Behind Florida’s Production Decline

Ernie NeffProduction

In addition to recently projecting that Florida orange and red grapefruit production will likely decline for the foreseeable future, economist Tom Spreen provided some of the reasons. OLDER, LESS PRODUCTIVE TREESSpreen, University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences professor emeritus, cited an older tree inventory and declining fruit per tree as contributors to projected yield declines. He said … Read More

Grower: Young Trees Look ‘Outstanding’

Ernie NeffProduction

In the face of production declines, pest issues and other challenges, multi-county Florida citrus grower David Wheeler of Wheeler Farms found something positive to report. “One bright spot is the health of our young trees,” he said. “They look outstanding and have been on a good program with a rotation of insecticides.” Wheeler Farms’ more mature citrus trees aren’t doing … Read More

Florida Production Faces Further Decline

Ernie NeffForecast, Production


Florida orange and red grapefruit production, already at historically low levels, will likely decline for years, according to a leading citrus economist. Tom Spreen, University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences professor emeritus, calculated Florida crop output through the 2031-32 season based on various yield and tree replacement assumptions. Oranges and red grapefruit are Florida’s top-producing varieties.   … Read More

Improving Productivity in Australia

Ernie NeffProduction, Research

A new research and development program launched by Hort Innovation aims to arm growers in Australia with the tools they need to produce more fruit, including citrus, and nuts per hectare. Hort Innovation is a grower-owned, not-for-profit research and development corporation for the nation’s horticulture industry. ABOUT THE PROGRAMThe 5-year $28 million National Tree Crop Intensification in Horticulture Program will … Read More

Grower: Production Dips, but Still Profitable

Ernie NeffProduction

Hardee County, Florida, orange grower Kenny Sanders saw his orange production dip in the 2020-21 season compared to the prior year. However, he still made a good profit, thanks to strong fruit prices. “I went down from 400 boxes an acre to 308 boxes, which I can live with, but it’s not as nice,” Sanders said. “We had a good … Read More

Tweaking the Sunshine for Better Citrus Health and Yield

Tacy CalliesProduction

By Christopher Vincent, Anirban Guha, Joon Hyuk Suh and Yu Wang It may surprise you to learn that citrus trees can get too much sunshine in the Sunshine State. Manipulating the light environment around a plant can have several surprising benefits. Shade can suppress the HLB cycle and enhance citrus health and yield. Overall, a mildly shaded citrus plant is … Read More

Protecting Young Citrus Trees

Ashley RobinsonProduction

Newly planted citrus trees and resets require more care and attention than established trees to ensure establishment and proper growth. Many growers use tree wraps to protect the trunks of young trees. These protective wraps offer a layer of protection to the bark underneath and can be used during the winter season or year-round. Jake Price, University of Georgia Extension … Read More

Grower Sees Success With Oak Mulch

Ernie NeffProduction

Like several commercial Florida citrus growers, Ben Bateman of Brandon has noticed strong improvement in what he calls his “recreational grove” after applying oak mulch to the trees. Bateman planted 26 mixed-variety trees in large pots about six years ago, transplanting them to the ground five years ago. He said he spent nearly $1,000 on foliar nutrients “with little to … Read More

USDA Seeks Input to Increase Production

Ernie NeffIndustry News Release, Production

The U.S. Department of Agriculture is seeking public- and private-sector input on the most innovative technologies and practices that can be readily deployed across U.S. agriculture to further its work on the Agriculture Innovation Agenda. The agency is looking for ready-to-go technologies and practices to achieve its goal of increasing agricultural production by 40 percent to meet global population needs … Read More

Gibberellic Acid: Increase Fruit Size and Yield, Reduce Drop

Tacy CalliesProduction

By Tripti Vashisth and Megan Dewdney This article discusses the use of gibberellic acid (GA), the naturally occurring plant hormone, on huanglongbing (HLB)-affected trees. The results were generated from a 3-year trial in which Valencia trees were treated with GA in the fall. The outcomes suggest that GA can be effectively used for synchronizing and suppressing profuse flowering without negatively … Read More

