Citrus Greening Detected in Alabama

citrus greening

A plant disease that presents a serious threat to the U.S. citrus industry has been detected in Alabama. Federal and state plant health officials have confirmed the identification of citrus greening, also known as huanglongbing or HLB, which is caused by the bacterial pathogen Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus. This is the first confirmation of citrus greening…

Risk Management Education Funding

The U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Risk Management Agency (RMA) announced up to $8.85 million available for cooperative agreements for risk management education and training programs. The funding provides resources for organizations such as universities, county cooperative Extension offices and nonprofit organizations to develop training and education tools to help growers learn how to effectively…

2017 Citrus Youth Day

Citrus Youth Day was created to help teach students about the importance of citrus and agriculture as careers, as well as in the community. Jamie Burrow, Extension program manager for the University of Florida/Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences Citrus Research and Education Center, says there will be five stations for the kids during the…

Grower Has Tepid Report on Bactericides for HLB

Bactericides

Three years ago at the annual Florida Citrus Mutual Conference in Bonita Springs, Tom Jerkins, who was and still is president of the Citrus Research and Development Foundation, enthusiastically led the crowd in chanting, “We need bactericides now!” At the same conference this year (June 15), Jerkins gave a less than enthusiastic report on his…

Sources of HLB-Spreading Psyllids

Psyllids

The origin of HLB-spreading Asian citrus psyllids found in citrus groves is regarded differently in Texas and California than it is in Florida. Michael Rogers, University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences entomologist and director of the Citrus Research and Education Center, explains. “Areas like Texas and California, their focus has been on…

Troutman Joins Lineup of Florida Ag Commissioner Hopefuls

by Lloyd Dunkelberger News Service of Florida Former state Rep. Baxter Troutman entered the race for state agriculture commissioner on Monday, priming his Republican bid for a Cabinet seat with $2.5 million of his own money. “For two decades, I've been building a business and continuing my work in Florida agriculture,” Troutman, of Winter Haven,…

Florida Agricultural Crime on the Rise

By Abigail Taylor Some Florida citrus growers are struggling to keep their products and possessions safe from thieves. There have been theft reports ranging from large and small equipment, chemicals, fuel, young trees and fruit, as well as accounts of vandalism. Ned Hancock, former Highlands County Citrus Growers Association president, says the issue is “much…

June Citrus Forecast: Oranges Up; Tangerines Down

florida orange crop forecast

ORANGES The 2016-2017 Florida all-orange forecast released by Mark Hudson of the U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Agricultural Statistics Service is up 500,000 boxes to 68.5 million boxes. The increase is in Valencia oranges. The total includes 33 million boxes of non-Valencias (early, midseason, and Navel varieties) and 35.5 million boxes of Valencias. For the…

Pros and Cons of H-2A for Growers and Workers

labor

The federal H-2A program that allows temporary agricultural guest workers from other countries has grown dramatically in recent years. Approximately 80 percent of all Florida citrus is harvested by H-2A workers, says Carlene Thissen, coordinator for farm labor supervisor training at the Southwest Florida Research and Education Center in Immokalee. She says the number of…

California County Supervisor Makes Plea to Stop HLB

citrus greening

San Bernardino County Supervisor James Ramos is asking his constituents to help preserve the citrus industry and protect citrus trees in their area from HLB. In an article he wrote for a community newspaper (The Press-Enterprise), Ramos pointed out that citrus is a staple crop of San Bernardino County and has a rich history that…

Preparing for and Recovering from a Hurricane

By Mongi Zekri, Bob Rouse and Jonathan Crane Hurricane preparation for citrus growers this year is the same drill as every year. Each year, growers look forward to the rainy season to help their young trees grow fast and their mature trees produce good crops. This year, growers will be praying for good distribution of…

Final Figure for Brazil’s 2016–17 Crop

By Marcos Fava Neves In May, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) estimated the Florida orange crop at only 68 million boxes. The final number for the Brazilian 2016–17 crop was released by Fundecitrus on April 10 and was 245.31 million boxes. It is relevant to note an important point for the orange juice chain…

Older Trees and Older Growers

HLB

Florida’s older citrus trees are disappearing due to HLB and other problems, and the most prominent varieties being grown haven’t changed in many decades. Additionally, many long-time growers are nearing retirement. Those were among topics raised at a recent grower forum in Sebring. Laurie Hurner, Highlands County Extension director and citrus agent, hosted the meeting…

What Have We Learned?

By Harold Browning Column sponsored by the Citrus Research and Development Foundation Within the Citrus Research and Development Foundation (CRDF), the daily challenge of keeping up with a wide array of HLB topics, more than 75 currently funded projects, and monthly committee and board meetings translates into a constant flow of information. Project managers meet…

HLB and Root Longevity

HLB

University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences plant pathologist Evan Johnson tells how drastically HLB harms citrus tree roots and suggests some ways to prolong root longevity and improve tree health. “It (HLB) causes very substantial root loss, up to between 30 and 50 percent early in the disease process from before visual…

Managing Multiple Risks in a Citrus Farming Operation

By Ariel Singerman and Stephen H. Futch Uncertainty can be defined as imperfect knowledge, and risk as uncertain consequences, particularly unfavorable consequences. To take a risk then is to expose oneself to a chance of loss, in some cases expecting a gain in return. Many decisions in agriculture involve risk and uncertainty. Risk management is…

California to Increase Citrus Grower Fees

Capitol building

The California State Assembly approved a bill that will allow the citrus industry to increase fees to provide funds for activities to protect residential and commercial citrus trees from the Asian citrus psyllid (ACP) and the deadly huanglongbing (HLB) plant disease it can carry. SB 243 by Senator Galgiani (Stockton) allows for an additional $9.6…

Keeping Young Trees Free of HLB

HLB

Plant pathologist Megan Dewdney was one of the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences researchers who summarized scientific presentations made at the 2017 International Research Conference on HLB. She and others spoke at an HLB Grower Day in Lake Alfred, putting the complex presentations into terms more understandable to those who aren’t…

UC Davis Seeking a Few Good Citrus Orchards

Professor Patrick Brown, of the University of California, Davis Department of Plant Sciences, needs the help of some citrus growers with high-producing citrus orchards for a special project. He is looking for growers who have both navels and mandarins that are productive. “It’s a non-destructive study. We just want to collect leaf samples and analyze…