HLB Research Is Focus of Short Videos

Ernie NeffHLB Management

Two short videos about HLB-related research were available at the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) booth at Citrus Expo in August. The videos are available online for viewing. UF/IFAS researcher Tripti Vashisth narrated the video, HLB-Associated Preharvest Fruit Drop. She said up to 40% of fruit can drop from mildly HLB-symptomatic trees shortly before harvest, … Read More

COVID-19 Altered Juice Trends

Ernie NeffCOVID-19

There were two distinctly divergent trends for citrus juice sales during the 2019-20 Florida citrus season, Florida Department of Citrus economist Marisa Zansler reported recently. The divergent trends were linked to the COVID-19 pandemic, which became a major issue in the United States in March 2020. Prior to March 2020, there were orange juice (OJ) and grapefruit juice surpluses, Zansler … Read More

Fresh Citrus Production, Imports and Exports

Ernie NeffFresh

U.S. citrus production for the fresh market was estimated at 3.45 million tons in 2020-21, down 6% from the previous season, with smaller fresh-market crops of oranges (down 11%), grapefruit (down 15%) and lemons (down 6%). The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Economic Research Service reported the production levels in September. ORANGES DOWNRepresenting just under half of all U.S. citrus production … Read More

Panel Discusses OJ and Health Research

Ernie NeffOrange Juice

orange juice

The Florida Citrus Commission’s (FCC) Scientific Research Advisory Council (SRAC) on Oct. 13 discussed recent studies and projects addressing the linkage between orange juice (OJ) and health. The FCC governs the Florida Department of Citrus (FDOC), which spends much effort promoting the health benefits of OJ. PUBLISHED STUDIESRosa Walsh, director of scientific research at the FDOC, shared three recently published … Read More

Stay Vigilant on Handwashing and Hygiene

Tacy CalliesFood Safety, Tip of the Week

By Taylor O’Bannon, Michelle Danyluk and Matt Krug If you visited any public building or restroom during the COVID-19 pandemic, you may have noticed an increased focus on handwashing and hygiene principles reflected in an abundance of signage on doors and in hallways. While it is great that public awareness has increased in the last 18 months, these have always … Read More

Millennium Block Field Day Draws Growers

Ernie NeffRootstocks, Varieties

More than 50 citrus growers and researchers attended a field day Oct. 14 in Fort Pierce to view 154 new citrus scion-rootstock combinations. Some of the combinations will result in trees that tolerate HLB. The Millennium Block Drive-Thru Field Day occurred at the University of Florida (UF) Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences Indian River Research and Education Center (IRREC). … Read More

What to Consider Before Planting More Satsumas in Georgia

Tacy CalliesGeorgia

Georgia’s citrus production could flood the market in less than three years. By 2024, there is projected to be more than 59 million pounds of citrus ready for harvest, says Jake Price, University of Georgia Extension coordinator for Lowndes County. That is compared to the 8.4 million pounds that is ready for harvest this year. Price explains there is an … Read More

Reducing HLB-Associated Preharvest Fruit Drop

Tacy CalliesFruit Drop

By Tripti Vashisth and Christopher Vincent This article summarizes current knowledge about HLB-associated preharvest fruit drop. Unfortunately, exactly how HLB induces preharvest fruit drop is still unknown. Nonetheless, this article links what we do know about HLB-associated fruit drop to fruit drop in HLB-free trees and how strategies, such as managing tree water status and use of gibberellic acid, can … Read More

Paraquat Use Requires Certification

Ernie NeffHerbicides, Regulation

By Ajia Paolillo If you use herbicides containing paraquat dichloride in your citrus groves, you must be aware of the use certification requirements for this product. In 2016, certifications and training for using this herbicide were put into place following the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) risk mitigation requirements. Any person that uses paraquat must meet these requirements. The first requirement … Read More

Highlands Citrus Agent Ready to Serve

Tacy Calliesextension

By J. Scott Angle The University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) is the world’s best university-based citrus science organization. We’re the largest, and we’re more than a century old. So, we’re constantly bringing in new talent. Extension Highlands County citrus agent Lourdes Pérez Cordero started on Sept. 7. She met with Highlands County Citrus Growers Association … Read More

