Grower: Don’t Cut Back on Psyllid Control

Ernie NeffCitrus Greening, HLB Management, Pests

psyllids

Gardinier Florida Citrus General Manager Lee Jones, one of several attending a Gulf Citrus Health Management Area Workshop on November 15 in Immokalee, wanted to share a message with fellow growers. The message: Don’t reduce efforts to control HLB-spreading Asian citrus psyllids. “Everybody’s groves this year are looking a little better,” Jones told Citrus Industry magazine immediately after the seminar. … Read More

Grower: Small Fruit Size, PFD Are Issues

Ernie NeffEconomics, PFD

fruit size, pfd

Grower and harvester Charles Wilson of Lake Placid was among those sharing information at a citrus grower forum in Sebring on November 10. “There seems to be a pretty good fruit set blossom unaffected by PFD (postbloom fruit drop),” Wilson says. “But the fruit size is extremely small … and that’s going to definitely affect our yield.” “I see PFD … Read More

Citrus Replanting and Fresh Fruit Taste Concern Grower

Ernie NeffCitrus, Economics

Replanting, Fresh Fruit

Lake Wales fresh citrus grower Marshall Hartley tells why many growers hesitate to move forward with citrus replanting. He also discusses declining fresh fruit taste. “I don’t think that we’ve got the perfect tree yet, and everybody’s kind of wondering, where am I going to spend my last dollar?” Hartley says. “Do I need to not plant a tree for … Read More

Florida Citrus Mutual Sells its Building

Josh McGillIndustry News Release

bactericides survey

LAKELAND, FL (November 10, 2016) -Florida Citrus Mutual announced today the trade organization has sold its downtown Lakeland headquarters to Publix Super Markets Inc. for an undisclosed amount. FCM has been at the site – located at the southeast corner of Orange Street and Massachusetts Avenue – for 68 years. “Florida Citrus Mutual had a long run here and there … Read More

Increase in Florida Non-Valencia Oranges

Daniel CooperCitrus, Crop Forecast

Fresh Oranges on a tree.

Mark Hudson of the U.S. Department of Agriculture/National Agricultural Statistics Service delivered the November citrus crop forecast. The Florida Non-Valencia oranges are forecast this month at 36 million boxes, up 2 million boxes from the initial forecast last month. Valencia oranges remained at 36 million boxes. Grapefruit for Florida remained at 9.6 million boxes, with white at 2.1 million boxes … Read More

Citrus Nursery Tour Showcases New Technology

Josh McGillTechnology

Citrific Nursery president Mathew Konrad recently gave a citrus nursery tour to show a culture process and automated nursery system that could be beneficial to the citrus industry. “I got into this industry because I felt like the industry was lacking a lot of common technologies and more sophisticated nursery operations,” said Konrad. He explained that he wanted to make … Read More

From Planning to Planting: Establishing New Groves in the Presence of HLB

Tacy CalliesCitrus

By Ute Albrecht Despite the constant threat of huanglongbing (HLB), most growers remain optimistic and are replanting citrus trees to maintain production levels necessary for sustaining the industry. The tax incentive bill under the Emergency Citrus Disease Response Act introduced in December 2015, if implemented, will help growers get back expenses associated with replanting of diseased trees immediately, instead of … Read More

Citrus Grower: Tree Replant Incentives Are Beneficial

Ernie NeffHLB Management, Irrigation, Water

Replant incentives

State and federal programs giving citrus growers incentives to replant and a state program designed to eliminate abandoned groves were discussed at a November 1 workshop in Lakeland. The program was hosted by Florida Citrus Mutual. Grower James “Hoss” Morgan, procurement director for Wm. G. Roe & Sons, Inc., likes the programs. “All three of these are very beneficial if … Read More

Grower Gets Strong Orange Production

Ernie NeffBactericides, Citrus Greening

strong orange production

Bobby Mixon of Sunny South Packing Company, one of several sharing experiences at a recent grower forum in Arcadia, reported good production from a Vernia orange block. He said the block yielded 450 to 500 boxes to the acre last season, which is far above average orange yield in the HLB era. Mixon says Vernia provides “alternate production” from year … Read More

