Orange Crop to Decline in Europe

Jim Rogers International, Production

European Union (EU) orange production is forecast at 6.1 million metric tons (MMT) for 2021–22 by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Foreign Agricultural Service. That’s 6% lower than the previous season and 3.3% lower than the EU’s 10-year average of 6.3 MMT. PRODUCTIONSpain and Italy represent 80% of the EU’s total production of oranges. The remaining 20% is distributed among …

Developing a Management Plan for Lebbeck Mealybug

Jim Rogers Florida, IPM, Pests

By Lauren Diepenbrock Managing lebbeck mealybug has become an ongoing challenge in many citrus-growing areas of Florida. This pest expanded into 14 counties from 2019 to fall of 2021 and impacts both commercial and residential citrus. Damage includes distorted fruit and leaves, stem dieback and fruit drop. Loss of young trees can occur under extreme infestation scenarios. In addition to …

Smart Technology Cuts Spray Costs

Jim Rogers Pesticides, Technology

As they battle HLB, growers must control costs wherever possible, including by applying pesticides and fertilizer more efficiently. With that in mind, Yiannis Ampatzidis is engaging artificial intelligence (AI) to develop a low-cost, smart tree-crop sprayer that can automatically detect citrus trees, calculate their height and leaf density, and count fruit. That way, growers target their spray more efficiently, so …

Multistate Scientists Seek HLB Tolerance

Jim Rogers HLB Management, Research

A $1.5 million emergency grant is enabling scientists in citrus-producing states to find trees tolerant to the devastating citrus disease HLB. The disease has crippled Florida’s citrus industry and has already been detected in California, which grows 80% of America’s fresh citrus. The National Institute of Food and Agriculture is supporting scientists at the University of California, Riverside (UCR); the University …

EU Ban of Pesticides Could Impact U.S. Growers

Jim Rogers Pesticides

By Frank Giles Mike Aerts, Florida Fruit & Vegetable Association’s vice president of science and regulatory affairs, recently shared an update from the European Union (EU) that could impact maximum residue limits (MRLs) allowed in the 27-member-country body. MRLs govern the amount of allowable pesticide residue on a food product in order to enter a country. Because the EU has …

Resolved to Give Growers What They Need

Jim Rogers Florida, Research

By Michael Rogers January marks the season for resolutions: exercising more, eating well and being more organized. But in the research world, resolutions may not be that simple. I don’t think that University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) researchers could be any more “resolved” in finding ways to fight citrus diseases and ways to improve how …

Egypt to Remain Top Orange Exporter

Jim Rogers Export, International

Egypt is expected to maintain its position as the world’s leading fresh orange exporter in 2021–22 despite production challenges, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) reported. The country is expected to export 1.45 million metric tons (MMT), down from 1.67 MMT in 2020–21. The decrease in exports is attributed to lower production amid unfavorable climate conditions. Russia, …

Gibberellic Acid Application on Hamlin Appears Promising

Jim Rogers Research

By Tripti Vashisth In a multi-year field trial, University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) researchers have seen beneficial effects of gibberellic acid (GA) on Valencia sweet oranges. Monthly application of GA (September to January) on Valencia improved yield on average by 30%, reduced fruit drop and elicited enhanced plant defense response. These benefits are possibly due …

Australia Citrus Crop to Climb

Ernie Neff International

Citrus production in Australia is experiencing favorable conditions after above-average rainfall in all of the major growing areas in 2020 and 2021, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) recently reported. As a result, production in the country is projected to increase in 2021-22. Orange production is forecast at 535,000 metric tons (MT) in 2021-22, a 2% increase …

Florida Growers Report Early-Season Obstacles

Jim Rogers Production

By Frank Giles The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) reported a drop in estimated Florida orange production in its December crop update. That estimate lowered production by 1 million boxes from the initial forecast of 47 million boxes reported in October. In advance of USDA’s January estimate, Florida citrus growers discussed how their crops are progressing. Here’s what they had …

hlb

How Fast is CLas? Scientists Now Know

Ernie Neff Diseases, Research

For the first time, scientists have been able to measure the speed of the Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus (CLas) bacteria that causes HLB disease. CLas are injected into citrus trees by psyllids feeding on the trees’ sap. CLas relies on this sap to grow and spread throughout trees.    Using a new statistical modeling analysis and measurement approach, plant pathologists were …

