Cold-Hardy Citrus Is New Researcher’s Focus

Josh McGillCold Hardy, Research

Muhammad Adnan Shahid in January joined the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences’ (UF/IFAS) North Florida Research and Education Center (NFREC) as assistant professor of horticulture/fruit crops specialist. His Extension goal is providing fruit producers, particularly cold-hardy citrus growers, with relevant, research-based information for improving productivity, profitability and produce quality.

Muhammad Adnan Shahid

Shahid is interested in evaluating new early maturing scion/rootstock combinations for high cold tolerance and for disease resistance to extend the harvest window for fresh market citrus. He will also be working on best management practices (BMPs) for citrus production for fresh fruit in the newly emerging cold-hardy citrus region of North Florida, southern Alabama and southern Georgia. His main goal is to take cold-hardy citrus from a niche to an industry.

Shahid came to NFREC from the University of New Hampshire Department of Agriculture, Nutrition and Food Systems. There, he conducted research and Extension in nutrient and water ecomanagement for horticultural crop production. He received a doctorate in horticulture from the joint-venture program of University of Agriculture Faisalabad, Pakistan and Cornell University, where he studied the effects of abiotic stresses on crop production. Shahid also worked from 2016 to 2019 as a research scientist in the Horticultural Sciences Department at the University of Florida in Gainesville, where he conducted research-driven Extension on nutrient management in vegetable and fruit crops.

Shahid grew up in an agricultural family and brings experience in field, greenhouse and hydroponic horticultural crop production. The main objective of his research program is to develop an integrated research and Extension program in environmental stress tolerance and physiology of fruit crops that includes cold-hardy citrus, tree fruit, tree nuts and small fruits. He is interested in investigating the influence of biotic (pest and diseases) and abiotic stressors (heat, cold, drought, salinity, heavy metal toxicity, etc.) and their interactive effect on fruit crops and in identifying mitigation strategies.

Source: University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences

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