Food Safety in Light of COVID-19

Tacy CalliesCOVID-19, Food Safety

With millions of American workers staying home to aid public health efforts to stop the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19), the security of America’s food supply is more important than ever before. It’s crucial that growers are taking the appropriate measures to ensure food safety during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the U.S. Department of … Read More

Growers Get Details on CRAFT Cycle Two

Ernie Neffplanting, Research


Approximately 60 people learned how to participate in Cycle Two of the Citrus Research and Field Trial (CRAFT) program via a virtual workshop held June 23-24. The application period for Cycle Two will be July 20 to Sept. 4, 2020. CRAFT offers growers substantial financial incentives to plant new trees that will be raised utilizing specific HLB mitigation strategies. Participating … Read More

HLB Update for North Florida, South Georgia

Ernie NeffCitrus Greening

Since 2018, there have been no huanglongbing (HLB) finds in commercial citrus groves in North Florida, and there have still been no disease detections in Georgia groves. In North Florida, HLB was detected in groves in Live Oak in Suwanee County and Perry in Taylor County in 2018, reported Xavier Martini, a University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural … Read More

Masks and Materials for Florida Ag Workers

Tacy CalliesCOVID-19

The Florida Department of Health has been distributing cloth masks and COVID-19 informational materials in three languages (English, Spanish and Haitian Creole) for agriculture workers in Southwest Florida. The masks and information are available to farmers and labor contractors. To access these resources, contact your local Health Department: Hendry Glades Health Department – Brenda Barnes, email: Lee County Health … Read More

BMPs Implementation and Verification Stepping Up in Florida

Ernie NeffBMPs

Highlands County Citrus Growers Association (HCCGA) is urging its members to “seriously consider” enrolling in and implementing best management practices (BMPs) if they haven’t already done so. The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services’ Office of Ag Water Policy (FDACS-OAWP), as a result of several changes in state law, is in the process of stepping up its BMPs implementation … Read More

UF/IFAS in Labs, at Citrus Expo and More

Ernie NeffAll In For Citrus Podcast, Citrus Expo, Research


In the latest phase of COVID-19 re-openings, more citrus researchers have returned to University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) laboratories. Citrus Research and Education Center (CREC) Director Michael Rogers says the number of researchers allowed in labs had been gradually increasing throughout the pandemic. Rogers also discusses an award won by a CREC researcher, work on … Read More

Protect Outdoor Workers From Heat Illness

Len WilcoxAgriculture, California Corner

California’s Division of Occupational Safety and Health (Cal/OSHA) reminds all employers to protect outdoor workers from heat illness and to monitor high temperature advisories and warnings in their region. California’s heat illness prevention standard applies to all outdoor workers, including those in agriculture, construction and landscaping. Other workers protected by the standard include those that spend a significant amount of … Read More

Juice Returning to Florida Welcome Centers

Ernie NeffOrange Juice

orange juice

Florida orange and grapefruit juice will start flowing again in the state’s welcome centers on July 1. The Florida Citrus Commission (FCC) on June 17 approved a new contract with Visit Florida to provide not-from-concentrate citrus juice at the welcome centers for one year. The Florida Department of Citrus (FDOC), which the FCC oversees, will spend $250,000 to cover the … Read More

Certis USA Continues Citrus Research Support

Tacy CalliesCRDF, Industry News Release, Research

For the fourth consecutive year, Certis USA has donated $20,000 to the Citrus Research and Development Foundation (CRDF) to help fund the non-profit’s research aimed at finding a cure for huanglongbing (HLB; citrus greening). The company’s successful “Certis for Citrus” program utilizes sales from their top citrus products to annually support CRDF’s mission. The donation came during CRDF’s board meeting … Read More

Sneak Peek: July 2020 Citrus Industry Magazine

Tacy CalliesSneak Peek

The July issue of Citrus Industry magazine focuses on what’s new in rootstock research. When choosing a rootstock in the Sunshine State, the best place for a grower to start is with the Florida Citrus Rootstock Selection Guide. This newly updated University of Florida (UF) resource now includes an interactive web version to help simplify the process of picking a … Read More

