Citrus Nutrition Day to Include Field Tours

nutrition

This year’s Citrus Nutrition Day — at which growers will learn the latest data about growing the fruit, from the soil up through the plants — is expanding to include tours of field trials. After a morning of updates from University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) researchers, participants may tour field sites at the Peace River … Read More

Kaolin Clay May Be Viable Option to Protect Citrus Trees from ACP

Florida citrus growers have begun taking notice of kaolin clay, a powdery white compound, because it can cause Asian citrus psyllids (ACP) to “not take notice” of their groves. Long used to protect other fruit and vegetable crops, kaolin can also conceal citrus trees from hungry psyllids by confusing their visual sensory system, said Michael Rogers, director of the Citrus … Read More

High-Density Plantings Could Boost Profits for Florida Citrus Growers

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Florida citrus growers who plan to establish new groves might want to consider high-density planting, according to experts with the Citrus Research and Education Center (CREC) in Lake Alfred, part of the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS). Wider spacing between trees and rows was common decades ago but, with yields down and input costs up, … Read More

Citrus Advisory System May Help Prevent PFD Losses

citrus

A new University of Florida-developed forecasting system could help citrus growers control postbloom fruit drop this winter, despite the predicted El Niño weather pattern that’s expected to bring more rain and moderate temperatures. With an El Niño, forecasters expect above-average rain this winter and early spring. Increased rain improves the chances of fungal spores splashing from flower to flower in … Read More

USDA Grant Could Help Florida’s Grapefruit Industry

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

Laser Technology May Be Key to Rehabilitating HLB Trees

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

A Day in the Life of a UF/IFAS Extension Agent: Juanita Popenoe

When growers in Central Florida need help with an alternative crop to citrus, they turn to Juanita Popenoe. The University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) Extension agent spends her days helping farmers who are looking for options to diversify their groves impacted by citrus greening disease. “Since citrus greening has hit the industry so hard, citrus … Read More

Young Citrus Trees May Benefit from Full Irrigation

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

Citrus Tree Covers Keep Deadly Psyllids Away

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

Hands-On Training Scheduled at UF/IFAS Citrus Workshop

citrus

Florida citrus growers will learn about the latest research from the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences and test new technology at a workshop in Sebring, Sept. 25-26. UF/IFAS Extension Highlands County is working with statewide UF/IFAS Citrus Extension faculty to bring the latest in scientific studies and a hands-on learning experience to growers. Faculty will cover … Read More

CUPS Protects Citrus from HLB and Storms

citrus

A system designed to protect citrus trees from the deadly greening disease withstood the ravaging winds of Hurricane Irma last year, University of Florida scientists say. With reinforcements installed after the storm, they’ll likely withstand even more dangerous storms. Using citrus under protective screening (CUPS), growers can keep the Asian citrus psyllids away from their trees, said Arnold Schumann, a … Read More

New Monthly Podcast for Citrus Growers

podcast

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

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

Experts Suggest Varieties for Irma-Damaged Citrus Replanting

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As growers decide how to use U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) funding to recover from damages caused by Hurricane Irma — and as they cope with the ongoing impact of citrus greening — University of Florida researchers are suggesting varieties for them to replant. Producers can grow varieties that show tolerance to greening — also known as huanglongbing, or HLB. … Read More

Control of Citrus Flush Timing Could Improve Psyllid Control

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

New Florida Citrus Production Guide Debuts at Citrus Expo

growers

Beginning this week, Florida citrus growers will have an updated resource to help them keep groves productive despite the ever-present threat of huanglongbing, the bacterial malady also known as HLB or citrus greening disease. Experts with the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) have just completed a 180-page technical handbook, “Florida Citrus Production Guide 2018-2019.” It … Read More

Nutrient Recommendations for Citrus Greening

citrus greening

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

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

researchers

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

Scientists Use Fungus to Manage Asian Citrus Psyllids

fungus

  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