Grower Considers New Variety

Ernie NeffCitrus


About 20 people attended an informational program on April 9 at the Citrus Research and Education Center in Lake Alfred, Florida. The meeting addressed the newest Fast Track program variety, Marathon, being released. Marathon is an early-season seedless mandarin. Jerry Mixon of KLM Farms, who is growing other selections released by the Fast Track program, expressed interest in the Marathon … Read More

California Legislative Staff Updated on HLB Control Efforts

Len WilcoxCalifornia Corner, Legislative

Capitol building

Recently, California Citrus Mutual (CCM) hosted a lunchtime briefing at the Capitol. The purpose was to update legislative staff on the status of HLB in California and the industry’s continued efforts to prevent the disease from spreading into commercial groves. The briefing included a panel discussion with CCM Director of Government Affairs Alyssa Houtby, California Citrus Pest and Disease Prevention … Read More

Some Declines in April’s Florida Citrus Forecast

Daniel CooperCrop Forecast

citrus florida

ORANGESThe 2018–2019 Florida all-orange forecast released by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) on April 9 is 76.5 million boxes, down 1 percent from the March forecast of 77 million boxes. This includes 30.5 million boxes of non-Valencia oranges (early, midseason and Navel varieties) and 46 million boxes of Valencia oranges. Non-Valencia production is down 500,000 boxes from the March … Read More

Cover Crops for Citrus

Tacy CalliesCover Crops

By Sarah Strauss, Davie Kadyampakeni, Ramdas Kanissery, Tara Wade, Lauren Diepenbrock and Juanita Popenoe Cover crops are specific crops not intended for sale but for soil improvement and sustainability. They are increasingly common in the agricultural fields of the Midwest and other grain-producing regions because of the wide range of benefits not just for the soil, but also the cash … Read More

Using Organic Insecticides for Psyllid Control

Ernie NeffOrganic, Pests


Organic insecticides rotated with either spray oil or insecticidal soap provided good Asian citrus psyllid (ACP) suppression in long-term studies in Florida, entomologist Jawwad Qureshi reported recently. Qureshi is a University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences researcher at the Southwest Florida Research and Education Center in Immokalee. Suppression of ACP is important because the pest spreads citrus … Read More

IMG Citrus Adds 4,000-Acre Grove to Portfolio

Daniel CooperCitrus, Industry News Release

The future of Florida citrus is bright. IMG Citrus, a family-owned, vertically-integrated citrus grower, packer and shipper in Vero Beach, Florida, announced the acquisition of one of the largest grapefruit groves in St. Lucie County. The 4,000-acre grove increases IMG’s control of citrus land management in Florida by over 75 percent, securing the company’s position as an established citrus leader … Read More

What Makes Good Orange Juice?

Ernie NeffCitrus

new york times

Yu Wang says a key element of her job is finding “how to improve the citrus flavor and how to understand consumer likings” of Florida orange juice. Wang is a University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences researcher at the Citrus Research and Education Center in Lake Alfred. “Some of our consumers, they really like that orange flavor; … Read More

Hurricane Irma Raises Black Spot Threat

Ernie Neffblack spot, Diseases

University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences Extension pathologist and associate professor Megan Dewdney reported that U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) scientist Tim Gottwald thinks there’s a “fairly high” chance that Hurricane Irma spread citrus black spot. Black spot had been confined primarily to Southwest Florida, especially Collier and Hendry counties, before Irma hit the state with damaging … Read More

Florida Senators Fight for Disaster Dollars

Abbey TaylorCitrus, hurricane, Legislative


Hurricane Irma devastated the Florida Citrus Belt in 2017. Federal disaster relief funding was approved in early 2018, but many Florida citrus growers have yet to receive those funds. Several industry leaders and groups have been advocating for growers in Tallahassee and Washington, D.C. Now, Florida senators are joining the fight. Senator Ben Albritton, chairman of the Florida Senate Agriculture … Read More

