The Economics of Mesh Bags

Ernie NeffEconomics, HLB Management

citrus

Numerous Florida citrus growers have recently put mesh bags over individual young citrus trees to exclude HLB-spreading Asian citrus psyllids. A topic title at the 2019 Florida Citrus Growers’ Institute asked whether the practice is profitable. The presentation was made by University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences economist Ariel Singerman. “The answer to the question of whether … Read More

Critical Leaf Nutrient Thresholds to Diagnose Deficiencies in HLB Trees

Tacy CalliesHLB Management, Nutrition

By Arnold Schumann, Laura Waldo, Tripti Vashisth, Alan Wright and Kelly Morgan Huanglongbing (HLB) disease severely impacts the nutrient status of citrus trees, particularly by stunting the feeder roots and causing measurable deficiencies of nutrients in the roots and canopies. Visible symptoms of nutrient deficiencies on citrus foliage are characteristic but not diagnostic of HLB disease. Recent HLB research efforts … Read More

Value of HLB Research Conference

Ernie NeffCRDF, HLB Management

HLB

Rick Dantzler, chief operating officer of the Citrus Research and Development Foundation in Florida, discusses the importance of the recent International Research Conference on HLB, held in California. “I think there’s real merit in the industry, nationally and internationally, getting together occasionally to talk about what’s going on in their home states and their home countries,” Dantzler says. He notes … Read More

ACP Found in Sacramento

Len WilcoxCitrus Greening, HLB Management

acp

The California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA), working in cooperation with the Sacramento County agricultural commissioner, has placed Sacramento County under a plant pest quarantine for the Asian citrus psyllid (ACP) following the detection of one ACP in Sacramento’s Lemon Hill area.  The quarantine prohibits the movement of citrus and curry leaf tree nursery stock and all plant parts, … Read More

Large-Scale Citrus Field Trials Idea Surfaces

Daniel CooperCitrus, Citrus Greening, HLB Management, Research

scale

Citrus research continues to be a topic in state and federal funding circles as the industry’s battle with HLB, or citrus greening, continues. One idea in the incubator of industry discussion is the Citrus Research and Field Trial (CRAFT) program. It would involve large-scale grower field trials throughout Florida. Rick Dantzler, chief operating officer of the Citrus Research and Development … Read More

Grower Replanting Initiative Program for HLB in the Works

Ernie NeffHLB Management

Editor’s Note (Feb. 20, 2019): The name of the program has been changed from the Grower Replanting Initiative Program to the Citrus Research and Field Trial Program. According to Florida Citrus Mutual CEO Mike Sparks, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has given “concept approval” for massive Florida grower field trials to determine what existing research might work in the … Read More

Covers Protect Young Trees from HLB

Ernie NeffHLB Management

Individual protective covers (IPCs) on young trees have prevented HLB infection in one year of study, a University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) researcher said. Fernando Alferez, citrus horticulturist at the Southwest Florida Research and Education Center (SWFREC), announced his promising results at the recent Florida Citrus Show in Fort Pierce. “They (IPCs) are protecting the … Read More

Burns on HLB, Mechanical Harvesting

Ernie NeffHLB Management

HLB

Jackie Burns, who retired in January as dean for research at the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS), discusses HLB, mechanical harvesting and other citrus issues on which she worked. Burns was a long-time scientist at the Citrus Research and Education Center and later director of the center before becoming dean for research. Burns said going … Read More

HLB Here to Stay

Ernie NeffHLB Management

Among other topics she discussed in her part of the latest All In For Citrus podcast, Laurie Hurner emphasized that HLB is here to stay. Hurner is the Highlands County Extension director and a citrus Extension agent. “At some point we do have to make the decision in the field, at the grower production level and at the higher levels … Read More

Deadline Extended for Submitting HLB Project Applications

Tacy CalliesHLB Management, Research

scale

The Huanglongbing Multi-Agency Coordination (HLB MAC) group is extending the deadline for submitting project applications to Friday, March 8, 2019. Information on applying for funding, including the application template, criteria for evaluation and the submission process, is available on the HLB MAC site.  The HLB MAC funds applied research projects that are likely to deliver a useable tool in the … Read More

