Florida Southern College

Florida Southern College Has New Major

Daniel Cooper Education, Florida

Florida Southern College (FSC) in Lakeland will offer a new horticulture, land and resource management major in August for incoming students and current students who want to add a major or switch majors. It consists of 28 credit hours (without general education courses). Sixteen of those hours come from horticulture science, and the rest are business oriented with a focus …

AgNet Media Set to Host Florida Citrus Show

Morgan Cole Events, FCS24

Citrus and specialty crop producers should mark their calendars for the upcoming Florida Citrus Show, scheduled for Wednesday, April 3, in Fort Pierce, Florida. This will be the second year of AgNet Media hosting the event, which will once again feature a tailgating theme with vendors exhibiting their products and services while sharing delicious foods. In addition, general and educational …

Top Tailgater To Be Named at Florida Citrus Show

Morgan Cole Events, FCS24

Exhibitors are gearing up to compete for the Top Tailgater title at this year’s Florida Citrus Show. The reigning champion, Southern Citrus Nurseries, took home the title and $500 cash for their vegetable spring rolls last year. This year, they’re competing to be the two-year champion with virgin bloody mary oyster shots. Who will bring home the prize this year? …

Endangered Species Act To Be Addressed at Florida Citrus Show

Morgan Cole Events, FCS24

During the Florida Citrus Show’s general session, Mike Aerts, Florida Fruit & Vegetable Association vice president, science and regulatory affairs, will address how the Endangered Species Act (ESA) is being used to challenge the registration of key crop protection materials. The ESA has already been used to knock down the use of two active ingredients specific to citrus. Currently, the …


Florida Citrus Part of USDA Plant Protection Funding

Daniel Cooper Florida, Pest Management

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is allocating more than $5 million to Florida for plant-health protection. The funding is part of a nationwide effort to strengthen the country’s infrastructure for pest detection, surveillance and mitigation, as well as protect the U.S. nursery system. Through the authority of the Plant Protection Act (PPA) Section 7721, USDA is providing more than …


Proposal to Increase Florida Fresh Citrus Assessment

Daniel Cooper Florida, Fresh, Regulation

The federal marketing order assessment rate for fresh Florida oranges, grapefruit, tangerines and pummelos would increase under a rule proposed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Marketing Service. The proposed rule would increase the assessment rate for the 2023–24 fiscal year and subsequent fiscal periods from $0.015 to $0.02 per 4/5-bushel carton or equivalent for Florida citrus handled under …


Nominations Open for Two Florida Ag Awards

Daniel Cooper Awards

The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) is accepting nominations through March 1 for the Woman of the Year in Agriculture Award and the Agricultural-Environmental Leadership Awards. The Woman of the Year in Agriculture Award annually recognizes the achievements of women who have made outstanding contributions to Florida agriculture. The Agricultural-Environmental Leadership Awards are presented annually, spotlighting environmentally …

CRAFT program

Update on Florida’s CRAFT Program

Daniel Cooper CRAFT, Florida Department of Citrus

Florida’s Citrus Research and Field Trial (CRAFT) board of directors recently approved a slate of Cycle 5 solid set Program for Expedited Propagation (PEP) projects following recommendations from the Technical Working Group. Eleven projects totaling 455 acres were approved. Projects will focus on comparisons of five scions (Parson Brown, Roble, Carney 2, Carney 3 and Donaldson) on the same rootstock. …

Attention Vegetable Growers: The Florida Citrus Show Is for You, Too!

Morgan Cole Events, FCS24

For many years, the Florida Citrus Show has provided citrus growers with an excellent networking opportunity and educational program. Now, the event has added vegetable programming that growers will not want to miss. Show planners are developing a unique program for commercial vegetable growers that will combine traditional seminars with a “build-your-own” learning experience. After the morning general session, which …

marketing agency

Florida Juice Prices and Marketing Focus

Daniel Cooper Florida Department of Citrus, Marketing, Orange Juice

At the Jan. 17 Florida Citrus Commission (FCC) meeting, Florida Department of Citrus (FDOC) Director of Economic and Market Research Marisa Zansler reported on price increases for orange juice (OJ) and grapefruit juice. Nielsen data for the period ending Dec. 2, 2023 showed: Zansler reported that the average increase in grapefruit juice price year-over-year is 4.27%, somewhat in line with …

