UF Researcher Working on HLB Solutions

Abbey TaylorCitrus Greening, HLB Management

Florida citrus growers

By Jaci Schreckengost All research at the Citrus Research and Education Center (CREC) at the University of Florida (UF) currently deals with huanglongbing (HLB) to help protect the citrus industry. “Even if we’re interested in looking into other things, this needs to be solved in order to be able to have an industry to work with in the future,” says … Read More

Grower Has Tepid Report on Bactericides for HLB

Ernie NeffBactericides, HLB Management

Bactericides

Three years ago at the annual Florida Citrus Mutual Conference in Bonita Springs, Tom Jerkins, who was and still is president of the Citrus Research and Development Foundation, enthusiastically led the crowd in chanting, “We need bactericides now!” At the same conference this year (June 15), Jerkins gave a less than enthusiastic report on his company’s yield results following one … Read More

Older Trees and Older Growers

Ernie NeffCitrus, HLB Management

HLB

Florida’s older citrus trees are disappearing due to HLB and other problems, and the most prominent varieties being grown haven’t changed in many decades. Additionally, many long-time growers are nearing retirement. Those were among topics raised at a recent grower forum in Sebring. Laurie Hurner, Highlands County Extension director and citrus agent, hosted the meeting and summarizes discussions of aging … Read More

HLB and Root Longevity

Ernie NeffHLB Management, Rootstocks

HLB

University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences plant pathologist Evan Johnson tells how drastically HLB harms citrus tree roots and suggests some ways to prolong root longevity and improve tree health. “It (HLB) causes very substantial root loss, up to between 30 and 50 percent early in the disease process from before visual symptoms are present to early … Read More

Keeping Young Trees Free of HLB

Ernie NeffHLB Management, Thermotherapy

black spot

Plant pathologist Megan Dewdney was one of the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences researchers who summarized scientific presentations made at the 2017 International Research Conference on HLB. She and others spoke at an HLB Grower Day in Lake Alfred, putting the complex presentations into terms more understandable to those who aren’t scientists. Dewdney discussed young tree … Read More

New CRDF Manager Will Push HLB Solutions

Ernie NeffCitrus Greening, HLB Management

HLB

The Citrus Research and Development Foundation (CRDF) will soon hire another top administrator to ensure potential HLB solutions make it to the grove. The application period for a senior project manager ends May 24. Rick Kress, CRDF vice president and Governance Committee chairman, discusses the need for the position and the manager’s duties. “Right now, the entire citrus industry, specifically … Read More

Grower Discusses Many HLB-Related Issues

Ernie NeffBactericides, Citrus Greening, HLB Management

HLB

Wauchula citrus grower and orange grove salesman Kenny Sanders was one of the growers sharing experiences at a recent grower roundtable meeting in Wauchula. Sanders tells why he attends the meetings and discusses several practices aimed at coping with HLB. “This is very interesting,” Sanders says of the roundtable meetings. “We hear from the growers ourselves, and today we learned … Read More

Best and Worst Ways to Control Psyllids

Ernie NeffHLB Management, Psyllids

Psyllids

Kirsten Pelz-Stelinski, a University of Florida/Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences entomologist, reports on the psyllid control methods that produce the best and worst results: “We looked at abandoned (groves); intermittently managed (groves), which we considered to be five or fewer insecticide sprays per year; we looked at organically managed groves; and we looked at what we called conventionally managed … Read More

Growers Discuss Bactericides and Psyllid Control

Ernie NeffBactericides, HLB Management, Psyllids

The value of bactericides and Asian citrus psyllid control were some of the major issues that growers discussed at a forum in Sebring on May 11. Laurie Hurner, Highlands County Extension director and citrus agent, summarizes the discussions. Hurner reports that one grower will say the bactericides seem to be working against HLB, while another says they see no tree … Read More

Two Big Psyllid Questions Answered

Ernie NeffHLB Management, Psyllids

psyllids

Michael Rogers with the University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) says growers frequently ask him two questions. One is whether they need to continue to control HLB-spreading Asian citrus psyllids even though HLB is widespread in Florida. The other is about the best time to spray for psyllids. Rogers, an entomologist and director of the UF/IFAS … Read More

