Sneak Peek: March 2019 Citrus Industry Magazine

Tacy CalliesSneak Peek

The March issue of Citrus Industry magazine gets to the root of the matter. Several articles cover the topic of root health. Citrus growers Ben Krupski and David Wheeler share successful strategies for stronger roots. Methods include the use of compost, more frequent irrigation and other techniques. Three University of Florida research articles in the March issue also address root-related … Read More

Crop Insurance Policies for Citrus Growers

Tacy Calliescrop insurance

By Ariel Singerman To compensate growers for losses suffered due to Hurricane Irma in 2017, the U.S. Department of Agriculture has put in place the Wildfires and Hurricanes Indemnity Program (WHIP). As part of the requirements for receiving payments from WHIP and/or the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) Citrus Recovery Block Grant, citrus growers will have to … Read More

Lake Okeechobee Levels Rising; Discharges to Increase

Daniel CooperWater


Army Corps of Engineers (ACOE) Colonel Drew Kelly, commander of the Jacksonville District, held a media conference call on Feb. 22 to explain a change to the discharge schedules for Lake Okeechobee, as water levels are rising in the lake. Listen to the audio clip below to hear the entire press conference, including questions from South Florida media and Southeast … Read More

Albrigo: Bloom Looks Good

Ernie NeffProduction

The University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences’ (UF/IFAS) researcher known for his work on the timing of bloom sees the potential for good bloom this season. “Flowering for Florida’s next citrus crop has been coming along fairly well,” UF/IFAS Emeritus Professor Gene Albrigo said in a Feb. 13 interview. He expects the first wave of spring flowers … Read More

Orange Juice Market Outlook

Tacy CalliesGlobal Perspectives


By Marcos Fava Neves A recent Nielsen report reveals negative news for U.S. retail orange juice (OJ) sales. When comparing November 2018 with November 2017, the decline in OJ consumption was 7.4 percent. The value shrunk 3.4 percent, dropping from $223.94 million to $216.44 million. This represents a $7 million dollar loss. Not-from-concentrate juice came down 12 percent, and reconstituted … Read More

Citrus Expo Seminar Planning Underway

Tacy CalliesCitrus Expo

Citrus Expo is just six months away, which means the planning process has started for the seminar program. Growers of citrus, vegetables and specialty crops will once again have the opportunity to earn continuing education units and Certified Crop Adviser credits at the event. Citrus Expo will kick off with a general session on top agricultural issues of importance to … Read More

Farm Bill Implementation Listening Session Open to Producers

Daniel CooperFarm Bill, Industry News Release

farm bill

Register by February 22! The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is hosting a listening session in Washington, D.C., for initial input on the 2018 farm bill. USDA is seeking public input on the changes to existing programs implemented by the Farm Service Agency, Natural Resources Conservation Service and Risk Management Agency. Each agency will take into account stakeholder input when … Read More

All In For Citrus Podcast, February 2019

Taylor HillmanAll In For Citrus Podcast

In February’s All In for Citrus podcast, learn about the new faces with the University of Florida’s citrus research staff, a winter weather watch program, flowering models and how fertilization impacts fruit quality. Listen to the latest episode of the All In For Citrus podcast.

Lake Okeechobee Brouhaha Heats Up

Daniel CooperWater


by Gary Cooper The series of public meetings about Lake Okeechobee water levels and related issues continues this week in South Florida, hosted by the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers. According to last-minute media announcements this morning, Rep. Brian Mast (R-FL 18th District), is expected to attend the first of two public meetings today at 1:00 p.m. at Indian River … Read More

Grower Replanting Initiative Program for HLB in the Works

Ernie NeffHLB Management

Editor’s Note (Feb. 20, 2019): The name of the program has been changed from the Grower Replanting Initiative Program to the Citrus Research and Field Trial Program. According to Florida Citrus Mutual CEO Mike Sparks, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has given “concept approval” for massive Florida grower field trials to determine what existing research might work in the … Read More

Fungal Foliar Disease Concerns for 2019

Tacy CalliesDiseases

By Megan Dewdney The Florida citrus-growing seasons of 2017 and 2018 were quiet in terms of fungal foliar disease outbreaks. Small pockets of severe disease occurred sporadically, but there were no widespread reports of diseases like postbloom fruit drop, much to the relief of the industry. Greasy spot has flared up in a few locations on cultivars like Valencia, and … Read More

Executive Resigns, Politics Exposed at SFWMD Board Meeting

Daniel CooperTop, Water


Soon-to-exit South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) governing board members offered parting comments at the SFWMD governing board meeting in West Palm Beach. The entire board was asked to resign and put under pressure to do so by Gov. Ron DeSantis and South Florida Congressman Brian Mast, who is advising the governor on agricultural and environmental issues. The resignations were … Read More

Important Food-Safety Requirements

Ernie NeffFood Safety

Mark Ritenour, University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) post-harvest Extension specialist, provided updates about food-safety requirements at the recent Florida Citrus Show in Fort Pierce. His focus was on impacts fresh fruit growers and packers will feel from the Food Safety Modernization Act’s requirement that the Food and Drug Administration rewrite its Produce Safety Rule. Ritenour … Read More

Citrus Funding Could Remain Steady as Results Sought

Daniel CooperCitrus, Citrus Greening

citrus florida funding

Senate Appropriations Chairman Sen. Ron Bradley supports maintaining the current level of funding for the state’s citrus industry, as a decade of research about combating deadly citrus greening disease is applied more in groves. After hearing presentations Wednesday from citrus-industry leaders, Bradley, R-Fleming Island, said there “certainly” won’t be a drop from this year’s $23.2 million in funding. At the … Read More

Covers Protect Young Trees from HLB

Ernie NeffHLB Management

Individual protective covers (IPCs) on young trees have prevented HLB infection in one year of study, a University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) researcher said. Fernando Alferez, citrus horticulturist at the Southwest Florida Research and Education Center (SWFREC), announced his promising results at the recent Florida Citrus Show in Fort Pierce. “They (IPCs) are protecting the … Read More

Automated System Under Study to Deliver Bactericides

Daniel CooperCitrus Greening, Industry News Release, Research


Imagine using a robotic arm to grip and puncture the trunk of a citrus tree to deliver chemicals into the vascular parts of the plant, reducing its susceptibility to the citrus greening disease. Ozgur Batuman, an assistant professor of plant pathology at the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS), leads a team of researchers trying to … Read More

Developing New Greening-Tolerant Citrus

Daniel CooperCitrus Greening, Industry News Release, Research


When Nian Wang pieces together sequences of genes, he hopes to make citrus varieties that are more tolerant to the deadly disease known as citrus greening, which has devastated a multibillion-dollar-a-year industry in Florida. Wang, a professor of microbiology and cell science with the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS), will help an investigation in which … Read More

Burns on HLB, Mechanical Harvesting

Ernie NeffHLB Management


Jackie Burns, who retired in January as dean for research at the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS), discusses HLB, mechanical harvesting and other citrus issues on which she worked. Burns was a long-time scientist at the Citrus Research and Education Center and later director of the center before becoming dean for research. Burns said going … Read More

Grapefruit, Tangerines and Tangelos See Small Changes in Crop Forecast

Daniel CooperCitrus, Crop Forecast


The U.S. Department of Agriculture released the January and February citrus crop forecasts on Feb. 8. January’s forecast had been delayed due to the government shutdown. JANUARYJanuary’s forecast showed a decrease in Florida grapefruit, tangelo and tangerine production compared to December. Grapefruit fell from 6.4 million boxes to 6.2 million boxes. Tangerines and tangelos dropped from 1.2 million boxes to … Read More