UF/IFAS Method Detects 83% of Immature Citrus; Helping Cut Costs

  GAINESVILLE, Fla. — University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) researchers have found a new way to detect immature citrus 83 percent of the time, which lets growers know where to apply fertilizer and water and perhaps save on labor costs for the $10.9 billion-a-year Florida industry. By detecting green, immature citrus more accurately and efficiently, … Read More

Vegetables Being Grown on Old Citrus Land

Doug Bournique, executive director of the Indian River Citrus League, says that for about a year now, vegetable growers have been moving in on old citrus land in the northeast corner of Lake Okeechobee. The land has been out of citrus production for many years, but has grown in popularity with California and Midwest vegetable growers. Bournique says it all started … Read More

UF/IFAS Researcher To Be Honored As Citrus Engineer of Year

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — A University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences researcher who uses steam to help treat citrus trees infected by greening will receive this year’s Citrus Engineer of the Year Award. Reza Ehsani, a UF/IFAS associate professor of agricultural and biological engineering, will receive the award June 21 at the 59th Biennial Citrus Engineering Symposium at … Read More

Grower Participation Needed for Short Bactericide Survey

It has been approximately two months since the crisis declaration was issued that allows Florida citrus growers to use bactericides to combat HLB. Three commercial products containing the two active ingredients, streptomycin and oxytetracycline, are available for use. Growers are implementing season-long plans for application of these materials to suppress HLB. A range of options exist for use of these … Read More

Use of Compost in Citrus

On May 31 in Bushnell, the University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) and Life Soils hosted a field day on the use of compost in citrus. Monica Ozores-Hampton was the featured speaker of the event. She is known as Florida’s “Compost Queen” from her UF/IFAS and US Composting Council research and workshops on compost utilization. She … Read More

El Niño Impact on Blueberry Crop

Florida Blueberries

This year’s Florida blueberry season had a unique challenge to overcome. The unusually warm winter, combined with an El Niño climate phase of cloudy and cool conditions in early spring, resulted in harvest of the 2016 Florida blueberry crop hitting its peak approximately three weeks later than normal. Gary England, a multi-county Extension agent, says by the time that Florida growers … Read More

Citrus Grower Addresses Bactericides for HLB, Production and Pricing

HLB

Wauchula citrus grower Kenny Sanders discussed on Wednesday the use of bactericides with HLB, production and pricing with more than 40 others at a grower roundtable in Wauchula. Like several other growers, he says his early-mid orange production was down this season (by 30 percent) while his Valencia crop was up 7 to 8 percent. “Pound solids were down everywhere,” … Read More

Sterile Insect Release Facility Gets Upgrade

John D. Renshaw, U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) sterile insect technology director, says that the USDA Sterile Insect Release Facility is one of the department’s best-kept secrets. And since there are only 50 similar facilities worldwide, many might agree with him. The sterile insect program in Sarasota, Florida, has been sterilizing male Mediterranean fruit flies (medflies) from its facility on … Read More

PFD, Bactericides for HLB are Top Citrus Grower Concerns

PFD

Postbloom fruit drop (PFD), along with the use of bactericides to control HLB, were the big issues for more than 40 participants in a grower roundtable Wednesday in Wauchula. LeAnna Himrod, one of the roundtable hosts, summarizes the issues addressed. Regarding bactericides, she reports: “There were a lot of questions about the bactericides regarding timing: What’s the best time of … Read More

Sneak Peek: June Citrus Industry Magazine

The June issue of Citrus Industry magazine is coming soon. This edition is all about citrus beyond the Sunshine State. Readers will notice a new column in the magazine, called Global Perspectives, authored by a Brazilian citrus expert, Marcos Fava Neves. Ernie Neff, senior correspondent at large, examines the citrus industries in California and Texas. His articles include both challenges … Read More

Water Farming Update

The St. Johns River Water Management District’s governing board has continued to work with Indian River County on establishing water farms on expired citrus land. Water farming is a method being used to help reduce nitrogen and phosphorus being dumped into the Indian River Lagoon. Doug Bournique, executive director of the Indian River Citrus League, provided an update on the progress … Read More

Available Cost-Share Funds from FDACS

The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services’ (FDACS) Office of Agricultural Water Policy has released a statement that pertains to producers within certain districts who are willing to purchase equipment and be honored up to a 75 percent reimbursement on the equipment invoice. The funds are being administered through Marion County and Putnam County soil and water conservation districts. … Read More

Slow-Release Fertilizer in the Grove

Citrus Grower Sees Results with Slow-Release Fertilizer Pete Spyke, citrus grower and co-owner of The Orange Shop in Citra, hosted AgNet Media’s staff for an exclusive, behind-the-scenes tour of his retail shop and gift-fruit shipping business. He detailed the history of the operation and led the staff on a tour of the packinghouse and test-plot grove. Spyke explained his use … Read More

Citrus Department Proposes Staff, Tax Cuts

By Jim Turner THE NEWS SERVICE OF FLORIDA The Capital, Tallahassee – Florida citrus growers could save more than $11 million in taxes they pay on boxes of oranges and grapefruit under a proposed Florida Department of Citrus (FDOC) budget that would trim jobs to meet the demands of a troubled industry. The department, which would see its staff shrink from 39 … Read More

Advantages of Fresh From Florida

Over the years Fresh from Florida has become a staple to Florida’s agriculture. We caught up with Mike Joyner,  assistant commissioner and chief of staff for Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, to talk about Fresh from Florida and some of the advantages that it has for producers in Florida along with successes that they are seeing from the … Read More

Deadline Approaching for Citrus Research Grants

Pre-applications for the emergency Citrus Disease Research and Extension (CDRE) grants are available for fiscal year 2016. The estimated total program funding is $22 million, as a part of the third installment of the $125 million appropriated in the 2014 Farm Bill. To find a detailed summary of CDRE project eligibility criteria and application instructions, visit nifa.usda.gov and search “CDRE … Read More

2016 Flavors of Florida

The University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) put on the third annual Flavors of Florida event at the UF President’s House in Gainesville on May 9. The event was designed to showcase the edible research products of the UF/IFAS Plant Innovation Center and celebrate the accomplishments of Field and Fork (the campus food pantry) and other … Read More

Nurseries Excited About New Early Valencia Orange Varieties

By: Brad Buck GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Nurseries are very interested in two new early Valencia orange varieties from the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS). Growers need help because citrus greening has infected more than 80 percent of Florida’s citrus trees, according to a recent UF/IFAS survey of growers. Although these two new early Valencias are … Read More

Essential Oil Could Help Prevent Citrus Black Spot

By: Robin Koestoyo FORT PIERCE, Fla. – Dipping fruit after harvest with hot water and essential oil dips may reduce postharvest development of citrus black spot (CBS) lesions per fruit by up to 50 percent, according to new University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) research. The new management techniques are the result of Jiaqi Yan’s recently … Read More

CRDF’s Browning Clarifies Recent USDA Funding

The funding was made available through the Specialty Crop Research Initiative Citrus Disease Research and Extension Program, which was appropriated by the $125 million dollars allocated from the 2014 Farm Bill and administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture. The $22 million dollars will be used for a variety of citrus greening-related channels, … Read More