The University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) is providing growers with regular flower bud advisories as the critical time for citrus grove management begins this winter. UF/IFAS associate professor Tripti Vashisth restarted the advisories Dec. 2 and will continue providing them every other week through the spring.
The advisories provide critical information about the intensity and time of citrus blooms. Growers use this information to determine when to spray for Asian citrus psyllid control as well as when to stop pesticide spraying so that pollinating bees may be moved into or placed near citrus blocks.
The flower bud advisories may be found at the UF/IFAS Citrus Research and Education Center website here.
“I am excited to continue this important service to Florida citrus growers,” said Vashisth, a faculty member in horticultural sciences and an Extension specialist in citrus production management. “This information is something that growers need to make timely and value-added decisions to properly manage their groves.”
“This is going to be a La Niña winter, the second in a row, which means Florida will experience temperatures warmer than normal and rainfall lower than normal. We are in for warm and dry winter weather,” Vashisth said in the first advisory of this season. “Under these conditions, enough hours below 68 degrees are likely to accumulate to induce an economic level of flower buds, but intermediate warm periods during the winter can lead to multiple flower cohorts and a very prolonged bloom. On the positive side, if dry weather prevails during the bloom period, there could potentially be lower incidence of post-bloom fruit drop.”
The flower bud advisories are driven by the Citrus Flowering Monitor, which predicts dates when citrus trees will bloom based on weather patterns and other parameters (cultivar, expected yield, tree age and soil type). Growers can enter parameters specific to their grove to get a prediction. Knowing the bloom date is important for managing bloom and other related events. The Citrus Flowering Monitor also gives specific recommendations on how to manage bloom. Access the Citrus Flowering Monitor here.
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