H-2A Wage Freeze Blocked

Tacy CalliesLabor

A federal judge has blocked the H-2A wage freeze that the Department of Labor (DOL) announced in November. The DOL decision would have kept H-2A wages at 2020 rates through 2022. Last month, United Farm Workers (UFW) and the UFW Foundation filed a suit to block the DOL rule. U.S. District Judge Dale Drozd granted the injunction preventing DOL from … Read More

Kaolin Particle Film Reduces HLB Pressure

Tacy CalliesHLB Management

Researchers found use of kaolin particle film on trees reduced populations of HLB-spreading psyllids and delayed HLB infection. University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) assistant professor Christopher Vincent presented his research comparing red and white kaolin particle films with foliar insecticides during a recent UF/IFAS OJ Break webinar. According to Vincent, the particles of kaolin clay … Read More

New Louisiana Citrus Research Facility

Ernie NeffResearch

The Arlene and Joseph Meraux Charitable Foundation has constructed a citrus research facility at the Docville Farm in partnership with the Louisiana State University (LSU) AgCenter. The new facility, called the Center for Louisiana Citrus Innovation and Research, is in Violet, Louisiana. “This facility will be utilized to support Louisiana citrus growers as well as promote citrus and other specialty … Read More

Larger European Orange Crop Expected

Ernie NeffCrop Forecast, International

The European Union’s (EU) orange production is forecast at 6.55 million metric tons (MMT) for 2020-21, up 5.6 percent from the previous year and 3 percent higher than the 10-year average. That’s according to a recent EU citrus report by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS). The higher forecast is mainly due to expected increases in orange … Read More

Fresh Florida Citrus Marketing Order Continued

Ernie NeffFresh, Marketing

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) recently announced that fresh citrus producers voted to continue the marketing order regulating the handling of oranges, grapefruit, tangerines and pummelos grown in Florida. The marketing order requires a continuance referendum be held every six years. In a referendum held Oct. 19 to Nov. 9, 2020, 99 percent of Florida producers, representing 94 percent … Read More

International Year of Fruits and Vegetables Launched

Ernie NeffIndustry News Release

The director-general of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations, Qu Dongyu, recently launched the International Year of Fruits and Vegetables 2021 (IYFV 2021).   IYFV 2021 is dedicated to raising awareness about the important role of fruits and vegetables in human nutrition, food security and health. FAO is the lead agency for celebrating the year in … Read More

Aldicarb Registered for Florida Citrus

Ernie NeffPesticides

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on Jan. 12 announced two actions to help protect America’s citrus industry from HLB and citrus canker. One action is for the insecticide aldicarb; the other is for the antibiotic streptomycin. ALDICARBEPA is registering one technical product, a supplemental label and one new end-use product for the insecticide aldicarb for use on oranges and … Read More

China Tangerine and Mandarin Forecast

Ernie NeffChina

China is forecast to produce 23.1 million metric tons of tangerines and mandarins in 2020-21, a slight increase from 2019-20, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Foreign Agricultural Service reported recently. Looking further ahead, some industry insiders predict the overall growth rate of tangerine and mandarin production will slow in coming years. They expect local governments may become more conservative in … Read More

Potential OJ Marketing Order Leaves Growers Hesitant

Tacy CalliesMarketing, Orange Juice

Many Florida citrus growers are skeptical of the proposed federal marketing order for orange juice (OJ). The proposed marketing order would allow all U.S. fruit used in OJ and all OJ imports to be assessed to share in the cost of marketing. This federal order, however, poses some potential drawbacks for Florida juice orange growers. The U.S. Department of Agriculture … Read More

HLB: The Microbiome’s Role

Ernie NeffHLB Management

Researchers Caroline Roper and Nichole Ginnan at the University of California, Riverside led a large research collaboration that sought to explore the microbiome’s role in HLB disease progression. Their recent article in Phytobiomes Journal, “Disease-Induced Microbial Shifts in Citrus Indicate Microbiome-Derived Responses to Huanglongbing,” moves beyond the single-snapshot view of the microbial landscape typical of microbiome research. Their holistic approach … Read More

