Jack Payne Announces Retirement

Daniel CooperAgriculture, Citrus, Citrus Greening, Research

After serving nearly 10 years as the senior vice president for agriculture and natural resources with the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS), Jack Payne announced he will retire next year. His last day with UF/IFAS will be July 1, 2020. Payne has overseen Extension offices across Florida and its 12 research and education centers since … Read More

Meetings on Algae, Citrus and Water Management Ring Alarms for Florida Agriculture

Daniel CooperAgriculture, Citrus, Irrigation, Water


Three meetings this week in three different areas of the state brought more discussion that should wake up producers and others in agriculture who have remained mostly silent for decades. As the state’s population continues to swell by a 1,000 new residents each day, Florida’s population will likely exceed 22-million next year. As the nation’s third most populous state, there’s … Read More

CRAFT Program Moving Forward

Ernie NeffCitrus, Research


A direct support organization (DSO) to be established within the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services will reportedly run the massive Citrus Research and Field Trials (CRAFT) program. Florida Citrus Mutual CEO Mike Sparks announced the pending arrangement June 13 during the Florida Citrus Industry Annual Conference in Bonita Springs. The CRAFT program features an expected 5,000 acres of … Read More

Governor DeSantis Announces Approval of More Than $77 Million to Citrus Growers Impacted by Hurricane Irma

Daniel CooperCitrus, financial, hurricane, Industry News Release


Bonita Springs, Fla. – Governor Ron DeSantis announced that the Florida Division of Emergency Management (FDEM) has approved more than $77 million in payments to citrus growers impacted by Hurricane Irma through the Citrus Recovery Block Grant since January 2019. Upon taking office, Governor DeSantis directed FDEM to disburse hurricane recovery funding as quickly as possible, including providing field staff to … Read More

Imported OJ Cost Florida Citrus Growers This Season

Ernie NeffCitrus, Market


Apopka citrus grower Chip Henry of McGuire Groves says orange juice (OJ) imports cost him money this year and may have led to other growers being stuck with unharvested fruit. “As the season progressed, I began to realize that the pricing structure was subject to being weakened considerably by imports of orange juice from primarily Mexico,” Henry says. According to … Read More

Farewell to Futch

Tacy CalliesCitrus

After 34 years of faithful service to citrus growers, University of Florida Extension agent Steve Futch readies for retirement. By Tacy Callies Steve Futch’s Florida citrus roots sprouted more than a century ago. His great-grandfather owned a Wauchula grove in about 1905. As a boy, Futch’s first hands-on citrus experience was hoeing trees in the family orange groves. Later, he … Read More

Florida Citrus Production Continues Downward Trend

Daniel CooperCitrus, Crop Forecast, fruit, Grapefruit, lemons, Production


The 2018–19 Florida all-orange forecast released by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) on June 11 is 71.4 million boxes. The total includes 30.4 million boxes of non-Valencia oranges (early, mid-season and Navel varieties) and 41 million boxes of Valencia oranges. The June forecast for non-Valencia production is unchanged from the May forecast. Harvest is complete for the included varieties. … Read More

Old Days in Citrus Recalled

Ernie NeffCitrus, History

Dalton Yancey, probably best known as the former chief executive officer of the Florida Sugar Cane League, recently recalled days working in his family citrus grove and for Florida Citrus Mutual. “I grew up on a citrus family farm in Umatilla,” Yancey says. As a teenager, he recalls, “my dad put me on the business end of a hoe … … Read More

Grower Optimism Tempered by Pricing

Ernie NeffCitrus, CUPS, Economics


Central Florida citrus grower Jerry Mixon of KLM Farms recently expressed optimism that is tempered by current orange prices. “I am optimistic, and it seems like the industry does have that same feeling,” Mixon says. “Yields are up. I have heard a little bit that (pound) solids are up a little bit, particularly Valencia crops … Trees look better.” Mixon … Read More

