New Virtual UF/IFAS OJ Breaks for Growers

Ernie NeffEducation

The University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) Extension citrus program is launching a webinar series of OJ Breaks free to all Florida citrus growers. The twice-a-month meeting series will provide the latest information on grove production practices and research findings.  The series will be delivered via Zoom and start Dec. 15.

“COVID-19 has made it difficult for us to meet with growers as we traditionally have,” said Chris Oswalt, UF/IFAS Extension agent for Hillsborough and Polk counties. “But as Extension agents and our growers get more accustomed to using the virtual meeting technology, we thought it was time to start offering these OJ Break meetings virtually.” Prior to COVID-19, Oswalt and other citrus Extension agents routinely held in-person informational meetings for growers. The meetings went by a variety of names, including OJ Breaks.

Topics will initially focus on horticultural practices and start with a presentation by Tripti Vashisth, assistant professor of horticulture at the Citrus Research and Education Center. She will talk about the revived flower bud advisory program, flowering and fruit drop. Vashisth restarted the flower bud advisories Nov. 23 and will continue providing them every other week through the spring.

Most sessions will last for an hour, but some may extend to 90 minutes.

Continuing education units (CEUs) will be requested for each meeting for the restricted-use pesticide license and the Certified Crop Advisor designation. CEUs available for each meeting will be listed on the registration website as the information becomes available.

Anyone may participate in the webinars, but interested participants are required to preregister to receive the meeting link. Register here.

Source: University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences

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