U.S. Citrus Production Declines

Ernie NeffProduction

Citrus utilized production in the United States for the 2019-20 season totaled 7.78 million tons, down 4 percent from the 2018-19 season. The production figures come from the Citrus Fruits 2020 Summary, a U.S. Department of Agriculture National Agricultural Statistics Service document. California accounted for 54 percent of total U.S. citrus; Florida totaled 42 percent, and Texas and Arizona produced … Read More

Citrus Production Guide Available

Ernie NeffProduction

The 2020-2021 Florida Citrus Production Guide is now available. See the online version of the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences resource. Hard copies of the guide can be obtained at local UF/IFAS Extension county offices. Get the list of citrus Extension agents here. It is always best to email or call the agent ahead of time … Read More

Made in the Shade

Tacy CalliesCitrus, Production

Feral citrus growing in natural hammocks reveals insights about production and HLB. By Christopher Vincent and Anirban Guha Would you rather go outside in August and stand for a few hours in the sun or in the shade? It turns out citrus prefers the shade, too. In the past two years, we have been researching the health of citrus growing … Read More

Summer Tree Care Practices to Improve Fruit Quality and Yield

Tacy CalliesCitrus, Production

By Fernando Alferez and Tripti Vashisth As summer approaches and citrus trees bear developing fruit, growers can engage in several practices to improve fruit quality and yield. As temperatures rise and daylength increases, conditions are conducive for enhanced photosynthesis and accumulation of soluble sugars in the fruit. It is important to note that, in general, the temperature is negatively correlated … Read More

Fruit Drop of Citrus in Summer Months

Tacy CalliesProduction, Research

By Tripti Vashisth, Megan Dewdney and Lauren Diepenbrock This article summarizes what is known about summer fruit drop in healthy citrus trees and those with huanglongbing (HLB). Also discussed is how HLB can affect early fruit development and exacerbate fruit drop. Additionally, strategies to reduce summer fruit drop are included. Citrus flowers profusely, but less than 2 percent of the … Read More

Reduce Fruit Drop, Increase Yield

Tacy CalliesIndustry News Release, Production, Research

University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) citrus scientists Tripti Vashisth and Fernando Alferez are trying to reduce the amount of fruit drop from Hamlin and Valencia trees prior to harvest. If fruit drops, growers can’t harvest it, and that leads to losses for farmers and less fruit at the market for consumers. Normally, about 10 to … Read More

Update on Georgia Citrus Production

Tacy CalliesGeorgia, Production

The citrus industry in Georgia is quickly gaining ground. Extension agents from Fort Valley State University (FVSU), University of Georgia (UGA) and the University of Florida (UF) hosted a virtual conference on April 27 providing updates from UGA Extension on citrus production in Georgia. Topics discussed during the meeting included current citrus production numbers in Georgia, tree sources, yield forecasts … Read More

Production Benefits of Gibberellic Acid

Ernie NeffProduction


Gibberellic acid (GA), a plant growth regulator (PGR), has the potential to aid production. It can reduce citrus flowering, improve fruit size, reduce fruit drop and possibly improve tree health, says researcher Tripti Vashisth. Vashisth is a horticulturist with the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) at the Citrus Research and Education Center (CREC) in Lake … Read More

Fabric Mulch Groundcovers Save Water

Tacy CalliesProduction

By Sandra M. Guzmán New challenges require new solutions. This is especially true with water and nutrient management in Florida citrus. Currently, a University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) team is analyzing fabric mulch groundcovers for young lemon trees on a commercial scale. During the last year, the use of groundcovers has shown water savings of … Read More

North Florida Meeting Addresses Citrus Production Practices

Tacy CalliesProduction

By Clint Thompson Citrus was the focus of an annual meeting held in Quincy, Florida, on March 12. Growers from Florida and Georgia converged at the North Florida Research and Education Center to learn about various citrus management practices for the region. GROWER-GUIDED AGENDA Danielle Sprague, University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) Extension agent in Jefferson … Read More