The three editors of the new Florida Citrus Production Guide recently told growers at a meeting in Sebring what’s new in the guide this year. The University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) produced the guide.
Megan Dewdney, a UF/IFAS plant pathologist, addresses new information provided about diseases. New items include the addition of a chemical for citrus canker control and information about the benefits of windbreaks for controlling HLB-spreading Asian citrus psyllids. Dewdney says research indicates that windbreaks seem to reduce the migration of psyllids into groves.
UF/IFAS entomologist Lauren Diepenbrock, discussing pests, says the new guide addresses resistance to insecticides, herbicides and fungicides. The resistance information makes the case for rotating modes of action for all those products. “We harp on this constantly,” Diepenbrock says.
Diepenbrock also notes that the pest section puts heavy emphasis on the importance of integrated pest management (IPM), with “the insecticides being part of the management strategy.” The IPM information briefly discusses alternatives to spraying for psyllid control, including individual tree covers, reflective mulch and kaolin clay. “None of them are stand-alones” but all have potential for psyllid control, she says.
New information about horticultural practices is discussed by UF/IFAS horticulturist Tripti Vashisth. She says the new guide includes information about the economics of new plantings. Also new is a segment on cold protection. Vashisth notes that most recent winters have been relatively warm, “but it can get cold and we have to have a plan for cold protection.”
The new Florida Citrus Production Guide was introduced at Citrus Expo in August. It is now being handed out at grower meetings around the state and is available from citrus Extension agents.
The grower meeting in Sebring was hosted by Highlands County Extension director and citrus agent Laurie Hurner.
Hear more from Dewdney, Diepenbrock and Vashisth:
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