Using IPM for HLB

Ernie NeffHLB Management

“Unfortunately, there is no silver bullet” for HLB, plant pathologist Ozgur Batuman told growers in Immokalee recently, adding that he doesn’t think there will be one. “The best option for such a complex and challenging disease is … integrated pest management (IPM). And our growers here in Florida are actually doing just that. Now they are paying attention to root … Read More

Rogers on HLB Research and Education

Ernie NeffHLB Management

podcast

Michael Rogers, director of the Citrus Research and Education Center, discusses HLB research and education programs being conducted by the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS). “The goal of our IFAS citrus program continues to be to provide growers with the most up-to-date information that they can use to help maintain or increase the production of … Read More

Study Zeroes in on Organic Ways to Beat Citrus Greening

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

citrus greening

Results show promise for organic groves, but more research is needed. Since it was first discovered in the United States in 2005, the bacterial disease known as citrus greening, or Huanglongbing, has devastated millions of acres of citrus crops throughout this country and abroad, ravaging citrus groves in Asia, Africa and South America. Citrus greening has impacted conventional and organic … Read More

California HLB Detections Increased in 2018 as Monitoring Efforts Intensified

Tacy CalliesHLB Management

psyllids

Huanglongbing (HLB) may have been found in significantly more citrus trees in 2018, but improved sampling and monitoring offer a reason as to why HLB detections increased so dramatically. In 2018, the California Department of Food and Agriculture’s Citrus Pest and Disease Prevention Program (CPDPP) redoubled efforts to limit the spread of HLB and its vector, the Asian citrus psyllid … Read More

HLB Reduction Strategies

Tacy CalliesHLB Management

By Jawwad Qureshi, Lukasz Stelinski and Fernando Alferez Management of huanglongbing (HLB) has focused on reducing the vector Asian citrus psyllid (ACP) and improving tree health, thus requiring a multi-pronged approach. Several elements of an HLB management system are either available or under current investigation. Maintenance of clean nursery stock, vector management and tree nutrition are widely implemented, while incorporation … Read More

Manage Soil pH and Nutrition for HLB

Ernie NeffHLB Management

morgan

Growers with trees affected by HLB should try to maintain soil pH in the 6 to 6.5 range, Kelly Morgan told numerous growers attending a recent Citrus Nutrition Day event. Morgan is director of the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences’ (UF/IFAS) Southwest Florida Research and Education Center. Morgan explained that soil pH affects trees’ ability to … Read More

Growers to Learn About Pest Management at Workshop

Daniel CooperCitrus Greening, HLB Management, Industry News Release, Pests, Psyllids

growers

Citrus growers can learn more about managing Asian citrus psyllids and other pests in a workshop Jan. 8 at the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) Citrus Research and Education Center (CREC). The psyllid can transmit the bacteria associated with greening disease to citrus trees and has already caused severe damage to Florida’s multi-billion-dollar-a-year citrus industry. … Read More

USDA Grant Could Help Florida’s Grapefruit Industry

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

usda

Florida’s grapefruit industry, devastated by citrus greening, may find hope in four ½-acre white-mesh screenhouses in a research field in Fort Pierce. The project will be funded by a $3.5 million grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) awarded to the University of Florida. Studies for the grant will take place inside and outside these structures, where 512 young … Read More

Nutrition and pH Management for HLB

Ernie NeffHLB Management, Nutrition

HLB

At Citrus Expo, University of Florida soil scientist Kelly Morgan said nutrient uptake by HLB-infected trees can be improved by applying the proper amount of nutrition and managing pH. “Those two things go hand-in-hand,” he said. “As you reduce soil pH below 7, you increase the uptake of most nutrients. So we need to reduce our pH. Our pH has … Read More

Grower: What’s Helping, and What’s Not, for HLB

Ernie NeffHLB Management

HLB

Focusing on nutrients and soil issues is helping Lykes Brothers cope with HLB (also known as citrus greening), says John Gose, general manager of the company’s Citrus Division. “We’ve seen more benefits in battling greening with the addition of more nutrients,” Gose says. “When I say that, I’m talking about micronutrients in particular.” He adds that the company is also … Read More