Cold-Hardy Citrus Is New Researcher’s Focus

Jim Rogers Cold Hardy, Research

Muhammad Adnan Shahid in January joined the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences’ (UF/IFAS) North Florida Research and Education Center (NFREC) as assistant professor of horticulture/fruit crops specialist. His Extension goal is providing fruit producers, particularly cold-hardy citrus growers, with relevant, research-based information for improving productivity, profitability and produce quality. Shahid is interested in evaluating new early …

Biostimulants and Cold-Hardy Citrus

Jim Rogers Biostimulants, Florida, Research

The University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) is asking fruit growers in North Florida, Alabama and Georgia to take a survey about crop biostimulants. UF/IFAS will use the results to better help those growers with the use of biostimulants and direct future research and Extension education programs. Those participating in the anonymous survey are asked to …

Building a Brand for Cold-Hardy Citrus

Jim Rogers Citrus, Cold Hardy

A new brand name for citrus grown in Georgia, North Florida and Alabama should ensure consumers they are purchasing a quality product. Much like Georgia Grown and Fresh From Florida, Sweet Valley Citrus assures consumers and industry members that citrus grown and marketed under this label is high-quality produce. Kyli Lamar, who serves on the board of directors for the …

Control Methods for Major Pests of Cold-Hardy Citrus

Tacy Callies Pests

By Xavier Martini and Danielle Sprague Cold-hardy citrus, that is, citrus grown above the 30th parallel north, is a blooming industry. In less than 10 years, the acreage in North Florida has gone from almost nonexistent to approximately 1,000 acres. Growers in the region plan to plant more in the coming years. In Georgia, there are approximately 2,000 acres across …

Third Packer for Cold-Hardy Citrus

Ernie Neff Packing

A third packinghouse started packing fresh South Georgia and North Florida citrus in 2020. The newest packer, The Satsuma Company, is in Tifton, Georgia. The others, Corbett Brothers in Lake Park, Georgia, and Florida Georgia Citrus in Monticello, Florida, have been packing citrus since 2016. “I have visited all three facilities in South Georgia and North Florida,” said Lindy Savelle, …

Advice for Cold-Hardy Citrus Growers

Ernie Neff Marketing

North Florida citrus growers who are new to the industry received some marketing advice and background information recently from Vero Beach grower and packer Dan Richey. He gave a presentation during a virtual annual meeting of the Cold Hardy Citrus Association on Sept. 23. Richey, president and CEO of Riverfront Packing, urged the growers to have a plan and to …

Cold-Hardy Citrus for North Florida

Tacy Callies Varieties

By Xavier Martini and Peter Andersen Cold-hardy citrus has a long history in North Florida, Alabama, Louisiana and Georgia. Records show that sweet orange, citron, lemon, lime and pummelo were brought to Saint Augustine, Florida, from Spain in 1565. However, it was not until the late 1700s that the Jesuits introduced satsuma (Citrus unshiu) to what is now Louisiana. SATSUMA …

The Status of Satsuma Mandarins in Georgia

Jim Rogers Georgia, Mandarins, Varieties

Satsuma mandarins remain the predominant citrus variety produced in Georgia, but growers diversified more with their plantings this year. Jake Price, University of Georgia Extension coordinator, described the impact that growers could see with various citrus varieties now in place. He presented this information during the recent Citrus Growers’ Summer Update in Valdosta, Georgia. Price says the citrus industry in …

Greasy Green Research Approved

Jim Rogers CRDF, Diseases, Research

Due to the initiative of the Indian River Citrus League (IRCL), the Citrus Research and Development Foundation (CRDF) has approved research funding for the greasy green defect on citrus fruit. At a 2021 IRCL board meeting, the issue of greasy green spot was brought up by Tim Sallin of IMG Citrus. Other growers at that meeting also shared their experience …

