Florida Citrus Mutual Conference Wrap-Up

Florida Citrus Mutual’s sixth annual conference in Bonita Springs was another success, as growers, academia, and allied industry gathered together to face the challenges of the day. There was a “we’re all in this together” attitude about the event.

The 2010 Florida Grower Citrus Achievement Award winner Jerry Newlin was presented his trophy with a special recognition during the conference banquet. Newlin’s tireless work on behalf of the industry made him a popular choice among his peers.

Greening, Greening, Greening

The conference’s educational session was largely dedicated to citrus greening. Growers are interested in their multimillion dollar research investment to fight the disease, so attendees were provided an update on activities of the new Citrus Research and Development Foundation (CRDF). CRDF chief operating officer Dan Gunter noted that CRDF was established to put a corporate structure in place to facilitate commercial development of any research breakthroughs. The purpose of the body is to move research beyond the vacuum of academia into a peer-reviewed environment that is focused on results. The good news for conference attendees was this structure is now in place and millions of dollars have been unleashed to find solutions to greening.

Cooperation Is Key

Attendees were given a summary of the 307-page report on greening from the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) during the gathering.

NAS reported — first and foremost — growers must control the psyllid, while research seeks longer-term solutions. With that in mind, the No. 1 organizational recommendation from the body was to establish citrus health management areas (CHMAs). As is traditional in the citrus industry, acronyms take on a life of their own and soon everyone at the conference was talking about [Chee-MAs] to fight the psyllid.

CHMAs will seek to coordinate growers in different areas to spray for psyllids in a unified manner over a short window of time. Several groups have already arranged “area-wide” sprays with good success. These cooperative efforts have more effectively reduced psyllid populations than in areas where growers are applying on their own.

Talking Foliar

The most anticipated session during the annual conference was a panel discussion on foliar nutrition as a means of dealing with citrus greening. Dr. Jackie Burns, interim director of the Citrus Research and Education Center, Jerry Newlin, vice president of grove operation for Orange-Co, Maury Boyd, citrus grower, and Mike Irey, director of research for Southern Gardens Citrus, participated in the panel and presented varying points of view.

Boyd’s grove in Felda has become the stuff of legend since he began treating it with a cocktail of nutrients. It appears that his groves have declined less than others highly infected with greening, which has drawn a lot of attention in recent years, not without controversy.

Dr. Burns presented the position of UF/IFAS, which remains that growers should control the psyllid, scout for greening, and remove infected trees. However, recently IFAS did modify its guidance to acknowledge foliar nutrition as an option for growers dealing with greening. She did caution that once you go down the road of foliar nutrition, abandoning tree removal, there is no turning back. In a sense, you are managing the grove down.

Southern Gardens Citrus has been a leader in the fight against greening from the earliest days. It has aggressively pursued the removal of inoculum by taking out infected trees. Irey presented compelling data that by pursuing this path infection rates will peak and eventually begin to stabilize or come down. He showed data from Brazil, where tree removal is mandatory, that seemed to confirm his strong belief.

Boyd then presented the components of his foliar nutrition program and noted that they’ve not seen fruit drop this year in the nearly100% infected grove, but he was not sure why. He noted his interest in psyllid repellents and called for more research into this area.

Finally, Newlin presented how Orange-Co is addressing greening in its groves. While they are on a strict tree removal program, he says they are applying foliar nutrients more aggressively and monitoring what is happening with the practice in other groves. He characterized his position as more middle of the road, having appreciation for Southern Gardens’ approach and what Boyd is doing.

Word From The Sponsor – Chemtura AgroSolutions
Congratulations to this year’s Citrus Achievement Award winner, Jerry Newlin, who was presented his trophy Citrus Mutual’s annual conference.
We are proud to be associated with such committed and hard-working individuals in the citrus industry and can only hope others will feel inspired to follow in their footsteps. Here at Chemtura AgroSolutions, it’s only through working with growers, experts, and industry leaders that we are able to supply the market with products like Micromite that meet specific grower needs.
A special thanks to Jerry, the nominees, and growers everywhere who continuously aspire to improve our citrus industry. We are honored to be working with you to provide long-lasting pest solutions that work for you.

