New Hardiness Zones Favor Southeast Citrus Production

Tacy Callies Weather

Citrus production in the Southeast has spiked due to increased warmer temperatures in recent years. This is reflected in the new U.S. Department of Agriculture Plant Hardiness Zone Map. The updated hardiness zones show a region that is more conducive to growing crops than it has been in prior years. The concern over colder temperatures has dissipated due to global …

Sneak Peek: January 2024 Citrus Industry

Tacy Callies Sneak Peek

The January issue of Citrus Industry magazine rings in the new year with positive news! Find out how one Florida grower is producing up to 500 boxes per acre. Matt Machata tells how he rehabilitated his family’s groves in Lake Wales. He shares the details of his dry fertilizer and foliar application schedules. Attention to nutrition, irrigation and soil health …

quarantine

New HLB Quarantine Area for California

Daniel Cooper California Corner, HLB Management, Regulation

A newly established quarantine area has been declared following the detection of HLB in five trees in the Valley Center area of California’s San Diego County. The trees were located on a residential property with non-commercial citrus acreage. This is the first time the disease has been confirmed in Valley Center, marking the third area in San Diego County to …

HLB-affected

Root Nutrient and Fertilization Guidelines for HLB-Affected Trees

Daniel Cooper Nutrition, Tip of the Week

By Davie Kadyampakeni, Lorenzo Rossi and Alan Wright  Huanglongbing (HLB) disease lowers tree performance by reducing water and nutrient uptake as a result of root loss. HLB-affected trees have a fibrous root loss of about 30% to 80%, which increases as disease symptoms develop in the canopy. Investigating optimal nutrient concentrations in citrus roots thus improves the understanding of HLB …

citrus crop forecast

Congressmen Urge USDA to Buy California Navels

Daniel Cooper California Corner, Fresh

Four California congressmen recently asked U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Thomas Vilsack to have the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) buy $100 million worth of California navels. The orange purchase would help alleviate the impacts of storms. The letter from Congressmen Jim Costa, David Valadao, Doug LaMalfa and Josh Harder follows: We write in support of the Section 32 request submitted …

Program Provides Incentives to Address Labor Challenges

Josh McGill Labor

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) recently announced the Farm Labor Stabilization and Protection Pilot Program (FLSP). The new pilot grant program aims to improve food and agricultural supply-chain resiliency by addressing challenges agricultural employers face with labor shortages and instability.  “The program will provide incentives designed to simultaneously benefit workers and employers, with the potential to inform the H-2A …

Optimistic First Forecast for Florida Citrus

Tacy Callies Crop Forecast

The bad news is that severe weather warnings caused the annual citrus crop luncheon to be cancelled at Putnam Ranch in Zolfo Springs, Florida. The good news is that the Florida citrus crop forecast is up in all categories. Bill Curtis, agricultural statistics administrator with the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, presented the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) …

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 …

Provide Feedback During Florida Fruit Displays

Josh McGill All In For Citrus Podcast, Events, Varieties

Later this month, Florida citrus fruit displays will get underway. This is a key component of the citrus breeding program to get input from growers and other industry stakeholders on how fruit from potential new varieties looks and tastes. During the September All In For Citrus podcast, Michael Rogers, director of the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural …

First HLB Detection in Ventura County

Tacy Callies California Corner, HLB Management, Regulation

The California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) has declared a quarantine in Ventura County following the detection of the citrus disease huanglongbing (HLB), or citrus greening, in two citrus trees on one residential property in the city of Santa Paula. These detections are the first HLB-positive trees in Ventura County. CDFA is working with the U.S. Department of Agriculture …

citrus

Citrus Industry Members to Advise on Trade

Josh McGill Trade

Several members of the U.S. citrus industry have been appointed or re-appointed to the federal Agricultural Technical Advisory Committee for Trade in Fruits and Vegetables. They include James Cranney Jr. of California Citrus Quality Council, Casey Creamer of California Citrus Mutual, Melissa Frank-Poole of The Wonderful Company, Dale Murden of Texas Citrus Mutual and Daniel Richey of Riverfront Packing Company. …

Hurricane Ian Assistance Deadline Extended

Josh McGill financial, hurricane

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has extended the deadline for applications from agricultural producers for the Emergency Conservation Program (ECP) to address damages from Hurricane Ian in Florida. The application deadline has been extended to Sept. 25, 2023. The 28 approved counties for ECP signup are Brevard, Broward, Charlotte, Clay, Collier, DeSoto, Flagler, Glades, Hardee, Hendry, Highlands, Hillsborough, Indian …

USDA to Buy Fresh Grapefruit for Food Programs

Josh McGill Grapefruit

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) recently announced plans to purchase fresh grapefruit for distribution to various food nutrition assistance programs. The purpose is to encourage the continued domestic consumption of these products by diverting them from the normal channels of trade and commerce. USDA said ample availability of fresh grapefruit is projected to increase due to slower movement in …

USDA Citrus Breeding Program Focused on Rootstock and Variety Solutions

Josh McGill Breeding, Rootstocks, Varieties

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) U.S. Horticultural Research Laboratory in Fort Pierce, Florida, has been home to a citrus rootstock and variety breeding program for many years. Kim Bowman, a research geneticist, has been with the program for more than 30 years. More recently, Matthew Mattia, a geneticist, joined the breeding team. They provide an update on the program …

Assistance for 2022 Natural Disasters Announced

Josh McGill financial, hurricane

U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack recently announced two programs that collectively provide $3.7 billion in assistance to crop and livestock producers who sustained losses due to natural disasters like Hurricanes Ian and Nicole in 2022. They are the Emergency Relief Program (ERP) and Emergency Livestock Relief Program. To participate in the programs, producers should have or be prepared to have the …

Funding for Existing and Transitioning Organic Producers

Josh McGill Organic

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced additional steps being taken to strengthen the market for domestically grown organic goods, and to support producers seeking organic certification. These funding opportunities are part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Organic Transition Initiative. The initiative is a suite of offerings to help existing organic producers and those transitioning to organic production and processing. …

Aid for Growers Transitioning to Organic Production

Tacy Callies financial, Organic

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has announced details of a $75 million investment in conservation assistance for growers transitioning to organic production. USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) will dedicate financial and technical assistance to a new organic management standard and partner with new organic technical experts to increase staff capacity and expertise. The effort is part of the multi-agency …

Redesigned Florida Grower Citrus Show a Sweet Success

Josh McGill Events

The reinvigorated Florida Grower Citrus Show was a crowd-pleaser in its first year hosted by AgNet Media. The annual event was relocated to University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) facilities in Fort Pierce. It was streamlined from a two-day format to a one-day event. The show brought together exhibitors who …

Grants Available to Growers for Energy Projects

Josh McGill Agriculture, Industry News Release

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is accepting applications for $1 billion in grants to help agricultural producers and rural small businesses invest in renewable energy systems and make energy-efficiency improvements. USDA is making the grants available under the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP), with funding from the Inflation Reduction Act. “Supporting renewable energy and energy-saving systems helps the people of …

U.S. Citrus Production to Decline Over a Decade

Josh McGill Economics, Production

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) projects American citrus production will decline from 11.2 billion pounds in 2022 to 9.8 billion pounds in 2032. The 10-year outlook for citrus is part of the lengthy USDA Agricultural Projections to 2032 report. The report was issued in February by the chief economist’s office at the USDA. According to the report, total citrus …