All In For Citrus Podcast, February 2023

Josh McGillAll In For Citrus Podcast

With spring fast approaching, Michael Rogers, director of the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) Citrus Research and Education Center, addresses important crop care items that should be on growers’ checklists. He shares his comments in the February episode of the All In For Citrus podcast.

All In

After the destruction left behind from last year’s hurricanes, Rogers said growers should be focused on next season’s crop and getting trees tuned up to support the coming fruit load. Gibberellic acid has become a popular product to help citrus trees hold on to fruit, but he said now is not the time of year when growers should be applying the product.

“If we apply the gibberellic acid now, it will get the trees to hold onto too much fruit,” Rogers said. “And we know these HLB-affected trees cannot support that kind of fruit load.”

He said gibberellic acid applications can typically start back up in late spring or early summer. Rogers also discusses the pre- and post-bloom fertilizer applications that occur this time of year.

In addition, he cautioned growers to be on the alert for postbloom fruit drop (PFD). If warm weather and showers occur during the bloom, he encourages growers to refer to the PFD advisory system website to help determine if they need to be making fungicide applications to fight the problem.

Fernando Alferez, UF/IFAS assistant professor of citrus horticulture, joins the podcast to discuss the success growers are having with individual protective covers to prevent HLB in young trees. He offers tips on how to continue that protection after the covers come off the trees.

Sarah Strauss, UF/IFAS assistant professor of soil microbiology, joins the conversation to talk about how compost and cover crops can build better soils and promote citrus tree health, along with other benefits.

Don’t miss the February episode of All In For Citrus. The podcast is a joint partnership between UF/IFAS and AgNet Media.

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