Citrus Greening, Invasive Species Head 2016 UF/IFAS Stories


A trio of projects aimed at helping Florida producers cope with the bacterial disease known as citrus greening topped the list of stories shared by the University of Florida/Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) in 2016. This year marked the beginning of the state’s second decade battling greening disease, which is also known as huanglongbing or HLB. Other top … Read More

Grower/Nurseryman Suggests Fast Track Changes

Fast Track

Nurseryman and citrus grower Phil Rucks was one of several industry members offering input on the Fast Track program on January 5 at the Citrus Research and Education Center in Lake Alfred. Fast Track lets citrus growers and nurseries access experimental University of Florida/Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) fresh citrus selections much earlier than was previously possible. Among … Read More

English Named UF/IFAS Champion for 2016

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Hugh English, a key figure in the citrus industry known for his many contributions to the University of Florida/Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS), has been honored as the 2016 UF/IFAS Champion. English was recognized Dec. 1 at the Gulf Citrus Growers Association luncheon in Fort Myers, Florida. The UF/IFAS Champion Award honors those who strengthen … Read More

Agricultural Hall of Fame Tickets Now on Sale

Tickets are on sale for the 38th annual Florida Agricultural Hall of Fame banquet on Feb. 14, which will honor four inductees who have made invaluable contributions to Florida agriculture. The banquet, which each year celebrates the accomplishments of industry leaders who have served in research, education and business, is held in the Special Events Center at the Florida State … Read More

How Negative Results in HLB Research Can Help Growers


“Everyone wants to see positive results when we do a test” to see if something helps battle HLB, says Harold Browning, chief operations officer of the Citrus Research and Development Foundation. But, he adds, “not everything we test … is going to be able to solve this problem for us, though it may contribute in a small way.” He made … Read More

Transitioning the Farm to the Next Generation

By Ernie Neff Passing a farm from one generation to another can be as simple as waiting for the older generation to die or become disabled. But doing it that way, with no planning, probably won’t be a very rewarding experience for either generation. That was the consensus of several speakers at this summer’s Florida Agriculture Financial Management Conference. Michael … Read More

Popenoe to Be Extension Fruit Production Agent

Extension agent

On January 16, Juanita Popenoe will become the University of Florida/Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences Extension fruit production agent for Lake, Marion and Orange counties. For the past 13 years, she has been an Extension agent in Lake County working with commercial ornamental horticulture. Popenoe says she is “going back to my roots working with fruit. Although (I am) … Read More

Citrus Grower Goes Undercover

Ed Pines’ solution to citrus greening is to grow fruit in a citrus undercover production system. By Catalina Pines “It’s said that necessity is the mother of all invention, and today I toured one way the citrus industry is fighting back against greening,” said Florida Commissioner of Agriculture Adam Putnam on Twitter after touring Precision Citrus on September 23. In … Read More

Citrus Pest Concerns California Industry

citrus crop forecast

California recently passed a state law designed to combat the spread of an Asian citrus pest. All citrus loads transported through California now must be covered, no matter where it’s coming from or where it’s headed.

Citrus Health Management Areas vs. Individual Sprays

CHMAs have proven to be an effective strategy for psyllid control, so why isn’t there more grower participation? By Ariel Singerman and Pilar Useche It has long been recognized that mobile pests with the ability to move between farms compromise the effectiveness of individual (uncoordinated) sprays. This is because neighboring growers share the pest and, therefore, crop damage is dependent … Read More

CRDF Panel Considers a “One-Two Punch” at HLB

A panel of the Citrus Research and Development Foundation (CRDF) in December discussed combining thermotherapy and bactericides in field trials in an effort to fight HLB. Most Florida growers used bactericides throughout 2016, and several growers have experimented with thermotherapy over the last few years. CRDF Chief Operations Officer Harold Browning discusses the concept of combining the two HLB therapies: … Read More

UF Researcher Discusses HLB-Tolerant Scions

University of Florida researcher Jude Grosser told growers about new HLB-tolerant scions at this summer’s Citrus Expo. He summarizes his discussion in this report. “Without question, the most tolerant scion that we have is a fresh market tangelo that we call Sugar Belle,” Grosser says. “It’s very similar to Minneola, but matures a little bit earlier and so it can … Read More

Research Update: Citrus Undercover Production Systems and Whole Tree Thermotherapy

By Arnold Schumann, Laura Waldo and Alan Wright Research for producing huanglongbing (HLB)-free fresh Florida citrus with covered production systems began at the University of Florida/Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) Indian River Research and Education Center in 2013 and at the Citrus Research and Education Center (CREC) in 2014. These citrus undercover production systems (CUPS) evolved from the … Read More

Folta Named Pro Farmer Ag Person of the Year

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Renowned University of Florida genomics and photobiology researcher Kevin Folta has been named 2016 Pro Farmer Ag Person of the Year. Folta is professor and chair of the horticulture sciences department at the UF Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences. “Dr. Folta has been a leader in the fight against the anti-GMO movement for years,” said Chip … Read More

Sneak Peek: January Citrus Industry Magazine

A new year is just around the corner and so is the next issue of Citrus Industry magazine. The January issue features a cover story on Callie Walker, chief of the Bureau of Pest Eradication and Control for the Florida Department of Agriculture. Learn about Walker’s deep roots in citrus and what she is doing about the abandoned grove problem. … Read More

HLB Management in Brazil

Observations and lessons learned from a recent citrus grower tour By Stephen H. Futch In June 2016, a group of Florida citrus growers and industry representatives embarked on a trip to tour the Brazilian citrus industry. The primary purpose of the trip was to learn more about how huanglongbing (HLB or citrus greening) is being managed in Brazil and how … Read More

Update on Approval of Bactericides for HLB


Many Florida citrus growers consider the bactericides that they’ve been applying this year to be their best hope in the fight against HLB. Temporary use of the bactericides was approved this spring by Florida Commissioner of Agriculture Adam Putnam. The industry is seeking Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) approval for continued use of the products. Harold Browning, chief operations officer of … Read More

Will There Be a Citrus Freeze?

citrus cold protection

Rick Lusher, project manager for the Florida Automated Weather Network (FAWN), won’t predict whether there’ll be a citrus freeze this season. But he did tell growers in Sebring on December 15 what weather the federal government is expecting through freeze season. “The most recent three-month outlook that NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) provides shows above normal temperatures and below … Read More

Citrus Growers in the Panhandle Are Enthusiastic Newcomers

An official with the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) recently visited some citrus growers in the Panhandle, north of the traditional Florida citrus belt. Callie Walker, chief of the FDACS Bureau of Pest Eradication and Control, shares her impressions of the fledgling industry. “I was in Perry, Florida; we were looking at citrus production,” Walker said. “A … Read More