Responses to Chinese Citrus Import Concerns

Ernie NeffExport/Import, Trade

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue is formulating a response to concerns about the import of fresh citrus from China being allowed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), according to Florida citrus industry representatives. Florida Citrus Packers Executive Vice President Peter Chaires and Florida Citrus Mutual spokesman Andrew Meadows, however, did not know when the response would be issued. … Read More

How to Keep Your Irrigation System Properly Maintained

Tacy CalliesIrrigation

By Davie Kadyampakeni and Arnold Schumann Irrigation system maintenance is critical for proper and efficient delivery of water in citrus and other irrigated crops. A well maintained and functional irrigation system will deliver the required amounts of water to the root zone when needed and help growers optimize crop production. If an irrigation system is not working optimally, crops can … Read More

Citrus Scientist Succeeds at Working From Home

Tacy CalliesIndustry News Release, Research


University of Florida scientist Christopher Vincent is used to working with the unknown to learn new grove management practices. As a University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences plant physiologist, Vincent works to discover how citrus trees can thrive under stressful conditions. Now, during the coronavirus stay-at-home recommendations, he’s applying those skills in a whole new experience — … Read More

Italian Grower Tackles Nematodes, Naturally

Ernie NeffPests

Italian citrus grower Giovanni Battista Spanò will combat the citrus nematode, Tylenchulus semipenetrans, with natural methods involving sowing and green manure of the radish cultivar Defender. The nematodes cause slow decline of citrus. “Nematodes and fungal diseases of the soil are a problem that can be easily solved without using harmful chemical products,” says Spanò. “We can just exploit the … Read More

Nutrients for the Grove: A Nurseryman’s Tips

Ernie NeffNutrition

florida all

By Aaron Himrod Good nursery growers are constantly monitoring their nutrition levels to produce well-nourished plants. While a grove owner cannot employ the same intensity of nutritional control as in an enclosed structure with consistent plant media, the principles apply in the field just as much in the nursery. A steady supply of comprehensive nutrition in the appropriate balance is needed … Read More

HLB Research Uses Psyllid Neuropeptides

Ernie NeffHLB Management, Research

Researchers with several organizations are in the early stages of investigating the use of neuropeptides found in Asian citrus psyllids as the source for biocontrols for HLB disease. The researchers are with the Boyce Thompson Institute (BTI) at Cornell University, the U.S. Department of Agriculture Agricultural Research Service (USDA-ARS) and the University of Washington. The research team is led by … Read More

Growing Matters: Label Rate and Applicator Training Importance

Daniel CooperGrowing Matters, News from our Sponsor

growing matters

Using the exact label rate for products is vital for growers and applicators. The BeSure campaign from the Growing Matters Coalition is reminding the industry that not doing so can lead to ineffective treatments and even pesticide resistance. University of Florida Assistant Professor of Agronomy Brett Bultemeier emphasizes the importance of strictly adhering to the product label and proper application … Read More

New Citrus Greening Treatment Shows Promise

Tacy CalliesCitrus Greening, Industry News Release, Research

University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) researchers have discovered another possible solution to the plague of citrus greening that is impacting Florida’s citrus groves. This new information adds to the growing portfolio of knowledge that UF/IFAS scientists are amassing to fight the disease. Led by UF/IFAS microbiology and cell science professor Claudio Gonzalez, a team of plant … Read More

Fresh Florida-Grown Citrus Sales to Increase

Ernie NeffFresh, sales

Even with a projected downturn in production, “fresh citrus movement is projected to increase as a result of new plantings and other favorable conditions,” a Florida Department of Citrus (FDOC) official reported recently. Florida Citrus Packers, the trade association for fresh fruit packers and shippers, agreed. Marisa Zansler, FDOC director of economic and market research, noted that the production forecast … Read More

Major OJ Purchase Coming Soon From USDA

Ernie NeffOrange Juice

U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) food purchases to come this summer will include $25 million worth of orange juice (OJ). Florida Citrus Mutual CEO Mike Sparks said “the vast majority” of the OJ will come from Florida. “It’s going to be NFC (not from concentrate) and FCOJ (frozen concentrated orange juice),” he said. U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue announced … Read More

