Arnold Schumann, University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) professor of soil science, reports on his five years of research into citrus under protective screen (CUPS) for fresh fruit. He is one of the first researchers in Florida to do extensive, hands-on research into the system.
His discussion is part of the current All In For Citrus podcast, a UF/IFAS and Southeast partnership.
CUPS, used to exclude the psyllids that spread HLB, requires a different production system than conventional outdoor growing systems, but offers excellent yield and fruit quality, Schumann says.
He discusses the startup and ongoing production costs for CUPS, and his optimism that growers can be profitable with the system.
Schumann works at the Citrus Research and Education Center in Lake Alfred, where his CUPS research structure is located. Several commercial citrus growers in Florida have begun using the systems to grow fresh fruit. Most believe only high-value fresh fruit can be produced cost-effectively in the systems.
Also included in the current All In For Citrus podcast are the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Scott Angle and UF/IFAS’ Michael Rogers, who is director of the Citrus Research and Education Center.
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