Peel Protection Key for Citrus Growers

Jim Rogers 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

Jim Rogers 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

Jim Rogers 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

Jim Rogers 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

Jim Rogers 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

Jim Rogers 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

Jim Rogers 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

Jim Rogers 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 …

Packinghouse Day Is Aug. 25

Jim Rogers Events, Florida, Fresh

Fresh citrus growers, packers and shippers will meet for Citrus Packinghouse Day on Aug. 25 at the Citrus Research and Education Center’s (CREC) Ben Hill Griffin Hall in Lake Alfred, Florida. They will hear the most current information about food safety, worker visa options and other topics related to fresh fruit handling and transport. The free event will include exhibitors …

january

European Orange Crop to Decline

Jim Rogers Fresh, International, Production

European Union (EU) orange production is projected at 6.1 million metric tons (MMT), down from 6.5 MMT in 2020–21, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) reported recently. The decrease is driven by moderate production declines in Spain and Italy, which combined account for nearly 80% of total EU orange output. PLANTED AREA The forecast for total EU …

Orange and OJ Production Rise in Turkey

Jim Rogers Fresh, International, Orange Juice

Orange and orange juice (OJ) production levels in Turkey are forecast to be higher in 2021–22 than in 2020–21, according to a recent U.S. Department of Agriculture Foreign Agricultural Service (USDA/FAS) update. Orange production is now expected to be 1.75 million metric tons (MMT), compared to 1.3 MMT the prior year. OJ production is projected at 10,000 metric tons (MT) …

Strong Season for Citrus Grower

Jim Rogers Fresh, Production, Weather

“The local market has improved since last season,” says citrus grower Chip Henry. “I’ve gained customers, and existing ones are buying more. When people know the fruit is being harvested, they seek out that local supply and want to support their local farmers.” Henry grows 12 acres of organic Valencias at McGuire Groves in Apopka, Florida, and sells his fruit …

CUPS Grower: ‘It Is a Calculated Risk’

Jim Rogers CUPS, Fresh

Although it was National OJ Day, the Southwest Florida Small Farmers Network held its spring meeting May 4 at a Polk County facility growing citrus for the fresh market. The Story Companies and Dundee Citrus Growers Association (CGA) conducted a tour of Story’s 11-acre citrus under protective screen (CUPS) pod. The Story pod is one of numerous such pods at …

Citrus Administrative Committee to Hold Nomination Meeting

Jim Rogers Events, Fresh, Regulation

A nomination meeting for the Citrus Administrative Committee (CAC) will be held via Zoom at 10 a.m. on April 21. The meeting may be accessed here. Nominations for all grower districts, as well as a shipper/handler meeting, will be conducted. The CAC Nominating Committee has offered a draft slate for consideration, but additional nominations are encouraged and can be offered …

Survey Seeks Input on Fresh Fruit Decay

Ernie Neff Fresh

Florida growers, packers and shippers of fresh fruit are being asked to take a survey that will help guide programs addressing fresh fruit decay. University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences researcher Mark Ritenour said he’d like as many survey responses as possible by mid-November. Ritenour said funding has been provided from a Florida Citrus Packers/U.S. Department of …

Fresh Citrus Production, Imports and Exports

Ernie Neff Fresh

U.S. citrus production for the fresh market was estimated at 3.45 million tons in 2020-21, down 6% from the previous season, with smaller fresh-market crops of oranges (down 11%), grapefruit (down 15%) and lemons (down 6%). The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Economic Research Service reported the production levels in September. ORANGES DOWNRepresenting just under half of all U.S. citrus production …

Fresh Florida Citrus Marketing Order Continued

Ernie Neff Fresh, Marketing

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) recently announced that fresh citrus producers voted to continue the marketing order regulating the handling of oranges, grapefruit, tangerines and pummelos grown in Florida. The marketing order requires a continuance referendum be held every six years. In a referendum held Oct. 19 to Nov. 9, 2020, 99 percent of Florida producers, representing 94 percent …

Sending Fresh Citrus out of Florida

Tacy Callies Fresh, Tip of the Week

By Mark A. Ritenour The holiday season is a busy time for sending friends and family thoughtful gifts. For Floridians, the abundance of fresh produce during the winter months motivates many to share the experience with others. This is especially true for fresh citrus. Florida’s citrus gift fruit shippers have been supplying such treats for decades. With COVID-19 and a …

Obtaining Optimal Peel Color of Fresh Florida Citrus

Tacy Callies Fresh

By Mark A. Ritenour and Fernando Alferez Color development in citrus during fruit maturation is a complex process that involves chemical and physiological changes. This includes chlorophyll (green pigments) breakdown and carotenoid (orange and yellow pigments) biosynthesis. The final color of each citrus variety mainly depends on the final composition of carotenoids, with citrus being among the richest fruit sources …

Florida’s Gift Fruit Industry Remains Resilient

Tacy Callies Fresh

Gift fruit shippers occupy just a small niche in Florida citrus, but the sector’s value to the industry is more than annual sales. For anyone seeking a taste of Florida citrus, regardless of where they are in the United States, gift fruit can be shipped with just a few clicks online or a simple telephone call to a Florida gift …