Grapefruit Challenges and Opportunities

Ernie NeffGrapefruit


A recent report summarizes the U.S. grapefruit market’s challenges, including citrus greening disease and hurricanes, and opportunities. Lijun (Angelia) Chen and Lisa House with the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences authored the report, titled “An Overview of the Grapefruit Market in the U.S.” “The U.S. grapefruit industry has been facing fierce challenges in both production and … Read More

Combating California Red Scale

Tacy CalliesCalifornia Corner, Pests

California red scale (CRS) is one of the key pests for growers in the San Joaquin Valley, home to 75% of the state’s citrus production. CRS is a sap-sucking insect that attacks all parts of citrus trees. It causes dieback of branches, yield loss and downgrading of fruit. According to Sandipa Gautam, University of California assistant research entomologist at the … Read More

Fruit Drop: When to Harvest

Tacy CalliesFruit Drop

By Ariel Singerman and Stephen H. Futch In the 2020–21 citrus season, fruit drop has severely impacted orange yield in Florida. According to a recent U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) citrus crop forecast, the estimate of fruit drop for early/mid-season and Valencia oranges was 43% and 34%, respectively. Moreover, according to some growers, the level of fruit drop has been … Read More

Brutal Honesty on HLB

Ernie NeffCRDF, HLB Management

Rick Dantzler did not follow normal protocol in providing an update about his organization’s efforts. Dantzler, chief operating officer of the Citrus Research and Development Foundation (CRDF), didn’t talk glowingly about CRDF’s accomplishments. Rather, he started off by telling how far the Florida citrus industry has declined since CRDF was formed in 2009 primarily to find a solution to HLB. … Read More

HLB Practices: Growers’ Attitude Studied

Ernie NeffCalifornia Corner, HLB Management

Although HLB has not yet been detected in a commercial citrus grove in California, growers have been provided with voluntary best management practices to limit the spread of HLB and the psyllids that transmit the disease. A study conducted by researchers at University of California (UC) Davis and UC Riverside, in collaboration with the Citrus Research Board, examined citrus growers’ … Read More

Renewed Effort to Stop Chinese Citrus Imports

Ernie NeffTrade

U.S. Senators Marco Rubio and Rick Scott of Florida recently urged U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack to re-implement a prohibition on the importation of five varieties of citrus from China. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) in April 2020 decided to allow the importation of the Chinese varieties. “The USDA’s decision continues to risk an increase in unfair trade competition … Read More

Mexico Could Increase Organic Citrus Production

Tacy CalliesMexico, Organic

By Francisco Seva Rivadulla Citrus growers in Mexico are beginning to explore types of production that are more respectful of the environment and associated with a healthier lifestyle, including organic production. “The organic citrus sector is still small, as its market share does not reach 5%, but gradually foreign demand is causing organic citrus to have an increasing presence in … Read More

More Changes to Florida Citrus Crop Forecast

Daniel CooperCrop Forecast

On June 10, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Agricultural Statistics Service reported the Florida orange forecast at 52.7 million boxes. Total orange production is up 2% from the May forecast but down 22% from last season’s final utilization. The forecast for Florida non-Valencia orange production is 22.7 million boxes, unchanged from the previous forecast. The Navel forecast, included … Read More

The Secret Ingredient of Developing New Citrus Rootstocks

Tacy CalliesCitrus, Rootstocks

By Bill Castle Creation, evaluation, release and commercial acceptance are dynamic, interactive activities that together constitute new rootstock development. Underpinning each of them is a commonly overlooked and rarely mentioned activity, professional judgment. Yet, it is something everyone has and recognizes as getting better with time and experience. It is a skill developed and refined over time from knowledge of … Read More

How the FDOC Will Use Extra Funding

Ernie NeffFlorida Department of Citrus

With Gov. Ron DeSantis’ recent approval, the Florida Department of Citrus (FDOC) has $12 million in state funding for the 2021-22 season.  With the additional funding, the FDOC plans to expand its programs, reaching more consumers in order to drive sales of Florida orange juice (OJ). The FDOC will also increase marketing programs for fresh grapefruit, oranges and tangerines, similar … Read More

