Browning Reports from the International Citrus Congress

Ernie NeffCitrus, Citrus Greening

citrus congress

The International Citrus Congress is taking place this week in Brazil. Scientists and citrus industry members from around the globe are gathering to learn the latest research not just on HLB, but on all aspects of citrus production. Florida is well represented at the event. Harold Browning, Citrus Research and Development Foundation chief operations officer, is among the attendees. Southeast … Read More

Hunt on Orange Production: Recovery Could Come Quickly

Ernie NeffCitrus Greening, Economics, Rootstocks

citrus could recover

Florida Citrus Commission Chairman Ellis Hunt Jr. reacts to projections Wednesday that Florida’s orange production will likely be near current levels or possibly much lower in 10 years. He says existing growers and/or institutional investors could replant trees lost to HLB fairly rapidly if they believe trees can survive and produce fruit in the face of HLB. “I think we … Read More

Worst Case in 10 Years: Florida Orange Production at 27 Million Boxes

Ernie NeffCitrus Greening, Economics, Forecast

oranges worst case

In the worst-case scenario projected by economists Wednesday, Florida orange production could plummet to 27 million boxes in 10 years. Florida orange production last season was 81.5 million boxes. As recently as the 2003-04 season, Florida produced 242 million boxes of oranges. Production declines are primarily caused by HLB, the deadly disease first discovered in Florida in 2005. But the … Read More

Pruning to Rehabilitate HLB-Affected Sweet Orange Trees

Josh McGillCitrus

By Tripti Vashisth and Troy Gainey In the last 11 years, Florida orange production has declined more than 60 percent. This dramatic reduction in yield is attributable to multiple causes, including loss of citrus acreage in the state, citrus canker and other diseases, but huanglongbing (HLB) is now recognized as the primary reason for declining citrus yields. HLB-affected trees are … Read More

Update on Thermal Therapy for HLB

Ernie NeffCitrus Expo, Citrus Greening

HLB heat treatment

University of Florida researcher Reza Ehsani updated growers at Citrus Expo in August about research into the use of heat treatment of HLB-infected trees. Approximately 80,000 trees were heat treated in Florida in the past year, he says. Ehsani discusses some key issues regarding thermal therapy. “Finding the right time and temperature is critical to using this technique,” he says, … Read More

Hunt Discusses Citrus Acreage Reduction

Ernie NeffCitrus Greening, Economics

hurricane

“I think it just continues to show … the effect of HLB,” citrus grower and Florida Citrus Commission Chairman Ellis Hunt Jr. says of the U.S. Department of Agriculture report that Florida citrus acreage fell 4 percent in a year. “I look forward to the day that the new groves going in the ground will offset the declining numbers.” Hunt … Read More

Grower Not Surprised by 4 Percent Acreage Decline

Ernie NeffBactericides, Citrus Greening, Economics

citrus acreage decline

“I don’t think there were any real surprises in the report today,” Indian River area grower and packer Cody Estes says in response to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s report that Florida citrus acreage tumbled 4 percent. Florida acreage is now at 480,121, the lowest number since tracking began in 1966. “Hopefully with the anti-microbial treatments that are going on, … Read More

Planting New Groves in the Face of HLB

Ernie NeffCitrus Greening, Nutrition, Rootstocks

Planting new groves in the face of HLB has become a daunting task for Florida growers. At the recent Citrus Expo, University of Florida researcher Ute Albrecht offered suggestions for those taking on the challenge. “Among the important things to consider when planting new groves are the site preparation, the planting of the trees, weed management, irrigation and nutrition, and … Read More

Florida Citrus Acreage Skids 4 Percent to 480,121

Ernie NeffEconomics

citrus acreage tumbled

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Commercial Citrus Inventory, released Monday, shows total Florida citrus acreage tumbled 4 percent from last year to the lowest level since tracking began in 1966. The gross loss of 31,365 acres is the largest loss recorded in a single season since one-year interval surveys began in 2009. New plantings – at 10,090 acres – are … Read More

