New Monthly Podcast for Citrus Growers

Daniel CooperCitrus, Industry News Release, Research


The University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) and Southeast AgNet are partnering to provide the latest news on citrus-related research in a monthly podcast. The podcast, “All in for Citrus,” will launch the last week in September and will feature short interviews with scientists working to find solutions to citrus greening and other devastating citrus diseases. … Read More

A Day in the Life of a UF/IFAS Extension Citrus Agent: Steve Futch

Daniel CooperCitrus, Research

steve futch

Steve Futch’s official office is located in Lake Alfred at the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) Citrus Research and Education Center. But most days you’ll find him working out of his other office — his car — driving from grove to grove in his four-county area. “I go to meet or work with citrus growers … Read More

Control of Citrus Flush Timing Could Improve Psyllid Control

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

Kaolin Clay

They say timing is everything in life, and that’s certainly true of the Asian citrus psyllid, which has devastated Florida agriculture for the past decade by transmitting citrus greening disease, also known as huanglongbing or HLB. To reproduce, this small, flying insect must lay eggs on citrus “flush” – the tender new leaves and shoots that citrus trees produce several … Read More

Nutrient Recommendations for Citrus Greening

Daniel CooperCitrus Greening, Industry News Release, Irrigation, Nutrition, Research

Citrus Expo

As Florida citrus growers look to recover from the damages of Hurricane Irma and continue to cope with citrus greening, University of Florida (UF) scientists suggest using a complete and balanced nutrient program in their groves. “Mineral nutrition plays a vital physiological role in the growth and development of a plant and as well as in plant-defense response,” said Tripti … Read More

Early Findings Show Plant Hormone May Help in HLB Fight

Daniel CooperCitrus Greening, Industry News Release, Research

citrus greening

University of Florida scientists think a group of hormones may eventually help growers battle citrus greening, but they still want to study them before recommending growers use the chemical. Fernando Alferez, an assistant professor of horticultural sciences at the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS), leads a team of UF/IFAS researchers studying the effects of Homobrassinolides … Read More

UF/IFAS Researchers Search for Solutions to Citrus Diseases with Citrus Initiative Funds

Daniel CooperCitrus, Citrus Greening, Industry News Release, Research

From nutritional supplements to managing irrigation to grower outreach and education, University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) researchers are finding additional ways to support Florida citrus growers in their fight against citrus greening disease. Twelve projects were funded by the state legislature-funded Citrus Initiative program in 2017-2018 that looked at possible short- and long-term solutions that … Read More

Texas A&M AgriLife Research, Consortium Get Grant for HLB Research

Tacy CalliesResearch

A Texas A&M AgriLife Research scientist at Weslaco will lead a consortium of researchers in major citrus-producing regions to conduct high-throughput screening in discovering antimicrobials that could prevent citrus greening. Citrus greening, also known as huanglongbing (HLB) disease, has devastated citrus fruit crops in Florida and has made its way to Texas and California. The research grant of approximately $1.2 … Read More

Scientists Use Fungus to Manage Asian Citrus Psyllids

Daniel CooperCitrus, Industry News Release, Psyllids, Research


  Fighting plant disease with jet blast sprays is standard practice for citrus growers. But, to spray a fungus to control a single insect that carries a disease-causing pathogen is uncommon. University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) and Florida Research Center for Agricultural Sustainability researchers have begun to test an insect-killing fungus applied with horticultural oil … Read More

Jack Payne on New SWFREC Director

Abbey TaylorResearch

By Jack Payne,, @JackPayneIFAS Kelly Morgan is a more reliable water source than rain is. You don’t know when or if you’ll get water from the sky, but what Morgan can teach you makes every drop you have go farther. His focus on the farmer as customer is what has made him so successful as the state’s best management … Read More

Field Testing of New HLB-Tolerant Scions and Rootstocks

Tacy CalliesResearch, Rootstocks, Scions

By Rhuanito S. Ferrarezi, Jude W. Grosser, Fred G. Gmitter, Ed Stover and Kim Bowman Citrus is Florida’s most important agricultural commodity. The state produces citrus for different markets: round oranges for juice; navels, mandarins, grapefruit and lemons for the fresh-fruit industry; and lemons for extracting peel oil for processing. Huanglongbing (HLB) disease affects all citrus varieties. Since the discovery … Read More

