IMG Citrus Invests in Packinghouse

Daniel CooperIndustry News Release, Technology


IMG Citrus, a family-owned, vertically integrated citrus grower, packer and shipper in Vero Beach, Florida, has invested $1.5 million into its packinghouse processing line. The company added a state-of-the-art electronic fruit grader, the Global Scan 7, manufactured in France. The new sorter has the ability to precisely capture 120 images per fruit and up to 120 fruit per second in … Read More

Cloud-Based Software Helps Farmers on the Ground

Daniel CooperIndustry News Release, Technology


A University of Florida agricultural engineer has developed software that can help farmers find the best places to plant crops and to identify fruit and vegetable varieties that perform better against diseases. Now, Yiannis Ampatzidis is leading an effort to refine the software so it can help growers even more. To help farmers protect and even increase their harvests, Ampatzidis, … Read More

Technology: Consider the Costs

Ernie NeffTechnology

Tara Wade, a University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences economist, has some advice for growers considering new technology for the grove. “What we’d like growers to do is start to think about all the costs involved … do the math before they invest,” she says. “Growers have to constantly think about the trade-offs” of adopting new technology … Read More

Precision Agriculture Technologies in Citrus

Tacy CalliesPests, Psyllids, Research, Technology

By Yiannis Ampatzidis Citrus growers face issues from an increasing number of pests and diseases. Rapid and accurate tools for early pest and disease detection are needed to improve precision and timely management. Almost all agrochemicals (e.g., pesticides) applied in specialty crop production are made uniformly with conventional spraying equipment, despite the fact that pathogen distribution is typically patchy. Uniform … Read More

Technology: Look Before Leaping

Ernie NeffTechnology

New technology can get growers excited about its potential benefits, says John Schueller, a University of Florida engineer and professor. “But before we go out and do something really big, we need to look at various aspects (of the technology),” he says. He suggests five questions growers should consider before going all in. “One is, what are the effects of … 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

Taking Technology to the Grove

Tacy CalliesCUPS, Technology

By Ernie Neff Jerry Mixon’s use of netting to keep birds from blueberries helped pique his interest in growing citrus under protective screen (CUPS) to exclude HLB-spreading psyllids. But he credits University of Florida researcher Arnold Schumann with helping him bring his Polk County CUPS project to fruition. Mixon met Schumann in 2015, the year after Schumann’s 1-acre CUPS was … Read More

Laser Technology May Be Key to Rehabilitating HLB Trees

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


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

Using Soil Moisture Sensors for Citrus Irrigation

Tacy CalliesIrrigation, Technology

By Arnold Schumann, Laura Waldo, Davie Kadyampakeni, Rhuanito Ferrarezi and Chris Oswalt Florida citrus trees may require irrigation throughout the year due to the extremely sandy soils with low water-holding capacities, and the warm subtropical climate with distinct drought periods in spring. A soil water sensor system can provide the most reliable data for effective citrus irrigation scheduling in these … Read More

Artificial Intelligence for Detecting Citrus Pests, Diseases and Disorders

Tacy CalliesTechnology

By Arnold Schumann, Laura Waldo, William Holmes, Gary Test and Tim Ebert Artificial intelligence (AI) is increasingly common in electronic devices at home or work, in social media, video streaming services, electronic commerce, and in internet search engines. Now, AI is rapidly entering the farming scene. Growers using modern precision agriculture tools and techniques often face a barrage of high … Read More

Robots May Soon Detect Grove Pests and Diseases

Ernie NeffDiseases, Pests, Technology


It may not be long before a grower sips coffee and works on the computer while a robot roams the grove checking for HLB-spreading psyllids and other pests and diseases. That’s thanks to machine vision software. University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences scientist Arnold Schumann tells about research he has been conducting. Schumann says researchers have developed … Read More

Sneak Peek: July 2017 Citrus Industry Magazine

Tacy CalliesResearch, Sneak Peek, Technology

Technology and equipment are the main themes of the July issue of Citrus Industry magazine. Not to be missed in this issue is a cover story on University of Florida citrus breeder Fred Gmitter, written by senior correspondent Ernie Neff. The article explores the genetic technologies Gmitter is using to create improved citrus varieties. You’ll also learn some surprising facts … Read More

UF/IFAS Extension Faculty Win Seed Money Through New Shark Tank-Style Program

Daniel CooperResearch, Technology


By: Samantha Grenrock,   Facial recognition software is no longer a thing of the future. But what if similar technologies could one day help farmers identify pests in the field? Steve Futch, multi-county citrus agent with the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences Extension (UF/IFAS), thinks it’s possible. And thanks to the new UF/IFAS Extension Entrepreneurship Program, … Read More

Citrus Nursery Tour Showcases New Technology

Josh McGillTechnology

Citrific Nursery president Mathew Konrad recently gave a citrus nursery tour to show a culture process and automated nursery system that could be beneficial to the citrus industry. “I got into this industry because I felt like the industry was lacking a lot of common technologies and more sophisticated nursery operations,” said Konrad. He explained that he wanted to make … Read More