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NOTES ON CITRUS INVESTIGATION IN FLORIDA.
I. COMMISSION TO FIX A CHEMICAL STANdiARD FOR THE
'DETERMINATION or MATURITY OF CITRUS FRUITS.
During the year lyll the Florida legislature in its biennial
session passed a law prohibiting the sale and transportation or im-
mature citrus fruits. In a general way this law has been spoken or
as the "green fruit law/! Proper penalties and methods or procedure,
as is common in such cases, were a portion of the enactment. The
session or the legislature occurred during April and May. At this
tite there was, or course, no Immature citrus fruit In Florida
which was at all likely to be shipped, consequently when this law
came up before the legislature no one in the state seemed to be par-
ticularly interested in amending it or changing it In any way. In
other words everybody s -emed to be in favor or the law. A few people
raised some objections but these were rather or an academic l.-ture
than real objections to the carrying out or such a provision.
During May or that year the Florida horticultural Society was
assembled In annual session at Jacksonville. The question cane up
on the floor or the horticultural Society as to what stand this or-
ganization would take in reference to the "green fruit law", The
matter was discussed to some extent on the floor but there seemed to g
be no particular enthusiasm against the passage or the law, every-
body taking for granted that it would be a good thing to have a law
that would prohibit the transportation and sale or immature citrus
fruit. A resolution endor..ing the proposed law was overwhelmingly
carried, and thy action of the Society immediately telegraphed to
the legislature as a further means or helping along the passage or
the :reen fruit bill. This in a general and rather abbreviated way
gives us a general Idea as to the conditions occurring at the time
of the passage of the "green fruit law".
The Carrying out o: the Law.
ijet..een the time or the passage of the law and the time that
the fruit was maturing on the trees practically nothing_ jas heard in
regard to this new l-w, bu-t when the fruit began to mature in the
fall and the earlier varieties ,vere arriving at the point where
they were about three-quarters grown, some as >e
huw as to what ,iould oe the effect of the law'., and before the earlier
varieties were really Jrature in the grove the agitation and dis-
ci.ssinns rose to about S-ver heat, the Florilda Citrus Exchange ib-eing
arrayed on the side or enforcing the "green fruit law" and a portion
of the independent shippers arrayed on the side or ignoring or
setting aside T .. ". At this juncture a very nat-
ural sort or condition became apparent deir"onstrating how human nature
plays an important part in the regulation or comm-rce ai-d in the reg-
ulation or human action, It was impossible to ri'ndL arfYDody in the
state %vho was not In favor of enforcing the "green frult Law" so
long as it r-gul.tted the shipment or the other man's fruit, but when
it came to one':s own premises he tr5 immediately became the only
authority on the questions As to what was immature fruit, and ir any-
one differed as to opinion he was Irrm-diately assigned to membership
in the Annani s Club. This difference in opinion led to a considera-
ble arhount Of acrimonious discussion in the papers and was very
promptly followed by litigation, shipments or fruit being held up
and the owners thereof cited to court, fined, and naturally appealed
their cases, thus staying tne execution or the law.
When It came to the matter of enforcing this "green rrult law"
it soon became apparent that nowhere In law books, court procedure,
text books or scientific works could be found the definition or what
was immature fruit. consequently the courts seemed somewhat power-
less in deciding this question, and juries likewise had no great pre-
dilection for establishing i4-..y w-at U. nturity ~r immaturitv.
The arresting or several owners or fruit in transitt that was
said to be immature, and threats or further arrests, det.-rred thous-
ands from taking the rl.3: or being haled into court. It however
left the whole matter in a very unsatisfactory condition at the close
of the shipping season or l1ll-l.
The Stanaardizing comr.ission.
In July or llyz Uoirliissioner o' Agriculture iMcRae appointed
certain persons or scientific standing as a commls3lon to meet and
formulate a definition for mature citrus fruit, or to point out the
line of demarcation between mature and immature citnis fruit. This
commission consisted or Professor H. a. hume, President or the Flo-
rida Articultural Soelety, State Chemist R. E. Hose, r. i E. R. Flint,
professor of eheiiAstry at the 3tate Unilversity, Proressor S. E. o01-
lison, che'iIst to tnie Experiment Station and P. H. Holfs, Uirector
of the Experiment station. Immediately upon aDpointm~eit the various
members of the corminssion consulted literature on this si5.ject and
brought together all the technical Information that could be obtained.
In addition to the published literature on the subject, the commis-
sion had before it 6z analyses of oranges made by a private labora-
tary in Philadelphia nand 218f analyses or oranges made by chemists
in Baltimore. After holding two n-~'e- meetings and discussing
the matter fully tht commission made a report to Commissioner of
Agriculture McRae as to its findings. 'he report had the unanimous
approval or aJ-1 -the members of the commission. As It w.as very
brief I will give you the findings or the report.
"First. All round oranges showing a rield test or one and
twenty-five hundredths (1.25) per cent or more or acid, calculat-
ed as citric acid, shall be considered as limnmature."
