Michael Rogers with the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) discussed plans to hire a new citrus horticulturist, as well as grower meetings set for March. Rogers is director of the UF/IFAS Citrus Research and Education Center (CREC) in Lake Alfred.
The horticulturist to be hired will work with UF/IFAS plant breeders on the field development side of things, Rogers said. Plans were underway to hire a horticulturist for this position last year but were put on hold due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“This is one of those top-priority positions in IFAS,” Rogers said. He said about 29 candidates had applied for the position by mid-February. A review of applicants will likely begin in early March, with three or four likely invited for interviews.
Rogers added that while the hiring process appears to be on track, much depends on the UF/IFAS budget to be approved by the Florida Legislature, which begins meeting in early March. Rogers suggested that growers let legislators know how important UF/IFAS is to them.
The first of three grower meetings planned for March is a virtual event to be held via Zoom on March 9. UF/IFAS’ Davie Kadyampakeni from the CREC will discuss citrus irrigation and nutrient management.
In another Zoom meeting on March 23, UF/IFAS’ Sarah Strauss from the Southwest Florida Research and Education Center in Immokalee will discuss cover crops and soil health.
Growers can register for the Zoom meetings here.
An in-person meeting, including a tour of a citrus under protective screen (CUPS) facility in Volusia County, will be held March 25. Learn more about the event.
This interview with Rogers is part of February’s All In For Citrus podcast, a joint project of UF/IFAS and AgNet Media. Listen to the full podcast here.
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