NOAA Predicts Above-Average Hurricane Season

Josh McGillhurricane, Weather

Forecasters at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Climate Prediction Center, a division of the National Weather Service, are predicting above-average hurricane activity this year. The Atlantic hurricane season runs from June 1 to Nov. 30. This year could be the seventh consecutive above-average hurricane season. NOAA predicts a 65% chance of an above-normal Atlantic hurricane season, a 25% …

What Southeast Citrus Growers Should Be Watching For

Josh McGillIrrigation, Pests, Weather

A prolonged dry spell across the Southeast should have citrus growers ensuring their young trees are properly irrigated. But Jonathan Oliver, University of Georgia (UGA) assistant professor and small fruits pathologist, cautions growers about applying too much water. “The real young trees don’t have much of a root system, of course. It has been pretty dry. But you don’t want …

High Summer Temperatures Take a Toll on Trees

Josh McGillResearch, Weather

By Anirban Guha and Christopher Vincent A quick body temperature test is common these days before entering many workplaces, hospitals and clinics due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The purpose is to screen people for fevers, usually with a non-contact infrared thermometer. Measurement of plant body temperatures also has become common for many field crops, not to screen for infectious …

Strong Season for Citrus Grower

Josh McGillFresh, Production, Weather

“The local market has improved since last season,” says citrus grower Chip Henry. “I’ve gained customers, and existing ones are buying more. When people know the fruit is being harvested, they seek out that local supply and want to support their local farmers.” Henry grows 12 acres of organic Valencias at McGuire Groves in Apopka, Florida, and sells his fruit …

How Weather Affects Pesticide Applications

Josh McGillCEU, Pesticides, Weather

By Matt Smith Editor’s note: This article grants one continuing education unit (CEU) in the Core category toward the renewal of a Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services restricted-use pesticide license when the accompanying test is submitted and approved. Weather affects what pests you might be spraying for and the worker doing the spraying. There are environmental safety risks …

Extension Agents Still Seeing Damage From Freeze

Josh McGillFlorida, freeze, Weather

It often takes time for the damage associated with freeze events to manifest in citrus. That was the case for the late January freeze in Florida. While some growers escaped fairly unscathed, others suffered significant damage. The damage began to show in the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s March citrus crop forecast. The agency lowered expected production of Florida oranges this …

‘Irma Will Haunt Us’ Regarding Citrus Black Spot

Josh McGillCitrus, Diseases, Weather

Citrus black spot (CBS) disease has only been found in five Southwest Florida counties, but that could change as a result of 2017’s Hurricane Irma, a researcher reiterated recently. University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences plant pathologist Megan Dewdney, in a Feb. 24 presentation, said “Irma will haunt us for a while.” She explained that Irma likely …

Keep an Eye Out for Postbloom Fruit Drop This Spring

Josh McGillFruit Drop, Tip of the Week, Weather

By Megan M. Dewdney Postbloom fruit drop (PFD) is a flower disease mainly caused by the fungus Colletotrichum acutatum. The fungus is present on citrus trees throughout the year but survives by producing resting structures on leaves and stems. The fungus becomes stimulated to produce spores by substances from the early flowers. These early spores infect the initial flowers and …

Survey Assessing Freeze Impact on Florida Ag

Josh McGillAgriculture, Florida, Weather

The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) on Feb. 3 activated the Business Damage Assessment Survey to assess the impact freezing temperatures had on the state’s agriculture businesses. Survey responses will allow the state to gather data and evaluate resources that impacted businesses may need to recover after the freezing weather that occurred the weekend of Jan. 28–30. “The agriculture …

Emergency Declared for Florida Post-Freeze Harvest

Josh McGillFlorida, Weather

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis on Feb. 2 issued an executive order declaring a state of emergency in many counties where citrus and other agricultural commodities were affected by a Jan. 28–30 freeze. It specifically gives state officials authority to relax restrictions on commercial vehicles to facilitate an emergency harvest. “The relaxation of the restrictions on commercial vehicles is necessary to …

Freeze Damage Update for Florida Citrus

Josh McGillCitrus, Florida, Fruit Drop, Weather

Cold temperatures the mornings of Jan. 29 and Jan. 30 did more citrus damage than an initial report indicated, Highlands County Citrus Growers Association Executive Director Ray Royce said. Royce issued the following update on Feb. 1: “The coldest weather in at least four to five years has left much more damage behind in parts of the South-Central Florida region …

Georgia and Florida Citrus Avoid Major Freeze Damage

Josh McGillFlorida, Georgia, Weather

The Georgia and Florida citrus industries reportedly came through the Sunday morning freeze with no significant widespread damage. In Florida, temperatures in the 20s were the coldest most groves had experienced in several years. “Everything looks good,” said Lindy Savelle, president of the Georgia Citrus Association. “We got some burn on the top of trees, but very little.” Most of …

cold hardiness

Frigid Florida Weather Has Growers on Alert

Josh McGillFlorida, Weather

The coldest temperatures in years predicted for Florida this weekend have fruit and vegetable growers worried and preparing to protect their crops. Temperatures in the 20s and 30s are expected deep into the peninsula of Florida. And the freezing weather could persist for up to four hours or more. Gene McAvoy, associate director for stakeholder relations at the University of …

growers

Be Prepared for Winter Weather

Tacy CalliesTip of the Week, Weather

By Chris Oswalt The weather folks are predicting weak to moderate La Niña conditions this winter. Typically, having either the La Niña or El Niño conditions during the winter in Florida is a good thing. There is a historically lower probability of having severe freezing temperatures during either of these El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) conditions in Florida. What this means …

Dry Winter Forecast Adds to Water Worries

Tacy CalliesCalifornia Corner, Water, Weather

The National Weather Service Climate Prediction Center is expecting a dry winter in Southern California. Specifically, it says the El Niño-Southern Oscillation is predicted to be neutral into the fall (51% chance for the August–October season), with La Niña potentially emerging during the September–November season and lasting through the 2021–22 winter (66% chance during November–January). The forecast comes on the …

crop forecast

Help Trees Handle Heat

Tacy CalliesAll In For Citrus Podcast, Weather

Florida citrus production can be significantly impacted during the summertime heat. High temperatures with little to no rainfall can affect trees’ vegetative growth, fruit set and fruit quality, says Amir Rezazadeh, University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) multi-county fruit and field crops agent. Heat is a factor that can cause citrus trees to become significantly dehydrated. …

Protect Citrus Trees From Heat Stress

Tacy CalliesWeather

By Amir Rezazadeh Heat stress affects the production of different citrus varieties, particularly seedless varieties. The severe effect of heat stress can be seen during the flowering and fruit set stage as well as June drop. High temperature can affect different growth stages of citrus trees, such as vegetative growth, flowering and fruit set. EARLY SIGNSThe following are early signs …

Avoiding Heat-Related Deaths

Ernie NeffResearch, Weather

A new University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) report showed 215 people in Florida died from heat-related causes in the last 10 years. The fact that heat-related deaths happen throughout the year surprised the researchers who wrote the report. Serap Gorucu, a UF/IFAS assistant professor of agricultural and biological engineering, helped write the report. She and …

Spot and Stop Worker Heat Stress

Tacy CalliesTip of the Week, Weather

By Amir Rezazadeh Heat stress happens when the body is exposed to extreme heat in a hot environment. Heat-related illnesses include heat cramps, heat exhaustion, heat rashes or heat stroke. Other signs of heat stress include sweaty palms, fogged-up safety glasses and dizziness. Those who work outdoors or in hot environments are at risk of heat stress. Workers who are …