"Second. Provided, however, that'if the grower (or shipper)
consider the fruit mature he shaLl have the right to appeal rrom
the field test, to the State Chemist ror a chemical analysis, and
if this chemical analysis shnovs that the percentage by weight or
the total sugar, as invert sugar, be seven times or more than the
weight or the total acid :as citric acid, hlie fruit shall 1be deemed
"Third. That the juices or not less than five average
oranges shall be mixed rrom which a composite sample shall be drawn
for the field test.
"Fourth. Tlhat the juices or not less than "twelve average
oranges shall be mi ed, rrom W;-ich shall be drawn a composite
sarnimle for laboratory analysiss" '
Arter securing these findings by the technical mren the com-
mission, a convention or growers was called, trS=maet in Galnesville
Auguot 15th, to receive this report. Previous to the meeting or
the citrus growers it had been generally held by those who wished
to have a high standard that the ratio of acid to sugar should be
one to seven. The commission, therefore, introduced somewhat or a
novelty in the report when' they round that citrus 1ruit may be-con-
sidered mature at any time when the amount or citric acid present
in the juice is less than 1*.5 percent. The citrus growers were
ready to accept the findings or the commission but made some amend-
ments to the report of the commission. The following two brief amend-
ments were made which to some extent changed the findings or the
commission, but did not materially alter it.
First amendment. "Resolved, that it is the sense or this con-
vention that the report or the Commission shall be adopted, and
shall obtain until the 5th day or November in each and every year;
Provided, That after the 5th day or November in each and every
year the standard shall be, 'that it each orange is two-thirds
its total area colored yellow, it shall be considered as mature
and fit for shipment.'"
Second amendment. *That no variety or orange- or grapefruit
shall be allowed to be shipped before October let or each year
that has bloomed during t.at calendar year."
This it seems to me s==a=" imaefa somewhat unique departure
from the general iay of determining when rruit is mature. I think
it is the only time when a state has actually made a chemical stand-
ard the basis for determining the maturity of any Vruit.
Notes on Citrus work & discoveries
study of Scaly bark (then called a new disease)
Gumming of citrus and citrus scab. Work continued
with several species of fungi parasitic on citrus
whitefly. yellow Aschersonia, red Aschersonia; :.
work continued on fungi of whlitefly, white-fringe
and cinnamon fungi were studied in addition o the
red and yellow aschersonia.
Citrus diseases studied, withertip, gumrnrin g
and citrus scab.
Work on the use of contact insecticides and the use of
parasitic fungi to control whitefly.
wvork on scaly bark continued. Also on wityertip.
Studies of dieback, fr>nching and yellow spotting
diseases believed to be due to soil conditions.
Work on life history and means of control of whitefly
on citrus continued
Study of scaly bark and gumming continued.
Experimental work in fertilizing of citrus orchards
continued. (begnn in 1909) Smil tanks installed.
Work on stem end rot of citrus (begun in 1909) was
concluded and bulletin (107)published.
Work on scaly bark, also completed and bulletin (106)
In entomology it was established that there are
three species of whitefly attaching citrus in the State,
the clear-winged (Aleyrodes citri) the cloudy-winged
(A. nubifera) and the wooly whitefly (A. howardii).
Work continued in the use of contact insecticides and
fungi as a means for control of whi-tefly.
,Lulletin on diseases of citrus fruits, and one on
citrus scab, were issued, summing up the work done and
suggesting methods for control.
work on woolly whitefly -showed that large numbers
were paratized, indicating that the species was not
likely to become a serious enemy.
Chemical studies of fertilizer leachings were
continued, the water from the soil tanks shows that
much nitrogen is lost by leaching, the amt. of potash
is relatively small, and phos., acid lost is very small.
Work on dieback of citrus continued.
In fertilizer experiments, the work included a deter-
mination of the effect of quantity and kind of fertil-
izer applied to citrus trees on composition of leaf,
wood and fruit.
Determinations were made of the sugar and acid
content of citrus fruits at different staged of ripen-
ing, Results published in Bulletin 115.
The connection was established between ghomopsis
citri previously established as the cause of stem-
end rot and the fungus that causes melanose.
Study of the life history and distribution of
woolly whitefly (A. howardii) was continued.
Work was done on citrus trees under controlled condi-
tions to establish the effect of different chemicals
upion their -rowth.
Work on fertilizers and leachings from tanks cont.
Work on woolly whitefly continued
The disease citrus canker made its appearance in
the state and work upon it was begun.
-- Previous year's work in all lines continued.
Bulletin on whitefly control (123) published
woolly whitefly (126) "
-- The effect of limestone app$led in citrus groves was
Work continued on citrus canker
Other work of previous years carried forward.
Bulletin on citrus canker (128) published.
Soil studies were continued, and a bulletin (132) on
Loss of Fertilizers by Leaching, published.
Studies in the effect of limestone on citrus
was continued, and bulletin 137 published, the evi-
dence tending to show that under some circumstances
ground limestone had proved injurious.
Study of food requirements of citrus trees continued
Wotk on dieback, while incomplete, has been summarized
and the available information given out in bulletin
form (140, Dieback or Exanthema of Citrus Trees).
Wokk on citrus insects has been collected and
published in bulletin form (148) A whitefly-eating
lady beetle has been introduced from Cal. (D&elphastus
Study of gumming and melanose continued,
work on meianose brought together and bulletin (145V
In Aug. 1918, comprehensive bulletin on citrus
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