Positive Perspectives on the Florida Citrus Season

Josh McGillCrop Forecast, Florida Citrus Commission

By Steve Johnson The first U.S. Department of Agriculture crop forecast of the season was announced on Oct. 12. While the forecast arrived on a stormy day, the numbers were radiant rays of sunshine for our growers, and the Florida citrus industry as a whole. Every member of this industry knows there are still hurdles to clear, and there will …

Texas A&M Professor Honored

Josh McGillAwards, International, Texas

The Indian Society of Citriculture has bestowed an honorary fellowship to Texas A&M AgriLife Research Professor Bhimu Patil. Patil is in the Texas A&M College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Department of Horticultural Sciences. He is also director of the Vegetable and Fruit Improvement Center at Texas A&M University, College Station. The society recognized Patil for his “outstanding contribution in the …

Strong Support for Plant Transformation Center

Josh McGillBreeding, Florida Citrus Commission, Florida Department of Citrus

The Florida Citrus Commission (FCC) approved almost $1.05 million to support a University of Florida Plant Transformation Center that will develop methodologies and technologies to improve HLB resistance and tolerance in citrus. The approval followed an overview of the center presented by Scott Angle, University of Florida (UF) senior vice president for agriculture and natural resources, who oversees the UF …

Uncovering the Cause of Greasy-Green on Grapefruit 

Josh McGillGrapefruit, Tip of the Week

By Megan Dewdney, Mark A. Ritenour and Liliana M. Cano  In the last few years, 89% of Florida grapefruit growers have struggled with a disorder that they refer to as greasy-green, leading to losses between $20,000 to $1.7 million per year. The disorder causes the fruit to have large, diffuse green patches on the rind after degreening, making it no …

UGA to Hire Citrus Researchers Next Year

Josh McGillGeorgia, Research

Georgia citrus growers will soon have research support from the University of Georgia (UGA), says Lindy Savelle, president of the Georgia Citrus Association and member of the Georgia Citrus Commission. She confirmed the news at the recent Cold Hardy Citrus Field Day at the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) North Florida Research and Education Center …

Calling All Florida Citrus Growers for Survey

Josh McGillFlorida, Survey

There’s a lot going on in Florida citrus. New trunk-injection therapies have been approved to treat HLB as groves bounce back from last year’s hurricanes. It’s a good time to get a sense of the mood of growers as we start the new Florida citrus season. If you are a grower or a consultant/caretaker (who can answer generally on behalf …

California Fruit Fly Quarantines Expanded

Josh McGillCalifornia Corner, Pests, Regulation

Federal and California agriculture officials have expanded the Tau fruit fly quarantine in Los Angeles County and the Oriental fruit fly (OFF) quarantine in San Bernadino and Riverside counties. The actions were taken by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) and the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA). TAU FRUIT FLYThe agencies expanded …

All In With Trunk Injection

Josh McGillHLB Management, planting

Some Florida citrus growers decided to start slowly with trunk injection of oxytetracycline (OTC), treating only a small portion of their acreage. Others took a wait-and-see approach, hoping to learn from their peers’ experiences. But Wheeler Farms went all in, treating 100% of their trees with trunk injection. “What we were doing was not working, so we needed to try …

Queensland

Queensland Fruit Fly Quarantine in California

Josh McGillCalifornia Corner, Pests, Regulation

Portions of Ventura and Los Angeles counties have been placed under quarantine for the Queensland fruit fly (QFF), the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) announced in late October. The quarantine followed the detection of two adult QFFs within the city of Thousand Oaks in Ventura County. The quarantine area measures 76 square miles. It is bordered on the …

citrus forecast

FFVA Endorses Glyphosate Renewal in Europe

Josh McGillInternational, Pesticides, Regulation

Florida Fruit & Vegetable Association (FFVA) recently submitted comments to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Foreign Agricultural Service endorsing the European Union’s (EU) 10-year registration renewal efforts for glyphosate. In the letter, FFVA stressed that glyphosate herbicide has been used safely and successfully in Europe for more than 40 years. It noted that leading health regulators, including in Europe, the …

