Mexfly Actions Taken in Texas

Jim Rogers Pests, Regulation, Texas

Federal and state authorities recently established one Mexican fruit fly (Mexfly) quarantine in Texas and expanded another. The actions were taken by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) and the Texas Department of Agriculture (TDA). On April 8, the agencies established a Mexfly quarantine in Weslaco, Hidalgo County, Texas. They established the Weslaco quarantine …

Mexfly Quarantines Expanded in Texas

Jim Rogers Pests, Regulation, Texas

Federal and state agriculture agencies on March 22 established a new Mexican fruit fly (Mexfly) quarantine in Zapata County, Texas, and expanded the Brownsville and Harlingen quarantine areas in Cameron County. On March 30, the agencies expanded the Palmview quarantine area in Hidalgo County. The actions were taken by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service …

Assessing the Safety of a Water Distribution System

Jim Rogers Irrigation, Regulation, Tip of the Week

By Taylor O’Bannon, Matt Krug and Michelle Danyluk The U.S. Food and Drug Administration recently proposed changes to the pre-harvest Agricultural Water (Subpart E) section of the Food Safety Modernization Act Produce Safety Rule (PSR). Removing the annual water distribution system inspection is not one of the proposed changes. Rather, water testing for generic E. coli and developing a microbial …

Citrus Administrative Committee to Hold Nomination Meeting

Jim Rogers Events, Fresh, Regulation

A nomination meeting for the Citrus Administrative Committee (CAC) will be held via Zoom at 10 a.m. on April 21. The meeting may be accessed here. Nominations for all grower districts, as well as a shipper/handler meeting, will be conducted. The CAC Nominating Committee has offered a draft slate for consideration, but additional nominations are encouraged and can be offered …

Increased Labor Law Enforcement in Southeast

Jim Rogers Agriculture, Labor, Regulation

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division is continuing its multi-year education and enforcement initiative to increase compliance with federal labor laws in the Southeast’s agriculture industry. In addition to enforcement activity, the initiative provides compliance assistance to employers and educates workers and other stakeholders. The division and industry stakeholders in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, …

Florida Research Order Referendum Slated for May

Jim Rogers Citrus, Regulation, Research

Florida citrus growers will be asked to vote in a May referendum whether to maintain the Florida Research Order. The order was established in 1992 to support efforts by the industry — through the creation of the Florida Citrus Production Research Advisory Council (FCPRAC) — to develop solutions to production challenges. The research order has a six-year cycle and is …

Texas Mexfly Quarantine Expanded

Jim Rogers Pests, Regulation

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (USDA APHIS) and the Texas Department of Agriculture (TDA) expanded the Mexican fruit fly (Mexfly) quarantine in Harlingen, Cameron County, Texas. This expansion follows confirmed detections from Feb. 3 to Feb. 28 of 15 Mexfly adults in citrus at various residential sites. As a result of the detections, the …

Sweet Orange Scab and Citrus Canker Movement Conditions Revised

Tacy Callies Diseases, Regulation

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) has revised the conditions for interstate movement of citrus fruit from areas quarantined for both sweet orange scab (Elsinöe australis, SOS) and citrus canker (Xanthomonas axonopodis, CC). The revisions allow for the movement of fruit to packinghouses located in contiguous states that are not quarantined for either disease. …

Florida Orange Ratio and Brix Requirements Reduced

Tacy Callies Florida, Regulation

In response to citrus damage from a late January freeze, the Florida Citrus Commission (FCC) on Feb. 3 lowered the minimum ratio requirement for oranges to 8.5:1 with a minimum Brix of 8 for fresh and processed fruit. Florida Citrus Mutual (FCM), the state’s largest citrus grower association, asked for the emergency action on Jan. 31. FCM CEO Mike Sparks …

citrus

Citrus Recovery Act Seeks to Update Florida Citrus Commission

Jim Rogers Florida, Florida Citrus Commission, Regulation

It is set to be a busy legislative session for agricultural interests in Florida. One of the bills making its way through the process is SB 1002, the Citrus Recovery Act. Sen. Danny Burgess (R-District 20) introduced the bill to amend the Florida Citrus Commission (FCC). The FCC is the governing body of the Florida Department of Citrus. The Citrus …

