Florida Orange-Crop Forecast Reduced as Disease Spoils Fruit

The orange crop in Florida, the world’s second-biggest grower, will be 2.7 percent smaller than forecast in December, the government said as a plant disease damaged groves. The drop was bigger than analysts expected.

The state will produce 142 million boxes of the fruit in the nine-month season ending in June, down from 146 million forecast a month ago, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said today in a report. The average estimate of eight analysts and traders in a Bloomberg News survey was 145.16 million boxes. Florida produced 146.6 million boxes in the previous season.

“The amount of fruit per tree is lower, and fruit size is also down,” Jimmy Tintle, chief executive officer at GreenKey Alternative Asset Services in Longwood, Florida, said in a telephone interview before the report was issued. The plant disease, called citrus greening, “has been spreading for years and is cutting into production,” he said.

The bacterial disease, first found in the state in 2005, starves a tree of nutrients, causing fruit to drop prematurely. Oranges are often smaller, especially in younger trees.

Orange-juice plummeted 46 percent in the 12 months through yesterday amid slowing demand in the U.S. and rising supplies, fed by increasing imports. The March contract rose 0.3 percent to $1.128 a pound at 9:51 a.m. on ICE Futures U.S. in New York on expectations that the government would reduce its forecast for Florida’s crop.

Courtesy of:

Reporter, Marvin G. Perez

Editor, Steve Stroth

Suppression of Plant Parasitic Nematodes and Arthropod Pests by Vermicompost ‘Teas’ (PDF)

Clues emerge on how citrus greening pathogen kills trees

Researchers have identified important clues to how the pathogen that causes citrus greening or huanglongbing (HLB) kills citrus trees. HLB has destroyed hundreds of thousands acres of citrus across the world and has been found in California, along with Asian citrus psyllids that spread the disease.

“It could be the pathogen is outsmarting the tree by undermining its defenses,” said Carolyn Slupsky, University of California, Davis nutrition and food science professor. “That’s a spectacular discover, because when we understand the mechanisms behind the attack, we have a chance to block them. Maybe we can find ways to enhance a tree’s natural immunity.”

For the full article (PDF), please click here.

Citrus Huanglongbing: Understanding the Vector-Pathogen Interaction for Disease Management

R.H. Briansky and M. E. Rogers

University of Florida-IFAS

Citrus Research and Education Center

Lake Alfred, Florida 33850

Citrus Huanglongbing (HLB), better known as citrus greening disease, is a recently introduced disease to the Americas (Brazil and Florida). Numerous reviews on this important disease are available (2,5,6) and include a recent article by Gottwald et al. published jointly in Plant Health Progress and as an APSnet feature article (8). A PDF file has been developed that provides detailed information about the disease and its vectors. Click here for complete study.