Growers Share HLB Frustrations and Experiences

Ernie NeffBactericides, HLB Management, Psyllids

HLB

Growers shared their frustrations and experiences with HLB at a May 4 grower roundtable meeting in Wauchula. Event co-host Steve Smith, executive director of Peace River Valley Citrus Growers Association, summarizes the discussions. “A lot of the growers were talking about fertigation and how much, and what’s working for them on the short-term basis as far as tree health goes,” … Read More

Brassinosteroid and Nutrient Uptake Studies for HLB

Ernie NeffCitrus Greening, HLB Management, Nutrition

HLB

Tripti Vashisth, a University of Florida/Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences horticulturist, reports on brassinosteroid and nutrient uptake studies aimed at alleviating HLB symptoms. She reported on these studies at a recent HLB Grower Day summarizing scientific presentations made at an international HLB research conference. The brassinosteroid (a plant growth regulator) study was conducted at the University of Havana in … Read More

Psyllids: Windbreaks, Grove Orientation and Tree Planting

Ernie NeffHLB Management, Psyllids

Psyllids

Populations of HLB-spreading psyllids in groves can be impacted by windbreaks, grove orientation and whether new plantings are resets or solid settings. So says Kirsten Pelz-Stelinski, an entomologist with the University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences. “Windbreaks are one of the best things that you can do in terms of protecting the grove,” Pelz-Stelinski says. She says … Read More

From HLB Grower Day: Cutting Psyllid Control Costs

Ernie NeffEconomics, HLB Management, Psyllids

HLB

Approximately 200 Florida citrus industry members attended the HLB Grower Day on April 21 at the Citrus Research and Education Center (CREC) in Lake Alfred. Speakers summarized scientific presentations made at a recent international HLB research conference. Michael Rogers, an entomologist and director of the University of Florida/Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences CREC, discussed control of the Asian citrus … Read More

CRDF President Discusses Bactericides

Ernie NeffBactericides, Citrus Greening, HLB Management

bactericides

Tom Jerkins, president of the Citrus Research and Development Foundation, several years ago led a crowd at Florida Citrus Mutual’s annual meeting in chanting, “We need bactericides now!” The bactericides, which growers hope will significantly reduce HLB impacts on citrus trees, have been available to citrus growers for more than a year now. Most growers reportedly are using them, at … Read More

Psyllid Movement and Location in Trees

Ernie NeffHLB Management, Psyllids

Psyllids

University of Florida entomologist Kirsten Pelz-Stelinski presented an abundance of facts about Asian citrus psyllids at the recent Florida Citrus Growers’ Institute in Avon Park. Her presentation included a discussion on how far the HLB-spreading psyllids can travel and where they are predominantly found in citrus trees. “They’re quite capable of long-distance movement, about four miles we determined,” Pelz-Stelinski says. … Read More

Keys to Gulf Citrus Production

Ernie NeffHLB Management, Nutrition

IPCs

Several Florida growers recently have said that groves in the Gulf citrus region of Southwest Florida are looking better than most groves in the state. Additionally, statistics indicate production in the Gulf region exceeds production in the state as a whole. Multi-county citrus Extension agent Mongi Zekri, who represents the Southwest/Gulf region, was recently asked why the Gulf was doing … Read More

Getting Water pH Correct in the Face of HLB

Ernie NeffCitrus Greening, HLB Management, Irrigation, Water

Research

University of Florida (UF) researcher Kelly Morgan discusses a study of how citrus growers are adjusting irrigation water pH levels, and what pH levels seem to work best. The acid level of citrus irrigation water has become an important consideration since HLB was discovered in Florida groves in 2005. “Jim Graham (a fellow UF researcher) has been conducting a survey … Read More

Bactericide Grower Trials for HLB ‘Extremely Variable’

Ernie NeffBactericides, HLB Management

HLB

Stephanie Slinski, Citrus Research and Development Foundation bactericide project manager, discussed grower trials on the use of bactericides for HLB at the Florida Citrus Growers’ Institute in Avon Park on April 4. She summarizes the presentation. “We have a series of field trials set up throughout Florida to test the efficacy of oxytetracycline and streptomycin just in the grower program,” … Read More

Highlights from the International HLB Conference

Ernie NeffCitrus Greening, HLB Management

Harold Browning, chief operations officer at the Citrus Research and Development Foundation (CRDF), provides an overview of activities at the recent International Research Conference on HLB held in Orlando. The conference was hosted by Florida Citrus Mutual, with much assistance from CRDF. “There were nearly 500 participants from 24 countries” including for the first time scientists from Cuba, Browning reports. … Read More