Freeze Damage: Preparation and Recovery

Jim Rogers Tip of the Week

By Amir Rezazadeh Low temperatures can cause serious injury to leaf, wood and fruits of citrus trees. An extended freeze can kill a citrus tree. A rapid temperature decrease or a longer duration of freezing temperature can worsen the damage. Because preparation is paramount in protecting citrus trees, growers should use the Florida Automated Weather Network. The network provides information …

An Update on Brazil’s Citrus Diseases

Ernie Neff Brazil, Diseases

An update on citrus diseases in Brazil was part of a recent U.S. Department of Agriculture Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) report. GREENING INCREASINGAccording to the 2021 citrus greening survey conducted by Fundecitrus, 43.4 million trees, or 22.37%, of the trees in the commercial area of the state of São Paulo and the western part of Minas Gerais are affected by …

Florida Grower Citrus Show Agenda Set

Ernie Neff All In For Citrus Podcast, Events

Researchers Mark Ritenour and Sandra Guzmán with the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) outline the agenda for the Florida Grower Citrus Show on Jan. 26-27 in Fort Pierce. Ritenour and Guzmán, both of the UF/IFAS Indian River Research and Education Center, will be presenters at the show. Ritenour will discuss maximum residue tolerances for fruit …

Orange Quality and Quantity in Turkey

Ernie Neff International

The fresh orange yield in Turkey for 2021-22 is forecast to increase 40% to 1.82 million metric tons (MMT) due to favorable rainy weather conditions, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) reported. However, in recent months, producers have become concerned about drought conditions affecting the quality of the fruit. In 2020-21, Turkey produced 1.3 MMT of oranges. …

Pest Management: A New Approach to an Age-Old Challenge

Tacy Callies Pests

By Brad Turner From a family with deep Florida roots, I have over 40 years of experience in commercial citrus production. I learned the industry from the ground up by working in the family groves while studying citrus production at Florida Southern College. I have owned a citrus nursery, my own groves and a citrus caretaking business. I have also …

Making Sense of Biologicals: An Alternative to Managing Premature Fruit Drop

Tacy Callies MSOB

One instance of fruit drop is expected and needed every growing season for Florida citrus producers. A second instance, however, is unexpected, unwanted and just what growers do not need right before harvest time. HLB WORSENS DROPBut that is a scenario Florida citrus growers encounter every year. This problem has only worsened in the era of citrus greening disease, also …

Three Florida Citrus Pests of Concern

Ernie Neff Pests

Lebbeck mealybug, the Bulimulus sporadicus snail and Brevipalpus mite are Florida citrus pests that were discussed at Citrus Expo in August. University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) entomologist Lukasz Stelinski delivered information about the three pests for fellow UF/IFAS entomologist Lauren Diepenbrock. LEBBECK MEALYBUGLebbeck mealybug damages fruit, leaves and stems. The pest causes fruit drop and …

Rancid Oranges Aid Detection of Diseases

Ernie Neff Research

A University of Sydney researcher is developing a cancer and serious disease-detecting biomedical probe that can be made from the juice of rancid oranges. Called a nanobiosensor — a tiny probe that uses fluorescence to signal cells’ pH in terms of their acidity or alkalinity — it detects whether cells are at risk, or in the early stages of cancer …

USDA Conducting Voluntary Yet Vital Study

Ernie Neff Survey

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) is conducting the 2021 Farm Producer Study to gain knowledge and understanding of agricultural producers and help USDA improve services to them. A brief questionnaire was mailed to approximately 75,000 U.S. agricultural producers across the country. The questionnaire, which takes no more than 10 minutes to complete, asks participants …