Safeguarding Citrus Stock

Tacy Callies Citrus Greening, Regulation

By Georgios Vidalakis On March 30, 2007, I received a memorable phone call in my office at the University of California (UC), Riverside. “Georgios,” said the caller, “The 2008 Farm Bill will establish the National Clean Plant Network (NCPN) for specialty crops. This program will be like no other because it will be driven from the ground up. The system …

Psyllids, PFD

New Highlands President on PFD, Psyllids and More

Ernie Neff HLB Management, PFD

Billy Barben, new president for the Highlands County Citrus Growers Association (HCCGA), says he is optimistic that new fertilizer programs and future genetic trees “will give us hope in the future.” Barben, whose brothers, Bobby and John, have also served the association as president, says, “I’m more of the dirt guy in my family.” As a grower, he has opinions …

HLB, breeding

An Update on Breeding Against HLB

Ernie Neff Citrus Greening, Genetic Engineering, HLB Management

University of Florida researcher Jude Grosser recently discussed a broad range of research aimed at mitigating the effects of HLB during an OJ Break in Sebring. Among topics he covered are the possibility of windbreaks that kill HLB-spreading Asian citrus psyllids, and progress on trees that are HLB resistant or tolerant. Regarding psyllid-killing windbreaks, he says, “We do have a …


Pathologist to Tackle HLB and Other Diseases

Ernie Neff Citrus Greening, HLB Management, PFD

Ozgur Batuman, a new citrus plant pathologist at the Southwest Florida Research and Education Center, discusses the diseases he’ll work on. “I am planning to of course tackle some of the more pressing issues that citrus growers are facing these days, one of them being huanglongbing (HLB), and confronting its vector, Asian citrus psyllid,” he says. He will also research …

bactericides survey

‘It’s Not a Pretty Picture,’ Industry Leader Tells State Senators

Ernie Neff Citrus Greening, Legislative

On February 21, leaders of three key Florida citrus organizations acquainted the Florida Senate’s Agriculture Committee with the issues facing the citrus industry. They summarize their presentations: “It’s not a pretty picture,” says Florida Citrus Mutual CEO Mike Sparks. He describes the huge production losses and increased costs that HLB disease has created. “Right now our whole future revolves around …

HLB, microbiology

Soil Microbiologist Discusses Work

Ernie Neff HLB Management, Research

Sarah Strauss became a University of Florida soil microbiologist at the Southwest Florida Research and Education Center at Immokalee in late May 2016. She discusses the ways she hopes to help citrus growers. “There’s a lot of exciting things in soil microbiology,” Strauss says. “There’s a lot of new technology that we didn’t have just five years ago. And so …


Micronutrients for Root Health and HLB

Ernie Neff Citrus Greening, HLB Management, Nutrition

University of Florida researcher Jude Grosser, best known for his work on citrus breeding, has become a champion of micronutrients to improve root health and battle HLB. At a recent Highlands County OJ Break, he discussed the use of micronutrients, including why he got involved. “I guess just like any farmer, you don’t like watching your plants get sick and …

Continuing a Legacy of Leadership

Tacy Callies Citrus, Citrus Greening, Citrus Health Management Areas, Regulation

By Tacy Callies Callie Walker comes from a long line of Florida farmers. In 1875, her family set up homestead in Alva. Her father, uncles, grandfather and great-grandfather have been involved in a diversity of agricultural fields including citrus, cattle, sugar cane, vegetables and row crops. “My dad and his three brothers still run the family operation — citrus and …

HLB, irrigation, nutrition

New Indian River Researcher to Aid in HLB Fight

Ernie Neff HLB Management, Irrigation, Nutrition

Rhuanito “Johnny” Ferrarezi, a new citrus horticulture scientist at the Indian River Research and Education Center near Fort Pierce, discusses his research plans. “I’m going to be focusing on irrigation, plant nutrition and cultural practices to improve our current practices and try to maximize plant survival under greening conditions,” he says. Most of his attention will be on Indian River …

Effective and Economical Psyllid Spray Programs

Tacy Callies Citrus, Citrus Greening, HLB Management

By Phil Stansly Effective control of Asian citrus psyllid (ACP) has been a challenge for many Florida growers these last two years. Possible explanations include warmer, wetter weather in winter, fewer insecticide sprays being applied and a possible increase in insecticide resistance. There is little doubt that weather-induced flush the last two winters has provided extra food and refuge for …

