Putnam Comments on First Citrus Crop Forecast of the Season

citrus crop

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) released its first citrus crop forecast for the 2018-19 season. Florida Commissioner of Agriculture Adam H. Putnam’s statement is below: “This citrus production forecast offers a glimmer of hope to Florida’s iconic citrus industry. For more than a decade, we’ve battled citrus greening and the industry most recently was dealt a devastating blow last … Read More

Florida Citrus Crop Forecast Is Good News for Growers


After finishing the 2017-18 citrus season at just 45 million boxes of oranges, Florida growers were pleased to hear that the initial orange forecast from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) for the 2018-19 season is 79 million boxes. Non-Valencia oranges came at in 34 million boxes, while Valencias are expected to be 45 million boxes. Bill Curtis, USDA agricultural … Read More

California Citrus Research Board Chooses Interim President

The California Citrus Research Board (CRB) has announced that Franco Bernardi will serve as the organization’s interim president. Beginning Oct. 15, Bernardi will lead daily staff operations and management. He replaces Gary Schulz, whose contract as president was not renewed by the CRB last month. Bernardi’s leadership will guide the CRB during the next several months as it celebrates its … Read More

Update on Hurricane Irma Financial Assistance


By Mike Sparks It’s been a challenging year since Hurricane Irma struck. We understand the frustration with the lag in getting hurricane relief to growers and realize the urgency of the situation. With that said, we have some good news and some bad news. The bad news is that the Wildfires and Hurricanes Indemnity Program (WHIP) applications and payments for … Read More

Evaluating Roots of HLB-Infected Trees


Growers attending a recent workshop in Sebring learned how to evaluate the root systems of HLB-infected trees. University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences researcher Evan Johnson was the instructor. Johnson said evaluation of root systems is important because “HLB is causing a lot of damage to the root system … It’s important to know how the pests … Read More

Production Practices for Lemons Discussed


Crop production consultant Hamed Doostdar spoke on a grower panel as part of a recent University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences workshop on lemons at the Citrus Research and Education Center. He summarizes some key points regarding lemon production practices. Doostdar says lemons grow very fast, often reaching 7 to 8 feet tall by 2 years of … Read More

A New Pest Concern for Florida Citrus

University of Florida Extension entomologist Lauren Diepenbrock has discovered a pest not previously found in Florida citrus. “Recently, we have been finding some new pest signs in citrus … What we believe we found are signs of ambrosia beetles,” says Diepenbrock. She has fungus-infected citrus tree trunk samples in her lab and is waiting for adults to emerge in order … Read More

Foliar Phosphate for the HLB Fight


At Citrus Expo in August, Eric Triplett presented research from a variety of sources that shows foliar phosphate fertilization reduces HLB symptoms. Triplett is a University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences professor and chair of microbiology and cell science. “If it’s true that we can reduce the symptoms and disease in citrus by foliar phosphate fertilization, the … Read More

Ned Hancock: Growing Citrus Since Age 14

By Ernie Neff Ned Hancock wasn’t the typical first-time citrus grove owner when he bought a 5-acre Highlands County plot in 1972. He was 14 years old. His grandfather sold him the property, and Hancock’s father had him open a checking account and manage the grove’s finances. “I’m convinced that he (grandfather) did it trying to get me to get … Read More

Political Event Falls Short on Facts

A recent southeast Florida algae rally drew a small crowd. By Gary Cooper U.S. Congressman Brian Mast (R-Palm City) hosted a campaign event in Stuart on Sunday and visited other South Florida areas in recent days. He partnered with anti-farming group Bullsugar.org and featured activist Erin Brockovich to help push his recently introduced Stop Harmful Discharges Act in Congress. The … Read More

World Orange Juice Consumption Falls Again


By Marcos Fava Neves The annual compilation of data on the world’s orange juice consumption recently became available for 2017. Markestrat researchers analyzed 40 countries that represent almost 100 percent of the world’s processed juice market. The information was first compiled in 2003. At that time, in frozen concentrated orange juice (FCOJ) equivalent, world consumption was 2,390,000 tons. In 2017, … Read More

What to Do if Citrus Black Spot Isn’t Near

University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences researcher Megan Dewdney addresses what growers should do if citrus black spot isn’t near their groves. She summarizes a presentation she made at a recent growers’ workshop in Sebring. “My few pieces of wisdom have been to tell people to just be conscious of their area and know whether they are … Read More

Has Farming Become a Political Whipping Boy?


By Gary Cooper Urban expansion is impacting agriculture throughout the Southeast. Florida appears to be the first state in this region to dramatically shift to a much more urban-thinking electorate. In light of this year’s primary elections, there are some points Florida agriculturists should be thinking about. I know many of you have been pondering some of this already, based … Read More

Peace River Valley Citrus Growers Welcome New Leader

The Peace River Valley Citrus Growers Association (PRVCGA) board of directors is pleased to introduce Kait Shaw as its new executive director. Shaw, a Hardee County resident, is excited to bring her passion for agriculture and citrus to the association. She previously worked for Farm Bureau Insurance and served as the assistant executive director of the Hardee County Chamber of Commerce. … Read More

Attorney on Crop Insurance’s Importance

Agriculture attorney Bill Crispin told a Citrus Expo crowd that “crop insurance has evolved over the last 20 to 25 years into being a much needed and reliable risk management tool for producers.” He spoke at Expo’s opening general session. “It’s important for producers across the board to participate in the crop insurance program,” Crispin said in an interview summarizing … Read More

Lake Wales Grower Discusses Foot Rot and PFD


Lake Wales citrus grower Frank Thullbery, 88, says groves in his area have suffered badly from foot rot, or phytophthora, in recent years. He has also struggled with postbloom fruit drop (PFD). “I’ve seen half of the groves gone bad from foot rot, and a lot of people are not replacing their trees when they pull them out,” Thullbery says. … Read More

HLB Early Detection Methods Available Now; More Coming Soon

By Len Wilcox Early detection has become a vital line of defense in the California citrus grower’s war with huanglongbing (HLB) disease. Without careful monitoring, any tree in the grove can become a ticking time bomb that could lead to destruction of the entire orchard. The disease starts unnoticed. Many months can pass before a tree displays any visible evidence … Read More

Methods of pH Management for HLB-Infected Trees


University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences researcher Tripti Vashisth told growers at a citrus workshop in Sebring on Sept. 25 how to maintain proper soil pH for HLB-infected trees. She said HLB-affected trees seem to perform best when soil pH is 6.0. Vashisth said pH levels need to be adjusted continuously. “Our soils are known to be more … Read More

Sneak Peek: October 2018 Citrus Industry Magazine

The October issue of Citrus Industry magazine is all about improving plant health. Readers will learn both grower and researcher strategies for managing HLB-affected trees. Ned Hancock knows a thing or two about growing citrus; he has been at it since age 14. In the October cover story, the citrus grower tells how he’s keeping his trees healthy and what … Read More

Bactericides for Psyllids and HLB


Many growers in recent years have used bactericides in an effort to reduce HLB infection in their groves. University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences researcher Kirsten Pelz-Stelinski reports on use of bactericides to reduce both the bacteria that causes HLB and the psyllids that spread it. In greenhouse studies, she reports, bactericides appeared to offer “some reduction” … Read More