Genetic Engineering for HLB – the Growers’ Role

HLB, genetic engineering

Citrus growers can play a vital role in promoting genetic engineering as a partial solution to HLB, University of Florida Horticultural Sciences Department Chairman Kevin Folta says. He summarizes a message he delivered to about 40 at a Highlands County OJ break in Sebring on November 17. “There are many great innovations at the University of Florida and other places” … Read More

HLB-Spreading Psyllids: Dormant Sprays and the Edge Effect

HLB, psyllids

University of Florida entomologist Phil Stansly discusses the use of dormant sprays for HLB-spreading psyllids. He also addresses the fact that psyllid populations are often higher on grove perimeters — the so-called “edge effect.” Stansly says the next coordinated grower spray for psyllids in the Gulf citrus-growing region will be a dormant spray. “The trees are dormant now and that’s … Read More

Grower: Don’t Cut Back on Psyllid Control

psyllids

Gardinier Florida Citrus General Manager Lee Jones, one of several attending a Gulf Citrus Health Management Area Workshop on November 15 in Immokalee, wanted to share a message with fellow growers. The message: Don’t reduce efforts to control HLB-spreading Asian citrus psyllids. “Everybody’s groves this year are looking a little better,” Jones told Citrus Industry magazine immediately after the seminar. … Read More

Grower: Small Fruit Size, PFD Are Issues

fruit size, pfd

Grower and harvester Charles Wilson of Lake Placid was among those sharing information at a citrus grower forum in Sebring on November 10. “There seems to be a pretty good fruit set blossom unaffected by PFD (postbloom fruit drop),” Wilson says. “But the fruit size is extremely small … and that’s going to definitely affect our yield.” “I see PFD … Read More

Citrus Replanting and Fresh Fruit Taste Concern Grower

Replanting, Fresh Fruit

Lake Wales fresh citrus grower Marshall Hartley tells why many growers hesitate to move forward with citrus replanting. He also discusses declining fresh fruit taste. “I don’t think that we’ve got the perfect tree yet, and everybody’s kind of wondering, where am I going to spend my last dollar?” Hartley says. “Do I need to not plant a tree for … Read More

Florida Citrus Mutual Sells its Building

bactericides survey

LAKELAND, FL (November 10, 2016) -Florida Citrus Mutual announced today the trade organization has sold its downtown Lakeland headquarters to Publix Super Markets Inc. for an undisclosed amount. FCM has been at the site – located at the southeast corner of Orange Street and Massachusetts Avenue – for 68 years. “Florida Citrus Mutual had a long run here and there … Read More

Increase in Florida Non-Valencia Oranges

Fresh Oranges on a tree.

Mark Hudson of the U.S. Department of Agriculture/National Agricultural Statistics Service delivered the November citrus crop forecast. The Florida Non-Valencia oranges are forecast this month at 36 million boxes, up 2 million boxes from the initial forecast last month. Valencia oranges remained at 36 million boxes. Grapefruit for Florida remained at 9.6 million boxes, with white at 2.1 million boxes … Read More

Citrus Nursery Tour Showcases New Technology

Citrific Nursery president Mathew Konrad recently gave a citrus nursery tour to show a culture process and automated nursery system that could be beneficial to the citrus industry. “I got into this industry because I felt like the industry was lacking a lot of common technologies and more sophisticated nursery operations,” said Konrad. He explained that he wanted to make … Read More

From Planning to Planting: Establishing New Groves in the Presence of HLB

By Ute Albrecht Despite the constant threat of huanglongbing (HLB), most growers remain optimistic and are replanting citrus trees to maintain production levels necessary for sustaining the industry. The tax incentive bill under the Emergency Citrus Disease Response Act introduced in December 2015, if implemented, will help growers get back expenses associated with replanting of diseased trees immediately, instead of … Read More

Citrus Grower: Tree Replant Incentives Are Beneficial

Replant incentives

State and federal programs giving citrus growers incentives to replant and a state program designed to eliminate abandoned groves were discussed at a November 1 workshop in Lakeland. The program was hosted by Florida Citrus Mutual. Grower James “Hoss” Morgan, procurement director for Wm. G. Roe & Sons, Inc., likes the programs. “All three of these are very beneficial if … Read More

