Argentina Lemon Production to See Sharp Drop

Ernie NeffCrop Forecast, International

Fresh lemon production in Argentina is forecast at 1.03 million metric tons in 2020-21, down 30 percent compared to the previous marketing year. The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) reported these figures. Low spring temperatures seem to have significantly affected production and, coupled with the ongoing drought, resulted in reduced fruit size. As a result of the … Read More

New Louisiana Citrus Research Facility

Ernie NeffResearch

The Arlene and Joseph Meraux Charitable Foundation has constructed a citrus research facility at the Docville Farm in partnership with the Louisiana State University (LSU) AgCenter. The new facility, called the Center for Louisiana Citrus Innovation and Research, is in Violet, Louisiana. “This facility will be utilized to support Louisiana citrus growers as well as promote citrus and other specialty … Read More

Larger European Orange Crop Expected

Ernie NeffCrop Forecast, International

The European Union’s (EU) orange production is forecast at 6.55 million metric tons (MMT) for 2020-21, up 5.6 percent from the previous year and 3 percent higher than the 10-year average. That’s according to a recent EU citrus report by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS). The higher forecast is mainly due to expected increases in orange … Read More

Fresh Florida Citrus Marketing Order Continued

Ernie NeffFresh, Marketing

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) recently announced that fresh citrus producers voted to continue the marketing order regulating the handling of oranges, grapefruit, tangerines and pummelos grown in Florida. The marketing order requires a continuance referendum be held every six years. In a referendum held Oct. 19 to Nov. 9, 2020, 99 percent of Florida producers, representing 94 percent … Read More

International Year of Fruits and Vegetables Launched

Ernie NeffIndustry News Release

The director-general of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations, Qu Dongyu, recently launched the International Year of Fruits and Vegetables 2021 (IYFV 2021).   IYFV 2021 is dedicated to raising awareness about the important role of fruits and vegetables in human nutrition, food security and health. FAO is the lead agency for celebrating the year in … Read More

Aldicarb Registered for Florida Citrus

Ernie NeffPesticides

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on Jan. 12 announced two actions to help protect America’s citrus industry from HLB and citrus canker. One action is for the insecticide aldicarb; the other is for the antibiotic streptomycin. ALDICARBEPA is registering one technical product, a supplemental label and one new end-use product for the insecticide aldicarb for use on oranges and … Read More

China Tangerine and Mandarin Forecast

Ernie NeffChina

China is forecast to produce 23.1 million metric tons of tangerines and mandarins in 2020-21, a slight increase from 2019-20, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Foreign Agricultural Service reported recently. Looking further ahead, some industry insiders predict the overall growth rate of tangerine and mandarin production will slow in coming years. They expect local governments may become more conservative in … Read More

HLB: The Microbiome’s Role

Ernie NeffHLB Management

Researchers Caroline Roper and Nichole Ginnan at the University of California, Riverside led a large research collaboration that sought to explore the microbiome’s role in HLB disease progression. Their recent article in Phytobiomes Journal, “Disease-Induced Microbial Shifts in Citrus Indicate Microbiome-Derived Responses to Huanglongbing,” moves beyond the single-snapshot view of the microbial landscape typical of microbiome research. Their holistic approach … Read More

States See Changes in U.S. Citrus Forecast

Ernie NeffCrop Forecast

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) dropped another 2 million boxes from the January forecast for Florida’s orange crop but added 200,000 boxes to the state’s grapefruit projection. ORANGESFlorida’s total orange crop is now forecast at 54 million boxes, down 4 percent from 56 million boxes in December. The orange reduction was in the non-Valencia … Read More

Homeowner Canker Payments Coming

Ernie NeffLegal

Approximately 12,000 Lee County homeowners in Florida will receive checks in early January as compensation for citrus trees destroyed in the state’s citrus canker eradication program, according to attorney Robert Gilbert. Gilbert was the lead counsel representing the homeowners in a class action lawsuit for the past 17 years. According to Gilbert, the residential trees that were destroyed by the … Read More

