Sneak Peek: February 2021 Citrus Industry

Tacy CalliesDiseases, Sneak Peek

While everyone strives to protect themselves from coronavirus disease, growers have an additional concern: protecting their trees from citrus disease. While HLB is of course the most damaging disease of citrus, there are other diseases that should not be overlooked. Disease management is the theme of the February 2021 issue of Citrus Industry magazine. University of Florida Institute of Food … Read More

Soilless Substrate Project Update

Ernie NeffResearch

By Jeb Fields (Editor’s Note: A previous Citrus Industry article described a Soilless Substrate Science project led by Jeb Fields, assistant professor and Extension specialist at the Louisiana State University Agricultural Center. The article noted that citrus growers are beginning to explore the potential of soilless culture. This is an update to that article.) Initially we had envisioned a physical … Read More

Advice for Using Soil Moisture Sensors

Tacy CalliesIrrigation, Technology

Proper irrigation management is key to optimize water use and increase crop yield. Water is a limiting factor in Florida citrus production during most of the year due to extremely sandy soils with low water-holding capacity and non-uniform distribution of rainfall. Soil moisture sensor systems may provide the most reliable data for effective citrus irrigation scheduling under these conditions. Rad … Read More

Production of OJ to Climb in Europe

Ernie NeffInternational, Orange Juice

china

European Union (EU) orange juice (OJ) production is forecast to climb almost 8 percent in 2020-21 compared to the previous year, to 87,987 metric tons, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) reported. The forecast is in line with the expected growth in the volume of European oranges destined for processing this season, especially from Spain and Italy. … Read More

Research Projects on OJ Recommended for Approval

Tacy CalliesOrange Juice, Research

orange juice

The Scientific Research Advisory Committee met Jan. 21 to review recent updates from the Florida Department of Citrus (FDOC) and to review and recommend to the Florida Citrus Commission (FCC) for approval two new research proposals. The FCC serves as the FDOC’s governing board. Rosa Walsh, director of the FDOC Scientific Research Department, gave an update on the 2020–2025 Dietary … Read More

Plan Your Insect Management for 2021

Tacy CalliesPests, Tip of the Week

By L.M. Diepenbrock Insect and mite management is a year-round challenge in Florida citrus. With the warm climate, pests are at the ready as soon as plant resources are available to them. With knowledge of insect and mite biology in relation to tree phenology, plans can be developed to protect fruit and maintain productive citrus trees. Populations of many of … Read More

Growers Tour Indian River CUPS Houses

Tacy CalliesCUPS

Citrus growers from several of Florida’s production regions joined researchers recently for a look inside 14-foot high screenhouses that protect trees from HLB-spreading Asian citrus psyllids. The CUPS (Citrus Under Protective Screens) Field Day took place at the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences Indian River Research and Education Center (UF/IFAS IRREC) in Fort Pierce. Johnny Ferrarezi, … Read More

Are Consumers Willing to Pay More for Florida OJ?

Tacy CalliesOrange Juice

Multiple studies point to the value consumers place on Florida citrus and their willingness to pay for the “Florida” brand. Lisa House, director of the Florida Agricultural Market Research Center and a professor in the Food and Resource Economics Department at the University of Florida, recently spoke on this subject in a Florida Department of Citrus webinar. She provided an overview of … Read More

Control Methods for Major Pests of Cold-Hardy Citrus

Tacy CalliesPests

By Xavier Martini and Danielle Sprague Cold-hardy citrus, that is, citrus grown above the 30th parallel north, is a blooming industry. In less than 10 years, the acreage in North Florida has gone from almost nonexistent to approximately 1,000 acres. Growers in the region plan to plant more in the coming years. In Georgia, there are approximately 2,000 acres across … Read More

All In For Citrus Podcast, January 2021

Taylor HillmanAll In For Citrus Podcast, Sponsored Content

An update on the nutrition box program, shade research with some positive side effects, and a bold project analyzing compounds used against HLB headline January’s All In For Citrus podcast. The Citrus Nutrient Management Program, more commonly known as the nutrition box program, is over a year old. Citrus Research and Education Center Director Michael Rogers, with the University of … Read More

