Now Is the Time to Watch for PFD

Ernie NeffPFD

With bloom breaking out in Florida citrus groves, plant pathologist Megan Dewdney recommended growers keep an eye out for postbloom fruit drop (PFD). Dewdney works for the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) Citrus Research and Education Center (CREC) in Lake Alfred.  “We have actually observed some diseased flowers,” Dewdney said March 3 at an OJ …

Growers Talk About Valencias, PFD and Nutrition

Ernie NeffPFD

Highlands County Extension director and citrus agent Laurie Hurner discussed Valencia oranges, postbloom fruit drop (PFD) and nutrition in summarizing a recent grower forum she hosted.   “I think that the overarching feeling (of growers) is positive,” Hurner said. “It seems that Valencias are coming on strong; everybody’s seeing a good crop that’s hanging on the tree. So I think we’ll …


PFD Threat Nears

Ernie NeffPFD

“Postbloom fruit drop (PFD) season is coming upon us fairly quickly,” plant pathologist Megan Dewdney said in summarizing a presentation she made Jan. 16 in Immokalee, Florida. “Growers should be planning on keeping an eye on the rain forecast … how much bloom they are having now, how much bloom they’ll have in two (to) three weeks, and keeping an …


Lake Wales Grower Discusses Foot Rot and PFD

Ernie NeffDiseases, PFD

Lake Wales citrus grower Frank Thullbery, 88, says groves in his area have suffered badly from foot rot, or phytophthora, in recent years. He has also struggled with postbloom fruit drop (PFD). “I’ve seen half of the groves gone bad from foot rot, and a lot of people are not replacing their trees when they pull them out,” Thullbery says. …

Florida orange

More Fruit, Better Tree Health in Highlands County

Ernie NeffCitrus Greening, fruit, PFD

Echoing comments from growers in some citrus-growing regions in southern Florida, Highlands County citrus Extension agent Laurie Hurner says Highlands County appears to have more fruit and better tree health this year. “It’s interesting. You drive up and down Highway 27, and there is a lot more fruit out there, I think,” says Hurner, who is also the Highlands County …

Nutrition, PFD

Grower Optimism on Tree Health

Ernie NeffNutrition, PFD

Several growers participating in a forum in Sebring on March 9 said trees are looking better this year than last year. They also agreed that postbloom fruit drop (PFD), a major problem last season, has not yet been a big issue this season. Grower Aaron Himrod of Himrod Citrus Nursery, a forum participant, says good tree condition and high fruit …

Psyllids, PFD

New Highlands President on PFD, Psyllids and More

Ernie NeffHLB 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 …

Will You Be Ready for Postbloom Fruit Drop?

Tacy CalliesDiseases, PFD

By Megan M. Dewdney Again in 2016, postbloom fruit drop (PFD) caused widespread problems in Florida groves. There were multiple factors that contributed to the outbreak in 2016. The primary factor was likely the extended bloom that many saw because of a combination of tree stress caused by huanglongbing (HLB) and the very warm winter. Bloom in some groves was …


Pathologist to Tackle HLB and Other Diseases

Ernie NeffCitrus 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 …


Brazilian Discusses Postbloom Fruit Drop

Ernie NeffPFD

Geraldo Silva, a scientist with Fundecitrus in Brazil, shared thoughts about postbloom fruit drop (PFD) and its control at a recent seminar in Arcadia. Silva says Brazilians assume that the PFD inoculum is present in groves at all times, because consecutive days of rain can bring on a PFD outbreak 10 years after a previous outbreak. “We can have a …


Florida on Cusp of Potential PFD Season

Ernie NeffPFD

The timing was perhaps impeccable for a seminar in Arcadia on February 8 that focused on postbloom fruit drop (PFD). Rain had fallen on Central Florida the night before, and some bloom is already on trees. That combination of rain and bloom has led to major PFD outbreaks in recent years. “There’s some bloom out there already,” says University of …

A Holistic Approach to Production

Tacy CalliesCitrus 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 …

Valencias PFD

Growers Discuss Bactericides, Nutrition and More

Ernie NeffBactericides, Nutrition, PFD

A handful of citrus growers discussed January bloom and postbloom fruit drop (PFD), bactericides, nutrition and replanting strategies at a grower forum in Sebring on January 12. Laurie Hurner, Highlands County Extension director and citrus Extension agent, summarizes the discussions. “We are looking at areas where we’ve got bloom coming on. That is a little bit nerve-wracking for January,” Hurner …


Postbloom Fruit Drop: It’s All About Timing

Ernie NeffPFD

Postbloom fruit drop (PFD) in recent years has caused many Florida citrus growers as much, or almost as much, anguish as HLB. The Citrus Research and Development Foundation (CRDF) in December approved an extension of PFD research begun in 2016. CRDF Chief Operations Officer Harold Browning discusses PFD and the research. “Progressively the last several years, PFD has increased in …

fruit size, pfd

Grower: Small Fruit Size, PFD Are Issues

Ernie NeffEconomics, PFD

Grower and harvester Charles Wilson of Lake Placid was among those sharing information at a citrus grower forum in Sebring on November 10. “There seems to be a pretty good fruit set blossom unaffected by PFD (postbloom fruit drop),” Wilson says. “But the fruit size is extremely small … and that’s going to definitely affect our yield.” “I see PFD …


Some Growers ‘Being Squeezed More than Others’ by HLB

Ernie NeffBactericides, HLB Management, PFD

Citrus Extension agent Steve Futch answers questions following a grower forum in Arcadia on October 27. Growers discussed production, bactericides for HLB and much more. The forum opened with one grower saying he doesn’t know how much longer he can keep going. Another reported per-acre orange production of 450 to 500 boxes in some blocks – a superb level in …

PFD control

Postbloom Fruit Drop Control: Timing Is Key

Ernie NeffCitrus Expo, Citrus Greening, PFD

Timing of fungicide sprays is the key to controlling the postbloom fruit drop (PFD) that caused many Florida citrus growers severe problems this year. That was a central message that University of Florida researcher Natalia Peres delivered at Citrus Expo this summer. In this interview, Peres discusses the keys to proper spray timing, starting with bloom. Peres says longer bloom …

Crop size, PFD

Joe Davis Jr. Predicts Orange Crop Size; Discusses PFD Impact

Ernie NeffBactericides, Citrus Greening, Forecast, PFD

Grower Joe Davis Jr., a panelist at a Peace River Valley Citrus Growers Association gathering Thursday, says he expects a Florida orange crop of 61 to 70 million boxes this season. Last season’s Florida orange crop was 81.5 million boxes. “Our groves are down,” Davis says. “We’re guessing that earlies and mids will probably be down about 10 percent, and …

PFD, HLB, Crop

Peace River Growers Discuss Citrus Issues

Ernie NeffBactericides, Citrus Greening, PFD

Six citrus growers shared their views on a wide range of topics with about 50 fellow producers at a Peace River Valley Citrus Growers Association (PRVCGA) gathering Thursday in Bowling Green. PRVCGA Executive Director LeAnna Himrod, who posed questions for the panelists, summarizes the discussions by topic. Crop size: “I think that everyone’s expecting it to be lower than last …


Trees Look Good but PFD and HLB Will Impact Yield

Ernie NeffCitrus Greening, PFD

Several citrus growers attending a grower forum in Sebring last week said groves are looking very good even though fruit production is expected to be low this season. John Barben, a Highlands County grower and the new president of Florida Citrus Mutual, summarized the situation. “Trees are looking good,” Barben said. “We had a lot of rain the last couple …