Control Weeds with Chemicals and Steam

Ernie Neffweeds


At the Florida Citrus Growers’ Institute on April 2, weed scientist Ramdas Kanissery explained how growers can control weeds with a combination of early management, herbicides and steam. His talk was one of several presentations University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) researchers made to an audience of more than 200 citrus growers in Avon Park.   Kanissery, … Read More

Citrus Grower Sees Success with Cover Crops

Tacy CalliesCover Crops

By Juanita Popenoe and Lauren Diepenbrock Ed James has citrus in his veins. He has been working and thriving in the citrus business since he was a teenager — from hoeing orange trees to owning a caretaking business that serviced thousands of acres. That is, until about eight years ago. In 2010, James looked around his personal 45-acre citrus grove … Read More

Citrus Land Price Rises in Florida

Ernie NeffCitrus, Economics


The sales price of Florida citrus land rose in 2018, according to the Lay of the Land Market Report issued by Coldwell Banker Commercial Saunders Real Estate (CBCSRE) on March 29. The price per net-tree acre was approximately 5.8 percent higher than in 2017, and the gross acre price was approximately 9.2 percent higher than in 2017. “The large growers … Read More

Ambrosia Beetle Update

Tacy CalliesPests

By Lauren Diepenbrock In October 2018, a potential “new pest” was found in large numbers in one grove in Hernando County, Florida. The damage to trees was dramatic, with dark staining throughout the trunk of the tree and beetle damage evident. It was something that would put any grower, Extension agent or researcher on alert. Fortunately, by working with Jiri … Read More

Indian River Citrus Agent Shares Goals

Ernie NeffProduction

Amir Rezazadeh discusses his role as the new multi-county citrus Extension agent for the Indian River production region. “I really want the growers to know that I’m here to support them,” says Rezazadeh, who has experience working in production. In addition to helping growers deal with greening disease, he says he wants to “introduce … new, high-value alternative crops” to … Read More

Grapefruit: A Breeder’s Thoughts

Ernie NeffBreeding, Grapefruit


Grapefruit’s struggle with survival and potential future were addressed by University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) breeder and geneticist Fred Gmitter earlier this year. He told Florida Citrus Show attendees that the fruit has hit the bottom with HLB. “I was talking with one of the old-time families in the grapefruit business, one of the biggest … Read More

Studying Citrus Roots in the HLB Era

Tacy CalliesRoot health

By Lorenzo Rossi, Ute Albrecht and Evan Johnson Citrus root systems are confronted with many challenges that limit resource availability needed for tree productivity. Challenges are compounded by huanglongbing (HLB), which now affects nearly all citrus trees throughout Florida’s production areas. Contrary to the above-ground portion of the tree, study of the below-ground portion is considerably more difficult. This article … Read More

Sneak Peek: April 2019 Citrus Industry Magazine

Tacy CalliesSneak Peek

As Florida citrus growers learn to live with HLB, greater attention is being paid to plant nutrition. Nutrition takes center stage in the April issue of Citrus Industry magazine. Both growers and researchers are exploring the use of cover crops in grove row middles to enhance tree nutrition. The April issue includes a case study on eight years of cover … Read More

Important Insurance Deadlines Are Approaching

Tacy Calliescrop insurance

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Farm Service Agency (FSA) reminds Florida citrus growers of upcoming insurance deadlines as they relate to the Wildfires and Hurricanes Indemnity Program (WHIP) and the Block Grant. WHIP Requirement for Nursery CropsThe application sales closing date for crop insurance for 2020 Nursery Crops is May 1, 2019. Nursery growers who received WHIP benefits must … Read More

Michaela McLean Crowned Miss Florida Citrus

Tacy CalliesAwards

The Florida citrus industry now has one of its own family members to serve as a spokesperson. Michaela McLean, sponsored by Pro Citrus Network, won the title of Miss Florida Citrus 2019 on March 23. Her family owns Uncle Matt’s Organic orange juice company, based in Clermont, Florida. “Uncle Matt is actually my uncle,” says McLean. “I’m on the back … Read More