Pruning Pointers for Cold-Hardy Citrus

Josh McGillCold Hardy, Pruning

Three University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) researchers recently authored an Extension newsletter article about pruning practices for cold-hardy citrus. Authors are Muhmmad A. Shahid, assistant professor of horticulture; Shahid Iqbal, horticultural post-doctoral associate; and Fernando Alferez, assistant professor of horticulture. Highlights from the article follow. Establishment of proper plant structure and canopy through pruning is …

Freeze Had Greatest Impact on Young Trees

Josh McGillCold Hardy, freeze

Lindy Savelle, president of the Georgia Citrus Association, and other industry leaders continue to preach to growers the need to diversify their crop portfolios. The Christmas freeze event that ravaged production in the Southeast last December should not be a deterrent for farmers hoping to produce citrus other than satsuma mandarins. Yes, non-satsuma citrus trees were impacted more by the …

Pheromones Essential in Leafminer Management

Josh McGillCold Hardy, Pests

Citrus growers should emphasize leafminer management this year to preserve new flushes. This is especially important for those producers affected by the Christmas freeze event. The management strategy should include pheromone disruptions, which can help reduce pest populations. Xavier Martini, assistant professor of entomology at the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) North Florida Research and …

The Seasonal Satsuma Bottleneck

Josh McGillCold Hardy, Mandarins

The short timeframe for satsuma mandarins to be harvested and sold in the fall created a bottleneck of supply around the Thanksgiving holiday in 2022. An excess supply led to a challenge for growers attempting to sell their fruit when demand diminished, according to Kim Jones, who grows and packs citrus in Florida and Georgia. “The week of Thanksgiving when …

Cold Acclimation Helping Trees Rebound From Freeze

Josh McGillCold Hardy, freeze

Trees in the Sweet Valley Citrus region are more acclimated to cold temperatures than those in Central and South Florida. That is a reason that Bill Barber, Certified Crop Adviser and owner of Barber Ag Services, believes citrus trees in North Florida, South Georgia and South Alabama have rebounded well following the Christmas freeze event. “I first thought the worst. …

rootstock

Satsumas Look ‘Pretty Darn Good’ Post-freeze

Josh McGillCold Hardy, freeze

Satsumas in the Sweet Valley Citrus region appear to have aced their first test of multiple days of subfreezing temperatures. It is still a wait-and-see approach with other varieties, however. One grower was extremely optimistic about satsumas, the cold-hardy mandarins that look to have survived December temperatures in the teens. “Satsumas are pretty darn good. We lost some leaves, got …

First Step Taken to Establish a Georgia Citrus Commission

Josh McGillCold Hardy, Legislative

The Georgia House of Representatives Agriculture & Consumer Affairs Committee passed legislation that would establish a Georgia Citrus Commission. It must now go to the House Rules Committee before being discussed in the Senate. A citrus commission would be a huge step for an industry that has already exploded in Georgia, said Lindy Savelle, president of the Georgia Citrus Association …

New President Has Plans for Cold Hardy Citrus Association

Josh McGillCold Hardy

Mark Clikas, who became president of the Cold Hardy Citrus Association (CHCA) in February, has a recovery focus and sales goal for the group. “My focus is to get the members of CHCA more involved in the organization to help the growers improve the citrus trees’ health after the major freeze event around Christmas 2022,” he said. “My goal is …

Sweet Valley Citrus Expansion Could Stall

Josh McGillCold Hardy, freeze

Trees in the Sweet Valley Citrus region have been in high demand in recent years. Plantings of satsuma mandarins and other citrus varieties have steadily risen the past few years in Georgia, Alabama and North Florida. That steady climb is expected to stall this year, however. Following the Christmas freeze event that rattled the industry in the Southeast in December …

Thinking Outside the Box With Satsumas

Josh McGillCold Hardy

Satsuma mandarins are big business in the Georgia and North Florida citrus industry. Satsumas are desirable from the consumer perspective, and the fruit’s cold hardiness is suited for the northern reaches of citrus production. Cold hardiness was proven to be especially important after freezes in late December and in January. But a problem with satsumas is that the fruit matures …

