In Defense of Florida’s Citrus Industry

Josh McGill Economics

By Marisa L. Zansler The Florida citrus industry has endured many challenges throughout its storied history, but never more so than over the past 18 years. During this time, the devastating impact of HLB has become more apparent and entrenched as the root cause of declines in the production of oranges, grapefruit and specialty citrus. HLB, combined with recent weather-related …

citrus production

Florida Processed Orange Standards Reduced

Josh McGill Florida Citrus Commission, Florida Department of Citrus, Regulation

The Florida Citrus Commission (FCC) on Feb. 22 reduced processed orange maturity standards for the remainder of this season due to the negative effects of 2022’s Hurricane Ian. The emergency rule, proposed by the Florida Department of Citrus (FDOC), requires that all processed oranges have a Brix value of no less than 7.0. The rule also stipulates that there shall …

Citrus Leaders Provide Disaster Testimony

Josh McGill freeze, hurricane

Florida agriculture took a wallop from Hurricane Ian last year. Throw in another hurricane (Nicole) and a freeze, and the disaster losses stacked up. The state’s citrus industry took a particularly hard hit. On Jan. 17, citrus industry representatives headed to Tallahassee to testify before the Florida Senate Agriculture Committee about the toll these weather events had on an already …

Department of Citrus Responding to Media and Promoting OJ

Josh McGill Florida Department of Citrus, Marketing

The Florida Department of Citrus (FDOC) worked with Florida Citrus Mutual (FCM) and public relations agency Red Hill Strategies to manage media requests regarding crop forecasts and the impacts of hurricanes in 2022. The FDOC has also worked with FCM to develop a toolkit about the application of oxytetracycline in the fight against HLB. FDOC Director of Global Marketing Samantha Lane …

Florida Citrus Marketed Internationally

Josh McGill Florida Department of Citrus, International, Marketing

The Florida Department of Citrus (FDOC) is continuing to work on retail promotions with the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services in Pan-Europe, France and Canada. Katie Bruce, international marketing manager, told the Florida Citrus Commission (FCC) about those and other international efforts in December. The FCC serves as the governing board for the FDOC. The Canadian retail program …

Ian, GMOs and Marketing Discussed at Citrus Commission Meeting

Josh McGill Florida Citrus Commission, hurricane, Marketing

Many media inquiries about Florida citrus following Hurricane Ian were addressed by Florida Department of Citrus marketing agency Edible. Alex Armentano of Edible told the Florida Citrus Commission during its October meeting that the agency worked closely with Florida Citrus Mutual and other partners to respond to media requests. Edible worked with partners to create materials and messaging and to …

CRISPR Research Update for HLB and Canker

Josh McGill Breeding, Florida Citrus Commission, Research

Yianni Lagos, chief executive officer of Soilcea, told the Florida Citrus Commission (FCC) in October about his company’s efforts to use CRISPR gene editing to aid the citrus industry in its struggles with canker and HLB. Soilcea was founded to find solutions to these citrus diseases. The company has exclusive licenses to patents from the University of Florida to cure …

OJ Sales Impacted by Inflation

Josh McGill Florida Department of Citrus, Orange Juice, sales

Approximately 67% of total orange juice (OJ) is consumed through retail channels, and as much as 93% of not-from-concentrate (NFC) OJ is consumed through retail channels. The Florida Citrus Commission (FCC) learned these statistics at its Oct. 26 meeting. Florida Department of Citrus (FDOC) Economic and Market Research Director Marisa Zansler provided the information, along with other citrus juice sales …

Department of Citrus Budget Reduced Slightly

Josh McGill Florida Citrus Commission, Florida Department of Citrus

The Florida Citrus Commission (FCC) on Oct. 26 approved a Florida Department of Citrus (FDOC) 2022–23 budget that is only $123,000 less than a preliminary budget approved in June. Approval of the $29.795 million budget came less than a month after Hurricane Ian knocked much of the state’s citrus crop to the ground and damaged trees. The FCC serves as …

