Citrus Research Operations Manager Honored

Ernie NeffAwards

Thomas “Tom” James, citrus horticulture research operations manager at the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences’ (UF/IFAS) Indian River Research and Education Center (IRREC), recently received a UF/IFAS Superior Accomplishment Award. At the IRREC, James facilitates a team of 17 visiting scientists, agricultural assistants and interns who perform field activities in two citrus groves on university property … Read More

Graduate Student Studies Grapefruit Trial

Ernie NeffGrapefruit

An experimental grapefruit grove that graduate student Martin Zapien planted in Florida’s Indian River region is expected to help local growers with future planting decisions. The 20-acre grove with more than 5,000 trees is at the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences’ (UF/IFAS) Indian River Research and Education Center (IRREC). The 1- to 2-year-old trees are new … Read More

EPA Ordered to Act on Chlorpyrifos

Ernie NeffPesticides

court

California Attorney General Rob Bonta on April 29 applauded a decision by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals requiring the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to make a required safety finding for chlorpyrifos residues detected on food. Chlorpyrifos is a widely used agricultural pesticide approved for use on more than 80 food crops. The court decision orders the EPA to … Read More

How Soil Health Changes Impact Citrus

Ernie Neffsoil

A team of University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) researchers is investigating how changes in soil health impact citrus and other subtropical tree crops. Specifically, they will examine how quickly soil health can change in Florida and how specific changes might impact yield. The U.S. Department of Agriculture National Institute of Food and Agriculture is funding … Read More

Peace River Growers Celebrate OJ Day

Ernie NeffOrange Juice

More than 40 growers, product representatives and others celebrated National OJ Day May 4 at grower Kenny Sanders’ grove near Wauchula, Florida. The occasion was the Peace River Valley Citrus Growers Association (PRVCGA) spring roundtable luncheon, which featured a panel of growers discussing current citrus issues. The event was one of the first in-person grower gatherings for the Florida citrus … Read More

Growing Matters: Four Rs Protect Bees, Keep Efficacy and Save Money

Daniel CooperGrowing Matters

money

Industry leaders recommend the Four Rs as a guide for applicators and producers. The guidelines are critical for protecting pollinators, retaining product efficacy and ultimately saving the producer money. In the latest episode of the BeSure! campaign from the Growing Matters Coalition, Syngenta’s Agronomic Service Representative Garrett Gilcrease said the Four Rs include the right place, right time, right rate and … Read More

What to Consider Before Planting Cover Crops

Tacy CalliesCover Crops, Tip of the Week

For those interested in cover crops for citrus groves, the end of harvest and the upcoming start of the rainy season is a great time to start planning. Cover crops can have a variety of benefits to soil health. These include increasing soil organic matter and microbial diversity and activity as well as reducing weed growth. While research is still … Read More

Celebrate National OJ Day

Tacy CalliesOrange Juice

Today, May 4, is National OJ Day. It is the ideal opportunity to promote the many wonderful attributes of orange juice. Social media is a great place to boast about the benefits of orange juice. Consider posting about OJ today on social media accounts like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Encourage your family and friends to do the same. Post a … Read More

Grower Instigates Sap Analysis Research

Ernie NeffNutrition

citrus acreage decline

Indian River area citrus grower Cody Estes provided the impetus for an upcoming research project into the use of sap analysis for monitoring citrus tree nutrient levels. The analysis method has been used in other crops. Advocates declare it to be a relatively inexpensive way to quickly determine nutrient status so growers can make corrections before nutrient excess or deficiency … Read More

When a Pesticide Doesn’t Work

Tacy CalliesCEU

By Juanita Popenoe Editor’s note: This article grants one continuing education unit (CEU) in the Core category toward the renewal of a Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services restricted-use pesticide license when the accompanying test is submitted and approved. Pesticides are only one part of a comprehensive integrated pest management (IPM) plan and should be used strategically. What happens … Read More

Survey on Cover Crops and Reflective Mulch

Ernie NeffCover Crops, Survey

Florida growers are being asked to take a survey on the use of cover crops and reflective mulch in citrus production. These systems are being investigated as potential means to improve soil health and reduce pest pressure from Asian citrus psyllids, which transmit the destructive citrus disease HLB. The survey is being conducted by researchers with the University of Florida Institute … Read More

How to Stay HLB-Free in North Florida Groves

Tacy CalliesHLB Management

As temperatures increase across Florida, so does the risk for huanglongbing (HLB) disease, known as citrus greening. While the southern and central portions of the state remain vulnerable to HLB and Asian citrus psyllids (ACP) that spread the disease, growers in North Florida and South Georgia have so far been spared. But Xavier Martini, University of Florida entomologist at the … Read More

Research ‘of Use to Growers Right Now’

Ernie NeffResearch

podcast

“We’ve come a long way in the time that we’ve had HLB here in Florida,” says Michael Rogers. The director of the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences’ (UF/IFAS) Citrus Research and Education Center says early HLB research “covered a wide range of topics.” Now, however, “We’re really narrowing down things that are of use to growers … Read More

Florida Buys 5,734 Acres From Alico

Ernie NeffLand

The state of Florida recently purchased approximately 5,734 acres of Alico Ranch for $14.4 million from Alico, Inc. The purchase was made under the Florida Forever program, pursuant to an option agreement between the state and the company earlier this fiscal year. “This is now the third sales transaction we have completed with the state of Florida within the last … Read More

Aldicarb Denial Disappoints Associations

Ernie NeffPesticides

Two Florida citrus grower associations expressed disappointment over the recent Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services’ (FDACS) decision to deny the use of the pesticide aldicarb in Florida citrus. “We are frustrated in the decision as we believe aldicarb will provide a powerful tool in the fight against citrus greening and can be used safely,” said Florida Citrus Mutual … Read More

Fungal Disease Management Recommendations

Ernie NeffDiseases

University of Florida multi-county citrus Extension agent Chris Oswalt discussed fungal disease management in the April Central Florida citrus Extension newsletter. Here is a summary: In Florida, fruit fungal diseases that are oftentimes problematic in the early spring are melanose, scab and alternaria brown spot, along with citrus canker. In the summer period, greasy spot is more of a problem, … Read More

Asian Citrus Psyllid Anatomical Discoveries

Ernie NeffPsyllids

Scientists from the University of Granada (UGR) have made the first anatomical atlas of the Asian citrus psyllid (ACP), which spreads HLB. The research group, led by Professor Susan J. Brown from Kansas State University, conducted a multidisciplinary project to study the psyllid, the bacteria it transmits, its effects and means of control. The U.S. research team approached Javier Alba-Tercedor … Read More

CRDF Research Proposals Include Peptides

Ernie NeffCRDF, Research

The Citrus Research and Development Foundation (CRDF) received 59 proposals for funding of projects in response to the organization’s recent request for proposals (RFP). “This is the best RFP we’ve ever done since I’ve been here,” said CRDF Chief Operating Officer Rick Dantzler.   The deadline for submitting proposals was April 26, a day before the CRDF’s board of directors … Read More

Georgia Citrus Industry Ripening

Tacy CalliesGeorgia

One Georgia grower sees citrus as an emerging industry in Georgia with huge potential. Justin Corbett even compares it to another popular crop that’s dominated the state’s fruit landscape. “I think it has the potential to be a big industry. I compare it to blueberries 10 or 15 years ago. I just hope we don’t follow the same path they … Read More

Grower Sees Steady Production Without Chemical Fertilizer

Tacy CalliesHLB 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 … Read More