Planting in the Northern Citrus Belt

planting

Some long-time farmers in the Hastings area plan to develop more than 100 acres of tangerines over the next four to five years. Gary England, University of Florida/Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences regional specialized Extension agent and director of the Hastings Agricultural Extension Center, discusses their plans. He says the farmers, whom he declined…

Citrus Diseases Discussed at Farm Bill Listening Session

citrus greening

Various comments on many areas of agriculture were given during the first farm bill listening session hosted by the House Agriculture Committee recently in Gainesville, Florida. Among those who shared comments was John Barben, a fifth-generation citrus grower from Highlands County. He talked to committee members about citrus diseases.   Hear his comments.

Fred Gmitter: Slow Road to Fast Genetics

By Ernie Neff Even Nostradamus would have struggled to predict a career path for a 25-year-old Fred Gmitter. Gmitter had quit college after three years at Rutgers University, where he studied English literature with plans to teach. He said he “became completely disillusioned” with that plan. He married, worked as a delivery truck driver and…

Tree Defender Stops Psyllids

Sponsored Content A Florida company may hold the key to protecting the world’s young citrus plantings until a permanent solution for the devastating citrus greening disease (HLB) can be found. Widespread devastation from citrus greening has caused billions of dollars in lost revenue and killed over 100 million citrus trees worldwide. Although there appears to…

Field Trials of Rootstocks and Scions: What Can They Tell Us?

By Harold Browning Column sponsored by the Citrus Research and Development Foundation Plant breeding programs have been a mainstay of citrus production worldwide. They have served as a basis for gradual improvement in fruit quality, adaptability to varying growing environments, and most importantly, to disease management. For that reason, new germplasm has been a front…

California Budget Adds Funds to Fight HLB

Capitol building

California is adding funds to help the fight against HLB. Governor Brown signed the 2017 Budget Act this week, which authorizes $10 million to fight the spread of the invasive Asian citrus psyllid (ACP) insect and the deadly and incurable plant disease it can carry, huanglongbing (HLB). "California Citrus Mutual applauds Governor Brown and members…

New Citrus Production Guide Coming Soon

production

Jackie Burns, University of Florida/Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) dean for research, discusses a new Florida Citrus Production Guide that will be available to growers soon. She summarizes a presentation she made at the June Florida Citrus Mutual conference for Michael Rogers, director of the UF/IFAS Citrus Research and Education Center in Lake…

Georgia Prison Gets Citrus Plot

By Tacy Callies With the recent birth of the Georgia Citrus Association (GCA), many small commercial citrus groves are getting started in the state. Georgia’s newest citrus planting, however, is not a commercial grove. It’s a 100-tree installation that was planted this spring at the Mitchell County Correctional Institute. Dubbed MitCo Grow by a 4-H…

More Funding Needed to Address HLB Crisis

During the farm bill listening session hosted by the House Agriculture Committee on June 24 in Gainesville, funding to help fight HLB was a topic of discussion. Larry Black, a fifth-generation citrus grower and general manager of Peace River Packing Company in Polk County, had these comments for the committee.  

Sneak Peek: July 2017 Citrus Industry Magazine

Technology and equipment are the main themes of the July issue of Citrus Industry magazine. Not to be missed in this issue is a cover story on University of Florida citrus breeder Fred Gmitter, written by senior correspondent Ernie Neff. The article explores the genetic technologies Gmitter is using to create improved citrus varieties. You’ll…

Homeowners Want Quick Ruling on Canker Payment Veto

supreme court

from News Service of Florida Florida's top court needs to decide this week on Gov. Rick Scott's veto of $37.4 million in compensation to homeowners that had healthy citrus trees cut down by the state, attorneys challenging the veto argued in documents filed Tuesday. The class-action lawsuit, filed last week, involves homeowners in Broward and…

California’s Pesticide Worker Laws Updated

By Len Wilcox Effective January 1, California updated its pesticide worker safety standards to comply with the new federal Worker Protection Standard. The update addressed re-entry to application exclusion zones, fieldworker training, new posting requirements, eyewash equipment and hazard communication. It also made other refinements to the state’s existing standards. Bill Griffin, pesticide supervisor for…

Scott Seeks to Scuttle Challenge to Citrus Money Veto

Attorneys for Gov. Rick Scott argued Monday the Florida Supreme Court should reject a lawsuit challenging the governor's veto of $37.4 million that would compensate homeowners for healthy citrus trees cut down by the state. Responding to the lawsuit filed last week in the Supreme Court, Scott's attorneys filed a 22-page document that said the…

Ag Industry Gives Input on Farm Bill

A House Agriculture Committee listening session, "The Next Farm Bill, Conversations in the Field," took place on June 24 in Gainesville, Florida. Those who attended the informal farm bill hearing spoke about how they are affected by policies in their daily lives. Farmers, ranchers and stakeholders were encouraged to tell how the bill affects them…

HLB Funding Discussed During Farm Bill Listening Session

Various topics were discussed during the House Agriculture Committee’s first farm bill listening session held last Saturday in Gainesville. One of those was the citrus industry, and more specifically funding to help fight HLB. Hear more from Harold Browning, chief operations officer of the Citrus Research and Development Foundation.    

Farm Bill Listening Session in Gainesville

“The Next Farm Bill, Conversations in the Field,” a House Agriculture Committee listening session, is taking place tomorrow, June 24, in Gainesville, Florida. The session is a great opportunity for farmers to speak about policies and how they are directly impacted by them in the field. House Committee members and Chairman Michael Conway highly encourage…

Hunt on FDOC Budget and Grove Conditions

Grove

The Florida Citrus Commission (FCC) on June 21 set a preliminary 2017-18 Florida Department of Citrus (FDOC) operating budget of $17.5 million. That’s a 22 percent reduction from last season and the lowest FDOC budget in decades. The final budget will be set after the U.S. Department of Agriculture issues the first Florida citrus crop…

Court Wants Quick Response on Citrus Veto

supreme court

from: News Service of Florida The Florida Supreme Court on Wednesday gave Gov. Rick Scott's administration until noon on Monday to respond to a lawsuit challenging the governor's veto of $37.4 million intended to go to residents whose healthy citrus trees were cut down as the state tried to eradicate the citrus canker disease. The…

Citrus Industry Tightens Belt Amid Industry Woes

citrus

by Jim Turner, News Service of Florida The Florida Department of Citrus plans to continue to squeeze its operations during the coming year as the industry struggles, though travelers will still be able to receive free orange juice at state welcome centers. The Florida Citrus Commission, which oversees the department, approved a preliminary $17.5 million…

Homeowners Seek to Overturn Scott Citrus Money Veto

veto citrus money

News Service of Florida Homeowners and their lawyers asked the Florida Supreme Court late Tuesday to overturn Gov. Rick Scott's decision this month to veto $37.4 million intended for residents whose healthy citrus trees were cut down as the state tried to eradicate the citrus canker disease. Lawmakers included the money in the 2017-2018 budget…