Evaluation of HLB Treatments

Josh McGillCitrus Greening

By Stephanie Slinski Evaluating how well bactericides, nutritional programs or other treatments work against HLB can be difficult. Symptoms are not uniform between trees in a grove, and tree health fluctuates throughout the season, which may give the appearance of an effect. Rigorous field trials are the best way to test new treatments, but not every treatment program can be … Read More

Trees Look Good but PFD and HLB Will Impact Yield

Ernie NeffCitrus Greening, PFD

PFD and HLB

Several citrus growers attending a grower forum in Sebring last week said groves are looking very good even though fruit production is expected to be low this season. John Barben, a Highlands County grower and the new president of Florida Citrus Mutual, summarized the situation. “Trees are looking good,” Barben said. “We had a lot of rain the last couple … Read More

New Knowledge on Citrus Black Spot

Josh McGillCitrus

By Megan Dewdney, Jeff Rollins, Nan-Yi Wang and Ke Zhang Citrus black spot (CBS) has become established in the groves of Collier and Hendry counties. In other citrus-growing regions of the world where CBS is present, the sexual fruiting bodies of the fungus, known as pseudothecia, form in decomposing leaf litter. Approximately 50 to 180 days following leaf drop, the … Read More

Injecting Citrus Tree Trunks with Bactericide May Help Stem Greening

Josh McGillCitrus

By: Brad Buck GAINESVILLE, Fla. — A chemical treatment known as a bactericide could help preserve citrus trees from the potentially deadly and costly greening disease, a new University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) study shows. Citrus is estimated as a $10.9 billion-a-year industry in Florida and the finding could be key to helping the state’s … Read More

HLB and ‘Tolerance’ as a Practical Matter in Choosing Rootstocks

Tacy CalliesRootstocks

By Bill Castle (Editor’s note: Click on the graphs throughout the article to enlarge them.) By classic biological definition, a particular citrus rootstock-scion combination when infected with Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus (CLas) would be considered tolerant if infected trees had no more than slight reductions in performance, sometimes accompanied by a reduced level of the pathogen. That definition implies that the … Read More

What to Expect from Brazil’s Next Citrus Season

Josh McGillGlobal Perspectives

By Marcos Fava Neves The first crop estimate was released in May for the 2016–17 citrus season in Brazil, which should be of great interest to Florida’s citrus industry. ACREAGE AND AGE The area of orange groves in Brazil, including all varieties, is 416,843 hectares (ha) —6.2 percent smaller than the 2015 figure. There was a considerable reduction of 27,882 … Read More

EPA Approves KPHITE® RX Systemic Bactericide for HLB Control

Tacy CalliesBactericides

Florida-based Plant Food Systems announced that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) approved the use of KPHITE® RX Systemic Bactericide for the control of HLB or citrus greening. The approval was granted based on research conducted by a panel of researchers demonstrating that the use of KPHITE® RX and Renew® RX reduces the effects of greening on citrus crops. Further field … Read More

Research on HLB-Tolerant Varieties Conducted in Gainesville

Ernie NeffCitrus Greening, Pests

Research on HLB-tolerant trees and better citrus varieties is being conducted in Gainesville, outside the Florida citrus belt. University of Florida scientist Jose Chaparro discusses the work. “In Gainesville we have essentially the youngest citrus breeding program in Florida,” Chaparro says. “In the future, we hope to be able to provide both HLB and canker resistance in our selections.” Such … Read More

HLB Playbook for Growers in the Works

Ernie NeffCitrus Expo, Citrus Greening

HLB

Michael Rogers, director of the University of Florida’s Citrus Research and Education Center, discussed the planned HLB Playbook at the recent Citrus Expo. The playbook should be available in print and on the Internet by January. Rogers says the playbook will feature “all the information we know about managing citrus groves in the face of HLB and how growers can … Read More

Bactericide Survey Results Summary

Josh McGillBactericides, Citrus Greening

By Stephanie Slinski and Harold Browning (Editor’s note: Click on the graphs throughout the article to enlarge them.) Bactericides have been available to growers as a new tool to improve the health of HLB-infected trees since early March 2016. This use has been under a crisis declaration from the Florida commissioner of agriculture, but on August 15 of this year, … Read More