Industry Leaders React to Low Forecast

Josh McGill Crop Forecast

Immediately following the lowest federal crop forecast for Florida citrus in many decades, Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried and Florida Department of Citrus Executive Director Shannon Shepp expressed optimism that the industry will strive to recover. Their statements referred to Hurricane Ian, which destroyed much fruit and damaged trees in major portions of the state’s citrus belt. The U.S. Department …

Nurseries Approved for Expedited Propagation Program

Josh McGill Florida Citrus Commission, Florida Department of Citrus, nurseries

The Florida Citrus Commission (FCC) on Aug. 24 approved agreements with 25 nurseries for the Program for Expedited Propagation of HLB Tolerant and Resistant Trees. The nurseries are: Agromillora Florida Inc. Ben Hill Griffin Inc. Blue Heron Nurseries LLC Brewer Citrus LLC Brite Leaf Citrus Nursery LLC Citrific Holdings Inc. CitriSun Nurseries LLC Cutrale Farms Inc. Dilley Citrus Nursery Inc. …

Florida Citrus Hall of Fame Ceremonies to Be Oct. 14

Josh McGill Awards, Events

The 2022 Florida Citrus Hall of Fame induction ceremonies will be held Friday, Oct. 14 from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at Florida Southern College’s (FSC) George W. Jenkins Fieldhouse. The college is at 111 Lake Hollingsworth Drive in Lakeland.  The event is sponsored by Florida Citrus Mutual, the Florida Department of Citrus and the Florida Citrus Hall of Fame, …

HLB-Tolerant Tree Program Progressing

Tacy Callies Florida Citrus Commission, Florida Department of Citrus, HLB Management

The goal of an expedited tree propagation program is to have several million HLB-tolerant or HLB-resistant trees planted in the next several years. Greg Hodges, assistant director of the Florida Department of Agriculture’s Division of Plant Industry (DPI), said he believes that goal is attainable. Hodges and others presented the propagation plans to the Florida Citrus Commission (FCC) on July …

No Negative Cardiovascular Impacts for Children Drinking OJ

Josh McGill Florida Department of Citrus, Orange Juice, Research

New research examining the cardiovascular health of young adults who consumed 100% orange juice (OJ) as children indicates no increased risk for high blood pressure or elevated blood lipid levels as a result. The research, published in the International Journal of Food Science and Nutrition, specifically looked at 100% OJ consumption during late childhood and early adolescence and its association …

orange juice

Senate Wants Orange Juice to Flow Again

Daniel Cooper Industry News Release, Legislative, Orange Juice

(NSF) — Travelers might again get a free cup of Florida’s homegrown beverage when they cross the state line, through funding tucked in the Senate’s proposed budget. But helping the Florida Department of Citrus (FDOC) bring back free orange juice could hinge on a bigger debate, as the operations of state welcome centers remain locked in a legislative battle about …

Citrus Chief Gets New Contract, No Raise

Daniel Cooper Citrus, Industry News Release

From News Service of Florida Shannon Shepp, executive director of the Florida Department of Citrus, will not receive a raise under a new contract approved Wednesday. The Florida Citrus Commission unanimously approved the deal, which alters Shepp’s severance package. The package initially would have given her the equivalent of 20 weeks’ pay if she was let go. Instead, Shepp will …

citrus

Citrus Industry Tightens Belt Amid Industry Woes

Daniel Cooper Citrus, Florida Citrus Commission, Industry News Release

by Jim Turner, News Service of Florida The Florida Department of Citrus plans to continue to squeeze its operations during the coming year as the industry struggles, though travelers will still be able to receive free orange juice at state welcome centers. The Florida Citrus Commission, which oversees the department, approved a preliminary $17.5 million operating budget Wednesday that would …

orange

Citrus Agency Hopes for Rebound After New Forecast

Daniel Cooper Citrus, Forecast, Industry News Release

The Florida Department of Citrus is hoping for a better second half of the growing season after the latest decline in projections for the state’s orange and grapefruit harvest. Meanwhile, Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam said a 4 percent drop from February to March in the forecast from the U.S. Department of Agriculture is another sign of the effects of deadly …