Stefanou to Lead USDA Economic Research Service

Ernie NeffEconomics

University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) scientist Spiro Stefanou has been appointed as U.S. Department of Agriculture Economic Research Service (USDA/ERS) administrator. Stefanou was a professor in the UF/IFAS food and resource economics department. The mission of USDA/ERS is to anticipate trends and emerging issues in agriculture, food, the environment and rural America and to conduct high-quality, … Read More

Nutrition: Get the Rate Right

Ernie NeffNutrition

Davie Kadyampakeni emphasized the importance of the four Rs of good nutrition of HLB-affected orange trees, with a heavy focus on the “right rate” of nutrient use. The other three Rs are right time, right placement and right source of nutrient applications. Kadyampakeni, a University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences researcher, discussed nutrition at this year’s virtual … Read More

New Guidance on How to Handle Unsolicited Seeds

Ernie NeffIndustry News Release

People receiving unsolicited seeds or plant material through the mail should either report the seeds and submit them for testing or dispose of them using the method described below. This advice comes from the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS). The seed packets, which have recently arrived unexpectedly in Florida and throughout the United States in packages with … Read More

Keeping the OJ Momentum Going

Ernie NeffOrange Juice

orange juice

Florida Department of Citrus (FDOC) staff has been “hard at work ensuring the momentum experienced by the orange juice (OJ) category earlier this year doesn’t fade as we usher in the fall,” Ned Hancock stated recently. Hancock, chairman of the Florida Citrus Commission, provided that information and more in an update to the citrus industry on FDOC activities. Hancock said … Read More

Brazil Releases Updated Orange Crop Forecast

Tacy CalliesBrazil, Crop Forecast


Fundecitrus and its cooperators announced an update to Brazil’s 2020-2021 orange crop forecast on Sept. 10. The new figure for the São Paulo and West-Southwest Minas Gerais citrus belt is 286.72 million boxes. This is 0.36 percent less oranges than the initial forecast released in May, and 25.87 percent less oranges than the 2019-2020 crop. The forecast represents one of … Read More

HLB Preparedness in Australia

Ernie NeffHLB Management, International

citrus greening

Learning how other countries manage huanglongbing (HLB) will help shape Australia’s response if the damaging citrus disease hits its shores, according to New South Wales (NSW) citrus pathologist Nerida Donovan. One of the biggest lessons so far has been the importance of treating the psyllid vector with the same respect as the disease. Donovan, with the NSW Department of Primary … Read More

Gibberellic Acid: Increase Fruit Size and Yield, Reduce Drop

Tacy CalliesProduction

By Tripti Vashisth and Megan Dewdney This article discusses the use of gibberellic acid (GA), the naturally occurring plant hormone, on huanglongbing (HLB)-affected trees. The results were generated from a 3-year trial in which Valencia trees were treated with GA in the fall. The outcomes suggest that GA can be effectively used for synchronizing and suppressing profuse flowering without negatively … Read More

California Introduces Housing for the Harvest

Len WilcoxCalifornia Corner, COVID-19, Labor

California Governor Gavin Newsom announced that Housing for the Harvest is underway in Fresno and other Central Valley counties. This is a new program designed to provide temporary hotel housing options for farm and food-processing employees to self-isolate if they are COVID-19 positive and do not require hospitalization. The state is securing hotel rooms in participating counties like Fresno and … Read More

BMPs Impacted by New Florida Water Act

Ernie NeffBMPs


Florida’s new Clean Waterways Act impacts agricultural landowners and producers enrolled in the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) Best Management Practices (BMPs) program. The act went into effect July 1. FDACS is required to undertake implementation verification (IV) site visits on properties enrolled in the BMP program every two years. During these IV site visits, FDACS Office … Read More

Face Coverings Essential in the Citrus Industry

Tacy CalliesTip of the Week

By Michelle Danyluk and Ben Chapman COVID-19 has changed so much about how we operate. Managing COVID-19 amongst workers is extremely important. Its impacts on the health of employees can have catastrophic effects when operations are shuttered by health departments if the virus spreads out of control. This has happened in many food and agriculture sectors. There have been hundreds … Read More

