Growers Learn About Citrus Roots

Josh McGill Root health

Florida researcher Ute Albrecht shared information about citrus tree roots at the recent Georgia Citrus Association annual conference. The University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) associate professor specializing in plant physiology discussed rootstocks and soils, suggested transplanting tips and touched briefly on freeze tolerance. Albrecht works at the UF/IFAS Southwest Florida Research and Education Center in …

Should Florida Growers Be Worried About Lime Swallowtail?

Josh McGill Pests, Tip of the Week

By Lauren Diepenbrock Recently, several articles have highlighted a potential new threat to the citrus industry in Florida, the lime swallowtail. While it is true that this pest has been found in residential citrus plantings in Key West, it is unlikely that lime swallowtail will have much of an impact, if any, on Florida’s commercial citrus industry. Lime swallowtail is …

Senator Talks to Growers and Acts on H-2A

Josh McGill Labor

U.S. Sen. Jon Ossoff (D-GA) recently spoke to South Georgia citrus growers in Ochlocknee about their needs and introduced legislation to reduce a wage-rate increase in the H-2A guestworker program. The industry’s needs include shoring-up supply chains, expanding facilities to keep up with growing demand, and strengthening research on diseases and pests that pose a unique threat to citrus. “I’m …

Citrus Institute: One-Stop Learning Opportunity for Growers

Josh McGill Education, Events, Tip of the Week

By Ruth Borger Keeping up with the latest news and research findings that impact how growers can successfully produce citrus in the HLB era can be an overwhelming task. Tracking down the right information at the right time for the changing conditions that face citrus growers takes time, effort and persistence. University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences …

Lessons From Hurricane Ian Will Help Growers

Josh McGill hurricane, Survey

Researchers will assess 20 to 30 Florida citrus groves impacted by 2022’s Hurricane Ian to learn lessons that will help growers in the future. University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) researchers Christopher Vincent and Tripti Vashisth and their teams will conduct the assessment. The research will be funded by a $280,000, one-year grant from the U.S. …

crisp

Irrigation Guidelines for Growers

Josh McGill Irrigation, Tip of the Week

By Ajia Paolillo As the season moves from winter to spring, the irrigation requirements of citrus trees change. Typically, February through May is the drier time of year in Florida with low rainfall amounts in most areas. However, during this period, the trees are actively producing leaves and flowers, setting fruit, and pumping resources to the growing fruit during cell …

texas citrus

Florida Growers to Vote on Marketing Order Amendments

Josh McGill Marketing, Regulation

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will conduct a referendum April 3–May 1 on proposed amendments to the federal marketing order regulating the handling of oranges, grapefruit, tangerines and pummelos grown in Florida. Notice of the referendum was published in the Federal Register on Jan. 18, 2023. The proposed amendments would include reducing the size and quorum requirements of the …

freeze

Cold-Hardy Growers Face Tough Call With Possible Freeze

Josh McGill Cold Hardy, freeze

Looming below-freezing temperatures in the cold-hardy citrus region have growers on high alert regarding their remaining crop. Forecasts call for temperatures to drop to the 20s in Tifton, Georgia, on Dec. 23, according to Weather.com. Growers will have to decide on how to handle their remaining fruit, said Kim Jones, citrus producer and packinghouse owner. Jones is president of the …

Guide Prepares California Growers for HLB Detection

Josh McGill California Corner, HLB Management, Regulation

California’s Citrus Pest and Disease Prevention Program (CPDPP) has developed a guide, Response for a Confirmed Huanglongbing Positive Detection in a Commercial Grove, to prepare growers for a finding of the disease. The guide is intended to educate growers about the California Department of Food and Agriculture’s (CDFA) huanglongbing action plan. The devastating citrus disease spread by the Asian citrus …

Citrus Growers Get Update on Trunk Injection

Josh McGill HLB Management

The Gulf Citrus Growers Association (GCGA) hosted a luncheon on Dec. 7 at the Southwest Florida Research and Education Center featuring a presentation by Tom Johnson, chief executive officer of TJ BioTech. The company is the manufacturer of ReMedium TI, the widely discussed formulation of oxytetracycline hydrochloride (OTC-HCI) that has shown promise as a treatment for HLB. The product is …

citrus production

Research to Help Organic Growers Fight HLB

Josh McGill Organic, Research

A grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Organic Agriculture Research and Extension Initiative (OREI) is intended to advance research to help organic citrus producers fight HLB.   The grant awards $2.03 million to a team of scientists from the University of Florida, Texas A&M University and The Organic Center. The Organic Center is a non-profit organization convening evidence-based science on the …

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 …