Highlights From Citrus Packinghouse Day Presentations

Josh McGill Events, Packing

Trunk injection for HLB, diplodia stem-end rot (diplodia SER) and citrus under protective screen (CUPS) were among topics addressed at the recent Citrus Packinghouse Day. The event took place at the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) Citrus Research and Education Center (CREC). TRUNK INJECTION FOR HLBTrunk injection of oxytetracycline (OTC) increases tree health, fruit quality …

Citrus Packinghouse Day Is Aug. 24

Josh McGill Events, Packing

Topics of interest to Florida’s fresh citrus industry will be addressed at Citrus Packinghouse Day on Aug. 24 in Lake Alfred. The event will be held at the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) Citrus Research and Education Center. The free event in Ben Hill Griffin Hall will include an educational program, exhibitors and networking opportunities. …

Heller Bros. Packinghouse Closes

Josh McGill Packing

Heller Bros. Packing Corp.’s packinghouse in Winter Garden, Florida, has ceased operations. The 50,000-square-foot facility had operated since 1939. “It’s a big loss for the citrus industry. It’s a big loss for Winter Garden,” said Jim Garceau. His company, Orlando Citrus, bought fresh grapefruit, oranges and tangerines from Heller Bros. from 1992 to 2020. He sold the fruit to farmers’ …

Postharvest Water Requirements for Packers

Josh McGill Packing, Regulation, Tip of the Week

By Clara Diekman, Micah Gallagher, Taylor O’Bannon and Michelle Danyluk Compliance dates for all water associated with the Produce Safety Rule (PSR, Subpart E) has previously been delayed, pending completion of the rule. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced in the fall of 2022 that postharvest water requirements in the PSR will be enforced on large farms beginning …

Lake Region Packing Book Launched

Josh McGill History, Packing

Numerous former employees of Lake Region Packing Association (LRPA) and their families and citrus industry associates attended a Jan. 7 meeting in Tavares to launch a digital book about the association. The meeting was hosted by former Extension agent John Jackson, who worked in Tavares and knew many association grower members and employees for decades. Speakers included Jackson; the book’s …

Hunt Bros. Packinghouse Closing

Josh McGill Packing

The Hunt Bros. citrus packinghouse in Lake Wales will close for good at the end of this season, primarily due to the impacts of Hurricane Irma on company groves in 2017. The family-owned packinghouse opened in 1928. Frank Hunt III, an owner, discussed the closing in an April 22 letter to employees: “It was certainly our desire to keep it …

Florida Citrus Packinghouse Sold

Ernie Neff Packing

Indian River Exchange Packers (IREP) on Jan. 8 sold its Vero Beach, Florida, packinghouse to Diamond Drinks, a Pennsylvania drink manufacturing firm. The sales price was $4.5 million. “Diamond Drinks will convert the packinghouse into a private drink mixing and bottling company,” said IREP President George Hamner. “They will also extrude and sell plastic bottles.” IREP plans to continue packing …

Third Packer for Cold-Hardy Citrus

Ernie Neff Packing

A third packinghouse started packing fresh South Georgia and North Florida citrus in 2020. The newest packer, The Satsuma Company, is in Tifton, Georgia. The others, Corbett Brothers in Lake Park, Georgia, and Florida Georgia Citrus in Monticello, Florida, have been packing citrus since 2016. “I have visited all three facilities in South Georgia and North Florida,” said Lindy Savelle, …