Stronger Standards for Applying the Riskiest Pesticides

Daniel CooperIndustry News Release, Pests

pesticides

Improved training and minimum age requirements will help protect people and the environment. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is finalizing standards for applicators who apply restricted-use pesticides that are not available for purchase by the general public, and require special handling. “We are committed to keeping our communities safe, protecting our environment and protecting workers and their families,” said … Read More

Ellis, Sparks, Robinson to Join Citrus Hall of Fame

Ernie NeffCitrus

Jim Ellis of Bartow, Mike Sparks of Apollo Beach and the late T. Ralph Robinson will be inducted into the Florida Citrus Hall of Fame on March 10 at Florida Southern College in Lakeland. Ellis has been a grower, packer, industry representative and historian. He currently works for the Division of Fruit and Vegetables in the Florida Department of Agriculture … Read More

15 UF/IFAS Early Career Scientists Awarded $50K Grants

Daniel CooperIndustry News Release

growers

Fifteen early career scientists at the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Scientists (UF/IFAS) have been awarded grants to help solve global issues such as thwarting invasive pests, improving crop varieties, battling citrus greening and preserving our environment.

USDA Citrus Crop Forecast Has Little Changes

Daniel CooperCitrus, Crop Forecast

florida citrus

Mark Hudson, of the U.S. Department of Agriculture/National Agricultural Statistics Service, reported the December citrus crop forecast. Florida has no changes in non-Valencia or Valencia oranges. Grapefruit for the month dropped from 9.6 to 9.3 million boxes with white at 2 million boxes and red at 7.3 million boxes each. Tangerines and tangelos changed from 1.55 to 1.5 million boxes, … Read More

Researcher: Well-Managed Trees Can Do OK with HLB

Ernie NeffHLB Management

Although a field trial indicates that microbial soil amendments didn’t seem to help trees with HLB, the trial project manager sees a take-home message for growers. That message is that “well-managed trees can continue getting along OK,” says Jim Syvertsen, a scientist with the Citrus Research and Development Foundation. Syvertsen summarizes results he presented at a recent field day in … Read More

Results of Microbial Soil Amendments in HLB-Infected Grove

Ernie NeffCitrus Greening, HLB Management

microbes, HLB

Approximately 40 people trekked into a Premier Citrus Management grove in Saint Lucie County on December 6 to learn that microbial soil amendments haven’t increased yields in an HLB-infected grove. Daniel Bott, Premier Citrus division manager for approximately 5,000 acres, including the trial site off Indrio Road, comments on the results. “There seems to be some differentiation between the products,” … Read More

Update on Bactericide Trials

Ernie NeffBactericides, Citrus Greening, HLB Management

A Citrus Research and Development Foundation (CRDF) researcher provided an update on grower trials of bactericides for HLB to the CRDF’s Commercial Product Delivery Committee on December 5. CRDF Chief Operations Officer Harold Browning summarizes the report. “Most of the metrics that we’re most interested in are coming up as we go into harvest,” Browning says. “The true test of … Read More

Leadership Change at Peace River Valley Citrus Growers Association

Tacy CalliesCitrus

Update as of 1-4-17: Katie Marks has decided to stay with her current employer and will not be accepting the position as executive director with Peace River Valley Citrus Growers Association. Peace River Valley Citrus Growers Association (PRVCGA) Executive Director LeAnna Himrod announced she has accepted a new position as communications manager at the Florida Department of Citrus. Responsibilities in … Read More

Sensory and Consumer Studies for Improving Citrus Quality

Tacy CalliesCitrus

By Laura Reuss, Fred Gmitter and Yu Wang In Florida, it is necessary to produce large quantities of high-quality citrus fruits in order to keep pace with the projected market growth, as well as to maintain viability of the citrus industry. Successful development of new varieties and pre- and post-harvest practices should be consumer-driven. However, consumer behavior is often affected … Read More

Update on $9 Million NuPsyllid Effort Against HLB

Ernie NeffCitrus Greening, HLB Management, Pests

Citrus Research and Development Foundation (CRDF) Chief Operations Officer Harold Browning provides an update on a major five-year HLB project that CRDF is managing. “It’s (NuPsyllid) a project that started in 2012, involving a team of scientists from all over the country … And the goal is to build and release into the field the psyllid that has less capacity … Read More

Georgia Citrus Up-and-Coming

Tacy CalliesCitrus

By Ernie Neff Georgia’s fledgling citrus industry recently formed the state’s first citrus association with a retired federal law enforcement agent leading the way. “We are pioneers in this,” says Lindy Savelle, president of the Georgia Citrus Association (GCA). Indeed they are pioneers. Extension agent Jake Price for Lowndes County, Georgia, reports that about 40 growers had 150 citrus acres … Read More

HLB and Genetic Engineering: The FDOC’s Role

Ernie NeffCitrus Greening, Genetic Engineering

budget

Communicating about genetic engineering as a partial solution to greening disease (HLB) was the topic of a recent OJ break in Sebring. Florida Department of Citrus (FDOC) Executive Director Shannon Shepp participated in the meeting and discusses the FDOC’s role in telling consumers about greening. “We’re very clear on the fact that biotechnology research is happening … We know that … Read More

December Citrus Industry Features Annual Citrus Guide

Tacy CalliesCitrus

December is the time for Christmas trees, gift-giving and the annual Citrus Guide! The December issue of Citrus Industry magazine features our annual Citrus Guide. It’s a directory of contact information for citrus organizations, agencies, researchers and vendors. This is an issue readers will want to keep handy all year long. In addition to the Citrus Guide, this edition includes … Read More

Managing HLB Horticulturally

Ernie NeffCitrus Greening, HLB Management

HLB management

University of Florida researcher Tripti Vashisth at Citrus Expo in August discussed the horticultural steps that can best help growers with managing HLB. She summarizes her presentation in an interview with Citrus Industry magazine. “The most important thing with managing HLB-affected groves is you want to fertilize your groves with good nutrition,” she says. She also emphasizes the need for … Read More

Genetic Engineering for HLB – the Growers’ Role

Ernie NeffCitrus Greening, Genetic Engineering, HLB Management

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

Ernie NeffCitrus Greening, HLB Management, Pests

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

Ernie NeffCitrus Greening, HLB Management, Pests

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

Ernie NeffEconomics, PFD

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

Ernie NeffCitrus, Economics

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

Josh McGillIndustry News Release

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