Season’s OJ Sales Up Nearly 13 Percent

Ernie NeffOrange Juice

new york times

The increase in sales of U.S. orange juice (OJ) that began during the early days of COVID-19 is continuing, according to Marisa Zansler, director of the Florida Department of Citrus Economic and Market Research Department. Zansler told the Florida Citrus Commission on Sept. 16 that as consumers began to adapt to a new normal while still living under COVID-19 conditions, … Read More

Growers Sustain Losses

Ernie NeffEconomics

Not many watching a recent virtual Citrus Expo presentation were surprised by Ariel Singerman’s declaration that “taking into account total cost, on average, growers sustained a loss” in the 2019-20 Florida citrus season. Singerman, a University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences economist, pegged the average per-acre losses at $1,606 for early-midseason oranges and $1,254 for Valencias. Singerman … Read More

Navel Orange Estimate Released for California

Len WilcoxCrop Forecast

The U.S. Department of Agriculture National Agricultural Statistics Service released the 2020-21 California Navel Orange Objective Measurement Report. The survey was conducted from June 15 to Sept. 1. Estimated fruit set per tree, fruit diameter, trees per acre, bearing acreage, and oranges per box were used in the statistical models to provide an estimate of crop production. Based on the … Read More

Peptide Could Restore Florida Citrus

Tacy CalliesHLB Management

CghSAMPa, the peptide found in the fruit of greening-tolerant Australian finger limes, is believed to be the first substance capable of controlling huanglongbing (HLB, also known as citrus greening). University of California, Riverside and Invaio Sciences, Inc. have partnered to advance the peptide research with hopes of bringing an HLB solution to commercialization by 2023. During a recent seminar hosted … Read More

Alico Sells 10,702 Acres to State of Florida

Ernie NeffAcreage

Alico, Inc. on Sept. 11 announced the state of Florida purchased, under the Florida Forever program, approximately 10,702 acres of Alico Ranch for $28.5 million. The transaction was pursuant to an option agreement between the state of Florida and Alico. John Kiernan, Alico president and chief executive officer, said the acreage was on the west side of the ranch. “This is … Read More

Texas Mexfly Quarantine Reduced

Ernie NeffPests

Federal and Texas regulators on Aug. 25 removed the Mexican fruit fly (Mexfly) quarantine area in Harlingen, Texas. Harlingen is in Cameron County. Dale Murden, a grower and president of Texas Citrus Mutual, said only 550 acres of Texas citrus remain under quarantine out of a state total of approximately 27,000 acres of citrus. “So we are happy about that,” … Read More

CCM Supports Plan to Address Imports

Len WilcoxCalifornia Corner, Trade

On Sept. 10, California Citrus Mutual (CCM) commended the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR), U.S. Department of Agriculture and U.S. Department of Commerce (DOC) for the actions they recently announced to address the injury caused by increased imports of seasonal and perishable products. The federal Report on Seasonal and Perishable Products in U.S. Commerce was announced earlier this … Read More

Row-Middle Weed Management Methods

Tacy Calliesweeds

By Ramdas Kanissery, Miurel Brewer, Davie Kadyampakeni and Sarah Strauss Florida growers face problems with weeds throughout the year due to favorable weather conditions that allow rapid proliferation and lush growth of weeds in groves. While a weed-free tree row is desired to minimize competition with citrus, it is also essential to manage the weeds or vegetation in the row … Read More

Physical Distancing in the Citrus Industry

Tacy CalliesCOVID-19, Tip of the Week

By Michelle Danyluk and Ben Chapman While there is no evidence that the COVID-19 virus is a food-safety concern, it certainly is a worker health concern. It spreads person-to-person through close contact (defined as within 6 feet for more than 15 minutes) or by contact with contaminated surfaces. Systematically walking through the grove, packinghouse or processing plant and thinking about … Read More

Genetics and Nutrition Are the ‘Way Forward’

Ernie NeffNutrition


“The combination of improved scion/rootstock genetics and optimized nutrition is clearly the way forward” for Florida’s HLB-stricken citrus industry, Jude Grosser declared in a Florida Citrus Growers’ Institute virtual presentation. Grosser is a University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences plant breeder. The Growers’ Institute is normally held in April but was cancelled this year due to COVID-19. … Read More

