BMPs Addressed in Bill

Ernie NeffBMPs


Florida Sen. Ben Albritton filed a bill (SB 1000) to address issues related to best management practices (BMPs), the Nov. 19 Florida Citrus Mutual Triangle newsletter reported. According to the Triangle, the bill addresses several issues stemming from outdated science supporting University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) nutrient recommendation rates pertaining to BMPs. The bill also … Read More

Texas Freeze Update: Fruit Is Sparse

Ernie Nefffreeze, Texas

Surviving citrus trees in South Texas have bounced back from extreme freeze during Winter Storm Uri in February, but fruit is sparse this season, said Texas A&M AgriLife Extension horticulturist Juan Anciso.   An AgriLife Extension study estimated the severe freeze caused $230 million in damage to Texas’ citrus industry. Around 80% of the orange crop and almost 70% of … Read More

Grapefruit Import Action Protested

Ernie NeffExport/Import, Grapefruit

The state agriculture commissioners for Florida and Texas recently urged U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack to reinstate juice content requirements on grapefruit imports. They stated that a so-called “patch” issued earlier this year by the U.S. Department of Agriculture creates unfair advantages for Mexico and other countries over domestic grapefruit producers. “There appears to have been a ‘patch’ quietly … Read More

Sneak Peek: December 2021 Citrus Industry

Tacy CalliesSneak Peek

Everyone seems to get busier during December as the holidays near. With the harvest season in full swing, this is especially true in the Florida citrus industry. Amidst the rush to complete holiday preparations and tend to never-ending grove tasks, it’s a good idea to pause for a moment to consider farm safety issues. The December issue of Citrus Industry … Read More

International Marketing Efforts for Florida Citrus

Ernie NeffFlorida Department of Citrus, Marketing

The Florida Department of Citrus (FDOC) described its 2020-21 international marketing efforts at last month’s meeting of the Florida Citrus Commission, which governs the FDOC. Katie Bruce, international marketing manager, discussed the FDOC’s past-year programs in the United Kingdom (UK), France, Japan, South Korea and Canada for fresh grapefruit and orange juice. Bruce also presented an overview of preliminary 2021-22 … Read More

Which Rootstock to Select

Tacy CalliesRootstocks, Tip of the Week

Valencia trees on high-vigor (left) and low-vigor (right) inducing rootstocks in a Central Ridge field trial. Note the higher yield efficiency of the smaller trees on the right and the leaning of these trees due to Hurricane Irma. By Ute Albrecht Rootstock selection is critical for longevity and productivity of a grove. The decision should be based on compatibility with … Read More

Mandarin: ‘The Perfect Piece of Fruit’

Ernie NeffMandarins

Mandarin citrus is “the perfect piece of fruit,” Suntreat Packing Vice President Scott Owen told a recent Global Citrus Congress audience. “It tastes great. It’s easy to peel. It doesn’t have seeds. It’s a healthy snack, so moms love to give it to kids.” Mandarins are now a $1.8 billion market, compared to $1.2 billion for oranges, Owen said. He … Read More

ACP Management With UV-Reflective Mulch and Flush-Timed Sprays

Tacy CalliesHLB Management

By Jawwad Qureshi, Lauren Diepenbrock and Davie Kadyampakeni The future of the Florida citrus industry depends on successfully replacing the present bearing tree inventory with new plantings and transitioning them into crop production. This would be a relatively routine process were it not for the ubiquitous presence of huanglongbing (HLB) and its vector, Asian citrus psyllid (ACP). Early infection can … Read More

CREC Open House a Hit

Ernie NeffEvents

The Citrus Research and Education Center (CREC) Nov. 16 open house and field day “was quite a crowded event. It went off really well,” CREC Director Michael Rogers reports. Rogers says the event drew about 200 industry members, as well as 150 CREC faculty, staff and students. The CREC is a University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences … Read More

HLB Research Grants Go to UF/IFAS

Ernie NeffResearch

The University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) was recently awarded more than $2.2 million in federal grants for HLB research. The funding came from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) Emergency Citrus Disease Research and Extension Program. UF/IFAS researchers are also serving in leadership roles in two other NIFA-funded … Read More

