Dundee Growers Have Hope Despite HLB

Tacy CalliesHLB Management

By Ernie Neff Like all Florida citrus packers, “our citrus volume is down substantially because of HLB,” says Dundee Citrus Growers Association (CGA) Chairman and President Lindsay Raley. But unlike many packinghouses that have closed since HLB was discovered in Florida, Dundee CGA’s packinghouse is still thriving. Diversifying beyond citrus and helping its members cope with HLB have been keys … Read More

Oxytetracycline Sprays vs. Trunk Injections

Daniel CooperCitrus Greening, HLB Management, Industry News Release, Research

florida citrus

Since 2016, federal authorities have allowed Florida citrus growers to spray oxytetracycline solutions on their trees to combat citrus greening disease. A newly published University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) study suggests that the bactericide would be more effective if it were injected into citrus tree trunks, a practice not currently approved under U.S. law. Citrus … Read More

Zinkicide Has Potential for HLB

Ernie NeffHLB Management

scale

Research and trials into zinkicide “look very promising” for use against HLB, University of Central Florida researcher Swadeshmukul Santra says. He summarizes a presentation he made at the Florida Citrus Mutual annual conference in Bonita Springs this summer. “It (zinkicide) can improve yield, fruit and juice quality on HLB-affected trees,” stated a slide that Santra presented at the conference. The … Read More

HLB Voluntary Controls for California Growers

Len WilcoxCalifornia Corner, HLB Management

The Citrus Pest & Disease Prevention Committee of the Citrus Research Board (CRB) has endorsed a list of voluntary actions growers can undertake if HLB-infected trees are found in their vicinity. The voluntary actions go beyond the required regulatory response. Beth Grafton-Cardwell, entomologist with University of California Riverside, explained the recommendations during a recent interview with AgNet West multimedia journalist … Read More

Individual Protective Covers Are ‘Promising’ for HLB

Ernie NeffHLB Management

citrus

Individual protective covers (IPCs) have thus far kept citrus trees free of HLB in research plots, according to Susmita Gaire, a presenter at the recent Florida State Horticultural Society annual meeting. Gaire is a graduate student working with University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) researcher Fernando Alferez at the Southwest Florida Research and Education Center in … Read More

How One Small Grower Handles HLB

Tacy CalliesHLB Management

By Ernie Neff It’s common belief — and probably true — that small Florida citrus growers have suffered more than larger growers as a result of HLB. Del Murphy might agree, but his family’s 66-acre citrus grove east of Avon Park is doing well by any Florida standard. He says the Murphy Partnership production program seems to be working “as … Read More

Citrus Research at SWFREC

Ernie NeffHLB Management, Research

Research

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 … Read More

Growers Have a Bigger Problem Than HLB

Ernie NeffHLB Management, Market

“A bigger gorilla by far than HLB, going into the future, is slumping market demand for citrus products from Florida and apparently from other producing areas in the United States as well,” declares Apopka citrus grower Chip Henry of McGuire Groves. He believes the decline in demand for Florida citrus products is related to HLB reducing fruit quality. “Consumers are … Read More

Voluntary Best Practices for California Citrus Growers’ Response to HLB

Daniel CooperCalifornia Corner, HLB Management, Industry News Release

hlb

Best Practices Developed by Grower-Led, Science-Supported Task Force To provide California citrus growers with a strong toolbox of science-supported strategies and tactics to protect their orchards from huanglongbing (HLB), the Citrus Pest & Disease Prevention Committee endorsed a set of best practices for growers to voluntarily employ in response to HLB in California. The recommendations — which were developed based … Read More

Getting HLB Material Into Phloem

Ernie NeffHLB Management

chemicals

University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) plant pathologist Ozgur Batuman discusses efforts to get materials that fight HLB into the citrus tree’s phloem, where it might be most effective. Batuman explains that bacteria that cause HLB “live inside the phloem of citrus. That is very difficult to reach to kill … by conventional methods, such as … Read More

