Psyllid Movement and Location in Trees

Psyllids

University of Florida entomologist Kirsten Pelz-Stelinski presented an abundance of facts about Asian citrus psyllids at the recent Florida Citrus Growers’ Institute in Avon Park. Her presentation included a discussion on how far the HLB-spreading psyllids can travel and where they are predominantly found in citrus trees. “They’re quite capable of long-distance movement, about four…

Impact of the Water Bill on BMP Implementation     

By Kelly Morgan Nitrogen and phosphorus are essential nutrients for plants and animals and are the limiting nutrients in aquatic environments. The correct balance of both nutrients is necessary for a healthy ecosystem; however, excessive nitrogen and/or phosphorus can cause significant water-quality problems. Typically, nitrogen is the limiting nutrient in spring and surface water systems.…

Citrus Nurseryman Phil Rucks Honored

The Florida Nursery, Growers and Landscape Association (FNGLA) has named Phil Rucks of Phillip Rucks Citrus Nursery in Frostproof its Outstanding Volunteer Member of the year. During a very challenging time for the citrus nursery industry, Rucks has been a key leader within FNGLA’s Citrus Nursery Division. He spearheaded the construction of a citrus research…

Bucks Toward BMPs

Cost-share assistance is available from several sources for growers looking to implement improvements to best management practices. By Tacy Callies The names of the organizations and programs that provide funding to Florida citrus growers for best management practices (BMPs) projects — SWFWMD, FARMS, EQIP, etc. — can sound like a big bowl of alphabet soup.…

Keys to Gulf Citrus Production

Several Florida growers recently have said that groves in the Gulf citrus region of Southwest Florida are looking better than most groves in the state. Additionally, statistics indicate production in the Gulf region exceeds production in the state as a whole. Multi-county citrus Extension agent Mongi Zekri, who represents the Southwest/Gulf region, was recently asked…

The Pest Partnerships that Threaten Citrus

Biocontrol of Asian citrus psyllids can be improved by controlling ants. By Kelsey Schall and Mark Hoddle More than a decade of battle with the Asian citrus psyllid (ACP)-huanglongbing (HLB) complex has drained the vigor from Florida’s citrus industry, costing billions in disease management and production losses. With HLB established in parts of urban Southern…

Crop Forecast Sees Changes for Grapefruit, Tangerines and Mandarins

florida orange

Mark Hudson of the U.S. Department of Agriculture National Agricultural Statistics Service issued the April 2017 citrus crop forecast. ORANGES The U.S. all-orange forecast for the 2016-2017 season is 5.11 million tons, down 1 percent from last month and down 16 percent from the 2015-2016 revised final utilization. The Florida all-orange forecast, at 67 million boxes (3.02…

Buddha’s Hand Citron Could Play Role in Canker Resistance Breeding

By Naveen Kumar, R.C. Ebel and P.D. Roberts Citrus canker became endemic in Florida after several introductions and eradication programs dating back to 1915. The citrus industry struggles for an effective, permanent program. Canker is an expensive disease due to the need to increase the number of sprays and products applied. Canker also causes enormous…

Getting Water pH Correct in the Face of HLB

HLB

University of Florida (UF) researcher Kelly Morgan discusses a study of how citrus growers are adjusting irrigation water pH levels, and what pH levels seem to work best. The acid level of citrus irrigation water has become an important consideration since HLB was discovered in Florida groves in 2005. “Jim Graham (a fellow UF researcher)…

Southern Gardens Requests Permit for Genetically Engineered Citrus Tristeza Virus

citrus

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) announced its intent to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) that will evaluate the environmental impacts that may result from the potential approval of a permit application from Southern Gardens Citrus Nursery, LLC, for the environmental release of genetically engineered (GE) Citrus tristeza…

Researcher Provides Leprosis Update

leprosis

The citrus viral disease leprosis, found briefly in Florida in the 1960s, is now in South America, Central America and Mexico. Ron Brlansky, University of Florida professor emeritus, provided an update on the disease at a March OJ Break in Lake Alfred. “It (leprosis) causes fruit spotting, leaf spots, leaf drop, fruit drop and even…

Brazil’s Shrinking Citrus Crop

Global Perspectives

By Marcos Fava Neves The latest announcement of Brazil’s orange production is 244 million boxes, almost 2 percent smaller than the September estimate (249 million boxes) and 0.6 percent smaller than the May number (246 million boxes). Hot weather in October and November reduced the expected yields. The crop is predicted to be 18 percent…

Bactericide Grower Trials for HLB ‘Extremely Variable’

HLB

Stephanie Slinksi, Citrus Research and Development Foundation bactericide project manager, discussed grower trials on the use of bactericides for HLB at the Florida Citrus Growers’ Institute in Avon Park on April 4. She summarizes the presentation. “We have a series of field trials set up throughout Florida to test the efficacy of oxytetracycline and streptomycin…

Controlling ACP and Other Pests as Critical as Ever

By Jawwad A. Qureshi and Philip A. Stansly More than a decade has passed since 2006, when huanglongbing (HLB) or citrus greening disease was identified in Florida. By then, the disease had already spread widely and went unrecognized due to high psyllid populations and a disease incubation period of months or years between infection and…

Entomopathogenic Nematodes: Root Weevil Management Tool

By Larry Duncan Citrus growers are recognized as early adopters of practices that enhance the biological control of arthropod pests. For more than a century, tactics such as the exploration and importation of predators and parasitoids or the reduced use of insecticides that disrupt biological control were increasingly employed against pests in the tree canopy.…

How Much Psyllid Control Needed for HLB?

HLB

Soon after Florida’s citrus industry realized it couldn’t eradicate HLB, researchers and growers put a huge emphasis on controlling the Asian citrus psyllids that spread the disease. Most still agree that psyllid control remains essential in the short term to survive HLB. But many are now questioning the long-term economic sustainability of massive levels of…

Florida Agriculture Faces Big Hits in Budget Proposals

By: Abbey TaylorFlorida agriculture is facing some big budget cuts. The House's Agriculture and Natural Resources Appropriations Subcommittee met on March 28 to discuss its budget proposal for the 2017–2018 fiscal year. The Senate's Environment and Natural Resources Appropriations Subcommittee met on March 29 to discuss its budget proposal. While some dollar amounts in the…

Ag/Citrus Crime ‘More Significant than Most People Realize’

Crime

At the recent Highlands County Citrus Growers Association annual meeting, outgoing association president Ned Hancock praised the county sheriff’s department for hiring more agricultural deputies. Hancock responded to the question, “How big a problem is ag crime/citrus crime?” “In my opinion it’s much more significant than most people realize, because so much of the ag…

New Peace River Executive Discusses Citrus Issues

Greening

Steve Smith became executive director of the Peace River Valley Citrus Growers Association (PRVCGA) in early March. He discusses some of the issues the association will address. “Obviously the research is a major focus right now with greening. That’s at the top of everybody’s list, trying to find some solutions.” Water issues historically have been…