Targeting E-commerce to Drive Florida OJ Sales Higher

Jim Rogers Florida, Florida Department of Citrus, Orange Juice

As HLB has reduced Florida’s citrus crop, so too has the budget shrunk for the Florida Department of Citrus (FDOC). The agency charged with promoting the state’s signature crop is largely funded by fees based on citrus production. FDOC has been forced to look for creative ways to do more with less with its promotional budget. One tactic has been …

Florida Citrus Labor Contractors Penalized

Jim Rogers Labor

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) reported that three Arcadia citrus labor contractors failed to comply with the federal H-2A agricultural worker visa program, shortchanging employees $72,609 in total wages. The DOL’s Wage and Hour Division found that Benjamin M. Ramirez Harvesting Inc., AO Harvesting LLC and Gustavo Cisneros Harvesting Inc. failed to provide H-2A employees with at least three-quarters …

Florida Citrus Forecast Drops Again

Tacy Callies Crop Forecast

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) National Agricultural Statistics Service released its monthly U.S. citrus production forecast on Jan. 12. ORANGESThe report showed another 3% drop in Florida orange production down to 44.5 million boxes. The initial forecast in October predicted 47 million boxes. The forecast for all oranges fell by 1.5 million boxes from the December report. Florida’s non-Valencia …

Florida Orange Brix Levels Not So Sweet Yet

Jim Rogers Orange Juice, Processing

Florida citrus growers and orange juice processors are reporting low Brix levels as the 2021–2022 harvest season continues. The Jan. 10 edition of the Market News Bulletin from Florida Citrus Mutual noted average Brix of 9.83. According to Bob Behr, chief executive officer of Florida’s Natural Growers, juice oranges being harvested now are running below average. “Citrus greening continues to …

Florida Citrus Nutrition Recommendations to Be Updated

Jim Rogers Florida, Nutrition

The Southeast Regional Fruit and Vegetable Conference held in Savannah in early January included a session on citrus production to educate growers. Kelly Morgan, professor of soil fertility and water management with the University of Florida, spoke to attendees about newly updated production guides and their relationship to plant nutrition and HLB. Morgan noted that the third edition of the …

Florida Growers Report Early-Season Obstacles

Jim Rogers Production

By Frank Giles The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) reported a drop in estimated Florida orange production in its December crop update. That estimate lowered production by 1 million boxes from the initial forecast of 47 million boxes reported in October. In advance of USDA’s January estimate, Florida citrus growers discussed how their crops are progressing. Here’s what they had …

Florida Grower Citrus Show Agenda Set

Ernie Neff All In For Citrus Podcast, Events

Researchers Mark Ritenour and Sandra Guzmán with the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) outline the agenda for the Florida Grower Citrus Show on Jan. 26-27 in Fort Pierce. Ritenour and Guzmán, both of the UF/IFAS Indian River Research and Education Center, will be presenters at the show. Ritenour will discuss maximum residue tolerances for fruit …

Three Florida Citrus Pests of Concern

Ernie Neff Pests

Lebbeck mealybug, the Bulimulus sporadicus snail and Brevipalpus mite are Florida citrus pests that were discussed at Citrus Expo in August. University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) entomologist Lukasz Stelinski delivered information about the three pests for fellow UF/IFAS entomologist Lauren Diepenbrock. LEBBECK MEALYBUGLebbeck mealybug damages fruit, leaves and stems. The pest causes fruit drop and …

Nutrition Findings for Florida Citrus

Ernie Neff Nutrition

Florida’s Citrus Nutrition Box Program that began in the fall of 2019 has shown that regional differences occur around the state with secondary macronutrients and micronutrients. It also showed that manganese and zinc are a concern for almost all areas. Jamie Burrow presented those findings, and numerous others, as part of Citrus Nutrition Day in October at the University of …

citrus rootstock

Florida’s Top Rootstocks and Varieties

Ernie Neff Rootstocks, Varieties

US-942 remained the top citrus rootstock in Florida for the third year in a row, and Valencia SPB-1-14-19 was the top variety. ROOTSTOCKSMore than 1.28 million nursery trees were budded on US-942, according to the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services’ (FDACS) Citrus Budwood Annual Report for 2020-21. The next 14 most popular rootstocks, with the number of buddings, …

