UGA to Hire Citrus Researchers Next Year

Josh McGill Georgia, Research

Georgia citrus growers will soon have research support from the University of Georgia (UGA), says Lindy Savelle, president of the Georgia Citrus Association and member of the Georgia Citrus Commission. She confirmed the news at the recent Cold Hardy Citrus Field Day at the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) North Florida Research and Education Center …

More Yellow-Legged Hornets Found in Georgia

Josh McGill Georgia, Pests

On Sept. 20, Georgia Agriculture Commissioner Tyler Harper announced, in coordination with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the University of Georgia (UGA), the discovery and destruction of a second yellow-legged hornet’s nest on Wilmington Island near Savannah. The yellow-legged hornet is a non-native species that, if allowed to establish in the United States, could threaten honey production, native …

Postharvest Ethylene Applications for Color Change

Josh McGill Georgia, Production

A citrus fruit’s color can provide the appearance that it is not ready to be harvested. But internally, it could be ready to eat. To help convince consumers of the citrus crop’s readiness, Angelos Deltsidis, University of Georgia assistant professor and postharvest Extension specialist, is researching the use of ethylene to artificially degreen citrus after harvest. “Naturally, citrus changes color …

UGA Citrus Research Benefits From Freeze

Josh McGill Cold Hardy, freeze, Varieties

Research in South Georgia cold-hardy citrus requires freezing temperatures for studies to be effective. When temperatures dropped below freezing for multiple days around Christmas last year, it allowed Jake Price, University of Georgia (UGA) Lowndes County Extension coordinator, to conduct extensive research into various citrus varieties and rootstocks. He discussed his research during a citrus meeting in early August. “We’ve …

Yellow-Legged Hornet Poses Threat to Pollinators

Josh McGill Georgia, Pests

A yellow-legged hornet (Vespa velutina), which poses a threat to honeybees and other pollinators, was recently detected near Savannah, Georgia. This is the first time a live specimen of this species has been detected in the United States. Its presence was confirmed by the Georgia Department of Agriculture (GDA), in coordination with the U.S. Department of Agriculture Animal and Plant …

Changing Weather Patterns for Georgia Groves

Josh McGill Weather

Pam Knox told Georgia growers at an August citrus meeting that their groves experience warmer temperatures on average than they would have six decades ago. “Since about 1960, annual temperature (in Georgia) has risen about 2.5 degrees Fahrenheit,” she said. Knox is the University of Georgia (UGA) Weather Network director and agricultural climatologist. According to Knox, the growing season increases …

Update on Citrus Greening in Georgia Groves

Josh McGill Georgia, HLB Management

Citrus greening disease is no longer just a problem in residential trees in Georgia. For the first time last year, citrus greening, also known as huanglongbing or HLB, was observed in commercial plantings in Pierce, Wayne and Grady counties, says Jonathan Oliver, University of Georgia (UGA) assistant professor and small fruits pathologist. Oliver discussed the disease during a citrus meeting …

Georgia Citrus Meeting Informs and Updates Growers

Josh McGill Georgia

Meetings have become an integral part of the production process for Georgia citrus growers. The University of Georgia’s (UGA) most recent meeting allowed producers to hear from scientists about research pertaining to a growing industry in the region. Topics like changing weather patterns, rootstock research, HLB and the use of ethylene to degreen satsuma mandarins were presented during an Aug. …

Biggest Need for Georgia Citrus Is Research

Josh McGill Georgia, Research

The Georgia Citrus Commission members have been selected to serve the state’s up-and-coming industry. Now it is time for those five individuals to determine the pathway for the industry to be successful for the foreseeable future. Commission member Lindy Savelle believes research is the key component in advancing the state’s citrus industry. She said that is why the Georgia Citrus …

A ‘Great Day for Citrus’ in Georgia

Tacy Callies Georgia, Legislative

Georgia’s young, burgeoning citrus industry celebrated a win on April 18. Surrounded by specialty crop industry leaders, state representatives and a throng of interested parties, Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp signed legislation to establish a state commodity commission for citrus. The signing took place at the Bainbridge campus of Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College. “In 2013, Georgia had 4,500 citrus trees. In …

Ambrosia Beetles a Concern Post-Freeze

Josh McGill freeze, Georgia, Pests

Researcher Apurba Barman recently reported that ambrosia beetles could be a potential concern following the December 2022 freeze event in the cold-hardy citrus region. Barman is an assistant professor of entomology with the University of Georgia College of Agricultural & Environmental Sciences.  Ambrosia beetles are small insects that bore holes into stressed trees. While they have been seen attacking young …

Sweet Valley Citrus Expansion Could Stall

Josh McGill Cold Hardy, freeze

Trees in the Sweet Valley Citrus region have been in high demand in recent years. Plantings of satsuma mandarins and other citrus varieties have steadily risen the past few years in Georgia, Alabama and North Florida. That steady climb is expected to stall this year, however. Following the Christmas freeze event that rattled the industry in the Southeast in December …

Thinking Outside the Box With Satsumas

Josh McGill Cold Hardy

Satsuma mandarins are big business in the Georgia and North Florida citrus industry. Satsumas are desirable from the consumer perspective, and the fruit’s cold hardiness is suited for the northern reaches of citrus production. Cold hardiness was proven to be especially important after freezes in late December and in January. But a problem with satsumas is that the fruit matures …

citrus greening

Why There Is a Lack of HLB in Georgia

Josh McGill Georgia, HLB Management

HLB has yet to become a major problem for Georgia’s citrus producers. Jonathan Oliver, University of Georgia assistant professor and small fruits pathologist, attributes the disease’s lack of presence in Georgia’s commercial groves to multiple factors. “It still comes down to the fact that, number one, you don’t see symptoms for a while. A lot of our trees are young,” …

Freeze’s Full Impact on Cold-Hardy Citrus Still Unknown

Josh McGill Cold Hardy, freeze

Southeast citrus trees were undoubtedly impacted by multiple days of sub-freezing temperatures during Christmas week. An exact understanding of the impact will not be known for another couple of months, believes Jonathan Oliver, University of Georgia (UGA) assistant professor and small fruits pathologist. “The freeze was significant, but you never really know for sure until the plants start to flush …

Psyllids and HLB in Georgia Citrus

Josh McGill Georgia, Psyllids

When commercial citrus acreage started migrating north some years ago, the big question was: To what extent would Asian citrus psyllids (ACP) and HLB migrate with the crop? With citrus getting well established in South Georgia, the pest and disease are there, but not yet at devastating levels like in Florida. Johnathan Oliver, an assistant professor of fruit pathology with …

Process Produces Safe, Fresh-Tasting Satsuma Juice

Josh McGill Mandarins, Orange Juice, Technology

Fresh-tasting satsuma orange juice with a commercially feasible shelf life is the goal of University of Georgia (UGA) Food Product Innovation and Commercialization Center (FoodPIC) scientists and food technology company Food Physics. FoodPIC and Food Physics are working together to perfect a technique known as pulsed electric field technology (PEF). PEF uses short bursts of high voltage —15,000 volts per …

Greening and Canker Concerns for Georgia Growers

Josh McGill Diseases, Georgia

The recent Citrus Growers’ Summer Update in Valdosta, Georgia, provided growers another outlet to learn about two diseases — citrus greening and citrus canker — that could have serious ramifications on the industry’s future in Georgia. Jonathan Oliver, University of Georgia (UGA) assistant professor and small fruits pathologist, highlighted the seriousness of the discovery of both of the diseases in …