Fertilizer Price Spike Highest Since Great Recession

Jim Rogers Economics, Regulation

During January’s Southeast Regional Fruit & Vegetable Conference in Savannah, Georgia, Daniel Tregeagle, an Extension economist with North Carolina State University, gave a presentation on economic and regulatory trends impacting citrus and specialty crop growers. MODEST MARKET GROWTHThe biggest blip on the proverbial economic radar has been COVID-19 and its continuing effects. Tregeagle noted these impacts mostly will be transient, …

United States to Accept Pummelos From Vietnam

Jim Rogers International, Regulation

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) has proposed that fresh pummelo fruit can be safely imported from Vietnam into the United States. The proposal is part of a pest risk assessment and risk management document that APHIS prepared. Vietnam’s Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Tran Thanh Nam said in early January that U.S. …

HLB Quarantines Established in Alabama

Tacy Callies HLB Management, Regulation

Effective immediately, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), in cooperation with the Alabama Department of Agriculture and Industries (ADAI), is establishing new quarantines for huanglongbing (HLB; citrus greening disease). The new quarantines are effective in all areas of Baldwin and Mobile counties in Alabama. APHIS is taking this action because of HLB detections in …

Agricultural Water Use Changes Proposed

Tacy Callies Regulation, Water

Taylor Langford O’Bannon, food safety Extension agent for the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS), shared information on the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) proposed changes to the Food Safety Modernization Act’s Produce Safety Rule. The changes pertain specifically to Subpart E (Agricultural Water). “The proposed changes, if finalized, will replace the pre-harvest microbial quality criteria and …

Heat Standard Could Negatively Impact Citrus

Tacy Callies Regulation, Safety

Potential rules protecting indoor and outdoor workers from hazardous heat could have significant ramifications for U.S. citrus growers. Growers and industry members can submit comments on or before Dec. 27 to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) about any concerns they may have. Imagine workers in a citrus grove enjoying 35- to 45-minute rest breaks every hour if the …

Florida orange

Chlorpyrifos Update: Ban Not in Effect Yet for Citrus

Ernie Neff Pesticides, Regulation

An update on the use of the insecticide chlorpyrifos in Florida citrus was provided in the November 2021 issue of Citrus from the Ridge to the Valley, the Central Florida citrus Extension newsletter. In August, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced it will stop the use of the insecticide on all food. Excerpts from the Extension newsletter’s discussion about the …

Updates From the Citrus Health Response Program

Ernie Neff Regulation

Callie Walker, chief of the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) Bureau of Pest Eradication and Control, recently provided an update on the Citrus Health Response Program. Topics she addressed include trip tickets, personnel and the citrus inspection database. Walker recommended reiterating to harvesters about the importance of trip tickets being filled out completely and accurately. Those with …

Paraquat Use Requires Certification

Ernie Neff Herbicides, Regulation

By Ajia Paolillo If you use herbicides containing paraquat dichloride in your citrus groves, you must be aware of the use certification requirements for this product. In 2016, certifications and training for using this herbicide were put into place following the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) risk mitigation requirements. Any person that uses paraquat must meet these requirements. The first requirement …

Florida Black Spot Quarantine Expands

Ernie Neff Diseases, Regulation

The citrus black spot (CBS) quarantine in Florida was recently expanded in five Southwest Florida counties by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS). APHIS added 37 sections in Charlotte County, 17 sections in Collier County, 45 sections in Glades County, 68 sections in Hendry County and 28 sections in Lee County to the quarantine …

COVID-19 Emergency Standards for California

Len Wilcox California Corner, COVID-19, Regulation

The California Department of Industrial Relations adopted emergency temporary standards to protect workers from hazards related to COVID-19. Pending approval by the Office of Administrative Law, the temporary standards will be in effect immediately. The emergency standards will undergo a lengthy review process before becoming permanent California Division of Occupational Safety and Health (Cal/OSHA) standards. The temporary standards apply to …