Is Parson Brown the Better Early Orange?

Ernie Neff Varieties

The old Parson Brown sweet orange variety is showing some characteristics that could make it more attractive than Hamlin, which has long been Florida’s leading early-season orange. “Observations made in commercial blocks in Polk and neighboring counties illustrate an improved canopy density, improved mature fruit retention and higher yields in the early-maturing Parson Brown sweet orange when compared to adjacent …

Certis USA Continues Citrus Research Support

Tacy Callies CRDF, Industry News Release, Research

For the fourth consecutive year, Certis USA has donated $20,000 to the Citrus Research and Development Foundation (CRDF) to help fund the non-profit’s research aimed at finding a cure for huanglongbing (HLB; citrus greening). The company’s successful “Certis for Citrus” program utilizes sales from their top citrus products to annually support CRDF’s mission. The donation came during CRDF’s board meeting …

CRAFT Growers Planting 2,032 Florida Citrus Acres

Ernie Neff planting, Research

Florida growers have signed up for 46 HLB research projects representing 2,032 acres through the Citrus Research and Field Trial (CRAFT) Foundation, Executive Director Kristen Carlson reported recently. Solid-set projects account for 1,641 acres; resets for 391 acres. “Some growers have more than one project,” Carlson said. The CRAFT Foundation was organized last year to administer a program aimed at …

soil

Nutrition and Rootstocks to Be Studied

Ernie Neff Nutrition

Seventeen researchers have responded to the Citrus Research and Development Foundation’s (CRDF) request for very specific citrus nutrition research, the organization’s board of directors learned May 19. CRDF Chief Operating Officer Rick Dantzler said several advisory groups will review the proposals prior to the CRDF board choosing and funding selected proposals no later than September. The research requested by CRDF …

production

What Should I Plant?

Ernie Neff planting

Rick Dantzler has determined in conversations over the last few months “that the primary question on growers’ minds is, ‘What should I plant?’ And that really frames the discussion we [the Citrus Research and Development Foundation (CRDF) governing board] had regarding our plant improvement efforts going forward.” Dantzler is CRDF chief operating officer, and he was referring to discussions at …

nutrition

Citrus Research and Development Foundation Updates

Ernie Neff CRDF, Nutrition

The Citrus Research and Development Foundation (CRDF) agreed March 24 to seek very focused research projects that will answer growers’ questions about proper nutrition in the face of HLB. The questions were formulated by CRDF’s Nutrition Working Group, a panel of growers, scientists and others. FOCUS ON NUTRITION “We know it’s (nutrition) important and we have to get it right …

nutrition

Nutrition Questions in Need of Answers

Ernie Neff Nutrition

A sheet of “Nutrient Management Concept Questions” was passed out at the January Citrus Research and Development Foundation (CRDF) board meeting in Fort Pierce. It included questions that growers and researchers have agreed need to be answered in future nutrition-related research funded by CRDF. Rick Dantzler, CRDF chief operating officer, explains how the questions were developed. “We had a Nutrition …

Eco-Mowing Is Part of Cover Crop Research

Ernie Neff Cover Crops, Research

Cover crop research in Southwest Florida will include looking into the effectiveness of eco-mowing, or moving mowed clippings under the tree canopy rather than leaving clippings in row middles. University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) soil microbiologist Sarah Strauss discusses numerous aspects of cover crop and compost research being conducted by her and other UF/IFAS scientists. …

Nutrition: What Growers Want to Know

Ernie Neff Nutrition

A group of growers, production managers and researchers hopes to ensure future nutrition research funded by the Citrus Research and Development Foundation (CRDF) answers grower questions about nutrition. The dozen-plus members of CRDF’s Nutrition Working Group held their first meeting Oct. 30 at the Citrus Research and Education Center in Lake Alfred. The panel is about evenly split between grower …

craft

CRAFT Application Period Opening Soon

Daniel Cooper Industry News Release

The Citrus Research and Field Trial Foundation Inc. (CRAFT Foundation) board of directors, technical working group (TWG), staff and a legion of volunteers have been working at top speed throughout the summer finalizing the formation, organization and funding of the CRAFT program. The first priority for the CRAFT Foundation staff and board of directors has been securing all available funding …

