All Georgia Citrus Saw Impacts from Christmas Freeze

By Clint Thompson This winter season provided the first cold challenge for Georgia-produced citrus. With multiple days of sub-freezing temperatures during Christmas week, the impact was not good for trees produced throughout the state. Jake Price, University of Georgia (UGA) Lowndes County Extension coordinator, discussed the situation during the Southeast Regional Fruit and Vegetable Conference in Savannah, Georgia. “Pretty much every variety …

USDA Citrus Forecast Drops Again

Florida citrus crops, already at historically low levels, were forecast Jan. 12 to fall even lower. The all-orange forecast fell 10% from the December projection. The grapefruit and tangerine/tangelo forecasts both tumbled 17%. The forecast was issued by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (USDA NASS). If realized, the orange, grapefruit and tangerine/tangelo crops will be 56%, …

FDOC Media Relations and Promotion of OJ

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 reported on that …

Public Comment Sought on Domestic Fertilizer Production

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced this week at the American Farm Bureau Federation annual convention several major developments at the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) that will benefit farmers, ranchers and producers across the nation. “At USDA, our goal is to provide all farmers, including new and underserved producers, with the opportunity to receive the assistance they need to continue …

Taking Fertilizer Knowledge to the Next Level

The University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) has launched a new online graduate certificate program for agricultural professionals. “The certificate program is called Fertilizer Science and Technology, offered completely online at the student’s pace and oriented to growers, consultants, suppliers and regulators,” says Kelly Morgan, UF/IFAS professor of soil fertility and water management. The certificate is …

SE Regional Fruit and Vegetable Conference Draws Good Crowd to Savannah 

By Clint Thompson COVID took the Southeast Regional Fruit and Vegetable Conference’s live event away from farmers and industry leaders in 2021. Though the Georgia Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association (GFVGA) held the conference online, it was not the same. When the conference reconvened this past weekend, Chris Butts, executive vice president of the GFVGA, reminisced about the situation two …

IMG Citrus Announces Expansion

IMG Citrus, based in Vero Beach, Florida, has acquired J&J Fresh Produce assets. These assets, also located in Vero Beach, include a new 185,000-square-foot cold storage and packaging facility and 1,000 acres of farmland in the Delta Farms Water Control District. “This is an exciting acquisition and a key component of our growth strategy,” said Melanie Ressler, co-chief executive officer …

Florida Blueberries Escape Significant Damage from Christmas Freeze

By Clint Thompson Timing can make the difference in the success of a specialty crop. In the case of Florida blueberries, it likely has helped the crop survive one of the coldest freeze events in recent memory. Doug Phillips, University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) blueberry Extension coordinator, explains how the lack of blooms in Florida’s …

Citrus Pest Management Workshop Scheduled 

The University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) will hold a workshop on citrus insect, mite and nematode management Jan. 19 at the Citrus Research and Education Center in Lake Alfred. The workshop will run from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Presentations will be made by UF/IFAS faculty members. UF/IFAS pointed out that pest management in citrus …

Wilton Simpson: Florida’s New Agriculture Commissioner Issues Statement

 JANUARY 4, 2023 Wilton Simpson was sworn in as Florida’s 13th Commissioner of Agriculture this week. He issued the following statement: “I am deeply appreciative of the privilege and responsibility of serving as Florida’s 13th Commissioner of Agriculture and leading the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. “Florida’s agriculture and related industries are the quiet, and often overlooked, giant of …