Third Packer for Cold-Hardy Citrus

Ernie NeffPacking

A third packinghouse started packing fresh South Georgia and North Florida citrus in 2020. The newest packer, The Satsuma Company, is in Tifton, Georgia. The others, Corbett Brothers in Lake Park, Georgia, and Florida Georgia Citrus in Monticello, Florida, have been packing citrus since 2016. “I have visited all three facilities in South Georgia and North Florida,” said Lindy Savelle, … Read More

Louisiana Faces Several Citrus Woes

Ernie NeffLouisiana

Hurricanes, development, demographics, disease and other issues combined in recent decades to severely reduce citrus acreage and crops in Plaquemines Parish, which has the majority of Louisiana growers. According to Louisiana State University (LSU) AgCenter, the state has only 841 acres of citrus remaining. Anna Timmerman, LSU AgCenter horticultural Extension agent, discussed the industry’s woes in the parish that she … Read More

New Dietary Guidelines Include Role for Juice

Ernie NeffOrange Juice

orange juice

The newly released 2020–2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGA) continue to reinforce that nutrient-dense 100 percent fruit juices, such as orange juice (OJ), count as a fruit serving. They also continue to include 100 percent fruit juice as a part of a healthy dietary pattern. The guidelines support the incorporation of beverages such as 100 percent OJ into the daily … Read More

La Niña and Florida Citrus

Ernie NeffWeather

A moderate La Niña climate phase is expected through spring 2021. This indicates that slightly above average temperatures and slightly less rainfall than normal can be expected in Florida’s citrus belt. Multi-county citrus Extension agent Ajia Paolillo made that announcement during a virtual Dec. 22 OJ Break presented by the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS). … Read More

China Orange and OJ Forecasts

Ernie NeffForecast, International

Orange production in China is forecast to grow to 7.5 million metric tons (MMT) in 2020–21, up from 7.4 MMT in 2019–20, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) reported. The increase will be driven mainly by new trees planted a few years ago in Jiangxi and other provinces. Those trees have started to produce more fruit. FAS … Read More

Some Citrus Recovery Expected in Mexico

Ernie NeffMexico

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Foreign Agricultural Service recently issued a report on the citrus industry in Mexico. Some highlights follow. ORANGEOrange production in the 2020-21 marketing year is forecast to partially rebound after drought decimated last year’s crop by nearly 40 percent. Residual soil health effects and low producer investments in orchard rehabilitation will prohibit full production recovery. Lack … Read More

Report: Make Farmland Access Equitable

Ernie NeffLand

A new report claims major barriers prevent the next generation of farmers and ranchers, particularly those of color, from accessing quality, affordable farmland. The report, Land Policy: Towards a More Equitable Farming Future, was released by the National Young Farmers Coalition. See the full report here. According to the report, land ownership in the United States is vastly unequal. The … Read More

Organic Acid, HLB Link Found

Ernie NeffResearch

One obvious symptom of HLB is leaf chlorosis — yellow blotches appearing on otherwise dark green citrus leaves. Although chlorosis can indicate other health issues, in trees affected by HLB, it’s thought to be triggered by the underlying bacterial infection causing the disease. University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) plant pathologist Nabil Killiny conducted a study … Read More

Grapefruit Juice Demand Is Strong

Ernie NeffGrapefruit

There were numerous reports in 2020 about the significant increase in consumer demand for orange juice (OJ) at the retail level during the COVID-19 pandemic. But Florida Department of Citrus economist Marisa Zansler recently reported that “the same can be said about the significant increases in sales volumes of other citrus products … Notably, within the retail fruit juice category, … Read More

Growing Citrus Trees With Oak Mulch

Ernie NeffHLB Management

Lukas Hallman, a graduate student at the Indian River Research and Education Center (IRREC), is doing research to find what is in oak trees that apparently helps citrus cope with HLB. The University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences operates the IRREC. “Anecdotal reports from Florida growers claim that citrus trees growing within the drip line of large … Read More