Fertilizer Price Spike Highest Since Great Recession

Jim Rogers Economics, Regulation

During January’s Southeast Regional Fruit & Vegetable Conference in Savannah, Georgia, Daniel Tregeagle, an Extension economist with North Carolina State University, gave a presentation on economic and regulatory trends impacting citrus and specialty crop growers. MODEST MARKET GROWTHThe biggest blip on the proverbial economic radar has been COVID-19 and its continuing effects. Tregeagle noted these impacts mostly will be transient, …

Making Sense of Biologicals – Biofertilizers: Improving Nutrition in Citrus Trees

Tacy Callies MSOB, Nutrition

Citrus greening disease appears to be a problem for the foreseeable future for Florida growers. But what if growers could improve nutrition so trees could better cope with the disease? Scientists at Douglas Plant Health believe biofertilizers have that capability. “Think about it from a human health standpoint,” says Marcus Jones, vice president of research and development at Douglas Plant …

Grower Sees Steady Production Without Chemical Fertilizer

Tacy Callies HLB Management

By Owen “Sonny” Conner The two greatest challenges of the last 20 years, for me as a citrus grower, have been HLB and foreign competition depressing prices. Citrus growers had never faced a disease threat even approaching the devastating effects HLB has had on the industry. It was the industry killer we all feared would one day raise its ugly …

Avoid Salt-Out of Liquid Fertilizers

Tacy Callies Tip of the Week

By Ajia Paolillo The use of liquid fertilizers in citrus production has increased over the years. Liquid fertilizers offer the grower a way of applying frequent doses of fertilizer to trees to optimize nutrient efficiency. Now that the winter months are here with cooler weather and some cold nights, growers may face the issue of liquid fertilizer salting-out in the …

Pruning and Controlled-Release Fertilizer to Rehabilitate HLB Trees

Tacy Callies Nutrition, Production

By Tripti Vashisth and Troy Gainey Pruning is one of the oldest horticultural practices that changes the form and growth of a tree. The pruning process 1) adjusts tree shape and the ratio of framework to fruit-bearing shell of the canopy, 2) alters the shoot/root ratio and 3) changes the carbohydrate (food storage) status of the tree. Under Florida weather …

Controlled-Release Fertilizer Boosts Health of HLB Trees (Part 2)

Tacy Callies Citrus, Nutrition

By Pete Spyke, Joby Sherrod and Jude Grosser Part 1 of this article, published in the April 2017 issue of Citrus Industry magazine, provided some background information on controlled-release fertilizer (CRF) along with a discussion of practical applications in citrus production. This article, part 2, includes summaries of observations from several case studies in which CRF has been applied for …

Controlled-Release Fertilizer Boosts Health of HLB Trees (Part 1)

Josh McGill Nutrition

By Pete Spyke, Joby Sherrod and Jude Grosser Editor’s note: Look for part 2 of this article in the May 2017 issue of Citrus Industry magazine. Part 2 will present case studies using controlled-release fertilizer. Until now, most growers have considered controlled-release fertilizer (CRF) to be primarily for use on young trees, especially resets in existing groves. There is increasing …

Slow-Release Fertilizer in the Grove

Tacy Callies Citrus Greening, Nutrition

Citrus Grower Sees Results with Slow-Release Fertilizer Pete Spyke, citrus grower and co-owner of The Orange Shop in Citra, hosted AgNet Media’s staff for an exclusive, behind-the-scenes tour of his retail shop and gift-fruit shipping business. He detailed the history of the operation and led the staff on a tour of the packinghouse and test-plot grove. Spyke explained his use …

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 …

Smart Technology Cuts Spray Costs

Jim Rogers Pesticides, Technology

As they battle HLB, growers must control costs wherever possible, including by applying pesticides and fertilizer more efficiently. With that in mind, Yiannis Ampatzidis is engaging artificial intelligence (AI) to develop a low-cost, smart tree-crop sprayer that can automatically detect citrus trees, calculate their height and leaf density, and count fruit. That way, growers target their spray more efficiently, so …

Egypt to Remain Top Orange Exporter

Jim Rogers Export, International

Egypt is expected to maintain its position as the world’s leading fresh orange exporter in 2021–22 despite production challenges, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) reported. The country is expected to export 1.45 million metric tons (MMT), down from 1.67 MMT in 2020–21. The decrease in exports is attributed to lower production amid unfavorable climate conditions. Russia, …

Freeze Damage: Preparation and Recovery

Jim Rogers Tip of the Week

By Amir Rezazadeh Low temperatures can cause serious injury to leaf, wood and fruits of citrus trees. An extended freeze can kill a citrus tree. A rapid temperature decrease or a longer duration of freezing temperature can worsen the damage. Because preparation is paramount in protecting citrus trees, growers should use the Florida Automated Weather Network. The network provides information …

Orange Quality and Quantity in Turkey

Ernie Neff International

The fresh orange yield in Turkey for 2021-22 is forecast to increase 40% to 1.82 million metric tons (MMT) due to favorable rainy weather conditions, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) reported. However, in recent months, producers have become concerned about drought conditions affecting the quality of the fruit. In 2020-21, Turkey produced 1.3 MMT of oranges. …

Pest Management: A New Approach to an Age-Old Challenge

Tacy Callies Pests

By Brad Turner From a family with deep Florida roots, I have over 40 years of experience in commercial citrus production. I learned the industry from the ground up by working in the family groves while studying citrus production at Florida Southern College. I have owned a citrus nursery, my own groves and a citrus caretaking business. I have also …

Shining the Light on Tree Health

Tacy Callies Research

At a University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences Extension citrus field day held earlier this month, plant pathologist Amit Levy talked with growers about ways to evaluate tree health. “A good evaluation should be correlated to the yield that the trees will produce,” explained Levy. “The evaluation should be concentrated on the tree health, and not on …

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 …

Port Problems Plague Producers

Tacy Callies California Corner, Shipping

The ongoing supply-chain crisis is a big headache to businesses and consumers alike, with no end in sight for the immediate future. Perishable products are particularly at risk, as even a week or two delay can affect product quality. The port delays that caused the supply-chain crisis began on the West Coast with labor shortages due to the pandemic. These …

Douglas Plant Health Is Now DPH Biologicals™

Tacy Callies Industry News Release

Douglas Plant Health announced it has changed its name to DPH Biologicals. The new name recognizes the century-long commitment of its parent company, Douglas Products, to deliver effective and high-quality products to its customers while more clearly focusing on expanding its biologicals product platform to deliver value to customers by sustainably increasing productivity, yield and profitability. In 2018, the assets …

Texas Freeze Update: Fruit Is Sparse

Ernie Neff freeze, Texas

Surviving citrus trees in South Texas have bounced back from extreme freeze during Winter Storm Uri in February, but fruit is sparse this season, said Texas A&M AgriLife Extension horticulturist Juan Anciso.   An AgriLife Extension study estimated the severe freeze caused $230 million in damage to Texas’ citrus industry. Around 80% of the orange crop and almost 70% of …