Climate Outlook for the Southeast

Tacy CalliesWeather

University of Georgia Agricultural (UGA) Climatologist Pam Knox provided a climate outlook during a recent Georgia Citrus Update webinar. According to Knox, a strong La Niña is in place in the eastern Pacific Ocean, and the winds are now in sync with the ocean conditions. This signifies that La Niña is likely to continue through the winter months and into … Read More

Get the Science on Climate Change

Ernie NeffWeather

“Our climate is changing and, with that, comes more extreme events,” said Ashley Smyth, an assistant professor of soil and water science at the Tropical Research and Education Center in Homestead. The center is part of the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS). “Just look at the most recent hurricanes. As they cross the Gulf, they … Read More

Improved Weather Data at Growers’ Fingertips

Tacy CalliesWeather

weather

Weather is one of the most important factors affecting crop growth and production. The Florida Automated Weather Network (FAWN), a University of Florida-operated service, was created to assist growers in making decisions related primarily to irrigation scheduling and cold protection. Currently, the FAWN network operates 42 stations located from Jay to Homestead that record and report every 15 minutes on … Read More

Busy Hurricane Season Projected by NOAA

Ernie Neffhurricane, Weather

dorian

An above-normal 2020 Atlantic hurricane season is expected, according to forecasters with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Climate Prediction Center, a division of the National Weather Service. An above-average Atlantic hurricane season was also predicted more than a month earlier by both Colorado State University (CSU) hurricane researchers and AccuWeather. See those predictions. The NOAA outlook predicts a … Read More

Valencia Oranges Hit by Heavy Fruit Drop

Ernie NeffCOVID-19, Processing, Weather

Heavy fruit drop and weather issues reportedly could lead to reduction in Florida’s Valencia orange crop. Some in the citrus industry said COVID-19 issues in processing plants have also limited the intake of Valencias from groves, but the Florida Citrus Processors Association (FCPA) says that is not likely the case. “Processors have slowed down presumably due to COVID-19 … They … Read More

FAWN Website Now Easier to Use

Daniel CooperIndustry News Release, Weather

weather

The Florida Automated Weather Network (FAWN), a University of Florida-operated service aiding agricultural decision-makers statewide since 1997, relaunched its website with a new look and additional features. “Our main goal in revamping the site was to make it more efficient for users,” said Rick Lusher, University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) project manager for FAWN. “One … Read More

Winter Weather Watch Program for Growers

Ernie NeffWeather

weather

Multi-county citrus Extension agent Chris Oswalt describes the Winter Weather Watch available to growers in the west, central and southwest regions of Florida. The program runs from Nov. 15 to March 15 and costs growers $100.  Oswalt says the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) established the program in the 1960s to provide agricultural forecasts via … Read More

Growers Prepare for Winter Weather With UF/IFAS Extension

Daniel Coopercold protection, Industry News Release, Weather

growers

(UF/IFAS) — University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) Extension will educate growers on how to protect their crops and prepare for cold weather at the upcoming Winter Weather School. This year, the event will address winter crop protection for citrus, blueberries and ornamental plants; all of which need cold protection during severe weather. “While we have … Read More

Millions in Agricultural Crops at Risk as Dorian Approaches Florida

Daniel CooperCitrus, Grapefruit, hurricane, Industry News Release, Weather

dorian

GIf Hurricane Dorian makes landfall mid-way up Florida’s Atlantic Coast – as many models predicted Thursday afternoon – the storm could devastate not only Central Florida tourist destinations, but also the region’s agricultural areas, which include significant acreage devoted to citrus, vegetable, ornamental plant and cattle production. Economists and Extension faculty with the University of Florida Institute of Food and … Read More

Helping Generations Cope with Freezes

Ernie Nefffreeze, Weather

weather

Winter Weather Watch is a University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences Extension program that has helped generations of Florida citrus growers be prepared for freezes. “Back in the ’60s, we didn’t have the Internet. We had rotary dial phones,” says multi-county citrus Extension agent Chris Oswalt, who discusses the history and workings of Winter Weather Watch, which … Read More