Studying Citrus Greening with an Integrated Approach

Daniel CooperCitrus Greening, Diseases, HLB Management, Industry News Release, Psyllids, Research

citrus greening

While citrus growers continue to look for best management approaches to deal with the deadly greening disease, scientists will take an integrated look at how to protect young trees by using existing tools growers can use. Five scientists from the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) will compare insect management tools, including insect-proof netting. Researchers also … Read More

Update on Brassinosteroids for HLB Management

Tacy CalliesHLB Management, Research

By Fernando Alferez, Christopher Vincent and Tripti Vashisth Brassinosteroids (BR), a relatively newly discovered class of plant hormone, regulate several developmental and physiological processes in fruit crops such as grapes, pears and cherries and in some non-edible plants. BR also induce disease resistance against different pathogens in a great number of crop plants. A form of BR (epibrassinolide) was shown … Read More

TCP Might Help Trees Tolerate HLB

Ernie NeffHLB Management, Nutrition

Laboratory tests of tricalcium phosphate (TCP) indicate it has potential use as a fertilizer that might help citrus growers cope with HLB, says Laura Waldo, a University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) laboratory manager. “The hope is that it can help a tree by inducing root hair development and thereby allowing the tree to uptake nutrients … Read More

Psyllid Control and Endemic HLB

Ernie NeffHLB Management, Pests, Psyllids

acp

In the early days of HLB in Florida, virtually all researchers and growers agreed that nothing was more important than controlling HLB-spreading Asian citrus psyllids. But once HLB had spread to every grove (become endemic), many growers began questioning whether continued psyllid control was necessary. University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) entomologist Lukasz Stelinski tackled that … Read More

Tree Infected with HLB Found in Riverside, California

Len WilcoxCalifornia Corner, HLB Management

The California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) stated last week that a second tree has tested positive for HLB disease, also known as citrus greening, in Riverside County. Due to being in a previously identified detection area, the tree had been tested several times previously but had not shown indications of the disease. The CDFA is in the process … Read More

Psyllid Management for HLB

Ernie NeffHLB Management

lebbeck mealybug

University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) entomologist Lauren Diepenbrock reports on Asian citrus psyllid (ACP) management studies being conducted around the world. Her report covers presentations made at the International Citrus Research Conference on HLB in March. She summarized the international scientists’ observations at the Florida Citrus Growers’ Institute in Avon Park last month. She shares … Read More

HLB: Horticultural Practices

Ernie NeffCitrus, HLB Management

Scientists from numerous countries attending the International Citrus Research Conference on HLB in March reported on studies of horticultural practices that might help growers cope with the disease. Tripti Vashisth, a horticulturist with the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS), summarized their observations at the recent Florida Citrus Growers’ Institute. She shares those observations in the … Read More

Rootstock Solutions for HLB

Ernie NeffHLB Management, Rootstocks

HLB

University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) citrus breeders are working on both short-term and long-term rootstock solutions for HLB, Fred Gmitter said earlier this year. Gmitter and fellow UF/IFAS citrus breeder Jude Grosser have already identified numerous rootstocks that seem to offer tolerance to the disease. Tolerance would help growers in the short term. Gmitter says … Read More

Artificial Intelligence Could Help Citrus Growers Detect Psyllids

Daniel CooperCitrus Greening, HLB Management, Industry News Release, Psyllids, Research, Technology

Kaolin Clay

Precision agriculture engineer Yiannis Ampatzidis sees a day when citrus farmers use artificial intelligence (AI) to detect the pin-sized insects that can infect the fruit’s trees with the deadly greening disease. That day could come in the near future, because Ampatzidis and his research team are starting to perfect a system to detect the potentially deadly Asian citrus psyllid. Citrus … Read More

Kaolin Impact on Psyllids and HLB

Ernie NeffHLB Management, Psyllids

psyllids

Researchers found use of kaolin particle film on trees reduced populations of HLB-spreading psyllids and delayed HLB infection. University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences researcher Christopher Vincent and graduate student Juanpablo Salvatierra Miranda report on their findings. Vincent says both white kaolin and red kaolin applications “had very low psyllid numbers” compared to a foliar insecticide treatment … Read More