Florida citrus growers will learn about the latest research from the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences and test new technology at a workshop in Sebring, Sept. 25-26.
UF/IFAS Extension Highlands County is working with statewide UF/IFAS Citrus Extension faculty to bring the latest in scientific studies and a hands-on learning experience to growers.
Faculty will cover topics in entomology, horticulture and plant pathology. They will teach growers how to test soil pH, soil electrical conductivity — which measures nutrients in soil — soil moisture and tree root health with simple methods and easy-to-use instruments.
Citrus growers statewide are battling the deadly citrus greening disease, also known as huanglongbing (HLB).
“In the past of couple of years, we have learned that managing optimum soil pH is critical for the health and productivity of HLB-affected trees,” said Tripti Vashisth, a UF/IFAS assistant professor of horticultural sciences and citrus Extension specialist at the UF/IFAS Citrus Research and Education Center (CREC) in Lake Alfred. “Therefore, if they can test soil pH in the field in just a few minutes, growers can test multiple locations with minimum expense, which will help them make quick decisions for optimal grove management.”
At the workshop, participants also will test an online program that would let them monitor soil-moisture meters from their office or home, said Jamie Burrow, UF/IFAS Extension program manager for the CREC.
“Participants will learn the newest information, and hopefully be able to apply it to their groves,” Burrow said. “It seems technology and research are always changing. We want to provide growers an opportunity to learn how to use technology and ongoing research for improved grove management.”
The workshop will be at the UF/IFAS Extension Highlands County Bert J. Harris Jr. Agricultural Center, O.S. “Sam” Polston Auditorium, 4509 George Blvd., Sebring, Florida.
Click here to register for the workshop.