California’s Pesticide Worker Laws Updated

Tacy CalliesCalifornia Corner, Citrus, Regulation

By Len Wilcox Effective January 1, California updated its pesticide worker safety standards to comply with the new federal Worker Protection Standard. The update addressed re-entry to application exclusion zones, fieldworker training, new posting requirements, eyewash equipment and hazard communication. It also made other refinements to the state’s existing standards. Bill Griffin, pesticide supervisor for the Fresno County Agriculture Commissioner, … Read More

Scott Seeks to Scuttle Challenge to Citrus Money Veto

Abbey TaylorLegislative

Attorneys for Gov. Rick Scott argued Monday the Florida Supreme Court should reject a lawsuit challenging the governor’s veto of $37.4 million that would compensate homeowners for healthy citrus trees cut down by the state. Responding to the lawsuit filed last week in the Supreme Court, Scott’s attorneys filed a 22-page document that said the governor has broad line-item veto … Read More

Ag Industry Gives Input on Farm Bill

Abbey TaylorAgriculture, Legislative

A House Agriculture Committee listening session, “The Next Farm Bill, Conversations in the Field,” took place on June 24 in Gainesville, Florida. Those who attended the informal farm bill hearing spoke about how they are affected by policies in their daily lives. Farmers, ranchers and stakeholders were encouraged to tell how the bill affects them so that the representatives could … Read More

HLB Funding Discussed During Farm Bill Listening Session

Josh McGillLegislative

Various topics were discussed during the House Agriculture Committee’s first farm bill listening session held last Saturday in Gainesville. One of those was the citrus industry, and more specifically funding to help fight HLB. Hear more from Harold Browning, chief operations officer of the Citrus Research and Development Foundation.    

Farm Bill Listening Session in Gainesville

Abbey TaylorLegislative

“The Next Farm Bill, Conversations in the Field,” a House Agriculture Committee listening session, is taking place tomorrow, June 24, in Gainesville, Florida. The session is a great opportunity for farmers to speak about policies and how they are directly impacted by them in the field. House Committee members and Chairman Michael Conway highly encourage people within the industry to … Read More

Hunt on FDOC Budget and Grove Conditions

Ernie NeffFlorida Citrus Commission

Grove

The Florida Citrus Commission (FCC) on June 21 set a preliminary 2017-18 Florida Department of Citrus (FDOC) operating budget of $17.5 million. That’s a 22 percent reduction from last season and the lowest FDOC budget in decades. The final budget will be set after the U.S. Department of Agriculture issues the first Florida citrus crop forecast of the new season … Read More

Court Wants Quick Response on Citrus Veto

Daniel CooperCitrus, Citrus Greening, Industry News Release

supreme court

from: News Service of Florida The Florida Supreme Court on Wednesday gave Gov. Rick Scott’s administration until noon on Monday to respond to a lawsuit challenging the governor’s veto of $37.4 million intended to go to residents whose healthy citrus trees were cut down as the state tried to eradicate the citrus canker disease. The Supreme Court set the deadline … Read More

Citrus Industry Tightens Belt Amid Industry Woes

Daniel CooperCitrus, Florida Citrus Commission, Industry News Release

citrus

by Jim Turner, News Service of Florida The Florida Department of Citrus plans to continue to squeeze its operations during the coming year as the industry struggles, though travelers will still be able to receive free orange juice at state welcome centers. The Florida Citrus Commission, which oversees the department, approved a preliminary $17.5 million operating budget Wednesday that would … Read More

Homeowners Seek to Overturn Scott Citrus Money Veto

Daniel CooperCitrus, Citrus Greening, Industry News Release

veto citrus money

News Service of Florida Homeowners and their lawyers asked the Florida Supreme Court late Tuesday to overturn Gov. Rick Scott’s decision this month to veto $37.4 million intended for residents whose healthy citrus trees were cut down as the state tried to eradicate the citrus canker disease. Lawmakers included the money in the 2017-2018 budget to compensate residents of Broward … Read More

