Citrus Crop Forecast Has Slight Increases

Kelsey FryCitrus, Legislative

citrus crop forecast

Mark Hudson of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Agriculture Statistics Service in Washington, D.C., issued the June citrus crop forecast. The 2015-2016 Florida all-orange forecast released is raised to 81.4 million boxes. The total includes 36.1 million boxes of non-Valencia oranges (early, mid-season, Navel and Temple varieties) and 45.3 million boxes of Valencia oranges. For the previous nine … Read More

Letter to the Editor: Pete Spyke

Josh McGillCitrus

By: Pete Spyke President of Arapaho Citrus Management, Inc. Bill Castle’s recent Letter to the Editor (see January 2016 Citrus Industry) called for our industry to engage in dialogue about HLB that is different from our usual kinds of communication. It seems that a good place to start may be with new varieties and rootstocks. Unless we increase the productive … Read More

Sparks Discusses Citrus Tariffs and PFD

Ernie NeffLegislative, Pests

bactericides survey

Florida Citrus Mutual CEO Mike Sparks discusses the association’s annual conference this week, including the election of a new association president, the U.S. presidential race from a tariff perspective, and postbloom fruit drop (PFD). During the conference, Mutual’s trade attorney reported on presidential candidates’ views regarding tariffs, which can impact citrus trade. Sparks comments on that report: “When you hear … Read More

Update on Spinach Genes for Citrus Tree Tolerance

Ernie NeffCitrus Greening, Genetic Engineering

HLB tolerance

At the recent Florida Citrus Mutual conference, Southern Gardens Citrus President Rick Kress provided an update on research by his company and Texas A&M into use of a spinach gene to create HLB tolerance in trees, and hopefully resistance. “We have tolerance,” he said. “We would certainly like to see immunity down the road, but we’ll work with tolerance and … Read More

Florida Citrus Commission Cuts FDOC Budget and Staff

Ernie NeffFlorida Citrus Commission


The Florida Citrus Commission completed several months of heavy budget-cutting on June 14 by approving a preliminary 2016-17 budget for the Florida Department of Citrus (FDOC). Several large growers had requested heavy cuts earlier this year, and the Citrus Commission responded. The department’s budget will drop almost 32 percent from the current season, and the staff will be reduced by … Read More

Discussion on Bactericides for HLB Summarized

Ernie NeffBactericides, Citrus Greening


Laurie Hurner, Highlands County Extension director and citrus agent, summarizes grower discussions about bactericides for HLB at a roundtable event on June 8 in Sebring. She says most growers seem to be using the products. “Some of them are having to make decisions to cut out or change other production practices, other inputs, to make room in their budgets for … Read More

Gose Discusses Citrus Bactericides for HLB and Production

Ernie NeffCitrus, Citrus Greening


Citrus grower John Gose with Lykes Brothers joined 30 others discussing the use of bactericides for HLB at a Sebring roundtable event on Wednesday. Gose says his company has made one application of bactericides and is in the process of making a second. “So far we haven’t seen a lot,” he says. “It’ll be probably fall before we start recognizing … Read More

UF/IFAS Method Detects 83% of Immature Citrus; Helping Cut Costs

Kelsey FryCitrus

  GAINESVILLE, Fla. — University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) researchers have found a new way to detect immature citrus 83 percent of the time, which lets growers know where to apply fertilizer and water and perhaps save on labor costs for the $10.9 billion-a-year Florida industry. By detecting green, immature citrus more accurately and efficiently, … Read More

Vegetables Being Grown on Old Citrus Land

Kelsey FryCitrus

Doug Bournique, executive director of the Indian River Citrus League, says that for about a year now, vegetable growers have been moving in on old citrus land in the northeast corner of Lake Okeechobee. The land has been out of citrus production for many years, but has grown in popularity with California and Midwest vegetable growers. Bournique says it all started … Read More

