FDACS Begins Efforts to Eradicate Oriental Fruit Fly

Daniel CooperFood Safety, fruit, Industry News Release

The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) has positively identified the presence of three Oriental fruit flies, Bactrocera dorsalis, in south Miami-Dade County. The initial fly was discovered during routine trapping, and additional flies were discovered during expanded trapping activities. The department, along with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, monitors more than 56,000 fruit fly traps statewide as an …


Citrus Renovation Irrigation Support Program Introduced

Daniel CooperIrrigation

The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) Office of Agricultural Water Policy has a new citrus cost-share program to assist with irrigation improvements on groves that are being replanted. FDACS announced it has set aside roughly $3 million for the Citrus Renovation Irrigation Support Program (CRISP). The program is designed to be a 75 percent cost share for the …

The Road to Recovery

Tacy Callieshurricane

Growers discuss lessons learned from Hurricane Irma, replanting plans, grove rehabilitation, crop insurance and more. By Tacy Callies Florida citrus growers awaiting Hurricane Irma federal aid and insurance payouts are doing their best to keep crops healthy until more money is available. Paul Meador, citrus grower and head of Everglades Harvesting & Hauling in LaBelle, took a big hit from …

citrus research

CRDF 2018 Funding Cycle Is in Full Swing

Tacy CalliesCitrus

Column sponsored by the Citrus Research and Development Foundation (CRDF) On April 24, the CRDF board of directors approved research priorities for two separate research funding programs. One is for projects that will lead directly to the development of commercial products, tools or recommendations (Commercial Product Development Committee, CPDC-18). The other is for projects with broader, fundamental researchable questions (Research …


Rucks on Citrus Varieties and Industry Recovery

Ernie NeffHLB Management, hurricane, Varieties

Phil Rucks of Phillip Rucks Citrus Nursery weighs in on the increasing demand for late versus early orange varieties, the impact of Hurricane Irma and HLB. Rucks notes that over the past 30 years, the demand for early-season oranges versus late-season oranges has essentially reversed. In the past, he says, early varieties accounted for about 60 percent of plantings. Now, …


CRDF Finalizes Grower Communication Plan

Ernie NeffCRDF

At its recent May meeting, the Citrus Research and Development Foundation (CRDF) finalized a communication plan that will attempt to make the organization’s information more easily available to growers and others. Ned Hancock, chairman of the CRDF communications subcommittee, reports. “One of the key elements is we’re going to revamp our website. We’re going to try to make it extremely …

Sneak Peek: June 2018 Citrus Industry Magazine

Tacy CalliesSneak Peek

“If you want to survive, you have to plant” is a common sentiment heard among Florida citrus growers. The June issue of Citrus Industry magazine examines several issues of interest related to new plantings. In the cover story, Editor Tacy Callies speaks with citrus growers recovering from Hurricane Irma and shares details about their replanting plans. Other topics discussed in …


Orange Production Projections for Florida

Ernie NeffProduction

Allen Morris, owner of Morris Agribusiness Services, says Hurricane Irma will have a huge impact on future orange production in Florida. He explains that Irma caused extensive tree defoliation, which will prevent trees from setting a full crop. He projects an orange crop of 45 to 50 million boxes in the 2018-19 season, and a crop of 60 million boxes …


New Florida Citrus Commissioner Appointed

Daniel CooperFlorida Citrus Commission, Industry News Release

Gov. Rick Scott appointed a new member to the Florida Citrus Commission. Pat Schirard is the president of GEM Indian River Select and a citrus grower in Lake, Brevard, Polk and Indian River counties. Schirard, 57, of Vero Beach, represents District 1, which includes the Indian River area on the east coast of Florida, where the majority of Florida grapefruit is grown. …

