Micronutrients for Root Health and HLB

Ernie NeffCitrus Greening, HLB Management, Nutrition


University of Florida researcher Jude Grosser, best known for his work on citrus breeding, has become a champion of micronutrients to improve root health and battle HLB. At a recent Highlands County OJ Break, he discussed the use of micronutrients, including why he got involved. “I guess just like any farmer, you don’t like watching your plants get sick and … Read More

Continuing a Legacy of Leadership

Tacy CalliesCitrus, Citrus Greening, Citrus Health Management Areas, Regulation

By Tacy Callies Callie Walker comes from a long line of Florida farmers. In 1875, her family set up homestead in Alva. Her father, uncles, grandfather and great-grandfather have been involved in a diversity of agricultural fields including citrus, cattle, sugar cane, vegetables and row crops. “My dad and his three brothers still run the family operation — citrus and … Read More

Brazilian Discusses Postbloom Fruit Drop

Ernie NeffPFD


Geraldo Silva, a scientist with Fundecitrus in Brazil, shared thoughts about postbloom fruit drop (PFD) and its control at a recent seminar in Arcadia. Silva says Brazilians assume that the PFD inoculum is present in groves at all times, because consecutive days of rain can bring on a PFD outbreak 10 years after a previous outbreak. “We can have a … Read More

Kakkar Joins UF/IFAS Extension as Invasive Insect Specialist

Daniel CooperPests, Research

by Robin Koestoyo, UF/IFAS koestoyo@ufl.edu Garima Kakkar is joining the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) to help the state fight invasive pests. Kakkar, an expert in invasive insects, is a multi-county Extension agent based in St. Lucie County. Kakkar has a diverse range of experience in managing pest insects, and will now serve growers in the … Read More

Why Florida Orange Juice Is Best

Ernie NeffFlorida Citrus Commission


In a recent Florida Department of Citrus video, citrus grower and Florida Citrus Commissioner Ned Hancock told why he thinks Florida orange juice is the world’s best orange juice. He summarizes the reasons for that belief: “I think one is the climate that we’re in is greatly different than some other regions. We are more subtropical and citrus is, I … Read More

Citrus Harvester Survey Reveals Changes in Labor Force

Tacy CalliesLabor

University of Florida researcher Gulcan Onel recently provided a first look at data she gathered from surveying 307 Florida citrus harvesters in 2016. She debuted her early research findings at the Florida Agricultural Policy Outlook Conference on February 9 at the Gulf Coast Research and Education Center. While she noted that the data is still being further analyzed, she shared … Read More

New Indian River Researcher to Aid in HLB Fight

Ernie NeffHLB Management, Irrigation, Nutrition

HLB, irrigation, nutrition

Rhuanito “Johnny” Ferrarezi, a new citrus horticulture scientist at the Indian River Research and Education Center near Fort Pierce, discusses his research plans. “I’m going to be focusing on irrigation, plant nutrition and cultural practices to improve our current practices and try to maximize plant survival under greening conditions,” he says. Most of his attention will be on Indian River … Read More

Florida on Cusp of Potential PFD Season

Ernie NeffPFD


The timing was perhaps impeccable for a seminar in Arcadia on February 8 that focused on postbloom fruit drop (PFD). Rain had fallen on Central Florida the night before, and some bloom is already on trees. That combination of rain and bloom has led to major PFD outbreaks in recent years. “There’s some bloom out there already,” says University of … Read More

Non-Valencia Oranges Cut to 35.0 Million Boxes

Daniel CooperCitrus, Crop Forecast

florida citrus

Mark Hudson, USDA/NASS, Washington D.C. offered the February citrus crop forecast. The forecast of non-Valencia production is lowered 1.00 million boxes to 35.0 million boxes. Size and Drop components were final last month. The Row Count survey conducted January 26-27, 2017, showed 72 percent of the early-mid-season rows, and 83 percent of the Navel rows are harvested. Estimated utilization to … Read More

Freeze Damage Symptoms and Recovery for Citrus

Tacy CalliesFreeze Protection, Weather

By Mongi Zekri, Chris Oswalt, Steve Futch and Laurie Hurner The extent of cold injury to citrus depends on a number of factors, and its expression may occur over an extended period of time. Factors responsible for freeze damage include minimum temperature, duration of freezing temperatures and stage of tree acclimation. Susceptibility of trees to freezing temperatures can also be … Read More

