Florida Agricultural Crime on the Rise

Tacy CalliesCitrus

By Abigail Taylor Some Florida citrus growers are struggling to keep their products and possessions safe from thieves. There have been theft reports ranging from large and small equipment, chemicals, fuel, young trees and fruit, as well as accounts of vandalism. Ned Hancock, former Highlands County Citrus Growers Association president, says the issue is “much more significant than most people … Read More

June Citrus Forecast: Oranges Up; Tangerines Down

Daniel CooperCitrus, Crop Forecast

florida citrus

ORANGES The 2016-2017 Florida all-orange forecast released by Mark Hudson of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service is up 500,000 boxes to 68.5 million boxes. The increase is in Valencia oranges. The total includes 33 million boxes of non-Valencias (early, midseason, and Navel varieties) and 35.5 million boxes of Valencias. For the previous 10 seasons used in … Read More

Pros and Cons of H-2A for Growers and Workers

Ernie NeffCitrus

labor

The federal H-2A program that allows temporary agricultural guest workers from other countries has grown dramatically in recent years. Approximately 80 percent of all Florida citrus is harvested by H-2A workers, says Carlene Thissen, coordinator for farm labor supervisor training at the Southwest Florida Research and Education Center in Immokalee. She says the number of H-2A workers in Florida citrus … Read More

California County Supervisor Makes Plea to Stop HLB

Len WilcoxCalifornia Corner

citrus greening

San Bernardino County Supervisor James Ramos is asking his constituents to help preserve the citrus industry and protect citrus trees in their area from HLB. In an article he wrote for a community newspaper (The Press-Enterprise), Ramos pointed out that citrus is a staple crop of San Bernardino County and has a rich history that traces as far back as … Read More

Preparing for and Recovering from a Hurricane

Tacy CalliesCitrus, Weather

By Mongi Zekri, Bob Rouse and Jonathan Crane Hurricane preparation for citrus growers this year is the same drill as every year. Each year, growers look forward to the rainy season to help their young trees grow fast and their mature trees produce good crops. This year, growers will be praying for good distribution of rains following a year of … Read More

Final Figure for Brazil’s 2016–17 Crop

Tacy CalliesGlobal Perspectives

By Marcos Fava Neves In May, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) estimated the Florida orange crop at only 68 million boxes. The final number for the Brazilian 2016–17 crop was released by Fundecitrus on April 10 and was 245.31 million boxes. It is relevant to note an important point for the orange juice chain participants in Florida and São … Read More

Older Trees and Older Growers

Ernie NeffCitrus, HLB Management

HLB

Florida’s older citrus trees are disappearing due to HLB and other problems, and the most prominent varieties being grown haven’t changed in many decades. Additionally, many long-time growers are nearing retirement. Those were among topics raised at a recent grower forum in Sebring. Laurie Hurner, Highlands County Extension director and citrus agent, hosted the meeting and summarizes discussions of aging … Read More

What Have We Learned?

Tacy CalliesCitrus, News from our Sponsor

Citrus Expo

By Harold Browning Column sponsored by the Citrus Research and Development Foundation Within the Citrus Research and Development Foundation (CRDF), the daily challenge of keeping up with a wide array of HLB topics, more than 75 currently funded projects, and monthly committee and board meetings translates into a constant flow of information. Project managers meet weekly to discuss progress and … Read More

HLB and Root Longevity

Ernie NeffHLB Management, Rootstocks

HLB

University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences plant pathologist Evan Johnson tells how drastically HLB harms citrus tree roots and suggests some ways to prolong root longevity and improve tree health. “It (HLB) causes very substantial root loss, up to between 30 and 50 percent early in the disease process from before visual symptoms are present to early … Read More

Managing Multiple Risks in a Citrus Farming Operation

Tacy CalliesCitrus

By Ariel Singerman and Stephen H. Futch Uncertainty can be defined as imperfect knowledge, and risk as uncertain consequences, particularly unfavorable consequences. To take a risk then is to expose oneself to a chance of loss, in some cases expecting a gain in return. Many decisions in agriculture involve risk and uncertainty. Risk management is concerned with reducing the possibility … Read More

