All In For Citrus Podcast, April 2023

Josh McGill All In For Citrus Podcast, Breeding, Events

April was a busy month for citrus events with both the Citrus Growers’ Institute and the Florida Grower Citrus Show taking place. Michael Rogers, director of the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) Citrus Research and Education Center (CREC), joined the All In For Citrus podcast to discuss the success of the two events.

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Both gatherings had a good turnout of growers who were cautiously optimistic about the tree health benefits that might be achieved with therapies being applied to trees, including plant growth regulators and trunk injection of oxytetracycline hydrochloride.

Rogers also discussed a new smartphone application called Canopy Assist, which UF/IFAS will be releasing soon that will help growers to better evaluate the impact these therapies are having on HLB-affected trees. The app will allow growers to take a photo of their tree canopies with their phone and submit the picture for evaluation. The app then will provide a score on canopy health.

Podcast host Frank Giles joined the UF/IFAS citrus plant improvement team on location at CREC to discuss promising new varieties and rootstocks in development. Fred Gmitter, professor of horticultural sciences, Jude Grosser, professor of plant cell genetics, and John Chater, assistant professor of horticultural sciences, engaged in a wide-ranging discussion on their work in citrus breeding.

The breeding team gave their pitches on which new varieties growers should be considering when making planting decisions. They also discussed work to overcome regulatory hurdles to allow promising orange-like hybrids with HLB tolerance into the processed juice stream.

Grosser and Gmitter have dedicated their career to breeding citrus varieties for Florida growers. Chater said he’s excited to join the team to work with growers to evaluate the many selections they have produced over the years.

To hear more about this month’s citrus events, Canopy Assist and the citrus breeding program, don’t miss the latest episode of All In For Citrus. The podcast is a joint partnership between UF/IFAS and AgNet Media.

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