Leave a Reply

Citrus Stories
Handfuls of Florida hops
Citrus
September 22, 2017
When it Comes to Growing, Florida Farmers Never Say Never
Let's raise a toast to the bold producers and researchers who are taking our industry beyond previously perceived crop viability boundaries to places once figured forbidden. Read More
Citrus
September 21, 2017
Hurricane Relief Fund Launched for Florida Farmworkers
Money raised will benefit Redlands Christian Migrant Association’s efforts to aid families in need. Read More
Citrus
September 19, 2017
Precision in Specialty Crops Gains Momentum
Here are some of the key drivers that may transform your farm in the years ahead. Read More
Neo 1 hops at UF/IFAS MREC
Citrus
September 19, 2017
Hopes High for Hops Fresh From Florida
When it comes to alternative crop solutions, something good is brewing in the Sunshine State. Do you have what it takes to tap in? Read More
Winter melon damage from Hurricane Irma in Elkton, FL
Citrus
September 15, 2017
Help Extended to Hurricane-Weary Farmers Dealing With Disaster
USDA chief grants extra time and special procedures to document and file claims. Read More
raindrops in standing water
Citrus
September 13, 2017
New Guidance on FSMA Ag Water Compliance, Water Testing, and Farm Inspections Announced
FDA issued a rule to extend compliance dates for agricultural water and announced a start date for farm inspections. Read More
Packinghouse damage from Irma at SWFREC in Immokalee
Citrus
September 13, 2017
Florida Farmers Digging out From Impacts of Irma
Damage reports starting to flood in from the field following monster storm, and it's not pretty. Read More
Biocontrols Conference
September 11, 2017
The Grower’s Take: Citrus, HLB, and Biological Control
Uncle Matt’s Organic orange juice brand has enjoyed steady growth since its 2002 inception. The brand’s success is due to Read More
Citrus
September 7, 2017
Summer News Stories that Have Growers Talking
Farming has been in the media spotlight this year. I asked each of this month’s columnists and contributors for their Read More
Citrus
September 7, 2017
Whose Sustainable Standard Wins?
Retailers’ race to win the most sustainable produce prize leaves growers trying to keep up with fast-developing demands. Read More
Citrus
September 7, 2017
Improving Water Management: Can Silicon Valley Help?
Though very much-needed, technological solutions must be cost-effective and industry appropriate. Read More
Florida oranges
Citrus
August 31, 2017
Extra Early Florida Citrus Forecast Calling For Sunshine
Marked increase in production predicted for the next crop of oranges. Read More
Citrus
August 30, 2017
How Harvey May Impact Specialty Crop Growers
The devastating human toll from Hurricane/Tropical Storm Harvey has rightly dominated news coverage. Growers and those who work with them, however, should also think about how this historic storm will also affect them.  Read More
Insect & Disease Update
August 28, 2017
California Extends Citrus Quarantine
A 94-square mile area of San Bernardino, Riverside counties now a part of state huanglongbing quarantine. Read More
Strawberry fieldworker in Florida
Citrus
August 28, 2017
Specialty Crop Concern Feeds Need to Negotiate NAFTA Now
Although trade talk objectives may not deliver the short-term relief for Florida fruit and vegetable growers, they appear on the right track. Read More
The Latest
Citrus
September 23, 2017
Family Citrus Farmers Face Tough Times […
Dealing with a deadly disease is tough enough without extreme pressures from retailer/customers. Read More
Citrus
September 22, 2017
Water Management Concerns Flowing in Flo…
Efforts mounted and executed to move gallons by the ton to protect property. Read More
Citrus
September 22, 2017
When it Comes to Growing, Florida Farmer…
Let's raise a toast to the bold producers and researchers who are taking our industry beyond previously perceived crop viability boundaries to places once figured forbidden. Read More
Citrus
September 21, 2017
Hurricane Relief Fund Launched for Flori…
Money raised will benefit Redlands Christian Migrant Association’s efforts to aid families in need. Read More
Citrus
September 19, 2017
Precision in Specialty Crops Gains Momen…
Here are some of the key drivers that may transform your farm in the years ahead. Read More
Citrus
September 19, 2017
Hopes High for Hops Fresh From Florida
When it comes to alternative crop solutions, something good is brewing in the Sunshine State. Do you have what it takes to tap in? Read More
Citrus
September 15, 2017
Help Extended to Hurricane-Weary Farmers…
USDA chief grants extra time and special procedures to document and file claims. Read More
Citrus
September 13, 2017
New Guidance on FSMA Ag Water Compliance…
FDA issued a rule to extend compliance dates for agricultural water and announced a start date for farm inspections. Read More
Citrus
September 13, 2017
Florida Farmers Digging out From Impacts…
Damage reports starting to flood in from the field following monster storm, and it's not pretty. Read More
Biocontrols Conference
September 11, 2017
The Grower’s Take: Citrus, HLB, and Biol…
Uncle Matt’s Organic orange juice brand has enjoyed steady growth since its 2002 inception. The brand’s success is due to Read More
Citrus
September 7, 2017
Summer News Stories that Have Growers Ta…
Farming has been in the media spotlight this year. I asked each of this month’s columnists and contributors for their Read More
Citrus
September 7, 2017
Whose Sustainable Standard Wins?
Retailers’ race to win the most sustainable produce prize leaves growers trying to keep up with fast-developing demands. Read More
Citrus
September 7, 2017
Improving Water Management: Can Silicon …
Though very much-needed, technological solutions must be cost-effective and industry appropriate. Read More
Citrus
August 31, 2017
Extra Early Florida Citrus Forecast Call…
Marked increase in production predicted for the next crop of oranges. Read More
Citrus
August 30, 2017
How Harvey May Impact Specialty Crop Gro…
The devastating human toll from Hurricane/Tropical Storm Harvey has rightly dominated news coverage. Growers and those who work with them, however, should also think about how this historic storm will also affect them.  Read More
Citrus
August 28, 2017
Specialty Crop Concern Feeds Need to Neg…
Although trade talk objectives may not deliver the short-term relief for Florida fruit and vegetable growers, they appear on the right track. Read More
Citrus
August 28, 2017
3 More Florida Growers Given Green Light…
Once exclusive enterprise continues to expand for more seeking to engage alternative crop endeavor. Read More
Citrus
August 27, 2017
USDA Releases Software to Help Small Ope…
While the free tool was primarily designed for use by small firms, any size manufacturer can opt to use it. Read More