Small Citrus Growers Struggling to Sell Valencias

Tacy CalliesCitrus, Economics, sales

Citrus grower Chip Henry of McGuire Groves in Apopka reports that some small citrus growers in Florida are currently unable to sell their Valencias. Although Henry’s 12 acres of Valencias are ready to be picked — with a high Brix level and good pound solids — he has no market for his fruit. Henry is not the only grower currently … Read More

Israel’s Dynamic Citrus Industry

Tacy CalliesCitrus

By Stephen H. Futch and Ariel Singerman As home to three of the world’s major religions, Israel is one of the most diverse countries in the world. Besides its cultural diversity and historical importance, Israel is also a major citrus producer and exporter. Israel’s citrus industry began in 1882. As new immigrants moved to the country, they established many very … Read More

HLB: Horticultural Practices

Ernie NeffCitrus, HLB Management

Scientists from numerous countries attending the International Citrus Research Conference on HLB in March reported on studies of horticultural practices that might help growers cope with the disease. Tripti Vashisth, a horticulturist with the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS), summarized their observations at the recent Florida Citrus Growers’ Institute. She shares those observations in the … Read More

Grower Editorial Advisory Board Gathers to Review Citrus Industry Magazine

Tacy CalliesCitrus

A newly formed Grower Editorial Advisory Board met with Citrus Industry magazine’s staff in Sebring, Florida, on May 2. Participating in the meeting were citrus grower board members from around the state, including: Larry Black, Peace Riving Packing George Hamner, Indian River Exchange Packers Marshall Hartley, small grove owner Aaron Himrod, Himrod Citrus Nursery Lee Jones, Gardinier Florida Citrus Paul … Read More

What Will Come from Brazil?

Tacy CalliesCitrus, Global Perspectives


By Marcos Fava Neves On the supply side, Florida expects 77 million boxes of oranges this season. Valencias account for 46 million boxes, while non-Valencia represent 31 million boxes. With reports of smaller fruit, these figures may drop before the end of the processing season. SEASON STATUSIn general, the Florida weather has been favorable this season, allowing for a good … Read More

Grower Considers New Variety

Ernie NeffCitrus


About 20 people attended an informational program on April 9 at the Citrus Research and Education Center in Lake Alfred, Florida. The meeting addressed the newest Fast Track program variety, Marathon, being released. Marathon is an early-season seedless mandarin. Jerry Mixon of KLM Farms, who is growing other selections released by the Fast Track program, expressed interest in the Marathon … Read More

IMG Citrus Adds 4,000-Acre Grove to Portfolio

Daniel CooperCitrus, Industry News Release

The future of Florida citrus is bright. IMG Citrus, a family-owned, vertically-integrated citrus grower, packer and shipper in Vero Beach, Florida, announced the acquisition of one of the largest grapefruit groves in St. Lucie County. The 4,000-acre grove increases IMG’s control of citrus land management in Florida by over 75 percent, securing the company’s position as an established citrus leader … Read More

What Makes Good Orange Juice?

Ernie NeffCitrus

new york times

Yu Wang says a key element of her job is finding “how to improve the citrus flavor and how to understand consumer likings” of Florida orange juice. Wang is a University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences researcher at the Citrus Research and Education Center in Lake Alfred. “Some of our consumers, they really like that orange flavor; … Read More

Florida Senators Fight for Disaster Dollars

Abbey TaylorCitrus, hurricane, Legislative


Hurricane Irma devastated the Florida Citrus Belt in 2017. Federal disaster relief funding was approved in early 2018, but many Florida citrus growers have yet to receive those funds. Several industry leaders and groups have been advocating for growers in Tallahassee and Washington, D.C. Now, Florida senators are joining the fight. Senator Ben Albritton, chairman of the Florida Senate Agriculture … Read More

Citrus Land Price Rises in Florida

Ernie NeffCitrus, Economics


The sales price of Florida citrus land rose in 2018, according to the Lay of the Land Market Report issued by Coldwell Banker Commercial Saunders Real Estate (CBCSRE) on March 29. The price per net-tree acre was approximately 5.8 percent higher than in 2017, and the gross acre price was approximately 9.2 percent higher than in 2017. “The large growers … Read More