Seeking Profits With Hemp

Ernie NeffAlternative Crops

The fact that growers will be able to legally grow industrial hemp in Florida doesn’t necessarily mean the crop can be grown successfully, a University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) official says. “There is a huge interest in industrial hemp in the state of Florida,” says Jerry Fankhauser, assistant director of the UF/IFAS Florida Agricultural Experiment … Read More

Supporting Citrus Researchers for 37 Years

Ernie NeffResearch


Barbara Thompson worked approximately 37 years helping Citrus Research and Education Center (CREC) scientists publish manuscripts that aided growers and others in Florida’s citrus industry. For the last several years, she also took over the CREC reception area. She greeted visitors, answered phones and helped growers locate the proper researcher or other agency that could answer their questions. She retired … Read More

Innovation in Natural Insect Control for Citrus

Tacy CalliesOrganic, Pesticides

By Chip Henry When I chose to produce citrus organically nearly five years ago, I accepted the responsibility of implementing a nature-based protocol of production for my grove. Subsequently, I searched for products that were available to address the aspects of nutrition, soil health, undesirable vegetation suppression and insect control. The process of “turning over every rock” was imperative, with … Read More

Soil, Cover Crops and Compost

Ernie NeffCover Crops, Soil Improvement


Soil organic matter benefits citrus, but there isn’t much of it in Florida groves, says University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences soil microbiologist Sarah Strauss. Most Florida citrus land typically contains only 1 to 2 percent soil organic matter, says Strauss, who works at the Southwest Florida Research and Education Center. “Areas near the Everglades with muck … Read More

Growers and Representatives Meet

Ernie NeffAgriculture, Legislative


State representatives Byron Donalds and Bob Rommel met with citrus and vegetable growers at a Dec. 16 discussion in Immokalee about local agricultural issues. The event was hosted by the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) Southwest Florida Research and Education Center. Donalds said he wants to be sure IFAS recommendations, on which best management practices … Read More

HLB and Grove Budgeting

Ernie NeffHLB Management

Citrus Research and Education Center Director Michael Rogers says while much progress has been made in dealing with HLB, many growers now face economic woes because of high orange juice inventories. He discusses some decisions that growers facing those economic issues will have to make and offers some suggestions. “We’ve come a long way since HLB came to Florida,” Rogers … Read More

New Varieties and Juice Blends Discussed

Ernie NeffVarieties

Growers recently sampled and graded new fruit varieties, as well as some juice blends, at University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) fruit display events. UF/IFAS plant breeder Jude Grosser commented on the fruit varieties and juice following a sampling event at the Citrus Research and Education Center. “It’s kind of neat because when we first started … Read More

Certified Seed for Hemp Explained

Ernie NeffAlternative Crops

Many farmers looking at hemp as a potential alternative crop in Florida have been confused by the requirement that the hemp come from certified seed. Adam Elend, CEO of Florigrown, LLC, explains what certified seed is and is not. “The idea of certified seed is creating a lot of consternation among farmers,” Elend says. “I think that the intention of … Read More

Citrus Shipping Costs and Concerns

Tacy CalliesEconomics, Regulation

By Tara Wade On Dec. 16, 2019, all commercial motor vehicles (CMVs) are mandated to carry electronic logging devices (ELDs). These ELDs will replace paper logs and attach to trucks’ engines. They easily record idle time, driving time, miles driven, vehicle movement, and on- and off-duty time — making it easier for law enforcement to check if drivers are compliant … Read More

Sneak Peek: January 2020 Citrus Industry Magazine

Tacy CalliesSneak Peek

The January issue of Citrus Industry magazine offers management advice for controlling the most problematic pests found in Florida groves. While Asian citrus psyllids (ACP) remain the biggest challenge, there are other pests of concern that shouldn’t be overlooked. Grower Chip Henry discusses his successful use of a natural insect control option that both organic and conventional growers may want … Read More

Mr. Claus Granted Movement Permit in United States

Daniel CooperIndustry News Release


(USDA) – The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) issued a movement permit to Mr. S. Nicholas Claus of the North Pole, a broker with Worldwide Gifts, Unlimited. The permit will allow reindeer to enter and exit the United States between the hours of 7 p.m. Dec. 24 and 7 a.m. Dec. 25 through or … Read More

How Much Can Florida Growers Afford to Spend on Caretaking Processed Orange Groves?

Tacy CalliesEconomics

By Ariel Singerman The decrease in prices for processed oranges this season presents growers with challenging management decisions. Last October, the Florida Department of Citrus (FDOC) projected an average 2019–20 price for early and mid-season oranges of $1.62 per pound solids, while for Valencia oranges the forecast was $1.78 per pound solids. Those projected prices represent a 26 percent decline … Read More

All In For Citrus Podcast, December 2019

Taylor HillmanAll In For Citrus Podcast

The December All In For Citrus podcast has critical insights on citrus production, including contract issues, a view from Brazil, soil health research and the Winter Weather Watch program. Numerous Florida citrus growers have no contracts and no offers, or very low offers, for their juice oranges this season. University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) Citrus … Read More

Niche Market and Dooryard Citrus for the HLB World

Tacy CalliesVarieties

By Jude Grosser, Manjul Dutt and Fred Gmitter The University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) citrus improvement team at the Citrus Research and Education Center (CREC) has developed a broad citrus germplasm base. This provides opportunities to generate diverse, interesting and possibly lucrative selections with niche market and dooryard potential. Several such selections are showing reasonable … Read More

BMPs Discussion Attracts Growers

Ernie NeffWater


A Dec. 16 discussion of local agricultural issues with a focus on best management practices (BMPs) attracted more than 50 attendees to Immokalee. The University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) Southwest Florida Research and Education Center hosted the event. Professor and center director Kelly Morgan summarizes the discussions, which he says included “some of the success … Read More

UF Researcher Seeks Biological Control of ACP

Tacy CalliesPests, Regulation


In the latest All In For Citrus podcast, Ozgur Batuman talks about his research into biological control of the Asian citrus psyllid (ACP). Batuman is an assistant professor at the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) Southwest Florida Research and Education Center. ACP control is necessary for management of citrus greening disease, or huanglongbing (HLB). Batuman’s … Read More

Fresh Fruit Is ‘All About the Box’

Ernie NeffFresh

Polk County grower Ed Dickinson has good things to say about some orange-mandarin juice and fresh mandarins he sampled at the Citrus Research and Education Center (CREC) in November. Dickinson was one of dozens who tried new University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) samples. He and others who scored the juice and fruit will help researchers … Read More

Homeowners Oppose Stay in Citrus Tree Battle

Daniel CooperDiseases, Legislative


(NSF) — Attorneys for Lee County homeowners urged the Florida Supreme Court on Monday to reject the state’s request for a stay in a long-running legal battle about compensating residents for healthy citrus trees cut down amid an effort to halt the spread of citrus canker disease. The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services last week asked the Supreme Court to put the … Read More

Nutrition Sampling Program Update

Ernie NeffNutrition


Approximately 110 Florida citrus growers picked up nutrition sampling kits they’ll use to help ensure their groves are receiving proper nutrition this season. The kits are part of the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) Citrus Nutrition Management Program launched this fall. The kits provide growers everything they need to collect four leaf samples and one … Read More

House Passes Ag Immigration Reform

Len WilcoxImmigration, Legislative


On Dec. 11, the House of Representatives voted to approve the Farm Workforce Modernization Act (HR 5038) by a vote of 260-165. The bill reforms the process by which temporary foreign workers migrate to the United States to work in agriculture. The bill has support from members of both sides of the aisle as well as from farmworker and grower … Read More