Pest Management Under Bags

Ernie NeffCitrus Expo, Pests

Many Florida citrus growers in recent years have used individual protective covers (IPCs), often referred to as “bags,” for pest management, especially to protect young trees from HLB-spreading Asian citrus psyllids. Lauren Diepenbrock addressed the benefits and challenges of IPCs at this year’s virtual Citrus Expo. Diepenbrock is an assistant professor of entomology at the University of Florida Institute of … Read More

Mutual Reacts to Federal Plan for Imports

Ernie NeffTrade

A recently announced Trump administration plan (see the full 28-page document) to address the threat posed by increased foreign imports to American producers of seasonal and perishable fruits and vegetables does not specifically address citrus. But Florida Citrus Mutual (FCM) Executive Vice President/CEO Mike Sparks noted that many of Florida’s other fruits and vegetables weren’t specifically addressed in the plan, … Read More

Oak Leaf Extract and Mulch for HLB

Ernie NeffCitrus Expo

Researchers on the Indian River have proved “there is something in the oak leaf that can work” against HLB, said Lorenzo Rossi. “I’m not saying that I found the cure, and I’m not saying that oak extract will save the citrus industry.” He described oak extract, and possibly oak mulch, as another tool against HLB. Rossi, a University of Florida … Read More

Florida’s Gift Fruit Industry Remains Resilient

Tacy CalliesFresh

Gift fruit shippers occupy just a small niche in Florida citrus, but the sector’s value to the industry is more than annual sales. For anyone seeking a taste of Florida citrus, regardless of where they are in the United States, gift fruit can be shipped with just a few clicks online or a simple telephone call to a Florida gift … Read More

AI Will Be Another Tool for Citrus Greening

Ernie NeffAll In For Citrus Podcast

Artificial intelligence (AI) will likely help growers and researchers cope with citrus greening (huanglongbing, known as HLB) and other citrus problems over the long run. That’s the belief of J. Scott Angle, the new head of the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS). Angle, UF’s vice president for agriculture and natural resources, says AI is a … Read More

U.S. Citrus Production Declines

Ernie NeffProduction

Citrus utilized production in the United States for the 2019-20 season totaled 7.78 million tons, down 4 percent from the 2018-19 season. The production figures come from the Citrus Fruits 2020 Summary, a U.S. Department of Agriculture National Agricultural Statistics Service document. California accounted for 54 percent of total U.S. citrus; Florida totaled 42 percent, and Texas and Arizona produced … Read More

New Economic Reports for Florida Citrus

Tacy CalliesEconomics

citrus crop forecast

By Ariel Singerman Four reports summarizing Florida citrus industry survey-collected data during the 2019–2020 season are available at The reports include the average cost of production for processed oranges, harvesting charges, custom rate (or caretaking) charges and packing charges. The estimates presented in those reports, as well as those available for previous seasons, document the changes in the industry … Read More

Kanissery Wins Extension Award

Ernie NeffAwards

University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) weed scientist Ramdas Kanissery has earned a Dallas Townsend Extension Professional and Enhancement Award. Kanissery works at the Southwest Florida Research and Education Center (SWFREC) in Immokalee. “The award recognizes a state Extension specialist for demonstrating an outstanding ability to plan and implement Extension programs that address needs that have … Read More

CRAFT Cycle Two Deadline Is September 4

Tacy Calliesplanting, Research


Time is running out for commercial citrus growers in Florida to apply to participate in Cycle Two of the Citrus Research and Field Trial (CRAFT) program. The deadline to apply is Friday, Sept. 4. The application process is open to growers with a minimum of 20 acres of planned solid-set or reset plantings. Cycle Two of CRAFT covers up to … Read More

Sneak Peek: September 2020 Citrus Industry

Tacy CalliesSneak Peek

In just two days, more than 1,100 Citrus Expo participants viewed 28 educational videos. If you didn’t get a chance to visit the virtual Citrus, Vegetable & Specialty Crop Expo on Aug. 19–20, you can find highlights from the event in the September issue of Citrus Industry magazine. The educational videos will remain on the Citrus Expo website through the … Read More