Hurricane Irma Damage Report from Gulf Citrus Growers

Tacy Callies Citrus

Ron Hamel, Gulf Citrus Growers Association executive vice president, says it has been difficult to reach area growers in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma due to the lack of power. At this point, he says, people are busy assessing the damage to the citrus crop and trying to get standing water out of groves. Hamel says Collier and Hendry county …

Hurricane Irma Damage Is Serious for Florida Citrus

Tacy Callies Weather

As Hurricane Irma tore through Florida on September 10-11, all of the state’s citrus-growing regions were affected to some degree. “There’s no doubt we’ve had some serious damage,” said Florida Citrus Mutual Executive Vice President and Chief Executive Officer Mike Sparks. “The amount of loss varies substantially from the various citrus-growing regions.” In Florida’s southwest citrus region, Sparks said, “Crop …

orange juice

What Is Happening to the Orange Juice Market?

Tacy Callies Economics

A historical perspective and current conditions are key to understanding what will happen to the orange juice market in the future if HLB-resistant trees are introduced. By Allen Morris Between 2001–02 and 2016–17, the Nielsen-measured retail U.S. orange juice market declined by 50 percent, Florida orange production declined by 70 percent and retail orange juice prices increased by 53 percent …

Navigating the H-2A Program

Tacy Callies Labor

By Fritz M. Roka The number of H-2A foreign guest workers employed in Florida’s agricultural operations has grown from 4,400 in 2009 to nearly 23,000 by the start of the 2015 citrus harvesting season, more than a five-fold increase (Figure 1). More H-2A workers came to Florida in 2015 than to any other state. Industry leaders estimate that more than …


Grower Jerkins Revises Stance on Bactericides

Ernie Neff Bactericides, HLB Management

At Citrus Expo in August, Premier Citrus President Tom Jerkins clarified comments about bactericides and their effectiveness that he made at the June Florida Citrus Mutual conference in Bonita Springs. “In Bonita Springs, I kind of stated publicly it was difficult for Premier to see a difference in the treated (with bactericides) versus untreated,” Jerkins says. “I said it was …

Two Main Concerns for Citrus in Hurricane Irma

Abbey Taylor Weather

The threat of Hurricane Irma has been looming over Florida. Now, the state is roughly three to four days from facing the storm. While people prepare their hurricane kits, Florida citrus growers are doing what they can to protect their groves. However, at this point, very little can be done. Calvin Arnold, center director of the Southwest Florida Research and …

Citrus Expo

Bactericide Use: an Update at Citrus Expo

Tacy Callies News from our Sponsor

By Harold Browning Column sponsored by the Citrus Research and Development Foundation Use of bactericides to reduce disease levels in infected trees continues to be a topic of debate in Florida citrus. Now in the second season of grower use, many growers are continuing to use the three products containing oxytetracycline or streptomycin within their seasonal spray programs. The Citrus …

Harvesting Charges for Florida Citrus

Tacy Callies Economics

By Ariel Singerman, Marina Burani-Arouca, Stephen H. Futch and Robert Ranieri This article summarizes the charges for harvesting citrus in Florida during the 2016–17 season. The estimates provided are key for computing on-tree prices and to estimate economic returns to citrus growers. The estimates are based on a survey of harvesters conducted in May 2017. A total of 15 harvesters …

Florida orange

More Fruit, Better Tree Health in Highlands County

Ernie Neff Citrus Greening, fruit, PFD

Echoing comments from growers in some citrus-growing regions in southern Florida, Highlands County citrus Extension agent Laurie Hurner says Highlands County appears to have more fruit and better tree health this year. “It’s interesting. You drive up and down Highway 27, and there is a lot more fruit out there, I think,” says Hurner, who is also the Highlands County …

hurricane irma

Citrus Growers Preparing for Hurricane Irma

Daniel Cooper Citrus, Weather

Unfortunately, Florida citrus growers are having to prepare for Hurricane Irma, which at this point looks like it will impact the Sunshine State. Mongi Zekri, the multi-county citrus agent in the Hendry County Extension office in LaBelle, says this is especially troubling with harvest just around the corner. Hear more: Read a recent Citrus Industry magazine article by Mongi Zekri, …

