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

Laser Technology May Be Key to Rehabilitating HLB Trees

Daniel CooperCitrus, Citrus Greening, HLB Management, Research, Technology

laser

A University of Florida (UF) scientist hopes to improve on laser technology to enhance the efficiency of spray solutions aimed at restoring vitality to greening-affected citrus trees and reducing amounts of chemicals applied. With the updated technology, a laser shoots infra-red energy pulses at citrus tree leaves, said Ed Etxeberria, a professor of horticultural sciences at the UF Institute of … Read More

As California HLB Detections Rise, Priorities Refocus

Daniel CooperCalifornia Corner, Citrus, Citrus Greening, HLB Management

hlb

By Brian German A series of strategic planning sessions have helped to craft a more detail-oriented approach to address the spread of Asian citrus psyllid (ACP) and management of huanglongbing (HLB) detections. As of Oct. 9, there have been 906 positive HLB detections in California. “The real hot spot for us right now is Orange County. We’re finding a lot of HLB-positive … Read More

Young Citrus Trees May Benefit from Full Irrigation

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

citrus trees

Mature citrus trees affected by the bacterial disease huanglongbing (HLB) typically need about 25 percent less irrigation than their healthy counterparts However, that doesn’t necessarily mean young trees with the disease will benefit from water deficits, according to a preliminary greenhouse study by researchers with the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS). Experiments on 1-year-old orange … Read More

Effects of Homobrassinolides on HLB-Affected Trees in Florida

Tacy CalliesHLB Management, Research

By Fernando Alferez, Christopher Vincent and Tripti Vashisth In the current scenario of widespread infection and severe symptoms of HLB in Florida, horticultural practices that improve plant health in the presence of the disease are needed. For this reason, we sought to follow up on reports of positive effects of a brassinosteroid on infected plants. Brassinosteroids are a relatively newly … Read More

New UF/IFAS Entomologist: From a Kid’s ‘Lab’ to Helping Citrus Growers

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

lebbeck mealybug

As a girl in her garage in Palm Bay, Florida, Lauren Diepenbrock, already a budding scientist, peered through the lens of her microscope and marveled at the magnification. “As a kid, I played in the woods and brought back all sorts of ‘finds,’ including a snake skeleton, none of which my mom allowed in the house,” said Diepenbrock, an assistant … Read More

Soil Moisture Sensors Help in Face of HLB

Ernie NeffHLB Management, soil

HLB, irrigation, nutrition

University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences researcher Rhuanito (Johnny) Ferrarezi discussed the use of soil moisture sensors at a recent grower workshop in Sebring. He summarizes that presentation, which included a discussion of how the sensors can help in the face of HLB. “The main goal of using soil moisture sensors is to increase irrigation efficiency,” Ferrarezi … Read More

Whitmore Farm Focuses on HLB Research

Ernie NeffBreeding, HLB Management

HLB

More than 20 growers and others attended a tour on Oct. 11 at Whitmore Farm near Groveland in Lake County, Florida. Breeding for HLB tolerance or resistance is the primary goal of research at the farm. “Whitmore Farm was established in the mid-1950s as a foundation farm,” says Brian Scully, who led the tour and discussed research. Scully is director … Read More

Evaluating Roots of HLB-Infected Trees

Ernie NeffHLB Management

HLB

Growers attending a recent workshop in Sebring learned how to evaluate the root systems of HLB-infected trees. University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences researcher Evan Johnson was the instructor. Johnson said evaluation of root systems is important because “HLB is causing a lot of damage to the root system … It’s important to know how the pests … Read More

Foliar Phosphate for the HLB Fight

Ernie NeffHLB Management

HLB

At Citrus Expo in August, Eric Triplett presented research from a variety of sources that shows foliar phosphate fertilization reduces HLB symptoms. Triplett is a University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences professor and chair of microbiology and cell science. “If it’s true that we can reduce the symptoms and disease in citrus by foliar phosphate fertilization, the … Read More

HLB Early Detection Methods Available Now; More Coming Soon

Tacy CalliesCalifornia Corner, HLB Management

By Len Wilcox Early detection has become a vital line of defense in the California citrus grower’s war with huanglongbing (HLB) disease. Without careful monitoring, any tree in the grove can become a ticking time bomb that could lead to destruction of the entire orchard. The disease starts unnoticed. Many months can pass before a tree displays any visible evidence … Read More

Methods of pH Management for HLB-Infected Trees

Ernie NeffHLB Management

HLB

University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences researcher Tripti Vashisth told growers at a citrus workshop in Sebring on Sept. 25 how to maintain proper soil pH for HLB-infected trees. She said HLB-affected trees seem to perform best when soil pH is 6.0. Vashisth said pH levels need to be adjusted continuously. “Our soils are known to be more … Read More

Bactericides for Psyllids and HLB

Ernie NeffBactericides, HLB Management, Psyllids

bactericides

Many growers in recent years have used bactericides in an effort to reduce HLB infection in their groves. University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences researcher Kirsten Pelz-Stelinski reports on use of bactericides to reduce both the bacteria that causes HLB and the psyllids that spread it. In greenhouse studies, she reports, bactericides appeared to offer “some reduction” … Read More

Citrus Tree Covers Keep Deadly Psyllids Away

Daniel CooperCitrus Greening, HLB Management, Research

citrus

University of Florida (UF) scientists are finding that by covering new citrus trees with mesh, they can keep disease-carrying insects from harming the plants. That could be a big step toward stemming the deadly citrus greening disease, UF Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (IFAS) researchers say. Asian citrus psyllids can infect the citrus trees with greening, also known as … Read More

Why Citrus Growers Should Keep Spraying for Psyllids

Ernie NeffHLB Management, Psyllids

For several years after HLB was detected in Florida in 2005, most citrus growers and researchers agreed that it was essential to spray aggressively for the Asian citrus psyllids that spread the disease. In recent years, however, many growers have questioned whether it still makes sense to spray for psyllids when 100 percent of groves are infected, as is the … Read More

Fruit Drop and HLB

Tacy CalliesHLB Management

By Tripti Vashisth and Lisa Tang Fruit drop is a natural, physiological phenomenon that occurs in all citrus varieties. However, pre-harvest fruit drop often causes grower distress and concern as it can result in significant yield reduction as well as loss of tree resources into non-harvested fruit. THREE PERIODS OF FRUIT DROP In general, citrus trees bloom profusely in spring, … Read More

Individual Tree Covers for HLB Defense

Ernie NeffHLB Management

HLB

University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences researcher Jim Graham shares preliminary results from a new trial aimed at protecting trees from HLB infection at the Southwest Florida Research and Education Center. During the first five months of the trial, individual protective covers (IPCs) successfully kept psyllids off young trees and delayed HLB infection. Trees under the covers … Read More

What the New CRDF Leader Learned in Two Weeks

Ernie NeffCRDF, HLB Management

Two weeks into his job as chief operations officer (COO) of the Citrus Research and Development Foundation (CRDF), Rick Dantzler summarizes what he has heard from growers and his thoughts on helping the industry. Dantzler says he has talked to growers, CRDF board members and industry representatives “to try to get a sense of what they want CRDF to do. … Read More