florida citrus

Non-Valencia Oranges Cut to 35.0 Million Boxes

Daniel CooperCitrus, Crop Forecast

Mark Hudson, USDA/NASS, Washington D.C. offered the February citrus crop forecast. The forecast of non-Valencia production is lowered 1.00 million boxes to 35.0 million boxes. Size and Drop components were final last month. The Row Count survey conducted January 26-27, 2017, showed 72 percent of the early-mid-season rows, and 83 percent of the Navel rows are harvested. Estimated utilization to …

Freeze Damage Symptoms and Recovery for Citrus

Tacy CalliesFreeze Protection, Weather

By Mongi Zekri, Chris Oswalt, Steve Futch and Laurie Hurner The extent of cold injury to citrus depends on a number of factors, and its expression may occur over an extended period of time. Factors responsible for freeze damage include minimum temperature, duration of freezing temperatures and stage of tree acclimation. Susceptibility of trees to freezing temperatures can also be …

Georgia Citrus Association Annual Meeting Set

Ernie NeffCitrus, Nutrition

The Georgia Citrus Association (GCA) will hold its annual meeting February 27 in Tifton, Georgia. The meeting will be conducted from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the University of Georgia (UGA) Tifton Campus Conference Center. GCA Vice President Andy Jackson expects more than 100 to attend the meeting, including growers and exhibitors. Topics will include crop diversification, packing and …

Grapefruit production costs

Grapefruit Production Costs Drop; Profitability Is Elusive

Ernie NeffBactericides, Economics, Grapefruit

A decrease in grapefruit production costs among Indian River growers allowed the average grower to approach the break-even point in the 2015-16 season, a University of Florida economist reports. Ariel Singerman made his report at the recent Florida Citrus Show in Fort Pierce. The report was based on a July 2016 survey of 70 growers representing a majority of grapefruit …

Disease, Harvest, Environment

Disease, Harvest Labor, Environment Big Issues in Gulf

Ernie NeffDiseases, Labor

Gulf Citrus Growers Association (GCGA) Vice President Ron Mahan, who chaired a recent GCGA member lunch, discusses key issues facing the association. Mahan says the area’s number-one concern is disease pressure “and adjusting our management and growing practices to minimize disease impacts.” He notes that Florida is “going to be at one of our low points in production this year,” …


UF/IFAS Extension Faculty Win Seed Money Through New Shark Tank-Style Program

Daniel CooperResearch, Technology

By: Samantha Grenrock, grenrosa@ufl.edu   Facial recognition software is no longer a thing of the future. But what if similar technologies could one day help farmers identify pests in the field? Steve Futch, multi-county citrus agent with the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences Extension (UF/IFAS), thinks it’s possible. And thanks to the new UF/IFAS Extension Entrepreneurship Program, …

Effective and Economical Psyllid Spray Programs

Tacy CalliesCitrus, Citrus Greening, HLB Management

By Phil Stansly Effective control of Asian citrus psyllid (ACP) has been a challenge for many Florida growers these last two years. Possible explanations include warmer, wetter weather in winter, fewer insecticide sprays being applied and a possible increase in insecticide resistance. There is little doubt that weather-induced flush the last two winters has provided extra food and refuge for …

Citrus Research and Education Center Starts Centennial Celebration

Tacy CalliesCitrus

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Nearly a century ago, a group of Polk County citrus growers raised about $14,000 to buy land for a research station. Now, the University of Florida/Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) will celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Citrus Research and Education Center (Citrus REC). In 1917, UF/IFAS established the Citrus REC. Originally, only a few …

HLB, Replanting

Nurseryman Discusses HLB and Replanting Choices

Ernie NeffHLB Management, Rootstocks, Scions

As a member of a grower panel at the recent Florida Citrus Show in Fort Pierce, nurseryman Nate Jameson shared his thoughts on coping with HLB, choosing trees for replanting and more. The owner of Brite Leaf Citrus Nursery summarizes his presentation, starting with questions growers have for nurserymen. “I think the number-one question that we get is, ‘What tree …


Food Safety for Fresh Citrus

Tacy CalliesGrapefruit, Regulation

University of Florida researcher Mark Ritenour kicked off the Florida Citrus Show in Fort Pierce on January 25 with an overview of new federal regulations with which fresh fruit growers must comply, starting with large producers in two years. The regulations are part of the Food Safety Modernization Act. Water that is likely to contact fruit is a key focus. …