Court Rejects EPA’s Aldicarb Approval

Ernie NeffLegal, Pesticides


The federal Court of Appeals in the District of Columbia on June 7 rejected the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) approval of the pesticide aldicarb on Florida oranges and grapefruit, the Center for Biological Diversity reported. The ruling came in response to a lawsuit filed in March by farmworker and conservation groups after the EPA approved the use of up to … Read More

Be Prepared for Hurricane Season

Tacy Callieshurricane, Tip of the Week


By Fernando Alferez and Mongi Zekri The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has predicted another above-normal Atlantic hurricane season. While hurricanes have always been a risk or danger to Florida, their threat is growing. Although experts do not anticipate the historic level of storm activity seen in 2020, it only takes one storm to severely impact and devastate citrus groves. It … Read More

Florida Citrus Funding of $32.6 Million

Ernie NeffLegislative

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis on June 2 approved all $32.6 million worth of citrus-related funding in the state budget, Florida Citrus Mutual (FCM) Executive Vice President/CEO Mike Sparks reported. The budget had been set earlier by the state Legislature. Sparks detailed the citrus appropriations: Citrus Research and Development Foundation (CRDF), $3 million Citrus Research and Field Trial (CRAFT) program, $5 … Read More

The Do’s and Don’ts of Weed Control

Ashley Robinsonweeds

When developing a weed management program, there are many things for growers to consider. Application site, the stage of weed growth, herbicide selection, the amount of herbicide used, spray volume and pressure, and herbicide bandwidth are just a few of the factors that contribute to the cost and success of a weed management program. Ramdas Kanissery, weed scientist at the … Read More

Tradition Meets Innovation

Tacy CalliesProfile

A new generation of leadership at IMG Citrus takes the helm. After serving as chief executive officer of IMG Enterprises for 42 years, Michel Sallin is passing the torch to his three children. Siblings Melanie Ressler, Timothee Sallin and Chloe Gentry have been appointed as co-CEOs of IMG Citrus and Cherrylake. The businesses are both subsidiaries of IMG Enterprises, a … Read More

Michael Woodley: From Firefighter to Lemon Grower

Tacy Callieslemons

Michael Woodley returned to his hometown of Frostproof, Florida, in 2011 at the request of his dying mother to take care of the land and keep it in the family. After a firefighting career of more than 30 years with the Florida Forest Service that took him all over the state, he is now growing lemons on 20 acres on … Read More

Increasing Agriculture Literacy

Ernie NeffAgriculture, Education

Agriculture is the second largest industry in Florida, but there is uncertainty about the industry’s labor force, the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) recently reported. UF/IFAS stated that the U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates the market value of Florida agriculture at more than $7.46 billion. “But career interest from youth does not match the size … Read More

Partnership Advances Citrus Variety Work

Ashley RobinsonAll In For Citrus Podcast, Varieties

Citrus studies are advancing in groves across Florida thanks to growers willing to collaborate and share their land with researchers. This type of partnership is rare and does not form overnight. Citrus grower Tom Hammond and University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) citrus breeder and geneticist Fred Gmitter are a prime example of a dynamic partnership. … Read More

Testing Prototypes to Get HLB Therapeutics into Trees

Ashley RobinsonHLB Management, Research


Researchers at the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) are working on automated systems that deliver HLB therapeutics into the citrus tree’s phloem, where the materials are most effective. The project, “Development of an automated delivery system for therapeutic materials to treat HLB-infected citrus,” is in its third year. Ozgur Batuman, project director and UF/IFAS citrus … Read More

Citrus Science Site Features Podcasts

Tacy CalliesHLB Management

Are you interested in learning more about the citrus industry’s ongoing fight to save citrus from huanglongbing (HLB) disease? Visit the Science for Citrus Health website for access to relevant and up-to-date information about control, treatment and prevention methods. The website also includes a collection of reader-friendly Research Snapshots about the new, cutting-edge tools and methods being developed by researchers … Read More