Bucks Toward BMPs

Kelsey FryWater

Cost-share assistance is available from several sources for growers looking to implement improvements to best management practices. By Tacy Callies The names of the organizations and programs that provide funding to Florida citrus growers for best management practices (BMPs) projects — SWFWMD, FARMS, EQIP, etc. — can sound like a big bowl of alphabet soup. But in reality, they represent … Read More

Keys to Gulf Citrus Production

Ernie NeffHLB Management, Nutrition


Several Florida growers recently have said that groves in the Gulf citrus region of Southwest Florida are looking better than most groves in the state. Additionally, statistics indicate production in the Gulf region exceeds production in the state as a whole. Multi-county citrus Extension agent Mongi Zekri, who represents the Southwest/Gulf region, was recently asked why the Gulf was doing … Read More

The Pest Partnerships that Threaten Citrus

Josh McGillCalifornia Corner, Citrus, Pests

Biocontrol of Asian citrus psyllids can be improved by controlling ants. By Kelsey Schall and Mark Hoddle More than a decade of battle with the Asian citrus psyllid (ACP)-huanglongbing (HLB) complex has drained the vigor from Florida’s citrus industry, costing billions in disease management and production losses. With HLB established in parts of urban Southern California, the second largest citrus … Read More

Crop Forecast Sees Changes for Grapefruit, Tangerines and Mandarins

Daniel CooperCitrus, Crop Forecast


Mark Hudson of the U.S. Department of Agriculture National Agricultural Statistics Service issued the April 2017 citrus crop forecast. ORANGES The U.S. all-orange forecast for the 2016-2017 season is 5.11 million tons, down 1 percent from last month and down 16 percent from the 2015-2016 revised final utilization. The Florida all-orange forecast, at 67 million boxes (3.02 million tons), is unchanged from … Read More

Buddha’s Hand Citron Could Play Role in Canker Resistance Breeding

Kelsey FryCitrus, Diseases

By Naveen Kumar, R.C. Ebel and P.D. Roberts Citrus canker became endemic in Florida after several introductions and eradication programs dating back to 1915. The citrus industry struggles for an effective, permanent program. Canker is an expensive disease due to the need to increase the number of sprays and products applied. Canker also causes enormous economic losses due to fruit … Read More

Getting Water pH Correct in the Face of HLB

Ernie NeffCitrus Greening, HLB Management, Irrigation, Water


University of Florida (UF) researcher Kelly Morgan discusses a study of how citrus growers are adjusting irrigation water pH levels, and what pH levels seem to work best. The acid level of citrus irrigation water has become an important consideration since HLB was discovered in Florida groves in 2005. “Jim Graham (a fellow UF researcher) has been conducting a survey … Read More

Southern Gardens Requests Permit for Genetically Engineered Citrus Tristeza Virus

Daniel CooperCitrus, Industry News Release


The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) announced its intent to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) that will evaluate the environmental impacts that may result from the potential approval of a permit application from Southern Gardens Citrus Nursery, LLC, for the environmental release of genetically engineered (GE) Citrus tristeza virus (CTV). Southern Gardens’ purpose … Read More

Researcher Provides Leprosis Update

Ernie NeffDiseases, Research


The citrus viral disease leprosis, found briefly in Florida in the 1960s, is now in South America, Central America and Mexico. Ron Brlansky, University of Florida professor emeritus, provided an update on the disease at a March OJ Break in Lake Alfred. “It (leprosis) causes fruit spotting, leaf spots, leaf drop, fruit drop and even some major twig dieback of … Read More

Brazil’s Shrinking Citrus Crop

Tacy CalliesCitrus, Global Perspectives

Global Perspectives

By Marcos Fava Neves The latest announcement of Brazil’s orange production is 244 million boxes, almost 2 percent smaller than the September estimate (249 million boxes) and 0.6 percent smaller than the May number (246 million boxes). Hot weather in October and November reduced the expected yields. The crop is predicted to be 18 percent less than last season, and … Read More

Bactericide Grower Trials for HLB ‘Extremely Variable’