A Holistic Approach to Production

Tacy CalliesCitrus Greening, PFD

By Owen “Sonny” Conner EDITOR’S NOTE: Citrus Industry magazine is providing a platform for growers to express their experiences and share their stories as we unite in the quest to fight HLB and bring the citrus industry back to a healthy condition. The views stated in this article are those of the author and do not represent those of AgNet …

Sneak Peek: February 2017 Citrus Industry Magazine

Tacy CalliesCitrus

Pest management is the theme of the February 2017 issue of Citrus Industry magazine. University of Florida entomologist Phil Stansly is featured in the cover story. Stansly has been helping growers control Asian citrus psyllids (ACP) since HLB first appeared in Florida. Learn more about his history of HLB work and what he is currently focusing on in the profile …


Hancock on HLB: ‘I Think We’re Winning a Few Battles’

Ernie NeffCitrus Greening, HLB Management

Ned Hancock, a citrus grower and Florida citrus commissioner, shares thoughts about HLB, including the lack of consumer awareness of the disease and how growers are coping. At the Florida Citrus Commission meeting on January 18, the Florida Department of Citrus staff reported that only 1 percent of American consumers are aware of HLB. Hancock says he would have been …

citrus greening

USDA Invests in Citrus Greening Research

Daniel CooperCitrus Greening, Industry News Release

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) today announced four grants totaling more than $13.6 million to combat a scourge on the nation’s citrus industry, citrus greening disease, aka huanglongbing. The funding is made possible through NIFA’s Specialty Crop Research Initiative Citrus Disease Research and Extension Program, authorized by the 2014 Farm Bill. Sponsored …


Telling Millennials About Citrus

Ernie NeffCitrus, Florida Citrus Commission

Florida Department of Citrus (FDOC) Executive Director Shannon Shepp discusses the department’s mission and how it gets its message to its primary audience, millennials. Millennials are generally considered those born from 1977 to the mid-1990s. “Right now, remember, we have a declining availability of OJ (orange juice) worldwide. It’s very hard to increase sales of something you have declining supply …

Global Perspectives

Economic Hurricane Hitting Orange Juice Chain

Tacy CalliesGlobal Perspectives

By Marcos Fava Neves We are normally threatened by natural storms hitting the orange juice chain, some of them hurricanes. Matthew was the last one, but fortunately it remained off the coast of Florida rather than directly hitting the orange-production area. However, the orange juice chain is facing a storm — an economic hurricane that is complicating supply and demand. …


Small Changes in USDA Citrus Crop Forecast

Daniel CooperCitrus, Crop Forecast

Mark Hudson, of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Agriculture Statistics Service in Washington, D.C., delivered the latest citrus crop forecast today. Florida Valencia oranges dropped slightly from 36 million boxes in December to 35 million boxes in January. Hudson explained this was due to fruit drop. White grapefruit dropped from 2 million boxes to 1.7 million boxes. Tangerines and tangelos …


Postbloom Fruit Drop: It’s All About Timing

Ernie NeffPFD

Postbloom fruit drop (PFD) in recent years has caused many Florida citrus growers as much, or almost as much, anguish as HLB. The Citrus Research and Development Foundation (CRDF) in December approved an extension of PFD research begun in 2016. CRDF Chief Operations Officer Harold Browning discusses PFD and the research. “Progressively the last several years, PFD has increased in …


Review of Fast Track for Fresh Selections Summarized

Ernie NeffRootstocks, Scions

Peter Chaires, executive director of New Varieties Development & Management Corp. (NVDMC), summarizes a January 5 meeting seeking input on the Fast Track program. Fast Track lets citrus growers and nurseries access experimental University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) fresh citrus selections much earlier than was previously possible. Fast Track was co-developed by NVDMC, UF/IFAS and …

Big Data Could Bring Big Benefits

Tacy CalliesCitrus

By Taylor Hillman The flood of technologies hitting the market hasn’t slowed since developers turned their attention to precision agriculture. One thing that remains common among these technologies is the use of data, which has been previously ignored or unmonitored. Now, developers are focusing on algorithms and patterns in data sets that are collected during farming practices that will improve …