Georgia Growers: Look Out for Lebbeck Mealybug

Jim Rogers Georgia, Pests

University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) specialists are alerting Georgia citrus growers about an invasive pest that’s impacting Florida’s crop. Lebbeck mealybugs have yet to navigate their way to Georgia. But it is only a matter of time, says Lauren Diepenbrock, UF/IFAS assistant professor and entomologist. “It’ll get up to Georgia probably. We’re doing our best …

Greening and Canker Concerns for Georgia Growers

Jim Rogers Diseases, Georgia

The recent Citrus Growers’ Summer Update in Valdosta, Georgia, provided growers another outlet to learn about two diseases — citrus greening and citrus canker — that could have serious ramifications on the industry’s future in Georgia. Jonathan Oliver, University of Georgia (UGA) assistant professor and small fruits pathologist, highlighted the seriousness of the discovery of both of the diseases in …

The Status of Satsuma Mandarins in Georgia

Jim Rogers Georgia, Mandarins, Varieties

Satsuma mandarins remain the predominant citrus variety produced in Georgia, but growers diversified more with their plantings this year. Jake Price, University of Georgia Extension coordinator, described the impact that growers could see with various citrus varieties now in place. He presented this information during the recent Citrus Growers’ Summer Update in Valdosta, Georgia. Price says the citrus industry in …

Georgia Citrus Association Emphasizing Food Safety

Jim Rogers Citrus, Food Safety, Georgia

One bad apple can spoil the bunch. The same can be said for Georgia citrus. That was the message shared by Beth Oleson, director of food safety and education for the Georgia Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association, during the Georgia Citrus Association’s (GCA) annual meeting on Feb. 28. She spoke with growers about food safety and applauded GCA’s leadership. “We …

HLB Update in Georgia

Jim Rogers Georgia, HLB Management

A small amount of citrus greening disease (huanglongbing or HLB) can escalate quickly if growers are not careful. Jonathan Oliver, University of Georgia (UGA) assistant professor and small fruits pathologist, cautioned producers about the disease during the recent Georgia Citrus Association meeting. “The issue is not widespread yet (in Georgia) for sure,” said Oliver. “We don’t think the vector is …

No More Satsumas: The Time Is Ripe to Diversify

Jim Rogers 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, …

Row Crop Farmers Starting to Grow Citrus

Jim Rogers 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 …

Georgia Grower Rapidly Reacts to HLB Find

Jim Rogers Georgia, HLB Management

By Lindy Savelle Earlier this year, a small grove owner in Grady County, Georgia, noticed some odd-looking trees in his grove. The leaves, having an asymmetrical discoloration, appeared to be nutritionally deficient. In an attempt to remedy the problem, the grower reached out to the Grady County Extension office for help. The Extension agent began his quest to figure out …

Georgia Citrus Association Conference Coming Up

Jim Rogers Georgia, Nutrition, Organic, Production

The Georgia Citrus Association invites growers and industry members to its annual conference on Feb. 28 at the University of Georgia Tifton Campus Conference Center. The event will last from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and includes topics like regenerative farming, organic production, nutrient management, winter production and new varieties. “We’re super excited because we didn’t get to have the …

Georgia and Florida Citrus Avoid Major Freeze Damage

Jim Rogers Florida, Georgia, Weather

The Georgia and Florida citrus industries reportedly came through the Sunday morning freeze with no significant widespread damage. In Florida, temperatures in the 20s were the coldest most groves had experienced in several years. “Everything looks good,” said Lindy Savelle, president of the Georgia Citrus Association. “We got some burn on the top of trees, but very little.” Most of …

Why She Grows Citrus in Georgia

Jim Rogers Georgia, Mandarins

When Lindy Savelle ended her career in federal law enforcement, including stints overseas, she and her husband decided to move back to land they owned in South Georgia. They researched different crops they might grow and settled on citrus. She tells her story in a recent Grower Talks Podcast produced by the Georgia Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association. “Citrus is …

Georgia Citrus: Varieties and History

Ernie Neff Georgia

University of Georgia (UGA) plant breeder Wayne Hanna released three seedless citrus trees in 2016. All carry the brand name “Frost” to identify them as UGA products. There is a tangerine (Sweet Frost), a lemon (Grand Frost) and a grapefruit (Pink Frost). Earlier this year, the trio became a quartet with the addition of a navel orange (Southern Frost). Hanna says …

What to Consider Before Planting More Satsumas in Georgia

Tacy Callies Georgia

Georgia’s citrus production could flood the market in less than three years. By 2024, there is projected to be more than 59 million pounds of citrus ready for harvest, says Jake Price, University of Georgia Extension coordinator for Lowndes County. That is compared to the 8.4 million pounds that is ready for harvest this year. Price explains there is an …

UGA Lab Offers Free Testing for Citrus Greening

Tacy Callies Georgia

The University of Georgia (UGA) Plant Molecular Diagnostic Lab is a key resource for Georgia citrus growers hoping to stay sustainable. While it is a fee-based service lab for the UGA Department of Plant Pathology, it provides free testing for citrus producers concerned about citrus greening, says Jonathan Oliver, UGA assistant professor and small fruits pathologist. “The diagnostic lab here …

acp

Psyllid Management Key for Georgia Growers

Tacy Callies Georgia, HLB Management

The Asian citrus psyllid (ACP) is not yet well established in Georgia. University of Georgia (UGA) assistant professor and small fruits pathologist Jonathan Oliver wants to keep it that way. The ACP vectors citrus greening disease (HLB), which has decimated Florida’s citrus production. Oliver encourages producers to scout their groves regularly to avoid a similar fate happening in Georgia. “It’s …

Will Georgia Fruit Have a Home?

Tacy Callies Georgia

Citrus acreage in Georgia continues to increase. While it didn’t double like it did in 2020, it still increased by 50%, says Jake Price, University of Georgia Lowndes County Extension coordinator. During a citrus growers’ summer update meeting on Aug. 25 in Lowndes County, Price said that Georgia’s citrus acreage has ballooned to 2,700 acres in 46 counties. The state …

Georgia Citrus Industry Ripening

Tacy Callies Georgia

One Georgia grower sees citrus as an emerging industry in Georgia with huge potential. Justin Corbett even compares it to another popular crop that’s dominated the state’s fruit landscape. “I think it has the potential to be a big industry. I compare it to blueberries 10 or 15 years ago. I just hope we don’t follow the same path they …

Georgia Citrus Conference to Be Online

Ernie Neff Georgia

Due to COVID-19, the 2021 Georgia Citrus Association (GCA) Conference will not be held in person. Instead, the GCA is launching a new website and membership platform. This state-of-the-art tool will allow members to view presentations by experts at any time. Topics include weed management, citrus diseases and disorders, testing for diseases, precision agriculture, crop insurance, cold protection and the …

Georgia Owari Rootstock Trial Update

Ashley Robinson Georgia, Rootstocks

Ongoing citrus rootstock trials being conducted by the University of Georgia (UGA) hold promise for Georgia’s growing citrus industry. Jake Price, UGA Extension agent and Lowndes County Extension coordinator, has produced six local citrus rootstock/variety trials with varying objectives. The oldest trial, planted in 2014, is growing Owari satsuma trees on standard and new trifoliate hybrid rootstocks. Each year, as …