A great new addition to the Citrus Expo program this year was a hands-on session that allowed growers to participate in scientific demonstrations while interacting with University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) researchers.
Expo seminar coordinator Tripti Vashisth said all 11 demonstration stations were crowded. “It went really well, and we got very good attendance — actually more than we were expecting,” she said. “Growers were very enthusiastic about it.”
The hands-on session was the main Expo attraction for satsuma grower Daryl Zelek of Goodland Farms in north Florida’s Greenville. “I’m more of a hands-on person, and this is a better teaching tool for me because if I do it once, I’m going to remember it more than if I read it five or six times,” Zelek said.
The demonstration topics were the Diagnosis and Recommendation Integrated System, soil moisture sensors, root pathology, weed science, water treatment technology, soil and water pH, fungal diseases, a psyllid attract-and-kill trap, weather stations, citrus mites and diaprepes root weevil. Growers also had the chance to talk one-on-one with eight UF/IFAS professors during a “Meet the Specialists” session that ran concurrently with the hands-on program.
Hear more from Vashisth and Zelek, who were interviewed by Citrus Industry Editor Tacy Callies:
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