Spider Mites in Florida Citrus

Ernie NeffPests

By Lourdes Perez Cordero If you are a citrus grower in Central Florida, more than likely you have encountered spider mites. These are a common pest of commercial citrus in the state and their characteristic thin webs make them easy to spot in trees. Spider mites become more abundant between March and June, when the weather conditions are dry, and … Read More

PIECES OF THE PAST: A Thanksgiving Mantra

Tacy CalliesPieces of the Past

By Brenda Eubanks Burnette Several years ago, I was at the 2017 Florida Ag Hall of Fame dinner for my friend, Bernie Lester, who was being inducted that year. He recounted such a wonderful story during his speech that I asked him to send it to me so I would have it for the Citrus Archives, and I’d like to … Read More

Speeding Up Xf Bacteria Detection

Ernie NeffDiseases

Xylella fastidiosa (Xf) bacterium causes incurable diseases that make plants wither and possibly die, scorching and browning leaves and reducing the size of fruit in a wide variety of important crops. Citrus variegated chlorosis is among the diseases that Xf causes. Pablo J. Zarco-Tejada and Tomas Poblete with the University of Melbourne describe the Xf bacterium as “the number one … Read More

Update on Florida’s Orange Brix Issue

Ernie NeffOrange Juice

Florida Citrus Mutual (FCM) provided additional information about the issue of low Brix oranges in its Nov. 19 Triangle newsletter. It reported that Florida growers and processors “are bracing for another season of low Brix oranges.” Earlier this year, FCM sought enforcement discretion regarding Brix in pasteurized orange juice, not from concentrate (NFC), from the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) with the … Read More

Combining Multiple Methods to Manage HLB

Tacy CalliesGrapefruit, HLB Management, Research

At the recent Citrus Research and Education Center (CREC) field day and open house, Arnold Schumann showed visitors a Jackson grapefruit trial aimed at protecting trees from HLB. Schumann is a professor at the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences CREC in Lake Alfred. The trial combines the use of individual protective covers (also known as IPCs … Read More

New HLB Find Is Likely Farthest North in Florida

Ernie NeffHLB Management

What is believed to be the most northern HLB find in Florida was made the first week of November in a backyard Satsuma tree in Tallahassee. A homeowner sent photos of the tree’s symptoms to Leon County Extension horticulture agent Mark Tancig, who collected samples that were confirmed as HLB. “I’ve told the homeowner he should remove it (the tree), … Read More

Heat Standard Could Negatively Impact Citrus

Tacy CalliesRegulation, Safety

Potential rules protecting indoor and outdoor workers from hazardous heat could have significant ramifications for U.S. citrus growers. Growers and industry members can submit comments on or before Dec. 27 to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) about any concerns they may have. Imagine workers in a citrus grove enjoying 35- to 45-minute rest breaks every hour if the … Read More

Keeping Food Contact Surfaces Safe

Tacy CalliesFood Safety, Tip of the Week

By Matt Krug, Michelle Danyluk and Taylor O’Bannon Basic cleaning and sanitizing steps implemented on food contact surfaces are fundamental for reducing the risk of cross-contamination of foodborne pathogens during citrus harvest and post-harvest. While these steps may seem straightforward, several variables can influence effective implementation. A regular review of practices can ensure your operation is set up for success. … Read More

HLB Research Funded for $11 Million

Ernie NeffResearch

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) announced an investment of nearly $11 million for research to combat HLB. “NIFA’s Emergency Citrus Disease Research and Extension program brings the nation’s top scientists together with citrus industry representatives to find scientifically sound solutions to combat and prevent HLB at the farm-level,” said NIFA Director Carrie … Read More

Cold Protection: The Tried and the New

Ernie Neffcold protection


Tried and proven cold protection techniques and changes to the Florida Automated Weather Network (FAWN) were discussed in a virtual Nov. 17 winter weather program. Chris Oswalt, citrus Extension agent for Hillsborough and Polk counties, summarized the decades-old cold protection techniques still practiced by Florida citrus growers. One of the first steps in cold protection is being prepared by staying … Read More