The All In For Citrus podcast for November is packed with updates on various aspects of citrus production.
Citrus Research and Education Center Director Michael Rogers tells how the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) helped a Washington Post reporter write a well-balanced article about the Florida citrus industry and HLB. Rogers points out that the reporter painted a pretty dire picture of the Florida citrus industry as a result of HLB, but also described some research advances.
UF/IFAS pathologist Ozgur Batuman reviews his research that is looking to attack the Asian citrus psyllid from the inside out. Batuman is excited about five viruses he and others have found and isolated in the gut of psyllids in Florida. He hopes these viruses can be manipulated to negatively impact the function of the host and possibly even kill the psyllid.
UF/IFAS horticulturist Tripti Vashisth discusses the success of a Citrus Nutrition Management Program that distributed nutrition sampling kits to approximately 110 growers this fall. The kits provide everything growers need to collect leaf and soil samples for a year. The samples help growers ensure their nutrition programs are working.
Yiannis Ampatzidis, UF/IFAS assistant professor, shares the latest information on his high-tech tool for growers to monitor groves. His research uses drones to save time and money by monitoring tree size and counting gaps in rows. This information is needed for insurance reasons, and Ampatzidis hopes it can soon save the grower even more money by incorporating variable-spray technology.