California to Increase Citrus Grower Fees

Len WilcoxLegislative

Capitol building

The California State Assembly approved a bill that will allow the citrus industry to increase fees to provide funds for activities to protect residential and commercial citrus trees from the Asian citrus psyllid (ACP) and the deadly huanglongbing (HLB) plant disease it can carry. SB 243 by Senator Galgiani (Stockton) allows for an additional $9.6 million in grower assessments to … Read More

Keeping Young Trees Free of HLB

Ernie NeffHLB Management, Thermotherapy

black spot

Plant pathologist Megan Dewdney was one of the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences researchers who summarized scientific presentations made at the 2017 International Research Conference on HLB. She and others spoke at an HLB Grower Day in Lake Alfred, putting the complex presentations into terms more understandable to those who aren’t scientists. Dewdney discussed young tree … Read More

UC Davis Seeking a Few Good Citrus Orchards

Len WilcoxCitrus

Professor Patrick Brown, of the University of California, Davis Department of Plant Sciences, needs the help of some citrus growers with high-producing citrus orchards for a special project. He is looking for growers who have both navels and mandarins that are productive. “It’s a non-destructive study. We just want to collect leaf samples and analyze them for nutrient levels,” said … Read More

Sneak Peek: June 2017 Citrus Industry Magazine

Tacy CalliesCitrus, Sneak Peek

There is no doubt that the biggest risk Florida citrus growers currently face is HLB disease. But there are many other risks that can and should be managed effectively. University of Florida’s Ariel Singerman and Steve Futch provide risk management advice for growers in the June issue of Citrus Industry magazine. Their article offers practical information on production, market, financial, … Read More

New CRDF Manager Will Push HLB Solutions

Ernie NeffCitrus Greening, HLB Management

HLB

The Citrus Research and Development Foundation (CRDF) will soon hire another top administrator to ensure potential HLB solutions make it to the grove. The application period for a senior project manager ends May 24. Rick Kress, CRDF vice president and Governance Committee chairman, discusses the need for the position and the manager’s duties. “Right now, the entire citrus industry, specifically … Read More

Lawsuit Filed to Stop Argentine Lemons

Len WilcoxCitrus

California lemon growers are suing the U.S. government for allowing Argentine lemons into the United States. The U.S. Citrus Science Council (USCSC), representing approximately 750 family citrus farmers, has filed the lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) in federal district court in Fresno, California. Members of the California citrus industry are challenging the rule because the Administrative Procedure … Read More

Does Sugar Belle Citrus Have Built-in HLB Resistance?

Abbey TaylorCitrus

During our quick ag tour last week with Max Armstrong and his television crew for “This Week in Agribusiness,” we spent some time with Fred Gmitter in one of the experimental plots at University of Florida’s Citrus Research and Education Center in Lake Alfred. We posted this interview as part of that tour series, but we’re reposting it here to … Read More

AgNet Hosts ‘This Week in Agribusiness’ — An Epilogue

Abbey TaylorAgriculture

By Gary Cooper AgNet Media Founder and President I recently connected with Max Armstrong, host of the nationally syndicated “This Week in Agribusiness” television program, for a fast-paced rural area and farm tour in Central Florida. It turned out to be a great opportunity for all involved, especially for Florida, which deserves more and better national media attention as an … Read More

Grower Discusses Many HLB-Related Issues

Ernie NeffBactericides, Citrus Greening, HLB Management

HLB

Wauchula citrus grower and orange grove salesman Kenny Sanders was one of the growers sharing experiences at a recent grower roundtable meeting in Wauchula. Sanders tells why he attends the meetings and discusses several practices aimed at coping with HLB. “This is very interesting,” Sanders says of the roundtable meetings. “We hear from the growers ourselves, and today we learned … Read More

Tree Assistance Program Aids Florida Citrus Growers

Daniel CooperCitrus, Citrus Greening, Industry News Release

HLB

By Lauren Moore, FSA Public Affairs Specialist Adversity isn’t a stranger to Florida citrus growers. Throughout Florida’s history of citrus production, producers have dealt with damages left in the wake of multiple hurricanes and freezes. Larry Black is a fifth-generation citrus grower and general manager of Peace River Packing Company in Polk County, Florida. His family has been a part … Read More