Farewell to Futch

Tacy Callies Citrus

After 34 years of faithful service to citrus growers, University of Florida Extension agent Steve Futch readies for retirement. By Tacy Callies Steve Futch’s Florida citrus roots sprouted more than a century ago. His great-grandfather owned a Wauchula grove in about 1905. As a boy, Futch’s first hands-on citrus experience was hoeing trees in the family orange groves. Later, he …

Advice on Picking Rootstocks

Ernie Neff Rootstocks

Growers who attended a recent Citrus Research and Development Foundation (CRDF) rootstock field day in Highlands County should look at similar CRDF trials when deciding what rootstocks to plant. That’s the opinion of Jim Graham, a CRDF project consultant who spoke at the event last month. The same six rootstocks with Valencia scions that are in field trials in Highlands …

Redefining Orange Juice?

Ernie Neff Orange Juice

Some Florida citrus processors, scientists, grower representatives and others recently started discussions about the feasibility of changing the legal standard of identity for orange juice (OJ). Under current U.S. Food and Drug Administration standards of identify for OJ, only sweet orange can be used in OJ products without limitation. Only 10 percent of juice from mandarins or citrus hybrids can …

nutrition

Citrus Research and Field Trial Program Update

Ernie Neff Research

A multimillion-dollar federal program to establish thousands of acres of citrus research field trials in Florida has undergone significant changes in recent months. The Citrus Research and Development Foundation (CRDF) spent much time on May 21 hearing about new developments in the Citrus Research and Field Trial (CRAFT) program. CRDF Chief Operating Officer Rick Dantzler summarizes developments in the timing …

Grower Picks Favorites at Rootstock Trial

Ernie Neff Rootstocks

Gardinier Florida Citrus General Manager Lee Jones named two rootstocks that looked appealing at an April 25 Citrus Research and Development Foundation (CRDF) rootstock field day in Highlands County. “(US) 942 kind of stands out to me,” he said. “(US) 812 looks good,” he added. “What we’re learning as we’re going is we’ve got to spoon feed this (citrus trees) …

florida citrus

Florida Citrus Hall of Fame Inductees Chosen for 2019

Daniel Cooper Citrus, Industry News Release

Three distinguished leaders will be inducted into the Florida Citrus Hall of Fame at the 57th Citrus Celebration Luncheon at 11:30 a.m. on March 8 at Florida Southern College in Lakeland. Tim Hurner of Sebring, Richard J. Kinney (deceased), formerly of Lakeland, and Peter McClure of Port Saint Lucie will be honored at the luncheon. Hurner Tim Hurner is a fourth-generation Florida …

Increasing Yield Through High-Density Plantings

Tacy Callies planting

By Rhuanito Ferrarezi, Alan Wright and Arnold Schumann High-density plantings have been tested worldwide in advanced citrus production systems (ACPS) to increase efficiency of water, fertilizer and light, and to maximize yield per area. After the onset of huanglongbing (HLB) in Florida, canopy growth reduced drastically due to negative impacts on plant health, creating the need for new plant spacing …

Black Discusses HLB Research Meeting

Ernie Neff HLB Management

Larry Black, president of Florida’s Citrus Research and Development Foundation (CRDF), attended a recent meeting in Fort Pierce to discuss HLB research prioritization and funding. He joined officials with other agencies that fund HLB, including California’s Citrus Research Board (CRB) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). Black says the agencies met “to look at ways we can be more …

HLB

‘No Positive Response’ from Bactericides

Ernie Neff Bactericides, HLB Management

Citrus Research and Development Foundation (CRDF) President Larry Black discusses grower trial results indicating bactericides used for HLB infection did not increase citrus yields. The results were presented by CRDF staff at a recent meeting of the organization. Black says numerous growers who were using bactericides for HLB volunteered to leave sections of their groves untreated. “CRDF staff went out …

hlb

Certis for Citrus Program Helps Fund Fight Against HLB

Daniel Cooper Industry News Release

The biopesticide company, Certis USA, presented the non-profit Citrus Research and Development Foundation, Inc. (CRDF) with a check for $20,000 to help fund research projects in an effort to find a cure for huanglongbing (HLB; citrus greening). The presentation was made during the Florida Citrus Industry Annual Conference that took place at the Hyatt Regency Coconut Point Resort and Spa. …