Growers React Differently to Crop Forecast

Ernie NeffCrop Forecast

Florida citrus grower Kyle Story of The Story Companies thought the initial Florida orange crop forecast for the 2021-22 season was “realistic.” But the 47-million-box forecast struck fellow grower Paul Meador as low. Meador is president of Everglades Harvesting and Hauling and serves on the Florida Citrus Commission. The crop forecast, well below last season’s 52.8 million boxes of Florida … Read More

Juice Company CEO Honored

Ernie NeffAwards

Natalie’s Orchid Island Juice Company founder and CEO Marygrace Sexton has been included in Inc. Magazine’s 2021 Female Founders 100. Inc. editors and writers reviewed thousands of applications to identify the 100 female founders who continued to triumph in a year filled with many challenges. “The 100 women highlighted on this list are inspiring, creative, tenacious and trailblazing role models … Read More

Australia Fruit Traceability Project for Exports

Ernie NeffTechnology

Agriculture Victoria is funding an innovative $770,000 traceability pilot project for high-value exports that will be led by Citrus Australia, which represents commercial citrus growers. The funding is part of the Victorian government’s Food to Market program. The Citrus Australia project will utilize leading tracing technology, isotope testing, cool-chain tracking and orchard mapping to enhance traceability. Citrus Australia CEO Nathan … Read More

Stop HLB Vector, Spanish Group Says

Ernie NeffHLB Management

The Valencian Association of Farmers (AVA-ASAJA) recently stated it is essential that the Spanish government and the European Union (EU) prevent the advance of Trioza erytreae, vector of the citrus disease HLB. The association issued that statement after learning that the insect has reached the Algarve (southern Portugal). The vector’s advance from the north and center of the Portuguese country … Read More

Citrus Hall of Fame Nominations Due Nov. 1

Ernie NeffAwards

Nominations for the Florida Citrus Hall of Fame class of 2022 are due by Nov. 1, 2021, just four days before the class of 2021 is inducted. Eligible nominees are industry leaders who made significant contributions to the Florida citrus industry as pioneers or in the areas of harvesting, packing, processing, marketing, science or education. Nominations received after Nov. 1 … Read More

U.S. Citrus Processing Report

Ernie NeffProcessing

citrus crop forecast

In 2020-21, 57% of U.S. citrus was used for processing, and most of the processed fruit was oranges, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Economic Research Service reported in September. Florida produced 81% of all U.S. oranges for processing, while California and Texas produced the remainder. Florida and Texas had smaller orange crops for the processed market in 2020-21 compared with … Read More

Historic Low for U.S. Citrus Crop Forecast

Daniel CooperCrop Forecast, Production


Members of the Florida citrus industry gathered for lunch on Oct. 12 at Putnam Ranch in Zolfo Springs to hear the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) initial 2021-22 citrus crop forecast. While many growers expected the Florida figures to be similar to the 2020-21 season, some thought the numbers would be even lower. On the other hand, a few growers … Read More

Stay Prepared Throughout Hurricane Season

Tacy Callieshurricane, Tip of the Week

By Ajia Paolillo Although October is toward the end of hurricane season, which runs from June 1 to Nov. 30, it can still be a very active month for storms. These storms can range from tropical depressions to hurricanes. Major concerns for citrus growers during a storm include personnel safety, damage to trees, fruit loss and damage to equipment and … Read More

Florida Citrus Commission Appointments Made

Ernie NeffFlorida Citrus Commission

Gov. Ron DeSantis appointed three new members to the Florida Citrus Commission and reappointed four others on Oct. 8. The appointments of John Smoak and Daniel Sutton fill two vacant seats, and the appointment of Christopher Groom fills a seat held by a commissioner serving a previously expired term. Commissioners Carlos Martinez, Martin “Marty” McKenna, Steve Johnson and William “Bill” … Read More

Rooting Problems in Citrus Trees

Tacy CalliesRoot health

Rooting issues in citrus containers were a major problem this year for growers in Georgia. Kim Jones, who farms citrus in Georgia and Florida, implores producers to inspect their trees extensively before planting them. He said there were various reports of j-rooting and circle-rooting in container plants. Trees with these problems are more vulnerable to high-stress environmental conditions if left … Read More