States See Changes in U.S. Citrus Forecast

Ernie NeffCrop Forecast

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) dropped another 2 million boxes from the January forecast for Florida’s orange crop but added 200,000 boxes to the state’s grapefruit projection. ORANGESFlorida’s total orange crop is now forecast at 54 million boxes, down 4 percent from 56 million boxes in December. The orange reduction was in the non-Valencia … Read More

Homeowner Canker Payments Coming

Ernie NeffLegal

Approximately 12,000 Lee County homeowners in Florida will receive checks in early January as compensation for citrus trees destroyed in the state’s citrus canker eradication program, according to attorney Robert Gilbert. Gilbert was the lead counsel representing the homeowners in a class action lawsuit for the past 17 years. According to Gilbert, the residential trees that were destroyed by the … Read More

Compost Use and Weed Management

Tacy CalliesTip of the Week, weeds

By Ramdas Kanissery Application of compost as a soil amendment could be an integral part of citrus production’s best management practices. Compost application can potentially improve soil quality and provide additional nourishment to trees. Citrus-producing soils in Florida are generally sandy and low in soil organic matter. Compost addition tends to enhance the soil’s ability to retain both nutrients and … Read More

The State of the Florida Citrus Processing Industry

Tacy CalliesProcessing

Kristen Carlson, executive director of the Florida Citrus Processors Association, answers questions from Tacy Callies, Citrus Industry editor. Q: What are the current opportunities in Florida citrus processing?  A: There is some excess capacity in Florida should the citrus greening situation improve, and Florida increases its box production. Greening has decreased the yield of boxes per tree. With less impact … Read More

Georgia Citrus Pest and Disease Update

Tacy CalliesDiseases, Georgia, Pests

As the Georgia citrus industry continues to grow and prosper, growers should be aware of the potential signs of citrus pests and diseases that could be looming in their groves. Bill Barber, Certified Crop Advisor and owner of Barber Ag Services, delivered a presentation during the 2021 virtual Southeast Regional Fruit and Vegetable Conference. He addressed pests and diseases presently … Read More

FDOC Update: OJ Sales, Supply and Demand

Tacy CalliesOrange Juice

Shannon Shepp, executive director of the Florida Department of Citrus (FDOC), reports that total orange juice (OJ) sales are performing at 2016 levels. “In the four week-period ending Dec. 26, 2020, average year-over-year sales of total OJ increased 7.68 percent with nearly 37.39 million equivalent gallons sold, according to the latest Nielsen retail sales update,” Shepp says. “Volume sales of … Read More

Third Packer for Cold-Hardy Citrus

Ernie NeffPacking

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, … Read More

Louisiana Faces Several Citrus Woes

Ernie NeffLouisiana

Hurricanes, development, demographics, disease and other issues combined in recent decades to severely reduce citrus acreage and crops in Plaquemines Parish, which has the majority of Louisiana growers. According to Louisiana State University (LSU) AgCenter, the state has only 841 acres of citrus remaining. Anna Timmerman, LSU AgCenter horticultural Extension agent, discussed the industry’s woes in the parish that she … Read More

New Dietary Guidelines Include Role for Juice

Ernie NeffOrange Juice

orange juice

The newly released 2020–2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGA) continue to reinforce that nutrient-dense 100 percent fruit juices, such as orange juice (OJ), count as a fruit serving. They also continue to include 100 percent fruit juice as a part of a healthy dietary pattern. The guidelines support the incorporation of beverages such as 100 percent OJ into the daily … Read More

La Niña and Florida Citrus

Ernie NeffWeather

A moderate La Niña climate phase is expected through spring 2021. This indicates that slightly above average temperatures and slightly less rainfall than normal can be expected in Florida’s citrus belt. Multi-county citrus Extension agent Ajia Paolillo made that announcement during a virtual Dec. 22 OJ Break presented by the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS). … Read More