No More Satsumas: The Time Is Ripe to Diversify

Jim Rogers Citrus, Florida, Georgia

South Georgia and North Florida industry leaders preached diversification to citrus growers at the Georgia Citrus Association annual conference. The event took place Feb. 28 at the University of Georgia (UGA) Tifton Conference Center. No longer should satsuma mandarins be the crop of choice for potential growers. There are other viable options for farmers to choose from, said Lindy Savelle, …

Know the Signs of Freeze Damage

Tacy Callies freeze, Tip of the Week

By Amir Rezazadeh It is important to know how cold temperatures impact citrus trees. Citrus trees are native to subtropical and tropical regions. Although some mandarins and tangerines are quite cold-hardy, other citrus trees are not particularly cold-hardy and temperatures below 20 degrees for more than four hours may kill most citrus trees. Chilling damage in citrus depends on several factors. …

Citrus Acreage Increasing in North Florida, South Georgia

Tacy Callies Acreage

Interest in citrus continues to spike in North Florida and South Georgia. Georgia acreage has doubled over the past year. North Florida acreage has increased by another 300 to 400 this spring, says grower Kim Jones. He owns a citrus packing facility in Monticello, Florida, and is president of the Cold Hardy Citrus Association. “We’re seeing a whole lot of …

Cold Hardy Citrus Association Building a Solid Foundation

Tacy Callies Cold Hardy

The Cold Hardy Citrus Association (CHCA), founded in 2017, was established to ensure all growers, large and small, have a unified voice in an emerging industry and to provide education on best management practices in light of HLB. CHCA members include growers, packers, processors, industry suppliers, nurseries, consultants, homeowners and academia representing Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Louisiana and Mississippi. Kim Jones …

Plan Your Insect Management for 2021

Tacy Callies Pests, Tip of the Week

By L.M. Diepenbrock Insect and mite management is a year-round challenge in Florida citrus. With the warm climate, pests are at the ready as soon as plant resources are available to them. With knowledge of insect and mite biology in relation to tree phenology, plans can be developed to protect fruit and maintain productive citrus trees. Populations of many of …

Georgia Trials Offer Rootstock Choices

Ernie Neff Rootstocks

Ongoing citrus rootstock trials being conducted by University of Georgia (UGA) Cooperative Extension in Lowndes County hold promise for increased yields, improved fruit quality and greater disease resistance. Jake Price, UGA Extension agent and Lowndes County Extension coordinator, has six local citrus rootstock/variety trials with varying objectives. The trees are custom-produced by U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)-certified citrus nurseries in …

Sneak Peek: January 2021 Citrus Industry

Tacy Callies Sneak Peek

Now is the time of year for gifting fresh citrus to family and friends to enjoy. Unfortunately, people are not the only ones who enjoy eating citrus. Numerous pests can be found feasting on various plant parts in the grove. Keeping pests under control is the theme of the January issue of Citrus Industry magazine. Of course, the most concerning …

growers

Freeze Protection Measures for Citrus

Ernie Neff freeze

Multi-county citrus Extension agent Chris Oswalt discussed historical and current freeze protection measures in a virtual Dec. 22 OJ Break. PASSIVE MEASURESSome cold-protection measures are taken well in advance of freezes; Oswalt referred to them as passive measures. They include grove site selection, crop selection and cultural practices. One site selection consideration is planting groves at higher elevations, which are …

Marketing North Florida Citrus

Ernie Neff Marketing

North Florida growers have planted several citrus groves in recent years. “A lot of those groves are starting to become productive,” Kevin Athearn said during a Sept. 23 Cold Hardy Citrus Association annual meeting, held virtually. Athearn, a regional specialized Extension agent, familiarized new citrus growers with some citrus terminology and suggested possible marketing strategies. “It’s important that we all …

The Ins and Outs of Tango

Tacy Callies Varieties

The relatively mild winter conditions over the last two decades have led to a resurgence of interest in cold-hardy citrus in Florida. Growers were looking for a low-seeded citrus variety that was sweet, easy to peel and had moderate cold tolerance. In 2009, the first Florida nurseries were licensed to grow Tango, a low-seeded (less than five seeds per fruit …