Letter to the Editor: The Future of the Florida Citrus Industry*

By Bill Castle University of Florida professor emeritus Paul Genho, a former manager of the Deseret Ranch in Osceola County, spoke about soils and food at a Florida land conference in 2015.** He noted that 90 percent of the world’s food production occurred on only four soil types: Mollisols, Alfisols, Ultisols and Oxisols. A goodly proportion of those soil types … Read More

UF/IFAS Extension Faculty Win Seed Money Through New Shark Tank-Style Program


By: Samantha Grenrock, grenrosa@ufl.edu   Facial recognition software is no longer a thing of the future. But what if similar technologies could one day help farmers identify pests in the field? Steve Futch, multi-county citrus agent with the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences Extension (UF/IFAS), thinks it’s possible. And thanks to the new UF/IFAS Extension Entrepreneurship Program, … Read More

Effective and Economical Psyllid Spray Programs

By Phil Stansly Effective control of Asian citrus psyllid (ACP) has been a challenge for many Florida growers these last two years. Possible explanations include warmer, wetter weather in winter, fewer insecticide sprays being applied and a possible increase in insecticide resistance. There is little doubt that weather-induced flush the last two winters has provided extra food and refuge for … Read More

Citrus Research and Education Center Starts Centennial Celebration

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Nearly a century ago, a group of Polk County citrus growers raised about $14,000 to buy land for a research station. Now, the University of Florida/Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) will celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Citrus Research and Education Center (Citrus REC). In 1917, UF/IFAS established the Citrus REC. Originally, only a few … Read More

Nurseryman Discusses HLB and Replanting Choices

HLB, Replanting

As a member of a grower panel at the recent Florida Citrus Show in Fort Pierce, nurseryman Nate Jameson shared his thoughts on coping with HLB, choosing trees for replanting and more. The owner of Brite Leaf Citrus Nursery summarizes his presentation, starting with questions growers have for nurserymen. “I think the number-one question that we get is, ‘What tree … Read More

Bayer and CRDF Explore Partnership Possibilities


Bayer CropScience on January 24 told the Citrus Research and Development Foundation (CRDF) board about its proposed long-term efforts to find solutions to HLB. Bayer seeks CRDF funding for the effort, but the funding amount was not publicly discussed at the January meeting. CRDF Chief Operations Officer Harold Browning summarizes the discussions. “We’re looking at how to take bigger steps … Read More

Food Safety for Fresh Citrus


University of Florida researcher Mark Ritenour kicked off the Florida Citrus Show in Fort Pierce on January 25 with an overview of new federal regulations with which fresh fruit growers must comply, starting with large producers in two years. The regulations are part of the Food Safety Modernization Act. Water that is likely to contact fruit is a key focus. … Read More

A Holistic Approach to Production

By Owen “Sonny” Conner EDITOR’S NOTE: Citrus Industry magazine is providing a platform for growers to express their experiences and share their stories as we unite in the quest to fight HLB and bring the citrus industry back to a healthy condition. The views stated in this article are those of the author and do not represent those of AgNet … Read More

Sneak Peek: February 2017 Citrus Industry Magazine

Pest management is the theme of the February 2017 issue of Citrus Industry magazine. University of Florida entomologist Phil Stansly is featured in the cover story. Stansly has been helping growers control Asian citrus psyllids (ACP) since HLB first appeared in Florida. Learn more about his history of HLB work and what he is currently focusing on in the profile … Read More

Hancock on HLB: ‘I Think We’re Winning a Few Battles’

HLB, greening disease

Ned Hancock, a citrus grower and Florida citrus commissioner, shares thoughts about HLB, including the lack of consumer awareness of the disease and how growers are coping. At the Florida Citrus Commission meeting on January 18, the Florida Department of Citrus staff reported that only 1 percent of American consumers are aware of HLB. Hancock says he would have been … Read More

Common Crop Chemical Leaves Bees Susceptible to Deadly Viruses

By Sara LaJeunesse, Penn State University A chemical that is thought to be safe and is, therefore, widely used on crops — such as almonds, wine grapes and tree fruits — to boost the performance of pesticides, makes honey bee larvae significantly more susceptible to a deadly virus, according to researchers at Penn State and the U.S. Department of Agriculture. … Read More

USDA Invests in Citrus Greening Research

citrus greening

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) today announced four grants totaling more than $13.6 million to combat a scourge on the nation’s citrus industry, citrus greening disease, aka huanglongbing. The funding is made possible through NIFA’s Specialty Crop Research Initiative Citrus Disease Research and Extension Program, authorized by the 2014 Farm Bill.

Telling Millennials About Citrus


Florida Department of Citrus (FDOC) Executive Director Shannon Shepp discusses the department’s mission and how it gets its message to its primary audience, millennials. Millennials are generally considered those born from 1977 to the mid-1990s. “Right now, remember, we have a declining availability of OJ (orange juice) worldwide. It’s very hard to increase sales of something you have declining supply … Read More

Coordinating Citrus Research and Regulatory Issues


The Citrus Research and Development Foundation (CRDF) has discussed having national experts educate citrus researchers about the regulatory issues that could impact possible solutions to citrus problems. CRDF Chief Operations Officer Harold Browning explains the need for such education. “It’s a changing world, and researchers are being asked not to just do the experiment and write the paper and give … Read More

Economic Hurricane Hitting Orange Juice Chain

Global Perspectives

By Marcos Fava Neves We are normally threatened by natural storms hitting the orange juice chain, some of them hurricanes. Matthew was the last one, but fortunately it remained off the coast of Florida rather than directly hitting the orange-production area. However, the orange juice chain is facing a storm — an economic hurricane that is complicating supply and demand. … Read More

Growers Discuss Bactericides, Nutrition and More

A handful of citrus growers discussed January bloom and postbloom fruit drop (PFD), bactericides, nutrition and replanting strategies at a grower forum in Sebring on January 12. Laurie Hurner, Highlands County Extension director and citrus Extension agent, summarizes the discussions. “We are looking at areas where we’ve got bloom coming on. That is a little bit nerve-wracking for January,” Hurner … Read More

Extinguish Helps Citrus Growers with Fire Ant Control

red imported fire ant

Across the Southeast we continue to fight those pesky fire ants, but one company is promoting a product to help citrus growers with fire ant control. Tracy Harris, senior director of sales for Central Life Sciences, says Extinguish is the product for them.       To learn more about Extinguish for fire ant control, go to centrallifesciences.com. Image: Red … Read More

Small Changes in USDA Citrus Crop Forecast


Mark Hudson, of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Agriculture Statistics Service in Washington, D.C., delivered the latest citrus crop forecast today. Florida Valencia oranges dropped slightly from 36 million boxes in December to 35 million boxes in January. Hudson explained this was due to fruit drop. White grapefruit dropped from 2 million boxes to 1.7 million boxes. Tangerines and tangelos … Read More

Section 18 Restored for Bactericide Use on Florida Citrus


Tree Health Section 18 use of bactericide products on Florida citrus has been restored, effective January 10, 2017. The previous section 18 had expired on December 31, 2016, and the use of FireWall, FireLine and Mycoshield products was temporarily prohibited. The new Secion 18 authorization allows bactericide use through December 31, 2017. See the authorization letter for details of use for … Read More

Postbloom Fruit Drop: It’s All About Timing


Postbloom fruit drop (PFD) in recent years has caused many Florida citrus growers as much, or almost as much, anguish as HLB. The Citrus Research and Development Foundation (CRDF) in December approved an extension of PFD research begun in 2016. CRDF Chief Operations Officer Harold Browning discusses PFD and the research. “Progressively the last several years, PFD has increased in … Read More