COVID-19 Agriculture Loans Available

Ernie NeffCOVID-19

The Small Business Administration (SBA) on May 4 announced that agricultural businesses are now eligible for SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) and EIDL Advance programs. The loan availability is a result of funding authorized by Congress through the Paycheck Protection Program and Healthcare Enhancement Act. The legislation, signed into law by President Donald Trump, provides additional funding for farmers … Read More

Payne on Past, Present and Future of Florida Citrus

Ernie NeffResearch

Jack Payne, head of the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS), looks at the past, present and future of Florida citrus. He has been in the role of senior vice president for agriculture and natural resources since 2010 and is slated to retire on July 1. “Of course, citrus is the iconic industry in Florida,” which … Read More

Yoho: Halt Imports From Mexico and Beyond

Ernie NeffExport/Import, Trade

Florida Congressman Ted Yoho on April 28 asked President Donald Trump to temporarily halt imports of all Mexican, Central American and South American food products. He cited “unprecedented circumstances due to the coronavirus pandemic” in asking the President to invoke a force majeure motion to stop the importation. Force majeure is defined as an event that can’t be anticipated or … Read More

Budget for Florida Includes Citrus Funding

Ernie NeffLegislative

Matt Joyner with Florida Citrus Mutual recently listed citrus industry priorities going into the Florida legislative session, and outcomes of those priorities in the $93.2 billion budget adopted by the state’s Legislature. Joyner, director of governmental affairs for the grower organization, noted that Gov. Ron DeSantis has not yet approved the budget. “His primary focus is directing Florida’s response to … Read More

UF/IFAS Names New VP of Agriculture

Tacy CalliesAgriculture, Florida


University of Florida President W. Kent Fuchs announced today that J. Scott Angle will be joining the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) as vice president of agriculture and natural resources. His first day will be July 13, 2020.  “Dr. Angle will oversee UF’s College of Agricultural and Life Sciences with more than 6,000 students, the Florida … Read More

Tips for Planting Container Trees

Ernie Neffplanting

By Phillip Rucks The following is a summary of planting tips for container trees garnered from work done by various University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences researchers as well as my own experience: Keep trees in shade until planted. They should be wet down at least once daily. Be sure trees are not set out in the … Read More

Updated Citrus Nutrition Guide Helps Growers Manage Greening

Daniel CooperCitrus Greening, Industry News Release


Florida citrus growers hit hard by citrus greening can benefit from University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) expertise in an updated book — the third edition of the Nutrition of Florida Citrus Trees. Greening, known scientifically as huanglongbing (HLB), has caused significant damage to Florida’s citrus industry. UF/IFAS scientists and Extension faculty have updated the guide … Read More

Diversifying Income on Citrus Farms

Tacy CalliesMarket

By Sarah Bostick Citrus growers are finding the need to diversify their marketing channels to stay competitive. Consumers are increasingly interested in learning about where their food comes from. It can be good business to diversify into markets designed to capture the attention of these consumers. CONNECTING WITH CONSUMERSTim and Hiedi Brown are third-generation owners of Brown’s Grove in Sarasota … Read More

National OJ Day Is May 4

Tacy CalliesOrange Juice


May 4 isn’t just for Star Wars fans; it’s also for orange juice lovers! Star Wars Day and National Orange Juice Day are both celebrated annually on May 4. Orange juice sales have surged in the past few months due to consumers wanting to support their immune systems with vitamin C during the COVID-19 pandemic. National OJ Day is the … Read More

New CEU Article Now Available

Tacy CalliesCEU, Pesticides

With training classes cancelled due to COVID-19 social distancing requirements, restricted-use pesticide license holders are finding it challenging to get enough continuing education unit (CEU) credits to keep their licenses active. Help is here! Citrus Industry magazine has published a new CEU Central article. Read the article and pass the 20-question test to earn one free continuing education unit in … Read More