Sterile Insect Release Facility Gets Upgrade

Kelsey FryGenetic Engineering, Pests

John D. Renshaw, U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) sterile insect technology director, says that the USDA Sterile Insect Release Facility is one of the department’s best-kept secrets. And since there are only 50 similar facilities worldwide, many might agree with him. The sterile insect program in Sarasota, Florida, has been sterilizing male Mediterranean fruit flies (medflies) from its facility on …

PFD

PFD, Bactericides for HLB are Top Citrus Grower Concerns

Ernie NeffCitrus, Citrus Greening, Pests

Postbloom fruit drop (PFD), along with the use of bactericides to control HLB, were the big issues for more than 40 participants in a grower roundtable Wednesday in Wauchula. LeAnna Himrod, one of the roundtable hosts, summarizes the issues addressed. Regarding bactericides, she reports: “There were a lot of questions about the bactericides regarding timing: What’s the best time of …

Sneak Peek: June Citrus Industry Magazine

Josh McGillCitrus

The June issue of Citrus Industry magazine is coming soon. This edition is all about citrus beyond the Sunshine State. Readers will notice a new column in the magazine, called Global Perspectives, authored by a Brazilian citrus expert, Marcos Fava Neves. Ernie Neff, senior correspondent at large, examines the citrus industries in California and Texas. His articles include both challenges …

Available Cost-Share Funds from FDACS

Kelsey FryLegislative, Water

The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services’ (FDACS) Office of Agricultural Water Policy has released a statement that pertains to producers within certain districts who are willing to purchase equipment and be honored up to a 75 percent reimbursement on the equipment invoice. The funds are being administered through Marion County and Putnam County soil and water conservation districts. …

Citrus Department Proposes Staff, Tax Cuts

Kelsey FryLegislative

By Jim Turner THE NEWS SERVICE OF FLORIDA The Capital, Tallahassee – Florida citrus growers could save more than $11 million in taxes they pay on boxes of oranges and grapefruit under a proposed Florida Department of Citrus (FDOC) budget that would trim jobs to meet the demands of a troubled industry. The department, which would see its staff shrink from 39 …

Nurseries Excited About New Early Valencia Orange Varieties

Kelsey FryCitrus, Citrus Greening, Genetic Engineering

By: Brad Buck GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Nurseries are very interested in two new early Valencia orange varieties from the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS). Growers need help because citrus greening has infected more than 80 percent of Florida’s citrus trees, according to a recent UF/IFAS survey of growers. Although these two new early Valencias are …

Essential Oil Could Help Prevent Citrus Black Spot

Kelsey FryCitrus, Citrus Greening

By: Robin Koestoyo FORT PIERCE, Fla. – Dipping fruit after harvest with hot water and essential oil dips may reduce postharvest development of citrus black spot (CBS) lesions per fruit by up to 50 percent, according to new University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) research. The new management techniques are the result of Jiaqi Yan’s recently …

Citrus Industry Magazine Has New CEU Article Available

Kelsey FryCEU, Citrus

Earn one core continuing education unit (CEU) by reading the Citrus Industry article, “Safely storing pesticides,” and passing the accompanying test. The article, authored by University of Florida’s Stephen H. Futch, is now available online and will appear in the May 2016 issue of Citrus Industry magazine. This CEU will be valid for up to one year from the publication …

Heavy Department of Citrus Cuts Proposed

Josh McGillCitrus, Legislative

The Florida Citrus Commission discussed on Wednesday proposals for heavy cuts to the Florida Department of Citrus budget next season. Commission Chairman Ellis Hunt and department Executive Director Shannon Shepp discuss the projected budget for next year, the funding for it, personnel cuts and how the budget will proceed. Twelve large growers and several organizations recently requested drastic Sponsored Content5 …

New Citrus Label Digital Archives Available

Kelsey FryCitrus

James Cusick, curator for the P.K. Yonge Library of Florida History at the University of Florida Libraries, discusses new digital archives of citrus packaging labels that date back to the 1920s through 1970s. The labels, which were donated from the private collection of Jerry Chicone, are online for public viewing. Cusick explained how the digital archives are free to the …

