Find expert advice on fixing fresh citrus problems in the grove.


At this year’s Citrus Expo, University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) researcher Mark Ritenour gave a presentation on fresh citrus problems that must be addressed in the grove. Ritenour’s expert advice was summarized in a Citrus Industry article. Find his words below.

Fresh Citrus Problems and Fixes


Problem: Peel breakdown

Causes: cold weather, water stress, nutrient imbalance

Fix: “…when we have a problem with it, it usually is quite widespread and can be very severe. It’s a matter of being vigilant, to see how the health of the fruit is out there and to see indications of breakdown. Usually, peel breakdown is later in the season … It’s usually after the first of the year. Sometimes we get peel breakdown when we get cold fronts coming through with a low relative humidity. And in that case, if you start seeing a problem, usually you can wait a couple weeks. Usually the grove will recover, and you won’t have problems afterward.”

Problem: Fruit decay

Causes: warm winters

Fix: “We can’t do anything postharvest to help reduce that…you’ll want to consider going with local markets, close markets, not going for export because you’re going to have a lot more problems with that.”

Problem: Pesticide residues

Causes: Exporting to countries with different pesticide tolerances; not sticking to label rates for applications

Fix: “…when you go into export markets … they all set their own individual residue tolerances, and some of the stuff we use, they don’t even have a tolerance for. It’s OK if all the residue degrades before it (fruit) gets there, but we don’t have a lot of information on how fast things degrade. So you really need to know when you harvest a crop and know the market you’re going to go to. Look at the production records and make sure that you didn’t put something on there that might show up in the destination market.”

Griffin Fertilizer is committed to helping both growers and ranchers make sound agronomic and economic decisions in order to maximize the health of their grove and pasture. As a full-service custom dry & liquid fertilizer blender and crop protection product distributor, we will continue our mission to further advance Florida agriculture. For questions or concerns about your farm or pasture, contact us and one of our team will be in touch.