Top Picks From Citrus Variety Display Days

Tacy CalliesCitrus, Varieties


By Yu Wang, Fred Gmitter, Jude Grosser, Joon Hyuk Suh and Peter Chaires The Citrus Variety Display Days at the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) Citrus Research and Education Center (CREC) have been a unique platform to fulfill one of the core missions of the Florida citrus industry. These events help identify new selections with … Read More

CRDF Sets Tax, Discusses Research Plans

Ernie NeffCRDF


The grower assessment to help fund Citrus Research and Development Foundation (CRDF) programs will remain at 3 cents per box for the 2020-21 season. CRDF directors, sitting June 23 as the Box Tax Advisory Council, approved the assessment on commercial citrus grown in Florida. “We don’t take for granted that we’re entitled to that money,” CRDF Chief Operating Officer Rick … Read More

The Ins and Outs of Tango

Tacy CalliesVarieties

The relatively mild winter conditions over the last two decades have led to a resurgence of interest in cold-hardy citrus in Florida. Growers were looking for a low-seeded citrus variety that was sweet, easy to peel and had moderate cold tolerance. In 2009, the first Florida nurseries were licensed to grow Tango, a low-seeded (less than five seeds per fruit … Read More

Orange and Grapefruit Juice Sales Still Up

Ernie NeffMarket, Orange Juice

orange juice

In a June 19 email to members of the citrus industry, Florida Citrus Commission (FCC) Chairman Ned Hancock noted that orange juice (OJ) sales climbed in the 2019-20 season. That’s noteworthy because OJ sales had been declining for years. Hancock reported that total OJ sales for the season beginning October 2019 are up by 10.4 percent with 309 million equivalent … Read More

Fresh Fruit Packers Announce Partnership

Ernie NeffFresh, Industry News Release

Florida Classic Growers (FCG) announced a partnership with Riverfront Packing Company, LLC; The Packers of Indian River, Inc. and Quality Fruit Packers, Inc. The additional citrus volume from the partnering companies will expand product offerings and increase distribution to FCG’s customers marketed under the Florida Classic label. Riverfront and its marketing arm, Scott Marketing, Inc., will continue handling all sales … Read More

Developing Niche Markets for Florida’s Small Citrus Growers

Tacy CalliesMarket

By Chip Henry The current state of the commercial citrus marketplace in Florida justifies the need for small growers to find niche markets in which to sell their fruit. Deplorable prices for juice oranges are predicted to continue through the upcoming season. A recent University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences economic report indicates the possibility that perhaps … Read More

PIECES OF THE PAST: Selling Citrus on the Honor System

Tacy CalliesPieces of the Past

By Brenda Eubanks Burnette I recently came across a business reply card from Perrin & Thompson Groves of Winter Haven. I had heard of them since I grew up in Winter Haven but had never seen an advertisement like this one! The ad reads: “TRY THESE TREE-RIPENED ORANGES AND GRAPEFRUIT. Let us ship you on APPROVAL and at our expense … Read More

Citrus Professor Awarded by UF/IFAS Extension Peers

Tacy CalliesAwards, Industry News Release

Water is essential to citrus growers. They scrutinize the amount available, its quality and when and how they should use it to grow their trees and sustain their livelihood. Soil and water sciences assistant professor Davie Kadyampakeni works tirelessly with Florida citrus growers to ensure that they have access to the most current research in water use and soil nutrient … Read More

Miss Florida Citrus 2020 Is Crowned

Ernie NeffAwards


Leila Sabet, 24, of Ponte Vedra Beach was crowned Miss Florida Citrus June 13 in the very first virtual Miss America preliminary pageant in Florida. Due to COVID-19, “the country closed down just two weeks prior to when this year’s pageant was scheduled to take place” so it was delayed and rescheduled as a virtual event, said Miss Florida Citrus … Read More

Report on the Florida Orange Juice Market

Ernie NeffOrange Juice


A Florida Department of Citrus (FDOC) economist recently gave the Florida Citrus Commission a detailed report about Florida orange production and the not-from-concentrate (NFC) orange juice (OJ) market. On average, about 96 percent of the Florida orange crop is processed into OJ, said Marisa Zansler, director of economic and market research. Over the last five years, approximately 80 percent of … Read More