Grapefruit Grown Under Protective Screens Maximizes Fruit Yield

Daniel CooperCitrus Greening, CUPS, Grapefruit, Industry News Release, Research


Growers of one of Florida’s signature citrus crops may see more production and possibly less of the deadly citrus greening disease. Researchers have worked for four years growing grapefruit under protective screens on a 1-acre experimental plot at the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS), and they’re seeing encouraging results. UF/IFAS scientists and a few commercial … Read More

Grapefruit: A Breeder’s Thoughts

Ernie NeffBreeding, Grapefruit


Grapefruit’s struggle with survival and potential future were addressed by University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) breeder and geneticist Fred Gmitter earlier this year. He told Florida Citrus Show attendees that the fruit has hit the bottom with HLB. “I was talking with one of the old-time families in the grapefruit business, one of the biggest … Read More

Indian River’s Grapefruit Plight

Ernie NeffGrapefruit

Florida grapefruit trees have taken a much harder hit from HLB, also known as greening disease, in recent years than orange trees have. Grapefruit production has plummeted drastically, and growers are desperately seeking ways to keep trees alive and productive. The fruit’s troubles have hit especially hard in the Indian River area, known worldwide for its grapefruit. Indian River Citrus … Read More

December Citrus Crop Forecast Unchanged

Daniel CooperCitrus, Crop Forecast, Grapefruit


The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s 2018-2019 Florida all-orange forecast for December is 77 million boxes, unchanged from the November forecast. If realized, this forecast will be 71 percent more than last season’s final production. The forecast consists of 32 million boxes of the non-Valencia oranges (early, midseason and Navel varieties) and 45 million boxes of Valencia oranges. Current fruit size … Read More

USDA Grant Could Help Florida’s Grapefruit Industry

Daniel CooperCitrus Greening, Grapefruit, HLB Management, Industry News Release


Florida’s grapefruit industry, devastated by citrus greening, may find hope in four ½-acre white-mesh screenhouses in a research field in Fort Pierce. The project will be funded by a $3.5 million grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) awarded to the University of Florida. Studies for the grant will take place inside and outside these structures, where 512 young … Read More

CUPS Offers Grapefruit Hope

Ernie NeffGrapefruit

A 4-year-old citrus-under-protective-screen (CUPS) trial offers hope for fresh grapefruit growers who struggle to grow fruit in the face of HLB, Arnold Schumann reports. Schumann says last season’s Ray Ruby grapefruit crop enclosed in CUPS at the Citrus Research and Education Center in Lake Alfred had 100 percent packout, even after Hurricane Irma inflicted some damage to the CUPS structure … Read More

June Florida Citrus Forecast: Grapefruit Down Slightly

Daniel CooperCitrus, Crop Forecast, Grapefruit


The 2017-2018 Florida all-orange forecast released by the U. S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (USDA/NASS) on June 12 is 45 million boxes, unchanged from the May forecast. The total includes 19 million boxes of non-Valencia oranges (early, midseason and Navel varieties) and 26 million boxes of Valencia oranges. The forecast for non-Valencia production is finalized and harvest … Read More

Steep Florida Grapefruit Production Declines

Abbey TaylorGrapefruit

Most growers and professionals in the citrus industry are aware that Florida’s orange crop has declined due to diseases like citrus greening and natural disasters like Hurricane Irma. However, Florida’s grapefruit crop has been suffering tremendously as well, even more severely than Florida oranges. The Florida orange crop has dropped by 35 percent this year, while Florida grapefruit has dropped … Read More

Nurseryman Discusses HLB, Grapefruit and Lemons

Ernie NeffGrapefruit, HLB Management, lemons


The impact of HLB on total citrus tree propagations, including the decline in grapefruit and growth in lemons, is addressed by nurseryman Nate Jameson. Jameson, owner of Brite Leaf Citrus Nursery, discusses some points he made at the annual Florida Citrus Show in January. “A few years ago we were propagating about 4.7 million trees a year,” Jameson says. “We’re … Read More

Grapefruit Economics: The Bad News Continues

Ernie NeffGrapefruit

An economic update on the Florida grapefruit industry delivered at the recent Florida Citrus Show indicates that the few grapefruit growers who remain struggle mightily to make a profit. University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) economist Ariel Singerman delivered the report, which he summarizes. “Production costs are only up marginally on a per-acre basis; only up … Read More

