Florida’s Top Citrus Growers Sound Off On Critical Matters

Florida Grower® magazine reached out to some of the state’s leading citrus producers recently to get their take on several important factors impacting the industry.

Here are some of the responses.

Winner's ViewHow does the crop look heading into the 2016-2017 season?

Jerry Newlin, Alico Inc.: “Overall, the crop looks good. We are seeing lots of pieces of fruit on trees, but they are tending to be smaller. The biggest change I see between this year and last year is weather. We have transitioned from a strong El Niño to a weak La Niña. This fall, we’ve had less rain events in October and November and it has been much cooler.”

 

 


Hope On 27How have psyllid counts been over the past year?

Steve Farr, Ben Hill Griffin Inc.: “No question, the psyllid counts have been considerably higher starting in summer 2015 and continuing throughout 2016 thus far.

“After five years of scouting the same trees with the same scouts, scouting the same way, we have identified hot-spot areas. These are usually associated with lower grower participation in regional CHMA sprays. Statistically, all the areas have higher counts, but also are proportionate — meaning the hot areas are just hotter and the areas with low counts are now higher than before but not as high as the tougher areas from years past.

“Overall psyllid counts might be higher because of less participation in the CHMAs for various reasons, such as conflicts with the antimicrobial sprays, budgets, abandonment, etc. We also have seen more sporadic flushing with the weather and declining tree health. Also, high counts could be the psyllids adapting/resistance to chemicals being applied.”

 


 

Chuck Allison of Spring Valley Farms inspects a young citrus tree
Photo by Frank Giles

What are your top three considerations when planting new, fresh-market citrus varieties?

Chuck Allison, Spring Valley Farms: “My No. 1 consideration is the productivity and quality characteristics of the new variety. No. 2 would be the consumer demand in the market window when the fruit would be typically harvested.

“If we can hit the October through December window when there is not a large volume of mandarins on the worldwide market, Florida has an opportunity to find a spot in that window with the right variety. I have planted ‘Tango,’ which is a high-value, fantastic piece of fruit that will hopefully hit that window. We are further north (Umatilla), so we also hope the fruit will color up in a timely manner.”

 


 

Ricke Kress speaks at 2016 Florida Citrus Industry Annual Conference
Photo by Frank Giles

What is the regulatory status and performance of the genetically modified tree being developed by Southern Gardens Citrus?

Ricke Kress, Southern Gardens Citrus: “The field trials that Southern Gardens Citrus have in place at this time continue to show tolerance to HLB. The process and overall cooperation from the regulatory agencies in assessment of and planned approval of technologies continue to progress as well as possible.

“Development of trees to adequately assess HLB tolerance proceeds as quickly as Mother Nature will allow. Based on all factors to be considered, the regulatory process could be achieved in the next three to four years, depending on how quickly representative trees can be developed and analyzed.”

Topics: , ,

Leave a Reply

Insect & Disease Update Stories
Insect & Disease Update
January 23, 2017
California Lands $5 Million for Citrus Greening Research
The USDA grant will be used to create and identify possible solutions for a cure. Read More
Postbloom Fruit Drop symptoms on Florida ctirus
Insect & Disease Update
January 23, 2017
Florida Citrus Growers on Alert for Postbloom Fruit Drop
After the worst outbreak in years, growers should be wary of this disorder. Read More
Closeup on a citrus blossom in Florida
Insect & Disease Update
January 11, 2017
Florida Citrus Growers get Another Bactericide Booster
EPA Section 18 re-issued for treatment of HLB-infected trees. Read More
Ed Pines citrus grower
Citrus
December 14, 2016
Planting Citrus Under Protective Screen Goes Commercial
Production practice offers benefits beyond excluding the psyllid and HLB. Read More
sprayer applying bactericides to citrus trees
Insect & Disease Update
December 5, 2016
Best Practices For Bactericides Key To Vetting Citrus Solution
Approval finally cleared for antimicrobial applications, and now growers wait and hope to see positive results. Read More
Citrus Postbloom Fruit Drop field day hosted by BASF in Florida
Insect & Disease Update
November 30, 2016
Florida’s Top Citrus Growers Sound Off On Critical Matters
Fighting pyllids, better weather, and new varieties will hopefully bring improved yields. Read More
inspecting citrus greening leaves
Insect & Disease Update
November 7, 2016
How To Expose Citrus Greening Before It Appears
Study shows new imaging system can uncover HLB hot spots in the grove, giving growers an upper-hand. Read More
The Latest
Insect & Disease Update
February 18, 2017
The War on Citrus Psyllids Still Raging
Despite control challenges, keeping the pest in check remains the best approach to managing HLB. Read More
Insect & Disease Update
January 30, 2017
Boost in Brainpower Employed to Help Bea…
Newest addition to the UF/IFAS Indian River Research and Education Center team focused on helping growers manage through devastating disease. Read More
Insect & Disease Update
January 24, 2017
New Product Called on to Defend Citrus F…
Mycoshield is a bactericide approved to take aim at HLB-infected trees. Read More
Insect & Disease Update
January 23, 2017
California Lands $5 Million for Citrus G…
The USDA grant will be used to create and identify possible solutions for a cure. Read More
Insect & Disease Update
January 23, 2017
Florida Citrus Growers on Alert for Post…
After the worst outbreak in years, growers should be wary of this disorder. Read More
Insect & Disease Update
January 11, 2017
Florida Citrus Growers get Another Bacte…
EPA Section 18 re-issued for treatment of HLB-infected trees. Read More
Citrus
December 14, 2016
Planting Citrus Under Protective Screen …
Production practice offers benefits beyond excluding the psyllid and HLB. Read More
Insect & Disease Update
December 5, 2016
Best Practices For Bactericides Key To V…
Approval finally cleared for antimicrobial applications, and now growers wait and hope to see positive results. Read More
Insect & Disease Update
November 30, 2016
Florida’s Top Citrus Growers Sound…
Fighting pyllids, better weather, and new varieties will hopefully bring improved yields. Read More
Insect & Disease Update
November 7, 2016
How To Expose Citrus Greening Before It …
Study shows new imaging system can uncover HLB hot spots in the grove, giving growers an upper-hand. Read More
Insect & Disease Update
October 18, 2016
Asian Citrus Psyllid Quarantine Expands …
Multiple life stages found in trees in the city of Lincoln. Read More
Citrus
September 13, 2016
Can CRISPR Carry Agriculture Innovation …
Game-changing technology allows targeted gene modification to fight diseases like citrus greening. Read More
Insect & Disease Update
September 8, 2016
Bactericide Breakthrough Sweet News For …
Latest study shows injecting tree trunks with specialized chemical treatment effective in holding off HLB. Read More
Insect & Disease Update
August 30, 2016
Parasitic Wasps Released In Fight Agains…
Release in residential areas a proactive move against threat of citrus greening. Read More
Citrus
August 15, 2016
First Stab At Florida Citrus Production …
Elizabeth Steger estimates crop will drop by 26%. Read More
Insect & Disease Update
August 2, 2016
New Facility To Produce Natural Enemy Of…
Insect production greenhouse at Cal Poly Pomona to rear and study Tamarixia radiata wasp. Read More
Insect & Disease Update
July 22, 2016
Marco Rubio Backs Bill To Save Florida C…
Senator co-sponsors measure that would provide growers with incentives to plant more trees. Read More
Insect & Disease Update
July 14, 2016
Florida Citrus Groves Under Siege From P…
After years of laying low, this fungus-driven disease takes a big bite out of next year’s crop. Read More