Florida Citrus Industry Survey Reflects Industry Optimism

Tacy Callies Florida, Survey

By Frank Giles Last year’s citrus season was marred by continuing production declines from HLB and hurricanes. The combined effect of both dropped the final all-orange output to 15.8 million boxes. Certainly, the numbers reflected the dire situation the industry found itself in after the storms. But after last year’s harvest, growers were given clearance to utilize new trunk-injection therapies …


Efforts to Eliminate Multiple Ag Taxation in Florida

Daniel Cooper Agriculture, Florida, Legislative

Florida Commissioner of Agriculture Wilton Simpson joined two state legislators Jan. 8 in announcing legislation to eliminate multiple taxation of agricultural production by annual local property taxes. Simpson, Sen. Jay Collins and Rep. Danny Alvarez announced the filing of a joint resolution, HJR 1251 and SJR 1560. The proposed constitutional amendment creates a total tax exemption of tangible personal property …

Registration Now Open for Florida Citrus Show

Morgan Cole Events

The Florida Citrus Show returns on April 3! Registration is now open for the 2024 show. Join us for a trade show full of the top agricultural companies, informational seminar sessions and an exciting tailgate party. This isn’t your average trade show. In between seminar sessions, growers can mingle with exhibitors and sample their tailgate dishes. Be sure to visit …

Florida Citrus Marketing Order Amended

Tacy Callies CAC, Florida, Marketing

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is amending the Florida Citrus Marketing Order for fresh citrus to reduce membership of the Florida Citrus Administrative Committee (CAC) and to update quorum requirements. Other amendments to the marketing order include: CAC recommended these changes to help fulfill membership and quorum requirements and ensure a more efficient and orderly flow of business. Authority …

Florida Growers Can Apply for TEAM Card

Tacy Callies Agriculture, financial, Florida

Florida Commissioner of Agriculture Wilton Simpson recently announced that farmers can apply for the Florida Farm Tax Exempt Agricultural Materials (TEAM) Card beginning Jan. 1, 2024. The card can be used for sales-tax-exempt purchases of agricultural materials. The Florida Department of Revenue will accept online and mailed applications. The plastic wallet-sized Florida Farm TEAM Card is a physical alternative to …

Finger Lime Interest Expands in Florida

Tacy Callies Limes

Florida is not a major producer of finger limes — yet. Australia has the most finger lime acreage in the world, and most U.S. finger limes are grown in California and Hawaii. But Florida’s acreage is expanding, University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) horticulturist Manjul Dutt reported during a Dec. 20 presentation at the Citrus Research …

PIECES OF THE PAST: Gratitude for Growing Florida Citrus

Tacy Callies Pieces of the Past

By Brenda Eubanks Burnette December is always a favorite month for me. It’s a time to reflect on the trials and tribulations from the past year and a time to be thankful for the blessings in our lives that have brought us through difficulties. December brings anticipation for the upcoming year and what lies ahead. For citrus growers, December also …

Canada’s Plastic Proposal Concerns Florida Growers

Tacy Callies International, Regulation

The Florida produce industry, including citrus, recently voiced concerns regarding Canada’s proposal to reduce the use of fresh produce plastic packaging. Organizations represented in a Florida letter to the director of Canada’s Plastics Regulatory Affairs Division include Florida Citrus Packers, Florida Citrus Mutual, Florida Fruit & Vegetable Association (FFVA), Florida Blueberry Growers Association, Florida Strawberry Growers Association and Florida Farm …

Florida Citrus: The Road Back

Tacy Callies Economics, Florida

By Tom Spreen The Florida citrus industry has experienced a difficult stretch of years since the record crop year of 2003–04, when over 240 million 90-pound boxes of oranges were produced. INDUSTRY DECLINEIn 2004, multiple hurricanes crisscrossed the Florida peninsula. They were the first hurricanes to hit the citrus-producing area of Florida since Hurricane Dora in 1964. The hurricanes themselves …