Ernie NeffBactericides, HLB Management


Stephanie Slinski, Citrus Research and Development Foundation bactericide project manager, discussed grower trials on the use of bactericides for HLB at the Florida Citrus Growers’ Institute in Avon Park on April 4. She summarizes the presentation. “We have a series of field trials set up throughout Florida to test the efficacy of oxytetracycline and streptomycin just in the grower program,” … Read More

Controlling ACP and Other Pests as Critical as Ever

Tacy CalliesCitrus Greening

By Jawwad A. Qureshi and Philip A. Stansly More than a decade has passed since 2006, when huanglongbing (HLB) or citrus greening disease was identified in Florida. By then, the disease had already spread widely and went unrecognized due to high psyllid populations and a disease incubation period of months or years between infection and symptom expression. Nevertheless, management of … Read More

Entomopathogenic Nematodes: Root Weevil Management Tool

Tacy CalliesPests

By Larry Duncan Citrus growers are recognized as early adopters of practices that enhance the biological control of arthropod pests. For more than a century, tactics such as the exploration and importation of predators and parasitoids or the reduced use of insecticides that disrupt biological control were increasingly employed against pests in the tree canopy. Beginning in the early 1990s, … Read More

How Much Psyllid Control Needed for HLB?

Ernie NeffCitrus


Soon after Florida’s citrus industry realized it couldn’t eradicate HLB, researchers and growers put a huge emphasis on controlling the Asian citrus psyllids that spread the disease. Most still agree that psyllid control remains essential in the short term to survive HLB. But many are now questioning the long-term economic sustainability of massive levels of psyllid control. Such questioning took … Read More

Florida Agriculture Faces Big Hits in Budget Proposals

Josh McGillLegislative

By: Abbey TaylorFlorida agriculture is facing some big budget cuts. The House’s Agriculture and Natural Resources Appropriations Subcommittee met on March 28 to discuss its budget proposal for the 2017–2018 fiscal year. The Senate’s Environment and Natural Resources Appropriations Subcommittee met on March 29 to discuss its budget proposal. While some dollar amounts in the competing proposals were different, Florida … Read More

Ag/Citrus Crime ‘More Significant than Most People Realize’

Ernie NeffCitrus


At the recent Highlands County Citrus Growers Association annual meeting, outgoing association president Ned Hancock praised the county sheriff’s department for hiring more agricultural deputies. Hancock responded to the question, “How big a problem is ag crime/citrus crime?” “In my opinion it’s much more significant than most people realize, because so much of the ag crime goes unreported,” Hancock says. … Read More

New Peace River Executive Discusses Citrus Issues

Ernie NeffCitrus Greening, Research, Water


Steve Smith became executive director of the Peace River Valley Citrus Growers Association (PRVCGA) in early March. He discusses some of the issues the association will address. “Obviously the research is a major focus right now with greening. That’s at the top of everybody’s list, trying to find some solutions.” Water issues historically have been a major focus for the … Read More

Sneak Peek: April 2017 Citrus Industry Magazine

Tacy CalliesCitrus, Sneak Peek

Greening disease, known as HLB, is a top concern for citrus growers worldwide. The April issue of Citrus Industry magazine is all about boosting the health of HLB-infected trees. Articles on this theme cover the use of controlled-release fertilizer, bicarbonate management, foliar nutrition and irrigation strategies. This month, for the first time Citrus Industry’s CEU Central article offers a continuing … Read More

What Growers Need to Know About BMPs Now

Ernie NeffCitrus, Water


Virtually all Florida citrus growers have signed up to participate in the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services’ (FDACS) best management practices (BMPs) for water quality and water quantity. “They’ve done an extremely good job over the last 20 years that we’ve had BMPs,” says University of Florida researcher Kelly Morgan, the statewide BMP coordinator. “The (state) water act … Read More

Highlights from the International HLB Conference

Ernie NeffCitrus Greening, HLB Management

Harold Browning, chief operations officer at the Citrus Research and Development Foundation (CRDF), provides an overview of activities at the recent International Research Conference on HLB held in Orlando. The conference was hosted by Florida Citrus Mutual, with much assistance from CRDF. “There were nearly 500 participants from 24 countries” including for the first time scientists from Cuba, Browning reports. … Read More