Georgia Citrus Association Annual Meeting Set

Ernie NeffCitrus, Nutrition

The Georgia Citrus Association (GCA) will hold its annual meeting February 27 in Tifton, Georgia. The meeting will be conducted from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the University of Georgia (UGA) Tifton Campus Conference Center. GCA Vice President Andy Jackson expects more than 100 to attend the meeting, including growers and exhibitors. Topics will include crop diversification, packing and … Read More

Grapefruit Production Costs Drop; Profitability Is Elusive

Ernie NeffBactericides, Economics, Grapefruit

Grapefruit production costs

A decrease in grapefruit production costs among Indian River growers allowed the average grower to approach the break-even point in the 2015-16 season, a University of Florida economist reports. Ariel Singerman made his report at the recent Florida Citrus Show in Fort Pierce. The report was based on a July 2016 survey of 70 growers representing a majority of grapefruit … Read More

Disease, Harvest Labor, Environment Big Issues in Gulf

Ernie NeffDiseases, Labor

Disease, Harvest, Environment

Gulf Citrus Growers Association (GCGA) Vice President Ron Mahan, who chaired a recent GCGA member lunch, discusses key issues facing the association. Mahan says the area’s number-one concern is disease pressure “and adjusting our management and growing practices to minimize disease impacts.” He notes that Florida is “going to be at one of our low points in production this year,” … Read More

Letter to the Editor: The Future of the Florida Citrus Industry*

Tacy CalliesCitrus, Letter to the Editor, Rootstocks, Scions

By Bill Castle University of Florida professor emeritus Paul Genho, a former manager of the Deseret Ranch in Osceola County, spoke about soils and food at a Florida land conference in 2015.** He noted that 90 percent of the world’s food production occurred on only four soil types: Mollisols, Alfisols, Ultisols and Oxisols. A goodly proportion of those soil types … Read More

UF/IFAS Extension Faculty Win Seed Money Through New Shark Tank-Style Program

Daniel CooperResearch, Technology


By: Samantha Grenrock, grenrosa@ufl.edu   Facial recognition software is no longer a thing of the future. But what if similar technologies could one day help farmers identify pests in the field? Steve Futch, multi-county citrus agent with the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences Extension (UF/IFAS), thinks it’s possible. And thanks to the new UF/IFAS Extension Entrepreneurship Program, … Read More

Effective and Economical Psyllid Spray Programs

Tacy CalliesCitrus, Citrus Greening, HLB Management

By Phil Stansly Effective control of Asian citrus psyllid (ACP) has been a challenge for many Florida growers these last two years. Possible explanations include warmer, wetter weather in winter, fewer insecticide sprays being applied and a possible increase in insecticide resistance. There is little doubt that weather-induced flush the last two winters has provided extra food and refuge for … Read More

Citrus Research and Education Center Starts Centennial Celebration

Tacy CalliesCitrus

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Nearly a century ago, a group of Polk County citrus growers raised about $14,000 to buy land for a research station. Now, the University of Florida/Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) will celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Citrus Research and Education Center (Citrus REC). In 1917, UF/IFAS established the Citrus REC. Originally, only a few … Read More

Nurseryman Discusses HLB and Replanting Choices

Ernie NeffHLB Management, Rootstocks, Scions

HLB, Replanting

As a member of a grower panel at the recent Florida Citrus Show in Fort Pierce, nurseryman Nate Jameson shared his thoughts on coping with HLB, choosing trees for replanting and more. The owner of Brite Leaf Citrus Nursery summarizes his presentation, starting with questions growers have for nurserymen. “I think the number-one question that we get is, ‘What tree … Read More

Bayer and CRDF Explore Partnership Possibilities

Ernie NeffBactericides, Citrus Greening, HLB Management


Bayer CropScience on January 24 told the Citrus Research and Development Foundation (CRDF) board about its proposed long-term efforts to find solutions to HLB. Bayer seeks CRDF funding for the effort, but the funding amount was not publicly discussed at the January meeting. CRDF Chief Operations Officer Harold Browning summarizes the discussions. “We’re looking at how to take bigger steps … Read More