Ned Hancock: Growing Citrus Since Age 14

Tacy CalliesCitrus Greening

By Ernie Neff Ned Hancock wasn’t the typical first-time citrus grove owner when he bought a 5-acre Highlands County plot in 1972. He was 14 years old. His grandfather sold him the property, and Hancock’s father had him open a checking account and manage the grove’s finances. “I’m convinced that he (grandfather) did it trying to get me to get … Read More

Political Event Falls Short on Facts

Abbey TaylorLegislative

A recent southeast Florida algae rally drew a small crowd. By Gary Cooper U.S. Congressman Brian Mast (R-Palm City) hosted a campaign event in Stuart on Sunday and visited other South Florida areas in recent days. He partnered with anti-farming group and featured activist Erin Brockovich to help push his recently introduced Stop Harmful Discharges Act in Congress. The … Read More

World Orange Juice Consumption Falls Again

Tacy CalliesGlobal Perspectives

orange juice

By Marcos Fava Neves The annual compilation of data on the world’s orange juice consumption recently became available for 2017. Markestrat researchers analyzed 40 countries that represent almost 100 percent of the world’s processed juice market. The information was first compiled in 2003. At that time, in frozen concentrated orange juice (FCOJ) equivalent, world consumption was 2,390,000 tons. In 2017, … Read More

What to Do if Citrus Black Spot Isn’t Near

Ernie Neffblack spot

University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences researcher Megan Dewdney addresses what growers should do if citrus black spot isn’t near their groves. She summarizes a presentation she made at a recent growers’ workshop in Sebring. “My few pieces of wisdom have been to tell people to just be conscious of their area and know whether they are … Read More

Has Farming Become a Political Whipping Boy?

Daniel CooperAgriculture, business, financial


By Gary Cooper Urban expansion is impacting agriculture throughout the Southeast. Florida appears to be the first state in this region to dramatically shift to a much more urban-thinking electorate. In light of this year’s primary elections, there are some points Florida agriculturists should be thinking about. I know many of you have been pondering some of this already, based … Read More

Peace River Valley Citrus Growers Welcome New Leader

Tacy CalliesIndustry News Release

The Peace River Valley Citrus Growers Association (PRVCGA) board of directors is pleased to introduce Kait Shaw as its new executive director. Shaw, a Hardee County resident, is excited to bring her passion for agriculture and citrus to the association. She previously worked for Farm Bureau Insurance and served as the assistant executive director of the Hardee County Chamber of Commerce. … Read More

Attorney on Crop Insurance’s Importance

Ernie Neffcrop insurance

Agriculture attorney Bill Crispin told a Citrus Expo crowd that “crop insurance has evolved over the last 20 to 25 years into being a much needed and reliable risk management tool for producers.” He spoke at Expo’s opening general session. “It’s important for producers across the board to participate in the crop insurance program,” Crispin said in an interview summarizing … Read More

Lake Wales Grower Discusses Foot Rot and PFD

Ernie NeffDiseases, PFD


Lake Wales citrus grower Frank Thullbery, 88, says groves in his area have suffered badly from foot rot, or phytophthora, in recent years. He has also struggled with postbloom fruit drop (PFD). “I’ve seen half of the groves gone bad from foot rot, and a lot of people are not replacing their trees when they pull them out,” Thullbery says. … Read More

HLB Early Detection Methods Available Now; More Coming Soon

Tacy CalliesCalifornia Corner, HLB Management

By Len Wilcox Early detection has become a vital line of defense in the California citrus grower’s war with huanglongbing (HLB) disease. Without careful monitoring, any tree in the grove can become a ticking time bomb that could lead to destruction of the entire orchard. The disease starts unnoticed. Many months can pass before a tree displays any visible evidence … Read More

Methods of pH Management for HLB-Infected Trees

Ernie NeffHLB Management


University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences researcher Tripti Vashisth told growers at a citrus workshop in Sebring on Sept. 25 how to maintain proper soil pH for HLB-infected trees. She said HLB-affected trees seem to perform best when soil pH is 6.0. Vashisth said pH levels need to be adjusted continuously. “Our soils are known to be more … Read More

