Sneak Peek: April 2017 Citrus Industry Magazine

Greening disease, known as HLB, is a top concern for citrus growers worldwide. The April issue of Citrus Industry magazine is all about boosting the health of HLB-infected trees. Articles on this theme cover the use of controlled-release fertilizer, bicarbonate management, foliar nutrition and irrigation strategies. This month, for the first time Citrus Industry’s CEU…

What Growers Need to Know About BMPs Now

HLB

Virtually all Florida citrus growers have signed up to participate in the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services’ (FDACS) best management practices (BMPs) for water quality and water quantity. “They’ve done an extremely good job over the last 20 years that we’ve had BMPs," says University of Florida researcher Kelly Morgan, the statewide BMP…

Highlights from the International HLB Conference

Harold Browning, chief operations officer at the Citrus Research and Development Foundation (CRDF), provides an overview of activities at the recent International Research Conference on HLB held in Orlando. The conference was hosted by Florida Citrus Mutual, with much assistance from CRDF. “There were nearly 500 participants from 24 countries” including for the first time…

California Tarping Regulations Delayed

A new tarping regulation for citrus loads was put on hold by the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA). Ag leaders say the industry should still make plans to comply, since the rules will soon be enforced. An enforcement date has not been announced, but could come as soon as April 1. The new…

More than 90 Groves, Former Groves Sold in 2016

Groves sold

More than 90 Florida citrus groves or former citrus groves were sold in 2016. Twenty four of the former groves are transitioning to other agriculture or to development. The sales are detailed in the Lay of the Land 2016 Market Report prepared by Coldwell Banker Commercial Saunders Real Estate (CBCSRE) in Lakeland. The report was…

Phil Stansly: Psyllid Slayer

By Ernie Neff Gulf citrus growers had a CHMA (citrus health management area) before CHMAs were popular — even before they were called CHMAs! Phil Stansly, University of Florida (UF) entomology professor, is among those credited with organizing Florida’s first psyllid- and HLB-fighting CHMA. Others recognized for the achievement include Gulf Citrus Growers Association (GCGA),…

Miss Florida Citrus 2017 Crowned

A new Miss Florida Citrus has been crowned. Paige Todd was shocked to hear her name called as the 2017 Miss Florida Citrus title winner on March 18. "I took a second because it didn't quite get to my brain through my ears, but once it did, I was very excited," Todd explained. Todd is…

Importance of Leaf Tissue and Water Analysis

citrus greening

Oscar Ruiz with Waypoint Analytical discusses the importance of leaf tissue and water analysis. “Leaf tissue analysis is important because we can actually gauge in-season what the plant is capable of uptaking,” he says. That information, along with information garnered from soil sampling, allows the grower to “fine tune the fertility program and adjust it…

The Texas Psyllid/HLB Experience

John da Graca, director of the Texas A&M University Kingsville Citrus Center in Weslaco, was among hundreds attending the International Research Conference on HLB March 15-17 in Orlando. He summarizes the Texas industry’s experience with HLB and the Asian citrus psyllids that spread the disease. “Psyllids arrived (in Texas) about 2001,” da Graca says. “At…

Safeguarding Citrus Stock

By Georgios Vidalakis On March 30, 2007, I received a memorable phone call in my office at the University of California (UC), Riverside. “Georgios,” said the caller, “The 2008 Farm Bill will establish the National Clean Plant Network (NCPN) for specialty crops. This program will be like no other because it will be driven from…

Mutual President Summarizes Legislative Issues

legislative issues

Florida Citrus Mutual President John Barben summarized Mutual’s efforts at the state and federal levels during the recent Highlands County Citrus Growers Association annual meeting in Sebring. “We talked a little bit about going after our (state legislative) funding for this year – for CRDF (Citrus Research and Development Foundation), for New Varieties (Development and…

Blight Research Update

leprosis

Ron Brlansky, a University of Florida professor emeritus, spent much of his career at the Citrus Research and Education Center researching blight, and he’s still working on it. He discussed efforts to obtain funding for more research at a recent seminar in Lake Alfred attended by about 20 people. “We have a virus that’s associated…

Hall of Famer Sparks Credits Teams for Success

Hall of Famer Sparks

Florida Citrus Mutual Chief Executive Officer Mike Sparks, inducted into the Florida Citrus Hall of Fame on March 10, lists a group of teams that contributed to his success. “You’ve got to look at the big groups, no one individual – the citrus commissioners, past executive directors at the Department of Citrus, professional staff, growers,…

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

citrus

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…