Grower Gets Strong Orange Production

strong orange production

Bobby Mixon of Sunny South Packing Company, one of several sharing experiences at a recent grower forum in Arcadia, reported good production from a Vernia orange block. He said the block yielded 450 to 500 boxes to the acre last season, which is far above average orange yield in the HLB era. Mixon says Vernia provides “alternate production” from year … Read More

UF/IFAS Imaging System Can Detect Citrus Greening Before Symptoms Show

By: Brad Buck GAINESVILLE, Fla. — A time-lapse polarized imaging system may help citrus growers detect citrus greening before the plant’s leaves show symptoms, which should help growers as they try to fend off the deadly disease, a new University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences study shows. For the new study, Won Suk “Daniel” Lee and Alireza … Read More

New Methods for Managing Citrus Nutrition

pests

University of Florida horticulturist Arnold Schumann recently discussed new ways growers might better manage citrus nutrition. During the Citrus Nutrition Day at the Citrus Research and Education Center, he spoke about the potential future use of a Diagnosis and Recommendation Integrated System (DRIS) that he’s working on. He also addressed the benefits and results of hydroponics in citrus nutrition management. … Read More

UF/IFAS FAWN System Helps Growers Save Water and Money

Citrus grower James Shinn remembers days when he and his workers would rush out as early as 5 p.m. to turn water pumps on to irrigate his crops. “We had no idea when the temperature would drop, so we had to get out there early and get the water going.” Now, researchers with the University of Florida Institute of Food … Read More

The Many Hats of Allen Morris

By Tacy Callies Having grown up in the small north Florida town of Macclenny, a farming community, Allen Morris was introduced to agriculture at an early age. His father died in a tractor accident when Morris was seven, but that didn’t deter him from wanting to earn a living in agriculture. In fact, at 14, he obtained a restricted driver’s … Read More

Citrus Replanting Incentives in Face of HLB

HLB replanting

More than 50 attended a November 1 workshop in Lakeland to learn about incentives to induce citrus tree replanting. Replanting is needed to replace trees lost to HLB and other problems. Kayla Nickerson of the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) talks about a relatively new incentive – her agency’s Citrus Grove Renovation/Re-establishment Support Program. Nickerson says, “We’re … Read More

Managing the Health and Productivity of HLB-Affected Groves

By Tripti Vashisth In 2005, huanglongbing (HLB or citrus greening disease) was first discovered in Florida. Florida orange production changed from 242 million boxes in the pre-hurricane, pre-HLB, 2003–2004 season to 81.5 million boxes in 2015–2016. This dramatic reduction in yield is attributable to multiple causes, including a reduction in citrus acreage, citrus canker and other citrus diseases. HLB is … Read More

Slow Start for Fresh Florida Grapefruit Season

Fresh

Fresh Florida grapefruit shipments continue to decline in concert with the downturn in production resulting from HLB and other problems. On October 26, the Florida Department of Citrus projected fresh Florida grapefruit shipments will be about 4.13 million boxes this season. Three seasons ago, in 2013-14, fresh Florida grapefruit shipments totaled 6.1 million boxes and have dropped in each season … Read More

Some Growers ‘Being Squeezed More than Others’ by HLB

HLB

Citrus Extension agent Steve Futch answers questions following a grower forum in Arcadia on October 27. Growers discussed production, bactericides for HLB and much more. The forum opened with one grower saying he doesn’t know how much longer he can keep going. Another reported per-acre orange production of 450 to 500 boxes in some blocks – a superb level in … Read More

Smelling Huanglongbing for Early-Detection

Another early-detection method being developed works by smelling huanglongbing infections in trees. This method detects the different scents plants give off. Researchers at the University of California, Davis have created a test that could lead to advances in fighting huanglongbing (HLB) disease in citrus. Researcher and professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering, Christina Davis, said the test looks for a … Read More