citrus industry

Smallest Florida orange crop in 85 years

Hurricanes Ian and Nicole pummeled Florida's orange groves this fall, resulting in the smallest orange crop since the 1937-38 season, according to a USDA estimate.

In Ojai, California, home of the Pixie tangerine, climate change has citrus farmers on edge

The climate in California's Ojai Valley has been ideal for citrus, but that climate is changing—getting windier, drier, and hotter. A recent study showed that Ventura County’s temperature has warmed more in the last 125 years than any other county in the lower 48 states, as Lisa Morehouse reports in FERN's latest story, produced in partnership with KQED's California Repot. The corresponding rise of wildfires and drought has caused some Ojai growers to fallow orchards; farmers estimate at least 15 percent fewer acres in production now than a decade ago. County officials are concerned enough that they’re partnering with the local Farm Bureau and the Nature Conservancy to evaluate threatened farmland in Ojai and across the county.  

Citrus canker found at South Carolina nursery

Citrus canker, a bacterial disease that causes lesions on leaves, stems, and fruit, was discovered at a South Carolina nursery that sells plants over the internet, said the Agriculture Department on Wednesday. The USDA said it was tracking sales to customers in 11 states as part of efforts to contain the disease.

California orange crop nearly as large as No. 1 Florida

Thanks to a huge decline in the Florida crop this season, California is running neck and neck with the Sunshine State as the top orange-producing state with the harvest season in its final weeks, said the USDA. California has expanded production in recent years while output in Florida, hit by the tree-killing citrus greening disease, has fallen steeply over the past two decades.

U.S. citrus harvest down 20 percent in one year

Citrus production has trended downward for years, but it dropped abruptly, by 20 percent, in the just-ended 2017/18 season, affected greatly by Hurricane Irma in Florida, said the USDA in its annual Citrus report.

Florida congressmen ask $1.5 billion in hurricane relief for agriculture

Citing damage to the citrus industry, 23 of Florida's 27 U.S. representatives signed a letter to House leaders asking for $1.5 billion in disaster funds for the state's agricultural industry. Some farm leaders hope the aid will be part of a funding bill to keep the federal government operating past this Friday, when short-term funding runs out.