Georgia Trials Offer Rootstock Choices

Dan Citrus, Georgia

Ongoing citrus rootstock trials being conducted by the University of Georgia (UGA) Cooperative Extension in Lowndes County hold promise for increased yields, improved fruit quality, and greater disease resistance. Jake Price, UGA Extension agent and Lowndes County Extension coordinator, has six local citrus rootstock/variety trials with varying objectives. The trees are custom-produced by U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)-certified citrus nurseries …


Citrus Diseases to Pay Attention to

Dan Citrus

Phytophthora and leprosis diseases can each substantially reduce the productivity of a citrus tree, but when they attack trees already weakened by HLB, the result can be fatal. Ozgur Batuman, assistant professor at the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS), explained how co-infection impacts HLB-infected trees during a recent UF/IFAS webinar. PHYTOPHTHORA DISEASESPhytophthora species are soil-borne fungal …


COVID-19 Impacts Mental Health on the Farm

Dan Aquaculture, Cattle, Citrus, Coronavirus, Field Crops, General, Industry, Livestock, Nursery Crops, Organic, Specialty Crops

A strong majority of farmers and farm-workers say the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted their mental health, according to a new American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) poll. The poll also indicates that more than half say they are personally experiencing more mental health challenges than they were a year ago. The survey of rural adults and farmers/farmworkers reveals how the pandemic …


Employment Opportunities Good for Ag Graduates

Dan Citrus, Education

A U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) report that projects strong employment opportunities for new college graduates interested in agriculture and related fields opened with a cautionary preface. Termed “A 2020 Pandemic Note,” it stated that the underlying study and preparation for the report began in September 2019, “when global socio-economic conditions were much different from today.” It stated that fewer …

oak mulch

Grower Sees Success With Oak Mulch

Dan Citrus

Like several commercial Florida citrus growers, Ben Bateman of Brandon has noticed a strong improvement in what he calls his “recreational grove” after applying oak mulch to the trees. Bateman planted 26 mixed-variety trees in large pots about six years ago, transplanting them to the ground five years ago. He said he spent nearly $1,000 on foliar nutrients “with little …


Weed-Control Strategies for Florida Groves

Dan Citrus, Education, Research

Weed management is a key component of Florida’s citrus production. A warm, humid climate and frequent rainfall provide a favorable environment for weed emergence and growth in citrus groves. Steve Futch, a former multi-county citrus Extension agent for the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, delivered a presentation during the 2021 virtual Southeast Regional Fruit and Vegetable …

citrus research

New Louisiana Citrus Research Facility

Dan Citrus, Research

The Arlene and Joseph Meraux Charitable Foundation have constructed a citrus research facility at Docville Farm in partnership with the Louisiana State University (LSU) AgCenter. The new facility, called the Center for Louisiana Citrus Innovation and Research, is in Violet, Louisiana. “This facility will be utilized to support Louisiana citrus growers as well as promote citrus and other specialty crops …


Huanglongbing (HLB): The Microbiome’s Role

Dan Citrus, Huanglongbing (HLB)/Citrus Greening, Research

Researchers Caroline Roper and Nichole Ginnan at the University of California, Riverside led a large research collaboration that sought to explore the microbiome’s role in HLB disease progression. Their recent article in Phytobiomes Journal, “Disease-Induced Microbial Shifts in Citrus Indicate Microbiome-Derived Responses to Huanglongbing,” moves beyond the single-snapshot view of the microbial landscape typical of microbiome research. Their holistic approach to …


Homeowner Canker Payments Coming

Dan Citrus, Economy, Huanglongbing (HLB)/Citrus Greening

Approximately 12,000 Lee County homeowners in Florida will receive checks in early January as compensation for citrus trees destroyed in the state’s citrus canker eradication program, according to attorney Robert Gilbert. Gilbert was the lead counsel representing the homeowners in a class action lawsuit for the past 17 years. According to Gilbert, the residential trees that were destroyed by the …

florida citrus

State of the Florida Citrus Processing Industry

Dan Citrus, Florida

Kristen Carlson, executive director of the Florida Citrus Processors Association, answers questions from Tacy Callies, Citrus Industry editor. Q: What are the current opportunities in Florida citrus processing?  A: There is some excess capacity in Florida should the citrus greening situation improve, and Florida increases its box production. Greening has decreased the yield of boxes per tree. With less impact from …