Sparks Discusses Citrus Tariffs and PFD

bactericides survey

Florida Citrus Mutual CEO Mike Sparks discusses the association’s annual conference this week, including the election of a new association president, the U.S. presidential race from a tariff perspective, and postbloom fruit drop (PFD). During the conference, Mutual’s trade attorney reported on presidential candidates’ views regarding tariffs, which can impact citrus trade. Sparks comments on…

Update on Spinach Genes for Citrus Tree Tolerance

HLB tolerance

At the recent Florida Citrus Mutual conference, Southern Gardens Citrus President Rick Kress provided an update on research by his company and Texas A&M into use of a spinach gene to create HLB tolerance in trees, and hopefully resistance. “We have tolerance,” he said. “We would certainly like to see immunity down the road, but…

Florida Citrus Commission Cuts FDOC Budget and Staff

citrus

The Florida Citrus Commission completed several months of heavy budget-cutting on June 14 by approving a preliminary 2016-17 budget for the Florida Department of Citrus (FDOC). Several large growers had requested heavy cuts earlier this year, and the Citrus Commission responded. The department’s budget will drop almost 32 percent from the current season, and the…

Discussion on Bactericides for HLB Summarized

bactericides

Laurie Hurner, Highlands County Extension director and citrus agent, summarizes grower discussions about bactericides for HLB at a roundtable event on June 8 in Sebring. She says most growers seem to be using the products. “Some of them are having to make decisions to cut out or change other production practices, other inputs, to make…

Gose Discusses Citrus Bactericides for HLB and Production

HLB

Citrus grower John Gose with Lykes Brothers joined 30 others discussing the use of bactericides for HLB at a Sebring roundtable event on Wednesday. Gose says his company has made one application of bactericides and is in the process of making a second. “So far we haven’t seen a lot,” he says. “It’ll be probably…

UF/IFAS Method Detects 83% of Immature Citrus; Helping Cut Costs

  GAINESVILLE, Fla. --- University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) researchers have found a new way to detect immature citrus 83 percent of the time, which lets growers know where to apply fertilizer and water and perhaps save on labor costs for the $10.9 billion-a-year Florida industry. By detecting green, immature…

Vegetables Being Grown on Old Citrus Land

Doug Bournique, executive director of the Indian River Citrus League, says that for about a year now, vegetable growers have been moving in on old citrus land in the northeast corner of Lake Okeechobee. The land has been out of citrus production for many years, but has grown in popularity with California and Midwest vegetable growers.…

UF/IFAS Researcher To Be Honored As Citrus Engineer of Year

GAINESVILLE, Fla. --- A University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences researcher who uses steam to help treat citrus trees infected by greening will receive this year’s Citrus Engineer of the Year Award. Reza Ehsani, a UF/IFAS associate professor of agricultural and biological engineering, will receive the award June 21 at the 59th…

Grower Participation Needed for Short Bactericide Survey

It has been approximately two months since the crisis declaration was issued that allows Florida citrus growers to use bactericides to combat HLB. Three commercial products containing the two active ingredients, streptomycin and oxytetracycline, are available for use. Growers are implementing season-long plans for application of these materials to suppress HLB. A range of options…

Use of Compost in Citrus

On May 31 in Bushnell, the University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) and Life Soils hosted a field day on the use of compost in citrus. Monica Ozores-Hampton was the featured speaker of the event. She is known as Florida's "Compost Queen" from her UF/IFAS and US Composting Council research and…

El Niño Impact on Blueberry Crop

Florida Blueberries

This year's Florida blueberry season had a unique challenge to overcome. The unusually warm winter, combined with an El Niño climate phase of cloudy and cool conditions in early spring, resulted in harvest of the 2016 Florida blueberry crop hitting its peak approximately three weeks later than normal. Gary England, a multi-county Extension agent, says by…

Citrus Grower Addresses Bactericides for HLB, Production and Pricing

HLB

Wauchula citrus grower Kenny Sanders discussed on Wednesday the use of bactericides with HLB, production and pricing with more than 40 others at a grower roundtable in Wauchula. Like several other growers, he says his early-mid orange production was down this season (by 30 percent) while his Valencia crop was up 7 to 8 percent.…

Sterile Insect Release Facility Gets Upgrade

John D. Renshaw, U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) sterile insect technology director, says that the USDA Sterile Insect Release Facility is one of the department’s best-kept secrets. And since there are only 50 similar facilities worldwide, many might agree with him. The sterile insect program in Sarasota, Florida, has been sterilizing male Mediterranean fruit flies…

PFD, Bactericides for HLB are Top Citrus Grower Concerns

PFD

Postbloom fruit drop (PFD), along with the use of bactericides to control HLB, were the big issues for more than 40 participants in a grower roundtable Wednesday in Wauchula. LeAnna Himrod, one of the roundtable hosts, summarizes the issues addressed. Regarding bactericides, she reports: “There were a lot of questions about the bactericides regarding timing:…

Sneak Peek: June Citrus Industry Magazine

The June issue of Citrus Industry magazine is coming soon. This edition is all about citrus beyond the Sunshine State. Readers will notice a new column in the magazine, called Global Perspectives, authored by a Brazilian citrus expert, Marcos Fava Neves. Ernie Neff, senior correspondent at large, examines the citrus industries in California and Texas.…

Water Farming Update

The St. Johns River Water Management District’s governing board has continued to work with Indian River County on establishing water farms on expired citrus land. Water farming is a method being used to help reduce nitrogen and phosphorus being dumped into the Indian River Lagoon. Doug Bournique, executive director of the Indian River Citrus League, provided…

Available Cost-Share Funds from FDACS

The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services' (FDACS) Office of Agricultural Water Policy has released a statement that pertains to producers within certain districts who are willing to purchase equipment and be honored up to a 75 percent reimbursement on the equipment invoice. The funds are being administered through Marion County and Putnam County…

Slow-Release Fertilizer in the Grove

Citrus Grower Sees Results with Slow-Release Fertilizer Pete Spyke, citrus grower and co-owner of The Orange Shop in Citra, hosted AgNet Media’s staff for an exclusive, behind-the-scenes tour of his retail shop and gift-fruit shipping business. He detailed the history of the operation and led the staff on a tour of the packinghouse and test-plot…

Citrus Department Proposes Staff, Tax Cuts

By Jim Turner THE NEWS SERVICE OF FLORIDA The Capital, Tallahassee – Florida citrus growers could save more than $11 million in taxes they pay on boxes of oranges and grapefruit under a proposed Florida Department of Citrus (FDOC) budget that would trim jobs to meet the demands of a troubled industry. The department, which would see…

Advantages of Fresh From Florida

Over the years Fresh from Florida has become a staple to Florida's agriculture. We caught up with Mike Joyner,  assistant commissioner and chief of staff for Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, to talk about Fresh from Florida and some of the advantages that it has for producers in Florida along with successes that…