BMP Updates Highlighted at Workshop

Josh McGillBMPs, Nutrition, Water

The University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) hosted a water and nutrient management workshop at the Citrus Research and Education Center in mid-February. In addition to seminars, a grove tour was provided to demonstrate a nutrient-rate trial currently underway at the center. Kelly Morgan, UF/IFAS professor of crop nutrition, spoke on recent activity to update citrus …

Rectify Injection Available for HLB in Florida

Josh McGillHLB Management, Industry News Release, Pesticides

Rectify, AgroSource, Inc.’s 95% oxytetracycline hydrochloride-based tree-injection product, is expected to be available for use against HLB in Florida citrus as early as Feb. 24. The product will be available to growers through existing commercial agricultural product distributors. AgroSource petitioned and received a Special Local Needs (SLN) approval for Rectify by the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) …

New Invasive Pest to Watch for in Florida Citrus

Josh McGillPests

By Maegan Beatty An invasive butterfly that seriously damages citrus trees has been spotted in Florida. The lime swallowtail (Papilio demoleus) is an invasive species from Asia that has harmed citrus trees in the Caribbean for almost 20 years. The butterfly has a wingspan of nearly 4 inches with black and white marks across the wings and a red-orange dot …

Postharvest Water Requirements for Packers

Josh McGillPacking, Regulation, Tip of the Week

By Clara Diekman, Micah Gallagher, Taylor O’Bannon and Michelle Danyluk Compliance dates for all water associated with the Produce Safety Rule (PSR, Subpart E) has previously been delayed, pending completion of the rule. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced in the fall of 2022 that postharvest water requirements in the PSR will be enforced on large farms beginning …

Preparing for Implementation of Agricultural Water Requirements

Josh McGillFood Safety, Water

By Taylor O’Bannon, Matt Krug and Michelle Danyluk In December 2021, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) released its proposed changes to the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) Produce Safety Rule (PSR) Subpart E, which covers agricultural water. The proposed changes focus solely on preharvest agricultural water and make no changes to the requirement of water used for harvest and …

Updates for Citrus Nutrient Best Management Practices

Josh McGillBMPs, Nutrition

By Kelly T. Morgan, Davie Kadyampakeni and Tripti Vashisth This article reviews current University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) citrus fertilizer recommendations and provides updated information about recently approved recommendations for secondary macronutrients and micronutrients. Citrus growers have been very concerned about fertilizer applications and nutrient management since citrus greening (huanglongbing or HLB) was found in …

Fertilizer Exemption Issued Due to Hurricane Ian

Josh McGillBMPs, Florida, Regulation

The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) recently issued an emergency rule allowing growers enrolled in best management practices (BMP) programs to apply replacement fertilizer to reestablish crops impacted by Hurricane Ian. Under the rule, producers can make those applications without fear of being out of compliance with their respective BMP manuals. The emergency rule will be in …

florida citrus

BMP Verification Visits Suspended

Josh McGillBMPs

The requirement that the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) conduct Best Management Practice (BMP) implementation verification visits has been temporarily suspended for several counties impacted by Hurricane Ian. The action was taken Oct. 31 by Florida Commissioner of Agriculture Nikki Fried. The 60-day suspension is effective for the counties of Brevard, Broward, Charlotte, Collier, DeSoto, Flagler, Glades, …

Injectable Oxytetracycline Registered

Josh McGillPesticides

The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) on Oct. 28 granted a 24(c) special local need registration for the injection of ReMedium TI for the control or suppression of HLB. The TJ BioTech product is oxytetracycline (OTC) hydrochloride, an antibiotic. “EPA (the federal Environmental Protection Agency) has 90 days to object, but it is my understanding that growers …

Hurricane Ian Citrus Damages Could Hit $675 Million

Josh McGillEconomics, hurricane

Total Florida citrus crop and tree losses from Hurricane Ian are estimated to be from $417 million to $675 million by the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS). FDACS’ Hurricane Ian’s Preliminary Estimates of Damage to Florida Agriculture report echoed a University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) preliminary assessment of $147 million to $304 …