UF Study: Screen Houses May Help Prevent Grapefruit Greening

Abbey TaylorCitrus Greening, Grapefruit

By: Brad Buck, 352-294-3303, GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Grapefruit grows better under screen houses than in unprotected groves because the indoor facilities keep out the insect that causes citrus greening, new University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) research shows. Protecting citrus from greening is essential, UF/IFAS researchers say. The disease, first detected in Florida in 2004, … Read More

Millennium Block Resurrected for HLB Research

Ernie NeffGrapefruit, HLB Management


An approximately 35-acre research plot that fell victim to citrus canker years ago will soon become a new research site helping growers pick trees that fare best with HLB. The plot at the Indian River Research and Education Center (IRREC) in Fort Pierce will keep its former name, the Millennium Block. University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences … Read More

Florida Citrus Commission Passes Emergency Rule

Daniel CooperCitrus, Grapefruit, Industry News Release

The Florida Citrus Commission (FCC) held an emergency meeting on September 14 in response to a request for emergency rulemaking from the Florida Citrus Packers Association to approve rule 20ER17-2, addressing the Soluble Solids to Anhydrous Citrus Acid Maturity Standards for grapefruit and oranges for the 2017-18 season. The following emergency rule passed unanimously by the FCC: 20ER17-2 Grapefruit and Orange … Read More

HLB Affects Grapefruit Sales

Abbey TaylorCitrus Greening, Grapefruit

By Jaci Schreckengost For grapefruit growers, huanglongbing (HLB) has been a huge issue, leading to many fears in the industry, including the fear of a shortage. Rob Atchley, general manager of citrus groves for Duda Farm Fresh Foods, says HLB makes crops vulnerable to new stresses the trees have not previously encountered. He says these stresses can turn into fruit … Read More

UF Researchers Work to Manage HLB in Grapefruit

Abbey TaylorCitrus Greening, Grapefruit


By Jaci Schreckengost Due to the rapid rate huanglongbing (HLB) has affected citrus, researchers are working on new management techniques for the disease. Rhuanito “Johnny” Ferrarezi, assistant professor in citrus horticulture at the University of Florida/Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) Indian River Research and Education Center (IRREC), says research is being done to answer questions about how HLB … Read More

South Korea Could Be a Lucrative Market for Florida Growers

Tacy CalliesGrapefruit

By Brad Buck, 352-294-3303, GAINESVILLE, Fla. — How about grapefruit as a dessert or snack? That is how many South Koreans, especially younger ones, view the fruit. Therefore, Florida grapefruit growers may want to expand their shipments to that Asian nation, University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) researchers say. UF/IFAS researchers are doing a series … Read More

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

Food Safety for Fresh Citrus

Tacy CalliesGrapefruit, Regulation


University of Florida researcher Mark Ritenour kicked off the Florida Citrus Show in Fort Pierce on January 25 with an overview of new federal regulations with which fresh fruit growers must comply, starting with large producers in two years. The regulations are part of the Food Safety Modernization Act. Water that is likely to contact fruit is a key focus. … Read More

Slow Start for Fresh Florida Grapefruit Season

Ernie NeffCitrus Greening, Grapefruit


Fresh Florida grapefruit shipments continue to decline in concert with the downturn in production resulting from HLB and other problems. On October 26, the Florida Department of Citrus projected fresh Florida grapefruit shipments will be about 4.13 million boxes this season. Three seasons ago, in 2013-14, fresh Florida grapefruit shipments totaled 6.1 million boxes and have dropped in each season … Read More

Post-Hurricane: Some Fruit Drop on River; Interior Mostly OK

Ernie NeffGrapefruit, Weather

Heavy winds from Hurricane Matthew Friday caused some fruit drop in the Indian River citrus area. But the amount of drop was “not catastrophic,” said Florida Citrus Mutual spokesman Andrew Meadows. “The fact that it stayed offshore helped tremendously,” Meadows said. Some Indian River growers and packers told Mutual that in addition to fruit drop, there will likely be some … Read More