Peace River Growers Discuss Citrus Issues

Ernie NeffBactericides, Citrus Greening, PFD

PFD, HLB, Crop

Six citrus growers shared their views on a wide range of topics with about 50 fellow producers at a Peace River Valley Citrus Growers Association (PRVCGA) gathering Thursday in Bowling Green. PRVCGA Executive Director LeAnna Himrod, who posed questions for the panelists, summarizes the discussions by topic. Crop size: “I think that everyone’s expecting it to be lower than last … Read More

Citrus Crop Forecast Live Coverage Wednesday, October 12

Taylor HillmanCitrus, Industry News Release

A unique new sponsor targeting Florida citrus growers will result in broadcast “from location” in Italy (AgNet Media, Inc., Gainesville, FL, September 29, 2016)  The annual October citrus crop forecast from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service will be broadcast live for the 22nd consecutive year, at noon on Wednesday, October 12, 2016, on the Southeast AgNet … Read More

Texas Citrus: Fruit Flies and Other Pesky Problems

Josh McGillGrapefruit

florida citrus

By: Ernie Neff  Mexican fruit flies were a major nuisance to Dale Murden this spring. “As a fresh fruit grower in south Texas, I have to say Mexican fruit fly is our biggest worry,” the citrus grower and president of Texas Citrus Mutual said. The fruit flies infested Texas’ three-county (Cameron, Hidalgo and Willacy) citrus industry in November 2015, prompting … Read More

How to Irk the Crop Forecast Lady

Tacy CalliesForecast

citrus crop forecast

Candi Erick is keenly involved in production of Florida’s citrus crop forecasts. She’s easy to get along with, but there is one way to get under her skin. By Ernie Neff If you want to irritate Candi Erick, whose primary job is overseeing data collection leading to Florida’s citrus crop forecasts, just tell her, “It’s good enough for government work.” … Read More

October 2016 Citrus Industry Magazine Sneak Peek

Tacy CalliesCitrus

The October issue of Citrus Industry magazine is coming soon to your mailbox or in box! Many readers will recognize the subject of this issue’s cover story. Allen Morris has played several roles in Florida’s citrus industry during the past three decades. You may know Morris as an economist, business consultant, marketer or author. He shares his views on current … Read More

HLB-Spreading Psyllids: Incidence and Intensity

Ernie NeffCitrus Expo, Citrus Greening, Pests

HLB-spreading psyllids

Citrus growers sometimes ask University of Florida entomologist Phil Stansly why they should continue to spray for HLB-spreading psyllids when trees are already infected with the disease. Stansly answered that question at Citrus Expo in August. “There are two issues with HLB,” Stansly says in this interview with Tacy Callies summarizing his Expo presentation. “One is incidence. In other words, … Read More

Finding the Best Farmers Market

Daniel CooperAgriculture, Industry News Release

farmers market

American Farmland Trust Reveals Top Ranked Farmers Markets in America Wednesday marked the end of American Farmland Trust’s annual summer-long Farmers Market Celebration – an effort to encourage shoppers across the nation to endorse their local farmers market as “Best in Class,” rallying support for local farms and family farmers.

September 2016 Citrus Industry

Tacy CalliesCitrus Expo

citrus crop forecast

The September 2016 Citrus Industry features extended coverage from Citrus Expo, including feature articles, bactericide survey results, seminar highlights and photos. Ernie Neff takes readers behind the scenes of the Florida citrus crop forecast in his profile of Candi Erick. You’ll learn what goes into preparing the forecast and interesting facts about the leading lady responsible for the numbers. Growers … Read More

Rules of the Road for Transporting Farm Workers

Josh McGillCitrus

By Carlene Thissen, Mike Bayer and Fritz Roka The U.S. Department of Labor classifies anyone who for a fee “solicits, recruits, furnishes, hires, employs, houses, and/or transports” seasonal and migrant farm workers as a farm labor contractor (FLC). This article provides an overview of the rules and responsibilities that agricultural employers must keep in mind when driving workers to their … Read More

House Passes Citrus Tax Measure

Daniel CooperCitrus, Legislative

bactericides survey

U.S. House Gives Citrus Tax Incentive Overwhelming Bipartisan Support The U.S. House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed a measure Wednesday that provides growers with an incentive to plant more trees and bolster the ailing Florida citrus industry. By a 400-20 vote, Republicans and Democrats approved the Emergency Citrus Disease Response Act which allows growers to immediately expense the cost of planting … Read More

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