Production Guide: What’s New

Ernie NeffProduction


The three editors of the new Florida Citrus Production Guide recently told growers at a meeting in Sebring what’s new in the guide this year. The University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) produced the guide. Megan Dewdney, a UF/IFAS plant pathologist, addresses new information provided about diseases. New items include the addition of a chemical for … Read More

Citrus Growers Expected to See Production Bump

Daniel CooperCrop Forecast, Industry News Release


Florida’s struggling citrus industry is projected to see a 3.3 percent increase in production in the newly started growing season. The U.S. Department of Agriculture, in its first citrus forecast for the 2019-2020 season that will run through July, projected Florida growers will produce enough oranges to fill 74 million of the industry-standard 90-pound boxes, which would top the 71.6 … Read More

Commissioner Fried on the 2019-20 Citrus Forecast

Daniel CooperCrop Forecast, Industry News Release


The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) released the initial citrus crop forecast for the 2019-20 season. Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried offered the following statement: “Today’s forecast reflects the resilience of Florida’s citrus growers, dedication to the citrus industry and commitment to innovation in the face of challenges. Citrus is Florida’s signature crop, and we’re committed to supporting our citrus … Read More

First Citrus Crop Forecast of the Season

Daniel CooperCitrus, Crop Forecast

citrus crop forecast

The release of the 2019-20 U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) citrus crop forecast projects an increase in orange, grapefruit, tangerine and tangelo production for Florida. California and Texas are expected to decrease production in most categories. ORANGESFlorida non-Valencia oranges are projected at 32 million boxes after ending the 2018-19 season at 30.4 million boxes. California is projected at 38 million … Read More

Jackson to Join Florida Ag Hall of Fame

Ernie NeffAwards

Long-time Extension agent John L. Jackson, who is well known in citrus circles, and two others will be inducted into the Florida Agricultural Hall of Fame next year. Jackson, Hugh Fred Dietrich III and Robert “Robbie” Roberson will be inducted during ceremonies at the Florida State Fair’s Agricultural Hall of Fame Banquet on Feb. 11. Jackson’s professional career spanned more … Read More

Now Seeking Nominations for the Florida Citrus Hall of Fame

Daniel CooperAwards, Industry News Release


Nominations are now being sought for potential inductees to the Florida Citrus Hall of Fame. Induction ceremonies are scheduled to take place on Friday, March 6, at Florida Southern College in Lakeland. The luncheon is co-sponsored by Florida Citrus Mutual and the Florida Department of Citrus. The mission of the Florida Citrus Hall of Fame is to recognize those distinguished … Read More

The Value of Education and a New Scholarship

Tacy CalliesScholarship


By Ernie Neff Decades ago, Ned Hancock had a conversation with his father about the value of continuing his education at the University of Florida (UF). “Dad said, ‘You will learn more in the next few years than you may be able to remember, but I hope they teach you two important things: One, you don’t really know as much … Read More

Newly Planted Trees and HLB

Ernie NeffHLB Management, Root health

citrus trees

Newly planted trees need to have root systems that are as established, robust and healthy as possible before contracting HLB, Evan Johnson told growers at Citrus Expo. That’s because HLB takes out a tree’s fibrous root system and causes dieback of the structural root system. Having strong root systems from the start will increase the productive life of trees, the … Read More

Graduate Students Play Big Role in Research

Ernie NeffResearch

University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) faculty members play the lead role in citrus research, but they depend heavily on graduate students to get the work done. Kelly Morgan, director of the UF/IFAS Southwest Florida Research and Education Center (SWFREC), explains the graduate students’ role in research, after first discussing new graduate student housing being constructed … Read More

Pest Update: Lebbeck Mealybug

Ernie NeffPests

University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) entomologist Lauren Diepenbrock provided an update on the lebbeck mealybug pest at a recent Highlands County citrus growers’ meeting. The mealybug, first found in Highlands groves in June, feeds on and damages citrus, leading to fruit drop and crop loss. Diepenbrock reports that surveys conducted by the Florida Department of … Read More

Steaming for Weed Management

Tacy Calliesweeds

By Ramdas Kanissery and Yiannis Ampatzidis Weeds are a significant problem in horticultural production and must be controlled to maintain good crop yield. Concerns related to non-judicious use of herbicides, which include ground and surface water contamination and pesticide residues in food, has sparked public awareness and restrictions on herbicide use. For these reasons, alternative and integrated systems for weed … Read More

Sales Leadership Changes at IMG Citrus

Daniel CooperIndustry News Release

IMG Citrus, a family-owned, vertically-integrated citrus grower, packer, importer and shipper in Vero Beach, Florida, announced the upcoming retirement of Vice President, Veronique Sallin, after 40 years with the company. Sallin’s retirement will officially begin at the end of the 2019-2020 Florida citrus season. The company further announces the promotion of Sydney Allison to the role of director of sales. … Read More

A Growth-Enhancing Pest Management Option

Tacy CalliesHLB Management, Research

By Christopher Vincent Particle films can both increase tree growth and reduce Asian citrus psyllid populations. University of Florida (UF) research has found particle films delay infection with the CLas bacterium, which causes HLB. They also enhance growth rates and yield. Particle films do have limitations to efficacy, including being washed off in frequent or heavy rains. Overall, particle films … Read More

Economics of CUPS and IPCs

Ernie NeffCUPS, Economics, HLB Management

At Citrus Expo, economist Ariel Singerman discussed the economics of producing citrus under protective screen (CUPS) and covering young trees with individual protective covers (IPCs). The primary purpose of both strategies is to exclude HLB-spreading Asian citrus psyllids. Singerman is with the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS). Singerman calculated that a CUPS grower who insures … Read More

Observations on the 2019 Brazilian Citrus Industry

Daniel CooperBrazil


By Thomas Stopyra, Certified Crop Advisor Note: The following report is based on data gathered from a variety of sources and reflects the personal opinion of the author. It should not be used as a basis for buying, selling or speculating futures or any other business decisions regarding agricultural enterprises or commodities. The recent estimate published by Fundecitrus for the … Read More

Rogers on Planting, Production Guide and More

Ernie Neffplanting


Michael Rogers, director of the Citrus Research and Education Center (CREC), discusses the new Florida Citrus Production Guide, tree planting decisions, fruit displays and plans for hiring a new horticulturist. The CREC is a University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) facility. Rogers says the recently released production guide for growers “was a hot commodity this year … Read More

Citrus Grower Discusses Crop Conditions

Ernie Neffcrop

Hardee County citrus grower Marlon Pendergrass with The Groves of Peace River discusses his orange crop, tree health and citrus prices. “We have a better crop this year than we had last year,” Pendergrass says. “Last year was much better than when (Hurricane) Irma came through” in September 2017. He says work is still being done to restore the grove … Read More

Nutrition Kits to Help Citrus Growers

Daniel CooperIndustry News Release, Nutrition


Florida’s citrus growers can soon get additional help in managing citrus greening through the newly developed University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) Citrus Nutrition Program. The basis for the program is to improve the overall health and productivity of citrus groves affected by citrus greening disease by refining production practices; in particular, adjusting fertilization programs. Growers … Read More

New Citrus Pest in Hendry County

Tacy CalliesPests

A new pest of Florida citrus has been found in the southwest region of the state. University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) entomologist Lauren Diepenbrock told growers in Sebring on Sept. 25 about recent finds of a cerambycid, or long-horned beetle, in Hendry County groves. Diepenbrock, who works at the Citrus Research and Education Center in … Read More