Controlled-Release Fertilizer Boosts Health of HLB Trees (Part 1)

By Pete Spyke, Joby Sherrod and Jude Grosser Editor’s note: Look for part 2 of this article in the May 2017 issue of Citrus Industry magazine. Part 2 will present case studies using controlled-release fertilizer. Until now, most growers have considered controlled-release fertilizer (CRF) to be primarily for use on young trees, especially resets in existing groves. There is increasing … Read More

Citrus Group Objects to New Rules for Pesticide Use Near Schools

Over industry objections, the California Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR) is continuing its effort to create new regulations for the use of agricultural pesticides near school sites and licensed child day care facilities. A recently published revision included changes made due to input received during public review. This revision did not go far enough to satisfy objections. After reviewing the … Read More

Captain, We Have a Problem: the Juice Stocks!

By Marcos Fava Neves  The new figures from the U.S. Department of Agriculture released in March showed a small drop in the Florida orange estimate from 70 million to 67 million boxes. In February, the Brazilian orange estimate announced by Fundecitrus stayed the same, at approximately 244 million boxes. Oranges in Brazil currently contain a lot of water, with almost … Read More

What Growers Say and Hear at Mutual Meetings

Growers

Florida Citrus Mutual has been cooking for its grower members, hearing what’s on their minds and telling what the association is doing for them at area meetings this spring. At a recent meeting in Bartow, Mutual CEO Mike Sparks summarized what growers are talking about, and what Mutual is telling the growers. “The entire citrus industry knows we’re still in … Read More

Teaming Up Against Asian Citrus Psyllids

The natural enemies Diaphorencyrtus aligarhensis and Tamarixia radiata may have a future together in California. By Ivan Milosavljević and Mark S. Hoddle Over the past 11 years, the Asian citrus psyllid (ACP)-Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus (CLas) (manifested as citrus greening) complex has become a “duo from hell” for Florida’s citrus industry, causing a substantial negative economic effect. ACP-CLAS MANAGEMENT IN CALIFORNIA … Read More

Searching for Citrus Varieties Resistant to HLB

Three old trees at the Lindcove Research and Extension Center (REC) might hold the key to huanglongbing (HLB) resistance, according to an article in the University of California (UC) publication California Agriculture. The Lindcove REC is located on the eastern edge of the San Joaquin Valley near Visalia, California. Several of the citrus varieties tested at Lindcove REC were bred … Read More

Highlands County Citrus Growers Association Golf Day

The Highlands County Citrus Growers Association (HCCGA) is hosting its 2017 Golf Day on April 27. HCCGA’s executive director, Ray Royce, is very excited for this year’s event. The golf day is a yearly event for the public and HCCGA members. Royce says that there are generally about 100 people in attendance, and he expects the same turnout this year. … Read More

CRDF President Discusses Bactericides

bactericides

Tom Jerkins, president of the Citrus Research and Development Foundation, several years ago led a crowd at Florida Citrus Mutual’s annual meeting in chanting, “We need bactericides now!” The bactericides, which growers hope will significantly reduce HLB impacts on citrus trees, have been available to citrus growers for more than a year now. Most growers reportedly are using them, at … Read More

Ground Cover Management Can Improve Citrus Nutrition

By Christopher Vincent I recently spent a morning with a grower who was trying to find out how efficient his citrus fertility program was. His fertilizer practices were carefully considered combinations of granular fertilizer and fertigation based on foliar sampling and yield history. We were there to observe some European consultants who were measuring mineral nutrient levels in the root … Read More

Citrus Canker Management for 2017

By Evan Johnson The citrus canker season is quickly approaching again, so it is time to start preparing your canker management plan. It is easy to forget the importance of controlling citrus canker with the current state of HLB in Florida. However, citrus canker can cause almost complete crop loss if environmental conditions are favorable for disease early in the … Read More

New Case of HLB Found in Southern California

Huanglongbing (HLB) was confirmed in a single citrus tree in the city of La Habra in Orange County, California, on April 11, 2017. This new find will result in a new HLB quarantine area, which will link the existing quarantines into a contiguous zone spanning portions of Los Angeles and Orange counties. Additionally, two samples of Asian citrus psyllids (ACP) … Read More

Psyllid Movement and Location in Trees

Psyllids

University of Florida entomologist Kirsten Pelz-Stelinski presented an abundance of facts about Asian citrus psyllids at the recent Florida Citrus Growers’ Institute in Avon Park. Her presentation included a discussion on how far the HLB-spreading psyllids can travel and where they are predominantly found in citrus trees. “They’re quite capable of long-distance movement, about four miles we determined,” Pelz-Stelinski says. … Read More

Impact of the Water Bill on BMP Implementation     

By Kelly Morgan Nitrogen and phosphorus are essential nutrients for plants and animals and are the limiting nutrients in aquatic environments. The correct balance of both nutrients is necessary for a healthy ecosystem; however, excessive nitrogen and/or phosphorus can cause significant water-quality problems. Typically, nitrogen is the limiting nutrient in spring and surface water systems. Therefore, even modest increases in … Read More

Citrus Nurseryman Phil Rucks Honored

The Florida Nursery, Growers and Landscape Association (FNGLA) has named Phil Rucks of Phillip Rucks Citrus Nursery in Frostproof its Outstanding Volunteer Member of the year. During a very challenging time for the citrus nursery industry, Rucks has been a key leader within FNGLA’s Citrus Nursery Division. He spearheaded the construction of a citrus research greenhouse at the Mid-Florida Research … Read More

Bucks Toward BMPs

Cost-share assistance is available from several sources for growers looking to implement improvements to best management practices. By Tacy Callies The names of the organizations and programs that provide funding to Florida citrus growers for best management practices (BMPs) projects — SWFWMD, FARMS, EQIP, etc. — can sound like a big bowl of alphabet soup. But in reality, they represent … Read More

Keys to Gulf Citrus Production

Several Florida growers recently have said that groves in the Gulf citrus region of Southwest Florida are looking better than most groves in the state. Additionally, statistics indicate production in the Gulf region exceeds production in the state as a whole. Multi-county citrus Extension agent Mongi Zekri, who represents the Southwest/Gulf region, was recently asked why the Gulf was doing … Read More

The Pest Partnerships that Threaten Citrus

Biocontrol of Asian citrus psyllids can be improved by controlling ants. By Kelsey Schall and Mark Hoddle More than a decade of battle with the Asian citrus psyllid (ACP)-huanglongbing (HLB) complex has drained the vigor from Florida’s citrus industry, costing billions in disease management and production losses. With HLB established in parts of urban Southern California, the second largest citrus … Read More

Crop Forecast Sees Changes for Grapefruit, Tangerines and Mandarins

florida

Mark Hudson of the U.S. Department of Agriculture National Agricultural Statistics Service issued the April 2017 citrus crop forecast. ORANGES The U.S. all-orange forecast for the 2016-2017 season is 5.11 million tons, down 1 percent from last month and down 16 percent from the 2015-2016 revised final utilization. The Florida all-orange forecast, at 67 million boxes (3.02 million tons), is unchanged from … Read More

Buddha’s Hand Citron Could Play Role in Canker Resistance Breeding

By Naveen Kumar, R.C. Ebel and P.D. Roberts Citrus canker became endemic in Florida after several introductions and eradication programs dating back to 1915. The citrus industry struggles for an effective, permanent program. Canker is an expensive disease due to the need to increase the number of sprays and products applied. Canker also causes enormous economic losses due to fruit … Read More