on May 18 at 9:00 a.m. at the Hendry County Extension Office (Dallas Townsend Ag Center) in…

A Talk on the Fresh Side

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Greg Nelson, president of Egan Fruit Packing in Fort Pierce, Florida, summarizes the status of the fresh citrus industry and discusses opportunities for the future. “We’ve seen a slight decline in fresh orange consumption over the past 20 years, but a more significant, dramatic decline in fresh grapefruit consumption,” Nelson says. “But a lot of…

Bloom Good, but Growers ‘Waiting on Pins and Needles’

Crime

Citrus bloom has been good this year, but growers are anxious to see what fruit set will be this summer, says Highlands County grower Ned Hancock. “We were encouraged by the bloom,” Hancock says. “Everybody was scared after (Hurricane) Irma, (about) what would happen. We’re all kind of waiting on pins and needles to see…

Researchers Find How HLB Bypasses Citrus Immune System

citrus greening

Researchers at the University of California, Riverside (UCR) claim they have made an important step in understanding the molecular mechanism of huanglongbing (HLB). They believe they have found the mechanism by which the disease evades detection and destruction by the natural immune system of citrus trees. HLB, or citrus greening disease, has devastated groves in…

Exclusive: Perdue Discusses Hurricane Aid for Growers

On May 1, the U.S. Department of Agriculture released details about the 2017 Wildfires and Hurricanes Indemnity Program (WHIP), which includes financial aid to growers impacted by Hurricane Irma and other natural disasters. The information covered everything from eligibility to the formula that will be used to calculate payments. AgNet Media’s Abbey Taylor had the…

Committed to Clientele-Focused Leadership

research

By John Arthington Column sponsored by the Citrus Research and Development Foundation Hello. I want to take this opportunity to introduce myself and my new role at the Citrus Research and Development Foundation (CRDF). As many of you are aware, Harold Browning retired as chief operations officer (COO) to pursue other opportunities in private industry.…

Perdue Announces Florida Citrus Hurricane Recovery Details

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(Washington, D.C., May 1, 2018) – Under the direction of President Donald J. Trump, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue today announced new details on eligibility for a new U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) disaster program, 2017 Wildfires and Hurricanes Indemnity Program (2017 WHIP). Additionally, USDA will provide $340 million through a block grant to the…

HLB-Tolerant Interstocks

The use of highly HLB-tolerant genotypes as interstocks on a tree with a Swingle rootstock and a Valencia scion infected with HLB is offering hope for help against HLB, Jude Grosser reports. Grosser is a plant breeder with the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences at the Citrus Research and Education Center…

Grower Reports Good Bloom and Fruit Set

HLB

David Howard with Graves Brothers Company, headquartered in Vero Beach, says groves had a good bloom and good fruit set this year. “It looks so far like we’ve been blessed with a nice spring fruit set,” Howard says. “We put a lot of effort into recovery after the storm (Hurricane Irma, in September). We had…

Call for Proposals Is Coming Soon!

Column sponsored by the Citrus Research and Development Foundation The mission of the Citrus Research and Development Foundation (CRDF) is to advance disease and production research and product development activities to ensure the survival and competitiveness of Florida’s citrus industry through innovation. Since the inception of CRDF, the majority of investment has focused on HLB,…

CRDF Accepting Applications for Chief Operating Officer

citrus research

The Citrus Research and Development Foundation (CRDF) has launched a search for its next chief operating officer (COO). Located at the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) Citrus Research and Education Center in Lake Alfred, the CRDF is a direct support organization of the University of Florida. This not-for-profit corporation was…

Georgia Citrus Industry Poised for Growth

By Jaci Schreckengost Opportunities for Georgia citrus growers continue to rise as interest and research in the industry increase. Many stakeholders and industry leaders are pleased about the progress that has been made so far, but they are even more excited about what there is to come. “The industry basically started from nothing, so there…

CRDF Focuses on HLB Research Communication

HLB

The Citrus Research and Development Foundation’s (CRDF) board of directors, which is focused on HLB, discussed ways to improve communications with growers and others during a meeting in Immokalee on Tuesday. The directors asked numerous growers attending the meeting at the Southwest Florida Research and Education Center for their input regarding improved communication. One grower…

Sneak Peek: May 2018 Citrus Industry Magazine

Emerging biogenetic technologies are explored in two articles in the May issue of Citrus Industry magazine. University of Florida researchers discuss the tools they are using to try to win the battle against HLB. The first article takes a look at how scientists are experimenting with handheld gene guns and the citrus tristeza virus vector…

Visiting Southern Gardens Citrus

Last week, members of the AgNet Media team had the opportunity to visit the Everglades Agricultural Area (EAA) to meet with some of the area’s key players. During the three-day tour, the team explored various agricultural operations, including Southern Gardens Citrus. The Southern Gardens Citrus visit began with a tour of Devil’s Garden Grove, led…

PIECES OF THE PAST: A Sentimental Journey to Winter Park

By Brenda Eubanks Burnette This year’s Winter Park Sidewalk Art Festival poster featured a look reminiscent of the old citrus crate labels. The artist, Florida native Don Dewitt, noted the poster was also a “nod” to the Winter Park Farmers’ Market located by the old train depot on New England Avenue. The depot was built…

Post-Irma Ag Relief Could Come Soon

irma

Florida farmers awaiting federal disaster relief to help cover losses from Hurricane Irma last September may learn more details this week about the highly anticipated program. The $2.36 billion Wildfires and Hurricanes Indemnity Program (WHIP) is expected to offer a direct-payments model that would not hold growers to traditional payment limitations and would establish a…

Grower Discusses HLB Management Strategies

HLB

Jim Snively, vice president of grove operations at Southern Gardens Citrus, discusses his company’s management of HLB and the psyllids that spread it. He summarizes a presentation he made at the International Citrus Business Conference in March. “By reducing stress, the trees can deal with disease much better,” Snively says. “We’re doing this through continuous-type…

Modern Irrigation Methods Save California’s Resources

By Len Wilcox California’s consistent sunshine makes for long growing seasons and allows tremendous varieties of foods to be grown, but it isn’t a perfect environment. Chronic water shortages create challenges for everything except cactus grown for tequila or jelly — but not many growers specialize in that. The rest of them, including citrus growers,…