Flavor Summit Delves Deep Into the Science of Taste

Josh McGill Citrus, Florida, Research

In late February, the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) hosted its second annual Flavor Summit. The hybrid in-person/online event was held at the Citrus Research and Education Center (CREC) in Lake Alfred. CREC and the UF Center for Smell and Taste hosted the event that took a deep dive into the science of how flavors …

Building a Brand for Cold-Hardy Citrus

Josh McGill Citrus, Cold Hardy

A new brand name for citrus grown in Georgia, North Florida and Alabama should ensure consumers they are purchasing a quality product. Much like Georgia Grown and Fresh From Florida, Sweet Valley Citrus assures consumers and industry members that citrus grown and marketed under this label is high-quality produce. Kyli Lamar, who serves on the board of directors for the …

A Citrus Servant

Josh McGill Citrus, Research

By J. Scott Angle, jangle@ufl.edu, @IFAS_VP It’s not unusual for the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) to have a dozen contacts with Peter Chaires in a day, between the emails, calls and visits. Chaires serves as executive director of the New Varieties Development & Management Corp. (NVDMC), executive vice president of Florida Citrus Packers and …

‘Irma Will Haunt Us’ Regarding Citrus Black Spot

Josh McGill Citrus, Diseases, Weather

Citrus black spot (CBS) disease has only been found in five Southwest Florida counties, but that could change as a result of 2017’s Hurricane Irma, a researcher reiterated recently. University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences plant pathologist Megan Dewdney, in a Feb. 24 presentation, said “Irma will haunt us for a while.” She explained that Irma likely …

Controlling Mites in CUPS

Josh McGill Citrus, Pests

Emilie Demard is working to control mites and other pests that damage fresh grapefruit growing as citrus under protective screens (CUPS) at the Indian River Research and Education Center in Fort Pierce.  “I look at biological control — in this case, predatory mites controlling pest mites to minimize the need for agrochemicals,” said Demard, a Ph.D. entomology graduate with the …

Upcoming Events for Florida Citrus Growers

Josh McGill Citrus, Events, Florida

In the latest episode of the All In For Citrus podcast, Michael Rogers, director of the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) Citrus Research and Education Center, previews two upcoming events citrus growers will want to attend. The first is a Finger Lime Symposium. The half-day event will be held virtually from 1 p.m. to 5 …

Talking Citrus for 60 Years

Josh McGill Citrus, Florida

By Ernie Neff In every Florida citrus community, there are many growers who have been close friends most of their lives. They grew up in the country or small cities not far from each other, went to the same high schools and know the same people. They share the struggles — and before HLB, the joys — of growing citrus. …

Funding to Protect Texas Citrus

Josh McGill Citrus, Texas

A significant portion of the $3 million the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is allocating to Texas for pest detection, surveillance, identification and threat mitigation is targeted to the state’s citrus industry. Among other citrus-related projects, the USDA is including money to aid Texas in the control of Asian citrus psyllids and the HLB disease they spread. “Texas has more …

Florida Growers Detail CRAFT Projects

Josh McGill Citrus, Florida

There has been quite a bit of interest in the Citrus Research and Field Trials (CRAFT) program. During the Florida Citrus Show held in Fort Pierce in late January, a panel of citrus growers discussed projects they have been approved to conduct under CRAFT. Tamara Wood, executive director of the CRAFT Foundation, moderated the panel and provided an update on …

No More Satsumas: The Time Is Ripe to Diversify

Josh McGill Citrus, Florida, Georgia

South Georgia and North Florida industry leaders preached diversification to citrus growers at the Georgia Citrus Association annual conference. The event took place Feb. 28 at the University of Georgia (UGA) Tifton Conference Center. No longer should satsuma mandarins be the crop of choice for potential growers. There are other viable options for farmers to choose from, said Lindy Savelle, …

Picking Favorites at Florida Citrus Variety Display Day

Josh McGill Citrus, Florida, Varieties

The horticultural characteristics of new citrus varieties are important, especially in the era of HLB when disease tolerance is critical. But how the fruit tastes and other consumer attributes are equally important. That’s why citrus variety display days are vital in citrus breeding. The University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) Citrus Research and Education Center in …

Fire Ant Control Key in Young Citrus Groves

Josh McGill Citrus, Pests, Research

Fire ant management is essential to the long-term sustainability of citrus groves. This is particularly true for young trees still trying to develop root systems, said Xavier Martini, assistant professor of entomology at the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) North Florida Research and Education Center (NFREC). Martini spoke on insect management at the recent UF/IFAS …

Florida Citrus Growers Seeking Solutions to Fruit Drop

Josh McGill Citrus, Florida, Fruit Drop

Fruit drop has plagued Florida citrus groves in recent years. The problem has been a major factor in tumbling yields. The February 2022 U.S. Department of Agriculture’s citrus crop forecast put Florida’s orange estimate at 43.5 million boxes. If realized, it would represent an 18% decline in the crop from last season. Growers are turning over every stone to seek …

Citrus and Salinity

Josh McGill Citrus, Nutrition, Research

By Mongi Zekri Salts are a common component of soils that originate from mineral weathering, fertilizers, irrigation waters and soil amendments. The addition of most soluble fertilizer materials will increase soil salinity. However, it is only when salts are present in relatively high concentration that crops are damaged or adversely affected. Salinity is of increasing concern in Florida because of …

USDA Seeks Advisory Board Members

Josh McGill Agriculture, Citrus

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is soliciting continuous nominations for membership to its National Agricultural Research, Extension, Education and Economics (NAREEE) Advisory Board and its committees. The NAREEE board is comprised of 15 members representing a specific category of U.S. agricultural stakeholders. The board’s three committees include the Specialty Crop Committee, Citrus Disease Subcommittee and National Genetic Resources Advisory …

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A Methodical and Safe Approach to Help Florida Citrus

Josh McGill Citrus, Florida

By Ben Albritton Florida’s farmers depend on healthy soil and clean water to produce crops. It’s how my family has grown citrus, strawberries and cattle for more than four generations. The quality of our natural resources has a direct impact on our crops and livelihood. I am a fifth-generation Floridian who was raised by a line of farmers, ranchers and …

Row Crop Farmers Starting to Grow Citrus

Josh McGill Alternative Crops, Citrus, Florida, Georgia

Citrus acreage continues to increase across the North Florida, South Georgia and South Alabama regions. Interest has expanded to large row crop farmers, who see citrus as a viable alternative crop, said Kim Jones at the Feb. 17 Citrus Health Forum meeting at the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences North Florida Research and Education Center. Jones …

Ag Associations Seek to Block Chlorpyrifos Ban

Tacy Callies Citrus, Legal, Pesticides

Several agricultural associations filed suit in federal court Feb. 10 seeking to block the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) from prohibiting the use of the pesticide chlorpyrifos on food crops beginning Feb. 28. The Georgia Fruit & Vegetable Growers Association is among those seeking the action. According to the American Soybean Association, which is one of those suing, the agricultural associations …

Be Alert for Citrus Canker in Alabama

Josh McGill Citrus, Diseases

Alabama Cooperative Extension implores growers to be on the lookout for symptoms of citrus canker disease in their trees. Commercial growers need to scout their trees regularly to stop the disease’s potential spread, says Kassie Conner, Alabama Extension specialist. “What we need people to do right now is look for these symptoms and report it if they find it,” Conner …