Students Learn About Citrus at Youth Day

Ernie NeffCitrus

Jazlyn Sanchez and Alexander Garzon, attendees at the June Citrus Youth Day, talk with Citrus Industry Editor Tacy Callies about their experience. The University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences event was held at the Citrus Research and Education Center in Lake Alfred. “This is actually my third year at the event,” says Sanchez, a 10th grader. “I’m … Read More

Gun Safe Winner at Expo

Tacy CalliesCitrus

One of the traditions at Citrus Expo growers look most forward to every year is the annual gun safe giveaway sponsored by Everglades Equipment Group. Only growers who preregister for Citrus Expo and the Vegetable & Specialty Crop (VSC) Expo are eligible to win the prize. Miss Florida Michaela McLean drew the name of the lucky winner, Emily Matteson of … Read More

Steven Callaham: Integrity, Intelligence and Innovation

Tacy CalliesCitrus

By Ernie Neff It didn’t take long for senior managers at Dundee Citrus Growers Association (CGA) to recognize they had acquired a special talent when Steven Callaham was hired in 1999. Callaham came from Lake Wales Citrus Growers Association, where he had worked for four years after college. He made the move because the Lake Wales cooperative closed its packinghouse … Read More

Supporting Citrus Growers of Today and Tomorrow

Tacy CalliesCitrus, Scholarship

By Tacy Callies Citrus Expo is well known for being a gathering place for industry leaders of all types — growers, researchers and other professionals. They come together at this popular annual event to get educated, network with peers and conduct business. CITRUS SCHOLARSHIPSupporting young people who are interested in agriculture — and in citrus, particularly — is becoming increasingly … Read More

FDOC Response to Cancer Study

Daniel CooperCitrus, Diseases, Industry News Release, Research

cancer

A new study suggesting a link between sugary drink consumption, including 100% fruit juice, and increased cancer risk was recently published in a medical journal. The study has spurred a series of news media stories. Researchers of the study, who are based in France, assessed the associations between the consumption of sugary drinks (sugar sweetened beverages and 100% fruit juices), … Read More

Citrus Numbers Improve as Struggles Continue

Daniel CooperCitrus, Crop Forecast, Grapefruit, Industry News Release

citrus

Florida’s citrus industry ended its growing season on a slight uptick, regaining the Sunshine State’s dominance in orange production over California. But struggles remain. Growers, who last year posted 75-year lows because of damage caused by Hurricane Irma, still are at diminished production levels that hadn’t been seen in decades as they face deadly citrus-greening disease and factors such as … Read More

Orange Production Up Slightly From June Forecast

Daniel CooperCitrus, Crop Forecast, Grapefruit

orange

ORANGESThe 2018–2019 Florida all-orange forecast released by Mark Hudson of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is now 71.6 million boxes. The total is comprised of 30.4 million boxes of non-Valencia oranges (early, mid-season and Navel varieties), unchanged from the June forecast, and 41.2 million boxes of Valencia oranges, up 200,000 boxes from last month. California non-Valencia oranges remained at … Read More

Miss Florida Citrus Advances to Miss America Pageant

Ernie NeffAwards, Citrus

Miss Florida Michaela McLean of Clermont loves Florida orange juice. “I don’t have a choice,” she says with a laugh. After all, she comes from a fifth- generation citrus family. Her father is Ben McLean III, a board member of the Citrus Research and Development Foundation. She has helped customers in her grandfather Benny McLean’s u-pick grove and rung up … Read More

Florida Department of Citrus to Study OJ Consumption

Daniel CooperCitrus, Industry News Release, Orange Juice, Research

citrus

Amid ongoing struggles in Florida’s citrus industry, the Florida Department of Citrus appears to be turning attention to studying orange juice consumption. The department said Tuesday it is looking for three separate studies that would assess various aspects of orange juice consumption, including how it can affect people’s moods when drinking it as a snack. According to a bid notice, … Read More

Citrus Youth Day Is Fun for Faculty, Too

Ernie NeffCitrus

Sixty-eight people attended the third annual Citrus Youth Day at Lake Alfred’s Citrus Research and Education Center (CREC) on June 27. Jamie Burrow, Extension program manager with the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, says the CREC faculty and staff “get, I think, just as excited as the kids. So we really have a good time, even … Read More

UF/IFAS Helps Assess, Manage New Fruit Bug

Daniel CooperCitrus, Industry News Release, invasive, Pests, Research, Top

uf

Researchers with the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) are already trying to help growers figure out how to effectively manage the problems created by an invasive pest  – confirmed last week in Highlands County — that could further erode citrus production at a time when growers are just beginning to turn the corner on managing … Read More

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

meetings

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

CRAFT

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

governor

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

farmers

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

florida

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

CUPS

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