Alternatives to Rootstock Propagation by Seed: Differences, Concerns and Expectations

Tacy CalliesResearch

By Ute Albrecht Commercial citrus rootstock propagation traditionally occurs via use of nucellar apomictic seed, which generates genetically identical seedlings that are used as liners for budding. With the high demand for superior rootstocks in the age of HLB, commercial nurseries are currently experiencing a shortage of seeds for some of the most popular rootstock varieties. In addition, for many … Read More

CRDF Focuses on HLB Research Communication

Ernie NeffHLB Management, Research


The Citrus Research and Development Foundation’s (CRDF) board of directors, which is focused on HLB, discussed ways to improve communications with growers and others during a meeting in Immokalee on Tuesday. The directors asked numerous growers attending the meeting at the Southwest Florida Research and Education Center for their input regarding improved communication. One grower said he needs more detail … Read More

Grower Partnerships Are Key to UF/IFAS Plant-Breeding Success

Daniel CooperBreeding, Citrus, Industry News Release, Research


University of Florida (UF) citrus breeder Fred Gmitter recalls meeting Vero Beach grower Tom Hammond about 20 years ago, when Gmitter needed a place to grow hybrid citrus. Gmitter knew most growers wouldn’t experiment with “raw materials” – plant offspring used to identify that possible one in 5,000 winner. Growers rarely make a profit from such experiments. Hammond took a … Read More

Herbicide Synergy for Citrus Weed Management

Tacy CalliesProduction, Research

By Ramdas Kanissery, Brent Sellers and Steve Futch Weed control is a major component of Florida citrus grove management. A warm, humid climate and frequent rainfall provide a conducive environment for prolific weed emergence and growth in citrus groves. Although there are several pre- and post-emergent herbicide products available for managing a diversity of citrus weeds, there is always an … Read More

Kelly Morgan Named New SWFREC Director

Daniel CooperIndustry News Release, Research


By Jack Payne I am pleased to announce that Kelly Morgan will be the next director of the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) Southwest Florida Research and Education Center (SWFREC). He will assume leadership of the center on August 1. Under the current leadership of Calvin Arnold, who  is retiring, SWFREC has enjoyed a fresh … Read More

Research Reveals a New Direction for Halting HLB

Daniel CooperCitrus, Citrus Greening, Industry News Release, Research

citrus greening

New clues to how the bacteria associated with citrus greening infects the only insect that carries it could lead to a way to block the microbes’ spread from tree to tree, according to a study in Infection and Immunity by Agricultural Research Service (ARS) and Boyce Thompson Institute (BTI) scientists. Citrus greening, also known as huanglongbing (HLB), is a serious disease dramatically … Read More

CRDF President Discusses Leadership Transition

Ernie NeffResearch

Citrus Research and Development Foundation (CRDF) President Larry Black discusses the hiring of John Arthington as interim chief operations officer (COO) and the search for a permanent COO. Harold Browning will leave the COO post at the end of March to work for a private firm. “Dr. Arthington was highly recommended by several (CRDF) board members (and) past board members,” … Read More

ACP Pheromone to Improve Trapping

Tacy CalliesResearch

Kaolin Clay

By Len Wilcox University of California Davis (UC Davis) researchers have identified the sex pheromone of the Asian citrus psyllid (ACP), a discovery which will lead to better methods of controlling the pest. The ACP is a major threat to citrus around the world. The psyllid is a tiny insect with the potential to wreak havoc as it spreads the … Read More

CRDF Hires Interim Chief Operations Officer

Ernie NeffResearch


The Citrus Research and Development Foundation (CRDF), tasked primarily with researching and implementing management techniques for HLB, hired a cattle expert as interim chief operations officer on March 20. John Arthington will temporarily succeed Harold Browning, who resigns at the end of March to pursue HLB control strategies with Vero Beach-based Premier Citrus ApZ. Arthington is a University of Florida … Read More

Grower Participation Needed for BMP Survey

Abbey TaylorIndustry News Release, Research

The University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences researchers at the Southwest Florida Research and Education Center would like to better understand best management practices (BMPs) used by area growers. BMPs are individual practices or combinations of practices that are effective at improving the quality of surface water and ground water. Growers provide a public service by performing … Read More