Speaking at the Florida Citrus Industry Annual Conference in June, Scott Angle, leader of the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS), reaffirmed the urgency the institution has placed on finding viable solutions to HLB.
This includes presenting the citrus industry with a road-map document to lay out UF/IFAS HLB research priorities and objectives. One of the approaches will be turning over every stone in the search for solutions. Part of this effort is UF/IFAS researchers traveling to other citrus-producing regions across the globe to assess the impact of HLB and how growers are dealing with the disease.
Christopher Vincent, UF/IFAS assistant professor of environmental physiology, embarked on one such trip recently to Nepal. He joined the June All in For Citrus podcast episode to discuss his trip. Vincent said citrus growers in the region have been dealing with HLB for many years, and like in Florida, the impact on trees varies from one planting to the next.
Citrus in Nepal is grown in mountainous areas on very small plots. Growers don’t have access to the same type of inputs as U.S. growers, but they have managed to produce citrus for hundreds of years.
Vincent said one important observation made during his trip was that growers with good fertilizer and irrigation programs had trees that were withstanding HLB much better than those who did not have good programs. This reinforces what has been observed in Florida — solid production programs are essential in the era of HLB.
Larry Duncan, UF/IFAS professor of nematology, joined the June podcast to discuss a citrus production course that will be offered this fall. It is a great educational program for not only students, but also growers or production managers who want to brush up on their skills.
Hear more about Vincent’s trip to Nepal and the citrus course in the latest episode of All In For Citrus. The podcast is a joint partnership between AgNet Media and UF/IFAS.
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