Perdue to Rooney: Expect Citrus Disaster Relief Plan Next Week

On April 18, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue announced that the details of the $2.3 billion disaster relief program for Florida citrus growers impacted by Hurricane Irma will be finalized by next week. Congressman Thomas J. Rooney (R-FL), who spearheaded the relief effort, issued the following statement in response: "Today, Secretary Perdue reassured Florida citrus producers that he is working to make sure…

Managing Mites in Florida Citrus

By Lukasz L. Stelinski, Jawwad A. Qureshi and Philip A. Stansly Florida citrus is host to four main groups of mites categorized by differences in lineage and morphology. However, only rust mites, spider mites and broad mites historically cause economic damage to commercially grown citrus in the state. The fourth group, referred to as false…

Imidacloprid Alternatives for Psyllid Control

HLB

Phil Stansly, University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences entomologist, discusses alternatives to imidacloprid for helping to control HLB-spreading Asian citrus psyllids (ACP). “Imidacloprid of course is typical of the neonicotinoids that we’ve been using as soil applications to protect young trees,” Stansly says. “We’ve seen and the growers have seen, too, that…

Sales Tax Rebate for Growers Who Suffered Hurricane Damage

salex tax

The Florida Legislature and Governor Rick Scott have approved a sales tax rebate program for agricultural producers and growers who suffered damages due to Hurricane Irma. Florida Farm Bureau has offered a dedicated webpage as a resource to farmers and ranchers who can take advantage of this opportunity at www.FloridaFarmBureau.org/hurricanetaxrebate. On March 23, Governor Rick…

Conaway Introduces the Agriculture and Nutrition Act

Three years, 114 hearings, six listening sessions and countless industry meetings have laid the groundwork for the 2018 farm bill. The House Agriculture Committee delivered what it calls a strong farm bill for producers, consumers and all of rural America. After introducing the Agriculture and Nutrition Act of 2018 (H.R. 2) during a teleconference, House…

Rucks Discusses Hurricane Damage and Delays

hurricane

The damage that Hurricane Irma inflicted on citrus nurseries and citrus groves in September caused long delays in tree deliveries to growers, says Phil Rucks, owner of Phillip Rucks Citrus Nursery in Frostproof. Rucks says 59 of the state’s 77 citrus nurseries sustained some degree of damage in the hurricane. Much of the nursery damage…

Scott Urges Quick Action on Agriculture Aid

scott

Gov. Rick Scott is asking U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue to move quickly to get disaster-relief funding into the hands of Florida citrus growers, as it may be another three months before farmers can start to apply for the money. In a letter Tuesday, Scott also asked Perdue to “customize federal aid for Florida citrus…

Steep Florida Grapefruit Production Declines

Most growers and professionals in the citrus industry are aware that Florida’s orange crop has declined due to diseases like citrus greening and natural disasters like Hurricane Irma. However, Florida’s grapefruit crop has been suffering tremendously as well, even more severely than Florida oranges. The Florida orange crop has dropped by 35 percent this year,…

Tree Assistance Program Tweaked to Help Citrus Growers

congress

By Michael W. Sparks Florida Citrus Mutual, the citrus industry and our Congressional delegation continue to work with Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam on obtaining federal relief payments from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) for citrus groves damaged by Hurricane Irma. Once specifics are unveiled, we will get them to you as soon as possible.…

Overview of Mexico’s Citrus Industry

Mexico

Ricardo Martinez Zambrano, director of sales for North America with Citrofrut, summarizes a Mexican citrus industry report he delivered at the recent International Citrus Business Conference. Zambrano says oranges account for about 56 percent of Mexico’s total citrus production, but “there is no official source in Mexico that does the estimation.” An area of eastern…

Florida Citrus Forecast: Oranges Hold Steady, Grapefruit Tumbles

florida

The 2017-2018 Florida all-orange forecast released on April 10 by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) is 45 million boxes, unchanged from the March forecast. The total includes 19 million boxes of non-Valencia oranges and 26 million boxes of Valencia oranges. The Row Count survey, conducted March 27-28, showed 99…

Grower Partnerships Are Key to UF/IFAS Plant-Breeding Success

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University of Florida (UF) citrus breeder Fred Gmitter recalls meeting Vero Beach grower Tom Hammond about 20 years ago, when Gmitter needed a place to grow hybrid citrus. Gmitter knew most growers wouldn’t experiment with “raw materials” – plant offspring used to identify that possible one in 5,000 winner. Growers rarely make a profit from…

Single Breakthrough Discovery for HLB in Florida Unlikely

citrus greening

A single breakthrough discovery for managing citrus greening in Florida in the future is unlikely, says a new report by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine.  The committee that wrote the report called for a systems approach to prioritize research on the disease and strategically distribute resources for research to effectively manage the…

Florida Citrus Land Sales Summary for 2017

florida

Coldwell Banker Commercial Saunders Real Estate (CBCSRE) reported 146 verified citrus grove sales in Florida in 2017. The sales were listed, without seller or buyer names, in CBCSRE’s annual Lay of the Land Market Report distributed at the April 5-6 Land Conference at ChampionsGate near Orlando. The company reported that 109 of the sold groves…

Georgia Department of Ag Assisting Citrus Growers with Marketing

The Georgia Department of Agriculture is working to promote the ever-growing Georgia citrus industry. Matthew Kulinski, deputy director of marketing for the Georgia Department of Agriculture, led a presentation at the Georgia Citrus Association Conference to inform growers that the department’s marketing division can help them. As the Georgia citrus industry expands, it is important…

Herbicide Synergy for Citrus Weed Management

By Ramdas Kanissery, Brent Sellers and Steve Futch Weed control is a major component of Florida citrus grove management. A warm, humid climate and frequent rainfall provide a conducive environment for prolific weed emergence and growth in citrus groves. Although there are several pre- and post-emergent herbicide products available for managing a diversity of citrus…

Irma Agriculture Aid Slated to Start in Summer

irma

A program to distribute federal disaster aid to Florida farmers hit by Hurricane Irma will be set up within the next 100 days, U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue announced Friday. “USDA (the U.S. Department of Agriculture) is working as quickly as possible to develop procedures and a system by which affected producers can access disaster…

Funding to Help Ag Producers Recover After Hurricanes

hurricanes

2017 Wildfires and Hurricanes Indemnity Program to Aid Recovery in Rural Communities U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue announced the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will make disaster payments of up to $2.36 billion, as provided by Congress, to help America’s farmers and ranchers recover from hurricanes and wildfires. The funds are available as part…

International OJ Market Sees Some Positives

farmers

By Marcos Fava Neves The third Fundecitrus estimate of the season for the Brazilian orange crop on Feb. 11 was just shy of 400 million boxes. It is 3.13 percent larger than the last estimate in December, and 9 percent larger than the initial estimate published in May. Fruits are bigger and heavier, reaching 247…

Calls Increase for Irma Aid to Flow to Farmers

farmers

Pressure is growing from Florida and other states as the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) continues to determine how to move forward with a disaster-relief package President Donald Trump signed in early February. U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., and U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla., joined colleagues from Texas, Louisiana and California this week in prodding…