31 Oct 2019
Cover Crops

Citrus Grower Sees Success with Cover Crops

Ed James has citrus in his veins. He has been working and thriving in the citrus business since he was a teenager — from hoeing orange trees to owning a caretaking business that serviced thousands of acres. That is, until about eight years ago.

In 2010, James looked around his personal 45-acre citrus grove and realized it was time to throw in the towel. The citrus industry in Florida had gone from over 800,000 acres to less than 400,000 acres. Citrus greening was the main culprit, but there were other factors for the decline. For James, it had just become completely unprofitable. The trees looked stunted and almost dead from foot rot, Diaprepes root weevil and HLB.

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26 Sep 2019
Greater varieties

South Africa wants greater varietal spread of citrus & table grapes in Japanese trade

Carolize Jansen
www.freshplaza.com

A recent visit to Japan for the annual Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD), which was joined by the Citrus Growers’ Association at the behest of President Cyril Ramaphosa, provided the association with a salient opportunity to address some nagging aspects of fruit trade with that country, as well as to press the fruit industry’s interests.

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26 Sep 2019
Mandarins for harvest

Farmers, researchers try to hold off deadly citrus greening long enough to find cure

Diane Nelson, UC Davis
https://phys.org

In an orange grove outside Exeter, California, workers climb aluminum ladders to pick fruit with expert speed. California produces 80 percent of the nation’s fresh oranges, tangerines and lemons, most of it in small Central California communities like these.

“This may be the last place in the world where you can still grow citrus,” says farmer Richard Bennett, reaching high to pull an orange from a tree. He peels it in two long ribbons, and the scent of zest fills the air. “Citrus is so important to our health and economy, and it’s threatened by a devastating disease.”

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28 Aug 2019
Cover crops

Cover crops for citrus

Sarah Strauss, Davie Kadyampakeni, Ramdas Kanissery, Tara Wade, Lauren Diepenbrock and Juanita Popenoe
Citrus Industry

Cover crops are specific crops not intended for sale but for soil improvement and sustainability. They are increasingly common in the agricultural fields of the Midwest and other grain-producing regions because of the wide range of benefits not just for the soil, but also the cash crop. In those systems, cover crops improve water and nutrient retention, promote microbial activity, reduce weed growth and insect pests, and improve plant growth. Similar impacts have been found in tree crops like apples and peaches, where cover crops are planted in row middles.

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31 Jul 2019
Orange Juice

New study on citrus greening disease

https://www.sciencedaily.com

Orange juice is a staple on many breakfast tables, but the future availability of citrus products is threatened by the global spread of huanglongbing (HLB), also known as citrus greening disease.

Knowing which environmental conditions are suitable for disease transmission and where those conditions occur is vital for crop management. A new study published by researchers at Virginia Tech with a team of international researchers in Journal of Applied Ecology investigates the thermal suitability for transmission of citrus greening with implications for surveillance and prevention.

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31 Jul 2019
Citrus Weeds

Controlling Difficult Weeds in Citrus Groves

Ramdas Kanissery, Camille McAvoy and Mongi Zekri
http://citrusindustry.net

Some weeds are more difficult to manage in the production system than others due to their ability to grow in an available niche. If given a chance to establish, Guinea grass and goatweed can be the two most difficult weeds to manage. This is not just because they both are prolific seed producers, but also due to their inherent biological ability to survive grove conditions.

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31 Jul 2019
Citrus greening

Citrus greening research in Florida yields new tool in battle against disease

Paul Brinkmann
https://www.upi.com

ORLANDO, Fla., May 2 (UPI) — A new machine being developed in Florida might provide another weapon against the spread of citrus greening disease, which has decimated crops worldwide.

The automated system would help detect and count the tiny pin-sized bugs that carry the disease, also called Huanglongbing or HLB. It would then give farmers a map of where the bugs have shown up in their fields, allowing for targeted precise insecticide spraying.

The device, known as an Automated Psyllid Detection System, is under development at University of Florida’s agricultural research station in Immokalee.

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26 Jun 2019
Agriculture Technologies

Precision Agriculture Technologies in Citrus

Yiannis Ampatzidis
www.citrusindustry.net

Citrus growers face issues from an increasing number of pests and diseases. Rapid and accurate tools for early pest and disease detection are needed to improve precision and timely management.

Almost all agrochemicals (e.g., pesticides) applied in specialty crop production are made uniformly with conventional spraying equipment, despite the fact that pathogen distribution is typically patchy. Uniform applications result in the use of agrochemicals where no diseases, weeds or pests occur. This unnecessary use of agrochemicals leads to increased costs, risk of crop damage, environmental pollution and contamination of the edible products.

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12 Jun 2019
GDP Growth

SA’s economy is shrinking at an alarming rate – and only oranges and interest rates are offering hope.

Helena Wasserman
Business Insider SA

SA’s economy shrank by an appalling 3.2% in the first quarter of this year compared to the last quarter – the worst performance in a decade.

Weak levels of investment and more than 270 hours of loadshedding wreaked havoc across the economy, while a gold mining strike and a weak grape harvest added to the pain.

The latest numbers from the Statistics SA show that the economy was exactly the same size in the first quarter of 2019 than it had been in the same quarter of 2018.

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22 May 2019
Citrus Picking

Agri growth helps SA out of recession

Sabrina Dean
Farmers Weekly

Positive performance in the agriculture sector in the third quarter (Q3) of 2018 has helped lift South Africa’s economy out of a technical recession.Stats SA said in its Q3 GDP release that South Africa’s economy grew 2,2% quarter-on-quarter (q/q), bringing to an end the country’s second recession since 1994.A number of sectors apart from agriculture had contributed to the growth; these included manufacturing (the main driver with growth of 7,5%), transport and finance and business services.

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