Georgia Trials Offer Rootstock Choices

Ernie NeffRootstocks

Ongoing citrus rootstock trials being conducted by University of Georgia (UGA) Cooperative Extension in Lowndes County hold promise for increased yields, improved fruit quality and greater disease resistance. Jake Price, UGA Extension agent and Lowndes County Extension coordinator, has six local citrus rootstock/variety trials with varying objectives. The trees are custom-produced by U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)-certified citrus nurseries in … Read More

Citrus Diseases to Pay Attention to

Tacy CalliesDiseases

Phytophthora and leprosis diseases can each substantially reduce productivity of a citrus tree, but when they attack trees already weakened by HLB, the result can be fatal. Ozgur Batuman, assistant professor at the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS), explained how co-infection impacts HLB-infected trees during a recent UF/IFAS webinar. PHYTOPHTHORA DISEASESPhytophthora species are soil-borne fungal pathogens … Read More

COVID-19 Impacts Mental Health on the Farm

Ernie NeffAgriculture, Survey

A strong majority of farmers and farmworkers say the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted their mental health, according to a new American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) poll. The poll also indicates that more than half say they are personally experiencing more mental health challenges than they were a year ago. The survey of rural adults and farmers/farmworkers reveals how the pandemic … Read More

Job Opportunities Good for Ag Graduates

Ernie NeffEducation

A U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) report that projects strong employment opportunities for new college graduates interested in agriculture and related fields opened with a cautionary preface. Termed “A 2020 Pandemic Note,” it stated that the underlying study and preparation for the report began in September 2019, “when global socio-economic conditions were much different from today.” It stated that fewer … Read More

Copper Fungicides: The Essential Tool for Citrus Growers

Josh McGillSponsored Content

One of the main issues for citrus crop growers is the quick spread of fungal and bacterial diseases due to warm, wet growing conditions. Without proper methods to prevent and control diseases, crop yield can be greatly reduced, and groves can become ruined. How do you produce a healthy citrus crop while keeping diseases under control? For generations, growers have … Read More

Grower Sees Success With Oak Mulch

Ernie NeffProduction

Like several commercial Florida citrus growers, Ben Bateman of Brandon has noticed strong improvement in what he calls his “recreational grove” after applying oak mulch to the trees. Bateman planted 26 mixed-variety trees in large pots about six years ago, transplanting them to the ground five years ago. He said he spent nearly $1,000 on foliar nutrients “with little to … Read More

China: Grapefruit Gains, Pomelos Stable

Ernie NeffChina

china

Total grapefruit and pomelo production in China in 2020-21 is forecast at 4.95 million metric tons, a negligible increase from the previous year, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) reported. The slight increase is mainly driven by production of grapefruit hybrids in Guangxi and Yunnan. “Though limited, this change is worth reporting as it reflects the beginning … Read More

Florida Citrus Packinghouse Sold

Ernie NeffPacking

Indian River Exchange Packers (IREP) on Jan. 8 sold its Vero Beach, Florida, packinghouse to Diamond Drinks, a Pennsylvania drink manufacturing firm. The sales price was $4.5 million. “Diamond Drinks will convert the packinghouse into a private drink mixing and bottling company,” said IREP President George Hamner. “They will also extrude and sell plastic bottles.” IREP plans to continue packing … Read More

California Growers Reminded to Stay Alert

Len WilcoxHLB Management

Jim Gorden, chair of the Citrus Pest and Disease Prevention Committee (CPDPC), is greatly concerned about the increase in sporadic Asian citrus psyllid (ACP) detections across California. Gorden sent an open letter to all citrus growers asking them to increase their vigilance against the pest and the risk of citrus greening, known as HLB disease. He said that “While the … Read More

Avoid Salt-Out of Liquid Fertilizers

Tacy CalliesTip of the Week

By Ajia Paolillo The use of liquid fertilizers in citrus production has increased over the years. Liquid fertilizers offer the grower a way of applying frequent doses of fertilizer to trees to optimize nutrient efficiency. Now that the winter months are here with cooler weather and some cold nights, growers may face the issue of liquid fertilizer salting-out in the … Read More