Hall of Famer Ellis on His Influencers and the Future

hall of famer jim ellis

Recent Florida Citrus Hall of Fame inductee Jim Ellis of Bartow credits “God, my parents, my family and the members of the Florida citrus industry” for his success. Ellis was inducted on March 10, along with Florida Citrus Mutual CEO Mike Sparks and the late T. Ralph Robinson, in ceremonies at Florida Southern College in…

Citrus Agency Hopes for Rebound After New Forecast

orange

The Florida Department of Citrus is hoping for a better second half of the growing season after the latest decline in projections for the state's orange and grapefruit harvest. Meanwhile, Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam said a 4 percent drop from February to March in the forecast from the U.S. Department of Agriculture is another sign…

Grower Optimism on Tree Health

Nutrition, PFD

Several growers participating in a forum in Sebring on March 9 said trees are looking better this year than last year. They also agreed that postbloom fruit drop (PFD), a major problem last season, has not yet been a big issue this season. Grower Aaron Himrod of Himrod Citrus Nursery, a forum participant, says good…

Wonderful Citrus Acquires Major Fruit Marketing and Import Business

Media Contact: Steven Clark 310-966-3517 steven.clark@wonderful.com Significant Supply and Distribution of Counter-Seasonal Citrus Products and Domestic Grapefruit Added to America’s Largest Integrated Grower, Shipper and Packer of Fresh Citrus DELANO, CALIFORNIA, and FORT PIERCE, FLORIDA (February 1, 2017) – Wonderful Citrus, America’s largest integrated grower, shipper and packer of fresh citrus, has purchased DNE World…

Orange Forecast Drops for Florida and California

The citrus crop forecast, delivered by Mark Hudson of the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) National Agricultural Statistics Service in Washington, D.C., showed a 4 percent drop in Florida oranges and a 2 percent drop in California oranges. In total, the U.S. all-orange forecast for the 2016-2017 season dropped 3 percent from last month and…

Soil Improvement with Organic Mulch

By Jim Hoffman This article is about my experiences with incorporating organic mulched materials into select areas of groves at Estes Citrus in the Indian River region. Our citrus groves consist of bedded, 40-acre blocks where it is common to have three or four distinct soil types in each block. Unfortunately, we have several sand-pond…

New Highlands President on PFD, Psyllids and More

Psyllids, PFD

Billy Barben, new president for the Highlands County Citrus Growers Association (HCCGA), says he is optimistic that new fertilizer programs and future genetic trees “will give us hope in the future.” Barben, whose brothers, Bobby and John, have also served the association as president, says, “I’m more of the dirt guy in my family.” As…

Crime Fighting, Property Values Are Highlands Issues

Crime

Ned Hancock, who recently stepped down as president of Highlands County Citrus Growers Association (HCCGA), discusses key issues the association faced in the past year and some coming in the future. Hancock says a major accomplishment last year came in concert with new Highlands County Sheriff Paul Blackman. Blackman “has made a significant commitment to…

Finger Lime Could Be New Crop for Citrus Growers

By Manjul Dutt, Ethan Nielsen and Jude Grosser The finger lime is a citrus relative, scientifically named Microcitrus australasica. Finger limes are native to Australia and are so named because the fruits are long and fingerlike in shape (see figures 1 and 2). Finger limes belong to a group of similar citrus relatives, all originating…

Adding Weed Management Tools

weed management

“I’m in the process of information gathering now,” says Ramdas Kanissery, a new weed scientist at the Southwest Florida Research and Education Center (SWFREC) in Immokalee. "I'm traveling to several groves and looking at the weed problems." A trained agricultural chemist, Kanissery began working at the SWFREC at the end of October 2016. His expertise…

South Korea Could Be a Lucrative Market for Florida Growers

By Brad Buck, 352-294-3303, bradbuck@ufl.edu GAINESVILLE, Fla. --- How about grapefruit as a dessert or snack? That is how many South Koreans, especially younger ones, view the fruit. Therefore, Florida grapefruit growers may want to expand their shipments to that Asian nation, University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) researchers say. UF/IFAS…

An Update on Breeding Against HLB

HLB, breeding

University of Florida researcher Jude Grosser recently discussed a broad range of research aimed at mitigating the effects of HLB during an OJ Break in Sebring. Among topics he covered are the possibility of windbreaks that kill HLB-spreading Asian citrus psyllids, and progress on trees that are HLB resistant or tolerant. Regarding psyllid-killing windbreaks, he…

Georgia Citrus Association Holds First Annual Meeting

The Georgia Citrus Association held its first annual meeting in Tifton, Georgia today. The association’s president, Lindy Savelle, said the meeting was a huge success. The Georgia Citrus Association began in October with 27 members. Since then, the association has grown. Savelle says that there were over 275 people in attendance for the meeting. There…

The Importance of Soil Sampling

leaf, water analysis

Agronomist Oscar Ruiz with Waypoint Analytical, one of the key presenters at a recent soil testing seminar in Sebring, discusses the importance and basics of soil sampling. “Soil testing is very important,” Ruiz says. “It gives you a baseline for your general soil fertility at the beginning of the cropping cycle. Based on that soil…

Will You Be Ready for Postbloom Fruit Drop?

By Megan M. Dewdney Again in 2016, postbloom fruit drop (PFD) caused widespread problems in Florida groves. There were multiple factors that contributed to the outbreak in 2016. The primary factor was likely the extended bloom that many saw because of a combination of tree stress caused by huanglongbing (HLB) and the very warm winter.…

Pathologist to Tackle HLB and Other Diseases

HLB, PFD

Ozgur Batuman, a new citrus plant pathologist at the Southwest Florida Research and Education Center, discusses the diseases he’ll work on. “I am planning to of course tackle some of the more pressing issues that citrus growers are facing these days, one of them being huanglongbing (HLB), and confronting its vector, Asian citrus psyllid,” he…

‘It’s Not a Pretty Picture,’ Industry Leader Tells State Senators

bactericides survey

On February 21, leaders of three key Florida citrus organizations acquainted the Florida Senate’s Agriculture Committee with the issues facing the citrus industry. They summarize their presentations: “It’s not a pretty picture,” says Florida Citrus Mutual CEO Mike Sparks. He describes the huge production losses and increased costs that HLB disease has created. “Right now…

Sneak Peek: March 2017 Citrus Industry Magazine

The March issue of Citrus Industry magazine will help growers find funding sources for improvements to best management practices (BMPs). It also describes the impact the water bill is having on implementation of BMPs. Growers will want to read University of Florida professor Kelly Morgan’s article that details future changes to BMPs that are coming.…

Soil Microbiologist Discusses Work

HLB, microbiology

Sarah Strauss became a University of Florida soil microbiologist at the Southwest Florida Research and Education Center at Immokalee in late May 2016. She discusses the ways she hopes to help citrus growers. “There’s a lot of exciting things in soil microbiology,” Strauss says. “There’s a lot of new technology that we didn’t have just…

Micronutrients for Root Health and HLB

Micronutrients

University of Florida researcher Jude Grosser, best known for his work on citrus breeding, has become a champion of micronutrients to improve root health and battle HLB. At a recent Highlands County OJ Break, he discussed the use of micronutrients, including why he got involved. “I guess just like any farmer, you don't like watching…