HLB Solution Could Be Available in Three Years

Tacy CalliesHLB Management

University of California, Riverside (UCR) scientist Hailing Jin believes she has found a substance capable of controlling the deadly citrus greening disease known as huanglongbing (HLB). The potential cure Jin discovered is a peptide found in the fruit of greening-tolerant Australian finger limes, which have been consumed by humans for hundreds of years. Invaio Sciences, Inc., a multi-platform technology company … Read More

Organic Solutions to Citrus Greening Sought

Tacy CalliesCitrus Greening, Organic

Florida citrus growers

The Organic Center is currently working with the University of Florida, the University of California, Riverside, and several citrus growers and industry members to conduct a national review of how citrus greening disease is impacting organic growers and other industry members.  The information will be used to develop a large-scale holistic research project proposal targeted toward protecting organic citrus growers from citrus … Read More

Stefanou to Lead USDA Economic Research Service

Ernie NeffEconomics

University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) scientist Spiro Stefanou has been appointed as U.S. Department of Agriculture Economic Research Service (USDA/ERS) administrator. Stefanou was a professor in the UF/IFAS food and resource economics department. The mission of USDA/ERS is to anticipate trends and emerging issues in agriculture, food, the environment and rural America and to conduct high-quality, … Read More

Nutrition: Get the Rate Right

Ernie NeffNutrition

Davie Kadyampakeni emphasized the importance of the four Rs of good nutrition of HLB-affected orange trees, with a heavy focus on the “right rate” of nutrient use. The other three Rs are right time, right placement and right source of nutrient applications. Kadyampakeni, a University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences researcher, discussed nutrition at this year’s virtual … Read More

New Guidance on How to Handle Unsolicited Seeds

Ernie NeffIndustry News Release

People receiving unsolicited seeds or plant material through the mail should either report the seeds and submit them for testing or dispose of them using the method described below. This advice comes from the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS). The seed packets, which have recently arrived unexpectedly in Florida and throughout the United States in packages with … Read More

Keeping the OJ Momentum Going

Ernie NeffOrange Juice

orange juice

Florida Department of Citrus (FDOC) staff has been “hard at work ensuring the momentum experienced by the orange juice (OJ) category earlier this year doesn’t fade as we usher in the fall,” Ned Hancock stated recently. Hancock, chairman of the Florida Citrus Commission, provided that information and more in an update to the citrus industry on FDOC activities. Hancock said … Read More

Brazil Releases Updated Orange Crop Forecast

Tacy CalliesBrazil, Crop Forecast


Fundecitrus and its cooperators announced an update to Brazil’s 2020-2021 orange crop forecast on Sept. 10. The new figure for the São Paulo and West-Southwest Minas Gerais citrus belt is 286.72 million boxes. This is 0.36 percent less oranges than the initial forecast released in May, and 25.87 percent less oranges than the 2019-2020 crop. The forecast represents one of … Read More

HLB Preparedness in Australia

Ernie NeffHLB Management, International

citrus greening

Learning how other countries manage huanglongbing (HLB) will help shape Australia’s response if the damaging citrus disease hits its shores, according to New South Wales (NSW) citrus pathologist Nerida Donovan. One of the biggest lessons so far has been the importance of treating the psyllid vector with the same respect as the disease. Donovan, with the NSW Department of Primary … Read More

Gibberellic Acid: Increase Fruit Size and Yield, Reduce Drop

Tacy CalliesProduction

By Tripti Vashisth and Megan Dewdney This article discusses the use of gibberellic acid (GA), the naturally occurring plant hormone, on huanglongbing (HLB)-affected trees. The results were generated from a 3-year trial in which Valencia trees were treated with GA in the fall. The outcomes suggest that GA can be effectively used for synchronizing and suppressing profuse flowering without negatively … Read More

California Introduces Housing for the Harvest

Len WilcoxCalifornia Corner, COVID-19, Labor

California Governor Gavin Newsom announced that Housing for the Harvest is underway in Fresno and other Central Valley counties. This is a new program designed to provide temporary hotel housing options for farm and food-processing employees to self-isolate if they are COVID-19 positive and do not require hospitalization. The state is securing hotel rooms in participating counties like Fresno and … Read More