Citrus Administrative Committee

Nominations Needed for Florida’s Citrus Administrative Committee

Daniel Cooper Fresh, Regulation

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is seeking nominees for 10 grower members and 10 alternate members for the Citrus Administrative Committee (CAC). The committee is also accepting nominations for a public member and public alternate. Nominations will be accepted through April 16. Voting will take place April 23 at a nomination meeting via Zoom. The CAC administers a federal …


A Fresh Approach

Daniel Cooper CRAFT, Fresh, Packing

Despite the challenges of the Florida citrus industry, Feek Family Citrus continues to successfully grow, pack and ship fresh fruit. In an effort to discourage his son from working in the citrus business, Doug Feek’s father gave him all the worst jobs to do in the family’s small grove. “He wanted me to save my back and work a desk …


Proposal to Increase Florida Fresh Citrus Assessment

Daniel Cooper Florida, Fresh, Regulation

The federal marketing order assessment rate for fresh Florida oranges, grapefruit, tangerines and pummelos would increase under a rule proposed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Marketing Service. The proposed rule would increase the assessment rate for the 2023–24 fiscal year and subsequent fiscal periods from $0.015 to $0.02 per 4/5-bushel carton or equivalent for Florida citrus handled under …


Waxing the Right Way

Daniel Cooper Fresh

An article about citrus waxing was recently published by Citrus Australia. The article, written by John Golding, a research horticulturist with the New South Wales Department of Primary Industries, is summarized here. Waxing citrus can help maintain quality and enhance the fruit’s appearance. However, using the wrong type of wax or applying an excessively thick layer can overly restrict gas …


U.S. Fresh Oranges Up; OJ Down in 2022–23

Daniel Cooper Fresh, Orange Juice, Production

The fresh-market orange crop in the United States rose 2% in 2022–23 compared to the prior year, to 1.44 million tons, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Economic Research Service reported this fall. The increase was due to larger navel orange and early/midseason crops in California and Texas. FRESH FRUIT PRICES FALL With increased supply, grower prices for fresh oranges were …

citrus crop forecast

Congressmen Urge USDA to Buy California Navels

Daniel Cooper California Corner, Fresh

Four California congressmen recently asked U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Thomas Vilsack to have the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) buy $100 million worth of California navels. The orange purchase would help alleviate the impacts of storms. The letter from Congressmen Jim Costa, David Valadao, Doug LaMalfa and Josh Harder follows: We write in support of the Section 32 request submitted …

New Decay Control Options on the Horizon for Florida Citrus

Josh McGill Fresh, 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 …

MRL Compliance Crucial for Citrus Exporters

Josh McGill California 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 …

Social Media to Promote Florida Gift Fruit

Josh McGill Florida Department of Citrus, Fresh

The majority of the Florida Department of Citrus’ (FDOC) $58,200 budget for gift fruit marketing in 2023–24 will fund promoted social media content. FDOC Global Marketing Manager Katelynn Long told the Gift Fruit Shippers Advisory Council Oct. 11 that the budget also includes influencer partnerships, media relations releases and content development and administration. Long said the FDOC plans to focus …

Breeder Discusses New Fresh Citrus Varieties

Josh McGill Fresh, Varieties

In a virtual presentation, plant breeder Jude Grosser discussed recently released citrus varieties that might work well in the fresh fruit market. Grosser is a professor at the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences’ (UF/IFAS) Citrus Research and Education Center. Here’s a look at some of the varieties he addressed: MANDARINSGrosser described Marathon as the “best option” …

Pummelos Exempted From Florida Marketing Order

Josh McGill Fresh, Regulation

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) on March 9 announced a change to the Florida citrus marketing order that exempts pummelos from all marketing order requirements. The change was made at the recommendation of the Citrus Administrative Committee (CAC), which administers the order. The committee, comprised primarily of growers and handlers of fresh citrus, made the recommendation …

advisory committee

Orange County Schools Seek Fresh Produce

Josh McGill Fresh

Orange County Public Schools (OCPS) in Florida are seeking growers to join the Farm to School Partner Program. The program provides students access to nutritious, high-quality, local fruits and vegetables throughout the school year. Set to begin August 2023, the program runs through July 2025. OCPS is looking for a variety of produce items. Desired citrus items are grapefruit, lemons, …

Peel Protection Key for Citrus Growers

Josh McGill Cold 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 …

Display Day Draws Good Crowd

Josh McGill Fresh, Orange Juice, Varieties

Fruit display days are an integral part of the citrus breeding process. The evaluations provided by participants give important feedback on the taste, appearance, texture and overall desirability of the fruit sampled whether it be for juice or the fresh market. The University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) hosted a display on Nov. 14 at the …

Citrus Breeding Discussed During Field Day

Josh McGill Breeding, CUPS, Fresh

The focus of citrus breeding at the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) differs for fruit produced for the juice market vs. fruit for the fresh market. Citrus breeder Jude Grosser, a UF/IFAS professor of plant cell genetics, spoke during the Cold-Hardy Citrus Field Day at the North Florida Research and Education Center in Quincy on …

USDA Invites Bids to Sell Fresh Oranges

Josh McGill Fresh

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) recently invited offers to sell significant quantities of fresh oranges for use in the National School Lunch Program and other federal food and nutrition assistance programs. Deliveries of various sizes to several states are to be made at different dates between Jan. 2, 2023, and March 29, 2023. The contract specialist handling this purchase …

Cold-Hardy Growers Learn About Fruit Sales

Josh McGill Fresh, Marketing, sales

Growers in Florida’s central and southern citrus belts have long been familiar with ways to market and get paid for their fruit. But those elements of the citrus business are not so familiar in North Florida and South Georgia, where citrus is a relatively new enterprise for many. Some groves in that area are just being harvested for the first …

Gift Fruit Marketing Plan Set

Josh McGill Florida Department of Citrus, Fresh, Marketing

The Gift Fruit Shippers Advisory Council on Sept. 22 agreed with a Florida Department of Citrus (FDOC)-recommended marketing program that includes driving consumers to the Florida Gift Fruit website. The program will begin in early November and conclude in mid-February with a strong focus on gift-giving messaging. This will come to life through social channels via organic and paid social …

Reminders on Requirements for Fruit Movement

Josh McGill Diseases, Fresh, Regulation

Florida’s fresh citrus industry was recently reminded of federal requirements for movement of fruit from some disease quarantine areas to contiguous states and to the European Union (EU). The reminders came from Paul Mears with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) during Citrus Packinghouse Day. Mears is the Florida Citrus Health Response Program (CHRP) …

Packinghouse Day Featured Updates and Award

Josh McGill Awards, Events, Fresh

Over 60 citrus industry representatives gathered Aug. 25 for the 61st annual Packinghouse Day at the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) Citrus Research and Education Center in Lake Alfred. They heard updates on H-2A visa options for packinghouse workforce needs, an overview of citrus fruit export requirements and an update on food safety auditing. Faculty …