UF/IFAS Imaging System Can Detect Citrus Greening Before Symptoms Show

Josh McGillCitrus Greening

By: Brad Buck GAINESVILLE, Fla. — A time-lapse polarized imaging system may help citrus growers detect citrus greening before the plant’s leaves show symptoms, which should help growers as they try to fend off the deadly disease, a new University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences study shows. For the new study, Won Suk “Daniel” Lee and Alireza … Read More

New Methods for Managing Citrus Nutrition

Ernie NeffNutrition

pests

University of Florida horticulturist Arnold Schumann recently discussed new ways growers might better manage citrus nutrition. During the Citrus Nutrition Day at the Citrus Research and Education Center, he spoke about the potential future use of a Diagnosis and Recommendation Integrated System (DRIS) that he’s working on. He also addressed the benefits and results of hydroponics in citrus nutrition management. … Read More

The Many Hats of Allen Morris

Tacy CalliesCitrus, Economics

By Tacy Callies Having grown up in the small north Florida town of Macclenny, a farming community, Allen Morris was introduced to agriculture at an early age. His father died in a tractor accident when Morris was seven, but that didn’t deter him from wanting to earn a living in agriculture. In fact, at 14, he obtained a restricted driver’s … Read More

Citrus Replanting Incentives in Face of HLB

Ernie NeffCitrus Greening, Water

HLB replanting

More than 50 attended a November 1 workshop in Lakeland to learn about incentives to induce citrus tree replanting. Replanting is needed to replace trees lost to HLB and other problems. Kayla Nickerson of the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) talks about a relatively new incentive – her agency’s Citrus Grove Renovation/Re-establishment Support Program. Nickerson says, “We’re … Read More

Managing the Health and Productivity of HLB-Affected Groves

Tacy CalliesHLB Management

By Tripti Vashisth In 2005, huanglongbing (HLB or citrus greening disease) was first discovered in Florida. Florida orange production changed from 242 million boxes in the pre-hurricane, pre-HLB, 2003–2004 season to 81.5 million boxes in 2015–2016. This dramatic reduction in yield is attributable to multiple causes, including a reduction in citrus acreage, citrus canker and other citrus diseases. HLB is … Read More

Slow Start for Fresh Florida Grapefruit Season

Ernie NeffCitrus Greening, Grapefruit

Fresh

Fresh Florida grapefruit shipments continue to decline in concert with the downturn in production resulting from HLB and other problems. On October 26, the Florida Department of Citrus projected fresh Florida grapefruit shipments will be about 4.13 million boxes this season. Three seasons ago, in 2013-14, fresh Florida grapefruit shipments totaled 6.1 million boxes and have dropped in each season … Read More

Some Growers ‘Being Squeezed More than Others’ by HLB

Ernie NeffBactericides, HLB Management, PFD

HLB

Citrus Extension agent Steve Futch answers questions following a grower forum in Arcadia on October 27. Growers discussed production, bactericides for HLB and much more. The forum opened with one grower saying he doesn’t know how much longer he can keep going. Another reported per-acre orange production of 450 to 500 boxes in some blocks – a superb level in … Read More

Smelling Huanglongbing for Early-Detection

Josh McGillCitrus Greening

Another early-detection method being developed works by smelling huanglongbing infections in trees. This method detects the different scents plants give off. Researchers at the University of California, Davis have created a test that could lead to advances in fighting huanglongbing (HLB) disease in citrus. Researcher and professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering, Christina Davis, said the test looks for a … Read More

Control of Stem-End Rot of Fresh Citrus

Tacy CalliesDiseases

By Mark A. Ritenour, Jiuxu Zhang and Megan M. Dewdney Decay of fresh citrus fruit is most often caused by fungal pathogens that grow and develop in the hot and wet conditions typical in Florida. While green and blue molds (Penicillium digitatum and Penicillium italicum) and sour rot (Galactomyces citri-aurantii) are the most common postharvest citrus diseases worldwide, the subtropical … Read More

Growers to Pay Department of Citrus Historically Low Tax Rate

Ernie NeffFlorida Citrus Commission

citrus could recover

Citrus grower taxes supporting Florida Department of Citrus (FDOC) programs this season will be 7 cents per box for processed oranges and fresh grapefruit – the two most utilized fruits. Those historically low rates were proposed early in 2016 by 12 large Florida citrus growers and adopted by the Florida Citrus Commission (FCC) on October 26. Other per-box grower assessments … Read More