HLB root nutrition

Root Nutrition Key in HLB-Infected Trees

Ernie NeffCitrus Greening, Nutrition

University of Florida researcher Jude Grosser focused on root nutrition during the Citrus Nutrition Day at the Citrus Research and Education Center on October 11. In this report, he says citrus roots impacted by HLB are missing the nutrients they need and discusses possible solutions, including what he calls “hybrid nutrition programs.” “We’ve gotten kind of too focused on what’s …

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 …

‘Come Home’ to UF-UF/IFAS Agriculture and Gardening Day, Oct. 15

Kelsey FryAgriculture

Agriculture and natural resources interests are invited to come home to the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences and see some informative exhibits during Agriculture and Gardening Day Oct. 15, outside The Swamp. “Come home” because it’s homecoming weekend at UF, and the Gators are playing the Missouri Tigers. People affiliated with agriculture and natural resources have …

dorian

Post-Hurricane: Some Fruit Drop on River; Interior Mostly OK

Ernie NeffGrapefruit, Weather

Heavy winds from Hurricane Matthew Friday caused some fruit drop in the Indian River citrus area. But the amount of drop was “not catastrophic,” said Florida Citrus Mutual spokesman Andrew Meadows. “The fact that it stayed offshore helped tremendously,” Meadows said. Some Indian River growers and packers told Mutual that in addition to fruit drop, there will likely be some …

florida citrus

ACP Movement Shows History Repeating Itself

Kelsey FryCitrus, Legislative

Research is looking at what we can learn from the Asian citrus psyllid’s (ACP) history, specifically ACP movement throughout Southern California. Psyllid finds in Central California are mimicking the insect’s history of spread. University of California, Department of Agriculture and Natural Resources held it’s California Asian Citrus Psyllid and Huanglongbing Research and Extension Summit at UC Riverside. The summit was …

dorian

Hurricane Preparedness

Josh McGillWeather

By Bob Rouse and Mongi Zekri Little can be done to protect trees and fruit from hurricane velocity wind, but we can take steps to protect the people, equipment and supplies that will be needed for the recovery. Below is a checklist for citrus grove managers. Pre-Hurricane Preparation Checklist Personnel assignments: 1. Make a list of all tasks and make …

Guest Workers: Past, Present and the Future

Josh McGillLabor

By Gülcan Önel and Derek Farnsworth The U.S. agricultural sector has a long history of dependence on foreign workers, and the Florida citrus industry is no exception. Even though mechanical harvesting systems saw increased usage between 1999 and 2006, the discovery of citrus greening in 2005 and its subsequent spread across Florida virtually eliminated mechanical harvesting efforts by 2015 in …

orange production costs

Singerman on Orange Production Costs and CHMA Participation

Ernie NeffCitrus Expo, Citrus Greening, Economics

Southwest Florida citrus growers are now spending about $2,327 per acre to grow oranges, University of Florida economist Ariel Singerman said in a Citrus Expo presentation in August. “This is a decrease in cost of about 4 percent compared to last year,” Singerman says in this report. He explains the reason for the production cost decrease: “It is no longer …

Fruit Fly’s Genetic Code Revealed

Daniel CooperCitrus, Industry News Release

An international team of scientists from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and other research organizations have sequenced the complete genome of the Mediterranean fruit fly, Ceratitis capitata. This pest attacks more than 260 fruit, vegetable and nut crops worldwide, causing billions of dollars annually in direct damage, export sanctions, lost markets, and other costs. Sponsored Content5 Facts About Fire Ants …

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 …

Jim Graham Awarded Researcher of the Year

Josh McGillWater

Jim Graham, soil microbiologist for the University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, was recognized at the 73rd annual Florida Fruit and Vegetable Association (FFVA) convention for his years of service to the industry. Graham was named FFVA Researcher of the Year at the association’s award luncheon. His recent research has led to some major discoveries on the …

citrus crop forecast

How to Irk the Crop Forecast Lady

Tacy CalliesForecast

Candi Erick is keenly involved in production of Florida’s citrus crop forecasts. She’s easy to get along with, but there is one way to get under her skin. By Ernie Neff If you want to irritate Candi Erick, whose primary job is overseeing data collection leading to Florida’s citrus crop forecasts, just tell her, “It’s good enough for government work.” …

