Citrus Industry Leaders Call for Disaster Relief

By Frank Giles Florida citrus leaders will testify before the Florida Senate Agriculture Committee on Jan. 17 to provide lawmakers with a sense of the disastrous impact last year’s hurricanes had on the crop and growers’ financial positions.  Among those testifying are Christa Court, director of the economic impact analysis program, University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences; …

CRAFT Cycle Four Application Deadline Extended

The Citrus Research and Field Trial (CRAFT) program is now accepting applications for the fourth cycle of trials. The deadline for applications has been extended to Dec. 31, 2022. This cycle will follow practices established in the first three cycles by partnering with growers to evaluate the effectiveness and economic feasibility of HLB mitigation strategies in commercial settings. The CRAFT …

Keeping Florida Citrus Nurseries Viable

By Peter Chaires There are times when this column seeks to illuminate issues that might not be on the front burner of the collective industry consciousness. This is one of those times. Hurricane Ian’s destructive landfall and its unfolding impact on the industry will capture headlines for some time. The devastating impacts of HLB on citrus growers is highly visible, …

Expanding the Olive Footprint in Florida

By Michael Garcia Citrus growers have been fighting HLB for more than a decade. The disease has taken a large toll on the industry, reducing production and threatening infrastructure. The impacts of Hurricane Ian will certainly make production more difficult. Prudence suggests exploring alternative crops, particularly those that benefit from the use of existing citrus infrastructure, are compatible with Florida …

Getting the Most Mileage out of Marathon Mandarin

By Peter Chaires Based on the performance of a single mother tree, the University of Florida’s Marathon mandarin was released and licensed into a revised version of the FAST TRACK model in 2019. Having learned from the growing pains of earlier FAST TRACK variety launches, the Marathon model (Suite IV) was designed to be more user friendly and flexible. Rather …

Citrus Growers Stymied by Snails

By Clint Thompson Florida citrus growers can add bulimulus snails to their growing list of pest problems. The snails are challenging some citrus groves across the state, says Lauren Diepenbrock, University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences assistant professor and entomologist. The Damage They Do While the bulimulus snails do not do much in terms of physical damage …

Expo Tackles Trucking and New BMPs

By Frank Giles The 2022 Citrus & Specialty Crop Expo was held last month in North Fort Myers. Growers from across Florida and beyond gathered for the event that was packed with educational programming and a trade show floor full of exhibitors eager to display their products and services. This year’s general educational session focused on some of the bigger …

Update on New HLB Treatments

By Frank Giles The Citrus & Specialty Crop Expo, held Aug. 17-18, in North Fort Myers drew growers from across Florida and beyond. Citrus growers in attendance were eager for information on HLB treatments. Rick Dantzler, chief operating officer of the Citrus Research and Development Foundation (CRDF), spoke during the general session educational seminars and provided an update on products …

Scouting Below the Ground Critical in Florida Citrus

By Frank Giles Florida citrus growers faced another challenging season in 2022. Continuing impacts from HLB and inflated input prices forced some growers to scale back their production programs. According to Kendra McCorkle, an agronomic service representative for Syngenta, some growers had to make hard economic decisions. “This past season with spikes (in expenses) across everything, especially fertilizer and fuel, …