The University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) recently received a large grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA). Michael Rogers provides details of the $16.5 million grant during the November All In For Citrus podcast. Rogers is the director of the UF/IFAS Citrus Research and Education Center in Lake Alfred.
The grant money is being spread between research projects ranging from gene editing to plant improvement breeding. Eight projects have been funded with the NIFA dollars. Rogers shares details on each project in this episode of the podcast.
“Getting this infusion of money into the research program is really going to help us keep things going with our HLB research, which is really needed right now,” Rogers says. “This will help us build on the research done thus far and take it to the next level.”
Ajia Paolillo, UF/IFAS citrus Extension agent, joins the podcast to give an update on the continuing fallout from Hurricane Ian. Her territory covers Hardee, DeSoto and Manatee counties, which were hard hit by the storm. She says fruit drop has continued well after Ian due to the stress the trees and root systems endured from winds and flooding. According to Paolillo, trees are beginning to flush, which is to be expected after a storm.
While there has been a good deal of research done on the impact of flooding in citrus groves, there is not a lot of literature on the wind effects that come with hurricanes. Christopher Vincent, UF/IFAS assistant professor of tree ecophysiology, has been tasked to work with growers to survey damage after the storm, particularly how winds damaged groves. He is recording damage and the delayed effect of fruit drop and other tree health issues.
Vincent encourages growers who have hurricane damage to participate in the informal survey. He said the process will not take much of their time and will benefit the industry. Vincent can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Don’t miss this episode of All In For Citrus. Listen to the November episode here. The podcast is a partnership between UF/IFAS and AgNet Media.