Cold-Protection Practices for Citrus

Ernie Neffcold protection

Chris Oswalt, University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences citrus Extension agent for Polk and Hillsborough counties, discusses passive and active cold-protection practices for citrus trees. “Passive practices are those things that growers would intentionally do before typically planting the grove,” Oswalt says. Site selection, including planting on higher elevations that are warmer than lower cold-pocket locations, is … Read More

Increasing Yield Through High-Density Plantings

Tacy Calliesplanting

By Rhuanito Ferrarezi, Alan Wright and Arnold Schumann High-density plantings have been tested worldwide in advanced citrus production systems (ACPS) to increase efficiency of water, fertilizer and light, and to maximize yield per area. After the onset of huanglongbing (HLB) in Florida, canopy growth reduced drastically due to negative impacts on plant health, creating the need for new plant spacing … Read More

Mulch Brings Invasive Plant to Highlands Grove

Ernie Neffinvasive

An invasive plant, Chinese crown orchid, was recently found in a Highlands County citrus grove, Laurie Hurner reported. Hurner, Highlands County Extension director and citrus Extension agent, said the orchid got into the grove via mulch. “Some growers are using mulch around young trees to add a little more organic matter to our more sandy soils,” Hurner explains. “Other growers are … Read More

Grower Optimistic About Citrus Under Protective Screen

Ernie NeffCUPS


Jerry Mixon of KLM Farms hosted about 40 growers, researchers and others at his citrus under protective screen (CUPS) facility in Alturas on Nov. 15. Alturas is between Bartow and Lake Wales in Polk County, Florida. At the field day, Mixon discussed his experience with the growing system and his expectations for it. He has 30 acres under screen that … Read More

Visalia ACP Find Was a Breeding Population

Len WilcoxCalifornia Corner


The Asian citrus psyllids (ACP) found last week in a residential area in north Visalia, California, were a breeding population, according to Greg Douhan, University of California Cooperative Extension farm advisor for citrus. The ACP were found in four locations in the city, not in close proximity to any agricultural operations. “Most of the findings found in the San Joaquin Valley … Read More

Orange Imports Increase as Domestic Juice Supply Remains Squeezed

Tacy CalliesIndustry News Release

Until a solution for citrus greening is found, imports will be key to keeping Florida’s citrus industry afloat. Domestic orange production has been declining steadily over the last two decades, with citrus greening disease being the leading cause of decreased acres and productivity. As the gap between domestic production and consumption has widened, imports have increased to boost dwindling domestic … Read More

Numerous ACP Found Near Visalia, California

Len WilcoxCalifornia Corner, Citrus


A large population of Asian citrus psyllids (ACP) and nymphs were found in an older residential area northwest of Visalia, California, last week. With multiple life stages of ACP found, county and state officials have moved into eradication mode immediately. According to the Visalia Times-Delta, 250 ACP were found in four locations. California Citrus Mutual reported that up to 400 … Read More

Subirrigation Holds Promise for Citrus Nurseries

Ernie NeffIrrigation, nurseries

HLB, irrigation, nutrition

Savings in water and fertilizer, along with faster tree growth, can be achieved by using subirrigation in citrus nurseries. University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences researcher Rhuanito (Johnny) Ferrarezi reported on the studies leading to those conclusions at a recent citrus nursery workshop. The event was held at the Citrus Research and Education Center in Lake Alfred, … Read More

Some Basics of Good Citrus Nutrition

Ernie NeffNutrition


Studies indicate that constant nutrition supplied by controlled-release fertilizer improves citrus yield and fruit quality, says University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) horticulturist Tripti Vashisth. According to Vashisth, studies also show that increased applications of manganese and boron improve fruit quality. “We are seeing improvement when we are increasing the rate of manganese and boron about … Read More

Program Helps Track Beehives in California Groves

Len WilcoxCalifornia Corner

A new program was created so growers know when beehives are on or near their fields, but some out-of-state beekeepers have not been participating in the mandatory program.  California legislators have acted to correct this problem. Beekeepers will soon risk fines and penalties if they do not register with the state and file the appropriate notifications for the location and movement … Read More