Sneak Peek: September 2017 Citrus Industry Magazine

Tacy Callies Sneak Peek

The next issue of Citrus Industry magazine takes a look at the status of citrus labor in Florida. A trio of articles offers insights on harvesting costs, using the H-2A program and keeping skilled workers. Also included in the September issue is coverage from the 2017 Citrus Expo held in Fort Myers, Florida, on August 16–17. An appearance by Secretary …


Grower Hollingsworth Reacts to Acreage Reduction

Ernie Neff Acreage

DeSoto County grower and Florida Citrus Commissioner V.C. Hollingsworth reacts to news that Florida’s citrus acreage declined 5 percent this year. “That kind of surprised me a little bit because I thought we’ve been planting back a lot of trees,” Hollingsworth says. “I think what it doesn’t show is the number of trees that we’re planting back, trees per acre. …

Citrus Expo Seminar Presentations Now Available Online

Abbey Taylor Citrus Expo

Every year, Citrus Expo is proud to feature a seminar program that provides continuing education units and a wealth of new research information for growers. Top citrus researchers from the University of Florida/Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences were among those who presented their latest findings on several topics, including HLB management, psyllid control, bactericides and more. Now, you can …


Florida Citrus Acreage Tumbles 5 Percent

Ernie Neff Acreage

Florida lost another 25,148 acres of citrus in the past year, or 5 percent of the crop’s acreage, according to the annual Commercial Citrus Inventory released on August 31. The number of acres dropped to 454,973 from 480,121 in 2016. The inventory was released by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service. “It turns out that our citrus …

Impact of Temperature on Psyllid Survival

Tacy Callies Psyllids

By Nabil Killiny and Steve Futch Citrus growers frequently inquire if Florida temperatures in the summer or winter are sufficiently high or low enough to control or suppress the Asian citrus psyllid (ACP). This question is the subject of this short article. The reason growers pose the question about how temperature impacts psyllids is because ACP is a phloem feeder …

More Juice to Come from Brazil

Tacy Callies Global Perspectives

By Marcos Fava Neves The first forecast of the 2017–18 Brazilian orange crop was published in May. Brazil expects a total of 364.47 million boxes, including the following: 68.49 million boxes of Hamlin, Westin and Rubi varieties 17.42 million boxes of Valencia Americana, Valencia Argentina, Seleta and Pineapple varieties 114.52 million boxes of the Pera Rio variety 123.04 million boxes …


Bactericides, Psyllids and HLB-Resistance/Tolerance

Ernie Neff Bactericides, HLB Management, Psyllids

At a recent meeting of the Citrus Research and Development Foundation’s (CRDF) Commercial Product Delivery Committee, approximately half of the agenda was devoted to bactericides and HLB-spreading psyllids. Reflective mulch that keeps psyllids away and field trials for HLB-resistant or tolerant rootstocks and scions were also addressed. CRDF Chief Operations Officer Harold Browning summarizes some of the discussions. “The issue …

Florida Citrus Packers

Florida Citrus Packers Honors Hamner

Tacy Callies Industry News Release

Florida Citrus Packers honored George F. Hamner Jr. with its John T. Lesley Award for Excellence at Packinghouse Day on August 24, 2017. The John T. Lesley Award is the organization’s highest recognition, reserved for individuals making sustained and outstanding contributions to Florida’s fresh citrus industry. The list of recipients reads like a “who’s who” of the Florida citrus industry. …


Fresh Fruit: Challenges and Changes

Ernie Neff Fresh

Florida’s fresh citrus industry has suffered even more from HLB than has the much larger juice industry. Duke Chadwell, manager of the Citrus Administrative Committee (CAC), discusses pending organizational changes in the fresh industry, brought on primarily by HLB. The CAC administers a federal marketing order for fresh Florida citrus that has been in place since 1939. “The Citrus Administrative …

California Department of Pesticide Regulation to Study Chlorpyrifos

Len Wilcox California Corner, Regulation

A new effort is underway in California to further regulate chlorpyrifos. On August 18, the California Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR) issued a directive for interim mitigation measures to address health risks from the pesticide. This action marks the start of a public and scientific review of DPR’s revised draft risk assessment that could lead to increased restrictions statewide. At …