Freeze’s Full Impact on Cold-Hardy Citrus Still Unknown

Josh McGillCold Hardy, freeze

Southeast citrus trees were undoubtedly impacted by multiple days of sub-freezing temperatures during Christmas week. An exact understanding of the impact will not be known for another couple of months, believes Jonathan Oliver, University of Georgia (UGA) assistant professor and small fruits pathologist. “The freeze was significant, but you never really know for sure until the plants start to flush …

A Look at South Carolina Citrus

Josh McGillCold Hardy, Research

Citrus has been making its way north in recent years. So far, growers in North Florida and Georgia have had success producing the crop, with only minor incursions of HLB, the disease that has been devastating in Florida’s traditional citrus production areas. The Southeast Regional Fruit & Vegetable Conference, held in Savannah earlier this month, included a citrus program for …

Grower Sees More Damage From Season’s Second Freeze

Josh McGillCold Hardy, freeze

Another freeze event last weekend could spell doom for some citrus trees produced in the cold-hardy citrus region. Kim Jones, president of the Cold Hardy Citrus Association, discussed the dire situation facing growers in the region. “I think we had some damage to some new growth that had come out from the last freeze. I can’t tell how much, but …

Taking Care of Trees After the Five-Night Freeze

Josh McGillCold Hardy, freeze

“To some extent, every citrus variety has suffered from cold damage” due to the five-night freeze event that occurred in the cold-hardy citrus region Dec. 24–28. That report comes from Jake Price, Lowndes County Extension coordinator for University of Georgia Extension. “The site of our citrus research plots in Valdosta reached a low of 16 degrees, which is the lowest …

Cold-Hardy Citrus Region Frozen

Josh McGillCold Hardy, freeze

Temperatures in the teens walloped the South Georgia-North Florida citrus region over the Christmas weekend, destroying fruit still on trees and damaging trees to some extent. “We got as low as 15, but most places it hovered around 18 degrees,” reported Lindy Savelle, president of the Georgia Citrus Association. “All fruit left on trees appears to have turned to mush …

freeze

Cold-Hardy Growers Face Tough Call With Possible Freeze

Josh McGillCold Hardy, freeze

Looming below-freezing temperatures in the cold-hardy citrus region have growers on high alert regarding their remaining crop. Forecasts call for temperatures to drop to the 20s in Tifton, Georgia, on Dec. 23, according to Weather.com. Growers will have to decide on how to handle their remaining fruit, said Kim Jones, citrus producer and packinghouse owner. Jones is president of the …

Cold-Hardy Citrus Exceeds Yield and Quality Forecast

Josh McGillCold Hardy

Cold Hardy Citrus Association (CHCA) growers predicted this year’s harvest would be favorable at the season’s start, and groves are producing beyond those early expectations. “We are seeing good quality, bigger size and lots of volume left to pick on trees, especially for satsumas,” said CHCA President Kim Jones. CHCA represents growers, handlers, shippers and allied businesses in North Florida, South …

Citrus Breeder: Growers Need to Think More Out of the Box

Tacy CalliesCold Hardy

If cold-hardy citrus growers diversified their crops and not put all of their eggs in the satsuma basket, it would provide them a better chance at long-term sustainability. It would allow producers an opportunity to combat the negative national stigma concerning citrus juices, says Jude Grosser, a professor of plant cell genetics at the University of Florida Institute of Food …

Satsuma Overload: Citrus Growers Need to Diversify

Josh McGillCold Hardy, Varieties

Citrus harvest season is in full swing across the North Florida/South Georgia production region. One thing is certain this season: Growers need to diversify their farming operations with citrus varieties other than satsuma mandarins. Grower Kim Jones, who also owns a citrus packing facility in Monticello, Florida, and is part-owner of a similar facility in Tifton, Georgia, discussed the high …

Peel Protection Key for Citrus Growers

Josh McGillCold Hardy, Fresh

Citrus growers producing for the fresh market should always ensure their fruit’s peel remains unblemished and without defect. This will protect the fruit against infection and consumers choosing not to purchase the fruit. Mark Ritenour, professor of postharvest technology at the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, spoke during the recent Cold-Hardy Citrus Field Day at the …