PIECES OF THE PAST: An Industry Acronym You Don’t Hear Every Day

Tacy CalliesCitrus, History

By Brenda Eubanks Burnette I love scouring eBay and antique stores for citrus memorabilia because it’s always interesting to see how we, as an industry, used to do things “back in the day.” With that said, I recently came across an old ad from the Florida Citrus Processors Association for citrus pulp titled “Love at first bite because it’s highest …


For Psyllids, Kaolin Clay Beats Foliar Insecticides

Ernie NeffHLB Management, Psyllids

University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences researcher Christopher Vincent says kaolin clay outperforms foliar insecticides for management of HLB-spreading psyllids at times when kaolin’s use is practical. His presentation on the topic followed the Citrus Research and Development Foundation (CRDF) meeting on May 22 at the Citrus Research and Education Center in Lake Alfred. The presentation, part …

New HLB Research Facility in Riverside

Tacy CalliesCalifornia Corner

By Len Wilcox There’s a new research facility funded by California citrus growers to help combat huanglongbing (HLB), also known as citrus greening disease. The facility, located in Riverside, California, is the result of a 3-year cooperative effort of the University of California, Riverside (UC Riverside) and California citrus growers. Using funds provided by members of California Citrus Mutual (CCM), …


Fruit Set Good, but ‘We’ve Got a Long Way to Go’

Ernie Nefffruit

Hardee County citrus grower John Roy Gough says he’s pleased with his fruit set so far this spring, “if I can just hold them. That’s the key to it, is holding them (fruit) on there … Of course you can’t count your chickens until they hatch, and we’ve got a long way to go.” Gough says he has experienced very …


Citrus Greening, CRDF and the National Academy of Sciences

Ernie NeffHLB Management

Citrus Research and Development Foundation (CRDF) Vice President and Governance Committee Chairman Rick Kress comments on a recent National Academy of Sciences (NAS) report regarding HLB and CRDF. He says NAS reported that CRDF has pursued all angles on HLB, also known as citrus greening, and declared there won’t be a single solution or cure. When NAS worked with CRDF …

Study Shows Economic Impact of Citrus in California

Len WilcoxCalifornia Corner

The total economic impact of California’s citrus industry is $7.117 billion according to a new study commissioned by the Citrus Research Board (CRB). “In updating our economic analysis, we selected a well-known expert, Bruce Babcock, Ph.D., a professor in the School of Public Policy at the University of California, Riverside, to conduct the research. His findings quantified the significant impact …

Be Counted: Turn in Your Ag Census

Abbey TaylorProduction

Florida producers are encouraged to turn in their Census of Agriculture when they receive it in the mail. Because Florida is so agriculturally diverse, it is crucial for producers to participate so the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) can account for each crop grown. The national return rate is currently lower than it was at this point in the 2012 …

FDOC: Budget and Mission for Next Season

Ernie NeffFlorida Citrus Commission

The Florida Citrus Commission approved a preliminary 2018–19 budget of $17.645 million dollars for the Florida Department of Citrus (FDOC). FDOC Executive Director Shannon Shepp discusses the budget and the department’s mission. “We have a net increase in the budget of about $409,000” compared to the current 2017–18 budget, Shepp says. She notes that about half of the funding will …

The Possibility of Tea Production as a Citrus Alternative

Abbey TaylorAlternative Crops

By Breanna Kendrick Fourth-generation citrus grower James Orrock is a plant pathology graduate student at the University of Florida who is studying tea as a possible alternative crop to be grown on former citrus land. “The citrus industry is having to go through some changes, so one of the key aspects of Florida agriculture right now is diversification,” said Orrock. …

What Is CRISPR and What Does it Mean for Citrus?

Tacy CalliesBreeding

By Fred Gmitter, Yi Zhang and Jude Grosser It is very likely that you have heard about the use of CRISPR technology and its great potential for addressing human health issues, as well as the promise it holds for providing solutions for major agricultural challenges, particularly for huanglongbing (HLB) in citrus. Granting agencies are supporting many citrus research projects aimed …