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

Bayer and CRDF Explore Partnership Possibilities

Ernie NeffBactericides, Citrus Greening, HLB Management

HLB

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

Growers Discuss Bactericides, Nutrition and More

Ernie NeffBactericides, Nutrition, PFD

Valencias PFD

A handful of citrus growers discussed January bloom and postbloom fruit drop (PFD), bactericides, nutrition and replanting strategies at a grower forum in Sebring on January 12. Laurie Hurner, Highlands County Extension director and citrus Extension agent, summarizes the discussions. “We are looking at areas where we’ve got bloom coming on. That is a little bit nerve-wracking for January,” Hurner … Read More

Section 18 Restored for Bactericide Use on Florida Citrus

Tacy CalliesBactericides

aphis

Tree Health Section 18 use of bactericide products on Florida citrus has been restored, effective January 10, 2017. The previous section 18 had expired on December 31, 2016, and the use of FireWall, FireLine and Mycoshield products was temporarily prohibited. The new Secion 18 authorization allows bactericide use through December 31, 2017. See the authorization letter for details of use for … Read More

Update on Approval of Bactericides for HLB

Ernie NeffBactericides, HLB Management

HLB

Many Florida citrus growers consider the bactericides that they’ve been applying this year to be their best hope in the fight against HLB. Temporary use of the bactericides was approved this spring by Florida Commissioner of Agriculture Adam Putnam. The industry is seeking Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) approval for continued use of the products. Harold Browning, chief operations officer of … Read More

Update on Bactericide Trials

Ernie NeffBactericides, Citrus Greening, HLB Management

A Citrus Research and Development Foundation (CRDF) researcher provided an update on grower trials of bactericides for HLB to the CRDF’s Commercial Product Delivery Committee on December 5. CRDF Chief Operations Officer Harold Browning summarizes the report. “Most of the metrics that we’re most interested in are coming up as we go into harvest,” Browning says. “The true test of … Read More

Grower Gets Strong Orange Production

Ernie NeffBactericides, Citrus Greening

strong orange production

Bobby Mixon of Sunny South Packing Company, one of several sharing experiences at a recent grower forum in Arcadia, reported good production from a Vernia orange block. He said the block yielded 450 to 500 boxes to the acre last season, which is far above average orange yield in the HLB era. Mixon says Vernia provides “alternate production” from year … Read More

Some Growers ‘Being Squeezed More than Others’ by HLB

Ernie NeffBactericides, HLB Management, PFD

HLB

Citrus Extension agent Steve Futch answers questions following a grower forum in Arcadia on October 27. Growers discussed production, bactericides for HLB and much more. The forum opened with one grower saying he doesn’t know how much longer he can keep going. Another reported per-acre orange production of 450 to 500 boxes in some blocks – a superb level in … Read More

Indian River Citrus Grower on Canker, HLB and Bactericides

Ernie NeffBactericides, Citrus Greening, Grapefruit

canker, HLB, bactericides

Canker and HLB have made things very difficult for Indian River citrus growers, but outgoing Indian River Citrus League President Scott Lambeth is optimistic about bactericides. “For the last three years with the contraction of the industry, it’s very difficult to keep an open mind and stay positive when you see family farms that are third and fourth generation still … Read More

Adam Putnam: Citrus Industry ‘Still Blocking and Tackling’

Ernie NeffBactericides, Citrus Greening

putnam talks citrus

“We’re an industry who’s a group of fighters,” Florida Commissioner of Agriculture Adam Putnam says in summarizing his talk Friday at the Indian River Citrus League’s annual meeting in Vero Beach. “With all the challenges that we’ve seen here on the River – from canker to hurricanes and the devastation caused by greening – we’re still blocking and tackling and … Read More

Joe Davis Jr. Predicts Orange Crop Size; Discusses PFD Impact

Ernie NeffBactericides, Citrus Greening, Forecast, PFD

Crop size, PFD

Grower Joe Davis Jr., a panelist at a Peace River Valley Citrus Growers Association gathering Thursday, says he expects a Florida orange crop of 61 to 70 million boxes this season. Last season’s Florida orange crop was 81.5 million boxes. “Our groves are down,” Davis says. “We’re guessing that earlies and mids will probably be down about 10 percent, and … Read More

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

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

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

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

Panel on Bactericides for HLB Summarized

Ernie NeffBactericides, Citrus Expo, Citrus Greening

HLB

Harold Browning, chief operating officer of the Citrus Research and Development Foundation, summarizes a Citrus Expo panel in which four growers discussed their use of bactericides for HLB. The bactericides became available for use for HLB this spring. “They’re kind of working in the dark,” Browning says of the panelists and other growers trying bactericides. “They’re having to test and … Read More

Snively Discusses Use of Bactericides for HLB

Ernie NeffBactericides, Citrus Expo, Citrus Greening

bactericides for HLB

Jim Snively of Southern Gardens Citrus says his company is trying bactericides for HLB on one-tenth of its 10,000 citrus acres. The company is working with the Citrus Research and Development Foundation to analyze fruit drop, tree condition and more in blocks treated with bactericides. He believes it will take two to three years to determine if the bactericides are … Read More

Bactericide Research Appears Promising

Ernie NeffBactericides, Citrus Expo, Citrus Greening

U.S. Department of Agriculture scientist Bob Shatters updated Citrus Expo seminar attendees on results from ongoing bactericide research trials. He was among the many speakers who discussed tools for HLB in the seminar program. “The first year of applications, we were detecting reductions in the bacterial population of the plant,” Shatters said. “And we did see that continue after the … Read More

EPA Approves Temporary Use of Bactericides for HLB

Ernie NeffBactericides, Citrus Greening

The federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) this week approved the temporary use of three bactericides on HLB-infected citrus trees. Florida citrus growers had already been using the products this year because Florida Commissioner of Agriculture Adam Putnam issued a crisis declaration allowing their use. Citrus Research and Development Foundation Chief Operations Officer Harold Browning announced the EPA decision at Citrus … Read More

Why Should Growers Take the Bactericide Survey?

Kelsey FryAgriculture, Bactericides

With the 2016 Citrus Expo approaching, Harold Browning, chief operations officer of the Citrus Research and Development Foundation (CRDF), is reminding Florida growers to take the bactericide survey if they haven’t already done so. The deadline to complete the survey is August 10. It can be found online at citrusexpo.net. Browning said that the bactericide survey results will be a … Read More