UF/IFAS Researcher To Be Honored As Citrus Engineer of Year

Kelsey FryCitrus, Citrus Greening

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — A University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences researcher who uses steam to help treat citrus trees infected by greening will receive this year’s Citrus Engineer of the Year Award. Reza Ehsani, a UF/IFAS associate professor of agricultural and biological engineering, will receive the award June 21 at the 59th Biennial Citrus Engineering Symposium at … Read More

Grower Participation Needed for Short Bactericide Survey

Tacy CalliesBactericides, Citrus Greening

It has been approximately two months since the crisis declaration was issued that allows Florida citrus growers to use bactericides to combat HLB. Three commercial products containing the two active ingredients, streptomycin and oxytetracycline, are available for use. Growers are implementing season-long plans for application of these materials to suppress HLB. A range of options exist for use of these … Read More

Use of Compost in Citrus

Kelsey FryCitrus

On May 31 in Bushnell, the University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) and Life Soils hosted a field day on the use of compost in citrus. Monica Ozores-Hampton was the featured speaker of the event. She is known as Florida’s “Compost Queen” from her UF/IFAS and US Composting Council research and workshops on compost utilization. She … Read More

El Niño Impact on Blueberry Crop

Kelsey FryUncategorized

Florida Blueberries

This year’s Florida blueberry season had a unique challenge to overcome. The unusually warm winter, combined with an El Niño climate phase of cloudy and cool conditions in early spring, resulted in harvest of the 2016 Florida blueberry crop hitting its peak approximately three weeks later than normal. Gary England, a multi-county Extension agent, says by the time that Florida growers … Read More

Citrus Grower Addresses Bactericides for HLB, Production and Pricing

Ernie NeffCitrus, Citrus Greening


Wauchula citrus grower Kenny Sanders discussed on Wednesday the use of bactericides with HLB, production and pricing with more than 40 others at a grower roundtable in Wauchula. Like several other growers, he says his early-mid orange production was down this season (by 30 percent) while his Valencia crop was up 7 to 8 percent. “Pound solids were down everywhere,” … Read More

Sterile Insect Release Facility Gets Upgrade

Kelsey FryGenetic Engineering, Pests

John D. Renshaw, U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) sterile insect technology director, says that the USDA Sterile Insect Release Facility is one of the department’s best-kept secrets. And since there are only 50 similar facilities worldwide, many might agree with him. The sterile insect program in Sarasota, Florida, has been sterilizing male Mediterranean fruit flies (medflies) from its facility on … Read More

PFD, Bactericides for HLB are Top Citrus Grower Concerns

Ernie NeffCitrus, Citrus Greening, Pests


Postbloom fruit drop (PFD), along with the use of bactericides to control HLB, were the big issues for more than 40 participants in a grower roundtable Wednesday in Wauchula. LeAnna Himrod, one of the roundtable hosts, summarizes the issues addressed. Regarding bactericides, she reports: “There were a lot of questions about the bactericides regarding timing: What’s the best time of … Read More

Sneak Peek: June Citrus Industry Magazine

Josh McGillCitrus

The June issue of Citrus Industry magazine is coming soon. This edition is all about citrus beyond the Sunshine State. Readers will notice a new column in the magazine, called Global Perspectives, authored by a Brazilian citrus expert, Marcos Fava Neves. Ernie Neff, senior correspondent at large, examines the citrus industries in California and Texas. His articles include both challenges … Read More

Water Farming Update

Kelsey FryIrrigation, Legislative

The St. Johns River Water Management District’s governing board has continued to work with Indian River County on establishing water farms on expired citrus land. Water farming is a method being used to help reduce nitrogen and phosphorus being dumped into the Indian River Lagoon. Doug Bournique, executive director of the Indian River Citrus League, provided an update on the progress … Read More

Available Cost-Share Funds from FDACS

Kelsey FryLegislative, Water

The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services’ (FDACS) Office of Agricultural Water Policy has released a statement that pertains to producers within certain districts who are willing to purchase equipment and be honored up to a 75 percent reimbursement on the equipment invoice. The funds are being administered through Marion County and Putnam County soil and water conservation districts. … Read More