HLB-spreading psyllids

HLB-Spreading Psyllids: Incidence and Intensity

Ernie NeffCitrus Expo, Citrus Greening, Pests

Citrus growers sometimes ask University of Florida entomologist Phil Stansly why they should continue to spray for HLB-spreading psyllids when trees are already infected with the disease. Stansly answered that question at Citrus Expo in August. “There are two issues with HLB,” Stansly says in this interview with Tacy Callies summarizing his Expo presentation. “One is incidence. In other words, …

farmers market

Finding the Best Farmers Market

Daniel CooperAgriculture, Industry News Release

American Farmland Trust Reveals Top Ranked Farmers Markets in America Wednesday marked the end of American Farmland Trust’s annual summer-long Farmers Market Celebration – an effort to encourage shoppers across the nation to endorse their local farmers market as “Best in Class,” rallying support for local farms and family farmers. Sponsored Content5 Facts About Fire Ants and How to Control …

Rules of the Road for Transporting Farm Workers

Josh McGillCitrus

By Carlene Thissen, Mike Bayer and Fritz Roka The U.S. Department of Labor classifies anyone who for a fee “solicits, recruits, furnishes, hires, employs, houses, and/or transports” seasonal and migrant farm workers as a farm labor contractor (FLC). This article provides an overview of the rules and responsibilities that agricultural employers must keep in mind when driving workers to their …

citrus could recover

Hunt on Orange Production: Recovery Could Come Quickly

Ernie NeffCitrus Greening, Economics, Rootstocks

Florida Citrus Commission Chairman Ellis Hunt Jr. reacts to projections Wednesday that Florida’s orange production will likely be near current levels or possibly much lower in 10 years. He says existing growers and/or institutional investors could replant trees lost to HLB fairly rapidly if they believe trees can survive and produce fruit in the face of HLB. “I think we …

oranges worst case

Worst Case in 10 Years: Florida Orange Production at 27 Million Boxes

Ernie NeffCitrus Greening, Economics, Forecast

In the worst-case scenario projected by economists Wednesday, Florida orange production could plummet to 27 million boxes in 10 years. Florida orange production last season was 81.5 million boxes. As recently as the 2003-04 season, Florida produced 242 million boxes of oranges. Production declines are primarily caused by HLB, the deadly disease first discovered in Florida in 2005. But the …

Pruning to Rehabilitate HLB-Affected Sweet Orange Trees

Josh McGillCitrus

By Tripti Vashisth and Troy Gainey In the last 11 years, Florida orange production has declined more than 60 percent. This dramatic reduction in yield is attributable to multiple causes, including loss of citrus acreage in the state, citrus canker and other diseases, but huanglongbing (HLB) is now recognized as the primary reason for declining citrus yields. HLB-affected trees are …

HLB heat treatment

Update on Thermal Therapy for HLB

Ernie NeffCitrus Expo, Citrus Greening

University of Florida researcher Reza Ehsani updated growers at Citrus Expo in August about research into the use of heat treatment of HLB-infected trees. Approximately 80,000 trees were heat treated in Florida in the past year, he says. Ehsani discusses some key issues regarding thermal therapy. “Finding the right time and temperature is critical to using this technique,” he says, …

citrus acreage decline

Grower Not Surprised by 4 Percent Acreage Decline

Ernie NeffBactericides, Citrus Greening, Economics

“I don’t think there were any real surprises in the report today,” Indian River area grower and packer Cody Estes says in response to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s report that Florida citrus acreage tumbled 4 percent. Florida acreage is now at 480,121, the lowest number since tracking began in 1966. “Hopefully with the anti-microbial treatments that are going on, …