acp

Conclusions on Asian Citrus Psyllid Control

Josh McGillHLB Management, Pests

HLB, spread by the Asian citrus psyllid (ACP), has been the scariest and most destructive disease that Florida citrus growers have ever faced. So, it was fitting that entomologist Jawwad Qureshi made a virtual presentation about ACP/HLB on Halloween, often considered the scariest day of the year. Qureshi, a University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences associate professor, …

Australian Plant Protection Guides Available Online

Josh McGillEducation, International

The latest plant protection guides for citrus and deciduous fruit growers in Australia’s New South Wales (NSW), developed by NSW Department of Primary Industries (NSW DPI), are now available online. The citrus plant protection guide 2023–24 is available here. The orchard plant protection guide for deciduous fruits can be found here. The plant protection guides are developed by NSW DPI …

Fruit World on Certification, California’s Citrus Season and More

Josh McGillCalifornia Corner

Fresh fruit produce company Fruit World announced its recent Equitable Food Initiative (EFI) certification out of its Reedley, California facility. The company also reported that the California citrus season is late this year, and that Fruit World’s chief executive officer will participate on a panel discussing the upcoming Strengthening Organic Enforcement (SOE) rule. According to Equitable Food Initiative’s website, it …

Federal Aid for Producers Impacted by 2022 Natural Disasters

Josh McGillfinancial, hurricane

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will provide more than $3 billion to commodity and specialty crop producers impacted by natural disaster events in 2022. Eligible producers can apply for financial assistance through the Emergency Relief Program (ERP) 2022. The program will help offset the financial impacts of crop yield and value losses from qualifying disasters occurring in 2022. “In our continued …

Field Day Showcases Efforts to Breed HLB-Tolerant Oranges

Josh McGillBreeding, Events

By Maegan Beatty On Oct. 27, Jose Chaparro hosted a citrus breeding research update at the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) Teaching Orchard in Gainesville. The event included a variety display and field tour. Chaparro, a UF/IFAS associate professor of horticultural sciences, focused on how he and his team are taking on the significant task …

How to Properly Transport and Store Pesticides

Josh McGillCEU

By Lourdes C. Pérez Cordero Editor’s note: This article grants one continuing education unit (CEU) in the Core category toward the renewal of a Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services restricted-use pesticide license when the accompanying test is submitted and approved. Pesticides can often pose a threat to the health and safety of people, wildlife and the environment if …

Cold-Hardy Citrus Growers Gather for Field Day

Josh McGillCold Hardy, Events

Production in the cold-hardy citrus region was under the spotlight during a recent field day in Quincy, Florida. Growers and industry leaders visited the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) North Florida Research and Education Center (NFREC) to learn about various facets of citrus production. Topics like controlled-release fertilizers, crop diversification and implementation of artificial intelligence …

Florida Department of Citrus Budget and Tax Rates Set

Josh McGillFlorida Citrus Commission, Florida Department of Citrus

The Florida Citrus Commission (FCC) on Oct. 25 set the Florida Department of Citrus (FDOC) budget and grower assessment rates for the 2023–24 season. The FDOC budget will be $23.239 million, about $6.5 million less than the 2022–23 budget of $29.795 million. It includes administrative and support services of $2.153 million, a general revenue service charge of $222,000, a research …

Brassinosteroids Can Improve Juice Quality and Fruit Yield

Josh McGillTip of the Week

By Fernando Alferez and Divya Aryal There are some indications that brassinosteroids (Brs) may advance commercial internal maturity by almost one month in Valencia sweet orange, depending on the time of application. However, the best time of application in this variety and other sweet orange varieties like Hamlin still needs to be determined, so that this treatment can become economically …