HLB, Replanting

Nurseryman Discusses HLB and Replanting Choices

Ernie Neff HLB Management, Rootstocks, Scions

As a member of a grower panel at the recent Florida Citrus Show in Fort Pierce, nurseryman Nate Jameson shared his thoughts on coping with HLB, choosing trees for replanting and more. The owner of Brite Leaf Citrus Nursery summarizes his presentation, starting with questions growers have for nurserymen. “I think the number-one question that we get is, ‘What tree …


Bayer and CRDF Explore Partnership Possibilities

Ernie Neff Bactericides, Citrus Greening, HLB Management

Bayer CropScience on January 24 told the Citrus Research and Development Foundation (CRDF) board about its proposed long-term efforts to find solutions to HLB. Bayer seeks CRDF funding for the effort, but the funding amount was not publicly discussed at the January meeting. CRDF Chief Operations Officer Harold Browning summarizes the discussions. “We’re looking at how to take bigger steps …

A Holistic Approach to Production

Tacy Callies Citrus Greening, PFD

By Owen “Sonny” Conner EDITOR’S NOTE: Citrus Industry magazine is providing a platform for growers to express their experiences and share their stories as we unite in the quest to fight HLB and bring the citrus industry back to a healthy condition. The views stated in this article are those of the author and do not represent those of AgNet …


Hancock on HLB: ‘I Think We’re Winning a Few Battles’

Ernie Neff Citrus Greening, HLB Management

Ned Hancock, a citrus grower and Florida citrus commissioner, shares thoughts about HLB, including the lack of consumer awareness of the disease and how growers are coping. At the Florida Citrus Commission meeting on January 18, the Florida Department of Citrus staff reported that only 1 percent of American consumers are aware of HLB. Hancock says he would have been …

citrus greening

USDA Invests in Citrus Greening Research

Daniel Cooper Citrus Greening, Industry News Release

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) today announced four grants totaling more than $13.6 million to combat a scourge on the nation’s citrus industry, citrus greening disease, aka huanglongbing. The funding is made possible through NIFA’s Specialty Crop Research Initiative Citrus Disease Research and Extension Program, authorized by the 2014 Farm Bill. Sponsored …


Citrus Greening, Invasive Species Head 2016 UF/IFAS Stories

Daniel Cooper Citrus, HLB Management, Industry News Release

A trio of projects aimed at helping Florida producers cope with the bacterial disease known as citrus greening topped the list of stories shared by the University of Florida/Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) in 2016. This year marked the beginning of the state’s second decade battling greening disease, which is also known as huanglongbing or HLB. Other top …

Fast Track

Grower/Nurseryman Suggests Fast Track Changes

Ernie Neff Citrus Greening, Rootstocks, Scions

Nurseryman and citrus grower Phil Rucks was one of several industry members offering input on the Fast Track program on January 5 at the Citrus Research and Education Center in Lake Alfred. Fast Track lets citrus growers and nurseries access experimental University of Florida/Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) fresh citrus selections much earlier than was previously possible. Among …


How Negative Results in HLB Research Can Help Growers

Ernie Neff Citrus Greening, HLB Management

“Everyone wants to see positive results when we do a test” to see if something helps battle HLB, says Harold Browning, chief operations officer of the Citrus Research and Development Foundation. But, he adds, “not everything we test … is going to be able to solve this problem for us, though it may contribute in a small way.” He made …

Citrus Grower Goes Undercover

Tacy Callies HLB Management

Ed Pines’ solution to citrus greening is to grow fruit in a citrus undercover production system. By Catalina Pines “It’s said that necessity is the mother of all invention, and today I toured one way the citrus industry is fighting back against greening,” said Florida Commissioner of Agriculture Adam Putnam on Twitter after touring Precision Citrus on September 23. In …

citrus crop forecast

Citrus Pest Concerns California Industry

Daniel Cooper Citrus, HLB Management, Industry News Release

California recently passed a state law designed to combat the spread of an Asian citrus pest. All citrus loads transported through California now must be covered, no matter where it’s coming from or where it’s headed. Sponsored ContentProtect Your Groves From Citrus LeafminerMay 29, 2023Application Tips to Protect Your Operation from Fire AntsMay 1, 2023Celebrating 50 Years of GrowthJanuary 1, …