Components of a Healthy Citrus Soil

Tacy CalliesSoil Improvement

By Sarah Strauss and Ute Albrecht There is increasing discussion and interest in soil health from both growers and researchers. Soil health is generally synonymous with soil quality. It can impact not just sustainability, but also improve water-holding capacity, nutrient availability, yield and overall grove productivity. In citrus, soil health is particularly important because of the reduction of root mass … Read More

Commissioner Putnam on the Citrus Crop Forecast

Daniel CooperCrop Forecast, Industry News Release

citrus crop

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) released its second citrus crop forecast for the 2018–19 season, projecting 77 million boxes of oranges and 84.6 million boxes of citrus in total. Compared to the October 2018 USDA forecast, this estimate represents a 3 percent decrease in orange production and a 4 percent decrease in grapefruit production. However, the overall production remains … Read More

Citrus Advisory System May Help Prevent PFD Losses

Daniel CooperCitrus, Research


A new University of Florida-developed forecasting system could help citrus growers control postbloom fruit drop this winter, despite the predicted El Niño weather pattern that’s expected to bring more rain and moderate temperatures. With an El Niño, forecasters expect above-average rain this winter and early spring. Increased rain improves the chances of fungal spores splashing from flower to flower in … Read More

Decline in Florida Citrus Forecast Figures

Daniel CooperCitrus, Crop Forecast


The 2018–19 Florida orange forecast released by the U.S. Department of Agriculture on Nov. 8 is 77 million boxes, down 3 percent from the October forecast. If realized, this forecast will be 71 percent more than last season’s final production. The orange forecast consists of 32 million boxes of the non-Valencia oranges (early, midseason, and Navel varieties) and 45 million … Read More

Proposed Crop Insurance Changes Discussed

Ernie Neffcrop insurance

crop insurance

Approximately 30 citrus growers, crop insurance agents and others listened to proposed crop insurance changes, and offered suggestions, during a “listening session” in Bartow on Nov. 7. The session was conducted primarily by Florida Citrus Mutual consultant AgriLogic Consulting. Mutual CEO Mike Sparks discussed the session, which was one of three being held this week. “It was absolutely clear, as … Read More

Deadline Approaching to Apply for Hurricane Irma Aid

Tacy Callieshurricane

crop forecast

Citrus growers affected by Hurricane Irma are reminded that signup for assistance through the 2017 Wildfires and Hurricanes Indemnity Program (WHIP) ends Nov. 16, 2018. Ray Royce, executive director of the Highlands Country Citrus Growers Association, says it is imperative for growers to make formal arrangements to secure an application appointment for WHIP and the State Block Grant Program prior to … Read More

Guide to California’s 2019 Minimum Wage

Len WilcoxCalifornia Corner

California Citrus Mutual (CCM) has published a guide to the new minimum wage increases for agricultural employees that take effect Jan. 1, 2019, in California. Note that the rule for exemption from overtime has changed for agricultural workers. To maintain the exemption from overtime compensation, an exempt employee’s weekly salary must be no less than two times the applicable minimum … Read More

USDA Grant Could Help Florida’s Grapefruit Industry

Daniel CooperCitrus Greening, Grapefruit, HLB Management, Industry News Release


Florida’s grapefruit industry, devastated by citrus greening, may find hope in four ½-acre white-mesh screenhouses in a research field in Fort Pierce. The project will be funded by a $3.5 million grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) awarded to the University of Florida. Studies for the grant will take place inside and outside these structures, where 512 young … Read More

Nutrition and pH Management for HLB

Ernie NeffHLB Management, Nutrition


At Citrus Expo, University of Florida soil scientist Kelly Morgan said nutrient uptake by HLB-infected trees can be improved by applying the proper amount of nutrition and managing pH. “Those two things go hand-in-hand,” he said. “As you reduce soil pH below 7, you increase the uptake of most nutrients. So we need to reduce our pH. Our pH has … Read More

Grower: What’s Helping, and What’s Not, for HLB

Ernie NeffHLB Management


Focusing on nutrients and soil issues is helping Lykes Brothers cope with HLB (also known as citrus greening), says John Gose, general manager of the company’s Citrus Division. “We’ve seen more benefits in battling greening with the addition of more nutrients,” Gose says. “When I say that, I’m talking about micronutrients in particular.” He adds that the company is also … Read More