Michael Rogers, director of the Citrus Research and Education Center (CREC), discusses the new Florida Citrus Production Guide, tree planting decisions, fruit displays and plans for hiring a new horticulturist. The CREC is a University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) facility.
Rogers says the recently released production guide for growers “was a hot commodity this year at (Citrus) Expo.” New content in the guide includes information on crop insurance, a list of websites and mobile apps of interest to growers, and information to help make decisions when planting new groves.
Delving more into tree planting, Rogers notes that UF/IFAS has many field trials in Florida, “mostly with citrus growers in their groves.” A website containing all information from the trials is “a place for growers to go … and have that field trial data handy to help make decisions on what they want to choose to plant,” Rogers says. As an example, he says one trial on Vernia reports on yields from trees planted on 76 different rootstocks.
Rogers encourages growers to attend citrus fruit displays to see and sample fruit from field trials. The first fruit display of this season will be held Oct. 15 at the CREC.
Finally, Rogers reports that the CREC has advertised for a horticulturist to work on late-stage field evaluations of new rootstocks and scion varieties. “It … fills a gap that’s been present since the retirement of Bill Castle many years ago,” he says. “Dr. Castle did a lot of large-scale field trial evaluations, particularly with rootstocks.” Rogers says candidate interviews will likely be held in the late fall or early winter, and that growers will be encouraged to attend candidates’ presentations.
This interview with Rogers is featured in the latest episode of the All In For Citrus Podcast, a joint project of UF/IFAS and AgNet Media.
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