Southwest Florida Research and Education Center (SWFREC) Director Kelly Morgan provides an update on citrus research being conducted at the center. SWFREC is operated by the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS).
Morgan says most of the research is “related to greening, but not all of it.” Greening is another term for huanglongbing (HLB), the citrus disease that has devastated Florida citrus production and trees since 2005.
Much work is being done on nutrition for HLB-affected trees, Morgan says. Researchers are finding that those trees need more of some nutrients than what UF/IFAS previously recommended. “So, our nutrient recommendations for greening trees will increase,” he says.
Morgan also summarizes work being done on delivering antimicrobial materials to HLB-affected trees and on rootstock/scion combinations to increase HLB tolerance. In addition, individual protective covers for trees are being evaluated for their effectiveness at protecting trees from HLB, he says.
Research work on black spot, maintenance of healthy soils and precision agriculture are also addressed.
Morgan says SWFREC has increased the number of educational programs it conducts, and says much of the center’s work will be discussed at Citrus Expo on Aug. 14-15 at the Lee Civic Center in North Fort Myers.
Morgan’s discussion about SWFREC research is part of the latest All In For Citrus Podcast. The podcast is a joint effort of UF/IFAS and Southeast AgNet.
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