Meetings on Algae, Citrus and Water Management Ring Alarms for Florida Agriculture

Daniel CooperAgriculture, Citrus, Irrigation, Water


Three meetings this week in three different areas of the state brought more discussion that should wake up producers and others in agriculture who have remained mostly silent for decades. As the state’s population continues to swell by a 1,000 new residents each day, Florida’s population will likely exceed 22-million next year. As the nation’s third most populous state, there’s … Read More

CRAFT Program Moving Forward

Ernie NeffCitrus, Research


A direct support organization (DSO) to be established within the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services will reportedly run the massive Citrus Research and Field Trials (CRAFT) program. Florida Citrus Mutual CEO Mike Sparks announced the pending arrangement June 13 during the Florida Citrus Industry Annual Conference in Bonita Springs. The CRAFT program features an expected 5,000 acres of … Read More

TCP Might Help Trees Tolerate HLB

Ernie NeffHLB Management, Nutrition

Laboratory tests of tricalcium phosphate (TCP) indicate it has potential use as a fertilizer that might help citrus growers cope with HLB, says Laura Waldo, a University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) laboratory manager. “The hope is that it can help a tree by inducing root hair development and thereby allowing the tree to uptake nutrients … Read More

Governor DeSantis Announces Approval of More Than $77 Million to Citrus Growers Impacted by Hurricane Irma

Daniel CooperCitrus, financial, hurricane, Industry News Release


Bonita Springs, Fla. – Governor Ron DeSantis announced that the Florida Division of Emergency Management (FDEM) has approved more than $77 million in payments to citrus growers impacted by Hurricane Irma through the Citrus Recovery Block Grant since January 2019. Upon taking office, Governor DeSantis directed FDEM to disburse hurricane recovery funding as quickly as possible, including providing field staff to … Read More

Imported OJ Cost Florida Citrus Growers This Season

Ernie NeffCitrus, Market


Apopka citrus grower Chip Henry of McGuire Groves says orange juice (OJ) imports cost him money this year and may have led to other growers being stuck with unharvested fruit. “As the season progressed, I began to realize that the pricing structure was subject to being weakened considerably by imports of orange juice from primarily Mexico,” Henry says. According to … Read More

Study Aims to Use Orange Peels for Better Heart Health

Daniel CooperIndustry News Release, Research

orange peels

You’ve heard an apple a day keeps the doctor away. Now orange peels may improve your heart health. Yu Wang, an assistant professor of food science and human nutrition at the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS), has been awarded a $500,000 grant from the U.S. Agriculture and Food Research Initiative, part of the U.S. Department … Read More

Farewell to Futch

Tacy CalliesCitrus

After 34 years of faithful service to citrus growers, University of Florida Extension agent Steve Futch readies for retirement. By Tacy Callies Steve Futch’s Florida citrus roots sprouted more than a century ago. His great-grandfather owned a Wauchula grove in about 1905. As a boy, Futch’s first hands-on citrus experience was hoeing trees in the family orange groves. Later, he … Read More

Florida Citrus Production Continues Downward Trend

Daniel CooperCitrus, Crop Forecast, fruit, Grapefruit, lemons, Production


The 2018–19 Florida all-orange forecast released by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) on June 11 is 71.4 million boxes. The total includes 30.4 million boxes of non-Valencia oranges (early, mid-season and Navel varieties) and 41 million boxes of Valencia oranges. The June forecast for non-Valencia production is unchanged from the May forecast. Harvest is complete for the included varieties. … Read More

UF/IFAS Tops in Research

Ernie NeffResearch

“There is no program anywhere in the country better than IFAS (University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences) in conducting both applied and basic research.” That declaration is made by Scott Angle, director of the U.S. Department of Agriculture National Institute of Food and Agriculture, in the latest episode of the All in for Citrus podcast.  Angle became … Read More

CRDF to Retain Steve Futch

Ernie NeffCRDF

Multi-county citrus Extension agent Steve Futch is set to retire from the University of Florida on June 30. He will become a contract scientist with the Citrus Research and Development Foundation (CRDF) on July 1. CRDF Chief Operating Officer Rick Dantzler announced the decision to retain Futch at a CRDF meeting in May. Dantzler said Futch will “help us out … Read More

