TEMP Act Aims to Provide Freeze Insurance for Growers

Josh McGillfreeze, Legislative

A U.S. senator and Congress members from Florida have introduced legislation to direct the Risk Management Agency to research and develop a crop insurance policy to cover losses caused by cold exposure and freezes. Sen. Marco Rubio introduced the Temperature Endorsement for Multi-Peril Policies (TEMP Act). Representatives Scott Franklin, Darren Soto, Cory Mills and Greg Steube introduced companion legislation in …

New Decay Control Options on the Horizon for Florida Citrus

Josh McGillFresh, Research

By Mark A. Ritenour and Jiuxu Zhang Preventing decay of fresh fruit has always been critical for a successful citrus industry. Prior to citrus greening (huanglongbing or HLB) in Florida, effective decay control practices were well established. These practices fueled Florida’s robust fresh domestic and export citrus sales, allowing shipping durations of 21 days or more. Since the establishment of …

fruit fly

Updates on Medfly and Psyllid Quarantines in California

Josh McGillCalifornia Corner, Pests, Regulation

Agriculture officials recently established a Mediterranean fruit fly (Ceratitis capitata or Medfly) quarantine and expanded an Asian citrus psyllid (ACP) quarantine, both in California. MEDFLYFederal and state agriculture officials on Oct. 18 established the Medfly quarantine in California’s Los Angeles County. The action was taken by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (USDA APHIS) and …

Rootstocks Influence Cold-Hardiness of Georgia Tangos

Josh McGillCold Hardy, freeze, Rootstocks

Since the Christmas freeze of 2022, University of Georgia Lowndes County Extension Coordinator Jake Price has been conducting cold-hardiness ratings to see how Georgia citrus varieties were influenced by their rootstocks. He focused on Tango performance in a recent report and declared US-1516 “the clear winner” in providing cold-hardiness. Since January of 2023, Price has conducted ratings on how much …

Northern Hemisphere Citrus Production to Rise

Josh McGillCrop Forecast, International

The World Citrus Organisation (WCO) on Nov. 15 projected that Northern Hemisphere citrus production will hit 28.98 metric tons in 2023. That’s up 12.21% compared to the prior year and 1.48% higher than the four-year average. It also exceeds the WCO’s forecast of 24.35 million tons for the Southern Hemisphere. Oranges are forecast to account for 50% of Northern Hemisphere …

Measuring California’s Citrus Environmental Benefits and Impacts

Josh McGillCalifornia Corner, Survey

Major retailers have been asking questions about the citrus industry’s sustainability efforts. In response, a California citrus industry life cycle analysis project will quantify the net environmental benefits and impacts of citrus production in a typical year. The information will be gathered from a survey developed by researchers at the University of California, Davis (UC Davis), with support from the …

Returns From OJ Promotions Projected

Josh McGillFlorida Department of Citrus

Florida Department of Citrus (FDOC) promotions of orange juice (OJ) are projected to have produced a $2.23 return on investment for each dollar Florida producers paid to support the promotions, a University of Florida (UF) economist reported. Lisa House, UF professor and chair of the UF Food and Resource Economics Department, made that projection in a virtual presentation on Nov. …

Citrus Recovery Program Funding Allocated

Josh McGillFlorida Citrus Commission, Florida Department of Citrus

Several scientific projects to be funded with $2 million the Florida Department of Citrus (FDOC) received from the state’s Citrus Recovery Program were approved by the Florida Citrus Commission (FCC). The Citrus Recovery Program funds came from the Florida Legislature this year. The funded projects include: Also utilizing funds from the Citrus Recovery Program, the FCC approved almost $1.05 million …

court

EPA Ban of Chlorpyrifos Overturned by Court

Josh McGillLegal, Pesticides

The federal Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals on Nov. 2 ruled the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) failed to follow the law when it revoked chlorpyrifos tolerances — effectively banning the pesticide. “Its (EPA’s) decision was arbitrary and capricious … so we grant the petitions for review and vacate its order,” the court stated. See the court’s ruling here. The American …

HLB Treatments ‘A Mixed Bag of Results’

