Citrus Congress

Australia Is Key Market for U.S. Fresh Fruit

Tacy Callies Export/Import, International, Trade

Australia is a crucial market for U.S. citrus and other fresh fruits, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Foreign Agricultural Service (USDA FAS). A recent report from the agency says the United States has benefited from a well-established reputation for producing safe, quality fruit. The report suggests ways U.S. fruit exporters can access the Australian market.   Demand for …

Survey Seeks Input on Fresh Fruit Decay

Ernie Neff Fresh

Florida growers, packers and shippers of fresh fruit are being asked to take a survey that will help guide programs addressing fresh fruit decay. University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences researcher Mark Ritenour said he’d like as many survey responses as possible by mid-November. Ritenour said funding has been provided from a Florida Citrus Packers/U.S. Department of …

Canopy Management to Improve Fresh Fruit

Ernie Neff Pruning

A new University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) document, Management of Citrus Tree Canopies for Fresh-Fruit Production, addresses the principles of citrus pruning and canopy management. It tells how applying those principles can improve the quality and quantity of fresh fruit production in Florida. Here is an excerpt from the document: “Canopy management has three goals …

Five Years of Fresh Fruit Production in CUPS

Tacy Callies CUPS

By Arnold Schumann, Laura Waldo, Napoleon Mariner and Timothy Ebert According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), Florida grapefruit production for the 2019–20 season was only 12 percent of the production recorded in 2003–04, prior to the arrival of huanglongbing (HLB) disease in the state. A major goal of the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences …

Fresh Fruit Packers Announce Partnership

Ernie Neff Fresh, Industry News Release

Florida Classic Growers (FCG) announced a partnership with Riverfront Packing Company, LLC; The Packers of Indian River, Inc. and Quality Fruit Packers, Inc. The additional citrus volume from the partnering companies will expand product offerings and increase distribution to FCG’s customers marketed under the Florida Classic label. Riverfront and its marketing arm, Scott Marketing, Inc., will continue handling all sales …

Fresh Fruit Safety: Worker Training

Ernie Neff Food Safety

Fresh citrus workers need to be trained in health and hygiene in order to comply with the Food Safety Modernization Act’s Produce Safety Rule. Jamie Burrow provided that training at an all-day training session for growers earlier this year at the Citrus Research and Education Center (CREC). Burrow is a University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) …


Keeping Fresh Fruit Marketable

Ernie Neff Fresh

Mark Ritenour with the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) discusses research efforts to keep Florida’s fresh fruit marketable. Ritenour is a postharvest horticulturist at the Indian River Research and Education Center. Ritenour begins with maximum residue limit requirements for chemicals in fresh citrus for export. A UF/IFAS website provides pesticide residue limits by various major …

Fresh Fruit Is ‘All About the Box’

Ernie Neff Fresh

Polk County grower Ed Dickinson has good things to say about some orange-mandarin juice and fresh mandarins he sampled at the Citrus Research and Education Center (CREC) in November. Dickinson was one of dozens who tried new University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) samples. He and others who scored the juice and fruit will help researchers …

Putting Fresh Fruit to the Test

Tacy Callies Fresh, fruit

Quality and shelf life were evaluated for new fresh mandarin and sweet orange selections. By Mark A. Ritenour, Cuifeng Hu, Yu Wang and Fernando Alferez New fresh citrus fruit selections continue to be developed and released by the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture. In addition, promising new varieties are …

Optimize Fresh Fruit Results With Selective Pruning

Tacy Callies Production, Pruning

By Christopher Vincent and Mark Ritenour Planting fresh citrus varieties has increased in popularity. With these potentially high-value crops come questions about management practices, including pruning. This article discusses pruning practices that can improve the health and productivity of citrus trees. The principles of pruning are the same for any citrus plant. However, quality affects value of fresh fruit even …


Fresh Fruit Growers Must Comply with FSMA Regulations

Ernie Neff FSMA, Regulation

Travis Chapin, state specialized Extension agent with the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS), discusses deadlines and some requirements for fresh fruit growers to comply with the federal Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). “The compliance date for the largest farms, those with over $500,000 in annual produce sales, is January 26, 2018,” Chapin says. Growers with …


Fresh Fruit: Challenges and Changes

Ernie Neff Fresh

Florida’s fresh citrus industry has suffered even more from HLB than has the much larger juice industry. Duke Chadwell, manager of the Citrus Administrative Committee (CAC), discusses pending organizational changes in the fresh industry, brought on primarily by HLB. The CAC administers a federal marketing order for fresh Florida citrus that has been in place since 1939. “The Citrus Administrative …

Replanting, Fresh Fruit

Citrus Replanting and Fresh Fruit Taste Concern Grower

Ernie Neff Citrus, Economics

Lake Wales fresh citrus grower Marshall Hartley tells why many growers hesitate to move forward with citrus replanting. He also discusses declining fresh fruit taste. “I don’t think that we’ve got the perfect tree yet, and everybody’s kind of wondering, where am I going to spend my last dollar?” Hartley says. “Do I need to not plant a tree for …

USDA to Buy Fresh Grapefruit for Food Programs

Josh McGill Grapefruit

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) recently announced plans to purchase fresh grapefruit for distribution to various food nutrition assistance programs. The purpose is to encourage the continued domestic consumption of these products by diverting them from the normal channels of trade and commerce. USDA said ample availability of fresh grapefruit is projected to increase due to slower movement in …


Slow Start for Fresh Florida Grapefruit Season

Ernie Neff Citrus 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 …

advisory committee

Fruit and Vegetable Advisory Committee to Continue

Daniel Cooper Industry News Release

The U.S. Department of Agriculture Agricultural Marketing Service (USDA AMS) plans to renew the charter of the Fruit and Vegetable Industry Advisory Committee (FVIAC) for two years. The FVIAC’s current charter expires May 23. The purpose of the FVIAC is to examine the full spectrum of issues faced by the fruit and vegetable industry and suggest ways the USDA can …


A Fresh Approach

Daniel Cooper CRAFT, Fresh, Packing

Despite the challenges of the Florida citrus industry, Feek Family Citrus continues to successfully grow, pack and ship fresh fruit. In an effort to discourage his son from working in the citrus business, Doug Feek’s father gave him all the worst jobs to do in the family’s small grove. “He wanted me to save my back and work a desk …

Oriental fruit fly

Oriental Fruit Fly Quarantine Conditions Modified

Daniel Cooper California Corner, Pests, Regulation

Conditions for the movement of fresh citrus fruit from the Redlands Oriental fruit fly (OFF) quarantine area of San Bernardino and Riverside counties in California have been temporarily modified for the duration of the 2024 harvest season. The U.S. Department of Agriculture Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (USDA APHIS) announced the modification on Feb. 5. Due to the imminent …


Proposal to Increase Florida Fresh Citrus Assessment

Daniel Cooper Florida, Fresh, Regulation

The federal marketing order assessment rate for fresh Florida oranges, grapefruit, tangerines and pummelos would increase under a rule proposed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Marketing Service. The proposed rule would increase the assessment rate for the 2023–24 fiscal year and subsequent fiscal periods from $0.015 to $0.02 per 4/5-bushel carton or equivalent for Florida citrus handled under …

California Leads U.S. Grapefruit Production

Tacy Callies Grapefruit, Production

For the third season in a row, California led the nation in grapefruit production again in 2022–23. Over the past decade, the title of top grapefruit-producing state has alternated between Florida, California and Texas. But the Florida citrus industry continues to decline, and Texas grapefruit producers experienced a major setback in February 2021 with Winter Storm Uri. California produced 160,000 …