Growers and Researcher Discuss Millennium Block Trials

Josh McGill Research, Rootstocks, Varieties

Two citrus growers recently explained the benefits to be gained from research at the Indian River Research and Education Center’s (IRREC) Millennium Block in Fort Pierce, and a scientist discussed a grapefruit study there. The IRREC is a University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) facility. The 20-acre block was planted in 2019 to help growers find …

Citrus Breeder: Growers Need to Think More Out of the Box

Tacy Callies Cold Hardy

If cold-hardy citrus growers diversified their crops and not put all of their eggs in the satsuma basket, it would provide them a better chance at long-term sustainability. It would allow producers an opportunity to combat the negative national stigma concerning citrus juices, says Jude Grosser, a professor of plant cell genetics at the University of Florida Institute of Food …

PIECES OF THE PAST: Growers Recall the Way It Used To Be

Tacy Callies Pieces of the Past

By Brenda Eubanks Burnette It’s hard to imagine how the early pioneers managed to grow, pick, pack and ship their fruit without the technological means we have today. In doing various oral history interviews this year, that point was really brought home to me. One grower recalled how irrigating his family’s grove meant moving the actual water pipes manually from …

Satsuma Overload: Citrus Growers Need to Diversify

Josh McGill Cold Hardy, Varieties

Citrus harvest season is in full swing across the North Florida/South Georgia production region. One thing is certain this season: Growers need to diversify their farming operations with citrus varieties other than satsuma mandarins. Grower Kim Jones, who also owns a citrus packing facility in Monticello, Florida, and is part-owner of a similar facility in Tifton, Georgia, discussed the high …

Peel Protection Key for Citrus Growers

Josh McGill Cold Hardy, Fresh

Citrus growers producing for the fresh market should always ensure their fruit’s peel remains unblemished and without defect. This will protect the fruit against infection and consumers choosing not to purchase the fruit. Mark Ritenour, professor of postharvest technology at the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, spoke during the recent Cold-Hardy Citrus Field Day at the …

Assessment Rate Set for California Citrus Growers

Josh McGill California Corner, Regulation

The California Department of Food & Agriculture (CDFA) has established an assessment rate for California citrus producers of 3.2 cents per 40-pound standard field box for the 2022–23 marketing season. The marketing season runs from Oct. 1, 2022, to Sept. 30, 2023. The assessment applies to all types and varieties of citrus, as defined by the California Citrus Research Program, …

Growers Needed for UF/IFAS Tree Recovery Assessment

Josh McGill hurricane, Tip of the Week

By Christopher Vincent Growers affected by flooding and high winds from Hurricane Ian have seen the immediate effects, but the stress to the trees will have longer lasting effects as well.  It is not known how big these effects will be or how long trees take to recover. University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) researchers want …

Cold-Hardy Growers Learn About Fruit Sales

Josh McGill Fresh, Marketing, sales

Growers in Florida’s central and southern citrus belts have long been familiar with ways to market and get paid for their fruit. But those elements of the citrus business are not so familiar in North Florida and South Georgia, where citrus is a relatively new enterprise for many. Some groves in that area are just being harvested for the first …

Millennium Block Field Day Gives Growers Firsthand Look at Trials

Josh McGill Events, Rootstocks, Varieties

The University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) Indian River Research and Education Center (IRREC) in Fort Pierce hosted a drive-through field day for attendees to tour its Millennium block. The grove features more than 5,500 2- and 3-year-old trees. A total of 154 new citrus scion/rootstock combinations are included in the research project. The trial has …

New Insurance Option for Florida Citrus Growers

Josh McGill Florida, Insurance

By Ariel Singerman During the 2021–22 citrus season, the Risk Management Agency (RMA) started offering a new option to Florida citrus growers for insuring their crop. The policy is called Actual Production History (APH) and provides coverage for yield losses based on a farm’s historical records. While the Whole Farm Revenue Protection (WFRP) policy also uses farm records as a …

Research Grants for Growers

Josh McGill Agriculture, Research

Southeast farmers and ranchers may apply for producer grants from the Southern Sustainable Agriculture Research & Education program from the U.S. Department of Agriculture National Institute of Food and Agriculture. Producer grants give farmers and ranchers the opportunity to conduct their own two-year research projects to develop sustainable production and marketing practices. They are funded at up to $15,000 for …

Growers Anxious as Hurricane Approaches

Josh McGill hurricane, Weather

Editor’s Note: This story was written before Hurricane Ian made landfall. Stay tuned for updates on how the storm has impacted Florida’s citrus industry. Citrus producers in South Georgia, North Florida and East Alabama are on “pins and needles” this week, according to grower Kim Jones. While the crop is about a month away from harvest, it is extremely vulnerable …

Fruit Displays Offer Growers Opportunities to Give Feedback

Josh McGill Events, Tip of the Week, Varieties

By Peter Chaires Each season, variety displays and field days offer growers, packers, processors, nurseries, marketers, flavor companies and other interested parties an opportunity to experience the latest developments in Florida’s citrus breeding programs. Each team takes its own approach to these events. Some are more focused on fruit displays and sampling, some have field tours, and others include scientific …

Citrus Growers Invited to Visit Variety Trial

Josh McGill Events, Rootstocks, Varieties

The University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) Indian River Research and Education Center (IRREC) will host a Millennium Block Variety Trial Field Day on Oct. 19. The event will be held from 9 a.m. to noon. The Millennium Block is at 7850 Pruitt Research Road in Fort Pierce. Registration can be completed online here or by …

High-Efficiency Fertilizers for Growers

Josh McGill Citrus Expo, Nutrition

At the Citrus & Specialty Crop Expo, Davie Kadyampakeni recommended what he termed “high-efficiency fertilizers” to improve canopy, fruit yield and juice quality, especially in HLB-affected trees. Kadyampakeni is an assistant professor specializing in citrus water and nutrient management the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences. FOUR TYPESKadyampakeni described four categories of high-efficiency fertilizers: Slow-release fertilizer (SRF) …

Georgia Growers: Look Out for Lebbeck Mealybug

Josh McGill Georgia, Pests

University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) specialists are alerting Georgia citrus growers about an invasive pest that’s impacting Florida’s crop. Lebbeck mealybugs have yet to navigate their way to Georgia. But it is only a matter of time, says Lauren Diepenbrock, UF/IFAS assistant professor and entomologist. “It’ll get up to Georgia probably. We’re doing our best …

Greening and Canker Concerns for Georgia Growers

Josh McGill Diseases, Georgia

The recent Citrus Growers’ Summer Update in Valdosta, Georgia, provided growers another outlet to learn about two diseases — citrus greening and citrus canker — that could have serious ramifications on the industry’s future in Georgia. Jonathan Oliver, University of Georgia (UGA) assistant professor and small fruits pathologist, highlighted the seriousness of the discovery of both of the diseases in …

Non-Certified Donaldson Trees: Limited Availability for Growers

Josh McGill Florida 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 …