Sneak Peek: October 2018 Citrus Industry Magazine

Tacy CalliesSneak Peek

The October issue of Citrus Industry magazine is all about improving plant health. Readers will learn both grower and researcher strategies for managing HLB-affected trees. Ned Hancock knows a thing or two about growing citrus; he has been at it since age 14. In the October cover story, the citrus grower tells how he’s keeping his trees healthy and what … Read More

Bactericides for Psyllids and HLB

Ernie NeffBactericides, HLB Management, Psyllids


Many growers in recent years have used bactericides in an effort to reduce HLB infection in their groves. University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences researcher Kirsten Pelz-Stelinski reports on use of bactericides to reduce both the bacteria that causes HLB and the psyllids that spread it. In greenhouse studies, she reports, bactericides appeared to offer “some reduction” … Read More

Putting Florida Citrus in the Public Spotlight

Tacy CalliesPublic Relations

The Edison & Ford Winter Estates Citrus Project will promote the value of the Florida citrus industry. By Jim Gravley The citrus industry has endured many setbacks this year and needs an across-the-board evaluation. As a grower first, I devote my extra time to helping assist the industry with current issues affecting production, research and the marketing of our product. … Read More

New Florida Ag Hall of Fame Members Include Citrus Industry Contributors

Daniel CooperIndustry News Release


Florida Commissioner of Agriculture Adam H. Putnam and the Florida Agricultural Hall of Fame Foundation announced the new hall of fame inductees for 2019. The induction ceremony will be held at the Florida State Fair’s Agricultural Hall of Fame Banquet on Feb. 12, 2019. More information is available “Agriculture is Florida’s oldest industry, and it continues to support our … Read More

Lemons: What’s Available and What’s Coming

Ernie Nefflemons


Lemon varieties now available for planting in Florida and varieties that may be available in the future were discussed at a recent lemon workshop in Lake Alfred. Fred Gmitter, a University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences researcher, summarizes his presentation. “The currently available varieties are Bearss and Eureka,” Gmitter says. “Bearss is a heavy-bearing tree; it produces … Read More

Citrus Tree Covers Keep Deadly Psyllids Away

Daniel CooperCitrus Greening, HLB Management, Research


University of Florida (UF) scientists are finding that by covering new citrus trees with mesh, they can keep disease-carrying insects from harming the plants. That could be a big step toward stemming the deadly citrus greening disease, UF Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (IFAS) researchers say. Asian citrus psyllids can infect the citrus trees with greening, also known as … Read More

Revamping Communication with Citrus Growers

Abbey TaylorCitrus, Citrus Greening

Florida citrus growers now have a one-stop shop for everything citrus research coming out of the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS). A new website, monthly enewsletter and monthly podcast were announced by UF/IFAS last month during Citrus Expo. Jack Payne, senior vice president for agriculture and natural resources with UF, says this “All In for … Read More

Hands-On Training Scheduled at UF/IFAS Citrus Workshop

Daniel CooperCitrus, Citrus Greening, Industry News Release, Research


Florida citrus growers will learn about the latest research from the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences and test new technology at a workshop in Sebring, Sept. 25-26. UF/IFAS Extension Highlands County is working with statewide UF/IFAS Citrus Extension faculty to bring the latest in scientific studies and a hands-on learning experience to growers. Faculty will cover … Read More

Application Now Open for Florida Citrus Tree Recovery Program

Tacy Callieshurricane

citrus growers

As of Sept. 18, citrus producers can apply for the Florida Citrus Tree Recovery Program (Block Grant) through the Department of Emergency Management (DEM) contractors co-located with Farm Service Agency staff at U.S. Department of Agriculture service centers in Bartow, Kissimmee, Wauchula, Okeechobee, Moore Haven, Fort Myers and Fort Pierce. Click here for contact information. A requirement of the Block … Read More