Josh McGillHLB Management

A variety of treatments Florida citrus growers are using for HLB have so far produced mixed results, according to observations reported by Highlands County Citrus Growers Association (HCCGA) President Aaron Nelson. In a recent association newsletter, Nelson wrote that many are anxious to see harvest data showing what effects the treatments have had over the past year. The treatments he …

Millennium Block Drive-Thru Highlights

Josh McGillEvents, Indian River, Research

Florida citrus growers and researchers arrived from Davie, Bartow, Lakeland, Plant City, Fellsmere and Gainesville to view more than 5,500 trees of several new citrus varieties. Some of the trees are showing initial tolerance to citrus greening.   The occasion was the Millennium Block Drive-Thru at the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) Indian River Research and …

Follow Flower Bud Induction Advisories

Josh McGillProduction, Tip of the Week

By Tripti Vashisth Florida flower bud induction advisories for the upcoming season start on Nov. 15. These advisories will be published biweekly until March 30, 2024. The goals of flower bud advisories are to inform growers about the status of the tree in respect to floral bud induction and to predict bloom. This is critical information since the horticultural practices …

georgia

Season’s Expectations for Cold-Hardy Citrus

Josh McGillCold Hardy, Production

High quality and low quantity are in store for this year’s cold-hardy citrus crop in eastern Alabama, southern Georgia and the Florida Panhandle. Too many natural disasters negated the volume of this year’s crop load, according to Lindy Savelle, president of the Georgia Citrus Association and member of the Georgia Citrus Commission. “We had a freeze, and then we had …

Cold Protection Resources for Citrus Growers

Josh McGillfreeze, Weather

Citrus growers in Florida’s Panhandle will have a greatly reduced citrus harvest this year because of a hard freeze in December 2022, the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) reported. To help growers reduce damage in future freezes, UF/IFAS has tools that aid with citrus cold protection. Water is the most common form of cold protection …

IPCs Prove to Be Game-Changer in Citrus Production

Josh McGillIPCs, Production

By Amir Rezazadeh Citrus trees face many threats that can impact fruit development and overall tree health. Pests, including aphids, mites and other insects, can damage fruit and transmit diseases. Extreme weather events, such as hailstorms or heavy rains, can cause physical harm, leading to blemishes and reduced market value. In addition, citrus growers have faced persistent challenges because of …

Disaster Aid Update From Florida Citrus Mutual

Josh McGillhurricane, Legislative

Florida Citrus Mutual (FCM) recently announced that the Block Grant Assistance Act failed to receive the three-fifths of votes needed to pass in the U.S. Senate. The House passed the act in June. The bill would provide needed authority for the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to issue block grants to growers devastated by Hurricanes Ian and Nicole. FCM recognized …

Trekking Toward HLB-Resistant Trees

Josh McGillBreeding, HLB Management, Research

By Michael Rogers Much has been discussed recently about the promise and potential of utilizing CRISPR technology to create HLB-resistant trees for Florida’s citrus growers. The primary objective in citrus gene editing is to develop new varieties that are resistant to HLB disease while remaining non-transgenic. To achieve this goal, researchers make alterations to or eliminate specific genes within the …

More Details on the Plant Transformation Center

Josh McGillBreeding, HLB Management

The University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) provided more information about a planned Plant Transformation Center. Foremost among goals for the center is finding citrus varieties that can tolerate or resist HLB disease. UF/IFAS will utilize $2 million from an initiative by UF President Ben Sasse to create the Plant Transformation Center. The center’s objectives include: …

MRL Compliance Crucial for Citrus Exporters

Josh McGillCalifornia Corner, Fresh, Regulation

Maximum residue limits (MRLs) are a constant concern for growers. MRL issues can create a variety of obstacles depending on which market citrus exports are destined for. While the industry generally complies well with MRLs, caution is crucial as they can be a significant hurdle. Jim Cranney, president of the California Citrus Quality Council, said certain markets can be more …

Insights on India’s Citrus Industry

Josh McGillHLB Management, International

Fundecitrus researcher Franklin Behlau lectured about canker and HLB and participated in other ways at the recent Asian Citrus Congress in Nagpur, India. His lecture addressed the advancement of HLB (also known as greening) in the Brazilian citrus belt and the work carried out by Fundecitrus in combating HLB and canker. Behlau also moderated a technical session and participated in …