Kids to Learn About Citrus in Labs During Youth Day

Daniel CooperIndustry News Release, Research

Children are invited to an up-close-and-personal, hands-on experience with the world of citrus. They might even get their hands dirty while touring plant labs at this year’s third annual Citrus Youth Day on June 27. Scientists at the Citrus Research and Education Center (CREC) in Lake Alfred, Florida, part of the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences … Read More

Possible CRDF/UF Administrative Split Looms

Ernie NeffCRDF


The University of Florida (UF) indicated its intention to decertify the Citrus Research and Development Foundation (CRDF) as a UF Direct Support Organization (DSO) in September. CRDF President Larry Black and Chief Operating Officer Rick Dantzler spoke about the potential split during CRDF’s Executive Committee meeting on June 6. Black and Dantzler reported on their attendance at a UF Board … Read More

Rogers Discusses Media Reports on Bactericides

Ernie NeffBactericides

img citrus

Michael Rogers, Citrus Research and Education Center director, focuses on recent media coverage about the use of antibiotics, or bactericides, in Florida citrus. Most of the coverage in the mainstream media has been negative.  His discussion is part of the current episode of the All In For Citrus podcast, a partnership of the University of Florida Institute of Food and … Read More

Precision Agriculture Technologies in Citrus

Tacy CalliesPests, Psyllids, Research, Technology

By Yiannis Ampatzidis Citrus growers face issues from an increasing number of pests and diseases. Rapid and accurate tools for early pest and disease detection are needed to improve precision and timely management. Almost all agrochemicals (e.g., pesticides) applied in specialty crop production are made uniformly with conventional spraying equipment, despite the fact that pathogen distribution is typically patchy. Uniform … Read More

Fast Track Has Winners and Losers

Ernie NeffVarieties


At a recent meeting to discuss the release of the Marathon mandarin in the Fast Track citrus evaluation program, the program manager said Fast Track selections have had varying fortunes. “The purpose of this program is to take things that look promising and then get them out into the hands of nurseries and growers as fast as possible,” says Peter … Read More

Fruit Markets: Then and Now

Tacy CalliesGlobal Perspectives

By Marcos Fava Neves In the last three decades, world fruit production went from 338 to 865 million tons. CHANGES IN THE CITRUS SECTORCitrus represents 17 percent of fruit production but is growing at a slower rate (140 percent) than the 155 percent growth rate seen in the total category of all fruits. Within the citrus sector, oranges represented 67 … Read More

Giving Back to Orie Lee

Ernie NeffResearch, Rootstocks

The late Orie Lee was renowned for his long and generous cooperation with University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) scientists conducting citrus research on his property. One of those researchers, plant breeder Jude Grosser, says the industry is now giving a little back to the Lee family. Grosser discusses 12 federally funded trials in which rootstocks … Read More

Psyllid Control and Endemic HLB

Ernie NeffHLB Management, Pests, Psyllids


In the early days of HLB in Florida, virtually all researchers and growers agreed that nothing was more important than controlling HLB-spreading Asian citrus psyllids. But once HLB had spread to every grove (become endemic), many growers began questioning whether continued psyllid control was necessary. University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) entomologist Lukasz Stelinski tackled that … Read More

All In For Citrus Podcast, May 2019

Taylor HillmanAll In For Citrus Podcast

all in for citrus podcast

Growers won’t want to miss the May All In For Citrus podcast. This episode addresses concerns about bactericide use in citrus, includes an interview with Scott Angle, director of the U.S. Department of Agriculture National Institute of Food and Agriculture, and provides a summary of citrus under protective screen research. First, Michael Rogers, Citrus Research and Education Center director, focuses … Read More

Citrus Expo Registration Opens June 1

Tacy CalliesCitrus Expo

The 28th annual Citrus Expo is quickly approaching! AgNet Media, organizer of the event, is excited to once again bring the citrus industry together. Citrus Expo will take place Aug. 14–15 at the Lee Civic Center in North Fort Myers, Florida. All pre-registered growers will automatically be entered for a chance to win a John Deere gun safe, courtesy of … Read More