Citrus Greening Detected in Alabama

Daniel CooperCitrus Greening, Industry News Release

citrus greening

A plant disease that presents a serious threat to the U.S. citrus industry has been detected in Alabama. Federal and state plant health officials have confirmed the identification of citrus greening, also known as huanglongbing or HLB, which is caused by the bacterial pathogen Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus. This is the first confirmation of citrus greening in Alabama despite biannual surveys … Read More

Risk Management Education Funding

Tacy CalliesCitrus, Industry News Release

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Risk Management Agency (RMA) announced up to $8.85 million available for cooperative agreements for risk management education and training programs. The funding provides resources for organizations such as universities, county cooperative Extension offices and nonprofit organizations to develop training and education tools to help growers learn how to effectively manage long-term risks and challenges. … Read More

2017 Citrus Youth Day

Abbey TaylorCitrus

Citrus Youth Day was created to help teach students about the importance of citrus and agriculture as careers, as well as in the community. Jamie Burrow, Extension program manager for the University of Florida/Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences Citrus Research and Education Center, says there will be five stations for the kids during the Citrus Youth Day event. The … Read More

Grower Has Tepid Report on Bactericides for HLB

Ernie NeffBactericides, HLB Management

Bactericides

Three years ago at the annual Florida Citrus Mutual Conference in Bonita Springs, Tom Jerkins, who was and still is president of the Citrus Research and Development Foundation, enthusiastically led the crowd in chanting, “We need bactericides now!” At the same conference this year (June 15), Jerkins gave a less than enthusiastic report on his company’s yield results following one … Read More

Sources of HLB-Spreading Psyllids

Ernie NeffPsyllids

fungus

The origin of HLB-spreading Asian citrus psyllids found in citrus groves is regarded differently in Texas and California than it is in Florida. Michael Rogers, University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences entomologist and director of the Citrus Research and Education Center, explains. “Areas like Texas and California, their focus has been on combating psyllids in the urban … Read More

Troutman Joins Lineup of Florida Ag Commissioner Hopefuls

Daniel CooperAgriculture, Industry News Release, Legislative

by Lloyd Dunkelberger News Service of Florida Former state Rep. Baxter Troutman entered the race for state agriculture commissioner on Monday, priming his Republican bid for a Cabinet seat with $2.5 million of his own money. “For two decades, I’ve been building a business and continuing my work in Florida agriculture,” Troutman, of Winter Haven, said in a statement. “Real … Read More

Florida Agricultural Crime on the Rise

Tacy CalliesCitrus

By Abigail Taylor Some Florida citrus growers are struggling to keep their products and possessions safe from thieves. There have been theft reports ranging from large and small equipment, chemicals, fuel, young trees and fruit, as well as accounts of vandalism. Ned Hancock, former Highlands County Citrus Growers Association president, says the issue is “much more significant than most people … Read More

June Citrus Forecast: Oranges Up; Tangerines Down

Daniel CooperCitrus, Crop Forecast

citrus florida

ORANGES The 2016-2017 Florida all-orange forecast released by Mark Hudson of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service is up 500,000 boxes to 68.5 million boxes. The increase is in Valencia oranges. The total includes 33 million boxes of non-Valencias (early, midseason, and Navel varieties) and 35.5 million boxes of Valencias. For the previous 10 seasons used in … Read More

Pros and Cons of H-2A for Growers and Workers

Ernie NeffCitrus

labor

The federal H-2A program that allows temporary agricultural guest workers from other countries has grown dramatically in recent years. Approximately 80 percent of all Florida citrus is harvested by H-2A workers, says Carlene Thissen, coordinator for farm labor supervisor training at the Southwest Florida Research and Education Center in Immokalee. She says the number of H-2A workers in Florida citrus … Read More

California County Supervisor Makes Plea to Stop HLB

Len WilcoxCalifornia Corner

citrus greening

San Bernardino County Supervisor James Ramos is asking his constituents to help preserve the citrus industry and protect citrus trees in their area from HLB. In an article he wrote for a community newspaper (The Press-Enterprise), Ramos pointed out that citrus is a staple crop of San Bernardino County and has a rich history that traces as far back as … Read More