Industry Leaders React to Low Forecast

Josh McGillCrop Forecast

Immediately following the lowest federal crop forecast for Florida citrus in many decades, Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried and Florida Department of Citrus Executive Director Shannon Shepp expressed optimism that the industry will strive to recover. Their statements referred to Hurricane Ian, which destroyed much fruit and damaged trees in major portions of the state’s citrus belt. The U.S. Department …

fruit fly

Oriental Fruit Fly Eradicated in Florida County

Josh McGillFlorida, Pests, Regulation

The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) announced on Sept. 23 that the oriental fruit fly (Bactrocera dorsalis) has been eradicated from Pinellas County. In June, FDACS Division of Plant Industry positively identified oriental fruit flies detected during routine trapping. Additional flies were discovered during expanded trapping activities. A quarantine was established in the St. Petersburg area that …

Agencies Act to Assist Florida Agriculture

Josh McGillFlorida, hurricane

Florida Fruit & Vegetable Association reported the following actions that Florida government agencies took during and after Hurricane Ian to aid impacted agricultural entities, including citrus. SUSPENSION OF WEIGHT RESTRICTIONSThe Florida Department of Transportation announced it suspended the size and weight restrictions for divisible loads on any vehicles transporting emergency equipment, services, supplies and agricultural commodities, including citrus and sugar. …

Flooded Fields and Food Safety

Josh McGillFood Safety, hurricane, Tip of the Week

By Michelle Danyluk In terms of food safety, not all standing water in a field is considered floodwater. Flooding is considered the flowing or overflowing of a field from open bodies of water outside the food crop producer’s control. Events that lead to pooled water or excess standing water in a field, such as rain or a problem with an …

CRAFT Adds Assistant Program Manager

Josh McGillCRAFT

The Citrus Research and Field Trial (CRAFT) Foundation recently hired Tina Buice as assistant program manager. The Highlands County resident had previously worked for nearly two decades at the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services Division of Plant Industry (FDACS DPI). She was most recently an environmental specialist in the FDACS DPI Avon Park office. Through her work with …

Support for HLB Product Label Requests

Josh McGillPesticides

Florida Citrus Mutual (FCM) has been working with product registrants to gather industry support for two 24(c) label requests being presented to the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS). REMEDIUM TIThe first request, from TJ BioTech, is related to the use of ReMedium TI via injection in citrus trees suffering from citrus greening. Research has proven oxytetracycline injection …

Florida Black Spot Quarantine Expanded

Josh McGillDiseases, Florida, Regulation

Federal and state agriculture officials have expanded the citrus black spot (CBS) quarantine area in Florida. They have added four sections in Collier County and five sections in Glades County. The action was taken by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) in cooperation with the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services Division of …

Woman of the Year in Agriculture Named

Josh McGillAwards, Florida

The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) named Madeline Mellinger the 2022 Woman of the Year in Agriculture. Mellinger founded Glades Crop Care, Inc. in 1972 and is still the company’s chief operating officer. Glades Crop Care provides integrated pest management and crop counseling services to more than 65,000 acres of plants and more than 60 varieties of fresh …

Lower Lead Levels in Juice Recommended

Josh McGillFood Safety, Orange Juice

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has recommended lower lead limits for juice. The recommended limit is currently 50 parts per billion (ppb). New draft action levels would be 10 ppb for lead in single-strength apple juice and 20 ppb for lead in all other single-strength juice types. The FDA estimates that establishing a 10-ppb action level could result …

Non-Certified Donaldson Trees: Limited Availability for Growers

Josh McGillFlorida Department of Citrus, HLB Management

The Florida Department of Citrus’ Program for Expedited Propagation (PEP) of HLB-tolerant and resistant trees was conceived during the 2022 Florida legislative session following the discovery of the Donaldson tree among the collection at Whitmore Farms. The goal is to provide the resources needed to ramp up availability of Donaldson trees and others like it, so that growers interested in …