Hands-on Session Was a Hit

Ernie NeffCitrus Expo

A grower gets an up-close look at citrus mites.

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.”

Daryl Zelek

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.

Growers and researchers had the opportunity to interact at the hands-on session.

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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Ernie Neff

Ernie Neff

Senior Correspondent at Large