Annexation Plan for Gardinier Florida Citrus

Tacy Callies Land

More than 900 acres of citrus groves, owned by Sarasota-based Gardinier Florida Citrus, was recently approved in a master annexation plan by the Lake Wales City Commission. Shelton Rice, a lawyer with Peterson & Myers, represents Gardinier and outlines what the Gardinier Master Annexation agreement means for the future of the 932 acres of citrus. “It lays out when portions …

florida orange

Ups and Downs in Florida Citrus Forecast

Daniel Cooper Crop Forecast

On Dec. 9, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Agricultural Statistics Service reported the Florida orange forecast at 46 million boxes. Total orange production is down 2% from the October forecast but down 13% from last season’s final utilization. The decrease is in Florida non-Valencia production, which now stands at 18 million boxes. Current droppage is above average and …

whip

Florida Citrus Mutual Names Next CEO

Tacy Callies Florida Citrus Mutual

The Florida Citrus Mutual (FCM) board of directors has announced that G. Mathew “Matt” Joyner has been selected to serve as the chief executive officer and executive vice president (CEO/EVP) of the organization effective April 1, 2022. “Matt brings a unique perspective and skill set to Florida Citrus Mutual having worked side-by-side with both legislators in the halls of Congress …

Florida citrus

Florida Citrus Company Says Production Down, Prices Up

Daniel Cooper Industry News Release

Florida citrus company and landowner Alico, Inc. saw harvested boxes of fruit decrease during the fiscal year that ended Sept. 30 but got a boost from higher prices linked to consumer demand for orange juice. The company reported this in federal Securities and Exchange Commission filings released Tuesday. Alico said it harvested 6.4 million boxes of fruit during the year, …

usda

Florida Citrus Packers: Fix Grapefruit Import Action Now

Ernie Neff Export/Import, Grapefruit

Florida Citrus Packers recently called for a fix to a so-called “patch” by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) that allegedly creates unfair advantages for Mexico and other countries over domestic grapefruit producers. Citrus Industry previously reported that the agriculture commissioners for Florida and Texas wrote letters protesting the USDA action.   Florida Citrus Packers Executive Vice President Peter Chaires …

International Marketing Efforts for Florida Citrus

Ernie Neff Florida Department of Citrus, Marketing

The Florida Department of Citrus (FDOC) described its 2020-21 international marketing efforts at last month’s meeting of the Florida Citrus Commission, which governs the FDOC. Katie Bruce, international marketing manager, discussed the FDOC’s past-year programs in the United Kingdom (UK), France, Japan, South Korea and Canada for fresh grapefruit and orange juice. Bruce also presented an overview of preliminary 2021-22 …

Spider Mites in Florida Citrus

Ernie Neff Pests

By Lourdes Perez Cordero If you are a citrus grower in Central Florida, more than likely you have encountered spider mites. These are a common pest of commercial citrus in the state and their characteristic thin webs make them easy to spot in trees. Spider mites become more abundant between March and June, when the weather conditions are dry, and …

Update on Florida’s Orange Brix Issue

Ernie Neff Orange Juice

Florida Citrus Mutual (FCM) provided additional information about the issue of low Brix oranges in its Nov. 19 Triangle newsletter. It reported that Florida growers and processors “are bracing for another season of low Brix oranges.” Earlier this year, FCM sought enforcement discretion regarding Brix in pasteurized orange juice, not from concentrate (NFC), from the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) with the …

New HLB Find Is Likely Farthest North in Florida

Ernie Neff HLB Management

What is believed to be the most northern HLB find in Florida was made the first week of November in a backyard Satsuma tree in Tallahassee. A homeowner sent photos of the tree’s symptoms to Leon County Extension horticulture agent Mark Tancig, who collected samples that were confirmed as HLB. “I’ve told the homeowner he should remove it (the tree), …

Farm Stress Help for Florida

Ernie Neff Industry News Release

The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) has been awarded a $500,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to carry out a new Farm Stress Awareness and Reduction Initiative in Florida. Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried announced the grant on Nov. 3, National Stress Awareness Day. With the grant, FDACS will launch an outreach campaign to …