Surviving Citrus Acreage May Offer Hope

Kelsey FryCitrus, Citrus Greening

The fact that much Florida citrus acreage has survived even as production has tumbled drastically in recent years could offer hope for the industry’s future, grower Larry Black says. Black, who is president of Florida Citrus Mutual, offered his comments on Monday at a citrus round-table hosted by Yara North America in Tampa. Sponsored Content5 Facts About Fire Ants and …

CAST Award Recognizes Dr. Kevin Folta

Josh McGillCitrus

CAST Award Recognizes Dr. Kevin Folta for Excellence in Science Communication WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Council for Agricultural Science and Technology (CAST) announced that the 2016 Borlaug CAST Communication Award will be given to Dr. Kevin Folta, chair of the Horticultural Sciences Department at the University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences. Dr. Folta is renowned for his …

Citrus Growers Surveyed on Percent of Trees Infected

Josh McGillCitrus, Citrus Greening

Florida citrus growers: 80 percent of trees infected by greening By: Brad Buck, 352-294-3303, bradbuck@ufl.edu Source: Ariel Singerman, 863-956- 8870, singerman@ufl.edu GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Florida’s citrus growers say as much as 90 percent of their acreage and 80 percent of their trees are infected by the deadly greening disease, which is making a huge dent in the state’s $10.7 billion …

Improved Rootstock Selection Tool

Josh McGillCitrus, Citrus Greening

Florida Citrus Rootstock Selection Guide: New Custom Query Option The third edition of the Florida Citrus Rootstock Selection Guide was recently released online at flrootstockselectionguide.org and has now been expanded to include an expert system to aid growers in rootstock selection. The expert system was developed as a collaborative effort of Steve Rogers, Bill Castle, Steve Futch and Andrew Persaud. …

Bactericide Trials

Josh McGillCitrus, Citrus Greening

Growers should conduct bactericide trials Multiple meetings have been held across the state to discuss the three bactericides made available to citrus growers by the crisis declaration issued by Florida Commissioner of Agriculture Adam Putnam. Growers have many concerns surrounding these products, such as efficacy rates and economic viability. University of Florida associate professor and Extension specialist Megan Dewdney cautions …

Metalized Mulch

Josh McGillCitrus, Citrus Greening

Big boost in young tree growth and yield from insecticides and metalized mulch By Phil Stansly, Scott Croxton and Joby Sherrod With yields dropping in Florida and Brazil, the decision to replant is not an easy one. Still, prospects for eventual success of new plantings are better now than ever in the last 10 years. Think about it: 1) Asian …

Disrupting Psyllid Mating to Control HLB

Josh McGillCitrus, Citrus Greening

By: R. W. Mankin, B. Rohde and S. McNeill The Asian citrus psyllid (ACP) is the primary vector of the devastating huanglongbing (HLB) disease of citrus. Efficient monitoring of ACP at low population densities is essential to conduct management programs with timely effectiveness for protection of Florida groves. Extensive research is being conducted to better understand ACP biology and behavior, …

Veteran Biologist Named Director

Kelsey FryCitrus

Veteran Biologist Named Director of UF/IFAS Entomology Lab By Brad Buck GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Just as the Zika virus is causing concern worldwide, a University of Florida insect specialist with 36 years of experience at the Florida Medical Entomology Laboratory has been named the lab’s new director. Professor Jorge Rey started at FMEL, part of the UF Institute of Food …

U.S. Can Capitalize on Chinese Orange Juice Market Potential

Josh McGillCitrus

From: UF/IFAS By: Brad Buck, 352-294-3303, bradbuck@ufl.edu GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Opportunity awaits American and Florida marketers who want to sell 100 percent not from concentrate Florida orange juice in China if they take a cue from American restaurant giants like Kentucky Fried Chicken and Pizza Hut, a new University of Florida study shows. Zhifeng Gao, an associate professor of food …

Update on Bactericide Use

Josh McGillCitrus

Harold Browning, chief operations officer of the Citrus Research and Development Foundation (CRDF), reports on the first month of grower bactericide use on Florida citrus. Topics he addresses include options for the number of applications per year and product availability. He also discusses a soon-to-be-released document CRDF is developing that will provide instructions for growers on how to set up …