Set Up WHIP Appointment Now

Abbey Taylorhurricane, Industry News Release, Legislative, Weather

By Mike Sparks We wrapped up the fourth Wildfire and Hurricane Indemnity Program (WHIP) meeting in Fort Pierce yesterday with a large crowd at the Agricultural Research Service facility. All told, Florida Citrus Mutual (FCM) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) hosted almost 800 attendees during the week. If you didn’t attend one of the events, we have some … Read More

USDA Encourages Grower Attendance at WHIP Meetings

Abbey Taylorhurricane, Industry News Release, Weather

hurricanes

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Farm Service Agency will hold several information sessions in Florida about the Wildfires and Hurricanes Indemnity Program (WHIP). The meetings are the first step in the Hurricane Irma relief package. The USDA is encouraging all growers who wish to participate in WHIP to attend at least one meeting. Below are the dates, times and … Read More

HCCGA Discusses Disaster Relief Funding

Abbey Taylorhurricane, Legislative, Weather

marketing

After months of fighting for disaster relief funding, Florida agriculture finally received the answer it has been waiting to hear. On Feb. 9, a disaster relief package was passed through Congress that allocated $3.6 billion to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, with $2.36 billion going toward Florida agriculture producers who suffered hurricane-related crop loss. While this is good news for … Read More

When Can Growers Expect to Receive Relief Funds?

Abbey Taylorfinancial, Legislative, Weather

rubio

Florida growers can now breathe a sigh of relief since disaster funding is coming their way. On Feb. 9, a relief package was passed to help the United States following the array of natural disasters in 2017, which included approximately $2.4 billion dollars specifically for U.S. agriculture. However, the big question on everyone’s mind is, how and when will growers … Read More

VIDEO: Rubio on Lack of Additional Disaster Relief for Citrus

Abbey Taylorhurricane, Industry News Release, Weather

Washington, D.C. – Prior to supporting the U.S. Senate’s passage tonight of the disaster relief package previously passed by the U.S. House, Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) spoke on the Senate floor regarding the package’s lack of additional disaster relief for Florida’s citrus producers, whose crops were decimated by Hurricane Irma. The full speech can be watched here. A partial transcript … Read More

Citrus Commission Chairman Testifies on Hurricane Damage

Abbey TaylorCitrus, hurricane, Weather

citrus could recover

The Florida Senate Agriculture Committee held a meeting to discuss Hurricane Irma damage on Oct. 12 in Tallahassee. The meeting featured two panels of growers and ranchers who gave testimony about damage they have witnessed from the hurricane. Ellis Hunt, third-generation citrus grower and chairman of the Florida Citrus Commission, gave testimony about his family farm as well as the … Read More

Freeze Alerts by Phone for California Citrus Growers

Len WilcoxCalifornia Corner, Weather

Freeze alerts by phone will be available this winter for California citrus growers. California Citrus Mutual (CCM) is implementing a new system to help Central Valley growers stay updated on freeze alerts. Growers can sign up for text notifications to be alerted when the CCM Central Valley Weather Watch forecast is updated. This will include updates during critical nights. To … Read More

Florida Senate Agriculture Committee Hears About Citrus Damage

Abbey Taylorhurricane, Legislative, Weather

Citrus was a hot topic Thursday morning during the Florida Senate Agriculture Committee meeting in Tallahassee to discuss hurricane damage to Florida agriculture. Led by Chairperson Denise Grimsley, the committee heard from two sets of panelists as they explained the damage in their respective industries. The Florida Department of Citrus was represented by citrus grower Ellis Hunt in one of … Read More

Commissioner Putnam Releases Initial Hurricane Damage Estimate

Abbey TaylorIndustry News Release, Weather

Florida Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam has released an initial estimate on agriculture damage from Hurricane Irma. The estimate will serve as a baseline for policymakers as they create a disaster relief package for those impacted by the storm. Although these estimates are not final, they are a starting point. The document includes estimates on crop loss and cost of damages. … Read More

Federal Program Provides Help for Irma Storm Damage

Josh McGillWeather

scott

Release from the USDA Natural Resource Conservation Service If your area suffers damage from a natural disaster, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) can help. The Emergency Watershed Protection Program relieves imminent hazards to life and property caused by floods, fires, wind­storms and hurricanes. Aid may include financial and technical assistance to remove debris from streams, protect … Read More